Canon 5D Mark III Official, Packs Features From the 5D Mark II and 1D X

Canon has officially taken the wraps off its new 5D Mark III DSLR, a followup to the 5D Mark II that offers a feature set that sits somewhere between its predecessor and the soon-to-arrive 1D X. The camera packs a 22.3MP full-frame sensor, the 61-point AF system found in the 1D X, 63-zone metering, an ISO range of 100-25600 (expandable to 50-102400), 6fps continuous shooting, a 3.2-inch LCD (1.04M dots), and 100% viewfinder coverage (up from 98%).

In the video recording department, the 5D Mark III is able to capture H.264 footage at 1080p24/25/30 or 720p50/60. In addition to a stereo mic input, the camera also features a headphone jack that allows you to monitor audio levels while recording. Another huge plus for filmmakers is the fact that the rear dial becomes touch sensitive during video recording, allowing you to change settings without shaking the camera or introducing clicking noises into your footage.

Canon has packed 22.3 megapixels into the 5D Mark III, up from the 21.1 found in the 5D Mark II. Although more pixels are crammed into the same dimensions, the new sensor uses the gapless micro lens design found in the 1D X, and should offer vastly improved low-light picture quality.

The camera features a number of new buttons, including a rating button for starring photos, a creative photo button, and a dedicated Live View button, and a multi-function button next to the shutter release. The power switch has been moved to the top left next to the locking mode dial, and there’s a new rear dial-locking slider on the back.

And now we come to one of the most important details about any new camera: the price. The Canon 5D Mark III will be priced at $3,500 for the body only, or $4,300 when bundled with the 24-105mm. It’ll hit store shelves near the end of March, but you can already preorder yours over on Amazon.

Canon 5D Mark III [Canon USA]

  • Will Foster

    …not too impressed :-(

  • Simon Meisinger

    i don’t get it. who, except people who REALLY need fast continuous shooting, should buy the 1Dx now?

  • Ricky Nyhoff

    Its hard to improve on greatness. well, it should have been easy to improve the focusing of the mii.

  • Andy

    Is this just a way for Canon to up it’s prices? 24-70 MkII not much change but a massive price increase, and now the 5D MkIII looks to be $1000 more that the MkII. Anyone got a UK price yet?

  • Alick Cotterill

    Calumet pre-order price is £2999 body only in UK.

  • Sergio Alonso Rodríguez

     No man’s land camera, hasn´t got enough improvements for that price if you already got the markII, except you only make video and in that case you should buy a dedicated cam recorder. No nikon user should be changed to get an RGB AF or an ISO performance they already got in D3. If you wear canon and you need speed the 1Dx its a better machine, If you run in Studio the D800 or D800e its the proper replace for the expensive medium format or your old dsrl… The markIII isnt a bad camera, but cant compete. Sales will be provided for existing canon users and their failure to renew their expensive set of lenses.

  • Roger Coelho

    Man… At $3,500 you can almost get a 7D and a 5DmkII and get the best of both worlds (tech and full frame) for different situations. I hope the street price gets adjusted quickly.  

  • Simon Meisinger

    what about people who already own a 5DMKII (or any other canon than the 1Dx)?

  • Karkuk14

    Zero inovation, but dont get me wrong, i have both 5d i and ii
    And what great cameras they are. Couldnt canon look at fuji, olympus and nikon mirrorless? Wouldnt have been great to create first Full frame mirrorless camera or bring something new to table, this camera has nothing new to offer and more expensive!!!! Advice to buy canon 5dii still an incredible camera with great price! My 2 pence only…..

  • Profoto

    why  only 22.3MP? then better Nikon D800 with 36.3MP !!!

  • Guest

    “creative photo button”? On this type of camera?! Sure, throwing in extra features in software doesn’t cost much, but does it really need a dedicated button?

