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Canon EOS 5D Mark III review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 2,794
inc VAT

Even in 2018 the camera remains a fantastic choice for serious snappers


This auto switching function is similar to the 3D Tracking feature in Nikon SLRs, but in our tests the Mark III couldn’t match the D800 in its reliability to track moving subjects around the frame. It’s not that surprising, as the D800 uses a 91,000-pixel metering sensor to track subjects by colour whereas the Mark III has just 63 metering zones.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

With such a complex array of autofocus controls, we were relieved to find that default settings using a single autofocus point performed superbly when presented with moving subjects in continuous mode. Moving the selected point is extremely quick via the mini joystick or a combination of command dial and rear wheel. 21 of the 61 points are cross-type for added sensitivity, and using an f/4 or brighter lens earns a further 20 cross-type points. By f/2.8, you get five that are dual cross type – essentially four autofocus points stacked on top of each other at 45-degree angles. In short, this is a seriously sophisticated autofocus system that should have Mark II users rushing to upgrade.

The controls tread familiar territory for an EOS camera, and anyone who’s used a 5D Mark II, 60D or 7D will be up and running in minutes. There’s a command dial, rear wheel and mini-joystick, while a row of buttons above the passive LCD screen temporarily assign the dial and wheel to a variety of functions including white balance, drive mode and ISO speed. It inherits the 7D’s live view button, which turns into a record/pause button when the accompanying switch is set to video mode. The depth-of-field preview button is now located in a more conventional place between the lens and handgrip.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The button labelled Rate is new. Pressing it while browsing shots on the 3.2in screen applies star ratings from one to five, which are recognised in software such as Adobe Lightroom. It’s also possible to display two images side by side and zoom into them for close inspection, although not by as much as we’d like. The option to match the zoom and position of two photos could be more elegantly implemented, too.

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Basic Specifications

CCD effective megapixels22.1 megapixels
CCD size36x24mm
Viewfinderoptical TTL
Viewfinder magnification, coverage0.71x, 100%
LCD screen size3.2in
LCD screen resolution1,040,000 pixels
Articulated screenNo
Live viewYes
Optical zoomN/A
Zoom 35mm equivalentN/A
Image stabilisationAvailable in lenses
Maximum image resolution5,760×3,840
File formatsJPEG, RAW; QuickTime (AVC)


Memory slotSDXC, CompactFlash
Mermory suppliednone
Battery typeLi-ion
Battery Life (tested)950 shots
ConnectivityUSB/AV, Mini-HDMI, microphone in, headphone out, PC sync, wired remote, optional Wi-Fi (WFT-E7)
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Lens mountCanon EF
Focal length multiplier1.0x
Kit lens model nameN/A
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables, neck strap

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed30 to 1/8,000 seconds
Aperture rangeN/A
ISO range (at full resolution)50 to 102400
Exposure compensation+/-5 EV
White balanceauto, 6 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness, color tone, auto lighting optimiser, noise reduction, chromatic aberration correction, peripheral illumination correction, colour space
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focusN/A
Auto-focus modes61-point
Metering modesevaluative, partial, spot, centre-weighted average
FlashExternal flash only
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket, HDR, multiple exposure

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Reviews | DSLRs