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March 2, 2012

It's Official: The Canon 5D Mark III

After a long, long wait, and much anticipation (years, in fact), Canon has finally updated the 5D Mark II. It was a revolutionary camera for video shooters, even if it all happened by accident. That camera saw a couple major firmware updates over its lifetime, including the most important of all, the addition of 24p. It breathed new life into what was already a fantastic camera, and it wasn't long until people were clamoring for an updated body with improved video features. That updated camera body has arrived, and it's called the 5D Mark III.

Canon also announced a new flash, the Speedlite 600EX-RT. It looks like all of the recent specs and photos were correct, and the price is confirmed at $3499. The camera will also be sold in kit form with the EF 24-105mm f/4L. That kit will be priced at $4299.

Here are some key highlights. This is from planet5D and the full press release is available at Digital Photography Review:

  • 22.3 Megapixel full-frame sensor
  • 61-point autofocus
  • Up to 6fps continuous shooting
  • Native ISO 100-25,600 sensitivity
  • ISO 50-102400 Expanded (Stills Only)
  • Movie Mode only goes up to 25,600, No Expanded (confirmed from earlier leak)
  • Enhanced Weather sealing
  • Rate Button is for rating images (1-5)
  • 8.11cm (3.2-inch) 1,040,000-dot screen
  • SMPTE Timecode
  • 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps fps)
  • 1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps)
  • 1080 and 720 intra or inter frame, 480 inter frame
  • ALL-I or IPB Compression
  • ALL-I = ~100mb/12MB (22mins on 16GB card) - Note: Both are my calculations
  • IPB = ~33.6mb/4.2MB (63mins on 16GB card)
  • 29.59 Record Time
  • Does Not Switch to Second Card in Video Mode (CF to SD, or vice versa)
  • Headphone Jack - Manual Audio Levels Can Be Adjusted During Recording
  • Identical AF to the Canon EOS-1D X
  • Chromatic Aberration Correction in Stills and Video
  • Improved Moire, Rolling Shutter, and Reduced Noise (2 stops better)
  • No Line-Skipping, but Moire is Still Possible (Greatly Reduced Over 5D Mark II)
  • No Clean HDMI
  • HDMI is Full Resolution (No Drop in Resolution After Hitting Record), but There are Still Overlays
  • Delivery: Late March

Obviously if you've been following the site, most of this is not new information. There will be an updated post later with thoughts on this announcement and what it means to you, the No Film School reader.

planet5D got their hands on the 5D Mark III early, check out their videos here:

This one is a bit long, but informative:

This is big news in the photography AND video world, so there will be a ton of coverage in the following days. I know some of you may be getting sick of the constant attention this camera has been getting, but trust me, we'll have other posts and news to go right along with the 5D Mark III. You can pre-order the camera by clicking here.

Below are two images you haven't seen yet, and there is a good shot of the camera's side ports.

Below is some of the first footage of the 5D Mark II. This video from Canon Europe is called 'Radball.'

There's also a good-looking 5DIII short here (albeit highly compressed and at 960x540), as well as a few more samples at the Canon Japan site.

Did Canon meet your expectations with the 5D Mark III? Let us know in the comments.

[via Digital Photography Review and planet5D]

Your Comment

74 Comments

Afff, I want this sooo bad!!! I´m really liking the "ALL-I". I mean, I´m sure that the uncompressed HDMI output is better quality, but the cost and hassle of getting and processing that... I think I prefer my compression IN camera for now. Gotta start saving, double, cuz the Ipad 3 is being announced next week!!! Aaahhhh, technology...

March 2, 2012

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Jerry

Can't explain it, but I've had my hopes set for so long that this camera would have 1080p/60 that I actually feel like my girl just left me. I mean really, is it so hard to put that in a camera!

On a more positive note... thanks for all the great posts lately Koo! I enjoy reading your stuff!

March 2, 2012

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Clayton Arnall

Posted by Joe Marine. Not Koo!

March 2, 2012

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oops... thanks to everyone then!

March 2, 2012

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Clayton Arnall

Sony is your only hope.

March 2, 2012

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moebius22

For sure ! Sony is the only company that introduced in the prosumer video market the 1080p/60 feature. Even on my Nex5n it's here, and that really rocks !!
I really think it's a sensor or processor "issue", so that it's not possible to implement this on the EOS line, even though on the high end C300. Because Sony is on AVCHD, maybe it needs less power than the EOS codec... Just my two cents...

March 2, 2012

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Trankilstef

Actually no, the Panasonic AF100 has 1080/60p and it came out before the Sonys.

March 2, 2012

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Sheldon

Also, Canon has 1080/60p on their XF100, XF105, XF300, and XF305 video cameras which cost $300 to $7000, proving that they have the technology. Those cameras record in the 50 Mbps XF codec.

March 2, 2012

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Sheldon

I mean $3000 to $7000. Typo.

March 2, 2012

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Sheldon

On a tiny sensory bare in mind. Having the processing power to read a much larger sensor is a lot more taxing.

