[News] The Canon 5D Mark III Announced!

You heard right: the camera that changed everything has been updated! The preferred video DSLR of the industry just got even better with the Canon 5D MKIII (pre-order at BHphotovideo). But is this new camera good enough to withstand the pressure from Nikon's two new bodies? MAYBE... Read on to find out all the new features, accessories, and how it stacks up against the latest DSLRs.

It is definitely an exciting day for the photography world, and we will be updating this post often as information comes available. And don't forget to vote in the poll at the end!

Canon also released a number of new accessories today! Stay tuned for updates on those. For now, pre-order at B&H:
Canon 600EX-RT Speedlight

Pre-Order links coming for:
Canon BG-E11 Battery Grip ($490)
Canon WFT-E7A Wireless Transmitter ($850)
Canon GP-E2 GPS Unit ($390)
Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlight Transmitter ($470)

First things first...here are your specs:

Available Colours – Black
Megapixels – 22MP
Sensor Size – 36 x 24mm
ISO/Sensitivity – 100 – 25600
Autofocus Points – 61 points
Lens Mount – Canon
LCD Size – 3.2″
Liveview – Yes
Viewfinder – Optical TTL
Min Shutter Speed – 30 sec
Max Shutter Speed – 1/8000 sec
Continuous Shooting Speed – 6 fps
Self Timer – 10 sec, 2 sec
Metering – Centre-weighted, Spot, Evaluative, Partial
Video Resolution – Full HD 1080
File Formats – AVI, RAW, H.264, MOV, MPEG-4
Memory Type – Compact Flash, SD Card
Connectivity – USB 2, HDMI, Mic Input, Wireless (optional)
Battery – LP-E6
Battery Type – Lithium-ion
Charger – Includes Li-Ion Charger
Dimensions – 152 x 116 x 76mm
Box Contents – Battery Pack LP-E6, Battery Charger LC-E6, AV Cable AVC-DC400ST, Interface Cable IFC-200U, Eyecup Eg, Wide Strap EWEOS5DMKIII, CR1616 Lithium Battery

Unsurpassed Image Quality
22.3 Megapixel Full Frame CMOS sensor
DiG!C 5+ Image Processor
ISO 100-25600 (expandable to L:50 H1:51200, H2: 102400)
Full HD Movie (ISO 100-12800 and H:25600)

High-End Features
Silent & low vibration modes
Dual card slots (CF & SD)
High Dynamic Range (HDR) Mode
Multiple Exposures
Comparative Playback function
Improved durability & water and dust resistance

High-Performance Operation
61-point high-density reticular AF (up to 41 crosstype points)
6.0 fps for high continuous shooting
Intelligent viewfinder with approx. 100% coverage
3.2-type, approx. 1.04m dot (3:2 wide) Clear View LCD II
iFCL metering with 63-zone dual-layer sensor
Shutter durability of 150,000 cycles

Now, we like pictures, don't we?

So How Do We Measure Up?:


The Canon 5D Mk III is an amazing camera. The Mk II is still completely relevant, thanks to its full 1080p, but the Mk III builds in ways that really do something for the consumer. Between small but important things like better weatherproofing and the more important 22MP, which allows for a perfect 16:9 3x3 downsampling, Canon has finessed a few fine details that make all the difference. This is made for the DSLR video shooter.

Unfortunately for Canon, at half the price, I don't see how this won't eat up some, if not quite a few, of the 1D X sales. Nikon learned a lesson much earlier that perhaps Canon didn't pay attention to. We'll see what happens... Either way, all the better for the Canon shooter!

Nikon killer? Well, Canon sure stepped it up. I don't see why any dedicated Nikon or Canon users would have any distinct reason to switch everything over (let's face it, there's a ton of work involved in that), but the more reasonable and extremely practical 22MP really shows Canon's commitment to the videographer. Canon's not aiming for fashion/video, but even then, there's not a huge difference between 22MP and 36MP in final image size. The Mk III's image dimensions (5760x3840) are still 80% of the D800's (7360x4912).

Nikon has never been known as the 'cheaper' brand, but with the D700 still in the line-up (it's not discontinued, as the D800 isn't viewed as a replacement, in case you missed that), the Mk II might still kill the D700 even with its new pricing at $2200. I just bought a lightly used D3 for that price yesterday...and that'll still go down within a short amount of time.

I have to highlight a feature here that's quite wonderful: the main rear dial is now touch sensitive. This really helps keep the pressure off of the body during video recording so it can stay more steady when adjusted during operation. I think people will be loving this feature, even for simple day-to-day use...

Promo Video:

Adam Ottke's picture

Adam works mostly across California on all things photography and art. He can be found at the best local coffee shops, at home scanning film in for hours, or out and about shooting his next assignment. Want to talk about gear? Want to work on a project together? Have an idea for Fstoppers? Get in touch! And, check out FilmObjektiv.org film rentals!

