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Canon EOS 5D Mark III

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Reviews Views Date of last review
44 55971 Apr 25, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $3,262.25
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.63
8.15
9.6
5DIIIs

Specifications:
22.3 Megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor
61-point AF with up to 41 cross-type AF points
Zone, Spot and AF Point Expansion focusing modes
DIGIC 5 processor
Up to 6fps shooting speed
ISO 100 to 25,600 as standard, ISO 50 to 102,400 with expansion
/- 5 stops of exposure compensation
HDR shooting in-camera
Full HD Movie shooting with ALL-I or IPB compression
29mins 59sec clip length in Full HD Movie
Timecode setting for HD Movie shooting
Headphone port for audio monitoring
59ms standard shutter lag
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


 


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rk-d
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Registered: Feb 25, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 109
Review Date: Oct 27, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: JPEG output, High ISO performance, build quality, grip, ergonomics, AF
Cons:
Price

I had the opportunity to shoot both a Nikon d800 and this camera for one week, to determine which camera I'd keep. I prefer to shoot in JPEG, after years of shooting exclusively in RAW. Previous to this camera, I've owned a wide variety of full frame cameras, including the d300, 5D, d700 and 5d Mark II.

I have been shooting with a 5D Mark II since it was first introduced. The image quality of the JPEG output of the Mark III is clearly superior - especially as it pertains to high ISO output. I exclusively shot RAW in the 5dII, primarily due to the unimpressive JPEG engine. The biggest revelation of the Mark III has been it's superlative JPEG output. It's incredibly liberating to shoot at ISO 12,800 and get images with minimal noise and excellent color retention and detail. It's essentially made RAW irrelevant for me. With the 50 mm 1.4 lens, I have practically little need for flash. This is an enormous advantage and to be able to get excellent images straight out of the camera using the native JPEG engine is awesome. The d800 has a technically impressive sensor, and the noise performance of that camera is very good. That said, you have to shoot RAW to extract the DR advantages of the d800 and files are just enormous, particularly in that format. Furthermore, the ISO performance still lags behind the 5DIII and, in JPEG, there is no contest (though the d800 is still very good).

More importantly, I prefer the metering of the 5DIII. There is a slight tendency to underexpose, but the d800 frequently overexposes by 1/3-2/3 stop, in my experience. The native color tone/WB of the Nikon is also greener than the 5DIII and requires more PP to optimize the color. I've tried custom curves and custom auto white balance tones, but was not able to nail the color rendition. In terms of color, I find the Canon to be an easier camera to use, with less PP required.

Detail from the 5DIII is excellent. The d800 has more resolution, but I find that you really need to carefully set up a shot (ideally on a tripod) to extract the most of this sensor. Additionally, the d800 requires a much higher shutter speed to avoid shake when handheld. This results in higher noise issues, as the ISO has to be pushed to compensate in lower light.

The build quality of the 5DIII is top tier. It is superior to the Nikon, which is a first in my experience. The d800 grip is thin and the lack of thumb rest means that you end up pinching the body. The Canon grip is FAR superior. It feels molded to my hand and the large thumb hook lets the body just stick to your hand. The metal finish of the Canon has a more expensive feel and the tight, dense and compact 5dIII body just feels nicer to hold than the d800. This, in my opinion, is the most important difference between these bodies. The ergonomics of the Canon, is also preferable, as it pertains to button placement and quality.

The d800 sensor is a technological marvel, and I was tempted to keep it from that principle alone. The only problem is that the Canon is more enjoyable to shoot, comfortable to hold and, ultimately, I prefer the image quality of the 5dIII. The Nikon really needs RAW processing and careful technique to see any advantages (primarily at base ISO) and the inconvenience of manipulating 75MB RAW images is not a trivial issue. From my real world usage standpoint, the 5dIII was clearly superior when I tested both cameras.

The Canon AF is excellent - a big improvement from the 5DII, which was essentially crippled (though it had very good center point accuracy). It's so nice not having to focus and recompose. The Nikon AF is it's equal. Low light performance is basically the same, as well, though the d800 AF assist lamp can potentially increase accuracy in very low light situations.

The d800 is a great camera and is better suited to landscape photography or static subjects, in my opinion. If you shoot primarily handheld pictures of real people, then I recommend the 5dIII - I simply have more keepers with this camera.

