Canon 5D III announced–How does the specs compare 5D III vs 5D II

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Canon has announced its new full frame professional DSLR Canon 5D III (official announcement here). It has been 2.5 years since the 5D II was introduced back in Sept, 2008. The new Canon 5D III is RRP at $3500 USD which surprisingly is more than the Nikon D800 ($2,999). It is even more expensive than the D800E ($3299). The 5D III features a 22MP sensor which is only 1MP more than the 5D II. Interestingly, Canon has adopted to use a lower MP sensor in the new 5D III than the Nikon D800. This means the new Canon 5D III will be able to catch up with Nikon’s D800 ISO performance, despite Nikon has been topping the ISO chart for a while. Canon 5D III no longer directly compete with the Nikon’s D800, unlike how it used to when the 5D II was largely compared with Nikon’s D700. The 5D II is already very well equipped with 21 MP and Full HD video. Is there anything to update? What are the new specs and features on the this highly anticipated Canon 5D III.

How does it compare with its predecessor and Canon’s top of the line1DX which surprisingly will not be available until April, 2012?

Just like the 5D II, the 5D III will sell like hot cakes and will be back order for months. If you want to get yours early, you can pre-order your Canon 5D III at B&H.







Let’s check out Canon 5D III’s new features.

  • 22.3 Megapixel
  • ISO 100 to 25,600, expandable to 50 to 102,400.
  • iFCL Metering with 63 zone dual-layer metering sensor
  • New DIGIC 5+  image-processing engine with superior, high-speed processing capabilities
  • New 61-Point High Density Reticular AF including up to 41 cross-type AF points with f/4.0 lens support and 5 dual diagonal AF points (sensitive to f/2.8).
  • Up to 6 FPS
  • 100% View finder coverage
  • Full-HD movies 1920 x 1080; 30 fps/25 fps/24 fps
  • Extremely durable shutter that has passed testing for 150,000 cycles
  • Enhanced Weather sealing
  • A 3.2-inch, approximately 1040k-dot LCD monitor
  • Dual CF & SD
  • Approximately 152  x 116 x 76mm
  • Weight 900g (body only)

How does the specs compare to the Canon 1D X and the older Canon 5D II?

Canon 5D III Canon 5D II Canon 1D X Nikon D800
Megapixels 22 megapixels 21.1 megapixels 18.1 megapixels 36 megapixels
Native ISO Range 100 – 25,600 100 – 6,400 100 – 51,200 100 – 6,400
Expanded ISO Range 50 – 102,400 50 – 25,600 50 – 204,800 50 – 25,600
Sensor Size Full frame (36 x 24 mm) Full frame (36 x 24 mm) Full frame (36 x 24 mm) Full frame (36 x 24 mm)
CF coverage 100% 98% 100% 100%
Focus Points 61 focus points (41 cross-sensors at f/5.6) 9+6 AF Points (1 cross type at f/5.6) 61 AF Points (41 cross type at f/5.6) 51 focus points (15 cross-sensors at f/8)
Metering TTL full aperture metering with 63 zone Dual Layer SPC 35 zone TTL full aperture metering 100,000 pixel RGB sensor 91,000 pixel RGB sensor
Memory Slot Dual Slot CF and SD Single Slot CF Dual Slot CF Dual Slot CF and SD
Frame Rate 6 FPS 3.9 FPS 12 FPS 4 FPS
Video 1080p(24/25/30) 1080p(24/25/30) 1080p(24/25/30) 1080p(24/25/30)
LCD 3.2” 1040k dot 3” 921k dot 3.2” 921k dot 3.2” 921k dot
Dimension 152 x 116 x 76mm 152 x 113.5 x 75 mm 157 x 162 x 83 mm 144.8 x 122 x 81 mm
Weight 900g (Body only) 810g (Body only) 1530g (Body only) 1000g (Body only)
Price $3500 USD $2499 USD TBC $2999 USD


The specs looks pretty decent with the baseline ISO 2 stops higher than the Nikon D800.  Canon has always been a bit behind in terms of ISO performance, so perhaps  the new 5D III can match up with the much higher MP D800 in terms of ISO performance since the 5D III has a much lower MP count.

The new 5D III captures  high-quality images that are full of detail with a 22.3 megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ image processor. The new Dual DIGIC 5+ image processors also featured in the Canon 1D X system is a huge upgrade to the processing speed.

The 5D III focuses quickly and accurately, even on off-centre subjects, with a 61 point wide-area autofocus system. 41 cross-type points (five of which are extra sensitive double-cross type) ensure highly accurate tracking of moving objects. This is a huge improvement on the 5D series and could  very well match up with Nikon’s AF system.

The 5D III can shoot  at 6 FPS, 50% faster than its predecessor and the D800, but still half of the frame rate of the machine gun 1D X (12 FPS).

In terms of HD video, the 5D III continue to provide stunning HD video at 1080p resolution with full manual controls to achieve cinematic visual effects. However there is still no 60FPS 1080p, only at 720p

Now that the Canon 5D III has been officially announced, are you happy with the specs? It carries a lot of the new features that the Canon 1D X has including the 61 AF system and DIGIC 5+ image processor. Let’s hear what you have to say, leave us a comment below.

Check out the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Preview by

Pre-order your Canon 5D III at B&H.

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About Kent Yu

Kent is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He and his team specialise in modern and contemporary weddings. Kent has his work published in international magazines and is a regular author to a number of photographic publication. He is fascinated by photographic equipment and enjoys showcasing the gear used in creating his images. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
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