Ladies and Gentlemen, the 5D Mark III

It’s Finally Here! Was it worth the wait..?


So the day we’ve all been waiting for has come. For over two years, we’ve been scouring the net in search of fuzzy, shadowy images that might lend some proof that Canon actually had the Mark III in the works. Like Bigfoot, Elvis and UFOs, sightings were everywhere, but alas many were hoaxes — cruel tricks that played with the emotions of would be Mark III buyers.

At NAB 2011, Canon spoke briefly and ambiguously about the horizon, but refused to speculate on a date, see more here: Chuck Westfall and The Future of Canon EOS
Then the big news from Canon, when they teased us with “An Historic Global Announcement” that seemed to indicate a possible new addition to the EOS line. Read more here: Canon’s Big News However, this was not the Mark III, it was the C300 that although had many of the characteristics of a HDSLR, it is truly a digital film camera for cinema. DP Alex Buono talks about shooting with the C300 here: DP Alex Buono Talks C300 At SF SuperMeet

After seeing the price tag of Canon’s new Cinema EOS line, I, like so many others felt excluded from the party so to speak. Yes the C300 looks amazing, and yes the 1D X looks amazing too, but I simply can’t justify the expense. My personal feeling is if I want access to a system of that caliber and cost, I’ll rent. So with that in mind, what’s an HDSLR shooter to do? On the heals of Nikon’s D800 release comes our salvation, the 5D Mark III. Finally, with a confirmed set of specs, it’s time to judge if it was worth the wait.
5D Mark II vs 5D Mark III
Here are some specs of both models. I’ll let you be the judge of what they mean.

Camera Format for both models: Full-Frame

Resolution of the Mark II: 22 Megapixels — the Mark III: 22.3 Megapixels

Sensor Type / Size for both: CMOS, 36 x 24 mm

File Formats for both are JPG, RAW & MOV

Bit Depth for both: 14-bit

Memory Card Type Mark II: CF Card — Mark III CF and SD Card

Recording Time for the Mark II: 12 Minutes — Mark III 30 Minutes

Viewfinder Coverage for the Mark II: 98% — Mark III 100%

Timecode Embedding for the Mark II: No — Mark III Yes

Display Screen for the Mark II: 3″ — Mark III 3.2″
The End of Moir©:
According to Canon’s press release, here are some key areas where the Mark III has improved over it’s predescesor:
“The EOS 5D Mark III builds on the reputation of the EOS 5D Mark II, with a range of new features introduced following feedback received from photographers to provide even better Full HD video performance. As well as offering the depth-of-field control loved by video professionals, the new full-frame sensor combines with the vast processing power of DIGIC 5+ to improve image quality by virtually eradicating the presence of moir©, false colour and other artefacts. The addition of a movie mode switch and a recording button also offers greater usability, enabling videographers to begin shooting immediately when movie mode is engaged. Additional movie functions include manual exposure control and an enhanced range of high bit-rate video compression options, with intraframe (ALL-I) and interframe (IPB) methods both supported.”

Other improvements include, a headphone jack, clip trimming and the addition of a movie mode switch. Many stores are taking pre-orders now and prices for the 5D Mark III start at $3499.00 For more information, check out the press release on Canon’s site at:

FTC Disclosure: I have no material ties to Canon.


Clint Milby

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