These are very different cameras - both excellent and both very different with different strengths. If you are starting fresh, I'd recommend renting both before deciding which system works best for you.


Oct 27, 2012
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philber
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Registered: May 20, 2008
Location: France
Posts: 7343
Review Date: Oct 13, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Everything that was wrong or weak with the 6D MkII got fixed or improved.
Cons:
Only that which was wrong or weak with the MK II got fixed or improved. For 3 1/2 years of "evolution", that is not enough. That plus the heavy price tag make it much less competitive than the original 5D and the MKII II were

Having happily owned a 40D and two 5D Mk IIs, I looked forward to the MK III for a long time before it finally came out. My dealer only got his first copies two days before a major trip to Patagonia, so I bought mine sight unseen, else I would not have done it.
Yes, Canon fixed or improved whatever wasn't right or good enough with the MK II. Starting with the grat new AF, the body construction, etc... MK III has dual card slots and other goodies, which is great.
The problem is the IQ. It is essentially the same as the MK II, which was outstanding 3 1/2 years ago. But, whereas Canon have remained static during that very long time, Sony have not, hence the newer Sony sensors handily outperfom the Canon, as can be seen in DxO tests, with, for exemple, the Nikon D800 twins.
When first shooting the MK III, I felt that the IQ would be better, because that is the way it looked on the rear LCD. But when I looked at the RAW on my screen, no dice! The improvement comes from the JPEG engine, not the RAW IQ.
So, in a nutshell, if you are not upgrading from the MK II, or if you are after a pro camera that shouldnt' fail, or if it doesn't bother you that Nikon have better IQ for less money, you could be very happy with the MK III. Otherwise, buy a MK II. Same IQ for a lot less money, or the newer 6D. I sold my Mk III, and Canon lost me as a customer. And I am not alone...


Oct 13, 2012
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kevindar
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Registered: May 6, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2261
Review Date: Sep 30, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: $3,500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Autofocus, built, ergonomics, FPS, metering.
Cons:
Value compared to competition, Sensor, No autfocus linked spot metering, no popup flash with master function

this is the best camera canon has ever made. It has amazing autofocus, good built, great ergonomics, great viewfinder, excellent metering, etc. Compared to what canon has offered in the past, its also a great value, as this could be all means be the 1dsIV. However the camera does not exist in a vacuum, and the elephant in the jungle is Nikon with both its d600 and d800. This camera with the sensor of Nikon d800 or d600 would be the cats meow, and I would even say its price would be justified compared to competition. but as things are now, canon is falling further and further behind sony (and hence Nikon) in the sensor technology. there are currently 3 reasons to by this camera
1. You are well invested in to canon, and its two painful and costly to switch (my case)
2. you want to shoot fast moving objects, you are not focal length limited, and you want the best value. The autofocus on 5d3 and 1dx is the best out there. better than what Nikon or anyone else offers. High iso performance is very good (though the d600 appears to be a touch better in raw), and 6fps is very good. d600 would not match it in AF, neither would d800. D4 is a lot more money.
3. There are specific lenses on the canon lineup that you really like, such is mpe-65, 100-400L, 70-200 f4L IS, 17 TSE, or the big whites.
Otherwise, between d800 or d600, you can find better value and better images.


Sep 30, 2012
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photoelle
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Registered: May 1, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 267
Review Date: Sep 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast accurate AF, high IQ, great high ISO performance, build quality, lcd screen
Cons:
Focus point does not light up in viewfinder

As a pro, I have exclusively used 1-series bodies, 1D, 1DM3, & 1DM4, until now. The 5DM3 compares not only favourably, but I think its better in AF accuracy and file quality, producing beautiful and consistent images in all kinds of shooting situations.

It handles fast action, and very low light equally well, with superb colour and clarity. As an event photographer I appreciate files that come right out of the camera needing minimal post processing, as sellable images. However, if an image needs to be pushed in processing, the 5DM3 file does not fall apart.

The menu is intuitive and most items are easy to get to with one hand. If you don't need a high frame rate, the 5DM3 is a must have body. I spend a lot of long hours shooting, its a joy to work with.


