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Canon 5D Mark III Footage Gets Graded, and More Tests Begin Hitting the Web

03.21.12 @ 12:58PM Tags : , , ,

There certainly can be more important issues to worry about than the camera you’re using, but as I’ve said, the right camera can make your life that much easier on set. As cameras begin arriving at doorsteps in the next couple of weeks, we’re going to get plenty more videos of the Canon 5D Mark III. We’ve got a couple interesting videos to check out below, and thankfully all of them are available for download from Vimeo so they can be properly tested. If you’d like to try them out for yourself, be sure to download the original.

We’ve one from Dan Chung who got an early 5D Mark III. This one gets a bit garbled but it’s the 5D Mark III first, followed by the Canon C300. Be sure to visit Dan’s Vimeo account and download all of them. It’s clear the C300 resolves quite a bit more detail:

The C300 is a better camera, but many of us weren’t expecting Canon to blow away the market for their high-end camera with a DSLR priced at $3500. Price points are a huge factor for companies, and it’s that extra bit of R&D and sensor development that gives us such clean resolution on the C300.

Stu Maschwitz took this clip from Dan Chung and did a simple grade. Looks like it holds up very nicely, something we couldn’t necessarily say for the older Canon footage.

It’s also worth noting that Canon has changed their color space from the previous DSLRs, and they are now using the standard REC-709. That’s a huge step in the right direction in my opinion. Here’s one from EOSHD:

Again, streaming doesn’t seem to be doing the ALL-I codec any justice, so you really should download the originals. There’s another clip from EOSHD on the Vimeo site.

Here’s a quick one comparing High ISOs of the 5D Mark II and the 5D Mark III:

It seems like the consensus so far is that we’re not getting much more resolution than the 5D Mark II, but compression is greatly improved, and moire and aliasing don’t seem to be much of an issue. Canon looks to have improved the Mark III in a few areas, but not necessarily in others. It’s an amazing camera – we should get that out of the way – and you should not be disappointed, but you’ve got to weigh your options when you consider spending that much money on a camera body. I know for me, once I tasted full frame and was able to fully utilize my 35mm lenses, I had a hard time trying to go back.

It’s going to be an interesting couple of months with NAB just around the corner. If the rumors are true we might be seeing yet another new camera from Canon in just a few short months.

What features really matter to you? Which improvements are worth the money? Let us know in the comments.

Links: Stu Maschwitz & EOSHD & Dan Chung

[via Prolost & EOSHD]


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Description image 49 COMMENTS

  • Miguel James on 03.21.12 @ 1:03PM

    Great post.

  • Everywhere I hear, the mark III has much better aliasing and moire reduction from the previous version of the camera. I personally own a GH2 and have BARELY ever seen any moire or aliasing from its footage, so I was wondering if the moire and aliasing reduction on the Mark III is close to that of on the GH2.

  • Why does all the 5d Mark III footage look a little soft? Im kinda worried, might just be ggeting the Mark II or the GH2…

    • John Jeffreys on 03.21.12 @ 2:16PM

      most people are just really bad at focusing

    • If you are in the market for a new cam, I would hold off a few weeks until NAB. I have a feeling we will be seeing a few new cameras/developments from a few of the major players and that will probably help you make your decision.

    • I just bought a used MKII

  • Jordan Carr on 03.21.12 @ 2:56PM

    Not looking very good for the Canon MK3.

    I think we now know the reason Canon NEVER released 1080 footage before the camera came out.


  • If I’m going to spend that much money on a body, it better beat the current competition hands down. The Mark III (to me) seems only marginally better. I might as well go the GH2 route and buy two bodies. The 4k dslr will probably be a lot more than the Mark III, so I don’t see that as an option.

    It’s either the GH2, GH3, or thew Sony A99 as far as I’m concerned. Those who wait (at least till the end of this year) are going to reap the rewards.

    • Couldn’t agree more.

      As it stands it’s an insane amount of money for marginal updates. I’m waiting on either the Bolex, KineRaw, Scarlet or some other lower budget RAW camera because I plan on making a good amount of features and these cameras are a great starting point spec-wise for a feature film.

      Yes I know many features are shot on the 5dmark 2 but I’ve graded both RAW and the pathetic 8 bit compressed h.264 and the difference is enormous. I would rather grade RAW anytime over anything else. The amount of flexibility you gain is insane.

      When I grade DSLR footage I feel like I’m trying to hide the flaws, when I grade RAW footage I feel like an artist lol.

      • I cant stand it when people complain about the price of the DSLR’s… People always seem to forget that these cameras are released for photographers first, cinematographers SECOND.

