Hands On: 5D MarkIII, 24-70 2.8 USM L II and Flash 600 EX-RT (Part 2)

Hands On 5D MarkIII & 24-70 f2.8 USM L II 
Canon 5D MarkIII

Welcome to the second part of the post now entirely dedicated to the hands on the Canon 5D MarkIII.

Although I do not own the camera I was allowed, for quite sometime, to play with it during an event I attended last week.

I was also able to shoot a couple of cards with it and also some testing over the Lisbon Fashion Show runaway.

First, and before all the writing, I would like to THANK Canon Portugal via CPS System for letting me put my hands for the first time on this, still prototype and beta, camera.

I will begin by saying that the first time you grab it it feels a completely new camera to the hand, well you may say that it's just talk but I can tell you from my almost 4 years with the 5D MarkII that this new one feels much different at touch. Well to start the camera grip is a little bit more extended so my pinky does not stay under it and by that it feels much more comfortable to shoot.

Hands On 5D MarkIII & 24-70 f2.8 USM L II

The camera is now much more rounded and still with no pop-up flash, the top dial comes now more secure with a button that you have to push to move the wheel (this is something that you could already get it done on the older 5D MarkII but you will need to pay at least 150,00 euros for the change... baaahhh!!!).

Hands On 5D MarkIII & 24-70 f2.8 USM L II

Another thing you will notice right away are the buttons that have been redesign from a roundish kind to a more flatten one. The ISO button at the top has also a different feel so you can Identify it with your finger without leaving your eye from the camera. The top LCD screen has also suffered some minor and improved modifications to accommodate the new features of the camera such as the dual slot card and the 3 stop exposure compensation indicator. There is also, near the front wheel dial, a new C.Fn button that can be programed and very accessible.

Hands On 5D MarkIII & 24-70 f2.8 USM L II

Has I mention before the mode dial has now a lock mechanism button that you have to push in to be able to choose the modes of the camera, after you choose the one you like it will stay in that position locked. On that button you also noticed they removed the CA mode and the Green square has now a A inside as it represents better the Auto mode.

The On/Off switch was moved from the bottom part of the camera to the top giving this a much better way, or not, to turn the camera on/off (let just hope this switch will not turn itself on/off while getting in and out of the bag, only use will tell about this).

Hands On 5D MarkIII & 24-70 f2.8 USM L II

On the port connections they finally added the so much asked Phone Jack port, the rest of them are exactly the same but they are in different positions regarding to the 5D MarkII. Although I feel that they should have made possible to have the Phone and Mic jack connections on the same slot as it would avoid having the 2 slots open each time you need to record and monitor at the same time. This could be a good thing as not always you need to have the USB port while using the Phone input, also would protect from environment the other connectors that could stay in closed doors.

Anyway this is a plus for many people buying this camera for video, now that you can monitor also the audio that will go inside.

Hands On 5D MarkIII & 24-70 f2.8 USM L II

On the back of the camera things start to be a little bit different from the previous model. The lock mechanism for the wheel is now a separated on, the wheel itself is much, much, much smoother and with no click/click feel to it (this is a great feature for video has you will not ear it turning while recording). You have a Q button right next to the joystick that enables the quick modes very fast by the way. The grip for the thumb is a much better one has it leaves you holding the camera with only one hand and feel more secure and comfortable. There is a new button Start/Stop right next to the thumb that changes the mode from Stills to Video and enables to start and stop video recordings (In my opinion the button is a great thing but it turns out to be a little bit difficult to turn it from one mode to the other with your thumb, from my first impression I feel that it could have been made in a different angle position instead of pointing up should been pointing right at your thumb).

The screen has also a different feel and the size is more suitable to video than to photos itself. It has that kind of 16:9 feel and when you are previewing an image take in portrait mode it would become even smaller on landscape mode, but the resolution is excellent and the reflections are even better than the ones you get from a 1D MarkIV screen, very accurate and clear.

The left side buttons ave also suffered some changes, the Menu and Info buttons are now at top left. First on the row you have the Picture Style and Direct Printing, then comes one that I found excellent it's the Rate button (this would give you the opportunity to rate your images from 1 to 5 stars right on the screen.
This maybe something that many would say it's a no go thing but I can tell you that from the moment I started to rate the images I was getting from this camera my workflow seemed to improved by a million. This is very interesting if you shooting sports or assignments that needs sending images right away. With this button you can rate them on the field and the editor will know what your choosings or you can rate them in the field while the match is still on and when you go review them you just pick the ones you choose on Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, Photoshop or any other software that use this rating system AWESOME!!!)

