Canon EOS 5D Mark III SLR Camera

| April 20, 2012

Canon EOS 5D Mark III SLR Camera

Originally published by Digitalreview.ca on March 2nd, 2012 – Updated: Canon has today announced the Canon EOS Mark III full frame digital SLR, the update to the very popular EOS 5D Mark II. The 22MP Canon EOS 5D Mark III is designed to function as an advanced multimedia tool providing for Full 1080p HD video recording with manual control, selectable frame rates and the ability to add an external stereo microphone.

Additional headline features of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III SLR include; a new DIGIC 5+ processor for enhanced performance, 63-zone iFCL dual layer metering system, a 61-point AF system, ISO boost up to 102,400 ISO, dual memory card slots (SD and CF), and features a large 3.2-inch LCD screen with 1040K dot resolution and wide viewing angle and anti-reflective coatings. The Canon EOS Mark III comes supplied with a LP-E6 Li-Ion rechargeable battery that is able to provide up to approximately 950 shots per charge.

The Canon EOS Mark III digital SLR body will be available in late March for the suggested retail price of $3799.99

Canon EOS 5D Mark III SLR camera back view

Canon EOS 5D Mark III SLR Camera Major Features

22.3MP Canon full-frame CMOS sensor: Designed and manufactured in-house, the newly-developed 22.”3MP” full-frame CMOS sensor provides increased resolution, enabling the capture of a wide range of scenes to produce A2-size images, with increased fine detail and control over depth of field.

The sensor features a new CMOS architecture building on the performance offered by the EOS 5D Mark II, to achieve high dynamic range and low noise at high ISO settings, with lower power consumption than its predecessor. New photodiodes with improved transistors inside each pixel offer heightened sensitivity, while gapless microlenses offer greater light-gathering ability for enhanced image quality in low light.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III SLR ISO options

Canon’s CMOS technology integrates advanced noise reduction circuitry at each pixel site, delivering virtually noise-free images and a wide native ISO speed range of 100 – 25600 (expandable from 50 to 102400).

A high-speed 8-channel read-out combines with the DIGIC 5+ image processor to support high speed shooting of up to 6 frames per second (fps) at full resolution, in bursts of either 18 RAW or 16,270 JPEG files without the need for extra batteries or accessories.

DIGIC 5+: Image information is processed by Canon’s DIGIC 5+ processor, which has been designed to complement the camera’s CMOS sensor. The inclusion of a DIGIC 5+ processor enables the EOS 5D Mark III to achieve fast shooting speeds of up to 6fps at full resolution – capturing maximum detail, accurate colours and low noise, in all conditions.

Working in tandem with the CMOS sensor, the DIGIC 5+ processor allows photographers to shoot at ISO speeds up to two stops faster than previously possible while achieving the same high image quality. Multiple exposure shots are also supported as well as in-camera HDR shooting. Additionally, in-camera correction of lens lateral and axial chromatic aberration has also been implemented for every image captured, even when shooting at maximum speed.

The DIGIC 5+ processor works with a high speed DDR-SDRAM image buffer – reading, processing, compressing and writing image data at speeds fast enough to keep the buffer clear during long continuous shooting bursts.

To provide increased flexibility when reviewing images in playback, DIGIC 5+ also supports a comparative playback function, allowing convenient comparisons between exposures by enabling users to select, view and magnify two images on-screen at the same time.

61-point AF system: The EOS 5D Mark III features the same advanced 61-point wide-area AF system as Canon’s EOS-1D X. Used in combination with an AF Correction Light Source Detection Sensor, a powerful AF microcomputer and AF algorithm ensures the accuracy and reliability of the autofocus system – even when tracking moving subjects.

The 61-point AF sensor features 41 cross-type points and five dual cross-type points for enhanced accuracy at a maximum wide aperture setting of f/2.8. Like the EOS-1D X, the EOS 5D Mark III can also detect a subject that is completely out of focus by employing the entire sensor, rather than just a single AF point, ensuring rapid and effective AF control at all times.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Camera AF points

A range of AF presets provide exceptional reliability when shooting traditionally difficult scenes and subjects. Six different “Cases” are designed for a range of differing shooting challenges, and can be customised according to subjects and shooting conditions using a built-in AF Configuration Tool.

