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Canon announces EOS 5D Mark III 22MP full-frame DSLR

By dpreview staff on Mar 2, 2012 at 05:00 GMT
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Canon has announced the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the latest in its enthusiast full-frame 5D series and successor to the popular EOS 5D Mark II. Based around a 22MP full-frame sensor, it can shoot 6 frames per second and features a 61-point AF system much like the EOS-1D X. It can capture 1080p movies at 24, 25 or 30 fps and offers high quality intraframe (All-I) video compression amongst a host of movie-related improvements. It will be available from the end of March with an MSRP of $3499 / €3299 / £2999.99.

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Press Release:

Creativity, redefined – Canon unleashes the EOS 5D Mark III

London, UK, 2nd March 2012 – Canon today announces the latest addition to its worldfamous EOS range with the launch of the new EOS 5D Mark III. The EOS 5D Mark IIIbuilds on the performance of the legendary EOS 5D Mark II, offering improved speed,greater resolution, enhanced processing power and extended creative options for bothstills and Full HD movies – providing unparalleled artistic freedom for the most demanding photographers.

Incorporating feedback from photographers worldwide, the EOS 5D Mark III offers improved performance in virtually every area. A new 22.3 Megapixel (MP) full-frame sensor offers the ideal balance of resolution for stills and HD movies and up to 6 frames per second (fps) shooting, whilst a 61-point AF system and 63-zone metering provide greater speed, flexibility and accuracy. Powered by the latest DIGIC 5+ processing technology, the EOS 5D Mark III also features enhanced video functions, offeringimproved image quality alongside greater audio control – redefining creative possibilities for photographers and amateur videographers alike.

"The EOS 5D Mark III represents a big step forward for the EOS 5D series" said Kieran Magee, Marketing Director, Professional Imaging, Canon Europe. "The EOS 5D Mark II is an exceptional camera and we've listened carefully to feedback from its passionate community of users to improve performance in every area. This camera has been designed to meet virtually any creative challenge – it's faster, more responsive and features the tools to adapt to everything from studio photography to creative videography, while producing results of the highest quality."

Enhanced performance

With its comprehensively upgraded specification, the EOS 5D Mark III is the ideal toolfor the growing number of photographers shooting both stills and movies. It incorporates a number of the features launched with Canon's revolutionary EOS-1D X,providing vastly improved performance, flexibility, handling and durability.

The camera's newly-developed 22.3MP full-frame sensor provides increased resolution and finer detail, enabling the capture of a wide range of scenes, from sweeping landscapes to beautiful portraits. Higher speed continuous shooting also offers expanded creative possibilities. With an increased 8-channel read out, the camera comfortably handles a maximum full resolution speed of up to 6fps in bursts of 18 RAW images or over 16,000 JPEGs1, without the need for additional accessories. Additionally, the sensor's advanced architecture offers a huge native ISO range of 100-25,600, expandable to 102,400, making it possible to capture clean, high quality pictures, even in extreme low-light conditions.

The EOS 5D Mark III utilises the same 61-point wide-area AF system as the flagship EOS-1D X, providing exceptional sensitivity, precision and speed. One of the most advanced AF systems currently available, it features an impressive 41 cross-type points and five dual cross-type points, providing unsurpassed accuracy across the frame. The customisable AF pre-sets introduced in the EOS-1D X are also available, helping the capture of traditionally challenging subjects, and providing additional reliability in ituations where subject movement can be unpredictable.

Highly accurate exposures are provided by Canon's acclaimed iFCL metering system, which incorporates a 63-zone Dual-Layer sensor linked to each point of the AF system. Focus information gathered from the AF system is analysed alongside colour and luminance signals measured by the metering sensor itself, enabling the EOS 5D Mark III to deliver consistently accurate skin tones and excellent results in a wide range of shooting situations.

Creative performance without compromise

The EOS 5D Mark III features Canon's latest DIGIC 5+ image processor, which powers a range of new functions without affecting the camera's performance. 14-bit A/D conversion provides smoother tonal gradation and transitions between colours, while in-camera HDR shooting combines three different exposures and allows one of five preset tone maps to be applied, enabling photographers to capture all the detail in high contrast scenes. With in-camera RAW processing and editing capability, photographers also have the option to immediately begin post-processing their images while still on a shoot.

The increased power of DIGIC 5+ also enables a range of tools which contribute to higher image quality. Lens peripheral illumination correction, Lens chromatic aberration correction (lateral and axial) and high ISO noise reduction are all performed in-camera without affecting performance, allowing photographers to continue shooting without any camera lag. Additionally, in-camera image rating via a dedicated button makes it easy for photographers to organise images ahead of post-production.

