Canon 5D Mark III Review

on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This is an in-depth review of the new Canon 5D Mark III, a highly anticipated DSLR update to the Canon 5D Mark II that was released back in 2008. Built on the success of the 5D Mark II and featuring the most advanced autofocus system Canon has released to date from its EOS-1D X line, the Canon 5D Mark III is a rather promising upgrade to the 5D line. With an enhanced image sensor with ISO 100 to 25,600 native ISO range, fully weather-sealed camera body, 6 fps burst shooting speed and dual card support, the 5D Mark III seems to target all kinds of photography – from landscapes and fashion to sports and wildlife photography. In this review, I will not only provide detailed information about the camera, but will also compare it to the older Canon 5D Mark II, the Nikon D3s and the new Nikon D800.

I have been shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III for close to three months by now. I received it around the same time when I got a hold of the Nikon D800 and it has been a very interesting journey, shooting with both of these cameras side by side. As you may already know, I have been a Nikonian for a while now and most of the camera and lens reviews I have published to date cover Nikon products. Starting from earlier this year, I decided to expand my reach to Sony, Fujifilm and Canon cameras and lenses. While I personally prefer to stay focused on my brand of choice, some of the tests I perform compare performance across brands, so I decided that it would be best for me to get familiar with other camera systems as well. So far I have been enjoying this process and my overall impression at the moment is that all camera systems out there have their own advantages and disadvantages, just like I stated in my Nikon vs Canon vs Sony article, and no one camera system is superior than another. In short, no camera is perfect. I own a lot of Nikon gear and prefer shooting with it, because I started my journey into the world of digital photography with a Nikon DSLR. Had I started with a Canon or a Sony DSLR, my site would have been either Canon or Sony-centric instead.

As I have already stated in some of my articles, I have been really enjoying the Canon 5D Mark III. I had a great experience with its predecessor, the Canon 5D Mark II, which I used a number of times before (many of my photography friends use Canon gear and I get to play with Canon gear quite a bit). So when the 5D Mark III was announced, I knew that I definitely wanted to try it out as well, but this time for an extended period of time with a few top Canon L lenses. Loaded with Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 17-40mm f/4L lenses, I have been taking the camera with me everywhere – from personal trips shooting landscapes and nature, to commercial jobs.
While reading this review, you might find a number of negative remarks about the camera. As I have said earlier, no camera is perfect and the Canon 5D Mark III is not an exception. There are things I love about it and there are things that I find rather annoying as well. It does not mean that the camera is bad and it certainly does not make it inferior to its main competitor, the Nikon D800. It is a matter of personal taste and preference. At the end of the day, it is not all about the image sensor, ISO performance or camera speed – one should assess a system as a “package”. A lot of what I say about the 5D Mark III is obviously from the standpoint of a long time Nikon shooter, so you will find plenty of comparisons and references to Nikon in this review.

1) Canon 5D Mark III Specifications

Main Features and Specifications:

  1. Sensor: 22.3 MP full frame CMOS sensor, 6.25ยต pixel size
  2. Sensor Size: 36 x 24mm
  3. Resolution: 5760 x 3840
  4. Native ISO Sensitivity: 100-25,600
  5. Boost Low ISO Sensitivity: 50
  6. Boost High ISO Sensitivity: 51,200-102,400
  7. Sensor Cleaning System: Yes
  8. Image Processor: DIGIC 5+
  9. Autofocus System: 61-point high-density reticular AF (up to 41 cross-type points)
  10. Lens mount: Canon EF
  11. Weather Sealing/Protection: Yes
  12. Body Build: Full Magnesium Alloy
  13. Shutter: Up to 1/8000 and 30 sec exposure
  14. Storage: 1x CF and 1x SD (SD/SDHC/SDXC compatible)
  15. Viewfinder Type: Pentaprism with 100% coverage, 0.71x magnification
  16. Speed: 6 FPS
  17. Exposure Meter: 63 Zone iFCL Metering System
  18. Exposure Compensation: ±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
  19. Built-in Flash: No
  20. LCD Screen: 3.2 inch diagonal with 1,040,000 dots
  21. Movie Modes: 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps), 1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (25, 30 fps)
  22. Movie Exposure Control: Full
  23. Movie Recording Limit: 30 minutes
  24. Movie Output: MOV (H.264)
  25. Built-in Microphone: Mono
  26. In-Camera HDR Capability: Yes
  27. GPS: Not built-in, requires GP-E2 GPS unit
  28. Battery Type: LP-E6
  29. Battery Life: 950 (CIPA)
  30. USB Standard: 2.0
  31. Weight: 860g (excluding battery)
  32. Price: $3,499 MSRP body only

source: photographylife


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