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Comes with a Canon lens mount?!?!
Seriously though, I'm really interested in this RAW video? 

No raw video...just raw file type for stills

its looks really sweet on paper! my father in law will love this. lol. he's a Canon man!


^Most useless comment ever. :P

Adam, you're comparing the price of a Canon 5D mk III + lens with a D800 body only, hardly fair.
Also, are you completely sure about the non-clean HDMI output? I'm curious because I haven't seen any information to support or disprove that but I may have missed it.

No, I'm not sure. I'm waiting. A few things are temporary, but most of it is confirmed. Was just going off of the 1D X pattern... Even that could change between now and release. Stay tuned... This is all from across seas and from multiple sources, so thank you all for being patient :-)

And the price is 3500, to be sure. Sorry about that typo.

No problem :)
I sure hope the HDMI output changes to match that of Nikon or Canon risks losing a few videographers to the other camp.

Yea, the HDMI output is a little questionable. Don't know the tech behind that but can that be changed via a firmware upgrade?

I think you will find that it's a hardware thing.

havent seen any tests/reviews yet (there will probably be some by tomorrow), but theres a few things i do like in the specs list at first glance.  being a video guy, i like the longer record limit, the headphone jack, and the ability to bring audio up and down during recording.  still have a lot of questions at this point, but it was just announced

The 5D Mk3 is $1500 more than the D800 why????

500.00 more

yes 500.00 more after the edit

You're right, it seems like few people will need to pay the luxury tax for the 1DX now. Or at least not most of the people that browse here. I hope the AF is the big winner in terms of performance (I mean it looks nice on paper, let's see it in action), that's what I've been waiting for since switching over from a 7D.

Canon's just doing what Nikon did with the D3x /D700 fiasco.  This won't be a contender for many canonites for many reasons. 

Of course, none of them will relate to real photography.

On the canon site i did a full compare of the 5D Mk.II vs the 5D Mk.III and to be honest theres not much reason to invest the extra $1300 into the Mk.III If I was a video shooter, I'd consider it for the few extra video features, including the 60fps at 720, but as a regular shooter with the Mk.II the only thing that REALLY interests me is the upgrade in the AF system, which was really needed. Other opinions?

While I agree with you that on paper there aren't many new things going on, I think it's too soon to make any conclusions.
We haven't seen how much better  things are like the dynamic range and high-ISO performance - and plenty other aspects that I'm forgetting, I'm sure.

I'm in the same both, at least on paper there is nothing compelling for me to upgrade my Mk II. Even the AF system is irrelevant as I am a Landscape Photographer. I guess my piggy bank is safe for now while I continue to save for my Phase One...

As a wedding photographer, I find that these changes are exactly what I was looking for in a MKII successor. I'm very happy and will pre-order. The AF system alone is what I was hoping would be upgraded and they gave me one better than I had hoped as well as 6fps. 

I'm quite pleased, and will pre-order.

I really don't get what all the complaining is about. It's a faster, more reliable camera that increases hit-rates and the low light samplings I've seen are pretty satisfying. I guess it's just funny to watch tech-trends sway the internet's whining. 4 months ago it was "The megapixel race is dead." and now it's 22 megapixels ISN'T ENOUGH!!!!!!!

I'm glad the MKIII is announced. However, I just don't think there is much for upgrading from the MKII to the III. 

My Pros:I think the only reason I would upgrade to the MKIII is the hope for a better focusing motor and i'm excited for the 61 focus points though. 6fps is a good frame speed too. And i'm glad Canon didn't overkilled with the Mega-pixels, unlike its competitor! haha. Also that Canon did not make two different types of 5D MKIIIs which will confuse the heck out of its customers, at least so far there isn't another version. That would be different of Canon to make something like the "5De MkIII" or something along that line.

My Cons: Other than that, i'm not to fond of the two different memory cards. Canon should of kept it at two CFs instead.   Also, I don't like the fact that the back of the MKIII looks a lot like the 7D. Although i'm glad that canon did not put a swivel screen in the back like the 60D, I'm not to happy about the ergonomics-7D copy cat. I liked the way the buttons and switches were in the MKII and think canon should have kept it that way.

Other than that, there isn't much change to it. I would not be surprise if Canon came out with an upgrade and a lot of changes to this one in the next year or two. But we will see what they can learn from the past 5Ds. I still love Canon! 

I'm inclined to agree with you on those points. You and Stefan Choquette up there :-)

What so bad about having 36MP ? can someone explain to me? i'm noob. you can shoot in Medium Raw/jpeg right? 

Switch to Nikon.

I will repeat this mantra:  I will use the equipment that I have to the best of my ability and will spend no more until I do so.   I will use the equipment that I have......