The six different “Cases” include:

Case 1 – A versatile multi-purpose setting: The all-round setting ideal for numerous scenes and subjects.

Case 2 – Allows continuous tracking of subjects, ignoring possible obstacles: Designed to continue to focus-track a subject, even when the subject momentarily moves away from the AF points. Ideal for shooting action with subjects that move about the frame, like freestyle skiing, tennis and swimmers performing the butterfly stroke.

Case 3 – Instantly focus on subjects suddenly entering AF points: This setting enables focusing to adjust immediately when a new subject is detected. It is most effective when you want to shoot different subjects one-after-the-other, such as alpine downhill skiing, or the start of a bicycle road race.

Case 4 – For subjects that accelerate or decelerate quickly: Designed for continuous focus-tracking of moving subjects that may change in speed or direction, such as during cornering in motor sports or a football player avoiding a tackle.

Case 5 – For erratic subjects moving in any direction: For use only with 61 point automatic selection AF, Zone AF, and AF point expansion modes, this setting is ideal for continuously focus-tracking subjects that may move rapidly up/down or left/right during shooting. The camera continues to track the subject by switching automatically to the nearest AF points. Common shooting situations would include figure skating and air races.

Case 6 – For subjects that change speed and move erratically: For use only with 61 point automatic selection AF, Zone AF, and AF point expansion modes. This setting is similar to Case 4 but is employed when using multiple AF points. This setting enables tracking of subject movements by automatically switching the AF points. Ideal for basketball or rhythmic gymnastics.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III SLR top view

AI Servo III: AI Servo AF uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to determine the speed and direction of moving subjects and then focuses the camera lens to a predicted position (Focus Prediction Function) to increase the probability of obtaining a sharp photograph.

AI Servo III AF is even more effective in tracking moving subjects in challenging conditions. In addition, the UI has been improved to make it easier to customise the AI Servo AF to cope with the changing demands of professional photo shoots.

AI Servo III offers a number of improvements over AI Servo II, for greater precision and more stable control. Following feedback from professional photographers, the predictive AF performance has been improved, enabling parameters such as “tracking
sensitivity”, “acceleration/deceleration tracking” and “AF point auto switching” of the AI Servo AF, to be easily adjusted to suit different shooting conditions.

Intelligent Viewfinder:  The Canon EOS 5D Mark III’s Intelligent Viewfinder offers a sharp, bright approximately 100% field of view with an approximate magnification of .71x, and a 21mm eye-point. 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.

iFCL Metering with 63-zone dual-layering metering sensor: The EOS 5D Mark III SLR camera 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 color and luminosity surrounding the chosen AF point(s), this new system delivers a higher 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.

EOS Movie: The EOS Movie function allows EOS 5D Mark III users to record 1080p HD movies with full manual control and selectable frame rates.

Thanks to the large full-frame CMOS sensor, photographers have exceptional control over depth of field in Movie mode. The exposure of the movie can be controlled in Manual mode, allowing full control of shutter speeds and apertures. Videographers can
select frame rates from: 30 (29.97), 25, and 24 (23.976), with 60 (59.94) and 50 available at resolutions of 720p. The combination of sensor and DIGIC 5+ processing also greatly reduces colour fringing and moiré for professional quality footage.

EOS Movie can be activated quickly and easily by a new Live View shooting/Movie shooting button. A dedicated Quick Control movie tab also allows settings to be changed quickly and easily mid-shoot. Sound recording levels can also be checked and
changed during recording on the Quick Control screen and still images can be captured at any moment during recording, simply by pressing the shutter button.

