Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Canon EOS 5D Mark III review

  1. #1
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Canon EOS 5D Mark III review

    Canon EOS 5D Mark III review

  2. #2
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Introduction
    Canon's EOS 5D Mark III has a lot to live up to. For a start, the original Canon EOS 5D was the first DSLR to really bring full-frame digital photography within the reach of enthusiast photographers. Then came its replacement, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which kick-started the current trend for shooting video on a DSLR.
    Buying guideBest Canon cameras 2012
    So naturally, as the 5D Mk II clocked up its third birthday in September 2011, the rumour mill slipped into overdrive with lots of speculation about the likely specification of the 5D Mk III.
    Even its name was a subject of debate, with Canon EOS 5DX and EOS 6D being other suggested alternatives.
    By the time Canon actually announced the EOS 5D Mark III on March 2 2012, its specification seemed almost a bit of a letdown, especially priced at £2,999 in the UK and $3,499 in the US for the body only.
    But while it might not have the headline-grabbing 36MP pixel count of the Nikon D800, Canon's latest full-frame camera has lots to offer enthusiast photographers.

  3. #3
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Specification

    With 22.3 million effective pixels, the Canon EOS 5D Mk III's sensor only has 1.2MP more than the 21.1MP Canon EOS 5D Mk II that it replaces, but it has 4.2MP more than the 18.1MP Canon EOS-1DX at the top of Canon's DSLR lineup.
    Whereas the Canon 1DX has two Digic 5+ processors, the 5D Mk II has one, which in combination with its eight-channel readout means that it has a top continuous shooting speed of 6fps.
    This is half the rate of Canon's top-end camera, and it may disappoint those hoping for something in the region of 8fps or more. It's a big jump from the 3.9fps of the Canon 5D Mk II, though, and the burst depth is an impressive 18 raw images or 16,270 JPEGs (when a UDMA 7 card is used).
    Sensitivity may be set in the range of ISO 100-25600 in 1/3-stop or whole stop increments, and it can be expanded to include L: ISO 50, H1: ISO 51200, H2 ISO 102400

  4. #4
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Autofocus

    The Canon EOS 5D Mark III has the same 61-point wide-area autofocus system as the flagship Canon EOS-1DX. This is a big improvement on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which has nine user selectable AF points and six assist points, giving a total of 15.
    Of these 61 points, 41 are cross-type and five are dual cross-type points, which is good news for accuracy. The customisable AF presets introduced in the Canon EOS-1D X are also available, which Canon claims helps when shooting more challenging subjects.
    It doesn't offer the f/8 sensitivity of Nikon's latest system though - it only extends to f/5.6, which restricts the use of teleconverters.

  5. #5
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Metering

    Predictably, Canon has upgraded the metering system to its iFCL metering. Existing Canon EOS 5D Mark II users may find it takes a little getting used to as it reacts in a similar way to centre-weighted metering and puts greater emphasis on the subject under the active AF point.
    In some situations this is a blessing, but with exceptionally dark or light main subjects the results may not be the same as the Canon EOS 5D Mk II would produce in its evaluative metering mode.

  6. #6
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Video

    Its video capability was one of the big successes of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, and Canon hasn't changed much of its specification for the Mark III version, but there are some significant improvements.
    Firstly there's the introduction of a live view/movie switch on the rear, like on the Canon EOS 7D, to speed up movie activation.
    There's also a headphone socket for monitoring the stereo audio, which can be adjusted in the same way as that on the Canon EOS-1DX.

  7. #7
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    HDR

    Until now Canon hasn't had a DSLR with in-camera HDR recording, but the Canon EOS 5D Mk III is capable of recording and merging three shots to produce a high dynamic range image.
    This is extremely useful, since it records all three shots as well as the processed HDR image, and if you shoot raw and JPEG images simultaneously, you'll find you have a total of seven images, including three raw files that you can process yourself if you wish.
    Another difference between the Mark 2 and 3 versions of the Canon EOS 5D is that the newer camera has two card ports, one for compact flash and the other for SD format cards. There's no XQD card port.

