Previous news story    Next news story

Just Posted: Canon EOS 5D Mark III review

By dpreview staff on May 23, 2012 at 00:09 GMT
Buy on GearShopFrom $3,399.007 deals

Just Posted: Our Canon EOS 5D Mark III review. The 22.3MP 5D Mark III appears to offer similar specifications to 2008's 5D Mark II. However, sensor and processing developments, along with a host of user-interface revisions mean the Mark III is a much more capable camera. It also gains a greatly-improved autofocus system. So do these changes justify the considerably higher price tag? Read our full review to find out.

1448
I own it
543
I want it
41
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 706
2345
XmanX
By XmanX (May 23, 2012)

For Canon to stay relevant in still-photography, there better be a 40MP+ 5DMkIV (or whatever they want to call it) before Thanksgiving 2012.

No amount of "but-this" and "but-that" spin is going to cut it for people who value, and often need, more megapixels over 6 fps. No brand can sustain itself, let alone thrive by attracting new customers, by putting out what seems like an also-ran product. I hope the cash registers at Canon are already sending this message loud and clear to the management.

Canon has made documentary/wedding/event photographers and soccer moms happy with this 5DMkIII. Now it's time for them to stand up and deliver something truly special to the fine art community who want to make amazing poster-sized prints. And do it REAL soon.

2 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (May 23, 2012)

But....Its not needed...What did people do when there was ONLY 24mp sensors?? Did them cameras not produce nice poster sized prints? I guess we shouldnt mentions canons 16mp 1dsmk2 and nikons 12mp cameras...

The 5d3 to me seems like a great tool. I know i WOULD NOT want to currently deal with a 70-80+MB images out of the D800...My PC couldnt handle it.

5 upvotes
Wilmark
By Wilmark (May 23, 2012)

Until thanksgiving you could always buy the Nokia 41 MP phone and you'd have lots of money remaining for Turkey, or is it baloney.

2 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (May 23, 2012)

Canon should do its own thing, because many people will simply buy Nikon just because of the name. The $5,000 12mp crop sensor D2X outsold the $3,300 Canon 5D full frame. Was it because the D2x had more noise or was it because it was a Nikon? Canon should simply make the best camera it thinks it can produce and not worry about market share. Let the ignorant consumers buy what they want and give the knowledgeable consumers what they deserve.

1 upvote
photo nuts
By photo nuts (May 23, 2012)

This is so fun. Re-ignition of the never-ending Canon-Nikon war!

Anyway, the D800 scores higher for (i) image quality (RAW and jpeg) (ii) low light ISO (iii) movie/video mode (iv) value.

The 5D3 scores higher for features and performance.

They end up with the same overall score. Hmmmm....

Strange.

13 upvotes
Rob
By Rob (May 23, 2012)

Amazon owns dpreview. Amazon sells both cameras and is enjoying their current popularity I'm sure. Its no surprise that in order to keep all buyers happy they got "equal" but different scores.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
DELETED88781
By DELETED88781 (May 23, 2012)

all this mega sites are biased
for a real review go to http://mansurovs.com
or http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/

0 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (May 23, 2012)

People actually buy those cameras are the more advanced users and they wouldn't be fooled by the final score on Dpreview, don't worry. We all know what's going on here.

1 upvote
PaulRacecar
By PaulRacecar (May 23, 2012)

Thanks for the wonderful reveiw! I prefer the D800 for video b/c it auto-focuses. The only problem is that if the audio is quiet, you can hear a crackling noise as the D-800 focuses. I pick up the 5DIII more often for stills b/c it's so much easier to use and it feels better in my hands. I like the quality of the jpgs, and skin tones of the 5DIII. No surprise that both cameras earned an 82 score.

0 upvotes
Wilmark
By Wilmark (May 23, 2012)

What is surprising is that DP R gave the nod to the d800 in video. Esp in the Good for and Not so Good for comments.

1 upvote
snow14
By snow14 (May 23, 2012)

give the 5diii same score the d800 so nikon fanboy dont get upset ,how is a camera that cant foucs ,has bad LCD,locks up and nikon has problem geting it to it's costumers (alwyas not in stock) and not willing to fix it campare to the 5diii? wow all that beacuse it has 36mp .

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (May 23, 2012)

No, the D800 gets the same score, although it deserves higher, because it has significantly better IQ, plain and simple. The 5D III has essentially the same, possibly worse IQ than the 5D II, while the D800 has close to the D4 low-light performance, and DR that's off the charts.

