Canon EOS 5D Mark III

$3,399
  • 22.1 MP
  • Full frame CMOS
  • 3.2" LCD
Released March, 2012
Needless to say the Mark II quickly became a firm favourite, not only with still photographers drawn by its fantastic image quality but also video enthusiasts (and indeed professional film and TV production companies) who were keen to exploit the creative opportunities provided by the Mark II’s class-leading (at the time) video abilities and Canon’s vast lens universe.
Rated 90% by by TrustedReviews (Apr, 2012)

Conclusion Check out the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

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57%
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First reviewed March, 2012

Features Key features of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Angle view of Canon EOS 5D Mark III
The new model takes many user interface elements of Canon's flagship APS-C DSLR the EOS 7D and combines them with a 22MP full-frame CMOS sensor that is capable of capturing high quality output up to very high sensitivities.
Rated 82% by by DPReview (Mar, 2012)

megapixels

0 MP
22.1 MP

10.1 MP
36.2 MP
40 MP
This is pretty much the performance you would expect from a camera with a 22MP pixel count and a good quality lens.
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 22 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 7Mb.
EOS 5D Mark III by Photography Blog (Apr, 2012)

sensor size

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 7D
In terms of both design and operation the 5D Mark III is not so much an evolution of its predecessor but adopts many of the design cues and control elements of the newer EOS 7D APS-C DSLR.
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
Overall, in terms of handling, control layout and design the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is much closer to the APS-C DSLR EOS 7D than to its predecessor 5D Mark II.
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)

viewfinder size

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 7D
Canon also reduced the spot meter size to 1.5 percent of the viewfinder.
EOS 5D Mark III by c|net (Jan, 2009)
The other advantage to the viewfinder's electronic overlay is the addition of a customizable warning.
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)

body size

152 x 116 x 76 mm
160 x 157 x 91 mm
145 x 111 x 71 mm
As we've said before in this review the EOS 5D Mark III's construction is excellent, and it shows in the camera's weight.
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
The Mark III is far from being a small or lightweight camera but it makes a well-balanced package with Canon's L-lenses.
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)

focus points

0
9

9
61
70
Use an F4 or brighter lens and the advantage becomes even greater, with the camera gaining another 20 cross-type points that are further out from the center of the frame (Nikon's system only features cross-type sensors near the middle of the frame).
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
Fit an F2.8 or brighter lens and the five central double-cross-type sensors become available.
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
 

Performance Real world tests of Canon EOS 5D Mark III

DxOMark image quality

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 7D
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III's out-of-camera JPEGs offer good colors, tonality and dynamic range with a very smooth highlight roll-off but in terms of pixel-level detail the images are not quite as good as we might expect from a 22MP sensor with a Canon L-lens mounted in front of it.
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
The HDR mode combines three images taken at different exposures to create a single image with greater dynamic range, plus it offers natural and more artistic looks.
EOS 5D Mark III by Photography Blog (Apr, 2012)

DxOMark low light performance

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 7D
In some situations this is a blessing, but with exceptionally dark or light main subjects the results may not be the same as the Canon EOS 5D Mk II would produce in its evaluative metering mode.
EOS 5D Mark III by TechRadar (Apr, 2012)
The hull of the plane is very dark with very little visible shadow detail.
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)

shutter lag

0 ms
260 ms

290 ms
120 ms
200 ms
The more silent shutter actuation is achieved by slowing down the shutter and mirror reflex action and as a downside there is a slight increase in shutter lag and viewfinder blackout time.
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography.
EOS 5D Mark III by Photography Blog (Apr, 2012)

continuous shooting

In terms of continuous shooting the EOS 5D Mark III is not quite on the same level as dedicated sports and action cameras such as Canon's EOS-1D Mark IV, but nevertheless its 6 frames per second in Continuous Hi mode still make it a capable tool for shooting fast moving subjects.
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
For burst shooting, however, it's the slowest of all the new models, partly because of Nikon's significantly lower resolution and Sony's doubling up on the processors to maintain burst rates.
EOS 5D Mark III by c|net (Jan, 2009)

battery life

950 photos
2,600 photos
500 photos
The Mark II uses a new battery pack, the LP-E6, which seems to last a reasonably long time: it's CIPA rated at between 750 and 850 shots, depending upon temperature.
EOS 5D Mark III by c|net (Jan, 2009)
It can hold a pair of LP-E6 batteries for double the battery life, or run off a cassette full of AAs.
EOS 5D Mark III by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
 