  8. #8
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Build and Handling
    According to Canon, the EOS 5D Mk III has better weatherproofing than the Mk II version. This is something that's difficult to test in the short term, but many enthusiasts and pros will be reassured by that knowledge.
    The camera is large, but not in the same league as the Canon EOS-1DX, since it lacks the additional portrait orientation grip and controls.
    The finger grip is covered in a textured rubber-like coating that helps it feel secure in your grasp, and the contours of the front and rear make it comfortable to hold.
    Overall there is a feeling of quality, and the magnesium alloy body doesn't squeak or creak when squeezed tightly.
    The body of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is largely unchanged from the Mark II's, but there are a few key differences. The pentaprism lump on the top, for example, is a little larger and more rounded to accommodate the AF module, which is 2.5x larger than the one in the Canon EOS 5D Mk II.
    There's also the live view/video switch on the back of the camera, which is within easy reach of the right thumb. In addition, Canon has added a couple of new buttons. The first of these is to access three creative options: Picture Styles, Multiple Exposure (up to nine images can be combined into one) and the HDR modes.
    Another new button is marked Rate, and pressing it in playback mode enables you to rate the image - one press for one star, two for two, and so on. These ratings are logged in the EXIF data and are visible in Adobe Bridge and Photoshop Elements.
    We found the Rate feature extremely useful when reviewing images taken during this test, since it makes sitting on the bus or train home from a shoot productive. You may not use it to make your final image selection, but it's useful for working out which are the best images to consider.
    Helpfully, pressing the Creative button in playback mode enables two images to be compared next to each other. It's rather odd that the image that's selected when the button is pressed is highlighted in blue as the one to change using either the main dial on the back of the camera or the smaller one on the front near the shutter release.
    However, pressing the Set button at the centre of the main dial switches to the second image.
    The Magnify and Rate buttons function during the comparison view and act on the selected image only.
    Pleasingly, Canon has given the EOS 5D Mark III the same 3.2-inch 1,040,000-dot Clear View II TFT LCD screen as the Canon EOS-1DX.
    The gap between the LCD display and its glass cover has been filled with an optical gel, and this helps to keep reflections at bay. We found that the screen provides a sharp, clear view even when shooting outside in bright sunlight.
    Given the Canon EOS 5D's reputation as video camera, it's a shame that Canon wasn't bold enough to give the Mark III version an articulating screen. Perhaps the hinge is considered too much of a weak point, or maybe Canon is saving that for the 4K-capable camera it announced was in development back in November last year.

  9. #9
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Performance
    The Nikon D800 is viewed by many as the natural competitor for the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Given its class-leading pixel count, it's not really a surprise that the Nikon D800 is capable of resolving more detail than the 5D Mark III.
    What is a little surprising, however, is that the Nikon camera also produces raw and JPEG images that have a higher dynamic range when the lower sensitivity images are used.
    We might have expected this to be the other way around, given that the pixels on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III's sensor have more space.
    It is only when the sensitivity of raw files is pushed to ISO 800, or the JPEG sensitivity is ISO 3200 or higher, that the Canon EOS 5D Mark III's dynamic range is higher than the Nikon D800's.
    Nevertheless, the Canon EOS 5D Mk III is extremely capable, and it resolves an impressively high level of detail in both raw and JPEG files, which only really starts to dip when the sensitivity is pushed to ISO 25,600.
    Our tests also show that from around ISO 100 and above, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III has a slightly higher signal to noise ratio than the Nikon D800, so images have less noise.
    However, as is usually the case, noise becomes quite noticeable when the upper sensitivity expansion settings (ISO 51,200 and ISO 102,400) are used, so these are best reserved for emergencies.
    We also found that at the top settings, the camera can struggle to render tonal gradations in some red subjects, and small patches of uniform tone appear, giving parts of the image a posterised appearance.
    Despite these issues, the Canon EOS 5D Mk III is capable of producing some very impressive results in low light.
    When shooting some BMX riders in dim light, for example, the sensitivity was pushed to ISO 12,800 and the JPEG results look very good at A3 size.
    Even at 100 per cent on the computer screen, images look respectable, with only a slight mottling of luminance noise and some softening of some fine details. Raw files, of course, can be processed to reveal a bit more detail provided you don't mind a bit of texture.
    Canon produces one of the best white balance systems around, and the one in the Canon EOS 5D Mark III doesn't disappoint. When set to the automatic setting, images look natural and generally retain the atmosphere of the shooting conditions.
    The Standard picture style is a great option for most situations, but others such as Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape are on hand, along with three custom options, if you want a different look.
    One of the key selling features of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is its impressive AF system, which is very similar to the Canon EOS-1DX's (except it doesn't detect colours or faces), and it has a dedicated menu section.
    However, this means that existing Canon EOS 5D Mark II users have a steep learning curve when shooting sport and action scenes.
    There are six AF Area Selection modes, including Spot AF (Manual Selection), Single-point AF (Manual Selection), AF Point Expansion (Manual Selection), AF Point Expansion (Manual Selection, Surrounding 8 Points), Zone AF (Manual selection of Zone) and 61-Point Automatic Selection AF.
    On top of this, the the AI Servo (continuous AF) mode characteristics such as tracking sensitivity, acceleration/deceleration tracking and AF point switching can be adjusted.
    Helpfully, there are a number of sport-orientated 'Case Studies' or setup arrangements that enable users to select the correct options for the subject.
    According to Canon UK's David Parry, Canon is working on other non-sports case studies that should be available in the future.
    We found that the AF system is fast and accurate. It did a good job of keeping up with skateboarders and BMX riders in subdued light in this test.
    Wildlife photographers may find the Canon EOS 5D Mark III's Quiet Mode useful, because unlike other quiet modes, it doesn't rely on the mirror being held up after the shot has been taken. Instead the mirror moves more slowly, and a new mechanism dampens the movement to reduce the noise.
    The end result isn't silent, but it's much quieter than in normal shooting mode, and it enables a maximum continuous shooting rate of 3fps.

