Body & Design continued
Viewfinder size and crop
One figure hidden away in every SLR's spec is the size of the viewfinder (often in a format that makes comparison between competing models impossible). The size of the viewfinder is a key factor in usability - the bigger it is, the easier it is to frame and focus your shots, and the more enjoyable and involving process it is.
Because of the way viewfinders are measured (using a fixed lens, rather than a lens of equivalent magnification), you also need to take the sensor size into account, so the numbers in the diagram below are the manufacturer's specified magnifications divided by the respective 'crop factors'.
|The EOS 5D Mark III's viewfinder size has, with its 100% coverage, slightly increased in size over the 5D Mark II's (98%), although magnification stays the same. It's not quite on the same level as the EOS-1D X, but close, and substantially bigger than the viewfinders in APS-C DSLRs such as the Canon EOS 7D. It offers 100% coverage of the final image, with no crop - what you see is what you get.|
The viewfinder in the 5D Mark III has been improved over it predecessor, now offering an approximately 100% coverage, rather than 98%. Magnification remains the same at 0.71X but the viewing angle has been increased and the eye point raised to 21mm.
Set below the prism itself is a translucent LCD that can be used to show different grid lines and to give a clearer understanding of which AF points are active. The focus screen is now fixed, though, so there's no equivalent to the 'S' type screen for more-accurate focusing with fast lenses.
The other advantage to the viewfinder's electronic overlay is the addition of a customizable warning. Depending on how you like to shoot, you can configure the camera to show a warning exclamation mark (!) in a small triangle at the bottom right of the viewfinder. It can be configured to signify one of the following shooting parameters is active:
|Monochrome shooting||ISO Expansion|
|WB Shift||Spot Metering|
|One-touch Quality||Auto Lighting Optimizer|
New accessories - Radio-Controlled Wireless flash and grip
Alongside the 5D Mark III Canon has also introduced a range of accessories, most notably a new wireless flash system that's based on radio, as opposed to infrared communication. Spearheaded by the weather sealed Speedlite 600EX-RT and the WT-E3-RT wireless transmitter, the switch to radio control greatly increases the system's operational range to 30m, removes the requirement for unobstructed line-of-sight communication between Speedlites and the controller, and increases the number of units that can be used to 15 flashes in 5 groups. There's also a hot-shoe-mountable GPS unit, the GP-E2, and a WFT-E7 Wi-Fi transmitter.
Rounding off the story is a new vertical grip for the 5D Mark III, which has an almost-complete set of replicate controls for portrait-format shooting, including the all-important joystick for AF point selection (only a DOF preview button is missing). It can hold a pair of LP-E6 batteries for double the battery life, or run off a cassette full of AAs.
Hands-on Preview Video*
*This video was originally published as part of our Canon EOS 5D Mark III preview
- 16 HDR modes
- 17 Lens Corrections
- 18 Noise and Noise Reduction
- 19 Dynamic Range
- 20 Resolution
- 21 Raw Mode
- 22 High ISO
- 23 Image Quality Tests
- 24 Movie mode
- 25 Video opinion (EOSHD.com)
- 26 Image Q. Compared (JPEG)
- 27 Image Q. Compared (Hi ISO)
- 28 Image Q. Compared (RAW)
- 29 Conclusion
- 30 Samples gallery