The moment you’ve been waiting for (if you shoot Canon, that is)
When Nikon launched their Nikon D700 replacement, the Nikon D800, Canon fans have been eagerly anticipating the replacement for the wildly successful but much criticized Canon EOS 5D Mark II, and finally, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a reality.
Housed in a sleek, new body is a camera with a new auto-focus system, new metering and processing chips, a new 22 megapixel sensor, and faster burst rate.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III will naturally replace it’s Mark II predecessor, but the bigger anticipation will always be the specifications, particularly with the relatively prehistoric auto-focus system of the current version as well as shooting speed and build.
Canon Rumors has been hot on the EOS 5D Mark III’s trail for several months now, and in addition to their sleuthing, folks in China also noticed a huge launch event being prepped today, the 2nd of March in Asia (March 1 in North America).
As you can see from the stage background, several point-and-shoot PowerShot unit will be launched as well, most probably announce the availability of the PowerShot G1X too.
In China, their C/NET partner have already posted store ads/leaflets of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III a couple of days ago. In fact, and it seems like the announcement will be made globally at the same time.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Specifications and Details
- 22.3 Megapixel Full Frame CMOS sensor
- DiG!C 5+ Image Processor
- ISO 100-25600 (expandable to L:50 H1:51200, H2: 102400
- Full HD Movie (ISO 100-12800 (H:25600)
- 61-point high-density reticular AF (up to 41 crosstype points)
- 6.0 fps for high continuous shooting
- Intelligent viewfinder with approx. 100% coverage
- 3.2-type, approx.1.04m dot (3:2 wide) Clear View LCD II
- iFCL metering with 63-zone dual-layer sensor
- Shutter durability of 150,000 cycles
- Silent & low vibration modes
- Dual card slots (CF & SD)
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) Mode
- Multiple Exposures
- Comparative Playback function
- Improved durability & water and dust resistance
- Min Shutter Speed – 30 sec
- Max Shutter Speed – 1/8000 sec
- Connectivity – USB 2, HDMI, Mic Input, Wireless (optional)
- Battery – LP-E6
- File Formats – AVI, RAW, H.264, MOV, MPEG-4
- Dimensions – 152 x 116 x 76mm
As you can see, on paper, the upgrades seem to focus on the auto-focus system, which is more at par for a camera at his price range, new sensor and processor, burst speed, and ergonomics/LCD size.
The camera will also sport a dual card slot, one compact flash, and one SD card like the 1D series. The design looks a lot more streamlined and updated to suit the looks of the EOS 600D, EOS 7D, the EOS 1DX camera series now. There’s no mistaking that the Canon EOS 5D III is part of Canon’s ‘current generation’ of DSLRs. It’s also interesting to see that Canon kept the resolution at the 20 megapixel range and did not go head-to-head with the Nikon D800’s 36-megapixel sensor.
All of a sudden, the tables have turned in terms of the resolution department. Remember how Canon was criticized by many people initially for going 20+ megapixels with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II while praising the Nikon D700 for using a full-frame sensor at relatively low megapixel count for larger photosites.
Now the EOS 5D Mark III has 14 megapixels less than its Nikon counterpart. It’ll be interesting to see the image quality and noise comparisons for both. Along with the camera, a new grip dubbed the BG-E11 will be available for the Canon EOS 5D Mark III.
Canon 600EX RT Flash and Wireless Controller
Along with the camera body, the 580EX II will finally be replaced by the 600EX. As of press time, I still don’t have the full specification details for the 600EX flash, but from the looks of things, the flash looks larger and taller with a sync port on the side and it supports native radio triggering as well.
- Radio transmission enabled wireless multiple flash system
- Zoom flash head covers wide range of 20-200mm; Max. Guide No. 197 ft./60m at ISO 100
- Redesigned contact construction, improved flash head durability, and exceptional dust and weather resistance
- 18 Custom and 3 Personal Functions for creative flexibility
It will most probably have the goodies featured from the newer Nikon SB-900 and SB-910 flashes.
From the press release:
In addition to the EOS 5D Mark III, Canon is also announcing the first professional Speedlite on the market with a built-in wireless radio transmitter, the new Speedlite 600EX-RT.
The new Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT is the flagship model in the Speedlite line, ideal for wedding portrait and photojournalism.
Compatible with all EOS Digital SLRs, this new model eliminates the need for accessory radio slave units and their inherent limitations. Speedlite 600EX-RT features Master-Slave two-way transmission, letting the photographer control the Speedlite settings directly from the “Master” camera.
Radio-based Wireless E-TTL can be performed with up to 15 Speedlite 600EX-RT “slave units”, used off-camera up to 98.4 feet (30m) away, and triggered by either a “Master” 600EX-RT on-camera, or the optional new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT.
Used with the EOS 5D Mark III or EOS-1D X, up to five groups of flashes can be completely controlled, independently, off-camera. And, it remains fully compatible with Canon’s legacy optical-based Wireless E-TTL technology, for users already committed to existing EOS Speedlites.
The Speedlite features enhanced weather-resistant construction — matching that of the EOS-1D X camera body — and a more reliable electrical contact. The flash head zoom range now reaches from 20mm to 200mm.The Speedlite also allows remote shutter release of a single EOS camera, or Linked Shooting (simultaneous firing of up to 15 cameras, when one “Master” camera is fired), and includes gelatin filters and a dedicated filter holder to help photographers match ambient light.
Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT
Also, the Canon ST-E3 will also be available, a long-overdue replacement for the archaic ST-E2. The ST-E3-RT reportedly will use radio frequency to transmit ETTL data to control EX flashes.
- New wireless system utilizing a 2-way radio wave transmission for enhanced communication among master and slave units
- Transmission distance of up to 98.4 ft. / 30m, all at a 360-degree angle
- Up to 5 groups, or 15 individual flashes can be controlled via 1 transmitter
- Supports E-TTL II flash, manual flash, stroboscopic and external flash metering
Providing full support of Canon’s new radio-based wireless flash technology, the new ST-E3-RT can control up to five groups of flashes, up to 98.4 feet (30m) from the camera. The remote shutter release capability enables photographers to either fire a single camera remotely (by pressing a button on the ST-E3-RT), or to fire up to 15 EOS cameras with Canon’s Linked Shooting feature. Making it easy to control and adjust, all of the Speedlite Transmitter features are accessible through the Flash control menu of the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III cameras.
Pricing and Availability
Pricing for the Canon EOS 5D Mark III will be US$3,500 MSRP, expect street price to be a little lower. The EOS 5D III will also come with the usual Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM as a bundled kit lens, if preferred.
Stay tuned for more news, sample images, and review of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III! Oh, if you want a bargain, it’s a great time to hunt for used Mark II units now. For the meantime, here’s a press release to read.
I’m sure we’ll hear folks being ‘disappointed’ (will people ever be satisfied? Guess not) about something, probably the resolution, but in my opinion, keeping the resolution difference between a future studio-level 1D series, the current 1DX, and the 5D Mark III will allow Canon to once again have a 3-tier product line that won’t eat each other’s sales.
The EOS 5D Mark III will clearly be the preference of wedding and event shooters, the 1DX will handle the duties of the former 1D sports camera line, and whatever Canon has in the future as a megapixel studio monster will take over the high-res department.
And besides, 22 megapixels is still mighty big for most folks.
What do you think of this Canon EOS 5D Mark III flagship, non-gripped DSLR of Canon?