2 upvotes
cfh25
By cfh25 (May 23, 2012)

...and both second-best to the Pentax K-5, apparently

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
dannyboy5400
By dannyboy5400 (May 23, 2012)

I own Nikon and Canon. The fact that dpreview uses an outside opinion with no side by side comparison to judge the video is LAME. If this brings down a cameras score then YOU, DPREVIEW need to come up with a STANDARDIZED TEST. I believe the 5D3 and D800 are not perfect but they both should have scored better than an 82.

4 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (May 23, 2012)

Andrew Reid's video page is in addition to our usual test of the camera's video capabilities which is on the previous page. Andrew's opinion is also clearly marked as his, not ours. We'd like to think getting a second opinion is added value to our readers.

6 upvotes
dannyboy5400
By dannyboy5400 (May 23, 2012)

I stand by my statement, if Video is going to drag down these camera score, you darn well better have standardized tests instead of relying on non subjective outside opinions. Who is Andrew? How is he compensated? Is he compensated by manufacturers? Using an outside opinion with non standardized test is a cop out.

1 upvote
EOSHD
By EOSHD (May 24, 2012)

Hi Danny, standardised tests in a controlled environment (like shooting charts for example) are not a complete substitute for real world usage and an expert's opinion. Sure DPReview could devise a standard video test, like the studio scene gives you an idea of resolution and ISO performance for stills - but that on its own is not enough! I do shoot side by side with various DSLRs and judge their performance relative to each other - if you read the site you will see that.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Maji
By Maji (May 23, 2012)

dayum... DPR chickened out!!

0 upvotes
sotirius
By sotirius (May 23, 2012)

HASSELBLAD cameras have only ONE! (1) autofocus point, does this make them bad cameras? Stop complaing about stupid gimicks, and start shooting(filming). In the end all cameras are the same...

1 upvote
rb59020
By rb59020 (May 23, 2012)

Canon fanboy just upped his Haldol dosage by 10 mg.

0 upvotes
ChristopherKnapp
By ChristopherKnapp (May 23, 2012)

WOW! You don't say, 82% just like the competitor? I'm so surprised. No, really.

How dare a website do a completely unbiased, money aside, true and honest review of a product for the consumer world. How dare us expect that of such a highly respected website.

0 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (May 24, 2012)

Because if they scored it 81% or 83% or any other score for that matter, someone would STILL complain about the score one way or the other, instead of actually reading the actual review, which is many pages long. I mean, even reading the conclusion page seems to be too much effort for some people...

1 upvote
facedodge
By facedodge (May 23, 2012)

Yay, it's a tie... end of the arguments right?

2 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (May 23, 2012)

Nope....Hopefully it will shorten them though... This was a mercy mission to themselves. I dont blame them. We shall never know which camera is truly better! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! LOL!!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (May 23, 2012)

Or... you could go to a third party for a comparison. DPR is not the end all reviewer

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 23, 2012)

It's a DPR tie, but don't mention DxOMark on the Canon forum. It's a sensitive subject.

14 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (May 23, 2012)

LOL I bet marike6! To funny

0 upvotes
Bill1969
By Bill1969 (May 23, 2012)

Yeah, dont mention them in Leica, Sony, Olympus and Pentax either

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
1 upvote
cobrajockey
By cobrajockey (May 23, 2012)

Here's the problem I have always had with any Canon DSLR - they all look like cheap Plastic bodied cameras and they feel like cheap plastic cameras no matter what the price. This one is an $3500 camera and it looks like a $500 DSLR. I've heard others say the same thing in camera stores when looking at them, so I'm not alone. I used to be a Canon film SLR fanatic, so it's too bad. But I'll take a Nikon D series any day because it looks and feels (and takes Images) that match the price tag.

7 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (May 23, 2012)

So you think a D3200 feels better then the 5dmk3?

3 upvotes
dannyboy5400
By dannyboy5400 (May 23, 2012)

I own both Canon and Nikon and both feel plenty sturdy. I have midrange and up for both platforms. To me, Nikon's latest G lenses are not built out of sturdy materials.

1 upvote
snow14
By snow14 (May 23, 2012)

you sound like you have never owned canon DSLR and by the way canon dslrs bulid much better flim SLRS.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (May 23, 2012)

I have got to say this.....

Lets say DPReview DID find one camera better. What do you think is says as far as us as forum members?