The EOS 5D Mark III also supports a H.264/MPEG-4 AVC intra-frame codec for increased quality and lower compression – ideal for editing in post-production by professional film-makers. In another move to make post-production editing as seamless as possible, the EOS 5D Mark III also features the ability to set and record the time code (SMPTE format) in order to synchronise the video and audio tracks in the edit suite. For quick editing in the field, during movie playback, videographers can edit out the first and last scenes of a movie clip in one-second increments and save the movie either as a separate file, or over the original to save space on the memory card.

Canon 5D Mark III SLR camera in hand

Clear View II LCD:  The Canon EOS 5D Mark III’s 3.2-inch 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.

Picture Styles: Picture Style presets simplify in-camera control over image quality and can be likened to different film types, each one offering a different colour response. Within each selectable preset, photographers have control over sharpness, contrast, colour tone and saturation.

The camera’s factory default configuration is set to deliver immediately usable JPEG images without need for additional menu settings. Picture Style presets applied to a RAW image can also be revised with Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software.

The six presets are:

1. Standard – for crisp, vivid images that don’t require post-processing

2. Portrait – optimises colour tone and saturation and weakens sharpening to achieve attractive skin tones

3. Landscape – for punchier greens and blues with stronger sharpening to give a crisp edge to mountain, tree and building outlines

4. Neutral – ideal for post-processing

5. Faithful – adjusts colour to match the subject colour when shot under a colour temperature of 5200K

6. Monochrome – for black and white shooting with a range of filter effects (yellow, orange, red and green) and toning effects (sepia, blue, purple and green)

Picture Style Auto: In addition to the Picture Style presets, the EOS 5D Mark III includes Picture Style Auto, offering automatic adjustment of colours within each scene based on information drawn from the EOS Scene Detection System. Picture Style Auto works with normal scenes but is especially suited for nature scenes such as sunsets.

Auto Lighting Optimizer: Assisted by face detection technology, the improved Auto Lighting Optimizer (ALO) automatically corrects the brightness and contrast of images suffering from underexposure, low contrast, or backlit situations. With DIGIC 5+’s low-noise image processing and corrective algorithm, the correction is performed without affecting the natural gradation.

The EOS 5D Mark III now incorporates the EOS Scene Detection System to achieve the best balance of brightness and contrast for images taken under different conditions, including sunset and high-saturation scenes. When used with evaluative metering, the
Auto Lighting Optimizer ensures the correct exposure of both the subject and background.

In-Camera RAW Processing & JPEG Resize:  The Canon EOS 5D Mark III features state of the art in-camera RAW processing for quick conversion of RAW files to JPEG with control with control over size, brightness, WB, Picture Style, Auto Lighting Optimizer, Noise reduction, color space, distortion correction and more. Additionally, the EOS 5D Mark III features expanded Quick Control functions during playback like image protect, image rotate, rating, RAW image processing, resize, highlight alert, AF point and image jump, meaning a streamlined workflow can begin in the field.

Canon 5D Mark III SLR camera body construction

Magnesium alloy body with dust and weather resistance:  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 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.

Canon Dust Delete Data system can also map the position of visible dust on the sensor. This can then be deleted automatically after the shoot with the latest Digital Photo Professional software.

Peripheral Illumination Correction, Chromatic Aberration Correction, and Distortion Correction: The EOS 5D Mark III features a number of corrective tools to accommodate for the particulars of the lens used. Canon’s lens peripheral illumination correction feature corrects light falloff in the corner of the image. Chromatic aberration can be corrected at the time of shooting with the 5D Mark III’s Chromatic Aberration Correction tool.

The new Distortion Correction feature corrects distortions such as curved lines by correcting for the characteristics of the particular lens used to take the shot so images that may have been distorted in the captured image appear straight. The camera has correction data for a number of EF lenses preloaded, and new lenses can be added to the camera’s database via EOS Utility. The camera can even distinguish between different lenses of the same model using the serial number (with compatible EF lenses).

Canon EOS 5D Mark III dual memory CF and SD card slots

Dual CF and SD card slot: Providing professional photographers with added flexibility, the EOS 5D Mark III features dual CF and SD card slots with support for UDMA 7 compatible cards which offer a maximum transfer speed of 167MB/second, offering dual slot recording, auto card switching and in-camera image copying functions. Eye-Fi cards are also supported in the SD slot for wireless transfer of images.

