The 5D Mark III is aimed at the semi-pro and professional photographers who desire a lightweight, weather-proof construction, outstanding image quality and impressive levels of speed. A newly designed 22.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor and powerful DIGIC 5+ processor deliver rich, full-resolution images at a lightning fast frame rate of 6fps, whilst the 61-point AF system (41 cross-types) and an expandable ISO range from 50-102,400 ensure both static and fast moving subjects can be captured, even in dimly lit environments. In addition to the above, the 5D Mark III can also record Full HD 1080p movies with stereo sound, which can be monitored via the 3.5mm mic and headphone socket.
Canon 5D MK III: Key Features
- 22.3 MP full-frame sensor
- 61-point AF system
- 6 fps continuous shooting
- ISO 100-25,600 sensitivity, ext to ISO 50-102,400
- Full HD video with manual control
- 14-bit DIGIC 5+ processor
- 100% coverage in the viewfinder
- Weather sealed, magnesium-alloy construction
- 3.2" 1,040,000-dot screen
- In-camera RAW editing
- Dual CF and SD memory card slots
- Headphone output
- Silent shutter - ideal for nature and wedding photography
Canon 5D Mark III hands-on video
We caught up with David Parry at Focus 2012 to find out a little more on the Canon 5D Mark III.
22.3 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
The EOS 5D Mark III features a newly developed Canon full-frame 22.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor that's designed from the ground up to create high resolution, perfectly detailed images with unprecedented speed and clarity. Colours are bright but natural, and fine detail is preserved even in dark shadow areas and bright highlights.
A full 24 x 36mm, the sensor captures 5784 x 3861 large individual 6.25 µm pixels and has a much-improved S/N ratio resulting in better images from the start. A new photodiode structure with an increased photoelectric conversion rate increases the sensor's sensitivity by approximately 2 stops over previous models, meaning higher ISOs with the lowest noise of any EOS digital camera. And a 2-line 8-channel simultaneous signal readout means speeds of up to 6.0 fps (RAW + JPEG) are possible.
14-bit A/D conversion, wide range ISO setting 100-25600 (L: 50, H1: 51200, H2: 102400)
The EOS 5D Mark III not only offers 14-bit signal processing for excellent image gradation, it delivers higher standard and expanded ISOs, and a score of new options to enhance shooting in varied and fast-changing lighting situations. With a standard range of ISO 100-25600, the EOS 5D Mark III represents a 2-stop increase in sensitivity over previous cameras.
The EOS 5D Mark III delivers superb picture quality whatever the lighting conditions. Keep shooting hand-held even after the sun goes down, thanks to an ISO 100–25,600 sensitivity range (extendable to ISO 102,400). Beyond the obvious advantages of its wide ISO range, the EOS 5D Mark III has automatic ISO settings, found on the dedicated ISO menu. Minimum and maximum ISO settings can be specified, as can a user-defined range, plus full auto and manual.
DIGIC 5+ Image Processor for enhanced noise reduction and blazing processing speed
For a whole new level of performance, the EOS 5D Mark III uses a DIGIC 5+ Image Processor. Working with two 4-channel A/D converter front-end processing circuits, and delivering speeds of up to 6.0 fps (RAW + JPEG), and the DIGIC 5+ Image Processor improves data processing performance and features new algorithms that promote greater noise reduction at higher ISOs. In addition to conventional image processing functions the DIGIC 5+ Image Processor offers real-time compensation for chromatic aberration in both still and motion images. With the power of this processor, speed improvements are noticeable from the instant the camera is turned on and the stunning results speak for themselves.
61-point wide-area autofocus
Focus quickly and accurately, even on off-centre subjects, with a 61 point wide-area autofocus system. 41 cross-type points (five of which are extra sensitive double-cross type) ensure highly accurate tracking of moving objects.
The newly designed 61-Point High Density Reticular AF features an Offset Array Sensor (with staggering AF point arrangement) to deliver greater accuracy, no matter the situation. It offers multi-zone wide-area AF for better tracking, has 5 central dual cross-type points (f/2.8 diagonal), 21 central cross-type points (f/5.6 horizontal & vertical) and 20 outer cross-type points (f/4.0 horizontal), and is sensitive in extremely low-light situations (EV-2 for a central point with a f/2.8 lens). With the new firmware update installed, cross-type autofocusing with the center AF point is possible even when the maximum aperture of a Canon EF lens/extender combination becomes as small as f/8. If AF point expansion is selected with an f/8 maximum aperture lens/extender combination, the four AF points surrounding the center point will act as AF assist points. AF points above and below the center will be sensitive to vertical contrast, while points to the left and right will be sensitive to horizontal contrast.
