Saturday, March 31, 2012

Canon EOS-5D Mark III: Preview & Images

Canon EOS-5D Mark III, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 18mm, f/4.0 at 1/40, ISO 5000

The long awaited EOS-5D Mark III ($3,739 for the body) has finally started shipping and we also have one in our rental department now. In the next couple of weeks we should be caught up with all our pre-orders as well. Was it worth the wait? In my opinion, most definitely!

Not only has Canon improved the video quality and video mode functionality over the Mark II, but for still photographers,  Canon more or less dropped in the AF system that will be coming in the top end EOS-1DX later in the year. While I have not had much opportunity to use the Mark III yet, during my brief testing, the AF seemed convincingly fast and accurate, even under very low light conditions. While my own EOS-7D was a noticeable step up over the 5D Mark II, the new 5D Mark III seems a big step up over the 7D when it comes to its AF system.

Frame rates are up as well (6 fps) and mirror blackout is also reduced, so the camera feels way snappier in normal operation. While not quite as fast as the 7D, the Mark III is probably fast enough for all but the dedicated sports shooter. Generally the new 5D Mark III feels like a faster, more modern camera in almost every respect. When you handle it, you realize just how much has improved compared to the Mark II. It may look similar to its predecessor, but it feels (and functions) like an all new camera.

While the sensor doesn't sound much different than the one in the 5D Mark II (approx. 22 MP versus 21 MP in the 5D Mark II), there are definitely major improvements. For example, noise levels at high ISO have dropped and it looks as though Canon has erased most of the banding and blotchy noise that could sometimes affect the Mark II. Dynamic range seems improved as well.

I will have more details on the camera after I have a chance to shoot with it more. I had hoped to have a full review ready for our April newsletter, but it will have to wait a bit. Sorry. For now, I will leave you with a few more handheld high ISO shots...

Canon EOS-5D Mark III, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 24mm, f/4.0 at 1/40, ISO 6400

Canon EOS-5D Mark III, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 18mm, f/4.0 at 1/40, ISO 6400

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