  • AversionTherapy

    I love how so many people are judging the worthiness of this camera before having any idea how it performs. Just because it doesn’t have 30+ megapixels doesn’t mean anything beyond the potential for higher image quality and low light performance. It’s absolutely laughable that something with 22 megapixels is deemed to not have enough resolution. Megapixels do not equal image quality.

    The AF is hugely improved as is overall technical performance, but whether this is a ‘worthy’ camera or not comes down to how well it produces pictures and no one knows that yet.

    If Canon have got this right, with a new sensor design and larger pixels, it should out-perform the D800 in low light and image quality. If it does then there won’t be a camera that can touch it under $5k. If it doesn’t then that’s a huge disappointment and product failure. We’ll have to wait and see. Or, you know, just make your mind up from a press release.

  • AversionTherapy

    How do you know that the ISO performance is the same in the D3? This is a press release, no one has any idea how this camera will perform.

    The 1dx is likely to be almost twice the price of the 5d, if you have the money to buy a 1dx then of course the 1dx is an option, for most 5d buyers it’s not.

  • AversionTherapy

    Megapixels do not equal image quality.

  • Sergio Alonso Rodríguez
  • Mbenavides

    No iso 50 ??? 

  • AversionTherapy

    There’s one pic there at 6400. It’s way too early to draw conclusions, independent reviews and test will follow, until then we know nothing.

    As I said, if this camera doesn’t better the D800 in low light performance and overall image quality then it will be a failure.

  • AversionTherapy

    I might be wrong but from what I understand there never was an ISO 50, it was an artificial setting, a “pulled” ISO 100. You could achieve the same thing in RAW conversion and presumably will with the mk3.

  • Brett

    22MP is already massive. Also more pixels makes it harder to keep low light performance.

  • Janez

    there is a FF mirrorless camera it’s called Leica M9.

  • Sergio Alonso Rodríguez

    Honestly I do not trust too much in synthetic tests such as dpreview ones, i prefer to see real photos. What I see both iso800 and iso3600 is disappointing performance in the noise line, perhaps its only a preproduction sample… i see a good latitude spectrum in the dinamic range line too. But preview sample photos of the D800 was much more impressive for me. The quality isn´t a problem for nikon, isn´t something we didn´t know. After seeing the samples, I still think that it´s a no man´s land camera.

  • LeviMeshugana

    Personally I think all of you really should look into the it would be better suited to most of your needs.

  • AversionTherapy

    I’m not talking about synthetic tests, I’m talking about independent people using and reviewing the camera. With the 5d mk2 there were a lot of wedding photographers that blogged about them and make a big impression.

    I’m not going to judge the camera on two sample images, I’m certainly not going to decide whether to buy one or not without using it myself.

    If you feel like you’ve seen enough to make up your mind then good for you. You have a lot more insight than I do.

  • Aaro Keipi

     Remember that the Mark II was $3000 when it was released.

  • Profoto

     I agree only partially! But then tell me way Hasselblad H4D-60 (60 Mpixel) is still in the market?

  • Profoto

    ok it is only good in low light situations. It is designed for journalists, sport and concert photographers. But if you shoot in the studio with studio flash units you do not have low light situations! And then 36.3MP for posters would be very nice!! if you do not need so large file you can always shoot a smaller size. But Canon does not offer this choice!! 5Dm2 was good enough in low light situation. I do not need pictures of night owls in the woods! In fact with the old 5Dm2 I can do it as good as with the new 5Dm3. Difference remains 1pix and that’s all. And it is a three-year improvement in results?ok it is good enough for videographers but than why canon have not a option -> 1920 x 1080 (60 fps)?? I just understand that Canon has not interviewed Hasselblad owners (studio photographers) but only interviewed journalists and videographers. and questions remain unanswered. sad.

  • Profoto

     in fact it may be useful for small photo session “photographers”. but to be honest it is pretty funny ;)

  • Profoto

    ISO, 50 – 102400 as option!

