Canon EOS 5D Mark III Evaluate

The long-awaited successor to Canon’s extraordinarily in style EOS 5D Mark II  digicam is lastly right here. As its identify implies, the corporate’s 22-megapixel EOS 5D Mark III ($3,499 listing, physique solely) is an evolutionary improve quite than a revolutionary one. The total-frame Mark III’s  enhancements are largely beneath the hood, however its bigger, sharper rear LCD is one which’s noticeable at a look. The digicam is kind of spectacular, however 5D Mark II house owners will need to weigh upgrading fastidiously based mostly on their particular wants. The digicam impressed me, nevertheless it would not fairly handle to knock out the extra versatile—and dearer—Nikon D4 ($5,995, 4.5 stars) as our Editors’ Alternative for full-frame D-SLRs.

One fast observe earlier than we dig in: In case you’ll use this digicam to earn your dwelling, it’s best to keep away from grabbing one of many first models to hit the road, as Canon has recognized an publicity situation(Opens in a brand new window) that may happen beneath very particular circumstances. This drawback did not rear its head in any of my check pictures, and since it has been addressed by Canon, it didn’t have an effect on the 5D Mark III’s ranking.

Design and Options
The 5D Mark III is refreshingly compact when you think about that its 35mm full-frame picture sensor is way bigger than these discovered in additional frequent APS-C D-SLRs. The digicam physique measures 4.6 by 6.0 by 3.0 inches (HWD) and weighs 2.09 kilos with battery and reminiscence card. It is not that far off from the D800 ($2,995.95), its closest competitors on the Nikon aspect of the fence. That D-SLR is 4.8 by 5.7 by 3.2 inches and weighs 1.98 kilos—and manages to slot in a built-in flash. In case you choose a more-substantial digicam, the Mark III’s measurement and weight might be elevated by way of the BG-E11 Battery Grip ($349), which connects to the underside of the digicam, and provides vertical capturing controls. The grip can accommodate two rechargeable batteries, doubling the working lifetime of the digicam, and offers you the choice to energy the Mark III utilizing disposable AA cells to be used in these photogenic components of the world the place electrical energy will not be available.

Anybody with a group of high-end Canon EF lens will recognize the digicam’s 22-megapixel full-frame sensor, which is identical measurement as a body of 35mm movie—so your 28mm lens gives you the identical discipline of view on the digital digicam because it does on a movie physique. In case you’re a Canon person who’s seeking to improve from one of many firm’s in style APS-C D-SLRs, just like the EOS 7D ($1,699, 4 stars), it’s best to take an appraisal of your lenses. You may’t use EF-S lenses, that are designed for APS-C cameras, on a full-frame Canon physique. This can be a limitation that Nikon customers do not face—it is doable to make use of APS-C DX lenses on a full-frame Nikon physique just like the D4  by way of a particular crop mode.

In case you’ve shot with a Canon SLR earlier than, you may really feel comfy with the Mark III’s person interface. Fairly than taking the entrance and rear Command Dial strategy that the opposite main D-SLR gamers use, Canon engineers opted to make use of the entrance principal dial and rear Fast Management dial to regulate settings. Most bodily controls on the digicam management two features utilizing these two dials, and the on-screen menu lets you already know which dial modifies which setting. If you have not spent lots of time behind the lens of a Canon D-SLR , it might take some getting used to—however seasoned Canon shooters are certain to really feel proper at dwelling. There are quite a few different management buttons on the digicam, together with a multi-controller to scroll by menus and manually choose autofocus factors, and buttons to regulate the Drive mode, ISO, and Metering mode.

The rear LCD is solely wonderful. The three.2-inch show is full of over 1,000,000 dots—it is one of the crucial vivid that I’ve seen on any digicam. There isn’t any drawback reviewing your photos on a vibrant day, and it presents sufficient decision to make handbook focus throughout stay view a actuality. There’s additionally a monochrome data show on the highest of the digicam so you possibly can consider the present capturing settings at a look. You may additionally be capable of see settings within the digicam’s massive, vibrant viewfinder. It exhibits you 100% of the body, so what you see by the finder is precisely what you may get in your picture—that is an enchancment over the Mark II’s 97 p.c protection finder. The draw back to this improved protection is that you will now not be capable of change the main target display screen out as you possibly can with the Mark II.

When capturing in Stay View or recording video, the digicam does assist autofocus. It does it in a fashion just like the Nikon D4—you have to press a button and the digicam works to reacquire focus. It is a sluggish course of that entails looking forwards and backwards till the main target is locked—that is a lot, a lot slower than the autofocus when capturing stills. You may seemingly get higher outcomes manually focusing. There are not any full-frame cameras available on the market that presently supply full-time steady autofocus like our Editors’ Alternative APS-C digital SLR, the Sony Alpha 77 ($1,999.99, 4.5 stars)—that digicam’s pellicle mirror design permits it to make use of its quick section detect autofocus system for each stills and video in any capturing mode. The Mark III information video in QuickTime format in quite a lot of resolutions and body charges. It tops out at 1080p30, however you possibly can go for 720p60 footage to seize clean, quick movement or 1080p24 for these instances whenever you need to give your video a cinematic look.