The EOS 5D Mark III has a dedicated AF menu tab, so AF can be controlled without having to go through custom function menus. It also has 6 AF point selection methods (Spot, Single Point, Single + Adjacent 4 Points, Single + Adjacent 8 Points, Zone Selection, and Automatic AF Point Selection), plus a dedicated AF configuration tool for control of AI Servo AF III tracking parameters (tracking sensitivity, acceleration/deceleration tracking, and AF point auto switching.
iFCL Metering with 63-zone dual-layering metering sensor
The EOS 5D Mark III features Canon's multi-layer 63-zone iFCL (intelligent Focus Color Luminance) Metering System that integrates the cameras AF system into its readings. By taking into account the colour and luminosity surrounding the chosen AF point(s), this new system delivers an entirely new level of accuracy, especially in situations where the light changes quickly. The metering sensor enables evaluative, center weighted, partial and spot metering, plus offers 5-step exposure compensation for perfectly exposed images, every time.
Full-HD video with manual control
Enjoy high quality Full HD video at 1080p resolution. An uncompressed HDMI output allows recording of 1920x1080 footage at 8bits 4.2.2 to external recorders to suit different workflows. Use manual controls and Canon’s comprehensive EF lens range to achieve cinematic visual effects.
Addressing the requests of the pros and building on the unprecedented success of its namesake, the EOS 5D Mark III captures HD video with a level of sophistication on par with professional movie cameras offering phenomenal performance on a DSLR. It offers both All-I and IPB compression, supports H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile, and automatically splits files greater than 4GB (FAT specifications) for extended recording without interruption. It offers the option of timecoding during recording only (Rec Run) or at all times (Free Run), useful for multi-camera shoots.
Great quality sound
Give your video footage the soundtrack it deserves. The EOS 5D Mark III records digital stereo sound at 48KHz and offers manual control over audio level. A standard 3.5mm mic socket enables the use of third-party microphones; a headphone socket permits audio monitoring while recording.
High-Speed Continuous Shooting
Keep up with the action at 6fps, recording up to 16,270 continuous JPEG images to a UDMA mode 7 card in a single burst.
The EOS 5D Mark III combines fast 8-channel data readout from its 22.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor and the supercharged processing capabilities of its DIGIC 5+ Image Processor with a speedier shutter and mirror system to raise the performance bar for all digital cameras, capturing full-frame images and recording them fast to UDMA or SD cards stored in the camera's dual card slots. Ideal for fixed focus situations, the EOS 5D Mark III can shoot up to 6.0 fps (RAW + JPEG).
Built to go anywhere
For professionals who demand nothing less than the best, the EOS 5D Mark III is designed to perform superbly, even in the most treacherous environments, every time. The body is constructed of rigid, high-strength magnesium alloy for rugged performance and features a new grip design for easier finger placement and reduced hand fatigue. Its newly redesigned shutter has lightweight and carbon-fiber blades, and is rated to maintain up to 6.0 fps performance without compromise, for up to 150,000 cycles. The EOS 5D Mark III and accessories like the new Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A and GPS Receiver GP-E2 have extensive gasketing for improved dust and water resistance, even at their connection points.
Self Cleaning Sensor Unit
The Self Cleaning Sensor Unit featured in the EOS 5D Mark II has been optimized for the new EOS 5D Mark III to deliver even greater dust removal for clearer images. To prevent dust accumulation, the system removes particles adhered to the surface of the infrared absorbing/ultraviolet-blocking glass in a frontward direction by vibrating the glass with ultrasound. The particles are then absorbed by an adsorbent at the bottom of the unit; the unit itself is completely sealed for protection against external contaminants, and its front face of the low-pass filter 1 is treated with an anti-dust fluorine coating making it easier to remove damp or sticky dust particles.
