Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera Review

As an improvement to the highly-rated 5D Mark II, the Canon 5D Mark III was introduced in 2008. The Canon 5D Mark III is a promising update to the 5D series, built on the success of its predecessor and boasting the most sophisticated focusing technology Canon has produced to date from their EOS-1D X range, making it a worthy successor to the 5D.

More: Best Canon 5D Mark III Bundle in 2022

With an improved image sensor with a native ISO range of 100 to 25,600, a fully weather-sealed camera body, 6 frames per second burst shooting speed, and dual card support, the 5D Mark III appears to be aimed at photographers working in a variety of genres, from landscapes and fashion to sports and wildlife photography.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III key specifications

  • 22MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-25600 standard, 50-102,800 expanded
  • 6 fps continuous shooting
  • Shutter rated to 150,000 frames
  • 1080p30 video recording, stereo sound via external mic
  • 61 point AF system
  • 63 zone iFCL metering system
  • 100% viewfinder coverage
  • 1040k dot 3:2 LCD
  • Dual card slots for CF and SD

As I’ve said in a few of my previous pieces, I’ve been loving my Canon 5D Mark III very much. I had a positive experience with the Canon 5D Mark II, which was its predecessor and which I had previously used a number of times (many of my photography friends use Canon gear and I get to play with Canon gear quite a bit).

I knew right away that I wanted to check out the 5D Mark III, but this time for a long length of time with a couple of the best Canon L lenses. So when the 5D Mark III was unveiled, I knew I had to get one! The camera is loaded with Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L, EF 50mm f/1.2L, and EF 17-40mm f/4L lenses and I’ve been bringing it everywhere – from personal travels where I’ve been photographing landscapes and wildlife to business assignments.

It is possible that you may notice a lot of unfavorable remarks regarding the camera when reading this evaluation. As I previously stated, no camera is without flaws, and the Canon 5D Mark III is no exception in this regard. There are aspects of it that I enjoy, and there are aspects of it that I find fairly irritating as well. Not only does this not imply that the camera is inherently flawed, but it also does not imply that it is inferior to its primary competition, the Nikon D800.

It is entirely a question of personal preference and taste. Finally, it is not only about the image sensor, ISO performance, or camera speed – it is also important to evaluate a system as a “package.” As a long-time Nikon shooter, a lot of what I have to say about the 5D Mark III is obviously coming from that perspective. As a result, you will find many parallels and allusions to Nikon throughout my review.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Specifications

MSRPBody only: $3499, €3299, £2999 with 24-105mm: $4299
Body type
Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Max resolution5760 x 3840
Other resolutions3840 x 2560, 2880 x 1920, 1920 x 1280, 720 x 480
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels22 megapixels
Sensor photodetectors23 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDigic 5+
Color spacesRGB,Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayRGB Color Filter Array
ISOAuto, 100 – 25600 in 1/3 stops, plus 50, 51200, 102400 as option
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
File formatJPEG (Exif 2.3 [Exif Print] compliant)Design rule for Camera File system (2.0)RAW: RAW, sRAW1, sRAW2 (14bit, Canon original RAW 2nd edition)Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaSelective single-pointSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampby optional dedicated Speedlite
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points61
Lens mountCanon EF
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeClear View II TFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.71×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesAuto+Program AEShutter priority AEAperture priority AEManual (Stills and Movie)Custom (x3)
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (Hot-shoe, Wireless plus Sync connector)
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Continuous drive6.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpotPartial
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps fps), 1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (25, 30 fps)
Videography notes1080 and 720 intra or inter frame, 480 inter frame
Storage typesCompact Flash Type I (UDMA compatible), SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage includedNone
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (HDMI mini)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notesWireless File Transmitter WFT-E7
Remote controlYes (Remote control with N3 type contact, Wireless Controller LC-5, Remote Controller RC-6)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion LP-E6 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)950
Weight (inc. batteries)950 g (2.09 lb / 33.51 oz)
Dimensions152 x 116 x 76 mm (5.98 x 4.57 x 2.99″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (by cable and PC)
GPS notesWith optional GP-E2 unit


Overall, the Canon 5D Mark III has left a lasting impression on me. It is an extremely powerful camera that may produce remarkable pictures, especially when used in conjunction with the extensive array of excellent Canon L lenses. Considering its capabilities and pricing range, the Canon 5D Mark III would without a doubt be my first option if I were to invest in a Canon DSLR system right now. The Canon 5D Mark III is not a game-changer in the same way that the Nikon D800 is, but it is a significant improvement over the previous generation 5D Mark II, which has been the most popular full-frame camera on the market since its introduction in 2009.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Price