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Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Third Time's a Charm

By Alvin Soon - 30 Mar 2012
Launch SRP: S$4699



More than three years ago, the Canon 5D Mark II became an unlikely revolutionary – its ability to shoot Full-HD video sparked off the video DSLR revolution, and in the time since, Canon's HD DSLRs have been used to film documentaries, TV series and even Hollywood movies.

Its successor, the 5D Mark III, is more of an evolution than a revolution, but as this review will show, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the Mark III is so much more improved over the Mark II that we could even describe the Mark III as an evolutionary leap - this camera could very well have been called the Mark IV and nobody would have batted an eyelid.

While megapixel count has not increased much, from the Mark II's 21.1MP to the Mark III's 22.3MP, performance has been greatly improved. The camera comes with Canon's Digic 5+ processor, which made its debut in the flagship 1D X. The Mark III's native ISO sensitivity has been increased as it can now shoot up to ISO25,600 and is expandable to ISO102,400. It also comes with dual-memory card slots, one for CF and one for SD. The Mark III is also faster, shooting at a maximum speed of six frames per second compared to the Mark II's four. And it gains the same 61-point AF system found in the 1D X, much more than the nine points found on the Mark II.

The following is a video of the local media launch of this new camera where we spoke to key Canon executives for their viewpoints of this camera and some of its handling highlights. And here's a comparison between the 5D Mark III and the Mark II:

Key Differences Between Canon EOS 5D Mark III & Mark II
Specification 5D Mark III 5D Mark II
Sensor 22.3MP Full-frame (36 x 24mm) 21.1MP Full-frame (36 x 24mm)
Max. Image Size 5760 x 3840 pixels 5616 x 3744 pixels
Image Processor Digic 5+ Digic 4
Max. Frames Per Second 6fps 3.9fps
ISO Sensitivty ISO100-25,600 (expandable to 102,400) ISO100-6400 (expandable to 25,600)
Auto-focus System  61-point high-density reticular AF
(up to 41 cross-type points)
9-point TTL
(1 cross-type point)
Exposure Metering Sensor iFCL metering with 63 zone dual-layer sensor TTL full aperture metering 35 zone SPC
Viewfinder Coverage 100% 98%
Storage Media  1x Compact Flash and 1x SD  1x Compact Flash
LCD Size  3.2-inch diagonal TFT-LCD  3.0-inch diagonal TFT-LCD 
LCD Resolution 1,040k dots  920k dots
Weather Sealed Yes No
Battery Life With viewfinder shooting: 950 shots at 23°C, 850 shots at 0°C With viewfinder: approx. 850 shots at 23°C, approx. 750 shots at 0°C
Dimensions 152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm 152 x 113.5 x 75mm 
Weight (body)  Approx. 860g  Approx. 810g 
Recommended Retail Price  US$3,499  US$2,699
  • Performance 9.5
  • Design 9.5
  • Features 9.5
  • User-Friendliness 9.5
  • Value 9
The Good
Excellent image quality
Improved handling
More responsive 61-point AF system
Fast six-frames per second shooting speed
The Bad
Video not much improved out of camera
No non-compressed video thru HDMI
Video rolling shutter effect still visible