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Canon Finally Announces the EOS 5D Mark III (Updated)

by Philippe Dame on March 2nd, 2012

Canon has JUST announced the long awaited Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Anyone want to buy a lightly used EOS 7D? Canon also announced a new top-end flash unit, the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT.

Quick Rundown:

  • 22.3MP full-frame sensor (about the same as Mark II)
  • 14-bit A/D conversion
  • Digic 5+ processor
  • All new 61 AF point system (41 cross-type)
  • ISO range of 50-102400
  • 6.0 fps continuous shooting
  • Automatic 4GB file partitioning for long videos
  • 3.2″ LCD (no swivel)
  • Built-in HDR and multi-exposure options
  • Dual CF and SD card slots and more.

The body alone will be US$3,499 / CAD$3,799 while the kit that includes the 24-105mm f/4 lens will set you back US$4,299 / CAD$4,649. Pre-order it now by following the linked prices.

Formal details are on the Canon USA website.

For me, this camera lacks a built-in radio-trigger to command the brand new Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT. It doesn’t even include the existing wireless flash commander found in the EOS 7D, 60D and T3i as it lacks a pop-up flash.

Overview (from B&H)

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital camera is a full-frame 22.3MP DSLR featuring exceptional still image and move recording capabilities. Integrating Canon’s new DIGIC 5+ Image Processor and 14-bit A/D conversion, this camera is able to produce superbly detailed imagery with immense low-light sensitivity that is further aided by an extended ISO range up to 102400. Image quality is further enhanced by the new 61-point high density reticular autofocus, including up to 41 cross-type AF points and 5 dual diagonal AF points for ensured sharpness. iFCL metering works in conjunction with the AF system and uses color information from scenes to produce accurate exposure readings using a 63 zone dual-layer metering sensor. HDR and Multiple Exposure modes provide greater creative opportunities and help you to reduce the amount of post-production time needed to produce high quality imagery. The 5D Mark III is also capable of recording full HD video with manual exposure control and in multiple frame rates, including 1080/30p and 720/60p. Still images can also be recorded up to 6fps.

Image review is possible using the 1,040,000-dot 3.2″ Clear View II LCD monitor, which features a high-transparency, reflection resistant multi-coating for adequate viewing under bright conditions. The Intelligent Viewfinder also integrates a superimposed LCD providing you with exposure information and features a 100% field of view.

A highly durable magnesium-allow body surrounds the components and offers increased dust and weather resistance. An updated EOS Integrated Cleaning system also helps to reduce and remove dust within the camera body. Several of the physical controls on the camera body are fully customizable for a more efficient workflow and more convenient handling scheme. Dual CF and SD memory card support also increases the compatibility of the camera. Support is also provided for the optional Canon Wireless File Transmitter and GPS receiver for remote logging, tracking, and sending of your imagery.

22.3 Megapixel Full-Frame CMOS Sensor

A newly designed 22.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor is incorporated into the 5D Mark III providing you with highly detailed, rich images with a maximum resolution of 5616 x 3744 pixels. The sensor is also features a high S/N ratio and larger individual pixels for increased visual depth and cleaner looking images. A new photodiode structure and increased photoelectric conversion rate also helps to improve the overall sensitivity of the sensor, resulting in a reduction in image noise and improved high ISO performance.

DIGIC 5+ Image Processor

Processing speed and power are increased to promote significantly greater overall performance and response from all aspects of the camera. New algorithms are incorporated in order to promote better noise reduction for higher ISOs and chromatic aberration compensation. The increase in processing speed also helps to improve the continuous shooting rate, bringing it to 6 full-resolution frames-per-second.

14-bit A/D Conversion

The 14-bit signal processing helps to improve the quality and gradation of images by producing more natural, smooth-looking results. An increased ISO range is also provided, from 100 to 25600 in standard modes and 50 to 102400 in expanded modes. The ISO range can be controlled and customized depending on the user’s preferences, and additionally an auto ISO mode can be employed. This extended sensitivity range helps to counter frequently changing and difficult lighting situations and significantly minimizes noise when photographing with even the top-rated sensitivity.

61-Point High Density Reticular AF

The newly designed 61-point autofocus interface helps to ensure critical focus no matter how complex or difficult the situation is. Featuring up to 41 cross-type AF points (with f/4 lens support) and 5 dual diagonal AF points (with f/2.8 sensitivity); this AF system is highly accurate and extremely low-light sensitive.The dedicated AF menu tab permits quick and easy access, eliminating the need to navigate through settings menus in order to modify your AF settings. Autofocus point selection is broken up into 6 different methods-Spot, Single Point, Single + 4 Adjacent Points, Single + 8 Adjacent Points, Zone Selection, and Automatic AF Point Selection-as well as a dedicated AF configuration tool for control of AI Servo AF III tracking parameters.

The AF system functions from a 100,000-pixel RGB metering sensor, which helps aid in automatic AF point selection. This is especially crucial when using autofocus with subjects that are moving quickly. The EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) recognizes these subjects based on face and color and employs AF points to continue to track subjects while moving. These settings can be altered and saved for later use.

iFCL 63-Zone Dual Layer Metering Sensor

An intelligent metering system works in conjunction with the autofocus system and independently analyzes ‘Focus, Color, and Luminance’ within the scene for the most precise exposure settings possible. The 63 zones cover the entire image area with great detail and the dual-layer design permits a wider sensitivity to different wavelengths of light.The dual layers are split into a red/green channel and a blue/green channel; which counters the red light sensitivity bias electronic sensors inherently have. A series of algorithms are employed to combine data received from both layers, with the resulting exposure reading being extremely accurate regardless of the shooting conditions.

