Slugline. Simple, elegant screenwriting.

Red Giant Color Suite, with Magic Bullet Looks 2.5 and Colorista II

  • Sony Alpha a7S Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
    Sony Alpha a7S Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
    Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
  • TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
    TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
  • The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    by Stu Maschwitz

Canon 5D Mark III

The Canon 5D Mark III has been announced and is already up for pre-order at B&H and Amazon. $3499, availability said to be late March.

Canon has shown restraint with the megapixels, which is nice. But they seem to have shown restraint everywhere else as well. Although the 61-point autofocus system (same one as the 1D X) is probably enough to get me to upgrade.

  • 22.3 Megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 61-point AF with up to 41 cross-type AF points
  • DIGIC 5+ processor
  • Up to 6fps shooting speed
  • ISO 100 to 25,600 standard, 50 to 102,400 with expansion
  • HDR shooting in-camera
  • Full HD Movie shooting with ALL-I or IPB compression
  • 29mins 59sec clip length in Full HD Movie
  • Timecode for HD Movie shooting
  • Headphone port for audio monitoring
  • Transparent LCD viewfinder with 100% coverage
  • 8.11cm (3.2”), 1.04 million-pixel Clear View II LCD Screen
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS)
  • CF and SD card slots
  • Silent control touch-pad area
  • Dual-Axis Electronic Level

What about video? From the product description (emphasis mine):

Full HD video recording is supported in multiple formats, including 1080/30p, 24p, 25p; 720/60p, 50p; 480/60p, 50p. While recording video, a 4GB automatic file partition is employed in order to gain longer continuous recording times, up to 29 minutes 59 seconds. Both All i-frame and IPB compressions are supported as well as the standard H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec. Embedding the timecode is also possible…

Video performance is further enhanced with the ability to manually adjust your exposure settings and audio levels while recording. By employing Live View, you can view your recording on the LCD and make settings changes with a dedicated menu tab on the fly. The DIGIC 5+ processor also dramatically improves video response times and helps to reduce color artifacts, aberrations, and moiré.

Sounds good. We’ll have to see. The Verge writes (again, emphasis mine):

Unfortunately, there’s still no option for clean HDMI output (which allows the uncompressed video footage to be captured on an external recorder)—when we asked about this, Canon’s reps said “not yet.” However, it does sound like the HDMI signal output won’t downsample from 1080p to 480p when recording, thanks to the DIGIC 5+.

I know the lack of a clean HDMI out upsets a lot of people, but personally I’ve never been a fan of the outboard recorder workflow. The 5D Mark III’s updated autofocus for stills, 720p60, manual audio levels and headphone jack, and the promise of reduced moiré may not add up to “revolution: part 2,” but they may well be worth the upgrade for many.

The bummer for me is the lack of an articulated LCD, but I imagine this has to do with weatherproofing requirements.

More thoughtful analysis to come of course! And I’ll let you know when and if I pull the trigger and order one.

Reader Comments (9)

Had they released it at the same price as the Mk II, that would've been something. But modest updates after 3 years AND a $1000 price hike? No thanks.

March 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterMike Bozulich

I hear ya. I'm similarly surprised at how willing Canon is to massively hike the prices of Mark II versions of popular lenses like the 24–70 and 70-200. One has to wonder if at least some of that is due to the difficulties all Japanese manufacturers faced after last year's Tōhoku quake.

March 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterStu

I hope the DP review wasn't shot on the 5D Mark III some moire issues there.

March 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterKen Fisk

Yeah, its a decent but not great upgrade though the stills features seem more interesting than the video ones. The interesting question is given its high price point, is there a 7D Mark II or 60D successor coming or camera at it's features. APS-C, dual processors and more video upgrades (say 60p at 1080 and articulating LCD? and full HDMI out?

Hard to know what will happen though. That price point does rent a lot of C300 time as well...

March 2, 2012 | Registered Commentertest

maximum resolution for stills is 5760 x 3840

which is exactly (1920x3)x(1280x3)
I'll take that as very good news:
* it means the sensor was designed with video in mind
* it means 1080p images are probably going to be very, very sharp
* it's great for a 1.5x crop mode with exactly the same sensor structure of the C300 (4 photosites for each pixel); we haven't heard about a crop mode yet, but there are some indications that it may be there
* it may mean a modified Bayer pattern with a 3x3 basic module, maybe with RGBW or even RGBWK - I think we would have heard about that already if it was the case, but anyway: it could be a very, very nice thing

March 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterSamuel H

We shoot network tV spots regularily and if you avoid fast pans there is no jello or 're.

60p 'full frame' is not HD - its only 720p so they caught up to the 7D.

I see it as $3,500 for a headphone jack. Where's the full out HDMi, where's the full out 60f @ 1080.

More importantly I see it as a big swing and a miss by Canon.

No thanks.

March 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterWalker Bell

Avoiding fast pans doesn't help with moiré.

720p is HD.

March 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterStu

My question is, those of us that will continue to use our 5DMK2, can Canon just give us audio levels on screen while shooting already?

Maybe my lack of understanding the possible technical limitations of the hardware is at work, but I really don't get why this hasn't been added in the firmware by now.

If I can manage to somehow scrape the difference together, I would upgrade to MK3 for the headphone jack and meters. A documentary that I'm struggling to make happen, I'm working by myself 99% of the time, and some of the trips we take the kids on, it would be nice to carry less and keep on top of less equipment.

But, without the other upgrades to the camera, no the headphone jack and meters wouldn't be enough alone.

March 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterJason Stewart

@Jason it seems to me that what you want is to try out Magic Lantern: it has manual audio gain and on-screen meters, and the latest versions are super stable and easy to use

(it also proves that if Canon didn't give you that, the only reason is that they don't want to give you that; they'd rather have you buy a C300)

March 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterSamuel H
Comments Disabled
Sorry, comments are disabled temporarily while I tweak some stuff.
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