Canon Digital Camera EOS 5D Mark III Review

Canon Digital Camera EOS 5D Mark III Review

Though Canon makes many excellent digital SLR cameras for pros and consumers, none has reached the superstar status of the Canon 5D series. The original 5D's 12.8-megapixel full-frame sensor produced legendary image quality, and the 5D Mark II raised the resolution to 21.1 megapixels and added superb video quality to the mix, creating a sensation in video production. The Canon 5D Mark III raises the game in terms of overall camera performance, from frame rate to autofocus, while increasing the resolution only slightly (by just over a million pixels to 22.3-megapixels). Of all the additional features, probably the most important is the new autofocus system, brought over from the 1D X, which in addition to having more points (61) and more cross-type points (41), covers considerably more of the Canon 5D III's image area, while the AF system of the past two models were brought over from the company's APS-C cameras, thus covering much less image area in the viewfinder.

Other additions include a DIGIC 5+ processor, which is said to be 17 times more powerful than the DIGIC 4 processor in the 5D II. The 7D's 63-zone dual-layer metering system reappears in the Canon 5D Mark III, instead of the 1D X's 100,000-pixel RGB sensor. We'll go over the other features in more detail below, but the Canon 5D Mark III also includes a 150,000-cycle shutter rating; a new HDR mode; Full HD, 1080p video at 24, 25, and 30 frames per second; a 3.2-inch, 1.04M-dot LCD; a new CMOS sensor with higher sensitivity and an eight-channel readout that allows a 6-frame-per-second frame rate; a Quick Control dial that includes touch capability for silent adjustments while in video mode; multiple raw image sizes; 100-percent viewfinder coverage with an adjustable LCD grid and AF overlay; a 1.5 percent spot meter; a dual-axis leveling system; and Standard or Quiet operation modes.

The size and shape of the Canon 5D Mark III is similar to the Mark II, only a little heavier. The grip is sized right for the camera body, though somewhat large for small hands; it fit my medium-sized hands comfortably. Canon specs the body weight at 30.3 ounces (860g) body only. That's 1.7 ounces (50g) heavier than the 5D Mark II. Dimensions are 6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0 inches (152.0 x 116.4 x 76.4mm). Only height and thickness have increased a millimeter or so.

Two minor elements are moved on the front of the Canon 5D Mark III: the Infrared port is now on the grip (where you'll find it on most every other Canon digital SLR with the feature), and the Depth-of-field preview button has moved to the grip-side of the body. The Self-timer lamp moves up to its usual position, and the monaural microphone moves from below to above the EOS 5D logo.

The top deck includes a Mode dial with the Auto+ mode, combined from the Creative Auto and Green Zone modes on the 5D Mark II. The 5D Mark III's power switch juts out from beneath this dial, as it does from the Canon 7D as well. Also from the 7D is the Multi-Function button behind the Shutter button. Canon has remapped the Status LCD.

The control cluster on the back of the Canon 5D Mark III resembles the 7D more than the 5D Mark II. Even so, keeping with Canon tradition, many buttons have shuffled around, and new ones appeared. Menu and Info buttons are well-placed on the upper left side of the LCD. Five buttons left of the LCD are Creative Style, a new Rate button, a Zoom button, and finally the Playback and Delete buttons. Rather than silkscreen the logo next to the button, Canon's eliminated the doubt and put the logo right on these buttons.

Lower left of the LCD are three holes for the speaker, and a small window for the ambient light sensor, used to automatically adjust the LCD backlight.

Right of the LCD the controls are nearly all 7D, except for the new, more logical position of the Quick menu button, just upper left of the Quick Control dial. The Movie Record/Live View control includes a switch to select between modes, and a button to either start and stop Movie recording or to start and stop Live View mode. The Quick Control dial turns with its normal coarse click stops, but in Movie mode it also responds to touch for making silent adjustments whose noise won't appear in the audio track.

The LCD itself is a 3:2 aspect ratio design that's just as gorgeous as recent models have been, with a 1.04-million dot array.

The thumbgrip on the right is a little better than on the 5D Mark II, with a more comfortable taper down the length of the back, rather than a simple arc that didn't match the contours of the thumb.

There are quite a few improvements, and we'll take them a few at a time. First, I appreciated how the Canon 5D Mark III felt more solid. The 5D Mark III's grip also fit more nicely in my hands; my fingers wrapped around the grip more comfortably. My thumb rested on a more pronounced protrusion than on the 5D Mark II and was more comfortable to hold for long periods. On the 5D Mark II, with a heavy lens such as the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L or the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, my thumb would start to turn red from the friction of the grip after several hours of shooting; that didn't happen with the 5D Mark III. This improvement alone illustrates the improvements in handling comfort that Canon has made. I absolutely loved how much more comfortable it felt in my hands. The entire camera is more rounded on all corners than its predecessor, and the battery and memory card bays are now spring-loaded for those of us looking to save a second or two when we have to swap memory cards or batteries. Its improved weather sealing is also a plus.

Canon made a few changes to the button layout from the Mark II to the Mark III. First, the power button moved to the mode dial, similar to its placement on the Canon 7D. While I prefer turning on my camera with my shooting hand, I generally leave it on (it doesn't drain the battery much unless its in Live View mode) and can understand Canon's move to separate the now-programmable main dial lock from the power switch. The Mode dial now has a lock to prevent accidental mode switching, something that would sometimes happen to my 5D Mark II when moving around during a wedding day, or when placing my camera in a backpack or roller for transportation. There is also a new magnification button for zooming on image playback, one that appears in a new location, a feature I'll touch upon in more detail below.

Menu System

 The menu system is displayed beautifully on a gorgeous 3.2-inch LCD. While similar to the 5D Mark II and the 7D, the menus are divided into color-coded subgroups. For a photographer who doesn't have time to read all the menu options, being able to navigate quickly to the right setting is critical. Due to the improved autofocus system, Canon has dedicated an entire group of menus to customizing the autofocus features. All of the Custom functions are now displayed individually, rather than hidden in subgroups as before. Canon also includes basic information on nearly all of the items displayed in the menus, accessed by pushing the Info button, conveniently located next to the Menu button. While I spent some time with the instruction manual, the in-camera information often provided sufficient explanation on what each setting controlled for on-the-go customization.

My biggest gripe about the menu system is that there is still just one user-defined Custom menu page, restricting you to six items in the Custom menu. I populated mine with items such as LCD brightness (set to turn brighter when showing photos to clients under bright sunlight, and lower to conserve battery or to save your eyes in low light), Highlight alert (useful for the photographer, sometimes confusing for clients), Beep (useful in portraits, annoying at events), Custom white balance, Battery info and Card format.

While it's only 0.2 inches larger (3.2 versus 3.0-inches on the 5D Mark II), the LCD display on the 5D Mark III seems much larger, thanks to its 3:2 aspect ratio, which matches that of the camera's native image aspect ratio. Compared to the screen on the 5D II, photos completely fill the screen, so the effect is that of a significantly larger screen at the old aspect ratio.

Overall, putting their best current technology in a smaller body the makes Canon 5D Mark III less expensive to manufacture and distribute and its comparatively lower price will appeal to more customers (Compared to the 1D series, that is). That has to be an idea that appealed to Canon's bean counters as well.

Source Imaging Resource

Title Post: Canon Digital Camera EOS 5D Mark III Review
Rating: 100% based on 99998 ratings. 5 user reviews.
Author: hadhie s

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