EOS HD Video

Full HD video recording is supported in multiple formats, including 1080/30p, 24p, 25p; 720/60p, 50p; 480/60p, 50p. While recording video, a 4GB automatic file partition is employed in order to gain longer continuous recording times, up to 29 minutes 59 seconds. Both All i-frame and IPB compressions are supported as well as the standard H.264/MPEG -4 AVC codec. Embedding the time code is also possible for greater convenience when recording with multiple cameras.Video performance is further enhanced with the ability to manually adjust your exposure settings and audio levels while recording. By employing Live View, you can view your recording on the LCD and make settings changes with a dedicated menu tab on the fly. The DIGIC 5+ processor also dramatically improves video response times and helps to reduce color artifacts, aberrations, and moiré.

Rugged and Efficient Design

Constructed from magnesium-alloy, the 5D Mark III features a toughened housing that provides enhanced dust and weather resistance. Its ergonomic design also produces an intuitively navigable interface with an emphasis on lessening hand strain and increasing functionality. Handling is simplified and natural with this body due to the incorporation of customizable controls, an internal headphone terminal, and dual card slots supporting both CF and SD memory cards.A newly designed shutter is equally as durable and has been tested up to 150,000 cycles. The lightweight, carbon fiber blades also provide support for the increased 6fps burst rate.

The body construction also features extensive gasketing for maximum dust and weather protection, even at connection points around the lens, hot shoe, and memory card slots. Further dust protection and removal is aided by an updated EOS Integrated Cleaning system that uses a vibration-based dust removal process.

Intelligent Viewfinder

The optical viewfinder provides a 100% field of view with 0.71x magnification and a wide viewing angle of 34.1%deg;. A refined design integrates aspherical lens elements into the construction and lessens distortions and color aberrations while providing greater clarity for composing imagery. In addition to a clear view, a superimposed, transparent LCD is also incorporated. This Intelligent Viewfinder mode can be toggled on or off quickly at the touch of a button, allowing you to remove all camera information for unobstructed viewing. The information provided when it is on includes a customizable display of focus points and grid lines, which can also be directed to appear outside of the image area.Canon’s Dual Axis Electronic Level can also be used in conjunction with the Intelligent Viewfinder and visually displays pitch and roll angles, aiding in properly level horizons. When used in the viewfinder, this feature can display +/- 6° of roll and +/- 4° of pitch in 1° increments when held horizontally (the inverse is shown when held vertically). The electronic level is particularly useful for landscape photographers and those working with tilt and shift lenses whose angle of view is especially critical.

3.2″ Clear View II LCD Monitor

The expanded 3.2″ Clear View II LCD provides high quality viewing with a 1,040,000-dot resolution and anti-reflection coating. This allows for sharp and clear viewing in even the brightest of conditions and displays images and videos with great detail and richness. The display also features a viewing angle up to 170° for review from the side or below.The Dual Axis Electronic Level is also functional in on the LCD and can display a full 360° of roll and +/- 10° of pitch in 1° increments. When used in conjunction with Live View mode, a smaller display is placed over the image. Live View mode permits real-time image review and can also place grid lines over the image for compositional help. You can also zoom into and navigate within the image when in Live View and use the grid lines for minute control and precision over the alignment of your photograph.

Multiple Exposure and High Dynamic Range

Multiple exposures are possible in-camera and up to 9 exposures can be recorded onto a single file using 4 distinct settings for control. When in Additive mode, this closely resembles making multiple exposures on film and layers each exposure; manual exposure compensation is required. Average mode layers the images and automatically compensates for the final exposure, eliminating the unintended possibility of gross under or overexposure. Bright mode is specifically designed for photographing in uniformly dark scenes with a bright subject, such as a studio environment. Dark mode functions inversely, and helps to eliminate overly bright sections of the image including reflections and highlights.A High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode is also incorporated and allows for the creation of HDR images in-camera, reducing the time needed to manually overlay images in post-production. When using this mode, a series of bracketed exposures are made of the same image, then automatically integrated into the same frame, resulting in a photograph without blown highlights or blocked up shadows and a long middle range of tones. This mode is especially useful when photographing scenes with a great deal of contrast.

Wireless and GPS Compatible

The 5D Mark III is compatible with the WFT-E6A Wireless File Transmitter as well as the GP-E1 GPS Receiver. The WFT-E6A provides LAN and Bluetooth image transfers and features an image resend function to ensure file delivery even if the signal momentarily drops. The GP-E1 automatically embeds location data into the images’ metadata, including latitude, longitude, elevation, and the camera’s orientation in relation to a compass reading when shooting. Both of these accessories do not compromise the 5D Mark III’s dust and weather resistance and are designed to the same rugged specifications.

New Accessories

Canon has also announced a set of accessories for the new camera. These include a battery grip, GPS receiver and a wireless file transmitter.

Battery Grip

The battery grip doubles your battery life and duplicates all the shutter and thumb-buttons so you can use the camera comfortable in portrait orientation. It sell for US$349. You can expect a lot of off-brand copies to be released in the coming months that will be half price.

 

GPS Receiver

The GPS receiver tags your photos with GPS coordinations and will do so for US$269. This also appears to sit on your flash shoe so you can forget about using your on-camera flash at the same time.

Wireless File Transmitter

And finally, the Wireless File Transmitter allows you to instantly transfer photos via WIFI or Bluetooth to a computer in your home or studio. It’s a whopping US$850. This one confuses me the most as the latest $300 Canon Elphs include WIFI file transfer!

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