Canon EOS 5D Mark III review

April 21, 2012

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

  • Features:
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  • Metering:
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Price as Reviewed:


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?

It was only a few months ago that AP readers voted the Canon EOS 5D Mark II The Greatest Camera of All Time. The number of votes, backed up by glowing references from a host of contemporary photographers, shows that Canon got just about everything right. From its 21.1-million-pixel, full-frame sensor and well-proportioned body to its original RRP of £2,299.99, the camera has been a favourite of professional and enthusiast photographers since its release in September 2008.

And it wasn’t just photographers who took so strongly to the EOS 5D Mark II. Although Nikon beat Canon by one month in the race to release the first HD video-enabled DSLR, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II offered full HD (1080p) capture. Combined with excellent image quality from the full-frame sensor, the EOS 5D Mark II soon became popular among amateur and professional videographers, with Canon proudly telling anyone who’d listen that the camera had been used to shoot an entire episode of the US TV drama House.

Three and a half years on, however, and the EOS 5D Mark II is starting to look a little dated, especially aspects such as the miserly nine AF points. This is an issue that Canon has addressed in its upgrade.

One of the EOS 5D Mark II’s outstanding features was its 21.1-million-pixel resolution. Building upon this, Canon has fitted the Mark III model with a 22.3-million-pixel CMOS sensor, as well as 61-point AF and 63-zone metering systems, and a host of other refinements, many of which are borrowed from the EOS 7D and recently announced EOS-1D X.

  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets (with fine-tuning), plus custom and Kelvin adjustment settings
  • Built-in Flash: No
  • Dioptre Adjustment: -3 to +1 dioptre
  • Viewfinder Type: Pentaprism
  • Memory Card: 1x Compact Flash and 1x SD, HC, XC sockets
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
  • Output Size: 5760 x 3840 pixels
  • LCD: 3.2in Clear View II TFT, approx. 1.04million dots
  • Field of View: Approx 100%
  • AF Points: 61 points, including 41 at f/4 cross-type, 5 dual cross-type at f/2.8
  • Sensor: Full-frame (36 x 24mm) CMOS sensor with 22.3 million
  • White Balance Bracket: 3 exposures in increments of 1, 2 or 3
  • Exposure Modes: PASM
  • Focal Length Mag: 1x
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/200sec
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery LP-E6
  • Weight: 950g (without battery or card/s)
  • File Format: CR2 (raw), sRaw1, sRaw2, JPEG, raw+JPEG simultaneously
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/8000sec in 1⁄3 steps plus B
  • Drive Mode: Single, continuous L, continuous H, self-timer, silent single shooting, silent continuous shooting
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • RRP: £2,999.99 (body only)
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1⁄3, 1/2 or 1EV steps
  • ISO: 100-25,600 in 1/3EV steps and Lo ISO 50, H1 ISO 51,200, H2 ISO 102,400
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG, 3-stage CR2 raw
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed/HDMI mini
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single shot AF, continuous AF, AI servo, AF fine tune available
  • Dimensions: 152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm
  • Metering System: 3-zone dual-layer SPC evaluative metering, partial (6.2%) centreweighted, spot (1.5%)

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