March 3, 2012

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Archie

We have a Canon XF100 and it cannot do 1080 60p... 60i yes. But I have a Sanyo HD2000 that's been capable of 1080 60p for a few years, albeit more compressed.

March 4, 2012

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M Gyori

March 2, 2012

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Nagato

^^ Not worth the extra money IMO, I think Nikon and Sony...and maybe Panasonic..or maybe all 3 will beat out Canon this time. I think it was a mistake for Canon not to innovate with this release. The "If its not broke don't fix it" model doesn't work here. Not when 3 other companies are out to each your lunch and sink your ship.

A slight upgrade to your main plasma canon isn't going to be enough when the enemy has develop a brand new particle system that destroys ships at 2x the speed and has develop a new ion shield.

I feel like the 5D3 is an i7 2600 processor while Nikon's D800 is an i7X with overclocking.

March 2, 2012

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Nagato

If you're smart, wait to see some side by side video camera tests (mk2 vs mk3) before running out and pre-ordering. ALL-I mode for video recording is obviously and improvement; however, why wouldn't you go out and get the Nikon D800?? Me personally, I'm going to be waiting to see about the Canon cinema series dslr.

March 2, 2012

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scott

If you're seriously invested in Canon EF glass...

March 3, 2012

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Thanks for highlighting the video attributes. This camera is really pro. Audio, TC, recording times, etc. If you're mb calculations are correct, they are way up there. I wonder what Magic Lantern will do to complement this new body.

March 2, 2012

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marsupial

histogram and waveform, zebras, false color, central point IRE reading, custom cropmarks, zoom-in while recording, focus peaking, button remapping (why the hell is the zoom-in on the left side??? I hope the mfn button can be assigned to do this too)

March 2, 2012

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btw that doesn't mean any of those are in the way or will be possible, it's just a list of ML features I use on my 550D (T2i) and that would add a lot to a 5D3 too

March 2, 2012

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Hahaha

March 2, 2012

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Bobkat

HAHA good luck having the magic lantern dev team try cracking the digic 5 cpu

March 2, 2012

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John Jeffreys

I'd expect there to be a ML version for the 5D3 in less than a month after the first firmware update for the 5D3 (maybe with limited features, or even just a few, but most of the others will follow)

digic 4 had a lot of ad-hoc canon logic (for debayering, encoding, etc), alongside a standard ARM processor, which is what ML uses; I'd expect digic 5 to be the same in that regard, so as soon as they can figure out how to hack the firmware update process (which is why they need a firmware update by Canon to start working), lots of code can be ported relatively easily

now, if the firmware is encrypted, as in the 7D, there may be no ML for the 5D3, ever; but let's not think about such ugly things...

March 3, 2012

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I wonder if 60p/1080 will be given in a firmware update down the line? After all, they DID give us 24p three years ago after an enormous number of complaints. The 5DII isn't capable of it (as far as I understand it from the Magic Lantern's Hudson). Maybe this one can handle full 1080/60p someday?

Either way, I'm two 5DIIs and a 7D in, so I think waiting for the 4K Cinema camera will pan out better. At least I can continue saving up ;)

March 2, 2012

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for a firmware trick, going slower is a lot easier than going faster
my hope is much more pessimistic: that 720p60 is as clean and sharp as 720p can be (i.e. that it doesn't do line skipping) - because it could be otherwise, and it would suck big time

March 2, 2012

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and also: I wouldn't expect the 4K cinema camera to be any cheaper than the C300...

March 2, 2012

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Canons departure from Line-Skipping is obviously a huge improvement, as Moiré has turned out to be a huge issue whie shooting in industrial facilities, forests and other environments with high detail. Haven't really cought up on that issue with the new Nikon-DSLRs, though. Do they also intelligently downsize? Still I have not lost hope yet on getting this issue updated via Magic Lantern / Canon. Or does the Mark 3 have a way better processor that can handle downsizing way better than the Mark 2? All the other improvements seem kind of secondary to me for DSLR filming. Probably the latitude might have been slightly enhanced.

March 2, 2012

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Matt

not that it matters for dslr filming. but I want to point out that there's a little mistake about the AF. While the AF-Modul is the same as the one in the 1DX, it does lack the 100k rgb metering (af and ae) module coupled with the digiv iv. the 5d3 is using the old module (without an extra digic) from the 7d.

this will result in inferior af tracking performance. not sure how it looks on single focus subjects (i.e weddings at low light)

March 2, 2012

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Raphael

No line skipping eh? So I assume that the resolution will be true 1080p, ya?

Also, the 100mb/sec looks GOOD.

