After an extremely long wait, the Canon 5d mark III has finally been announced and it looks like Canon was kind enough to grant most of the things on my wish list. So lets take a closer look at what made it into the camera.

  • Advanced video codec ALL-I
  • Proper Headphone jack
  • Extended recording time of 29 min
  • Auto focus in video mode
  • High ISO in video mode (ISO 25,600)

What didn’t make it into the 5d mark III? 1080 60p mode, and a clean HDMI output signal, the second of which will probably spark a lot of complaints. Especially when you consider that the Nikon D800 has a clean 1080p output option and a pre order price that’s $500 less then the 5d mark III. Although with the massive 36.3 megapixel sensor on the Nikon D800, Canon will likely win the low light performance battle. At least the HDMI port on the mark III now outputs 720p 1080p instead of the meager standard definition signal of the mark II. The lack of 1080 60p mode isn’t something that will effect me very much, but it would have been nice to have a slow motion option available if I need it.

Another new feature that’s going to be handy is the silent scroll wheel. You’re probably wondering, “Why do I need a silent scroll wheel?”. Well the 5d mark III now has the option to adjust audio levels while filming, and you can now use the silent scroll wheel to increase or decrease audio levels as needed. So if you know your talent is about to deliver an extremely loud line, you can now ride the levels and prevent audio peaking.

What’s that you say? You want to take photographs with this thing? If so, you should be very happy in that department. For starters, Canon has increased the frame rate to 6fps (up from 3.9 fps) which brings the 5d mark III much closer to the speeds of the 7d. They’ve blessed the mark III with the much more advanced focusing system of the 1dx, which is years ahead of the mark II’s sad 9 point focus system. The new 100% view finder is a nice touch and the added 2 stops of low light performance means the mark III can see in the dark better then I can.

Two other interesting photo features are the in camera lens profiles that fix chromatic aberration in JPEG mode, and the in camera HDR mode. The lens profiles in the camera will save me the time and hassle of fixing the files in DPP. HDR mode on the other hand is more like a fun toy to play around with. For me HDR in camera is like the built in flip down tray for your glasses in a new car, you wont pick a car based solely on that feature, but if it’s there you might as well use it.

Pre orders are up on Amazon and B&H if you’re ready to take the dive. The 5d mark III is expected to start shipping at the end of this month. I set my alarm and put my pre order in at 3 a.m. so hopefully I’ll make it into the first batch of shipments. $3500 is a lot to spend on a new camera, it might be time for a yard sale.


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