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Canon EOS 5D Mark III to get uncompressed HDMI video recording

Canon has announced details of a planned firmware upgrade for its high-end EOS 5D Mark III digital camera, designed to help it compete with rivals like Nikon's D4 in the professional video capturing stakes.

The use of digital SLR cameras to capture high-resolution videos is becoming increasingly prevalent: the combination of multiple lens and aperture options for customising the look of the piece and the ability to record in Full HD format means many users are leaving the video camera at home. High-end DSLRs have even been used to record broadcast video, including entire episodes of dramas and comedies.

Keen to encourage the use of its EOS models in such arenas, Canon has released details of a firmware update planned for 2013 that will bring uncompressed video recording functionality to the EOS 5D Mark III through a new feature dubbed HDMI Output.

"When shooting video, HDMI Output makes possible the recording of high-definition uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) from the EOS 5D Mark III to an external recorder via the camera’s HDMI terminal", explained Canon in a release to press. "This, in turn, facilitates the editing of video data with minimal image degradation for greater on-site workflow efficiency during motion picture and video productions. Additionally, video being captured can be displayed on an external monitor, enabling real-time, on-site monitoring of high-definition video during shooting."

It's a feature that Nikon's rival D4 and D800 cameras have had for some time, but that has been sadly lacking in Canon's EOS 5D Mark III - slowing professional adoption of the camera.

Sadly, videographers keen to start experimenting with the feature will have a wait on their hands: Canon isn't planning to release the firmware upgrade publicly until April 2013.

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