Canon 5d Mk 3 review


Canon 5d Mk 3 review

canon 5d Mk 3 review

canon 5d Mk 3 review 4

Canon 5d Mk 3 review
Predecessors – Canon 5d Mk 3 review

Canon 5d line consists of three models: the Canon 5d, Canon 5d Mk2 and Canon 5d Mk3. I used all of these cameras. All of these cameras has excellent picture quality. The oldest Canon 5d has an ISO range of 100-3200, was released back in 2005, and still has lot better image quality than any Canon crop sensor dslr to date. But it has a 230k dot LCD and dated functions, obviously in this highly spinning modern world this is a matusalem in the camera world. It can make very good images up to ISO 3200. Today can get the Canon 5d very cheaply. The difference between the Canon Mk2 and Mk3 is mainly the better autofocusing system of the latter and little better low light performance. In normal ISO range I don’t see significant difference over the Mk 2. The Canon 5d Mk2 only has 1 cross-type autofocus point, and 11 focus points total. The Canon 5d Mk3 has 61/41 crosstype focus points. Also the Canon 5d Mk 3 has lots of new functions, two card slot, an SD and a CF. The older discontinued Canon 5d Mk 2 is a very good deal today if you are on a budget. The Canon 5d Mk II is legendary camera, with excellent performance even in the video/cinema world.

Other recent Canon Full frame cameras – Canon 5d Mk 3 review

The Canon 1Dx/1Dc and the Canon 6d are the other cameras in the Canon lineup. The 1Dx clearly a better flagship camera with better high ISO performance. The Canon 6d is quite similar to the Canon 5d Mk 3 apart from the focusing system.

To check the Full frame Canon cameras how to compare to each other see the table at the bottom of the page

Picture quality

The picture quality of the Canon 5d Mk 3 is very nice. Good contrast, lots of detail, beautiful colours, excellent high ISO performance. Thing is dynamic range and colors which is a little behind Nikon even from my Nikon d7000 crop sensor camera regarding Raw images according to my opinion. If your main interest is landscapes, I would suggest to check Nikon cameras as well. Where Canon is better is Tilt-shift lenses. On the other hand Canon has nothing like the Nikon 14-24mm lens for example. Canon stronger in telephotos like the 135mm f/2, 200mm f/2.8, 400mm f/5.6, 300mm f/2.8 is II 400mm f/2.8 is II, 500mm f/4 is II, 600mm f/4 is II and many others. Usually these lenses are cheaper than Nikon counterparts and not worse, but better in most cases.
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Canon 5d Mk 3+ Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm f/8 ISO 100 1/160s on Full frame the wide angle will be really wide click to see in 1500 pix No post processing standard jpg straight from the camera
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25% crop from the center of the image Canon 5d Mk 3 Canon 24-70 f/4 L 61mm f/4 ISO 100 1/1000s No post processing standard jpg straight from the camera

Jpg or Raw ?

Most people who buy this camera will shoot in Raw format. Even standard jpg settings is a little over-processed for my taste. The file resolution is 5760×3840 pixel. An average jpg is 8 Mbyte, but can be 9.5 MByte as well.

Built quality:

The camera has reasonable built quality, but with lots of plastic all around. Although many people don’t like plastic (me included), it helps to reduce camera weight, as well it is better in extreme hot or cold weather, when the metal cameras can become very hot or cold. The grip is better than on Nikon cameras because it is more fat, which gives better feel to handling.

Full frame or crop sensor? – Canon 5d Mk3 review

I mostly use crop sensor cameras. What are the key differences between Full frame and crop sensor cameras ? In Nikon land the difference is 1-2 stops better low light performance, wider angle of view, and more shallow depth of field. In Canon land the difference is significantly better low light performance as well, wider angle of view, shallower depth of field, significantly better colors, and no built-in flash for the Full Frame camera as well. The autofocus system is also better on the Full Frame model with lots of cross-type autofocus points.

Is it worth the extra money over the Canon 6d? – Canon 5d Mk3 review

Perhaps this is a question for many people to answer to himself/herself.
You can decide, the only significant difference is the more cross type points on the 5d Mk3, which is most important in action/wedding/sports/wildlife photography, and the less weight of the 6D. For example if you are a landscape photographer, you don’t need perhaps a super fast, and incredibly accurate autofocus system. If you earn for living with photography, as a sports, wedding or event photographer, where autofocus quality is essential, yes it is worth the extra money, depending on your technique. I still prefer the smaller size, less weight (950 vs 770g), better dynamic range and significantly cheaper price of the Canon 6d, but I am not living from event photography. High iso performance is also a little bit better on the Canon 6d.

