The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is one of the most highly regarded DSLRs of all time, so the 22.3-million-pixel Mark III upgrade has a great deal to live up to. How will it fare?

Product Overview

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III review


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Noise Resolution and Sensitivity

With a 22.1-million-pixel sensor, the detail resolution of the EOS 5D Mark III is very good, with JPEG images just about reaching 30 on our test chart, and slightly more detail being resolved when raw images have been adjusted. This is almost exactly the same as the detail resolved by the 5D Mark II.

Noise is well controlled within the standard sensitivity range. There are signs of noise at ISO 800, but it is only when ISO 6400 is reached that luminance noise really becomes visible, particularly in dark midtones and shadows. Images created at these sensitivities are still usable, though, particularly as colour noise is easily removed using raw-conversion software.

At ISO 25,600, JPEGs show both luminance and colour noise, worsening at extended sensitivities. As usual, these settings should only be used when there is no other option – they are extended settings for a reason.

While the AF and shooting rate are much improved over the 5D Mark II, the 5D Mark III is still very much aimed at studio, landscape, travel and street photographers. As such, there will rarely be the need to shoot much higher than ISO 1600, so the noise at higher sensitivities shouldn’t be an issue.

These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using the Sigma 105mm f/2.8  macro lens. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution is at the specified sensitivity setting.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. 61-Point AF System
  4. 4. Build and Handling
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Dynamic Range
  7. 7. Noise Resolution and Sensitivity
  8. 8. Autofocus
  9. 9. Viewfinder, LCD, Live View and Video
  10. 10. White Balance and Colour
  11. 11. Verdict
  12. 12. The Competition
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  • Sam

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  • Kellykings

    Agreed that noise is to be preferred over blrury pictures. That’s why it amazes me when people say they won’t let the camera go over a certain ISO. I’d like to say that too, but that means not shooting in some situations where a higher ISO would allow decent shots.I don’t know about Canons but the Nikons I’ve used have a great auto ISO feature that allows you to set a minimum shutter speed before the ISO starts climbing. Everything just works as it should, if you understand how to set that minimum for your conditions to avoid shake and motion blur. Unless I’m in a specific exception situation, auto ISO sure beats forgetting to make the ISO adjustment from a dark area to a bright area.