The you will have the Zoom button. This one has also came with a new way to view the images, you no longer use the two buttons on the back right side of the camera to zoom the image in and out :( the new button has a learning curve has it turn out to be a different way to zoom in/out, you press the zoom button and with the joystick you choose the point where you want to zoom then with the front wheel you zoom. It took me awhile o figure things out as none of my cameras at the moment has this new system, so this will take a bit of time to get use to but in the end it would be much faster to look at the images... practice, practice, practice ;)

And last but not least we have the Trash button that does exactly what you've been used to in the past... delete your photos.

The viewfinder is also bigger and more roundish making your eye feel much more comfortable and letting you really see what's inside the screen

Hands On 5D MarkIII & 24-70 f2.8 USM L II

Now you have 2 slots for cards. One for the normal Compact Flash and the other one for an SD card. This is something that the 1D series been having for quite sometime and could be useful for some of you. Well for me is a really great feature has sometimes I tend to write CR2 raw files in one card and JPG, now thCanon 5D MarkIII allows this.

Hands On 5D MarkIII & 24-70 f2.8 USM L II

Now is where things get a little bit complicated at first impression. The inside menus and lettering are completely new... yes you heard me right COMPLETELY NEW!!

It's divided into 6 top menus and subdivided into more menus, small little dots under it on the left side of each one, (will not get into much detail on this matter has I was also a little bit confused about this system and with any previous reading of the manual I would not attempt on jumping in to this any further), you also get to view what option you have chosen for each section of the menu on the right side of the highlighted item.

Hands On 5D MarkIII & 24-70 f2.8 USM L II

Here is a picture of one of the Live View menu functions.

Hands On 5D MarkIII & 24-70 f2.8 USM L II

Has you can see this is still a beta version camera with the firmware 4.9.2 67 (2c) ;)

Hands On 5D MarkIII & 24-70 f2.8 USM L II

Here is a quick look of the screen while recording a video. You can notice that now you will have the sound recording live on screen and with the Q button you can change the settings without any sound on the camera (great if you are recording with no external mic). Also the wheel is kind of touch and feel where you can just move your finger around it to change setting without even changing and moving the wheel itself (I could not believe this when I started to use it, you really can't send any noise to the camera while making adjustments, nice feature for videographers).

I recorded some short clips to test things out and the focus system looked to me the same although a little bit faster to acquire focus on subjects while recording but I did not notice much improvement over the previous 5D MarkII, maybe it was my first impressions but I do not see it lighting fast on this matter. Better but not perfect and still sluggish for my taste, although I do not use video a lot, I confess, it looked just the same but a little faster.

Since I do not pretend to make this a complete review of the camera with all the whistles and bolts I also took some pictures with High ISO and some of the features I was waiting for quite sometime on Canon equipment.

 First was the double exposure, I used to make some great stuff with this thing on film day where you would grab your film camera and took several exposures without advancing the film. This would produce a multiple exposure on the same frame and if it was done with accuracy you would get great and different things from it.

So I started from there, the 5D MarkIII is the first Canon digital camera to produce this kind of images (along with the 1DX but that's another story), and created a 3 exposure image on the same frame. You can chose the camera to have the 3 independent frames as pictures and a combined JPG at the end with the resulting image, you can also have the option to choose different ways to make it such as Additive, Average,Bright, Dark on a menu option.

Here is an example I took with the 5D MarkIII as test (Don't mind the composition, exposure or whatever technical aspect you seen on the images, these are just test images for the purpose to illustrate this option).

All 3 images are CR2 files that the camera write and the last one is a combined JPG of the 3 of them that the camera creates. Although the images are not very good aligned (my mistake) I think the camera does a very good job on this matter. I needed a little bit more time to experiment with this but time was not on my side :(

Next came the much talked HDR feature. I wanted to test out what the camera can do with this mode.

Well first you can only get 3EV maximum for the exposures, you will get 5 modes of Effects you want to add on the final JPG (Natural, Art Standard, Art Vivid, Art Bold and Art Emboss), then you can choose on the menu to Auto Align images and also be able to save them all or only the composite. So let's take a look of some examples I did while I tested it.

I used 3EV not taking account the room or the exposures. I just took the maximum out of the EV so I can see how much Dynamic range I could get from the files.

Here is the resulting image with the Effect Natural

And the same setting only changed the Effects to Art Emboss.

I feel it does a pretty good job although sometimes you will need a couple more exposures to get more detail out of the dynamic range. This mode will not make you a Trey Ratcliff HDR expert put is something to start from. I liked the feature and the tones it produced, maybe with a little bit more time I could get some better images out of this 2 new modes.