Sep 11, 2012
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Gijs
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Registered: Dec 3, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 687
Review Date: Aug 28, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: accurate AF (finally!), large viewfinder, great IQ, in-camera RAW processing
Cons:
AF slow in low light, no in-camera cropping tool

I've always been somewhat disappointed by the AF accuracy (even One Shot AF) of my 1D Mark III and 7D bodies. The 5D Mark III finally gives me the accuracy I need. I did notice that AF in low light can be quite slow compared to the aforementioned bodies, especially when using slower (f/4) lenses.

Image quality is nothing short of amazing. Detail at lower ISO settings is stunning and usable ISO 6400 images open up many new possibilities.

The in-camera RAW processing functionality is great for quickly delivering a processed JPEG to a client. The image rating system makes it easy to make a quick selection of deliverable images as well. Exposure, white balance and many other parameters can be changed after shooting the RAW file. Greatly missed is the ability to crop the image, though! I would thank Canon on my knees if they included this functionality in a firmware upgrade.

The 5fps continuous shooting speed is very good for a full-frame camera of this price point, but the difference with my 10fps 1D Mark III is very noticeable when trying to capture fast action.



Aug 28, 2012
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whopper247
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Registered: Aug 14, 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 26, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: FF sensor, blistering auto-focus, viewfinder (size and LED overlay detail), build quality, ISO performance.
Cons:
None (its price is not a negative as such...more a reflection of just what a remarkable camera you are getting)

Let me set the scene... 1986 and Canon launches the T90... A camera that was way ahead of its time and legendary. Within months I had one...it did everything and more I had ever hoped on a 35mm camera. Though it now gathers dust in my study...it's still in perfect working order...and I still marvel at its design.

And so it is 6-years ago I went into digital SLR with a 400d, adding the remarkable 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses. And I've been waiting ever since for Canon to repeat that 'giant step forward' as they did with the T90.

And then in 2012 the 5d mkIII is launched. A remarkable camera on paper and, having now owned one for several weeks, in the hand. To call this camera MkIII suggests it is an upgraded MkII. Well, it isn't, as reviews will attest to.

The resolution from the FF sensor is incredible, the 'bokeh' is simply stunning. The autofocus is 'blistering' in speed, extremely accurate, versatile and seemingly quite easy to get to grips with.

The build quality I cannot fault. The menu system is very intuitive and the speed of how the controls function is instantaneous. The in-built HDR is really good to have, as is the option of SD or CF cards. Its low-light performance is truly very, very good (having shot recently indoors at 8000 ISO).

Ok, so its price is perhaps a little high, but 'you pay for what you get'... and you are getting an amazing camera for this price. Is it worth the extra beyond a 7d? I think FF is something once you've experienced, there is no going back (and the viewfinderon the 5d MkIII is quite literally twice that in size of the 400d).

Canon really has got everything right with this camera and the images I am getting are exceptional. Truly a very well-deserved 10/10 Canon. Thank you!


Aug 26, 2012
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Muzt
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Registered: Aug 11, 2012
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Review Date: Aug 12, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: AF, Menu system, Rear screen, no creaky card door, button layout, build quality
Cons:
Price, no built in flsh

I went to Focus on Imaging and thought it looked a good upgrade to 5D Mk2.
I waited until after first models were in good supply before deciding to look at one in earnest.
Part exchanged my 1D MK3 and 5D MK2 with grip for one, then added grip and 600EX.
I have had the camera about a month mainly using camera for studio shots until today when I took it to the Olympic mens Marathon to try out the autofocus. Although I played around with the settings in the focus menu I came back gobsmacked at how good the focus is. I would say better than the 1D3 and obviously far better than the 5D2.
I loved the image quality of my 5D2 and this is about a stop better. i still find I dial in about +2 thirds EV as I did with 5D2 and colours seem a bit more saturated.
If you have any doubts about moving up to this camera put them aside, it is not a an upgraded 5D2 but a completley new beast, you will love this camera.