The EOS 5D Mark III features a new Creative Photo button, which enables users to quickly select Picture Styles and capture multiple exposures, as well as offering direct access to the HDR shooting mode. In playback, pressing the Creative Photo button displays a new comparative playback function, displaying two images side-by-side to allow photographers to view, magnify and compare the quality of different exposures mid-shoot.

For situations where photographers want to avoid being noticed, such as weddings, the EOS 5D Mark III also features a new silent shooting mode that dramatically reduces the sound of the shutter and mirror, ensuring they can work quietly in the background. A continuous silent mode is also available, enabling photographers to capture fastermoving subjects without attracting attention.

Next generation EOS Movies

The EOS 5D Mark III builds on the reputation of the EOS 5D Mark II, with a range of new features introduced following feedback received from photographers to provide even better Full HD video performance. As well as offering the depth-of-field control loved by video professionals, the new full-frame sensor combines with the vast processing power of DIGIC 5+ to improve image quality by virtually eradicating the presence of moiré, false colour and other artefacts. The addition of a movie mode switch and a recording button also offers greater usability, enabling videographers to begin shooting immediately when movie mode is engaged.

Additional movie functions include manual exposure control and an enhanced range of high bit-rate video compression options, with intraframe (ALL-I) and interframe (IPB) methods both supported. Variable frame rates range from 24fps to 60fps, and the addition of SMPTE timecode support provides greater editing flexibility and easier integration into multi-camera shoots. Users can also check and adjust audio during recording via the camera's Quick Control screen and a headphone socket enables sound level monitoring both during and after shooting. Enhanced processing power provided by DIGIC 5+ also makes it possible to conveniently trim the length of recorded movies in-camera.

Professional build, easy operation

The EOS 5D Mark III has been built to offer photographers easy-handling and robust build quality. Its lightweight, high-grade magnesium body offers advanced weather proofing for protection against the elements, while the construction of the shutter has also been reinforced, with 150,000-cycle durability making it ideal for repeated, everyday use. An enhanced version of the Intelligent Viewfinder featured in the EOS 7D offers approximately 100% coverage, as well as an on-demand grid display via the builtin transparent LCD.

The same reinforced 8.11cm (3.2") Clear View II LCD screen as used by the EOS-1D X provides high quality framing and playback in all conditions. 1,040k-pixels provide the resolution to accurately check image sharpness and focus, while the gapless structure design introduced with the EOS-1D Mark IV prevents reflections and protects against dust or scratches. A headphone socket and locking mode dial have been included, while the inclusion of a UDMA 7-compatible CF card slot plus an SD card2 slot enables shooting to both cards simultaneously, auto switching when the one in use becomes full and the option to copy images from one card to the other in-camera.

Digital Lens Optimizer – new in Digital Photo Professional v3.11

The EOS 5D Mark III comes complete with the most advanced version of Digital Photo Professional (DPP) yet – Canon's free, in-box software enabling high-speed, high quality processing of RAW images. New in DPP v3.11 is Digital Lens Optimizer – a revolutionary new tool designed to drastically improve image resolution.

Digital Lens Optimizer (DLO) precisely imitates lens performance, with a series of complex mathematical functions replicating each stage of the journey of light through the optical path. Using this information DLO can correct a range of typical optical aberrations and loss of resolution caused by a camera's low pass filter, by applying an inverse function to each shot to take the image nearer to how the scene appears to the naked eye. This creates exceptionally detailed, high-quality images with highly manageable file sizes, providing photographers with maximum image quality and greater flexibility.

EOS System compatibility

As part of the EOS System, the EOS 5D Mark III is immediately compatible with over 60 EF Lenses, including the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM – the new, essential wide-angle zoom lens from Canon's famous L-series. The camera is also compatible with a newlyannounced range of accessories designed to offer extended creativity, including the Speedlite 600EX-RT – a high performance TTL flash with wireless radio connectivity. Additionally, the new Battery Grip BG-E11 offers greater handling flexibility alongside the ability to double the camera's battery life.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III – Key features:

  • 22.3 Megapixel full-frame sensor
  • 61-point autofocus
  • Up to 6fps continuous shooting
  • Native ISO 100-25,600 sensitivity
  • Full HD video with manual control
  • 14-bit DIGIC 5+ processor
  • Enhanced Weather sealing
  • 8.11cm (3.2-inch) 1,040,000-dot screen
  • HDR mode with presets