Digital Photo Professional Software (v3.11): The Canon EOS 5D Mark III SLR features the most advanced version of Digital Photo Professional (DPP) yet. Digital Photo Professional software provides high speed, high quality processing of lossless RAW images. Processing with DPP allows real-time display and immediate application of image adjustments, giving control over RAW image variables such as white balance, dynamic range, exposure compensation, noise reduction and colour tone – plus the ability to view Auto Focus points on an image. The Lens Aberration correction tool allows precise correction of different types of distortion and chromatic aberration. The new Digital Lens Optimizer optical enhancement function improves image quality by maximizing optical performance.

Digital Photo Professional supports sRGB, Adobe RGB, ColorMatch RGB, Apple RGB and Wide Gamut RGB colour spaces. ICC (International Colour Consortium) profiles can be attached to TIFF or JPEG images when converted from RAW. This allows faithful reproduction of colours in software applications that support ICC profiles, such as Adobe Photoshop. For improved efficiency, a set of image adjustments can be saved as a recipe and applied.

Digital Lens Optimizer – new in Digital Photo Professional v3.11: New in DPP v3.”11″ is Digital Lens Optimizer – a new tool designed to drastically improve image resolution by taking the final image closer to how it was seen by the photographer.

Digital Lens Optimizer (DLO) precisely imitates lens operation, with a series of complex mathematical functions replicating each stage of the journey of light through the optical path. Using this information, DLO can correct a range of typical optical aberrations, and loss of the resolution caused by a low pass filter, by applying an inverse function to each shot that takes the image closer to how the scene looks to the naked eye. This creates exceptionally detailed, high-quality images with highly manageable file sizes, providing photographers with maximum image quality and greater flexibility in post-production.

EOS Utility:  The latest version of EOS Utility provides essential support for Live View remote shooting, camera configuration and image transfers. Whether shooting in challenging conditions, or in a studio, photographers can view the scene framed by the camera’s sensor on their PC screen, precisely controlling settings such as aperture, shutter speed or ISO before triggering the shutter. Tightly integrated with Digital Photo Professional, EOS Utility can also be configured to monitor ‘hot’ folders, automatically renaming and moving incoming images to a structured file system. Users can also tag their images with EXIF data, including copyright information.

Picture Style Editor: Picture Style Editor allows photographers to create individual Picture Styles that meet their personal requirements, such as recreating their favorite film type or one dedicated for film making. Each Picture Style contains detailed information on how specific colours should be represented within an image. Once new Picture Styles have been created, they can be uploaded directly into the camera and applied to JPEG or RAW images. When working with RAW files in DPP, both personal Picture Styles and predetermined Picture Styles can be adjusted.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III SLR camera with optional BG-E11 vertical battery grip

Canon EOS 5D Mark III SLR: Press Release

March 2, 2012 – On the 25th anniversary of its world-renowned EOS System, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce its latest model, the new EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera. Positioned between the extremely popular EOS 5D Mark II and Canon’s top-of-the-line professional EOS-1D X model, the EOS 5D Mark III delivers superb image quality, thanks to a new 22.3-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, a high-performance DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor, a 61-point High Density Reticular Autofocus (AF) System and six frames-per-second (fps) continuous shooting speed.

Building upon the trailblazing success of the EOS 5D Mark II, the EOS 5D Mark III also incorporates enhanced video features for professionals in the fields of cinematography, television production and documentary filmmaking, including better noise reduction, longer recording times and a built-in headphone jack for audio monitoring.

The EOS 5D Mark III is Canon’s answer to hundreds of thousands of advanced amateurs and emerging professionals looking for a compact, high-quality camera system to help them achieve their artistic vision, whether it be through still or video imagery. The EOS 5D Mark III introduction coincides with Canon’s 25th anniversary celebration of the EOS camera system. Canon’s award-winning EOS system first debuted in March of 1987 with the introduction of the EOS 650 SLR camera and three EF lenses.