Let say they found the Canon better....Do you think they would EVER hear the end of it from the Nikon users??? If the found the Nikon better? How many complaints and emails do you think they would have gotten? How much crap would have everyone have given DPReview for actually posting honest reviews??? ALOT!
Them giving them both 82%...which do you think it is?? Do you think of Hey!...these cameras scored the EXACT same, look at that. Or do you think it was....Lets not start the largest flame war we have ever had and just give them both the same scores. Its just a score anyhow! Let say the canon/nikon really scored 81%....do you think they cared about that 1%...its still the gold award. Its doesnt hurt them one bit credibility wise. 1%....who cares...Its stops 4 years worth of flaming. They just said" here each camera is just as good...have fun arguing."

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (May 23, 2012)

The internet is too full of spexperts nowadays, DPR should follow Engadget's lead where they dropped percentage scores all together because all the spexperts claim foul every time something doesn't get the score they want on a product that they root for, especially true for the constant Mac/Windows & iOS/Android debates, but there are plenty of others too.

There is no such thing as an unbiased opinion. And there is no way to 'score' intangibles either. Either THEY like it or they don't, scoring systems should be thrown out of the window. Further to this comments on scores and reviews should never have been allowed in the first place, not on the review, comments skew and sully the original reviewers careful well thought out review with baseless, misinformed and outright incorrect information. Yes there should be discussion, but in a years time when someone reads the review but the discussion has died on that page, that info is treated as fact, no longer as 'discussion'.

1 upvote
Burbclaver
By Burbclaver (May 23, 2012)

Wow, after extensive testing the D800 and Canon 5D Mk III both score exactly 82%. Those boffins in their separate labs seem to get exactly the same result all the time according to you guys. I wonder why you score out of 100 hundred. If you scored out of a gazillion would you still order the same points?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 23, 2012)

Not quite, no. They don't get exactly the same score but they're within 1% of one another, such that the total gets rounded to 82%.

0 upvotes
AluKd
By AluKd (May 23, 2012)

Do the bars used on the graphs and the ones used to explain the weights actually mean something or they're complete bull? Because if they're intended to have any meaning, by the calculations I've made here using relative proportions to the weights and sizes of the bars, nope, they don't score within 1% of each other. The Canon camera actually scores almost one and a half percentile under the Nikon one.

If you guys just fudge the graphics to show whatever, you should disclaim it somewhere.

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 23, 2012)

We don't fudge the graphics. But the scales don't start at 0, to make sure that small differences are visible.

It's almost as if they were designed to, at a glance, show relative strengths and weaknesses of cameras, rather than as a tool to be reverse-engineered to provide fuel for bickering.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
AluKd
By AluKd (May 23, 2012)

Oh, I see.

*files under fudging*

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (May 23, 2012)

It's absurd that they should get the same score if you weight IQ the way it should be. The 5D III is only a minor, incremental upgrade to the 5D II, and in many cases like JPEG and video resolution it performs worse than the 5D II. The D800 has reached close to the pinnacle for all IQ categories, scoring the highest in the history of DxOMark. A 36 mp camera with close to D4 low-light abilities, the D800 now get compared to MF bodies like the 645D, and H4D.

Equal? I'm sorry, I don't know how anyone can reach that conclusion.

6 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (May 23, 2012)

Whatever happened to dynamic range tests using optimally processed RAWs instead of in camera jpegs? I've noticed these tests went away in the last few years.

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (May 23, 2012)

They should have released both the D800 and 5dmk3 reviews at the exact same time....It would have been chaos....I dont think people would have been able to handle it....

0 upvotes
regie fernando
By regie fernando (May 23, 2012)

Correction on the comparison. 5D Mark II can shoot ISO 50.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (May 23, 2012)

Thanks, corrected

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (May 23, 2012)

Looks like the GH2 kills it in video mode.
"Although the specification on the box says 1080p, with regards resolution the 5D Mark III is a huge let down and the $600 Panasonic GH2 offers a far more detailed 'true 1080p' image (whilst maintaining a relatively large sensor for video and interchangeable lens mount). The 1080p mode is not really full HD at all in terms of the real amount of detail in the image - more like 720p.
The 5D Mark III is vulnerable since it is not a huge step from the 5D Mark II in terms of the overall image in video mode. Other cameras such as the $5000 Sony FS100, $800 Panasonic GH2 and $3000 Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera offer significantly more in the ways of features and image quality for low budget video production."

3 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (May 23, 2012)

Im sure hacks will come out and improve the 5d3.... just like they did with the GH2....

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Peter Nelson
By Peter Nelson (May 23, 2012)

Who cares about video. Get a cam corder. This is a "still's camera forum. Get it!

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 23, 2012)

Mr. Nelson, lot's of people care about video, and the 5D II practically singlehandedly launched an entire HDSLR cottage industry of video rigs, accessories and is responsible for a huge indie revolution in professional DSLR video. A little consumer camcorder cannot hold a candle to the 5D, so I'm not sure why anyone would want to get one. You want to talk about stills exclusively that's your right just as it's Joe's right to talk about video cameras.