  • AversionTherapy

    Because it’s a medium format camera, not a full frame ’35mm’ dSLR. It has a much larger sensor than a dSLR. The area of a D800 or 5d sensor is 864mm2. The area of the h4d-60 sensor is 2158mm2.

    Like most medium format digital cameras it is designed to be used in a studio (inside or out) and thus the design ignores considerations that need to be addressed in a dSLR sensor. For example, the design of the sensor and processor is optimized for good lighting conditions and image quality optimised without having to consider low light performance, a high frame rate, etc. The h4d-60 has a maximum iso of 800.

  • Profoto

    AversionTherapy yes exactly and now Nikon D800 is much closer to Hasselblad H4D-40. And 5Dm3 is somewhere in the past.

  • Guest

     Sometimes you need to evolve too. A mirrorless FF can’t replace the 5D mkII, this one can. Test shots indicate pretty sick high iso performance.

  • AversionTherapy

    “AversionTherapy yes exactly and now Nikon D800 is much closer to Hasselblad H4D-40. And 5Dm3 is somewhere in the past.”

    No, it’s not, it’s really not. You obviously didn’t read anything I wrote.

    Given the same area the sensor with less pixels should produce a cleaner, clearer image and perform better in low light. The more megapixels you pack into the same area the more problems you have controlling the image quality.

    If you’re genuinely interested go and read about the how a camera sensor works.

    If you’re not genuinely interested and all you want to do is be a megapixel fanboy then go ahead, best of luck to you.

  • Tito Herrera

    I guess you are just one of those people that is all about the MP hahhaha Hey now is trying to force you to buy it.  It’s very clear that you think the D800 is a better tool then buy that one. and about “But Canon does not offer this choice!!” if Canon have one good thing is the amount of offer the give you not only in lenses but in prices. 
    Again it just sound like you are trying to hard to make the Nikon sound better and it may be but are you seriously going to compare a Hasselblad sensor to a Nikon??? If so then you probably need to study a little more. hahahaha
     and he is Canon only “interview” photojournalist and videographers may be is because they already know they control the studio marke… Anyone in the high end commercial or editorial photo world will tell you they go for Medium Format of Canon so… for real  WHAT are you even talking about??? hahahah

  • M Kruter

    Please contact, I’m interested to hear your thoughts regarding a mirrorless FF pro camera.
    – mkruter at hotmail

  • M Kruter

    the M9 is a rangefinder and in no way compares to the mk3 for many pro purposes

  • M Kruter


  • Profoto

     AversionTherapy: “Given the same area the sensor with less pixels should produce a
    cleaner, clearer image and perform better in low light. The more
    megapixels you pack into the same area the more problems you have
    controlling the image quality. ”

    ok yes canon is better in in low light. but when you shoot at ISO 100 where appears the difference ? I understand with H4D I will have a better quality because  the sensor is bigger.

    ok and other what if I shoot the same picture with  D800, 5Dm3 and H4D all with iso 100 with the same flash etc. , with picture is better and why ? except image size?Can I stretch 5Dm3 image up to 36.3MP in PS and say that the picture is better than the original D800 with 36.3MP?

  • BryanG

    All these people complaining about how “not enough megapixels! 22 megapixels is a thing of the past”…are you serious?  Who are all these people complaining about how the Canon should have the same resolution as the D800?  Stop complaining and go buy a D800 then.  Both cameras have advantages and disadvantages over the other, and therefore they each fill a niche in the professional market that the other doesn’t.  The only people out there that complain about not having enough resolution are amateur photographers who don’t know what they’re talking about.  As light passes through the curvature of the lens, with a higher-resolution sensor you have more pixels packed into a 1-degree angle than at lower resolution.

    Long story short, when you look at all the limiting factors on image sharpness (like focusing and the natural softness of the lens) your 36-mp camera is most likely going to produce an image with a level of detail that is comparable to what you can expect from a camera in the 22-25 mp range.  Also remember that, with lenses, you get what you pay for.  So unless you have some top-of-the-line lenses ($1200-$3000 range) and you’re already an expert on perfect focusing, the 36 mp on a 35mm sensor is a bit overkill.

