The new camera called the EOS 5D Mark III has a brand-new image sensor makes it the highest-resolution DSLR that Canon's ever made.
The full-frame CMOS sensor lets the 5D Mark III capture photos up to 22.3 megapixels - about 4 megapixels more than Canon's top-of-the-line EOS-1D X (the 1D X has other features, like dual image processors, that let it retain its flagship status). Resolution isn't everything, of course, and Canon says the new sensor has higher sensitivity and better noise reduction than its previous sensors, which means it should perform superbly in low light.
There's also better data transfer between the sensor and the image processor. That improves video quality and lets photographers snap six pictures per second at full resolution.
The camera's ISO range is adjustable from 100 to 25,600 in standard mode, but you go down to 50 if needed for studio or landscape photography. You can also crank it all the way up to 102,400, and Canon's press release finally clues us in on to who outside of mole people would want to do so: law enforcement, government or forensic field applications. Well, there you have it.
There's a lot to like in the EOS 5D Mark III for pro videographers, too. The camera can record video in numerous HD formats: 1080p (at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second) and 720p (60 or 50 fps). It also includes more video compression formats that Canon says will help speed up post-production work. The new full-frame image sensor is also said to reduce moir - the annoying "blending" you sometimes see when you shoot patterns like multiple parallel lines.
To help capture longer-form video, the camera can capture footage continuously for about a half-hour, automatically splitting it across multiple 4GB files. Dual SD card slots help ensure you don't run out of space.
The 5D Mark III also gets the 61-point autofocus system currently on the flagship 1D X. Every single point is manually selectable, though the camera divides them into areas, prioritizing the points depending on your aperture. They're also assisted by a tracking algorithm for when you've got a moving target on your hands.
Finally, the 5D Mark III gets in-camera HDR (high dynamic range) shooting. This feature, which is now even on cellphone cameras like the one on the iPhone 4S, merges three images captured at various exposure levels into a single image. The result tends to be more dynamic color and enhanced detail.
One notable absence from the EOS 5D Mark III: continuous auto focus for shooting video. Canon again has chosen to eschew the feature, which has been present in many Nikon DSLRs for a while. While manual zoom tends to give better results and doesn't make any noise, on Canon DSLRs it's simply not an option.
The Canon 5D Mark III goes on sale at the end of March for $3,499 - that's for the body only. If you want a kit with a lens (with 24-105mm zoom), that'll cost you $4,299. A boatload of accessories for the camera, including a GPS receiver and wireless transmitter, will all be on sale by April. More information is at Canon's site.
What do you think of the Canon 5D Mark III? Complete want, or is it missing anything you'd like to see? Let us know in the comments.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR
The EOS 5D Mark III is the highest-resolution DSLR camera that Canon's ever made.