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?
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.