Canon EOS 5D Mark III specifications

Price
MSRPBody only: $3499, €3299, £2999 with 24-105mm: $4299
Body type
Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution5760 x 3840
Other resolutions3840 x 2560, 2880 x 1920, 1920 x 1280, 720 x 480
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels22 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors23 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDigic 5+
Color spacesRGB,Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayRGB Color Filter Array
Image
ISOAuto, 100 - 25600 in 1/3 stops, plus 50, 51200, 102400 as option
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
File format
  • JPEG (Exif 2.3 [Exif Print] compliant)
  • Design rule for Camera File system (2.0)
  • RAW: RAW, sRAW1, sRAW2 (14bit, Canon original RAW 2nd edition)
  • Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampby optional dedicated Speedlite
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points61
Lens mountCanon EF
Focal length multiplier1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.2
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeClear View II TFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.71×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Auto+
  • Program AE
  • Shutter priority AE
  • Aperture priority AE
  • Manual (Stills and Movie)
  • Custom (x3)
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (Hot-shoe, Wireless plus Sync connector)
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Continuous drive6 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
  • Partial
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps fps), 1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (25, 30 fps)
FormatH.264
Videography notes1080 and 720 intra or inter frame, 480 inter frame
MicrophoneMono
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesCompact Flash Type I (UDMA compatible), SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage includedNone
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (HDMI mini)
WirelessOptional
Wireless notesWireless File Transmitter WFT-E7
Remote controlYes (Remote control with N3 type contact, Wireless Controller LC-5, Remote Controller RC-6)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion LP-E6 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)950
Weight (inc. batteries)950 g (2.09 lb / 33.51 oz)
Dimensions152 x 116 x 76 mm (5.98 x 4.57 x 2.99)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (by cable and PC)
GPSOptional
GPS notesWith optional GP-E2 unit

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Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 500
1234
Photodog7
By Photodog7 (Mar 2, 2012)

Not biased to either company, having owned both, it just seems that canon just upgraded their 5d mark2, while Nikon came out with something much more exciting. I guess the tests will tell. Both have amazing autofocus, iso, but nikons iq is much more and the D800 is much cheaper. I have to say, I think Nikon won this one.

9 upvotes
rttew
By rttew (Mar 2, 2012)

Well, that makes the decision to jump to Nikon all the easier...

1 upvote
Zafar Kazmi
By Zafar Kazmi (Mar 2, 2012)

Unless the sensor IQ knocks the ball out of park, this is pretty disappointing in the context of D800.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 2, 2012)

The D800 is unlikely to beat the 5D Mark III for lowlight.

1 upvote
Zafar Kazmi
By Zafar Kazmi (Mar 2, 2012)

There is more to IQ then low light performance.

2 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (Mar 2, 2012)

Howboutraw, i wouldn't count on that, preliminary tests on the D800 sensor are showing very good hi iso capabilities, and incredible DR

1 upvote
AmaturFotografer
By AmaturFotografer (Mar 2, 2012)

They said it uses Sony sensor. Sony sensor known for having good DR performance(D7000. K-5).

2 upvotes
MichaelEchos
By MichaelEchos (Mar 2, 2012)

And about low light, the D800 wouldn't lose to 5DMiii because at the same display size, a higher MP isn't likely to increase much noise level.

1 upvote
Robert Hoy
By Robert Hoy (Mar 2, 2012)

The 36 megapixel sensor is a noisy one. Just like small pixels on compact digicams are noisy. All of a sudden Nikon users are into small pixels after being hyped up for years on "big" pixels of the d700/d3? Funny.

0 upvotes
MichaelK81
By MichaelK81 (Mar 2, 2012)

Great stuff. Gives 5D II users the AF they've always dreamed of, an extra stop of light in the ISO range, and a host of other features. Perfect upgrade.

6 upvotes
Dianoda
By Dianoda (Mar 2, 2012)

Yeah, while the 1DX is the camera of my dreams, this is most likely the next camera I actually buy. Now I just gotta keep working hard so this year's Christmas bonus is as big as last year's...

0 upvotes
ray07
By ray07 (Mar 2, 2012)

Too expensive,5DII no point to upgrade!save money to buy L lense better....

1 upvote
StephenSPhotog
By StephenSPhotog (Mar 2, 2012)

That right there is my next camera. Perfect.

1 upvote
tornwald
By tornwald (Mar 2, 2012)

Really? Why?

