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Canon EOS 5D Mark III launched

Canon has announced the launch of its EOS 5D Mark III, an upgrade to the existing Mark II which offers those who can't quite reach the giddy financial heights of the EOS-1D X an alternative.

With an all-new 22.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, the EOS 5D Mark III has a single DIGIC 5+ imaging processor - compared to the two DIGIC 5+ chips in the top-end EOS-1D X - and a 61-point high-denisity reticular autofocus system. Capable of operating at a speed of six frames per second continuous shooting at full resolution, it's a bit of a beast.

It's not all about the still images, though: Canon has also vastly improved the potential for using the EOS 5D as a high-definition video camera. Improvements include better noise reduction, longer recording times and a built-in headphone jack for audio monitoring during recording and playback. A wide range of capture modes - all in H.264 format - are also available: 1080p Full HD video at 24p (23.976), 25p, and 30p (29.97) fps; 720p HD recording at 60 (59.94) and 50 fps; and SD recording at 30 (29.97) and 25 fps.

"We are extremely excited to announce the highly anticipated follow-up to our EOS 5D Mark II, a camera which has been called a 'game-changer' in most professional photography and videography circles," said Canon's general manager for imaging technologies Yuichi Ishizuka at the launch. "The EOS 5D Mark III will carry on that tradition, delivering better and more advanced features, helping our customers achieve excellent image quality for stills and video."

New accessories confirmed for the EOS 5D Mark III include a Wireless File Transmitter which can send images to a PC over any 802.11n Wi-Fi network while also allowing multiple cameras on the networks to synchronise clocks for linked shooting and the GPS Receiver GP-E2 for location logging and increased timestamp accuracy.

Interestingly, Canon has stated that it won't be retiring the EOS 5D Mark II; instead, it plans to keep the older model alive as a budget option for those who can't stretch to the Mark III.

UK pricing has yet to be confirmed, with Canon suggesting a US retail price of $3,499 body-only or $4,399 with an EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM kit lens (around £2,195 and £2,760 respectively, excluding taxes).

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