  • First I want to see a resolution comparison with the 5d 3 vs. 5d 2, and how many stops of dynamic range it has… Then I will decide whether I upgrade or not. Although the All-I compression, 1080p HDMI out while recording and the incredible noise performance are already extremely strong reasons to go with the new 5D, right?

  • Mark my words, once we start looking at resolution charts, what our eyes are telling us will become more apparently true: the 5dmkIII is resolving no more detail than the 5dmkII, possibly even LESS. The 5dmkIII is just using a stronger low pass filter. The softness, unfortunately, has nothing to do with bad focusing. Or noise reduction smearing.

    I’ll say it again: Canon reduced aliasing and moire by a low pass filter, not by full 1080P scan line read-outs of the sensor. PERIOD.

    The strengths are the high ISO’s which are beautiful, the compression. We’ll have to see how some good unsharpen filters in post do, but my conclusion is we have LESS resolution in video mode than on the 5dmkII.

    Feel free to disagree and prove me wrong. I’d like to hear your take.

    • And yes the GH2 is sharper and has full read outs of the sensor for true or close 1080P, but it takes over 4x the processing power to scan a FF sensor vs a 4/3′s sensor. Remember that. Also remember, the stills are far more superb on the 5dmkII and mkIII, and high ISO’s blow the GH2 out of the water.

      Field of view on a FF is an entire different experience as well.

      In conclusion, add these points together and choose your battle. For me, I may pick up a GH2 and hack it since I have a MKII.

      • Jordan Carr on 03.21.12 @ 5:05PM

        There is no detail at the higher ISO so it doesn’t matter if there is no noise.

        The Red Epic and MX are noisy as heck but David Fincher didn’t have trouble shooing with small lights in the dead of winter for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

        The whole “high iso” myth is BS. Again a waxy smooth image without noise is pointless if there is no detail. People are used to seeing noise cling to shadows – ie film. It doesn’t bother them.

        Besides, with the new version of Neat Video you can attack color noise and produce and image from a GH2 at night that destroys the MK2 and likely this new MK3.

        Again if you have no detail and your video is mushy – nobody will appreciate that it is noise free.

        Not attacking you – just throwing my .02 cents in.


        • I agree to a degree. Where film and RED will produce a pitch black image, the MKIII produces an image of full color because of high ISO. So now you have a mushy image that is clean vs. a black image in 4k.

          Really, we all use external lighting and tricks to achieve night shots, but clean ISO’s in the high range mean you can do more ‘run and gun’ gritty filmmaking.

          Again, my concern is the softness of the mkIII which I do agree is an issue.

    • I made a little test based on the one from Dan Chung on how the footage of the 5Dm3 can look after applying sharpening filters in post. It looks a lot better, but sure is the c300 still an other league.

      Check it out:

  • Jordan Carr on 03.21.12 @ 4:45PM

    It is a shame really. If Sony wanted to shake things up they could drop the price of the FS100 a bit and steal all of Canons video thunder.

    The FS100 destroys everything I have seen from the MK3 even without being connected to a Hyperdeck – superior color, more resolution, 60p at 1080, more lens options, a swivel screen, HDMI out for uncompressed video. And it has been on sale for $4500 – only $1k more than the MK3.

    I think you REALLY have to want the Canon for stills because the video doesn’t hack it – and yes I just tried one at my local shop. The employees are baffled as to why the video is so mushy looking.

    The only saving grace for the Canon at this point is a potential Magic Lantern hack.

    • I gotta agree that the fs100 destroys but I don’t see the price coming down, Its only downside is no nds, and bad ergonomics, but these aren’t pitfalls, when you take into account that no camera in its price range can match image quality, ((for GH2 guys) what i mean is Luminance reproduction and Color reproduction, not just sharpness), sony’s really not feeling as much pressure as lets say panasonic, the Af100 has been outclassed by a few cameras, and is due for a serious price cut and new model. But Panasonic is company I don’t really trust. Sony cameras retain more value, I’m pretty sure I can by an hvx for $1500 but ex1′s used are still around 4k. I think similar things are gonna happen to the af100 and fs100

  • gosh! It’s really soft! I have a MKII and a GH2. Been using a lot the GH2 hacked with Neat video and it blows MKII… Resolution is not even close to GH2. Really. For photos MKII is awesome and that’s it! Period.

    I think MKIII will be a huge success on the photography world. More than ever canon left the message: This is a great still cam with some good video capabilities. Not the inverse.

    Want a great cam? Pay the premium of the over priced C300…

    GH3 with S35 sensor??? Is that possible Panny??? Please!!!!

