Digital Cameras Guide

Canon EOS 5D Mark III review

Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Third Time's a Charm

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Overall rating 9.5/10
Performance:
9.5
Design:
9.5
Features:
9.5
User-Friendliness:
9.5
Value:
9
THE GOOD
Excellent image quality
Improved handling
More responsive 61-point AF system
Fast six-frames per second shooting speed
THE BAD
Video not much improved out of camera
No non-compressed video thru HDMI
Video rolling shutter effect still visible
More Awards:
Editor's Choice


Design & Handling - Live View

Design & Handling - Live View

While the 5D Mark II was an accidental video revolutionary, the Mark III has been purposefully redesigned for video shooting, with a few hits and misses.

The Mark III comes with a headphone jack, which gives the videographers the ability to listen to captured audio. Monitor audio levels can also be displayed on Live View; with the ability to adjust them as the camera is recording (the onboard microphone is mono).

Audio levels, as well as other settings, can be adjusted while recording by pressing the 'Q' button and using the rear Quick Control Dial. The problem with doing that is that the onboard microphone will pick up the clicking sound of the dial as it turns. Canon has cleverly solved this problem with the Silent Control feature. When enabled, the Quick Control Dial's inner ring turns into a touch-sensitive d-pad, which you can tap to change settings quietly, but for some reason it only works when the camera is recording.

While being able to monitor audio levels while recording is a welcome feature, we can't help but feel that Canon has packed way too much info together with audio levels on the Live View screen – nearly one-third of the viewing screen is obscured by other information. Unfortunately, what is displayed can't be customized, and we hope this is something which Canon will allow in future firmware updates.

Instead of abruptly stopping video recording when it reaches the maximum file size of 4GB, the Mark III will automatically continue recording to a new video file. It can also now shoot up to 30 minutes of video (comprised of three separate clips stitched together) instead of the Mark II's 12-minute limit. Unlike the 1D X (as well as the Nikon D4 and D800) however, the Mark III cannot output non-compressed footage via HDMI to an external recording device, but the Mark III does gain SMPTE time-code embedding.