“We are extremely excited to announce the highly anticipated follow-up to our EOS 5D Mark II, a camera which has been called a ‘game-changer’ in most professional photography and videography circles. The EOS 5D Mark III will carry on that tradition, delivering better and more advanced features, helping our customers achieve excellent image quality for stills and video,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

The EOS 5D Mark III inherits many features from Canon’s recently announced flagship DSLR, the EOS-1D X, including a DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor and a high-performance 61-point High Density Reticular AF array with up to 41 cross-type points and five dual cross-type points available, depending on the lens in use. The enhanced processing power enables fast continuous shooting of up to six fps, exceeding the speed of the EOS 5D Mark II model by more than 50 percent, and with improved weather resistance the EOS 5D Mark III is a serious option for sports and wildlife photographers.

EOS 5D Mark III Video: The Legacy Continues

The EOS 5D Mark II blazed the trail for EOS cameras and Canon to enter the professional video and cinema markets, paving the way for Canon’s recent introduction of the Cinema EOS system of cameras and lenses. Now, the EOS 5D Mark III continues Canon’s commitment to these new markets with new and requested features from cinematographers, television production professionals and independent filmmakers. This new model captures 1080p Full HD video at 24p (23.976), 25p, and 30p (29.97) fps; 720p HD recording at 60 (59.94) and 50 fps; and SD recording at 30 (29.97) and 25 fps, giving cinematographers and videographers more flexibility and options for video capture.

The EOS 5D Mark III includes new H.”264″ video compression formats to simplify and speed up post-production work: intraframe (ALL-I) compression for an editing-friendly format and interframe (IPB) compression for superior data storage efficiency, giving professionals options to help achieve their ideal workflow. Like the EOS-1D X, the 5D Mark III also includes two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, allowing video footage from multiple cameras and separate audio recordings to be synced together in post production.

The new full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ processor have enhanced the camera’s image processing performance over the 5D Mark II, significantly reducing moir‚ and color artifacts in scenes with horizontal lines. The video footage produced will exhibit less moir‚ than seen in previous DSLR models, resulting in a significant improvement in HD video quality. Accommodating documentary filmmakers, and event videographers using EOS DSLR cameras, the 5D Mark III includes the ability to record video continuously up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files. Long-form filmmakers will enjoy the camera’s automatic file splitting in combination with the extended memory capacity offered by dual card slots.

Canon Mark III SLR camera connections

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III also includes manual audio level control with 64 levels, adjustable both before and during movie recording. There is also an automatic audio level setting, or sound recording can be turned off entirely. A wind filter is also included. Sound can be recorded either through the internal monaural microphone or via an optional external microphone through the stereo mic input. Notably, the EOS 5D Mark III is the first EOS Digital SLR to feature a built-in headphone jack for real-time audio monitoring during video capture.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III SLR camera sensor

Newly Developed Canon CMOS Sensor

With its completely new 22.3-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS image sensor, the EOS 5D Mark III becomes the highest resolution Canon Digital SLR released to date. It is eminently suitable for a wide variety of assignments including weddings and portraits, nature and wildlife, travel and landscapes as well as commercial and industrial photography. With a gapless microlens design, a new photodiode structure and improved on-chip noise reduction, the new sensor achieves higher sensitivity and lower noise levels for both RAW image data as well as in-camera JPEGs and EOS Movies compared to the 5D Mark II. The result is outstanding image quality in all shooting conditions, even low light. An eight-channel readout doubles the speed of image data throughput from the sensor to the DIGIC 5+ processor, resulting in better video image quality as well as six fps for still photos.

The low-light capability of the EOS 5D Mark III is evident in its incredible ISO range and image quality in poor lighting conditions. Adjustable from ISO 100 to 25,600 within its standard range, the new model also offers a low ISO 50 setting for studio and landscape photography and two extended ISO settings of 51,200 and 102,400, well suited for law enforcement, government or forensic field applications.

