2016 Canon 5D Mark III Performance, Design, Features and Specifications Review

The 5D Mark III has a 22MP complete framework sensing unit in a body that’s based on the EOS 7D layout, and with a 61-point AF system borrowed from the flagship EOS-1D X. From the glass half empty viewpoint, this can be viewed as an unambitious upgrade that trails disappointingly behind Nikon’s 36MP D800 which was announced around the exact same time. But for those whose glasses tend more towards the half-full, it could just end up being the electronic camera that 5D Mark II proprietors always truly wanted.

In 1987 Canon unveiled the EOS 650 to the globe. It was the Japanese producer’s very first 35mm autofocus SLR as well as the beginning of the EOS system. With its fully-electronic lens mount, in-lens aperture as well as emphasis motors, and also dependence on electronic switch as well as dial operation, Canon’s EOS system developed a plan that succeeding camera systems have actually followed. Currently, 25 years later, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is the most up to date design in the line.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review

Keep reading to find out exactly how the 5D Mark III carries out in our workshop and also real-life tests, just how we liked its handling and also procedure as well as if it is the ideal video camera for your demands as well as sort of photography. Up until now, the 5D collection has been an empire of a little unlikely revolutionaries. The initial EOS 5D of 2005 was the first ‘cost effective’ complete framework SLR, as well as the camera that cemented the 24x36mm sensor as the format of choice for several specialist applications at once when lots of were questioning its continued significance. The 5D Mark II was the very first SLR capable of taping full HD video, a function that reinvented the market in a fashion that no one can perhaps have imagined at the time – least of all Canon. On the face of it, though, the most up to date version uses little that looks most likely making the very same impact.

Certainly the 5D name itself is nearly deceptive; compared with its predecessor the Mark III is essentially a totally brand-new version, with every significant system updated and upgraded. In a manner it’s much better viewed as a full-frame 7D, keeping that video camera’s control format, considerable customizability and also 63-zone metering sensor. But it likewise acquires a plethora of extra tweaks and improvements in response to customer comments; these variety from twin slots for CF and also SD cards, through a securing exposure mode dial, to a big depth of field preview button that’s rearranged for right-handed procedure, and can be reprogrammed to access a variety of other features.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Specifications

  • 22MP complete structure CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-25600 criterion, 50-102,800 expanded
  • 6 fps constant capturing
  • Shutter rated to 150,000 structures
  • 1080p30 video recording, stereo noise by means of external mic
  • 61 factor AF system
  • 63 area iFCL metering system
  • 100% viewfinder protection
  • 1040k dot 3:2 LCD
  • Double card ports for CF and SD

Canon 5D Mark III Performance

Overall, the 5D Mark III does approximately along with the D800 on nonburst capturing they’re both rather quickly– and outmatches it dramatically at continuous shooting. It’s not a great deal faster than the 5D Mark II, though it has zippier autofocus in low light as well as far better burst performance. In excellent light, time to concentrate and fire has to do with 0.2 second, and also climbs to 0.4 second under poorer lights problems. JPEG shot-to-shot runs 0.3 second with raw simply a hair slower.

Canon Eos 5D Mark III LCD
Canon Eos 5D Mark III Performance LCD

For constant capturing it supplies 5.6 fps, which is a new finest for this course. While it’s not up to an action sports or bird-tracking level of efficiency, it could be quickly enough to serve a portion of people that do not desire the mass or the cost of a 1D-class video camera. One of the good aspects of the 5D Mark III burst shooting is that you can preserve a strong clip while firing raw JPEG. (I used a SanDisk Extreme Pro 90MB/sec CF card.).

The AF system is still quickly misleaded by quick, erratically-moving low-differentiation subjects (e.g., a light pet versus light-colored ground)– among the hardest points to track– but the brand-new 61-point autofocus system is a vast renovation over the 5D Mark II. You could choose from six pre-programmed setups of the AF system: basic, obstacle-insensitive, objects removaling into a particular series of AF areas, velocity sensitive, erratic speed, as well as irregular rate and also direction. They’re all primarily mixes of 3 settings– tracking sensitivity, acceleration tracking, and AF point autoswitching– that you can adjust manually. The Live Sight comparison autofocus stays virtually unusably slow-moving, though, regardless of some updates.

Canon likewise lowered the spot meter dimension to 1.5 percent of the viewfinder. Overall I think about that a plus, however it does require some adjustments to your old metering routines if you’re a huge spot-meter customer, particularly if you shoot a lot of large angle. However it’s excellent to have One Hundred Percent coverage currently. The viewfinder additionally has an optional grid overlay and could provide informs for a handful of setups that impact image high quality, such as ISO developments.

As well as the bigger, higher-resolution LCD is better for determining sharpness, though you still actually need a third-party viewfinder for shooting video clip; I would certainly enjoy to see a coming to a head function, which would help a little bit.

Canon 5D Mark III Images Quality

When talking about the Canon EOS 5D Mark III’s image top quality you have to compare the electronic camera’s JPEG outcome and the raw data it records. With its 22MP sensor the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is capable of capturing big amounts of information however when checking out the Canon’s out-of-camera JPEGs at a pixel level it becomes clear that the JPEG engine isn’t really making complete use of the sensor’s possibility. Also at base ISO some noticeably damaging sound reduction is used which leads to a slightly mushy appearance of the photo and also a loss of fine low-contrast information. Incorporated with a rather hostile default sharpening this suggests the Canon JPEGs could look a little over-processed up-close. At base ISO shutting off the noise decrease does not make any distinction and also the in-camera sharpening specification does not provide you any type of control over the developing span which means it’s pretty much difficult to press any extra detail from the electronic camera’s JPEGs by modifying the picture parameters.

