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Live View displays and operation

Live view mode on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III works in a very similar way to the EOS 7D. There are separate live view and movie modes, selected using a switch next to the viewfinder. Once in Live View mode you can choose from a variety of views and AF methods. You can opt to use either the conventional phase-detection AF sensor (AF Quick) or the slower contrast detection method that uses the main imaging sensor. 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.

While the 'AF Live' and 'AF Live Face detection' AF modes are still significantly slower than the phase detect system in 'viewfinder mode' considerable improvements have been made over previous implementations of the system. You still get a lot of focus hunting but the system is definitely not prohibitively slow anymore and good to use at least in situations when focus speed is non-critical. The performance of the face detection system has improved as well. It's better now at detecting faces with glasses and from an angle. In out testing it reliably detected faces from almost a 90 degree angle.

But even if the improved live view AF performance cannot convince you, 'Live View only' features such as the on-screen magnification for fine-focusing, or exposure simulation to help judge image brightness, are genuinely useful and make Live View an invaluable tool for certain photographic application such as macro shooting or studio work.

Live View function settings

The most useful live view parameters such as exposure simulation, grid display and AF mode can be accessed and modified in the Live View tab of the shooting menu.

The Live View tab of the shooting menu

Live View display modes

Pressing the INFO button while in Live View toggles between the available display modes, each with differing levels of overlaid information. You can also enable optional gridlines.

No overlay Shooting settings
Full information Exposure information + histograms (luminance or RGB can be chosen in the playback menu)
A choice of three grids can also be overlaid on the live view image. These are selected using a menu option in the live view/movie tab of the record menu. Pressing the 'Q' button allows you to change the Auto Lighting Optimizer setting and the image size/quality.
 
All other settings can still be changed via direct-access buttons with full settings screens being overlaid on the live view image.  

Live View magnification and Digital Level Gauge

Just as in playback mode you can magnify live view by pressing the enlarge button to reach 5 or 10x magnification. While magnified you can use the multi-controller to move around the live image. Unfortunately as on previous Canon DSLRs you cannot magnify right out to the extreme corners.

The EOS 5D Mark III also has two accelerometers to offer a level gauge that shows pitch (up/down tilt) as well as roll (left/right tilt), overlaid onto live view image.

5x and 10x Live View magnification Digital Level Gauge

Exposure simulation

In the shooting menu you can optionally enable Live View exposure simulation mode where the Live View display will attempt to simulate the brightness of the final exposure. In this mode changes to exposure compensation or exposure (in manual mode) are simulated. If enabled you can also view the live histogram.

The 'During DOF preview' option is new on the EOS 5D Mark III. It allows you to 'switch on' exposure simulation while the DOF button is pressed. This is useful for quickly switching between standardized brightness for composition and exposure simulation for preview. Exposure simulation in combination with DOF preview is also the closest thing you get to a WYSIWYG preview of your shot.

Exposure simulation can be set in the Live View tab of the shooting menu and simulates the effects of exposure compensation or manual exposure on the LCD screen.
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Comments

Total comments: 9
Vmo9
By Vmo9 (4 months ago)

I have used the 5D Mark III for over a year and have just finished selling my Nikon gear (sad day after being a Nikon enthusiast for 30 plus years). From auto-focus to camera build to overall quality, this camera can do it all! Even with the slow burst rate, it works well for sports and nature shooting! I can't recommend this camera enough. I have found the auto-focus system to be quick enough for Equestrian events with long lenses, such as Canons 400mm f2.8 or new 200-560mm.

2 upvotes
Rob728
By Rob728 (5 months ago)

I have just bought a 5d mkii, and when doing a comparison test (nothing scientific) against my 50d I find that the 5d3 seems to under expose by upto 1stop, is this normal?

0 upvotes
schutzaphoto
By schutzaphoto (6 months ago)

I work in Nyc as a fashion photographer and I have to say the the 5d series are the most used cameras out side of medium format cameras .Ive been shooting with the mark 3 for over a year after shooting with the mark 2 for 2 years great both great cameras. You can see the shots I've taken with it on my website www.brianschutzaphotography.com hope it helps!!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
VABMAN
By VABMAN (3 months ago)

Nice shots,...I've always dreamed to be a fashion photographer.

0 upvotes
Cyrus the Great
By Cyrus the Great (7 months ago)

Nikon D800 is clear winer over 5D iii in every things. Nikon has much sharper lens.
don't know why some people buy Canon???!!!!!

1 upvote
R D Carver
By R D Carver (7 months ago)

'Some people' buy Canon because they earn their living using a camera. Oh man, you should see those forests of white and red-ringed lenses in the pro pit at every major sporting, media and news event! 'Some people' are winning the major competitions, filling the fashion and nature magazines and filming box office busting movies with Canon. "Nikon has much sharper lens" Which lens exactly? Give a photographer a Canon 5D MKIII and an EF 70-200mm F/2.8 L IS II USM Lens and he can take on the world. Nikon is good, Canon is good why get tribal? it is so petty and amateur. At work I can pick up a Nikon/Sony D800 body or a Cannon 5D MKIII. I prefer the Cannon because I don't like the white balance on the Nikon. Others are happy to use the Nikon, but the die hard Nikon enthusiasts are disappointed that Sony make the sensors for Nikon. In comes Sony in comes the green tinged white balance.

5 upvotes
WillieG
By WillieG (6 months ago)

No cameras white balance is perfectly neutral. That's why we have the ability to manually change it on the camera and even fine tune on some of the higher end models. Nikon cameras do run slightly toward the cool side, but they can always be fine-tuned to be neutral in-camera. Canon cameras have always leaned towards the orange color tint. Luckily for Canon the end result is a slightly warmer image that many photographers like the looks of. Few pros would buy a camera that couldn't be made to produce true colors. And that forest of white lenses has been thinning out quite a bit since the advent of the Nikon D3. I'm one die-hard Nikon enthusiast who's ecstatic with Sony sensors. No other brand can even match their dynamic range.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
solomonshv
By solomonshv (2 months ago)

why is the D800 is the clear winner? because of a few test charts? which camera do you own? the 5DM3 or the D800? i switched from nikon to canon because i liked canon's lenses better.

ever been to a major sporting event or a press conference? if you did you'd notice an abundance of off-white telephoto lenses with red rings on them. saying that "some people buy Canon" is misleading because pretty much everyone who makes a living off their camera gear uses Canon. and believe me, there are very good reasons for that. if you don't know what they are then it will be a waste of time trying to explain them to you. you still wont get it because you are too busy looking at test charts.

0 upvotes
mufflon
By mufflon (8 months ago)

thx for putting the Shadow noise test in your review. it was time to show that quite big difference.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 9