Canon 5D Mark III: what the pros think
Pete Travers, editor of our sister title PhotoPlus magazine, has had an exclusive hands-on session with the Canon 5D Mark III where he had the opportunity to try out some of its signature features. Pete tells us:
“It was a pleasure to play with the new Canon EOS 5D Mark III at the Focus On Imaging show. Although I was initially disappointed by the spec sheet of Canon’s new full frame DSLR, it quickly became obvious that this is a whole lot more camera than the EOS 5D Mark II.
“Once you get past the fact it’s ‘only’ 22 megapixels, this is an EOS camera that handles very nicely, with its new ergonomic and smooth body.
“Although it’s more expensive at £3000 RRP, you’re getting a lot more camera in the Canon 5D Mark III – a new sensor, 6fps shooting, 61 AF-point system, and also bear in mind Canon’s Digic 5+ sensor is 17x faster that Digic 4.
“Other key specs: the ISO increase in the Canon 5D Mark II is a 2-stop advantage over the 5D Mark II. The AF offers 1.5 stops faster focusing, and the AF system in camera is 2.5x times larger than in the 5D Mark II.
“The 5D Mark III also gets a new dedicated AF menu in camera – easy to understand and helpful for 5D Mk II users going from 9 AF points to 61 AF points.”
“The Canon 5D Mark III also has improved weather seals, dual memory card slots (SD and CF cards) for more internal memory, and the buttons on the back are completely changed – they’re more ‘friendly’,” Pete adds. “It also features a Creative photo button, Zoom button, Rating button, Playback, Trash, and new to the Canon 5D Mark III (as 7D) the Q button. All are designed to make the user experience less complicated and more enjoyable, and making the Canon EOS 5D Mark III an ideal first full frame DSLR.
“The Canon 5D Mark III is beefier, too, with a weight difference of 950g compared to the 5D Mark II at 810g. In my hands it felt much heavier, reassuringly so, more like a pro weight EOS camera.
“ISO performance has increased as well. From my initial very quick tests, it would indicate that while predictably there is a lot of noise in images shot at ISO 102,400 (when zooming in closely to check images), and still pretty noisy at ISO 25600, at ISO 12800 pics are very usable. At ISO 6400 images were very clean and noise was hardly noticeable. A proper test of the camera and closer inspection of image quality will be needed to clarify ISO performance though.
“There’s also a cool ‘silent shooting mode’ thanks to dampening on mirror – which provides a softer, quieter shutter action. Ideal for staying quiet on the street or in the field if shooting wildlife. This also changes the handling of camera, making it feel ‘lighter’. Burst rate drops to 3fps though.
“Video quality – something hugely popular on the EOS 5D Mark II – has also improved inline with the pro-level £5000 EOS 1D X, and there should be less artifacts thanks to Digic 5+ processor and new sensor.
“Overall, the Canon 5D Mark III is a very impressive new Canon camera, and hopefully body prices will drop to nearer £2500 once it goes on sale.”