Canon 5D Mark III Images Quality
Canon 5D Mark III Images Quality

At higher ISOs the Canon EOS 5D Mark III remains to use strong sound reduction which causes comparatively clean photos yet likewise a loss of fine detail. When capturing at ISOs lower than 25600 we would advise to disable the in-camera noise reduction. This doesn’t actually indicate that no sound decrease is applied (even with NR handicapped there is a base level that can not be turned off) yet it obtains you some additional low-contrast detail. Just at the extremely highest possible level of sensitivities does the chroma sound come to be adequately invasive to make the ‘Requirement’ noise reduction establishing the better alternative. Like at base ISO processing raw files can obtain you far better outcomes compared to the out-of-camera JPEGs. The 5D Mark III’s raw noise levels are comparable to other electronic cameras in this class as well as if you have the time, a customized mix of chroma and luminosity sound decrease in post-processing obtains you high ISO pictures with better information and also an extra positive ‘grain’ than Canon’s JPEG engine could take care of.

On the whole the Canon EOS 5D Mark III’s JPEG result across the ISO array uses excellent colors, tonality and also vibrant array with a really smooth emphasize roll-off. Both metering and also automobile white equilibrium are constantly trustworthy. Nonetheless, if you desire the optimum information at a pixel level you have nothing else choice but to fire in RAW mode and spend a little time refining the files. Inevitably we would certainly anticipate a big percentage of the EOS 5D Mark III’s ‘target audience’ to fire as well as process raw anyhow, not only to obtain maximum information from the images yet likewise for the included flexibility that raw files supply when making more ‘extensive’ tonal changes on a computer system.

Handling the video camera’s raw files nevertheless makes a huge distinction. Reducing the noise decrease and also applying some tailored, small-radius honing discloses unforeseen levels of detail and reveals what the 5D Mark III’s sensor, in combination with a top quality lens, is actually capable of. We’ve printed some ouf our sample pictures and also in low-contrast detail the difference between a converted raw and also out-of-camera JPEGs comes to be visible in prints bigger than 8x12in.

Canon 5D Mark III Design and Features

With the exemption of a somewhat tackier hold (as in sticky, not affordable), the body of the electronic camera feels much like the 5D Mark II, as well as several of the control format has changed, primarily right. The mode dial as well as power change rest on the left shoulder; now the mode dial locks, albeit with the facility pushbutton that debuted in the 60D and also which I locate a little bit awkward. While I have no concern with the place of the power switch, it does regularly flip from off to on when relocating in and out of my camera bag. That doesn’t appear to have actually impacted battery life, but it’s irritating.

On the right shoulder are the switch manages for metering, white balance, autofocus setting, drive mode, ISO level of sensitivity, flash compensation, and also a backlight for the standing LCD. There’s been some conversation online about light leak from the LCD backlight, which causes altered direct exposure settings, but I didn’t have any kind of issues (regardless of having an identification number within the afflicted team). Canon added a little programmable switch to the top of the cam, as well as the depth-of-field preview switch, likewise programmable, currently sits near the grip for procedure with your right third finger. You can additionally establish a switch to present an electronic degree making use of the AF-point grid.

Canon 5D Mark III Features ISO
Canon 5D Mark III Features ISO

Including Digic 5 adds a lot of essential features. These consist of support for UDMA 7 CF; the electronic camera now has twin CF/SDXC card slots, which is a truly beneficial attribute. And Canon applies it with the unique capability to configure it to tape-record various sizes/quality of raw or JPEG documents saved to every card. There’s also three-shot in-camera HDR, but you can save the source pictures along with add some effects. (For hand-operated HDR, you get a bump to seven-frame bracketing at / -5 EV.) Furthermore, it offers the very same effective multiple-exposure mode as the 1D X.

Canon 5D Mark III Specifications

MSRP Body only: $3499, €3299, £2999 with 24-105mm: $4299
Body type
Body type Mid-size SLR
Body material Magnesium alloy
Max resolution 5760 x 3840
Other resolutions 3840 x 2560, 2880 x 1920, 1920 x 1280, 720 x 480
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 22 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 23 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Digic 5
Color space sRGB,Adobe RGB
Color filter array RGB Color Filter Array
ISO Auto, 100 – 25600 in 1/3 stops, plus 50, 51200, 102400 as option
Boosted ISO (minimum) 50
Boosted ISO (maximum) 102400
White balance presets 6
Custom white balance Yes (1)
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, Normal
File format
  • JPEG (Exif 2.3 [Exif Print] compliant)
  • Design rule for Camera File system (2.0)
  • RAW: RAW, sRAW1, sRAW2 (14bit, Canon original RAW 2nd edition)
  • Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp by optional dedicated Speedlite
Digital zoom No
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 61
Lens mount Canon EF
Focal length multiplier 1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3.2
Screen dots 1,040,000
Touch screen No
Screen type Clear View II TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.71×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Auto
  • Program AE
  • Shutter priority AE
  • Aperture priority AE
  • Manual (Stills and Movie)
  • Custom (x3)
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe, Wireless plus Sync connector)
Flash X sync speed 1/200 sec
Continuous drive 6.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
  • Partial
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±3 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps fps), 1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (25, 30 fps)
Format H.264
Videography notes 1080 and 720 intra or inter frame, 480 inter frame
Microphone Mono
Speaker Mono
Storage types Compact Flash Type I (UDMA compatible), SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included None
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (HDMI mini)
Wireless Optional
Wireless notes Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7
Remote control Yes (Remote control with N3 type contact, Wireless Controller LC-5, Remote Controller RC-6)
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion LP-E6 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 950
Weight (inc. batteries) 950 g (2.09 lb / 33.51 oz)
Dimensions 152 x 116 x 76 mm (5.98 x 4.57 x 2.99)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes (by cable and PC)
GPS Optional
GPS notes With optional GP-E2 unit