PIX 2015
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Operation and Handling

One thing pictures alone can't ever really describe is how a camera will feel in your hand, and the 5D Mark III is one of those cameras that just feels 'right'. The camera is comfortably chunky and the sculpted 'channel' on the rear provides a positive grip for your thumb and helps make the camera feel completely secure in your hand. Both control dials and an impressive number of buttons are within easy reach of either the index finger or thumb of your right hand. The design, dimensions and response of all controls ensure the camera is still usable even when shooting with gloves.

The 5D Mark III features a substantial grip with a comfortable soft-rubber surface.

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. At 2.1lb body weight it's quite a hefty piece of equipment and in combination with one of Canon's equally well-made 'L' lenses it can weigh you down during the course of a long shooting day. That said, despite the build quality and the abundance of features the EOS 5D Mark III is smaller and more lightweight than Canon's 1-series cameras, and therefore makes a good alternative for those who don't want to compromise on image quality but don't quite need the 'war-zone' ruggedness of a 1D Mark IV or 1Dx.

The live view/movie mode switch allows to quickly access movie mode and/or live view shooting mode. The Q-button provides quick access to a range of shooting parameters. The joystick above can be used to navigate the menus and move around in magnified images.

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. The 5D Mark III gains the 7D's more curvy design, the combined live-view / movie mode switch, a 'Q' button for quick access to the rear-screen control panel and a sliding lock switch for the rear dial. Like on the 7D there is also an On/Off switch behind the mode dial and a customizable M-Fn button beside the shutter release.

On-screen settings adjustment (Q-menu)

Like all recent EOS DSLRs, the 5D Mark III has an interactive settings display panel. This means there are up to three ways of changing settings - for many options you can press a dedicated button and then spin either the front or rear dial, alternatively, there are two ways of using the interactive settings display (the Q Menu). Both methods involve pressing the 'Q' button then using the dials or joystick to select the option you wish to change, at which point you can either roll the main dial or press 'SET'. This will bring up a dedicated screen, which can again be navigated using the joystick and selected using the 'SET' button.

The number of options available in the Q-menu vary with the shooting mode you are in. In the PASM modes (A-mode pictured on the left) you have much more control over parameters than in A+ mode (on the right).
To modify a parameter you can either turn the front or rear dial with the 'cursor' over the setting you want to change, or you can press the 'SET'-button to proceed to a dedicated screen.

User interface customization options

As you would expect from a camera at this level the Canon EOS 5D Mark III offers an abundance of customization options, most of which can be accessed in the Custom Function menu. The camera gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of button and control layout and the camera UI can be optimized for your personal shooting style. The 'Custom Controls' screen within the Custom Function menu allows you to customize the function of many of the camera's buttons and both dials. A comprehensive list of customization options is available on the menu pages of this review.

The DOF button at the camera front and the M-fn button next to the shutter buttons are two of the many controls that are customizable on the EOS 5D Mark III.
The 'Custom Controls' screen shows a graphical illustration of the camera's button and dial layout and allows you to customize the behavior of those controls. If you move the cursor over a button or dial and click the 'SET' button you see options available for this specific control element.

In addition, the camera's 'My Menu' function allows you to compose your own menu within the menu system. It's a good way of putting infrequently but repeatedly used functions in a place where you'll be able to find them the next time you need them. If you have a specific set of parameters that you use for specific shooting situations, for example in a studio-setup, you can also save those to the camera's C1 to C3 modes which are accessible via the mode dial.

Frequently used menu-settings can be added to the My Menu section for easy access.
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Total comments: 20


I am new to the Canon brand and was considering a 5D3 or a 7D2. I need a camera that captures images and short video clips of very fast sports at close and far ranges. So for me, speed, image quality, and movie quality are the most important.

Edit: I should add that the sports are indoor but very fast, and I usually cannot use flash, so I have to work with what's available.

If there is another camera that you recommend beyond these two, please let me know. I have only used a Nikon D4S in the past which did well but I can no longer use that. Thanks in advance and sorry if this is a low-level question.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting

First test ever here the 5d mark iii filming in 4k http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=9041.0 Magic lantern also unlock Raw

Pascal Parvex

It is not filming in 4K, it is still 1080p. It was just uprezzed (DNG files).


your right


I am owner of 5d mark III.
I ll totally disagre about noise free image of mark III.
Camera make iso free, but with jpg image, where is use in camera noise filter.
I can do it in photoshop with any camera.
More important, and no one talk about that, raw image on 1600!! iso have noise, 3200 and more, have lot of noise.
And second thing, image on higher noise are not sharp!


Which lenses you use?

1 upvote
Abel Sy

Hello, I've just bought a 5D3 W/ 24 - 105MM lens, upon playing w/ it, looking for the command for multiple shots, the auto focus was affected and not wokring anymore. I don't know and can not make it back to original setting. Is somebody there know and tell me what to do? please help.
P.S. I tried the lens to put in another camera and it works, and attached another lens to 5d3, but didn't work as well. so I confirmed that the problem is the setting w/in the body.


A minor nitpick: Canon's first 35mm autofocus SLR was not the EOS 650 but the T80.


Hello i just need a professional opinion....is the Canon 5D Mark III suitable for broadcast?

1 upvote
Pascal Parvex

No one has answered, so here is an non-professional opinion: Should be. Since the Mark II, the 5D series has gotten some heavy use in broadcasting.


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.


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?


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

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

Cyrus the Great

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

'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.


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

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.


The Nikon 85 1.2 and 200 1.8 is better than the Canon ones... oh wait, no, it was the 8-15 f4. ;)


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

Total comments: 20