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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LCD viewfinder:
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Canon EOS 5D Mark III review


Price as reviewed:



It was always going to be a challenge to replace the EOS 5D Mark II. Thankfully, Canon has been sensible with its upgrade, choosing to focus on improving its weaker areas. So, while the resolution is largely unchanged in the 5D Mark III, the sensor’s low-light and high-sensitivity performance is markedly better.

However, for me, the greatest improvement is to the camera’s AF system. The 5D Mark III focuses faster than its predecessor and has all the advanced settings one would expect from Canon’s EOS-1D professional series of DSLRs.

What these two major new features mean is that the appeal of the 5D Mark III may stretch to an even greater range of photographers than the Mark II. However, those more interested in video may be left wanting a little more.

Overall, it is difficult to fault the 5D Mark III, given its target audience and price. I have no doubt it will be a popular and successful camera; the only question may be whether existing 5D Mark II users will feel the changes warrant an upgrade – or whether those looking for their first full-frame DSLR will be lured in by the Nikon D800’s higher resolution instead.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III – key points

Magnify button

Rather than separate magnify and shrink buttons, the EOS 5D Mark III uses this single button held down, while the control dial is used to zoom in and out.

Silent shooting

The silent shooting feature will be particularly useful for event photographers. It slows the mirror’s movements so that it doesn’t slap, the point being to reduce the sound it makes when an image is taken. It works well, although the shooting rate is reduced and the viewfinder is blacked out for a little longer. However, this shouldn’t be an issue if you are shooting a quiet, and presumably slow-moving, event.

In-camera raw conversion

When in playback mode, there is the option to convert raw files to JPEGs. Brightness, white balance, picture style, auto light optimiser, colour space, noise reduction, image size, vignetting, lens distortion and chromatic aberration can all be adjusted before a JPEG file is created.


As the EOS 5D Mark III is considered one of Canon’s professional-level cameras, it does not have a built-in, pop-up flash. Instead, the camera has a hotshoe and is compatible with the Canon range of Speedlite flashguns.

In-camera HDR

By pressing the image style button on the rear of the camera, it is possible to select multiple exposure and HDR mode. The latter creates an HDR image in-camera, with the ability to choose from a selection of HDR styles and bracketing options. Images can also be aligned, so provided you are reasonably steady it may not be necessary to use a tripod.

Live view/video switch

This switch activates live view and video capture, with the button used to start and stop recording

LCD screen

Canon has reduced the reflectivity of the new 3.2in screen

  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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