Intelligent Viewfinder with Superimposed LCD
The EOS 5D Mark III's Intelligent Viewfinder offers a sharp, bright approximately 100% field of view with an approximate magnification of .71x, a viewing angle of 34.1° and a 21mm eye-point. With a new construction featuring aspherical lens elements, the viewfinder displays less distortions and color aberrations than previous models. It uses a transparent LCD to superimpose a customizable combination of focus points and gridlines directly over the image. The AF status indicator can even be directed to display within or outside of the viewfinders image area. With the intelligent viewfinder, unlike with other cameras, the photographer has the choice of seeing shooting information or looking only at the scene in front of the camera. The ability to effectively erase all shooting data and turn it back on with the touch of a button gives the photographer the opportunity to concentrate simply on looking and composing the photograph without distraction, a great advantage in numerous shooting situations.
3.2" TFT LCD Monitor
The EOS 5D Mark III's 3.2" TFT LCD monitor has 1,040,000 dots, anti-reflective construction and features Canon's Clear View II technology for bright, sharp display in any number of shooting situations. It's ideal for reviewing settings and images, as well as for shooting in Live View mode. In Live View, grid lines can be displayed in 9 sections, 24 sections, or 9 sections with diagonals, as can the dual-axis electronic level, which helps ensure accurate level by displaying both roll and pitch. For image review, the EOS 5D Mark III has a new, dedicated Magnify/Reduce button. While pressing the button, zooming in or out (up to 10x) is achieved simply by turning the Main Dial. Images can be protected or erased quickly, individually or in batches, and slideshows can be created with some or all images and can be sequenced by date, folders, movies, stills or rating. A feature guide can be accessed for the selected menu, providing detailed reference information whenever needed.
New High Dynamic Range (HDR)
With its new High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode, the EOS 5D Mark III can merge 3 images of varying exposure, in camera, capturing a broad range of shadow and highlight detail and delivering an image with stunning tonal range. Adjustable to cover a range of ±3 stops, and with 5 different effect settings, HDR recording truly expands the parameters of the light and dark detail a camera can actually record, surprising viewers with the range of tones a photograph can accurately recreate.
Multiple Exposure Control
The EOS 5D Mark III offers a new multiple exposure mode for film-like image creation with the convenience of in-camera processing. It offers 4 different compositing methods for proper exposure and composition: additive, average, bright and dark. Multiple exposure shots can be taken in both RAW and JPEG shooting modes, previously captured RAW images can be used as a starting point, and cumulative results can be observed and corrected in real time on the camera's LCD screen. For multiple exposure captures of quickly moving subjects, the EOS 5D Mark III even has a specific continuous shooting multiple exposure mode.
Improved handling with addition of new customisable controls
Reconceived based on the experience and feedback of professional users, the EOS 5D Mark III's new ergonomic design is more comfortable and intuitive than ever. With a refined and intelligent layout of all control buttons and dials, shooting settings can be made with just the right hand, and quick image check and image processing operations with just the left. The grip has been redesigned for easy holding both when shooting and when carrying the camera. The rubber skin coating is designed for all day comfort in the hand, and coats the cameras card slot cover as well.
For added convenience, flexibility and limitless, uninterrupted storage capacity, the EOS 5D Mark III has dual card slots, accommodating both a Compact Flash and an SDXC card. It has three recording modes perfect for a diverse collection of workflows. When set to Auto switch media, the camera switches cards as soon as one card is filled, a perfect setting for long shoots. The camera can be set to record separately, saving different file sizes or types to each card. And for extra security, the camera can be set to create an automatic backup by recording the same file to both cards simultaneously.
The EOS 5D Mark III features a dual-axis electronic level indicator that displays both vertical and horizontal tilt on the LCD monitor either alone or during Live View shooting, and can also be displayed in the cameras intelligent viewfinder.
Without the Canon 600EX-RT flashgun (or E3-RT Transmitter) installed on the camera you can’t wirelessly control another flash. To control a slave from the 5D Mark III, or any other EOS camera for that matter, you will need a master of some sort on the hot shoe (either a 600EX-RT or a ST-E3). Full support of the 600EX with the 5D MK III means that you get full control of the flash using the LCD. And full support of AF assist – the 600EX has support for all the focus points of the 5D MK III. The 5D MK III does not feature a built-in flash.
The Canon Sample images can be found here on the Canon website.
