Today folks, I’m going to give you my review of the wonderful, fantastic, amazing, incredible…. oh and BITCHIN Canon 5D Mark III. What’s it all about? Awesomeness! Is that too technical? The 5D Mark III is one of my absolute favorite digital SLR cameras. That is permanently in the gear bag. It is so versatile, but I prefer to use it for fine art portrait photography, weddings, and the occasional real estate/architecture photo shoot.
I first tried out the 5D Mark III on a portrait shoot that was becoming a bit of a challenge. The portrait shoot was turning out to be a much larger project than originally anticipated and I was worried I was not adequately prepared. Thankfully I was able to borrow a 5D Mark III from a friend to test out and aid in the photo project.
Wow…. just wow. Cue Angels singing. It did not take me long to adjust to the camera and find my groove. One thing I love about most Canon cameras is they are easy to use straight out of the box. If you are slightly savvy with technology, even just a little bit, Canon’s are typically straight forward and easy to use. I find I learn and master Canon products way faster than other brands. They are intuitive and the 5D Mark III is just that. The features on this guy are really smart and well thought out. Is there room for improvement? Sure, always. But really, this camera is set to step up your game and rock your world. Using this camera has definitely increased my confidence as a photographer.
My favorite feature on the camera is the quick access button. Upon pressing the Q button, the user has instant access to change any and all of the cameras features. It’s very different from trying to access features and settings from a general Menu option. Wanna see?
Pretty darn cool, right? This feature allows the photographer to change settings incredibly fast. When I’m shooting portraits, more importantly, when I’m photographing children and family portraits, so much can happen in such little time. Candid family interactions are quick and kids move even quicker. This feature alone has helped me capture some amazing shots that I would have missed on another camera. I am able to focus on my subject and change settings all within a few seconds. More importantly, I spend less time prepping and testing prior to my photo shoots, allowing me to spend more time with my clients.
Speaking of speed, the 5D Mark III focuses lightning fast. Occasionally, I become distrustful of it and I will intentionally blur the frame to make sure that it is focusing correctly. Granted, this also has to do with the lens you use, but I really haven’t noticed a huge difference between my set of lenses. This thing is fast and that makes me love it even more. Especially when photographing kids. Those little buggers are quick!
Possibly my second favorite feature is the dual memory card slot. This serves a few different purposes. You can either set it to fill one card with images and then have it kick over to the second card, or you can use both cards at the same time but use one for RAW images and the other for JPEG. I personally like having a backup card in there. Since the camera also shoots video as well, which I must admit I don’t use so I can’t objectively review it, you could use one card for video recording and the other for still images. Yea, the camera is just that smart. Now, one card is a SD size while the other is a CF. I’m not exactly sure why they did that and if anyone knows, I’d love to hear why.
Moving on, the dial features all the usual options for shooting modes, but they also added three custom slots in order to access your custom settings easier. Wanna see?
Now the body of the 5D Mark III is a bit hefty, but this is a professional camera. The body is actually based on the EOS 7D design. What I enjoy about the size is that it does not feel overbearing. It is heavy, but it’s comfortable and with the lenses I use, the weight feels well balanced. I have yet to feel awkward or experience any form of fatigue using it. It is a solid well-built camera with a comfortable grip. I have yet to travel with it and experience it in that manner, though. I do hope to take this on my next trip/adventure in order to test out landscape photography and just generally traveling with it more. I would think this camera is on the large size for traveling, but the images it provides will more than pay off for any possible awkwardness.
Let’s talk image quality now. During my first portrait shoot with it, I knew I had captured some quality images from what I could see on the LCD screen (which by the way, is an appropriate size with amazing clarity). It was not until I uploaded the images to my computer that I realized just how great they looked. I really enjoy the color that comes from Canon cameras. Skin tones always come out looking so natural and fresh. I feel it is both accurate and complimentary with a touch of warmth mixed in. Canon just knows how to create a very pleasing color palate that is complimentary to the subject.
All in all, it’s a great camera. It’s so much fun to shoot with and the results are equally exciting. Shooting with this camera takes away any anxiety I may have prior to a photo shoot. The 5D Mark III allows me to just go with the flow and focus on my clientele. That being said, I believe Canon will be coming out with a Mark IV soon, and I am excited to see what the difference is between the two. Honestly, the 5D Mark III is a camera I can see myself owning for the rest of my days. Maybe not the only camera I will ever own, let’s be realistic, but certainly a long lasting partner in crime.
- 22MP full frame CMOS sensor
- 1040k dot 3:2 LCD
- Dual card slots for both CF and SD cards
- ISO 100-25600 standard & 50-102,800 expanded
- 6 fps continuous shooting
- Shutter rated to 150,000 frames
- 100% viewfinder coverage
- 1080p video recording (stereo sound via external mic)
- 63 zone iFCL metering system
- 61 point AF system