The new 5D Mark III is also equipped with Canon’s EOS Integrated Cleaning System, featuring a Self Cleaning Sensor Unit with a fluorine coating that repels dust and dirt particles.

Canon-Exclusive DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor

The EOS 5D Mark III’s new DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor is 17 times faster than the DIGIC 4.”The” EOS 5D Mark III uses that extra speed not only for improved image quality, but also to add no less than nine new features that do not exist on the 5D Mark II. These new features include six fps continuous shooting, HDR and Multiple Exposure modes, in-camera RAW processing, a comparative playback function, Scene Intelligent Auto mode, two forms of movie compression, and support for high-speed UDMA 7 Compact Flash memory cards.

Another extremely valuable feature enhanced by the DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor is the EOS 5D Mark III’s choice of reduced resolution M-RAW (10.5 megapixel) and S-RAW (5.5 megapixel) recording modes. These settings are particularly useful to wedding photographers for candid photos that do not require the EOS 5D Mark III’s 22 megapixel full resolution, because they take up less space on the memory cards and speed up post-processing without losing the critical benefits of RAW image data, such as highlight and shadow control as well as white balance adjustment. M-RAW and S-RAW also preserve the full field of view rather than cropping the image or resorting to JPEG mode to reduce resolution.

Canon 5D Mark III AF Sensor

High-Performance 61-Point High Density Reticular AF

For still photographers, Canon has included its new 61-point High Density Reticular AF System, originally introduced with the top-of-the-line EOS-1D X professional camera. A significant advancement over previous 5D-series AF systems, the new 61-Point High Density Reticular AF included in the EOS 5D Mark III is the most sophisticated SLR AF system Canon has ever released. All 61 points are manually selectable and sensitive to horizontal contrast with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/5.6. The camera’s twenty one focusing points in the central area are also standard precision cross-type and effective with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/5.6. The center five points are ultra-high-precision diagonal cross-type points for maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/2.8. The 20 outer focusing points function as high-precision cross-type points with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/4.0. Other innovations of the new 61-point High Density Reticular AF include expanded AF coverage area, superior focusing precision and low-light sensitivity to EV -2, and greater low-contrast subject detection capability compared to earlier EOS AF systems.

All AF functions now have their own menu tab for quick and easy access (formerly AF custom functions in previous EOS models). A new AF Configuration Tool allows for customized setting of tracking sensitivity, the acceleration and deceleration of tracking subjects, and AF point auto switching, all of which are easily accessed and adjusted via the new AF menu tab. A built-in Feature Guide advises photographers on which settings to use according to subject matter.

The EOS 5D Mark III uses the same high-performance AI Servo III AF tracking algorithm as the flagship EOS-1D X professional DSLR. This new feature works together with the 61-point High Density Reticular AF system to provide superb tracking performance that blends very well with the new camera’s 6 frames-per-second high-speed continuous shooting capabilities.

Similar to the AF point selection options offered in the EOS 7D and EOS-1D X camera models, the EOS 5D Mark III offers six AF point selection modes: Spot, Single Point, Single Point with surrounding four points, Single Point with surrounding eight points, Zone selection and Automatic AF point selection.

iFCL Metering

Complementing the EOS 5D Mark III camera’s 61-point AF system is Canon’s 63-zone iFCL dual layer metering system. The ‘FCL’ stands for ‘Focus, Color and Luminance,’ and references the fact that the metering system not only measures color and luminance data, but also analyzes the data provided by each point of the AF system. Canon’s iFCL metering keeps exposure levels stable from shot to shot, even as the light source changes. The camera’s autofocus information is also used to help determine which area of the scene is of greatest importance in determining exposure.