    What Canon figured out is that, somewhere in the low-to-mid 20’s range, there is a resolution “sweet-spot”, where you get the best of both worlds: low enough pixel density to provide high frame rates, high sharpness, low noise levels, and still high enough resolution to make prints as big as you want.  My old Nikon D200, at 10 megapixels, could produce nice poster-size 16×24 prints.  How many people plan on going bigger than that?  With 22 mp, and a decent set of lenses, you can get images as big as you want.  3 feet by 4 feet?  No problem.  Even a “measly” 22 mp can rival medium-format film (considering the 8 and 10 mp DSLRs from a few years ago could already rival 35mm) and how many people who complain about 22 mp not being enough have ever shot medium format film?  I’m not knocking the Nikon D800; I’ve used Nikon DSLRs for years and have always loved them.  People just need to realize that Canon’s 22 mp 5Diii is no slouch.  I can’t wait to play with one (that’s what she said).

  • ckshih

    Then why the sample photos taken with D800 look much sharper than those taken with 5D Mark III? Compare the following images:

    For the Canon samples, download the image first and click to enlarge it. 

    It is obvious that the Canon images do not show the same level of details as the Nikon ones. 

    I hope 22MP is indeed enough so that I can pull the trigger to pre-order one. But the sample results hold me back. You need to speak with results, not technical theories. 

  • BryanG

    Those D800 sample photos were taken with high-end Nikkor lenses in the $2000 range.  My point was that a D800 owner is going to need the best lenses out there in order to take advantage of the resolution, otherwise the sensor’s ability to resolve fine detail is going to surpass the lens’ ability to PROVIDE fine detail, leaving you with some softness at 100% enlargement (and therefore, more megapixels than necessary to create the image).  The case where that becomes an issue is when people cough up $3000 for the body and then only bother to go with some consumer-grade f/3.5-5.6 lenses, which are naturally softer than the more expensive 2.8 lenses.  I wasn’t knocking the D800.  I actually want one, myself.  My comment was directed at people who have been complaining about the 22-megapixel 5Diii not being enough, which is ludicrous.  I do have a few hang-ups about the 5Diii that I didn’t mention, because it was beside the point (for example, the $3500 price tag was mostly a marketing gimmick to single out “serious pros” when, in fact, they could have gotten away with charging the same price as the D800).  Anyway, yeah I see what you mean about the sample photos.  I’m a little unimpressed by the level of noise in the 5Diii, which I expected to outperform the D800 in low-light shooting because of its lower pixel density, but in any case, I’m sure as more images pour in from both cameras, people will be equally impressed with both, depending on which one they’re drawn from (which is more about personal preference than anything else, in my opinion).

  • ckshih

    Thank you, Bryan, for your reply. I agree with you about the lenses to be used with high resolution cameras. My comment on your first post may sound as a challenge, but it was actually a question. 

    Here is a little background about my question: I had waited for 5D III for a long time. When it finally came, the MP spec disappointed me. I am an enthusiast and image quality matters the most for me. I shoot mostly Zeiss manual focus lenses, thus the 61 point AF does not mean much to me (I do have a 70-200 F/2.8 IS II, but don’t use it as much as the Zeiss primes). The 6 fps feature is another thing that does not matter much to me. I am excited about the high ISO that 5D III has to offer. But compared with high resolution, I am willing to compromise on that regard as well. In addition, I don’t need video capabilities at all. So the situation I am facing right now is that if I get the camera that I have been dreaming for so long, I will be paying lots of money for features I don’t need or don’t use very much without gaining what I really want. On the other hand, I read from the Internet about hands-on experiences of experts who raved about the much improved build quality of 5D III over 5D II. That sounds very attractive to me. As I am an amateur, camera is not just a tool for me. It is a toy that has to please me. 