Aug 12, 2012
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Nixos
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Registered: Aug 10, 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 8, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: AF, general responsiveness, IQ, build quality, dual card slots, silent mode. I could go on.
Cons:
None found yet...apart from the price perhaps

I've used and been very happy with the 5D2 for years (before that a 350D and 40D).
Image quality was never a problem for the 5D2, but it always felt a little slow. The outer AF points were next to useless so I lived in the world of focus-recompose. Not good with a 35 f/1.4

No longer. After a very short while I realised the 5D3 was a completely different animal. In the few weeks since getting the camera I've shot football and cricket matches along with animals on a zoo trip. The camera has performed admirably...even shooting a cricket match in failing light the AF coped well (btw multiple exposure at cricket matches is fun :-))

The AF has easily locked on in low light... even when a friend with a slightly faster focussing lens and a 1D3 was hunting.

My only problem is that I can't blame the camera any more. Any failing is due to the soft squidgy organic bit behind the viewfinder.

Did I mention the rear screen? ....wow!!!




Aug 8, 2012
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ryan aguas
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Registered: Dec 7, 2006
Location: Philippines
Posts: 42
Review Date: Jul 14, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: All I ever wanted my 5Dc upgrade should be
Cons:
none about the camera itself - just for the high introductory price of $3500

I waited for this camera for 6 years, and finally the "real" upgrade to the 5D classic is here. For years, I loved using my 5Dc because it gave me the 35mm perspective that the APSC cameras cannot provide. I skipped the 5DmkII upgrade as it did not address the main weakness of the 5D classsic which was the sluggish AF.
When the 5D mark3 specs was announced, I knew right away that I need this camera. When it came out last March, I was able to purchase a copy right away. It indeed fulfilled the gap that I had been missing from my 5D for all these years. The 5Dmk3's AF was not only fast, but it was also very accurate (even the off-center Af points) and it does not hunt in low light. With this added feature alone I would have been vey satisfied with this camera...but then, there's more -- amazing high ISO, 22mp, Full-HD movie, high quality LCD, Live view, etc., the list goes on...


Jul 14, 2012
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markd61
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Registered: May 25, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 457
Review Date: Jul 9, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent IQ, Great AF, Build, Dual cards, controls, customization options, light weight. weather sealing.
Cons:
Should have been called 6D to avoid confusing the armchair critics.

As a long time Canon DSLR user I have enjoyed the improvements in the bodies over the years. I have also watched the discussions evolve as to what users want.
When the 1Ds was introduced, users raved about the FF and IQ. Subsequent models were also praised.
When the 5D came out it set the standard for affordable FF excellence. The complaints came quickly though with users wishing for the AF, weather sealing, dual cards and build of the 1 series cameras but at the 5D price. Of course they should be buying the 1D camera but they didn't have the money but did have the ability to complain.
Canon really did listen. Over the years the message was distilled into "We want lots of res but high speed IQ and thus not too much res. And we also want better AF, weather sealing, dual cards etc."
In short, they wanted a 1D series camera at the 5D price. Canon actually has delivered that camera in the 5DmkIII.
Their only failure was in not calling it the 6D as it is now compared to the 5DmkII and thus seems expensive.
What it really is is an evolution of Canon's lineup into two FF bodies. The premium 1D body is still available at $7K and the studio version (in the 5Dmk3) is $3.5K .
Once you think of it that way it is a bargain.


Jul 9, 2012
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surf monkey
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Registered: May 23, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2589
Review Date: Jul 9, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Faster & more responsive overall, Excellent AF system, Better handling, More customizable buttons, Excellent high ISO IQ, Silent mode shutter, Better LCD, Headphone port
Cons:
Lack of AF point illumination, Slow SD card performance, Base ISO noise, Spot meter center point only, Image review zoom, No built-in flash, No continuous video AF, No true HDMI, no interchangeable focus screens

The pros far outweigh the cons for me. Most of the cons above are small matters compared to the huge advantages of the new AF and better handling over the 5D2. The AF point illumination issue is a puzzling omission by Canon. Some users just hate it. For me it's a minor annoyance, but Canon really did blow it with this issue on an otherwise awesome AF system.
I'm only an avid hobbyist with only a few side photography jobs a year, but it meets all my expectations for a DSLR.
It isn't perfect, but as close as it gets for me.

I gave it a 9 rating, but its more like a 9.4


Jul 9, 2012
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cgi_photo
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Registered: Mar 27, 2008
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 26
Review Date: Jun 29, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: AF!!!, build, feel, IQ, viewfinder, feel
Cons:
maybe a bit pricey

Having used a 5D mII for more than 3 years or so, I hoped like many for an AF imprvment - the rest of the cam was good or very good.

