I recently upgraded my main camera body, switching up from the Canon 5D Mark II to the new 5D Mark III. It was a pretty sizeable investment, with the Mark III coming in a RRP of nearly three grand so was it really that much better to warrant the investment? Obviously for me it was as from the moment the Mark III was announced it answered a number of key points on my wish list. In many ways the new model is closer to the 1DX in operation. In fact in pretty much every area apart from the astounding burst rate of 12FPS on the 1DX I can’t really see a lot of difference. Certainly not enough to warrant an extra 2 grand (unless you’re a paparazzi or sports ‘tog of course!)
Externally there’s little to tell the 5Ds apart (the Mk2 is still a current model, they aren’t superseding it just adding to the range). Canon have made a few subtle ergonomic changes to the body styling and button positions etc but otherwise it’s still very similar in the hand, slightly heavier I think but not enough to worry about. Here’s my key list of improvements that helped influence my decision:
Incredible new system, 61 points, virtually identical to the 1Dx.
- Improved low light, high ISO performance.
Shooting at ISO12800 renders image quality on a par with ISO 3200 on my Mark 2, which was about equivalent of ISO 800 on my old 40D!
- Improved auto ISO function with intelligent minimum shutter speed feature.
This means you can actually use auto ISO now and have the camera ‘know’ when to up the ISO based on your minimum acceptable shutter speed.
- HDR / bracketing options.
– You can now bracket up to 7 frames for much more subtle rendering of HDR images.
- Rating button
You can assign a star rating right on the camera itself, which means you can easily tag shots for priority attention/editing when you get them onto the computer.
- Dual slots – CF and SD
The addition of a second card slot allows you to either keep a second backup of your images while you’re shooting, or even better use something like the Eye-Fi SD cards to send a low-res image to your computer or iPad for immediate preview during a shoot. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time since Eye-Fi don’t make CF cards.
- Eye-Fi control
As per the above comment re cards, the Mark 3 now has specific options in the menus for controlling the Wifi options on the card.
- 100% viewfinder
The 7D was the first Canon SLR to feature a 100% viewfinder coverage and I found that really handy compared to the slightly reduced view of most other cameras.