HDR Mode

The EOS 5D Mark III camera features a built-in HDR mode, merging three images at various exposure levels into a single image, in-camera, for stunning photographs of landscapes and architecture with enhanced tonal gradation beyond the range of the naked eye. The exposure levels in the camera’s HDR mode can be set to cover a range of up to ñ3 stops, in a choice of five settings: Natural, Art Standard, Art Vivid, Art Bold and Art Embossed providing unique visual effects. Individual source images can be saved as separate files, and the HDR mode has an optional automatic alignment function that can be useful for hand-held shooting. The EOS 5D Mark III’s standard Auto Exposure Bracketing function has been upgraded to allow for up to seven exposures per sequence, and exposure compensation can now be set for up to +/- 5EV.

Multiple Exposure Mode

The EOS 5D Mark III is the second EOS Digital SLR after the EOS-1D X to feature Multiple Exposure capabilities with the ability to combine up to nine individual images into a single composite image, with no need for post-processing in a computer. Four different compositing methods are provided for maximum creative control, including Additive, Average, Bright and Dark. Compositing results can be viewed in real time on the camera’s LCD monitor, and there is a one-step Undo command that allows photographers to delete an image and try again if desired. The EOS 5D Mark III camera’s Multiple Exposure mode even allows photographers to specify a previously captured RAW image as the starting point for a new Multiple Exposure composite image, or shoot continuously when photographing moving subjects.

Comparative Playback

A new feature seen for the first time in the EOS System on the 5D Mark III is Comparative Playback allowing photographers to display two images side by side on the camera’s 3.2-inch LCD screen. The images can be displayed with a histogram to check exposure levels, or magnified to check for focus or facial expressions.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III body design

Durability, Reliability and Other Features

The EOS 5D Mark III features a rugged camera body with magnesium alloy body covers and a stainless steel lens mount. The new camera also has dust- and moisture-resistant design with improved gaskets and seals. Although not quite as weatherproof as an EOS-1D-series camera, the EOS 5D Mark III does feature improved weather resistance over the EOS 5D Mark II model. The EOS 5D Mark III’s newly developed shutter unit has a durability rating of 150,000 exposures, and shutter release lag time has been reduced to 59 milliseconds, making the shutter button very responsive. Canon’s locking mode dial is standard on the new model and a new custom function allows photographers to shut off other dials to prevent inadvertent operation.

The EOS 5D Mark III uses the same LP-E6 lithium-ion battery pack as other popular EOS cameras like the 5D Mark II, 7D and 60D. Battery life is estimated at 950 exposures at normal temperatures, an improvement of 100 exposures more than the EOS 5D Mark II. The EOS 5D Mark III body weighs approximately 33.5 oz. with a battery installed, and the dimensions are approximately 6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0 inches.

The EOS 5D Mark III incorporates Silent shooting modes, available for low-speed continuous shooting as well as single exposures. This feature is ideal when photographing in quiet environments. For better file management especially when working with multiple cameras, the new model also supports custom file names. There is also a new image rating feature that lets photographers rank their photos from 1 to 5 stars for quick editing.

The EOS 5D Mark III features a 3.2-inch Clear View II LCD screen with 1,040,000 dot resolution. This is the same screen that’s used in the top-of-the-line EOS-1D X. The camera’s optical viewfinder has been upgraded to approximately 100 percent coverage, and it features an Intelligent Viewfinder display with an optional grid on demand. The EOS 5D Mark III also has a built-in Dual Axis Electronic Level that can be displayed on both the LCD screen and the optical viewfinder.

The EOS 5D Mark III accepts both Compact Flash Type 1 and SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards in a dual card slot configuration. Three recording methods are supported: Record the same data to both cards, record different file sizes or types to each card, or automatically switch to the second card when the first card is full.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III optional WFTE7a wireless transmitter

Accessories

The EOS 5D Mark III DSLR also has a number of new optional accessories, including the new Canon Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A featuring wireless LAN support for 802.”11″ a/b/g/n signal protocols for various network environments. The WFT-E7A connects to the camera through its USB port and includes a built-in gigabit Ethernet connection, time syncing for multiple cameras on the same network, FTP mode, EOS Utility mode, WFT Server mode and Media Server mode. With this new WFT model, professionals can synchronize clocks on multiple cameras and use the unit to support linked shooting when utilizing multiple cameras. In addition, Bluetooth-compatible equipment can be easily linked to the device as well.