5D mIII:
I took it in my hand, pushed the release button, the cam focused and I loved it Smile
the AF system is just great - there are hardly any out of focus pictures anymore. I find the IQ also slightly better, especially the shades and skin tones (using DPP). I'm thankful that Canon didn't raise the megapixel by much - it saved me money for a faster PC Wink

this digital camera is the first one that I give a perfect "10"


Jun 29, 2012
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dehowie
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Registered: Oct 21, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 979
Review Date: Jun 7, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Autofocus,build,battery life,viewfinder,weight.
Cons:
Pricey.

Having used the camera now over a few months in every condition from bright to full night at hi ISO I love this camera.
I've got 2 1Dmk4s and other than FPS and weather sealing/build it competes very well on every level winning in some aspects.
Best AF ive ever used..it's accuracy with the 50/1.2 and 85/1.2 still surprises me giving a far higher dead on rate then I've seen.
IQ s beautiful with good to excellent Hi ISO performance.
Buffer is great in JPG but could be bigger in RAW but still sufficient for 98% of the time.
Overall a brilliant tool for a wide variety of subjects, sport to still and from day to night.
Highly recommended but the AF is just brilliant and if you use 1.2 and 1.0 lenses it's a must get camera.


Jun 7, 2012
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ChrisRD
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Registered: May 19, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 935
Review Date: May 30, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,425.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: AF, IQ, AF, great user interface, AF, High ISO performance, AF...did I mention AF?
Cons:
Price

I think many of us were hoping for the successor to the 5D2 to be something with at least equivalent IQ and much improved AF. IMO the 5D3 delivers that and more.

Since switching to digital I've owned a few other Canon dSLRs including the 40D, 7D, 5D, 5D2 and 1D3. The 5D3 is by far my favorite digital body so far. The AF is excellent...very customizable and very accurate (even better than the 1D3 IMO). The camera is much more responsive than the previous 5D models and IQ in upper ISOs is the best I've seen from any Canon camera while low ISOs are still excellent. The camera has a very intuitive interface and is just a joy to shoot with...I actually get excited to use it. It's also simplified my gear bag now...I can cover all of my photographic needs with one camera body (something I was having a tough time doing since switching to digital).

Canon really got this one right IMO.


May 30, 2012
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avgshooter
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Registered: May 24, 2012
Location: China
Posts: 2
Review Date: May 24, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: - AF performance - IQ at high iso - Great LCD - 6FPS
Cons:
- Price

The AF on the 5D2 seems like it was from the stone age when compared to the 5D3. I mean its fantastic and almost worth canon's asking price.

It takes a small time to adjust to the sheer number of AF points and complexity of the system, but once you are familliar with the system you'll be able to track subjects with confidence. One particular standout feature is the focus points can be set to different orientation.

Anyway, the build quality is excellent as you'd expect from canon and feels even better than the already very good 5D2.

The only gripe I have is the price considering the D800 is cheaper by a not inconsiderable amount. If it weren't for the excellent canon lenses I'd consider switching over.


May 24, 2012
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AGeoJO
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Registered: Jul 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 11950
Review Date: May 22, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: $3,499.00

Pros: AF responsiveness and accuracy, accurate metering, high ISO capability, FPS, silent shutter mode, LCD display, customability, etc.
Cons:
Considering past prices and improvement built into this camera, the price seemed to be reasonable. However, relative to that of the nearest competitor, the price is actually a tad too high.

I have had and used quite a few Canon DSLR cameras, including the professional-grade bodies, such as 1Ds Mark I through III and 1D Mark II through IV, which were more expensive than this camera. I have not been so enthusiastic about any camera than with the 5D Mark III. So, for sure, it is not because of the price and not because it is a new camera, but there are a lot of features built into this Canon 5D Mark III that I simply love and tremendously enjoy. Enough so and it makes me want to go out, be creative and take pictures. This is not a review of the camera but just a blurb about this, in my honest opinion, a great camera. Is it the best camera out there? No, not really but what is?

Here is a link of images captured with this camera:
http://www.pbase.com/ageojo/canon_5d_mark_iii


May 22, 2012
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Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
44 55971 Apr 25, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $3,262.25
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.63
8.15
9.6
5DIIIs


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