    • not possible at the current price of the Gh2 without line skipping or binning, which then would take out the resolution. Also, to say it blows away the 5dmkII overall in video is simply not true. Sharpness, resolution, YES, but an image is more than that. We want good DR, color reproduction, roll-off of the highs, cinematic looks. The Gh2 is not as filmic as the mkII.

      • Have you tested the GH2 hacked? Seriously… It’s a beast! With good fast primes you get images that only FS100, C300 can produce, but hey… they cost a “little” more. I can treat shadows and grade it to hell…

        I think that MKIII is a good update, they controled moire and Aliasing, less compression (GH2 also with higher resolution) and low light up to 2 stops. Very good indeed, but all that for $3500.

        With 1k more you can buy a FS100 and throw an external recorder. Thing that we wanted so badly to happen with MKIII.

        they’re hiding 1080p material from camera for a reason… Now we all know.

        But for stills it is a real beast, so many AF points!!

      • So are you saying that super16mm isn’t “filmic” as well because the diameter is smaller than super 35mm? Because the M4/3 sensor is actually LARGER than super16.

        The depth of field is the way it is due to larger diameter sensor AND fast lenses. It’s not just a single factor. People have been using the GH2 with fast lenses and better resolution w/o anyone mistaking it for being non “filmic”, which is a goofy term to begin with.

        Lastly, the DR range has improved drastically in the GH2 with the latest hack updates. And even if it didn’t, what difference does it make if the highlight roll off is better on the MKIII if the image is muddy to begin with?

        • Now wait, where did you hear me say “not filmic because of DOF or field of view?” I said the Gh2 has better, sharper resolution because it is not line skipping. But filmic means: non plastic look, controlled edges, rich colors, high-light roll off (knee), great skin tones, ect. There is a reason pro guys who have tested both (PB for example and others) still prefer the mkII in many ways.

          All that to say, I bring this up because the OP said:”it blows the 5dmkII.” There is more to it than pure resolution.

          Now all of this said, I may purchase a Gh2 and hack it.

  • Serious cinematographers just want to stay as far as they can from DSLR’s.
    Ok , they blowed down the industry , but its past .

    And canon are saying , Hey serious folks , , do not buy a C300 , but you are getting stucked.
    Stucked in 8bits , Stucked in one lens mount , Stuck with 16k expenses….. , no one will want it.

    Go for Scarlet….the best deal in town.

    C300 probably is the best choice for broadcasting overall purposes…because she is tiny and compact with bateries…not for narrative…
    but you will still get stucked in less than 2 years.

  • Great reviews and all the test videos that are pouring in look fantastic!

    I’m now officially a RED guy – never thought these words would come from my mouth but I’m just so done with all the tests and noise evaluations and pans of plants and ducks cut to lame music. I made my last feature on a 7D and we’ve done well with it but no more. Scarlet here I come!

  • Waiting to see what the Bolex has to offer…I am just tired of those companies that does not care about what filmmakers are looking for.

    • Jordan Carr on 03.22.12 @ 12:59AM

      Bolex is a LONG way away. Have you followed their website?

    • Please rephrase because Arri, Sony, and RED make cameras that “filmmakers” love, some are even better than film. I think that dslr shooters are mad because companies won’t give them everything packaged in a 1000 dollar body, that’s just being spoiled.

      • Jordan Carr on 03.22.12 @ 6:01PM

        The MK3 is $3500 and the Sony FS100 is $4500 or used for $4000. And the FS100 is a year old and well beyond the Canon with its 60p at 1080, superior color, and superior resolution.

        It is CANON that brought all this upon themselves.

        They are the ones that advertise “The next revolution in DSLR film making” for the MK3.

        They are the ones that release low res 720 videos to hide the fact that they knew they don’t have a true 1080 DSLR with the MK3.

        I am glad people online were suspicious that Canon NEVER released 1080 files from the MK3 – but boy do I feel bad for people who don’t follow forums and are now stuck with 2007 technology and or getting hit with a 15% restocking fee.

      • That’s not it at all.
        Canon had more than ample time to upgrade the MKIII to updated standards. Proper 1000-line resolution, moire and rolling shutter elimination. Truthfully, I’d be happy with JUST 1000 lines, as it would more than likely alleviate the other issues.

        But instead, we get a sub par product that’s overpriced and has very little benefit (low light boost and a headphone jack). Seriously, people have a right to be PO’ed. Especially after waiting for 3-4yrs AND with Canon’s false advertising.

  • I’m going to have markIII on monday for few days to test. I’ll also have my markII with me.
    Be a part of it! What kind of tests would you like me to do?

    • None, thanks. There’s more than enough out there already.

