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?
Viewfinder, LCD, Live View and Video
This image was brightened by +2EV in both Adobe Camera Raw and Canon DPP software. With default settings, the image converted using DPP shows less shadow noise
As you would expect for a camera of its price, the viewfinder of the EOS 5D Mark III is bright, clear and offers 100% coverage, improving upon the 98% coverage offered by the 5D Mark II.
The size and resolution of the LCD screen have also been increased slightly to 3.2in and 1.04 million dots respectively. Although the screen is only 0.2in larger than that of the 5D Mark II, the fractionally greater space allows the 3:2 ratio images created by the camera to take up the entire screen.
Previously, there was a black bar at the top and bottom of the image. This minor increase makes the image seem far larger and more detailed, and is better for reviewing images as a result. Similarly, 16:9 video footage also has less of a letterbox effect (black bars at the top and bottom of the screen), which makes it easier to review video footage.
As with the EOS 7D, live view and video capture have a dedicated switch, and a start/stop button just to the right of the viewfinder. Video capture – one of the key features of the 5D Mark II – has been refined in the 5D Mark III. One improvement has been to the rolling shutter issue that can affect some cameras. It was a slight problem with the 5D Mark II, but is now even better controlled and will only be noticeable to those who pan extremely quickly.
Those using the camera’s built-in microphone will be pleased that the 5D Mark III has a headphone socket for live audio monitoring. Like its predecessor, the 5D Mark III also has an external microphone socket.
The new sensor produces excellent image quality, but one feature that is lacking is the clean HDMI output to an external device for recording. Unlike the Nikon D4, HDMI video is outputted at 720p, but has data on the feed so it is not suitable for external capture.
While the 5D Mark III is one of, if not the best camera for video capture, there are a few touches that would have really set it apart from its competitors. One of these would have been an articulated screen. Sadly, it is difficult to do this while maintaining the high level of weatherproofing that photographers demand.