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It's Official: The Canon 5D Mark III

03.2.12 @ 1:17AM Tags : , ,

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 NoFilmSchool 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 960×540), 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]


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Description image 80 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…

  • Clayton Arnall on 03.2.12 @ 1:29AM

    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!

    • Posted by Joe Marine. Not Koo!

    • Sony is your only hope.

      • Trankilstef on 03.2.12 @ 9:08AM

        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…

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

        • 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.

          • I mean $3000 to $7000. Typo.

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

          • 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.

  • ^^ 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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)

    • John Jeffreys on 03.2.12 @ 4:52PM

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

      • 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…

  • 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 ;)

    • 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

    • and also: I wouldn’t expect the 4K cinema camera to be any cheaper than the C300…

  • 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.

  • 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)

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

    Also, the 100mb/sec looks GOOD.

  • 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

    • I should also state that I had higher expectations…didn’t get that wow effect for me

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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

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

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

  • Can’t wait for the 5D MKIV :P

  • 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.

  • Finally

  • 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.

    • Joe Marine on 03.2.12 @ 3:25PM

      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.

      • animal_264 on 03.3.12 @ 5:24PM

        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.

        • Joe Marine on 03.3.12 @ 9:28PM

          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.

    • animal_765 on 03.2.12 @ 3:29PM

      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(?).

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

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

    • its a photo camera, they want you to buy a c300 oh wait that itsn’t 4k either….hmmm go red

    • How so? Where are all the broadcast shows that are going to 4K?

      • Every broadcaster/TV screen and projection manufacturer at CES12 were displaying in 4K format.

        • It took forever for networks to switch to 1080, and they still aren’t doing it well. Most HD channels I see are heavily compressed. Why would anyone want 4k in the home, unless you have a theatre in your basement?

        • You will be more than safe with an hd camera for the next five years, MTV still does sd productions, and hd will be obselete this year? 8k tvs exist today doesn’t mean it will have instant mass implication,

          • Shaun Wilson on 03.4.12 @ 7:29PM

            Next year, we will have H265, HDMI 1.5 and HTML5 operational in tandem, once this happens, 4K /8K broadcasting and streaming will follow – see BBC coverage of London Olympics. The hold up now is bandwidth limitations which effects digital broadcast and online streaming that without, we don’t stand a chance to see en-mass use, but again, once these are smoothed out by a file format capable of delivering up to 8K imagery then this will change everything.

            The other end of the coin are sensors and screen resolution in mobile media – the pending iPad 3 will have a 2K+ screen resolution, the current iPhone has a chip capable of delivering 3K video now but the software disables this function, and Android tablets are fast moving in the same direction. Where you will see 4K and beyond enabled first is not home TVs, that will be secondary, the first wave will come from hand held devices – play stations, phones, tablets and online broadcasting. Screen manufacturers for both mobile media and TV screens are already slated to mass produce 4K2K and have stock in hand, watch NAB2012 for more details. Any production that is still in SD now will need to change over very soon. Many US networks are inherently slow at changing over to new formats which are nonetheless rendering themselves now as obsolete. Trying to watch their content on a full HD screen is quite annoying with the lack of picture quality due to the SD upscale. Thats no criticism of their content but rather their inability to maintain a user experience. In fact, I’ve stopped watching MTV on my home TV because of exactly this issue which pains me to say because I have a great love of the station.

          • You are forgetting the most important variable, people!
            they do not transition quickly, I know a multitude of people who watch television in sd not even knowing or caring that they have hd channels, but some how everyone is going to flock to 4k for the user experience, Plus the visible difference of sd to hd is larger than hd to 4k on a tv display and I remember the days when people were saying theres not that much difference between sd and hd, the more expensive hd tvs are rip offs. I don’t agree but we all know people who think that. And now with the visible resolution increase being harder to see, the implementation of 4k won’t be over night. I’m not doubting that the revolution will come, but I doubt the propensity and speed of how you think 4k will sweep broadcast. Ask an average tv viewer what 4k is? They’ll say I dunno. People won’t buy something they don’t know, they need to be taught that takes time sometimes years.