I honestly think the next step for both these companies (Nikon/Canon) will be developing the consumer version of a medium format camera. The APS-C works great for sports, the Full-Frame has been amazing for video, wedding shooters, and shooters trying to take the next step in studio. But I think all of us studio shooters want that full frame experience and prices are starting to come down, it might be time for these two to make that splash in the market before they're too late.

That is what Nikon is doing by bumping res up to 36MP. Will it match MF cameras? No, but they are getting that much closer in quality. IMO, you will get better prints compressing 36mp down to 22mp on final output. 

Ultimately, it is about the photographer and not the tools.

Just saw this really neat feature for video shooters, the back rotation dial is touch sensitive so you can change aperture without the camera clicking.

I'd really like a top of the line, stills-only camera. Like the MkIII, but without the video and half the price.

you could buy a used 5D (Mk I) ...?

HUGELY disappointing news this. I was hoping for a real step forward-kind of what Nikon did recently-but what we APPEAR to have got is an updated camera for videographers. I personally have never used the video on my MK2 and will never use the video. Updated focus system? The one one worked just fine and still out performed Nikons inall the test i have ever done in my job. I guess Canon will argue that you cant improve "perfection", im guessing my next jump will be to a 1DX. 

Well we keep hearing the D4 is getting delayed and delayed....but yeah, it's AWESOME that Nikon is now smoking Canon with the video features...clean HDMI out and the 3 crop modes are worth their weight in gold!

Like i say. I have NO interest in video on cameras so HDMI outs and all that guff doesnt matter to me in the slightest neither does Nikon v Canon my brand is better than your brand stuff. Its the photographer that counts. 

In what way is this "AWESOME"? It's like you're hoping for Nikon to kill Canon. I suppose you buy the gear that does the job for you, right? You should be glad that there are two big competitors on the market that drive the development further, because it actually benefits us as customers. What had happened if only either one of them would have dominated the market? 

we'll really have to see which one shoots better video once they come out.. clean hdmi will be a big deal if you hook up a separate (expensive) recorder, and it gives you much higher quality video. so far i haven't seen any tests with people doing this with the nikon.  3 crop modes is an awesome feature, but i'd have to play with the camera first to make sure i like the picture quality in all 3 modes.  dunno if either brand is really smoking the other right now, but i'll see when i get the camera in my hands

the big question on my mind as far as video is concerned is how good will the downsampling (and thus moire reduction) be?

The Nikons have the clean HDMI feed now, which is great, but if the 5D MkIII has better downsampling and significantly less moire, then that will be a big advantage...

I'm not overly impressed with the 5D mkIII, seems like they have held back on things they are capable of packing into it :(

with this innovation speed mobile cameras will kill the industry. a nokia 808 pure view with a lens mounth and were getting close.. I would expect more after 3,5 years, camera tehcnology is a slow developing technology, isn't it?

I think the strangest thing is that it really is a mk ii v. mk iii. They didn't completely rename the body...which I would have expected back when they updated the 'mk i' with the mk ii. They're a completely different class. Yet here, the mk iii really does serve as a slight update, refining what came before it. People really we're hoping for a 5.5D (shout out to Adobe and their weird 'middle step').

hmmmm all spec look impressive ...but the build quality from outside looks a little bit cheap ...

Honestly.....its a disappointment, period. 4years later an they do such minor tweeks. NIkon atleast is tryng, and im a canon fan. AAAARHHH

bye Canon !!!!

For high-end product, still life & studio shooters the option of Medium Format is looking ever more appealing with prices falling and tech-longevity built in. Will wait to see what the 'other' 1Dx looks like.

However disappointing the update is, the 5D is still an unbelievable camera-i will never switch over to a Nikon theres nothing much on the Nikon that the Canon doesnt do as good if not better. D800 has more mega pixels but so what-its something that the large majority will never really use. Having said all that, i will probably trade up when everything calms down haha

"theres nothing much on the Nikon that the Canon doesnt do as good if not better"
Coming from someone who ostensibly bought one of Canon's "high megapixel" bodies doesn't bode well for your bias. 

Perhaps you should use one for more than 10 seconds in a store, before you spout ignorance like this on the internet ;P.
"D800 has more mega pixels but so what-its something that the large majority will never really use"

It's amazing how many people I know who claim Nikkor lenses are leagues beyond canon....in fact so many of them attach them to their 5dmkII cameras! Must be some truth to that....and of course there is always the autofucus thing

Many will switch to Nikon because they are ones again stuck in the megapixel fixation. But when they sit by their computers handling the file sizes of the "Canon-killer" they might see things a little bit different.

 People will dump their 36mp camera because of file size? LOL! Good one Christer!

Who said anything about dumping anything?

 Intel i7

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