Our analysis How does it stack up against its top 10 competitors

pros

  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
  • Generic
  • Full frame
  • 41
  • Yes
  • 3.2"
  • 61
  • 0.28 fps
  • 120 ms
  • Opaque
  • 100%
  • 22.1 MP
  • 87.89%
  • Combines multiple photos together to capture both bright and dark areas
  • 1/8000 s

cons

  • 81.0
  • 11.7 ev
  • The screen is fixed in place
  • Mar, 2012
  • Taking quality photos in low-light will require external hardware
  • None
  • No geotagging included

Reviews Word on the street

Rated 82%
Read the review (Mar, 2012)
With the 5D Mark III's large images files it is advisable to use a fast CF memory card, especially if you are planning to shoot bursts in Raw+JPEG mode.
Rated 90%
Read the review (Apr, 2012)
We would have liked to have seen an articulated LCD screen for easier composition, and the auto-focus system for movies looks decidedly clunky when compared to mirrorless cameras, but otherwise the 5D Mark III is another stride forward for for both stills and video.
Rated 90%
Read the review (Apr, 2012)
If you’re in the market for a pro-spec DSLR that offers excellent handling, fantastic image quality, impressive low-light performance and excellent video abilities then the Canon 5D Mark III definitely deserves to be on your shortlist.
Rated 90%
Read the review (Apr, 2012)
We found that the screen provides a sharp, clear view even when shooting outside in bright sunlight.
Rated 82%
Read the review (Jan, 2009)
Many of the new capabilities definitely target pros: a pair of low-resolution raw formats (10 and 5.2 megapixels), more interchangeable focusing-screen options, in-camera peripheral-illumination correction to compensate for brightness nonuniformity across the image, and a silent Live View mode.

Sensor

With a larger sensor comes more dynamic range and better performance in low light - unfortunately these attributes of the sensor are not fully utilized in video mode on the 5D Mark III.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 82% by by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
In Tv mode ISO and Aperture are set automatically, you select shutter speed by turning the front dial.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 82% by by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
The last image above was processed in Adobe Camera Raw with custom sharpness settings (amount 33, radius 0.5, detail 81) and the difference to the out-of-camera JPEGs is staggering.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 82% by by DPReview (Mar, 2012)

Focus

This second, 'AF Live' method is potentially more accurate and flexible (not being constrained to the 61 points of the AF sensor); it also has a face-detection option.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 82% by by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
We are no sports photographers but we can say that the simplified AF options are a great help when shooting moving subjects.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 82% by by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
We found that the AF system is fast and accurate.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 90% by by TechRadar (Apr, 2012)

Lens

Paired with the professional-grade Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8 and Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 zoom lenses the 5D Mark III delivers impressively sharp results.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 90% by by TrustedReviews (Apr, 2012)
In addition, the Mark III also offers a Distortion Correction feature to lessen the effects pincushion or barrel distortion.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 90% by by TrustedReviews (Apr, 2012)
Usually I'm not a fan of the lenses that ship as part of kits like this, but I ended up liking the 24-105mm a lot more than I expected and think it's a good match for anyone looking for a first lens to pair with the camera.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 82% by by c|net (Jan, 2009)

Autofocus

The other key improvement is the simplification of the AF configuration.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 82% by by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
Manual selection: AF point Expansion surrounding 8 points Manual selection: Zone AF AF points can be selected separately for vertical and horizontal shooting.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 90% by by Photography Blog (Apr, 2012)
There are four display modes available in record review / play, you can also optionally enable 'Highlight alert' (blinking highlights) and / or 'AF point display' in the play menu.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 82% by by DPReview (Mar, 2012)

Image quality

The High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode is a new feature on the 5D Mark III and increases a scene's dynamic range by combining several exposures into one.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 82% by by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
Noise does not have the attractive fine grain of film and an already very soft image gets softer still with a very blotchy noise grain at high ISOs.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 82% by by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
When activated in the menu CA correction does a good job of removing fringing as you can see in the the sample crop below.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Rated 82% by by DPReview (Mar, 2012)

Competition What else you should consider

2
Nikon D4 Fastest rapid fire mode Nikon D4 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III
4
Nikon D800 Best image quality as rated by DXOMark Nikon D800 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III
5
Canon EOS 5D Mark II 3-way tie: Big viewfinder 5D Mark II vs 5D Mark III
6
Canon EOS 40D 4-way tie: Has a built-in flash 40D vs 5D Mark III
7
Canon EOS 6D Much faster benchmarked shot to shot times 6D vs 5D Mark III
8
Canon EOS 7D 4-way tie: Has a built-in flash 7D vs 5D Mark III
Front view of Canon EOS 5D Mark III

New duel?