March 2, 2012

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Kevin

5D Mark III is here!..
frankly not that impressed at least in the line of work that I do. There are work arounds (I rarely use Monitors. Always use H4n for audio XLR and monitoring.
29 min record time is nice but if I'm doing long stuff I won't be using a DSLR...HPX

'Improved Moire, Rolling Shutter, and Reduced Noise' is always nice I'd rather work around than spend 3500 dollars for ease of use...I won't upgrade from the Mark II yet but 720 60p is cool on full frame though but i have my 60d

March 2, 2012

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Joe

I should also state that I had higher expectations...didn't get that wow effect for me

March 2, 2012

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Joe

Well if the increase in rolling shutter & moiré elimination is C300-style (which I guess it won't be, though), I would consider buying the Mark 3, but not in the near future and not for that price and thus after all not that seriously. The Mark 2 just delivers a very good package in let's say 80 to 90 % of what i'm doing and as you say, it is not a neccessary switch for a lot of people who already own the Mark 2, neither for video production nor for photography (probably only the AF could be a reason regarding the latter). It has some nice new little features, but, once again, these are more oriented towards a better handling and slight improvements in image quality and not a reason to spend 1000 EUR / 1300 USD by selling the Mark 2 for buying the Mark 3. I think as long as my 5D MkII works just fine, i would probably ALWAYS rather invest the money into better glass, e.g. some that gives you more beautiful lens flares.

March 2, 2012

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Matt

I think you (and everyone else waiting for the Mark III price to come down) will have to wait about three years! The 5DII price hasn't really fluctuated much, so I wouldn't expect this to drop drastically in the future.

March 2, 2012

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yeah it has been such a long wait that people have already spent money on work arounds i.e. h4n etc. There are some little features but what it really comes down to is getting the perfect image from that sensor and investing glass is top priority if you have a mark ii already

March 2, 2012

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Joe

so the $3500 5d mark iii has a higher bitrate that the $16000 c300, is that right?

March 2, 2012

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Ryan

Definitely not confirmed. Also the h.264 codec is lousy so 100mb/s could end up being worse than the 50mb/s MXF codec.

March 2, 2012

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Archie

It has been confirmed that you can record Full HD in either H.264 or MPEG-4.

March 2, 2012

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TehRandax

Now that sounds more like it! Not confused by the Radball video though....

March 2, 2012

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Archie

Can't wait for the 5D MKIV :P

March 2, 2012

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Moore

I'll probably buy one. We've amassed enough 5D swag for it to live as a low-budget rental/pinch hitter on top of our RED Epic. I'm happy with the improvements on paper, but I'll wait a little after the release for real tests.

March 2, 2012

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Angelo

Finally

March 2, 2012

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Michele

March 2, 2012

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Menelikk

The 5D MkIII definitely has some great improvements and the test short looks great, but it's not enough to make me go out and buy one. It seems that Canon is still aiming this at photographers who want a video option and not the filmmaking community that embraced the 5DMkII and made it so popular. I was hoping for 1080 60p, long record times (the AF-100 can do 3 hours on a 32GB card in PH mode. I wonder what the limiting factor is in the 5DMkIII), and at least one XLR input (although ostensibly this would mean a larger battery would be needed to provide phantom power).

Again, I think this is a great camera that will produce beautiful footage, but its design just isn't as geared toward filmmaking as I would like it to be.

March 2, 2012

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Justin

European taxes is the reason for the 29:59 record limit. If they can record longer they are considered video cameras and they would have to cost more.

March 2, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

If it's a political limitation vis-a-vis a technical one, then 29:59 can be hacked for longer duration? I think the 12 minute limit was technical.

March 3, 2012

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animal_264

Yes, ideally. The 12 minute limit was because of the FAT32 4GB file size limit. Now there is clip spanning so the 4GB limit is not a problem. The only issue we could run into is heat - which could introduce noise or cause the camera to shut off.

March 3, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

The limiting factor according to analysts is European tax: go over 29:59 minutes of video and it's considered a camcorder, apparently a different tax category. Panasonic gets away with this on their Lumix DSLRs perhaps because they make a special Euro model(?).

March 2, 2012

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animal_765

Can't have the best of both worlds meaning picture and video all in one....yet

March 2, 2012

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Joe

How about a Canon 5D body made to be compatible and interface with a battery grip type add-on with XLR inputs. Similar to a JuiceLink type add-on, but look like a battery grip. That would be nice.

March 2, 2012

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Danny

I'll hold on to my $3500 (plus $$ for FF lenses) until something actually interesting comes along from Canon and/or Panasonic (hello GH3!).

This is not a filmmaker's dream camera. The 5D Mk. II was because at the time it had no competition whatsoever. Now, the idea of video as an afterthought on a DSLR is sign that this is not where the future lies.

March 2, 2012

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Hummer

TO those disappointed by the video features of this mk3, theres always sony nex cameras + metabones adapter so you can use all your canon glass.

March 2, 2012

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Quobetah

Where is the 4K video? Seems like a waste of money at this stage to invest $4K on a 1080 camera when broadcast is moving to 4K quicker than you think and when competitors will have 4K inbuilt at the same price within 12 months (watch out for NAB2012) . To me it's just a slight improvement on the 5DM2, where are the XLR mounts and decent codecs? And by the reports above, why no clean HDMI? This would be brilliant in 2009 but come on Canon, show me some real specs. I love your cameras, own them, use then, love the glass, but an upgrade like this (on paper) on a camera as fine and revolutionary as the MK2 is a big disappointment. Buyers need more than what these specs are saying, even if its brilliant on the shoot out tests, its still only 1080. And what does that look like upscaled to 4096?

March 2, 2012

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