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Canon 5d Mk 3 Specifications – Canon 5d Mk3 review

High iso (2293)
Dynamic range:11.7 EV
Weight:950g (33.5 oz)
ISO range:50-102,400
LCD size/resolution:3,2″, 1040k dots
Viewfinder size/coverage:0,71/100%
Flipout screen: No
Touchscreen: No
Flash synchspeed: 1/200s
Battery life:950 shots
Storage slots: 2 No: 1 CF, 1 SD card
Continuous shooting: 6 fps

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Video parameters:

Highest resolution: 1920*1080/30,25,24 fps
1280×720/60,50 fps, 640×480/30,25s
Max length of video:29 min 59 sec

Video functions:

-Wind filter
-Socket for external mic, internal is mono
-64 level of sound recording
-silent video control function
Video file sizes: between 78-235 MB/sec


My most used ISO button setting is strange. After pressing the button to adjust ISO must turn the front dial, to change settings, which is awkward. Why not use the back dial to change ISO settings as on my Canon 30D ? There is a workaround with other buttons, but why not good at first ? It is not needed to hold the button while change settings, just press it after you can adjust. Perhaps the set button is better to use to change ISO settings.

Customizable buttons

-DOF button
-Set button

C1, C2, C3 custom shooting modes

There are three customizable shooting modes when the camera remembers the settings we adjusted. It is a very useful feature actually.


The autofocus is very good, with lots of cross-type focus points. There are many different patterns available with different priorities. This is where the Canon 5d Mk 3 is better than the Canon 5d Mk2, which only has one cross-type points and 9 points total. The middle focus point of the Canon 5d Mk3 is a double crosstype focus point. I prefer crosstype focus points over single focus points which are not very reliable, so perhaps the best to turn out all non-cross type points if speed is important. If you have time for example for a landscape, this is not so important. There are 6 different focus tracking option are available.


My menu option is quite usable to collect your most used items, as on my Nikon d7000.

Functions – Canon 5d Mk 3 review

The Canon 5d Mk3 is a function rich camera. This camera can do lots of things, which entry level models are not. It needs some time to get used to all possible settings/functions. There is a vignetting correction for example and the cromatic aberration correcton. Other functions are:
-Distortion correction
-Live view
-Live view final image simulation (exposure, etc)
-Wireless flash
-Creating folders and rating pictures
-Color fringing correction
-Vignetting correction
-Interval timer shooting
-Compare two pictures side by side
-Slideshow option
-Multiple exposures 2-9
-Auto lighting optimizer
-AF microadjustment
-6 autofocus tracing options
-Sensor cleaning
-Correcting vignetting/cromatic aberration
-Highlight tone priority
-In camera raw processing
-In camera HDR
-Adjustments for lenses up to 40 lenses
-More silent single and continuous shutter option
-Long exposure noise reduction (standard, low, high, disable)
-Self timer 2,10s

Main rivals / alternatives

Nikon d610 and the Nikon d800 are the obvious competitors apart from the Canon 6d, which is a favourite for many. The Nikons have an inbuilt flash, better dynamic range (you can have more detail from the shadows without adding noise), better low light performance. The Nikon d800/d800E has much better resolution. Not all people like Nikon though. I found in several technical aspects the Nikon cameras are better, but for me is harder to find out the settings to take the pictures I want. Canons are more natural for me, but like the Nikons better dynamic range, built-in flash, better colour sensitivity and lower noise level. In lens lineup is also there is a difference, higher end Canon lenses are usually cheaper, than Nikon counterparts.

Bottom line/verdict – Canon 5d Mk3 review

The Canon 5d Mk 3 is an extremely capable Full frame camera for professional photographers. Together with the excellent Canon lens lineup is a very useful tool for many kinds of photography, included landscapes/portrait/wedding/action/sports photography. The Canon 5d Mk 3 camera has excellent low light performance, very capable 61 point autofocus system with 41 cross-type and 1 double-cross type focus point. It does have a very high competition from Nikon side though with Nikon d800/d610/d4/d4s cameras. The Nikon has more shadow detail, some Nikon has built in flash, lower noise levels. For amateurs on a budget I don’t think is a very good investment though with it’s high price, where the Canon 6d seems more reasonable.

Lens reviews for Canon mount

The Sigma 150mm-600mm
The Tamron 150-600mm Vc USD
Canon 200mm f/2.8 review
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 review

 Posted by at 5:45 pm