Efficiency and Conclusions

Efficiency and Conclusions
The 5D Mark III is not absolutely the quickest D-SLR that we have examined—you may desire a pace demon just like the Nikon D4 or Canon’s EOS-1D X ($6,799) if you have to quickly rattle off a whole lot of pictures from the sidelines of an NFL sport. The D4 can begin and hearth an in-focus shot in about half a second—barely sooner than the 5D’s 0.7 second time. The Nikon’s lightning quick autofocus makes its shutter lag virtually unperceivable—lower than 0.1 second. The Mark III notched a constant 0.1 second shutter lag, together with the time required to focus.

In steady drive mode, the Mark III can rattle off pictures at 6 frames per second, however the variety of pictures it may possibly seize earlier than slowing will depend on what recordsdata you might be capturing and what kind of reminiscence card is loaded within the digicam. I examined with two SanDisk playing cards—a 90MBps CompactFlash card and a 95MBps SDXC card. Each playing cards managed a mere 7 Uncooked+JPG pictures earlier than slowing, though the CF card was in a position to get better from that burst in 3.5 seconds whereas the SDXC card required 11.4 seconds. The digicam does higher capturing solely in Uncooked—it may possibly handle 19 pictures there with a 5.2 second restoration time utilizing the CF card, and 14 pictures with a 17.6 second restoration time utilizing SDXC. If you wish to shoot advert infinitum at 6fps you may must use JPG seize—the digicam had no bother maintaining with that format at 6 frames per second, no matter your alternative of reminiscence. The D4 is a significantly better digicam by way of burst capturing—it may possibly seize dozens of Uncooked pictures at 10 frames per second earlier than slowing down.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III : Benchmark TestsThe Mark III helps ISO settings a full two stops greater than its predecessor. I used Imatest(Opens in a brand new window) to see simply how good the out-of-camera JPGs are at these ultra-high sensitivity settings. The digicam was in a position to preserve noise under 1.5 p.c by ISO 12800, though there may be understandably some lack of element there when put next with decrease ISOs. To my eye, JPG element was excellent by ISO 6400 and glorious by ISO 3200. You may squeeze a bit extra out of the digicam should you choose to shoot in Uncooked and course of pictures in an excellent converter like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4. This can allow you to alter noise to swimsuit the shot, providing you with full management over the stability of graininess and element. I would really feel very comfy capturing at ISO 6400 generally, and at ISO 12800 after I did not thoughts a grittier look when working in Uncooked. The Mark III did not fare in addition to the 16-megapixel Nikon D4—it was in a position to preserve noise beneath management by ISO 20000—nevertheless it manages it higher than the Sony Alpha 65 ($999.99, 4 stars), an APS-C sensor digicam of the same decision. That 24-megapixel shooter can solely management noise by ISO 1600.

Canon does supply the 5D Mark III with the 24-105mm f/4L package lens for $4,299, however our body-only check unit was bundled with the wonderful EF 17-40mm f/4L USM ($839.99) zoom lens. I examined its sharpness in Imatest and located it to be an admirable performer in that regard. It exceeded the 1,800 traces per image peak that we use to find out a pointy optic all through its zoom vary, even at its most aperture. At 17mm it notched a formidable 1,962 traces at f/4 and a pair of,207 at f/5.6. Zooming to 28mm netted 1,999 traces at f/4 and a pair of,201 traces at f/5.6. The lens carried out at its greatest at 40mm—recording 2,288 traces at f/4 and a pair of,470 traces at f/5.6.

The digicam has loads of enter and output ports. It helps a mic enter, making it appropriate for professional video use, and likewise features a headphone jack so you possibly can monitor audio whereas recording. There is a plug for a Canon wired distant management, in addition to an industry-standard PC Sync socket so the Mark III can management studio lights or an off-camera strobe. You may connect with an HDTV by way of a mini HDMI port, though it doesn’t assist uncompressed video output just like the Nikon D4 does. A typical mini USB port is there for pc connectivity and tethered capturing.  The digicam has two reminiscence card slots—one helps CompactFlash and the opposite is appropriate with SD, SDHC, and SDXC playing cards.

The EOS 5D Mark III is a strong improve to its predecessor, and a good selection for any Canon shooter who earns a dwelling by capturing photos within the studio or at occasions—nevertheless it’s not going to fulfill each photgrapher’s wants. Fans who desire a full-frame digicam could also be higher off with the less-expensive 5D Mark II, which remains to be a really succesful digicam. The Mark III’s 22-megapixel sensor does properly in low gentle, nevertheless it may not fulfill these accustomed to working in medium format digital the way in which that the 36-megapixel Nikon D800 guarantees to do. In case you’re a sports activities or information photographer who requires sooner, longer burst capturing, the dearer EOS-1D X or our Editors’ Alternative, the Nikon D4 would in all probability be a greater match.

Extra Digital Digital camera Critiques:


  • Compact for a full-frame SLR.

  • 22-megapixel decision.

  • Massive optical viewfinder.

  • Vibrant, high-res rear LCD.

  • Quick autofocus.

  • 6fps steady capturing.

  • Glorious excessive ISO efficiency.

  • 1080p video recording.

View Extra

The Backside Line

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III seems to be rather a lot like its predecessor on the skin, however presents loads of enhancements beneath the hood. It is a strong choice for superior shooters with an funding in Canon glass, however would not match the rapid-fire capturing capabilities of the EOS-1D X or Nikon D4.

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