1 upvote
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (May 23, 2012)

"We were knocked off our feet when the 5D came out... (full frame)
Blown out of our socks when the 5D Mk2 came out... (full frame video)
...and now for the 5D Mk3...

...well...

...ahh...

urmmm...

BRB (after 200 comments...)

"Oh behave!" (Austin Powers)

.

4 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (May 23, 2012)

A great camera for shooting RAW. I don't understand why Canon goes for that heavier NR and haloed looking sharpening in the jpegs. The Nikon D800 lets a little noise show at higher ISO and the images look more natural.

2 upvotes
Azfar
By Azfar (May 23, 2012)

Go Canon !!!

0 upvotes
facedodge
By facedodge (May 23, 2012)

Get the 5d3 if you need to get the shot. Get a d800 if you need to mangle it in post.

1 upvote
mais51
By mais51 (May 23, 2012)

Camera comes and camera goes - system stays for good

0 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (May 23, 2012)

Yep...Lenses stay for a while too....I didnt expect to see the same 50mm 1.4 in 3 different 5D reviews!! Who would have thunk it!!!

2 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (May 23, 2012)

Get the D800 for more resolution and more DR.
Get the 5D3 for video.

2 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (May 23, 2012)

OR get the 5Dmk3 if you shoot Canon. Get the D800 if you shoot Nikon

19 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (May 23, 2012)

Wow Medic,
Finally some sense out of someone, +1

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 23, 2012)

Get the D800 if IQ is a priority.
Get the 5D3 if you have Canon lenses, and don't mind paying a premium over the 5D2.

8 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (May 23, 2012)

It's more like get the D800 unless you absolutely need the 2 more fps continuous shooting.

0 upvotes
davidxyz
By davidxyz (May 23, 2012)

Ha ha ha, get out the flame retardant suits boys, this is going to be messy!

2 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (May 23, 2012)

Why does the final score not take into consideration if your a Canon or Nikon fanboy?

This is a easy fix DPreview...just add a few points to the score based on what forums the users QQ's at the most.

2 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (May 23, 2012)

We all know the D800 is better, but there would have been torches and pitchforks at the gates otherwise. Nice camera, I'm sure.

10 upvotes
Freestyler
By Freestyler (May 23, 2012)

Yeah biggest fence sit by DPR in a very long time, the D800 is better overall and a cult hit, the 5D3 is more of the same from Canon, and with the price difference and the option of D800e version. I would accept Gold Award for both, but the Canon 5D3 should of only scored a maximum of 80 points.

It does make me doubt this and future reviews from DPR, Sorry!

14 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (May 23, 2012)

Nice review! A well deserved score. Im sure it is equally as good as the D800. I personally like the fact that they both are same cameras with great high iso and great AF systems, a good amount of MP! Last year we didnt have that. We has a 5dmk2 with slow AF and high MP or a D700 with low MP's but great AF. Now you dont have to get a D4 or a 1dx in order to get that. Each camera is what people on each side have been asking for! Nikon wanted more MP and Canon wanted faster AF. Everyone should be happy on each side!

Now if only canon would update there 50mm 1.4 and 1.8 and 85mm 1.8!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Cipher
By Cipher (May 23, 2012)

Here comes the crying! The fact that it has the same score as the D800 is no coincidence. lol.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (May 23, 2012)

The excrement is about to hit the dyson air multiplier.

3 upvotes
John 3
By John 3 (May 23, 2012)

I wonder what that would look like...

1 upvote
f_stops
By f_stops (May 23, 2012)

Definitely use a d800 for more DR and resolution . . . or maybe a 5dIII for higher FPS . . .

0 upvotes
local movers N moving
By local movers N moving (May 23, 2012)

5D mk 3 is a nice camera. I agree D800 is for more specific type of photography, let say landscape, but 5d have other advantages. If you are Video shutter, I think the 5d will do better more film like, D800 still good video shutter, but need some post posses,

0 upvotes
Derrick Louw
By Derrick Louw (May 23, 2012)

Interesting that the 5D3 resolves approximately the same amount of detail as the 16 mp 1Ds2 (based on DP Review tests)

0 upvotes
Virtual GTA
By Virtual GTA (May 25, 2012)

I must say that the D800 can't touch the 5D Mark 3... especially for real estate low light... that said I prefer the D800 for stills
Here is our first video with the 5D... amazing quality
http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=oE3v9nGuySA&hd=1

0 upvotes
Total comments: 706
2345