          • shaun wilson on 03.7.12 @ 8:17PM

            Well Ryan, I think you might be surprised about how fast 4K slash 4K2K is coming, read the specs on the new iPad – this is now a situation where hand held devices are implementing technologies beyond HD, screen res first then cameras. This is the first wave of transitioning from HD to 4K2K, HD is already a redundant format when mass consumer screen resolutions exceed camera resolution output, watch what Playstation and the camera resolution of iPhone 5 do next… Once iMacs go 4K2K screens, its game on. But it has to wait until H265 and HDMI 1.5 are talking to each other, and are the beyond BETA stage.
            p.s: I bet you an iPhone 6 and a 5DMk4 Im right :)

  • I mean $3000 to $7000… Typo.

  • dont know about you guys but i was somewhat disappointed with their promo video. its one of their most anticipated product, and they come up with some mediocre video of bunch of dudes playing soccer on their bicycles??? if i was canon i would of hired laforet and bloom to team up and create something epic

    • animal_264 on 03.3.12 @ 5:22PM

      The promo video was cheesy, for sure. The long credit list is indicative that it takes a lot of crew and gear to get those shots. The iii can’t do it alone, obviously, and perhaps it wasn’t all iii footage. Bloom et al would be a more realistic portrayal or iii’s potential, e.g., run-n-gun with limited crew.

      I think promo videos need to get away from the lavish feature film and do docs or ENG. Of course, then it would show some of iii’s limitations.

      • In my opinion the Radball short was done for good reasons. I could only make out 1 point in the short where the rolling shutter was really noticable (for less than half a second). In the rest, there was very much movement with very little rolling shutter. Being that this was always a concern, they just proved it to be much less of a problem on the new sensor.

  • I’m really gonna buy this one. Very excited about the video. Can’t wait to see what 91mbit means in ALL-I mode. What it does with the image and if its 4-2-0 or 4-2-2 on color sampling and if it’s 8 or 10 bit… Exciting times. :)

    Everybody who wants to check the Mario and Nette short in 1080p!


    • they get rid of the moire/aliasing when I see that vid. You’ll definitely could see moire in his sweater or the bricks of the village when you were shooting this with the 5D mark II.

      • That’s not real 1080. I believe they just uploaded the original 960*540 file upscaled to 1080.

        IF that was an original 1080 file, than it would be really disappointing since detail in the general shots is really low.

      • And at 0:50 there IS moiré in the fine horizontal lines of the sweater.

        • Yes, even after 3 years of developing, you will buy 5D Mark XXXX which make moire :-) …. therefore you should buy Panasonic GH2 as a back up body for such scenes. And GH3 will be absolutly moire/rollingshater free, because it´s sensor will shoot whole pictures (like CCD sensors did) and not shooting lines like all CMOS do :-) …. I crashed my helicopter with 5D Mark II and EF 24-105mm onboard, so I must considere some replacement…. but as I look at the Mark III upgrade….hm…. I will turn on Nikon D800 (2x cropping) this time or wait a little to save more money for D4 with 3 croppings in video mode (1x,2x and 2,5x) ….. 3x cropping = 3x more lenses :-)

        • Guys, I’ve seen moire on the RED and especially in movies compressed down to DVD.

          In fact, the other day my eyes created more. I was looking through a screen window (glass was slid open) and focused my eyes on some fine tree branches a few hundred feet away. Then I moved my body without shifting my eyes that were still focused, and bingo! Tons of moire and even some jaggies were occurring.

          And I can tell you, my eyes are better than a camera!

  • Regarding the Radball video, looks like Jello Effect is still with us. Granted there were some fast pans, but I’ve read Canon’s claims to have eliminated Rolling Shutter, but this doesn’t seem to be entirely true.

  • Now all I need to know is how many stops of dynamic range the 5D III has. A friend who works for canon said it should have 13 stops, but that would be too good to be true……

  • Have you guys seen this comparison video: 5dmkII vs mkIII at iso 12,800?

  • Thomas Bosack on 09.28.12 @ 11:52PM

    Canon has been screwing over the consumers since the 5D Mark 11. The 5D Mark 111 is NOT WORTH $3500.00.

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    Canon EOS 5D Mark III key specifications

    22.3MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
    3.2″ Clear View High Resolution LCD
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    61-Point High Density AF
    Full HD 1080/30p and 720/60p Formats
    Built-In HDR and Multiple Exposure Modes
    Extended ISO Range (50-102400)
    Up to 6.0 FPS Continuous Mode
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    Brand new Canon EOS 5D Mark III (body only) cost $1250usd
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