Radball - Behind the scenes with the Canon EOS 5D MkIII
Back to top
- Sensor Type: 36 x 24 mm CMOS
- Effective Pixels: Approx. 22.3 megapixels
- Total Pixels: Approx. 23.4 megapixels
- Aspect Ratio: 3:2
- Low-Pass Filter: Built-in/Fixed with fluorine coating
- Sensor Cleaning: EOS integrated cleaning system
- Colour Filter Type: Primary Colour
- Processor Type: DIGIC 5+
- Lens Mount: EF (excludes EF-S lenses)
- Focal Length: Equivalent to 1.0x the focal length of the lens
- Type: TTL-CT-SIR with a dedicated CMOS sensor
- AF System/ Points: 61 Point / 41 f/4 cross-type AF points inc 5 dual cross type at f/2.8 - The number of cross-type AF points will differ depending on the lens.
- AF Working Range: EV -2 - 18 (at 23°C & ISO100)
- AF Modes: AI Focus
- One Shot: AI Servo
- AF Point Selection: Automatic selection: 61 point AF
- Manual selection: Single point AF (61, 41 cross type only, 15 or 9 points selectable)
- Manual selection: Spot AF
- Manual selection: AF point Expansion 4 points (up, down, left, right)
- Manual selection: AF point Expansion surrounding 8 points
- Manual selection: Zone AF
- AF points can be selected separately for vertical and horizontal shooting
- Selected AF Point Display: Superimposed in viewfinder and indicated on top LCD panel and Quick Control screen
- AF Lock: Locked when shutter button is pressed half way in One Shot AF mode or AF-ON button is pressed
- AF Assist Beam: Emitted by optional dedicated Speedlite
- Manual Focus: Selected on lens, default in Live View Mode
- AF Microadjustment: AF Menu: +/- 20 steps ( wide and tele setting for Zooms) / Adjust all lenses by same amount / Adjust up to 40 lenses individually /
- Adjustments remembered for lens by serial number
- Eposure Metering Modes: TTL full aperture metering with 63 zone Dual Layer SPC / Evaluative metering (linked to All AF point) / Partial metering (approx. 6.2% of viewfinder at centre) / Spot metering (approx. 1.5% viewfinder at centre) / Centre weighted average metering
- Metering Range: EV 1 - 20 (at 23°C with 50mm f/1.4 lens ISO100)
- AE Lock: Auto: In 1-shot AF mode with evaluative metering exposure is locked when focus is achieved. / Manual: By AE lock button in creative zone modes.
- Exposure Compensation: +/-5 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments (can be combined with AEB).
- AEB: 2, 3, 5 or 7 Shots +/-3 EV 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments
- ISO Sensitivity: Auto (100-12800), 100-25600 (in 1/3-stop or whole stop increments) / ISO can be expanded to L: 50, H1: 51200, H2 102400
- Shutter Type: Electronically-controlled focal-plane shutter
- Speed: 30-1/8000 sec (1/2 or 1/3 stop increments) + Bulb (Shutter speed range available varies according to shooting mode)
- White Balance Type: Auto white balance with the imaging sensor
- Settings: AWB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White / Fluorescent light, Flash, Custom, Colour Temperature Setting.
- Custom White Balance: Yes, 1 setting can be registered
- WB Bracketing: +/-3 levels in single level increments / 3 bracketed images per shutter release
- Viewfinder type: Pentaprism
- Coverage (Vertical/Horizontal): Approx. 100%
- Magnification: Approx. 0.71x¹
- Eyepoint: Approx. 21mm (from eyepiece lens centre)
- Dioptre Correction: -3 to +1 m-1 (dioptre)
- Focusing Screen: Fixed (Transmissive LCD screen)
- Mirror: Quick-return half mirror (Transmission: reflection ratio of 40:60, no mirror cut-off with EF600mm f/4 or shorter)
- Viewfinder Information: AF information: AF point, focus confirmation¹, AF status indicator / Exposure information: Shutter speed, aperture, ISO speed (always displayed), AE lock, exposure level, exposure warning
- Flash information: Flash ready, flash exposure compensation, high-speed sync, FE lock, red-eye reduction light
- Image information: Highlight tone priority (D+), maximum burst (2-digit display), card information, Battery check Composition information Grid, electronic level, Warning symbol
- Displayed if any of the following is set: Monochrome, white balance correction, One-touch recording quality switch, expanded ISO speed, or spot metering
- Depth of Field Preview: Yes, with Depth of Field preview button.