    Now, let me recompose my question. What I want to know is how resolution affects image quality. I know IQ is a function of the maximum size of print. But given optimal print size for a given number of MP, does a higher resolution camera still outperform a lower resolution one? In other words, for example, for a print of 19×13 print (what 22 mp can print at 300 dpi), does D00 still outperform 5D III in terms of image details?

    If the difference is just a few inches smaller in the max print size, I may still pull the trigger to buy a 5D III. Of course I can wait to see comparison of the two cameras in the coming weeks and months. But if you or anyone who see this post can answer my question, I will be very appreciative. 

    By the way, any thoughts about the rumored EOS 3D (or whatever nomenclature) with 45 MP? Is it likely for that to come out later this year?

    Many thanks for reading and replying.


  • BryanG

    C.K., you might recall in my first comment that I mentioned how the D800 and the 5Diii each have advantages and disadvantages over each other.  What Canon did was, they surveyed thousands of professional photographers to see what they wanted, and the highest percentage reported that the features they would like to see in a new camera were: mid-range megapixels (22-25), high speed (6 fps), fast and accurate auto-focus (61 point area), durable build, and good low-light performance.  Canon released a statement saying that they didn’t bother trying to beat the D800 in terms of resolution because honestly, most professional photographers care more about having good focusing and frame rates (especially action and sports photographers).

    But you might also remember how, in my first comment, I said that because of the advantages that each camera has over the other (one is faster and lower pixel pitch and the other is higher resolution), it means that they will each fill a niche in the photography market, which all depends on your individual needs.  Based on the fact that the top selling points of the 5Diii are not really important to you (like the high frame rates and improved autofocus over the 5Dii), it might sound like the D800 is actually more suited to your particular needs.  With high-end prime lenses and good focusing technique, you ought to be able to take full advantage of the resolution; 36 mp can get you enormous prints.  I’ve gotten 24×36 prints off of my 18 mp Canon 7D that I was happy with, at half the resolution of the D800.  Unfortunately, if you have a lot of money invested in Canon lenses, it might be expensive to switch over to Nikon (and build up a collection of good Nikon lenses, which cost over $1000 a piece).  But if money is no object, it is my opinion as a photographer that the D800 is more suited to your needs and interests.

    Also, please remember that image quality isn’t really about resolution.  A good 6 mp SLR (like the Nikon D70) can produce higher quality images than an 8 mp camera-phone.  Resolution is just how many dots you have in a picture.  The overall quality of the image is more about things like contrast, color rendition, and dynamic range.  I haven’t gotten to play with the two cameras and test them out yet, but I’m confident that both will have high dynamic range and accurate color rendition.  I still don’t know for sure which one I want, but I’m probably leaning more towards the D800.  That isn’t because of its higher resolution, though; Nikon is known for having better autofocus especially in low light and the D800 is also $500 less so the 5Diii has to be impressive enough to overcome the difference in cost.

    Hope this helps!


  • ckshih

    Bryan: Thanks again for your opinion. I did some further research about my question. It seems that resolution has to do with only image size but not quality. This point you must have already known. But you may still be interested in reading the following two articles on the New York Times a couple of years ago:

    In addition to those articles, I also read more about PPI, DPI, resolution, and image quality. What I learnt have made 5D III more acceptable to me. Now going back to Nikon is no longer an option to me. I have sold all my professional level lenses except a 17-35 mm F/2.8 for the film bodies that I still keep (F3, FE2 and F100), and have heavily invested in Canon mount lenses. For people like me, who do not have an endlessly deep pocket, shifting back and forth between brands is really stupid. I am sure sooner or later Canon will offer a camera with resolution even higher than 36 MP. For now I will just wait until comparisons of the two models come out to see if the IQ of 5D III is on a par with or even better than D800 and decide if I should get the former. If not I will wait a little longer to see if the rumored 45 MP 3D or 5Dx is really forthcoming.

  • Richardrock2512

    what is indian  price??????????????

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