My Thoughts: Canon 5D MkIII – 22MP DSLR Camera

My Thoughts: Canon EOS 5D Mk III – 22MP DSLR Camera

In the early morning of Wednesday, March 1st 2012, Canon introduced and added the much anticipated 5D Mark III to their line of professional DSLR cameras. Sadly, I have not been able to get my hands on one of these bodies yet, but all signs point to this camera being a very refined and upgraded version of the ultra-popular Canon 5D Mk II DSLR camera.

Let’s avoid all the technical jargon (to a certain extent) and jump right into what I’m most looking forward to in this camera and what I believe are the best features of this new DLSR.

Get Excited About This!

I’m most excited about these features of the Canon 5D Mk III!

61-Point Auto-Focus System

The number one thing I am excited about in this new Canon 5D Mk III is the new auto focusing system.

The 5D Mark II was infamous for its terrible auto focus system.  While shooting I run into auto focus issues several times a week out on location & in studio and, if the focusing system works as you would expect a professional level DSLR’s focusing system to work, I’m going to be thrilled. To me, that alone is worth the upgrade/price. I want fast, accurate focusing in low-light. Give me that and I’m a happy camper.

Improved ISO Capabilities and Better Noise Reduction

It’s been a long standing rule that I’ve told fellow photographers and photography students alike, “Focus on noise and low-light capabilities over megapixels”. Megapixels sell cameras to the masses, image quality due to a great sensor sells cameras to professionals. The new sensor in the 5D Mark III provides better, smoother gradation of color and tone throughout the image as well as better noise reduction. Give me a camera that can handle low-light and I know it’ll handle anything I throw at it on location or in a controlled studio environment.

DIGIC Processor and the 14-bit Processing

Increasing the speed and capability of e heart of a system is always a great upgrade technologically-speaking as we move forward through time. This new processor allows for faster shooting, faster processing, and better color and tone handling which equals a better, faster, and richer shooting experience yielding more stunning and rich images. It would be nice if this camera had a dual processor akin to the flagship 1D X, but I suppose that’s why the 1D-series is the flagship DSLR body built by Canon.

HDR In-Camera Processing

This feature really piqued my interest, at least until I though about it. It really brings back horrific images of the HDR processing (so-called) in Photoshop dating back a few versions. To be frank, it seems to be more of a selling feature and gimmick than something that is a feasible, useful tool. I’ll believe it when I see it. Still, a little part of me wants it to be amazing, so here I wait.

Dual Memory Card Slots, Compact Flash & SD

This has been a feature that I’ve wanted to show up in an affordable Professional level DSLR for awhile. The things that a dual memory card slot allows you to do is so vast I can’t even comment on what a nice feature this is, just ask someone who shoots with a dual memory card capable camera.

Real Options for Recording Video

The 5D Mark II has e ability to shoot 1080p video at 24 or 30 frames per second as well as 680 by something or other 4:3 ratio that I’ve never touched. The 5D Mark III gives film and video shooter more options for the video they wish to shoot. I would also expect some of the rough, loose edges that the 5D Mark II had with respect to video would be polished up.

22.3 Megapixel Full-Frame Sensor

More of a side note than anything, but the 5D Mark III now has the largest megapixel count of any of the DSLR camera currently produced by Canon.


$3,500.00. Yikes.

Release Controversy

It may be only 48+ hours since the official announcement was handed down from Canon, but the photo community has been expressing VERY strong feelings about this release. Personally I had a good idea that a decent price hike was all but inevitable, but with the incredible amount of outcry on the B&H and Canon forums about the cost compared with the camera upgrade(s) may hold something interesting in store, but I sure wouldn’t count on it.

Oh, and to make matters worse, Nikon announced their brand new D800 which is a 35+ megapixel beast. It’s also less expensive than the 5D Mk III to the tune of $500.00. That’s right Nikon creates a 35 megapixel camera for $2,999 and Canon upgrades to a 22 megapixel body and charges $3,500. Is 35MP too much? I already have 500GB of images I’ve shot in the last couple months on my MK II, what would those images be like at 35MP?

All things considered, I love this camera, love the upgrades. Don’t love the price so much, but it is worth it to a working “professional”. The auto focus and noise reduction alone should add quality to this already incredibly popular and amazing camera.

Just to keep all of this in perspective I found an anonymous comment within one of the angry threads posted on one of the camera forums online. Enjoy.

“Total nonsense, focus on taking good photos instead of obsessing over gear”

Well put, my friend, well put.

What do you think about this camera? Give me your thoughts & share the article with your friends!

Canon’s Product Page »
B&H Release & Tech Page »
Mashable 5D MK III Info »
Gizmodo 5d MK III Gallery »
Canon Will Keep the 5D Mark II Alive and Sell it Cheaper »
PDB Pulse 5D MK III Article »

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    1.  Well…Canon has more expensive bodies and Nikon has more expensive glass (comparing Canon L to equivalent Nikon glass). Besides that, the 5D Mark II had a MSRP almost as high as the 5D Mark III. And remember, once the pre-orders are all out and the 5D Mark III hits the shelf there _will_ be a price drop. I bought my 5D Mark II from the shelf almost $800 under the MSRP and that wasn’t to far after launch. I’m definitely going to upgrade to the Mark III. The AF and ISO performance alone makes the upgrade worth the price for me. The new metering system, the bigger viewfinder, faster FPS etc is just icing on the cake. I know what I definitely don’t want. And that’s a 100MB 36Mpix RAW-file making camera that tops out it’s native ISO range at 6400 and has no improvement in the noise department from the D700. The color rendition of the 5D Mark III seems to be a knock out too. A famous photographer recently said after having beta tested the 5D Mark III that he has never seen any camera, medium format or other that produces the accuracy in colors and skin tones that the 5D Mark III does.

      1.  The skin tone is amazing. The ISO and AF system are exactly why I want to upgrade.
        I saw a video on YouTube that PetaPixel shared comparing the ISO in video… WOAH! It’s INSANE the difference!

        I want quality, not megapixels… unless those megapixels come with quality (of course!)

  1. says: Brian

    I dont have an SLR yet and really want one. I am an amateur and I use a €300 digital camera, what would be a good SLR camera to start with?

    1.  I would grab a Canon T2i or a T3i. Get it without a lens and grab a 50mm f1.8 lens to plug onto it. The lens costs about $110 and it’s better than any of the entry-level kit lenses Canon offers by a long shot.

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