  10. #10
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Resolution
    As part of our image quality testing for the Canon EOS 5D MK III we've shot our resolution chart.
    If you view our crops of the resolution chart's central section at 100% (or Actual Pixels) you will see that, for example, at ISO 100 the 5D MK III is capable of resolving up to around 28 (line widths per picture height x100) in its highest quality JPEG files.
    See a full explanation of what our resolution charts mean, and how to read them please click here.
    Examining images of the chart taken at each sensitivity setting reveals the following resolution scores in line widths per picture height x100:

    ISO 100
    JPEG images


    ISO 50, score: 24 (see full image)

    ISO 100, score: 28 (see full image)

    ISO 200, score: 28 (see full image)

    ISO 400, score: 26 (see full image)

    ISO 800, score: 26 (see full image)

    ISO 1600, score: 26 (see full image)

    ISO 3200, score: 26 (see full image)

    ISO 6400, score: 26 (see full image)

    ISO 12800, score: 24 (see full image)

    ISO 25600, score: 18 (see full image)

    ISO 51200, score: 14 (see full image)

    ISO 102400, score: 10 (see full image)
    Raw images


    ISO 50, score: 24 (see full image)

    ISO 100, score: 28 (see full image)

    ISO 200, score: 26 (see full image)

    ISO 400, score: 26 (see full image)

    ISO 800, score: 26 (see full image)

    ISO 1600, score: 26 (see full image)

    ISO 3200, score: 26 (see full image)

    ISO 6400, score: 26 (see full image)

    ISO 12800, score: 24 (see full image)

    ISO 25600, score: 18 (see full image)

    ISO 51200, score: 14 (see full image)


    ISO 102,400, score: 10 (see full image)

  11. #11
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Noise and dynamic range
    We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.
    A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.
    For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.
    We have compared the Canon 5D Mark III with the Nikon D800, Nikon D700 as well as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
    JPEG Signal to Noise Ratio

    Canon EOS 5D Mark III review: JPEG signal to noise ratioJPEG images from the Canon 5D EOS Mk III show a slight improvement in signal to noise ratio over the Canon EOS 5D Mk II at all but the lowest sensitivities. From around ISO 200 and above it also beats the Nikon D800 and Nikon D700.
    Raw signal to noise ratio

    Canon EOS 5D Mark III review: TIFF signal to noise ratioTIFF images (after conversion from raw) have a consistently good signal to noise ratio across the sensitivity range comparing closely to the Canon EOS 1Ds Mk III and just having the edge over the Nikon D800. It also shows a slight improvement at all sensitivities over the Canon EOS 5D Mk II.
    JPEG dynamic range

    Canon EOS 5D Mark III review: JPEG dynamic rangeThis chart shows that the Canon EOS 5D Mk III's JPEG dynamic range is very respectable, beating both the Nikon D700 and the Canon EOS 5D II, but it can't beat the Nikon D800's JPEGs until around ISO 3200.
    Raw dynamic range

    Canon EOS 5D Mark III review: TIFF dynamic rangeTIFF files (after conversion from raw) have a high dynamic range with results comparing closely to the Nikon D4 and D800. Compared with the Canon EOS 5D Mk II, there is a marked improvement showing over 2EV greater range at the lower end of the sensitivity scale.