Let the battle continue or dare to compare.


Editions Editions of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Price Edition Max light sensitivity Area Resolution Phase detection focus points Compare
$3,399
102,400 ISO Full frame 1,040 k dots 61
 
Compare

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Popular Questions

July 6, 2012
If you were to switch camera brands, which camera would you buy?

Tell us what camera you have already, and what camera you would get if you had to switch camera brands. 

Beginner I
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October 17, 2012
Why would you select the A99 over the D800 or 5D MKIII?

I own a Canon 60D with a few lenses, but am thinking of jumping into the full framed world, I'm not glued to Canon and I have no issues leaving them behind. I'll be using it as an all-purpose be...

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May 27, 2012
Wedding photography

 As a wedding photographer, I want a camera with great image quality that also performs well in low light. I see the D800 is a better camera overall and has significantly better image quality, is...

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Latest Questions

August 12, 2012
Does the T4i shoot the same video as a 5D MarkIII?

Pro, still shooting film. Need to upgrade to a digital camera. I want to shoot video, do both camera shoot the same video? I know about the full frame vs. the 1.6 cropped sensor.

Beginner I
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November 29, 2012
Semi-Pro Videographer / hobbyist photographer needing perfect upgrade

I am venturing into doing video work but my  budget will only allow for a 5DM3 with a 24-105mm L lens or a T4i with more lenses and more add ons. Which should I choose. I'm stuck with too I do to...

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June 1, 2012
Image quality at any ISO (within reason, of course).

* I am a keen enthusiast and I submit photos to stock agencies and competitions. I currently use a Lumix LX3 (yeah, I know this is a big step up!). * I use aperture priority and of...

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Unanswered Questions

January 21, 2013
Shutter lag

Will I notice the slower shutter lag difference in the 5D MK III?   And does the 1D have better/faster focus accuracy?

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January 11, 2013
Portrait shoots, landscape shoots, a little macro, and videos?

I'm interested in rather casual shoothing, primarily of persons, landscapes, sometimes animals, with some macro shots and I'm interested in shooting FullHD videos. I care a lot about image in of...

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December 31, 2012
Video tapping something for a very long period of time (+2)

Video tapping messages and programs.

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Community Find out what the Sortable community is saying about the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Top Canon EOS 5D Mark III experts at Sortable
heuscher
Intermediate II
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Crisandjason-Langley
Beginner II
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Nikon D800
  • 36.2 MP
  • Full frame CMOS
  • 3.2" LCD
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Nikon D800
1 more Sortable user recommendeds the Nikon D800 over the Canon EOS 5D Mark III.
View all discussions | View comparison
Beginner I
2
votes

I'm a nikon guy But The mk III does better at video than the D800  Less megapixels =less noise 

Intermediate II
2
votes

If you are open to either and there isn't a particular lens from either you 'must have', then the fundamental difference is the sensor.  It's not possible to say one is better than the other. so...

Beginner II
1
vote

The 5DMKIII handles iso noise better than anything I've seen. Canon L glass is legendary, 85 f1.2 and 50 f1.2 are probably the best lenses in their class. NIkon bodies have great ergonomics and I...

Pentax K-30
  • 16.1 MP
  • APS-C CMOS
  • 3" LCD
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Pentax K-30
6 more Sortable users recommended the Canon EOS 5D Mark III over the Pentax K-30.
View all discussions | View comparison
Beginner I
-1
votes

I was a Nikonian for more than 30 years (yeah, that old). When I went  digital, Canon was the only one offering full frame (5D Mk1). So I switched to Canon. I'm still with it. After the Mark 1 2...

Sony SLT-A99
  • 24 MP
  • Full frame EXMOR
  • 3" LCD
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Sony SLT-A99
11 more Sortable users recommended the Sony SLT-A99 over the Canon EOS 5D Mark III.
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Beginner I
-1
votes

I think you should go with the Canon 5d mark iii. Even though it is the most expensive on among the three, the price is definitely worth it. It has build in HDR, and has 22.1 mega pixels which is...