    • Hey,

      What interests me most is rolling shutter. I doubt a bit that reducing it by half (which is a GREAT thing from Canon to do) would greatly affect my style of film making, that, of course, avoids all sources for rolling shutter as much as possible. Even half the amount of it will not make it possible to shot the fast paced stuff that I want to, at least with a 5D. As soon as I can rent a C300 here in Frankfurt, I’ll probably go for it for ‘action’ shots.

  • Regarding the collor correction difficulties that the MkII still has: What about Magic Lantern’s attempts to finally get an uncompressed HDMI video output from the Canon DSLR-cameras through “Magic Lantern Unified”? Of course that would still have aliasing issues but at least the grading of the color space would become really comfortable. Do you guys doubt this is possible or have Magic Bullet indicated that it won’t be possible after all? Thus far, only Jordan Carr has mentioned it.


    • Jordan Carr on 03.22.12 @ 5:53PM

      Problem is that Alex at Magic Lantern had 3 years to hack the MK2 and was never (nor was anyone else) able to increase the resolution or decrease the jellow effect with the CMOS read out.

      So while I cross my fingers for a nice hack – If he couldn’t do much with the MK2 after 3 YEARS….I have little hope for the MK3. By the time it gets hacked a half dozen better cameras will be flooding the market.

      Save your money and rent true cinema cameras like the FS100, F3, Scarlet, Alexa, Epic.

      Take care!

      • Hey John,

        In case it came out wrong: I don’t want to buy a MK3. Owing a MK2 I don’t find great use in buying an expensive, yet rather slightly improved Mk3, that doesn’t really fix problems to an extent that would justify the cost. Since I don’t own a lot of money at the moment, the Mk2 I bought 2 years ago still seems to be the best bargain for me: It teaches me a lot about full frame cinemato- and photography while the glasses I buy will very likely also be used with a professional camera I might work with someday. Having shot on DSLR, 16mm and DV (in collaboration with my DoP) I treasure the 35mm-look of the 5D and was allways willing to take all the camera’s disadvantages (aliasing, r.shutter, compression) in order to actually have a full frame movie camera that I can take with me all the time.

        Long story short: I was asking about M.Bullet Unif. with my 5D Mk2 in mind. And since aliasing and r.shutter might have something to do with the slow processor of that camera and occur before the actual compression takes place, I can imagine that the computation of a lossless HD-signal drom inside the camera could be directed towards an external recorder. Keeping the working mechanisms of the camera in mind, I dare to hope :).


  • Is it just me or everything that used to be reasonably priced is getting more and more expensive? I understand they are making improvements on gear but you think with competition growing and technology getting better the prices won’t grow as much.

    • Jordan Carr on 03.22.12 @ 9:39PM

      Chris you are right – part of what we are seeing is because of the recent trouble in Japan. Sony Canon and Nikon were hit hard. And with ram and hdd plants hit with the flooding in Thailand, prices are not at the levels they were 2-3 years ago given progress we would expect.

      The excepting being LG and Samsung, Korean companies – they continue to dominate the low cost price wars in the Television market.

      Sadly they don’t produce quality Cinema products yet.

      • For what the 5d mark ii delivered as far as video was concerned it was never reasonably priced, it was a steal. It produced a better image than an 8k hvx200 dof adaptor rig (which sounds ridiculous now adays but was very popular) for 1/3 of the price. Maintaining that sort of deal moving forward would not make much sense from a profits point of view Canon raised the price to rectify supply and demand equilibrium.

        Think of them as a Jetblue, they introduced inflight tv and low prices, changed the game, like dof and dslr prices, they gained tremendous market share and competitors had to react. Now Jetblue and Canon, since they have a loyal customer base, due to being the originators in a static market can raise their prices matching the competitions pricing selling the same product. The new successful company on the block with the new hot product eventually becomes the same as the old legacy companies, thats the cycle.

        • Jordan Carr on 03.23.12 @ 1:54AM

          Great insight. Didn’t think of it that way – but that makes total sense Ryan. Nice.

  • Jordan Carr on 03.23.12 @ 1:49AM

    And for those wondering what type of a cinema “look” the Sony FS100 and F3 can create -

    THIS is what we are talking about – my friend helped with this production and William is sharing a sample on vimeo.

    The Canon MK3 is the Canon video competitor to the FS100 and the F3 with free s-log is the competitor to the Canon C300. Neither Canon can produce results like this. Not even close. (and yes I watched Act of Valor – didn’t impress me)

    Canon “could” be competitive with Sony if they were interested in what indi-film makers care about as far as picture quality is concerned – some of Sony’s ergonomics and menu’s are a mess – as was charging for S-log on the F3 a while back.

    My .02 cents.

    PS: I really wanted the MK3 to rock – oh man did I ever want a FF cinema camera – some day perhaps…Red Dragon?