The Canon EOS 5D Mark III
After months of rumors and speculation, the next generation of Canon’s most popular pro-level shooter has arrived. On Friday, the company announced details of its long-awaited EOS 5D Mark III DSLR camera.
Notable updates are plentiful. There’s a totally new 22.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor (up from 21.1 on the Mark II) with a new photodiode structure that reduces image noise. The ISO range has been improved — the camera gains two stops on the high end and now goes from 100 to 25,600, with additional extended settings of 50, 51,200 and 102,400. The Mark III also inherits a few key features from Canon’s recently announced EOS-1D X, like the new DIGIC 5+ image processor, the 61-point autofocus system, on-chip image correction and a multi-exposure mode.
Canon’s previous 5D model has been central to the rise of the DSLR video scene, with indie auteurs shooting fantastic-looking HD video on their Mark IIs, so we expected this update to come with several video-specific performance bumps. The Mark III shoots 1080p video at up to 30 frames per second, but video is now processed by the DIGIC 5+ chip, which Canon says reduces image noise and moiré effects much better than the DIGIC 4 chip. There’s a new on-camera H.264 compression engine and new timecode-embedding features. The LCD monitor is now 3.2 inches (up from 3 inches) and has new touch-screen controls for silently adjusting your settings while you’re recording.
The Mark III will be available at the end of March at an estimated price of $3,500 for the body only, and $4,300 bundled with a 24-105mm f/4 zoom lens. The last-generation 5D Mark II — which has grown to become one of the most popular DSLRs in the world since its release three and a half years ago — will remain in the Canon line-up for at least the next few months. You’ll also be able to get one pretty cheap on Craigslist starting this weekend, no doubt (or at least a used Nikon D700).
The Mark III lands with a slew of optional accessories in tow, like a GPS receiver ($390), a wireless file transmitter ($850), a battery grip ($490, seen in one of the photos above) and the new Speedlite 600EX-RT wireless flash ($630) and transmitter ($470).