The EOS 5D Mark III also has an optional Canon GPS Receiver GP-E2, which can be connected to the camera via the accessory shoe or a USB cable. With a GPS logging function built-in, the GP-E2 will log latitude, longitude, elevation, and the Universal Time Code – and allow viewing of camera movement on a PC after shooting. With its built-in compass, the GP-E2 receiver will also record camera direction when shooting, even when shooting vertically. The Canon GPS Receiver GP-E2 is compatible with the EOS-1D X and EOS 7Di as well as the EOS 5D Mark III.ii

Battery Grip BG-E11 is an optional accessory for the EOS 5D Mark III that accepts one or two LP-E6 lithium-ion battery packs or a set of six AA-size batteries. This new grip has a multicontroller and a multifunction (M.Fn) button together a with a full set of grip controls for easy operation when shooting portraits or other vertical format photos. The BG-E11 is made from sturdy magnesium alloy and has the same degree of weather resistance as the EOS 5D Mark III.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with optional Canon 600EX RT speedlite flash

Speedlite 600EX-RT

In addition to the EOS 5D Mark III, Canon is also announcing the first professional Speedlite on the market with a built-in wireless radio transmitter, the new Speedlite 600EX-RT. The new Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT is the flagship model in the Speedlite line, ideal for wedding portrait and photojournalism. Compatible with all EOS Digital SLRs, this new model eliminates the need for accessory radio slave units and their inherent limitations. Speedlite 600EX-RT features Master-Slave two-way transmission, letting the photographer control the Speedlite settings directly from the “Master” camera.

Radio-based Wireless E-TTL can be performed with up to 15 Speedlite 600EX-RT “slave units”, used off-camera up to 98.”4″ feet (30m) away, and triggered by either a “Master” 600EX-RT on-camera, or the optional new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT. Used with the EOS 5D Mark III or EOS-1D X, up to five groups of flashes can be completely controlled, independently, off-camera. And, it remains fully compatible with Canon’s legacy optical-based Wireless E-TTL technology, for users already committed to existing EOS Speedlites. The Speedlite features enhanced weather-resistant construction – matching that of the EOS-1D X camera body – and a more reliable electrical contact. The flash head zoom range now reaches from 20mm to 200mm.”The” Speedlite also allows remote shutter release of a single EOS camera, or Linked Shooting (simultaneous firing of up to 15 cameras, when one “Master” camera is fired), and includes gelatin filters and a dedicated filter holder to help photographers match ambient light.

Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT

Canon is also introducing the new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT. Providing full support of Canon’s new radio-based wireless flash technology, the new ST-E3-RT can control up to five groups of flashes, up to 98.”4″ feet (30m) from the camera. The remote shutter release capability enables photographers to either fire a single camera remotely (by pressing a button on the ST-E3-RT), or to fire up to 15 EOS cameras with Canon’s Linked Shooting feature. Making it easy to control and adjust, all of the Speedlite Transmitter features are accessible through the Flash control menu of the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III cameras.

Pricing and Availability

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR camera is expected to be available at the end of March 2012 and will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $3,799.99. The EOS 5D Mark III will also be available with the EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens in a kit for an estimated retail price of $4,649.99. The Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A is scheduled to be available by the end of April 2012 at an estimated retail price of $1199.99. Availability for GPS Receiver GP-E2 is expected by the end of April 2012, with an estimated retail price of $399.99. Battery Grip BG-E11 is scheduled to be available at the end of April 2012 for an estimated retail price of $449.99. The Bracket AB-E1 is expected in late April 2012 for the estimated retail price of $199.99. The Speedlite 600EX-RT and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT are also scheduled for end of March 2012 availability at estimated retail prices of $729.99 and $384.99 respectively.

To learn more about the Canon EOS 5D Mark III full frame format digital SLR check out the official Canon EOS 5D Mark III specifications (pdf).

Canon 5D Mark III SLR camera side view

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