0 upvotes
StephenSPhotog
By StephenSPhotog (Mar 2, 2012)

Because it's exactly what I need. Don't question my personal taste in cameras.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 2, 2012)

Damn, cool! Canon didn’t engage in the stupid mega-pixel war!

5 upvotes
diforbes
By diforbes (Mar 2, 2012)

Never thought I would see Canon's pricing higher than Nikon's in the same camera class. This is concerning.

4 upvotes
Peter 13
By Peter 13 (Mar 2, 2012)

Same?

0 upvotes
MichaelEchos
By MichaelEchos (Mar 2, 2012)

And Nikon's spec is actually slightly better.

1 upvote
Robert Hoy
By Robert Hoy (Mar 2, 2012)

"Better" is always a relative term. It seems the ony specification the d800 has over the 5D mark III is more pixels.

0 upvotes
Daniel Clune
By Daniel Clune (Mar 2, 2012)

Overpriced for a FF 7D.

5 upvotes
canon6188
By canon6188 (Mar 2, 2012)

This is the PERFECT camera ! Nikon users who consider upgrade to D800 shall weep for another 3 years. Huge upgrade in term of auto focus and ISO plus 6 FPS, who needs 36MP noise ridden, computer busting (huge file size) camera of Nikon ...

I am getting one soon, give me .......QUICK ....

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 2, 2012)

It's unlikely that Canon's autofocus will beat Nikon's.

8 upvotes
canon6188
By canon6188 (Mar 2, 2012)

Canon's AF do not need to beat Nikon's... But overall package Canon 5 D Mark III is a more capable camera !.

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Prestidigitator
By Prestidigitator (Mar 2, 2012)

It's already beating them since 1987. You must be new to SLRs.

0 upvotes
Mathias Japri
By Mathias Japri (Mar 2, 2012)

And canon user stuck with the unfriendly UI forever.

0 upvotes
Jon Rty
By Jon Rty (Mar 2, 2012)

The D800 smokes the 5DIII at low ISOs, is better than the D700, a camera Canon has yet to beat, at high ISOs, shoots 5 fps in 25mp mode, and has a more sensitive AF module. How the 5DIII is more capable is beyond me.

2 upvotes
ScottieC
By ScottieC (Mar 2, 2012)

I want... it meets all my requirements... the price thou...

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
wskb
By wskb (Mar 2, 2012)

Perfect, but oh so pricey...

2 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Mar 2, 2012)

finally, the 5D has a modern AF system

5 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (Mar 2, 2012)

Nikon wins.

Time for everyone to sell their Canon gear.

Better luck next time Canon.

17 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Mar 2, 2012)

Nikon does not make F1.2 lenses. Last year sigma sold more lenses than nikon lol I guess maybe I should go D800 with sigma lenses.

3 upvotes
footlong
By footlong (Mar 2, 2012)

That's because Nikon makes real lenses. Not poser lenses like the 1.2. hahhaah

6 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (Mar 2, 2012)

Nikon doesn't make F1.2 lenses?

http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Camera-Lenses/1435/NIKKOR-50mm-f%252F1.2.html

6 upvotes
Prestidigitator
By Prestidigitator (Mar 2, 2012)

Noink Fanboi of the Year! Congrats, you get 36MP of useless data to post on your FB page.

1 upvote
Mathias Japri
By Mathias Japri (Mar 2, 2012)

it's not about fan boy bro, 36 mpix is for pro bro, you'll sell more money with high res. and ability to get more details. if you shoot for FB you are right, stick with canon or buy a pocket. if you shoot for istock photo get a nikon D800.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
raybies
By raybies (Mar 2, 2012)

After 4 years and they give us better Autofocus and increase the price by 30%? WTF!

Man some of you are easily impressed.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Prestidigitator
By Prestidigitator (Mar 2, 2012)

Really, so 12MP from your previous Nikon cams wasn't "pro"? LOL. So the 16MP D4 is not "pro"? Funny fanbois.

0 upvotes
Mathias Japri
By Mathias Japri (Mar 2, 2012)

omg, i think you are canon brand ambasador or a canon brand seller. I think canon pay you well.
I was with canon 5D mkII and it serve me well unless the wide lense is no good, D4 is for photojournalist usage. i buy camera that suit my need. and don't call me fanbois please.

0 upvotes
Soonlar
By Soonlar (Mar 2, 2012)

Some Dismissive Thoughts on it.

http://breztech.net/2012/03/02/canon-5d-mark-iii-thoughts/

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
smallcams
By smallcams (Mar 2, 2012)

yay. yawn.

4 upvotes
Total comments: 500
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