  12. #12
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Sample images
    The iFCL metering performed well here, the highlights in the petal have not burned out.
    See full res image
    Although the LCD screen has a wide viewing angle and reflections aren't a major issue, when you are shooting from very low angles it is impossible to see the subject without lying flat on the ground.
    See full res image
    The 5D Mark III has a wide dynamic range, but it can't capture detail in both the dark shadow and the sky here - one for HDR mode.
    See full res image
    HDR Mode sequence images

    Normal exposure - the left side of the sky has burned out
    See full res image
    The over-exposed shot taken as part of the HDR sequence.
    See full res image
    The under-exposed shot taken as part of the HDR sequence.
    See full res image
    The in-camera HDR result, there are no true blacks or whites in this image, but the end result is natural looking.
    See full res image
    High ISO, 6fps sequence

    Aesthetically, this and the other images in the sequence would benefit from cropping, but we have included the full scene so you can examine the whole image. The camera managed to keep the cyclist in focus from the approach, to take off and throughout the jump and landing.
    See full res image
    See full res image
    See full res image
    See high res image
    This image has been shot at ISO 12,800 and really shows the low light capabilities of the 5D Mark III. Best seen at high res, an impressive amount of detail has been rendered.
    See high res image
    Colours directly from the 5D Mark III are represented well, as shown in this image shot in Auto White Balance.
    See high res image
    This is another image that shows the impressive color rendition of the 5D Mark III, shot at Auto ISO, the camera has coped well in a dark (indoor) situation.
    See high res image
    This image shows the incredibly shallow depth of field effects that can be achieved when using a full-frame camera (shot at f/2.8)
    See high res image
    Shot at ISO 8000, if you look closely at the high res image you can see how much detail has been resolved in the fabric. An impressive amount that would be more than usable for most photographers.
    See high res image
    See high res image
    The 5D Mark III has 61 autofocus points, and we've found that it is able to lock onto the subject quickly and easily, even in low light and difficult scenarios.
    See high res image
    Even at incredibly high ISOs such as ISO 20,000 as seen in this picture, the images remain usable - again it's best to have a look at the high res image to truly get a feel for how well the noise has been controlled.
    See high res image
    For comparison, this image has been shot at the camera's highest possible ISO setting (Hi2), which is ISO 102,400.
    See high res image
    This image was shot using the Canon 100mm Macro 'L' lens. Selecting one of the 61 autofocus points allows you to hone in on fine detail.
    See high res image
    Autofocus settings can be changed to use zone AF, which clusters together autofocus points into zones selectable via the joystick on the back of the camera.

  13. #13
    Banned Major General
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ------------
    Posts
    39,713
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Verdict
    While the key specification changes since the 5D Mark II largely just bring the Canon EOS 5D Mark III into line with Canon's existing DSLRs, we're impressed with the results from the new camera.
    Raw and JPEG images have plenty of detail, noise is well controlled at the higher native sensitivity settings and colour and exposure are generally very good.
    Canon has also clearly put in a lot of thought about how enthusiasts use a camera, and the new HDR system is the best on the market.
    Images are generally well exposed, thanks to the iFCL metering, and the white balance and Picture Styles deliver the colour and tones we expect from a top-end Canon camera.


    We liked

    Provided you keep the camera reasonably still, the Canon EOS 5D Mk III's HDR mode does a great job of aligning and merging images, plus you have the fallback of all the raw and JPEG files if you want.


    We disliked

    Existing Canon EOS 5D Mark II users will find the AF system more complex than they're used to. While this is an improvement, the various AF-point selection mode options and characteristic adjustments can be a little confusing.


    Final verdict

    While it may not have excited the photographic world in the same way that the Nikon D800 seems to have, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a very capable camera.

    It suffers a little from the fact that the majority of the systems have been seen elsewhere in the Canon DSLR lineup, and therefore there is nothing really groundbreaking..
    Image quality throughout the native sensitivity range is excellent, noise is well controlled and there's plenty of detail. The AF system has been given a serious upgrade on what the Canon EOS 5D Mark II version has, and it puts in an excellent performance.
    Costing £2,999/$3,499 for the body only, however, the price seems a little on the high side.

Similar Threads

  1. Canon S100 review
    By funky_sam in forum Mobile and Gadgets
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 13-11-2011, 07:16 PM
  2. Canon vs. Nikon [infographic]
    By funky_sam in forum Mobile and Gadgets
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 23-09-2011, 02:38 PM
  3. Review: Canon PowerShot A800
    By funky_sam in forum Mobile and Gadgets
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 20-08-2011, 05:49 PM
  4. Kang Yui ina Canon Event
    By passion_unlimitedd in forum International Celebrities
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 10-11-2009, 10:09 AM
  5. Kang Yui [Canon-Event]
    By miskozee in forum Chit Chat Corner
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 09-11-2009, 09:56 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •