Previous page Next page

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.
Previous page Next page
1730
I own it
658
I want it
68
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 9
Vmo9
By Vmo9 (3 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 (4 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 (5 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 (2 months ago)

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

0 upvotes
Cyrus the Great
By Cyrus the Great (6 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 (6 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 (5 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 (1 month 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 (7 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