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Canon 5D Mark III First Impressions Review$3,499.00
Lens Mount & Sensor
The image sensor on the Canon 5D Mark III has 22.3 effective megapixels of resolution, with a Digic 5+ processor handling the data as it comes off the sensor. The improvements on a pixel level allow the camera to use smaller pixels than the 5D Mark II, but improve signal-to-noise ratio despite that. The sensor is full-frame, same as the 5D Mark III, putting it above the APS-H that Canon used in several older cameras and in line with the 1D X. The lens mount is a Canon EF, and the camera can not physically function with EF-S lenses and their smaller flange-back distances.
LCD & Viewfinder
The 5D Mark III inherits the same 3.2-inch, 1.04-million dot LCD as the Canon 1D X. The screen is exactly the same unit as on the 1D X, and the quality level is about as good as we've seen on any other DSLR. The top LCD has seem some small upgrades as well, mostly on the order of providing more information about the newer features in the Mark III, including whether silent shutter has been activated or not.
The viewfinder sees a large upgrade from the 5D Mark II, with 100% coverage. The viewfinder is much brighter to our eyes than the 5D Mark II, very similar to the 1D X. It also comes with Canon's "intelligent viewfinder" system that allows for grid selection on-demand and swappable focusing screens. The display on the viewfinder also has Canon's "alert display" which the user can have flash when certain settings are activated.
For example, if you frequently shoot in the monochrome picture control, you can tell the alert display to tell you if you have the camera set to shoot monochrome so that you know to change it back if you wanted to capture a color image. It's a small touch, but it's something that will aid specific workflows greatly. The alert display can also be set to trigger when white balance shift, one touch image quality (JPEG or RAW), ISO sensitivity, spot metering, or the auto light optimizer have been activated. This way you'll no longer set ISO manually to a high setting and forget to turn it back to normal levels ever again.
There's no built-in flash on the 5D Mark III, as expected, with the top section housing the optical viewfinder. The camera has a full hot shoe, as you could probably guess, and contains considerable control inside of the camera itself. Like the 1D X, the camera features the ability to integrate better with modern Canon flashguns, including things like setting personal radio PINs to make sure flashes only communicate with the master on your Mark III and not someone else's camera by mistake.
Jacks, Ports & Plugs
The 5D Mark III includes a variety of plugs on the left side of the camera. The plugs are just behind rubber flaps that lock securely into the body of the camera. The Mark III includes a 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks, USB 2.0 (no SuperSpeed here), mini-HDMI, flash terminal, and remote release ports.
The battery on the 5D Mark III is the same as the Mark II, the LP-E6, which is a great boon to those looking to upgrade who invested heavily in the Mark II system. There's no word on CIPA ratings yet, however, and we'll update as soon as we have those.
The 5D Mark III will also now feature dual card slots, with one slot for CompactFlash and one for SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. The dual card slots now have the ability to record simultaneously as well as independently of one another, letting you store your RAW files on CompactFlash for storage and JPEGs on SD for easy review.