[Leak] Possible Canon 5D Mk III Sighting with Super-Telephotos

ApertureAcademy has an interesting article by Stephen Oachs about a recent sighting of someone who apparently works for Canon. He seemed to be testing a new Canon 5D (or perhaps 7D) series camera. At some point, he also had pulled out a 600mm lens along with a new 200-400mm lens with -- get this -- a built-in teleconverter! Brilliant!

Here is what Stephen has to say about his findings:

What I also noticed was a Canon camera body that I hadn't seen before. You can see it in the photos I took...I see the "Q" button located by the big wheel on the right, which on the 7D is currently located on the top left. The battery grip seems to have a joystick. I also noticed a "Rate" button...hrm, any ideas?

While photographing a Cheetah on a Thompson Gazelle kill, we first spotted the Japanese Canon employee. He stood out because of the array of naked lenses (no skins/coats/protection) and the bright colored sticker labels on the tops. We immediately recognized the anticipated 200-400mm with built-in tele but at this time did not take any photos. Scott did his best to speak with the man who, via his driver helping to translate English to Japanese, confirmed he worked for Canon and that it was the upcoming 200-400mm Canon lens. At this time we had not yet seen the 600mm or the new Canon camera body.

Three days later, in another location of the Masaii Mara, where we were shooting wildlife, we again ran across the Japanese man. This time we noticed the 600mm Canon lens prototype and the new camera body, so we decided to take a few pictures, first just to zoom in to see what it might be. We quickly realized that this camera was something not yet released, thus we decided to share the images on this blog.

I hope this helps everyone understand that this is not an inside "leak" or media attempt on the part of Canon. We are just a couple of wildlife photographers who happened to stumble upon some pretty new and exciting gear in the works by Canon.

Stephen has even gone as far as releasing the RAW CR2 files to prove that his images are not photoshopped. http://www.ApertureAcademy.com/canon/B3J8584.CR2

We've known for some time that Nikon is expected to announce their new D700 replacement, the D800, sometime in the next two weeks, most likely on February 7th. Canon beat Nikon to the punch with their flagship announcement (though Nikon beat Canon as far as availability), but it's hard to say they'll introduce their 'D800 competitor' (the suspected 5D Mk III) before Nikon gets the D800 out. Either way, both are expected to be announced VERY soon.

Most of all, we're all waiting to see official specs so we can see which direction Canon and Nikon will go with these 'gripless' pro bodies. Of course, it's a delicate balance between serving customers' wants/needs and doing what each company needs to in order to not see cannibalized sales of the flagship models (Nikon is rumored to have learned from the D700/D3 similarities).

Likewise, according to ApertureAcademy, the Canon 200-400mm lens is supposed to be available in the March/April time frame. We're excited to see that come out. And sources have long confirmed that the 600mm f/4 IS II will be out in April after Canon's unexpected delay late last year. Either way, I'm excited for a lens like the super-telephoto zoom 200-400mm to include a built-in teleconverter. Currently, the only lens close to this range is the dated 100 - 400mm (which is at a bargain price) or the infamous Sigma 200 - 500 f2.8 (not so bargain price). What do you guys think, is this a Canon 7D replacement or a Canon 5D Mark II replacement?

As promised, here are the photos:

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No built in flash so it must be the 5

If the new 5d mark III has similar features as the 7D, I'm buying. Notice the new battery grip too? Has a built in joystick for navigating, I hope, more autofocus points.

I can't wait to get rid of the mark2 .... time to get some better focus :]

edit: I need to read up on the 1DX...

it has the 7D on/off switch, a new button under the "joystick" controller and a new wheel lock switch under the dial.... definitely a "new" design. But yeah, no built in flash so I would say its a 5D......

In the first picture, there's no mode dial on the top like the 1D series. Either it is the 1Dx, or the 5DmIII will mimic the layout of it.

Toby's picture

It is the 1DX, two new lenses _and_ the mysterious new camera that still has a mode dial + lock. :)

Martin Ellard's picture

looks like the off on switch has moved, there's an extra button next to the shutter release like the 1D series. getting more excited now, i've got a mkII and mk1 and have been holding off on a second mkII in the hope of something better. I think canon needs to keep the 5D a body plus grip configuration simply for the amount of video rigs that have been bought for it, if people had to upgrade to a 1D series form factor there would be modifications and extra expense needed to upgrade rigs. for the stills people like myself, top of the wishlist is better focusing, faster flash sync, (slightly) faster stills FPS, and better high iso noise, these are fundamental basics for a modern dslr the rest is for specific markets, but if these basics are ignored it will fail.
I'm loving the idea of the joystick on the grip, although sadly it will probably push the grip price up. 

there are certainly two completely different cameras there.  there are some larger pictures at this link: http://blog.apertureacademy.com/2012/01/canon-200-400mm-and-600mm-protot...

Martin Ellard's picture

I'm beginning to think this possible 5D shot might be fake,
1st. it looks like something's scrubbed out under the screen, but it looks photoshoped.
2nd. take a look at the control mode dial and it looks to me to be a little squashed out of shape like it's been distorted in photoshop.
3rd. look at the top lcd screen the that doesn't look quite right either, again like it's been distorted in photoshop.
4th. the inside corner of the grip where the 'new' button is, it looks like a very angular corner, not very canon.


Martin Ellard's picture

on the 1d series body is the screen blank apart from the battery indicator if he's changing settings and shooting with it ???? if it's on there should be more info, if it's off there would be no battery icon !!

1st. I think it looks like a thin strip of gafferstape to cover up text of somekind (probably "Canon")
2nd. I don´t see what you see..
3rd. Aint that just reflections from tent roof? Kinda looks like that to me.

ugh, no illuminated buttons?

Look at the first picture, there is information on the TOP lcd screen. 


Martin Ellard's picture

You can only see the battery logo and the lines that should contain the info, those still appear when the camera is turned on or off. the top LCD still looks a strange shape to me.

we also seem to have lost the preview zoom on the right thumb buttons.

it does seem to have the widescreen display, which looks good for video.

Jackson Henney's picture

Sorry to be a party pooper here, but my guess is that it's the 7D Mark II, with an upgraded Viewfinder, using Pentaprism instead of Pentamirror.

Still. Could be a great time to Upgrade from my 500D to something worth using for a job and a future, if not the new camera than the older bodies will drop in price :)

Patrick Hall's picture

Why is this guy holding the camera so awkwardly in the vertical position?  It's crazy people still don't know how to use the vertical grip!

I think it's to navigate the menus. Unfortunately, it's not so easy without that second joystick on the grip that Nikon's grips have had (to my knowledge, at least on the higher end). This photographer probably isn't yet used to his new setup. Therefore, most likely it's all out of habit :-). Kinda funny.

Patrick Hall's picture

I can see the vertical cross pad in the photo!

Yeah, but (from what I understand as a Nikon guy), the 5D mk ii didn't/doesn't have a vertical cross pad on its grip...forcing a bad habit for this photographer, perhaps.

Martin Ellard's picture

i know, like when people hold a camera on it's side by the normal grip then zoom and focus with their forefinger and thumb from over the top of the lens so the whole caboodle swings like a pendulum. people are insane.

I'm somewhat disappointed that there's no articulating display on there. It's a feature that I've loved having on my 60D. I'm sure the side buttons could have been relocated to allow for this.

If that is a 5D mk III.. the guy should use the grip for vertical shoot... so is not 5D mk III , i just another pictures for bla bla bla bla.. ;) Wish Best Luck to all of you.

ChrisR's picture

It looks like it has that stupid button you have to press to change the mode dial like the 60D :/