- Eyepiece Shutter: On strap
- LCD Type: 8.11cm (3.2") Clear View II TFT, approx. 1040K dots
- Coverage: Approx. 100%
- Viewing Angle (Horizontally/Vertically): Approx. 170°
- Coating: Anti-reflection and Solid Structure
- Brightness Adjustment: Adjustable to one of seven levels
- Flash Modes: E-TTL II Auto Flash, Metered Manual
- X-Sync: 1/200sec (EX series Speedlites only)
- Flash Exposure Compensation: +/- 3EV in 1/2 or 1/3 increments
- Flash Exposure Bracketing: Yes, with compatible External Flash
- Flash Exposure Lock: Yes
- Second Curtain Synchronisation: Yes
- HotShoe/ PC Terminal: Yes/ Yes
- External Flash Compatibility: E-TTL II with EX series Speedlites, wireless multi-flash support
- External Flash Control: Via camera menu screen
- Shooting Modes: Auto+, Program AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual (Stills and Movie), Custom (x3)
- Picture Styles: Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Defined (x3)
- Colour Space: sRGB and Adobe RGB
- Drive Modes: Single, Continuous L, Continuous H, Self-timer (2s+remote, 10s+remote), Silent single shooting, Silent continuous shooting
- Continuous Shooting: Max. Approx. 6fps. (speed maintained for up to 16270 images (JPEG)¹² or 18 images (RAW)) (with UDMA card)²
- Live View Type: Electronic viewfinder with image sensor
- Coverage: Approx. 100% (horizontally and vertically)
- Frame Rate: 30 fps
- Focusing: Manual Focus (Magnify the image 5x or 10x at any point on screen) Autofocus: Quick mode, Live mode, Live Face detection mode
- Metering: Real-time evaluative metering with image sensor Active metering time can be changed
- Display Options: Grid overlay (x3), Histogram, Aspect ratios, Dual Axis Electronic Level
- File Still Image Type: JPEG: Fine, Normal (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
- RAW+JPEG Simultaneous Recording - Yes, any combination of RAW + JPEG possible, separate formats to separate cards possible
- Image Size JPEG: (L) 5760 x 3840, (M) 3840 x 2560, (S1) 2880 x 1920, (S2) 1920 x 1280, (S 3)720 x 480
- Image Raw Size RAW: (RAW) 5760 x 3840 (M-RAW) 3960 x 2640, (S-RAW) 2880 x 1920
- Movie Type: MOV (Video: H.264 Intra frame / inter frame, Sound: Linear PCM) / Uncompressed 8bit 4.2.2 via HDMI
- Movie Size: 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps) intra or inter frame / 1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps) intra or inter frame / 640 x 480 (59.94, 50 fps) inter frame
- Movie Length: Max duration 29min 59sec, Max single file size 4GB
- Folders: New folders can be manually created and selected
- Custom Functions: 13 Custom Functions with 47 settings
- Metadata Tag: User copyright information (can be set in camera) / Image rating (0-5 stars)
- LCD Panel / Illumination: Yes / Yes
- Water/ Dust Resistance: Yes (equal to EOS-1N)¹
- Sound Memo: No
- Intelligent Orientation Sensor: Yes
- Playback Zoom: 1.5x - 10x
- Slide Show Image selection: All images, by Date, by Folder, Movies, Stills, Rating
- Playback time: 1/2/3/5/10 or 20 seconds
- Repeat: On/Off
- Histogram: Brightness: Yes / RGB: Yes
- Highlight Alert: Yes
- Image Erase/Protection: Single image, All images in folder, Checkmarked images, unprotected images
- Protection: Erase protection of one image at a time
- 25 Languages: English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese
- Firmware Update: Update possible by the user.
- Computer Interface: Hi-Speed USB
- Other: HDMI mini output, Video output (PAL/ NTSC), Headphone mini jack, External microphone (Stereo mini jack)
- Canon Printers: Canon Compact Photo Printers and PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge
- PictBridge: Yes
- Storage Type: CompactFlash Type I (UDMA compatible), SD card, SDHC card or SDXC card