Another thing that you immediately get to see is the new AF points. They grown bigger and larger and inside each square you will also get a point focus. Not getting into much detail in this matter either but it's way faster than the one on the 5D MarkII. Did I say faster... man it's really fast acquiring focus even under bad light conditions. Also you get a wider focus points that allows us to have one point on the persons head while doing Portrait mode. No more focus recomposing on this one, thank GOD or Canon...

The burst frame has also been much improved has it gets more or less 5/6 frames burst on CR2+JPG files that I tested on. This can hold up to a Football game or even some models on the Catwalk, no more closed eyes at the receptions photos and no more loosing your kids play games. I think they go it right this time.

Let me show you a runway test for the burst mode. ( I was using AI Servo mode as testing base and only using one hand has my other one was on the 1D MarkIV so I could have photos to send to my editor for the assignment so this may have some soft and unfocused images, but the point here was to check if the camera was capable to follow the model on the runway and for how long before it stop to buffer).

It can be capable of getting more images than the number they announced and I was using full CR2 raw mode + JPG fine these are the original jpg files reduced for the blog and logo purposes only.

You can see that there is completely missed focus on the 3rd frame but the camera was able to recover on the next shot. I do not recall what was my focus settings has this camera has so many that maybe this was the problem, also the fact that I was single handling it with the new 24-70 USM L II could be an issue but the camera recovered quick enough. I was amazed how fast the camera can shoot and acquire focus.

The metering system is completely new and this time I can meter what is really on spot, not like it's brother the 5D MarkII that you never know when the camera is metering correctly or what is metering. This is a plus factor for me as now I can really know how much light is hitting an object if I use the spot metering option.

Something that you will notice is that the 5D MarkIII is a little bit more quiet than the 5D MakrII and also a plus is that you can turn the silent mode (only 1 shot at a time) to get even quieter. Great feature for when you want to go unnoticed, you will love this new sound.

And what more can I tell you about this sweat??

Ah!!, yes the High ISO that turns night into day without too much noise LOL, let's check some samples.

Canon 5D MarkIII ISO 3200

Canon 5D MarkIII ISO 6400

Canon 5D MarkIII ISO 12800

Canon 5D MarkIII ISO 25600

As you can see the native ISO of the camera has been much improved, I noticed a slight change of WB color during manual exposure but on the other modes it tends to be well balanced. Do not know if this has anything to do with the beta firmware and if it will be corrected in the final version (hope so). You may also know that Canon has always had a little bit of tendency to go to warmer tones when you go to high ISO so this is no exception.

You can download the CR2 original files here in a one zip file (123Mb file) or here and here as a 4 single CR2 files so you can view them at your please and evaluate in detail.

Just bear in mind that for the moment Adobe Lightroom 4.0 does not support the CR2 raw files from this camera but you can go to Adobe Labs and download the Camera Raw 6.7 Release Candidate and play with them on Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1 and Bridge after the update.

And with this I conclude my hands on this great Camera. I think Canon will hit a lot of pockets and will be a lot of people moving on just because of the new Auto Focus and Video, this would be also a great time to buy a Canon 5D MarkII with a great price as canon decided not to remove the support from this camera nor discontinue it.

I feel that this new camera is a brand new, I could be killed just by saying that, but it does feel a completely different camera either on your hands, the menus and focus system. A lot of you may think that maybe they do not need to upgrade and that Canon would gave us another minor update but from what I saw and tested today this is going to be a great revolution.

Bottom line, from all the photos I took with this camera I could not find one single image that was not sharp enough I do think that the files that comes out of it are much better than the ones we get from the 1D MarkIV series, the focus is very precise and fast and can grab focus almost in the most dark situations. I do need to get my hands for a quick play under awful stage lights but that another scenario.

For the moment it's APPROVED for replacement!!!

Here are the official technical specifications for the Canon 5D MarkIII:


Digital, AF/AE single-lens reflex, camera
Recording Media
CF Cards (Type I); Compatible with UDMA CF cards; SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards
Image Format
Approx. 36 mm x 24mm (35mm Full-frame)
Compatible Lenses
Canon EF Lenses (excluding EF-S Lenses)
Lens Mount
Canon EF mount

Image Sensor

High-sensitivity, high-resolution, large single-plate CMOS sensor
Effective pixels: Approx. 22.3 megapixels
Total Pixels
Total pixels: 23.4 megapixels
Aspect Ratio
3:2 (Horizontal: Vertical)
Color Filter System
RGB primary color filters
Low Pass Filter
Fixed position in front of the image sensor
Dust Deletion Feature
(1) Self Cleaning Sensor Unit

·Automatic Sensor Cleaning

·Removes dust adhering to the infrared- and ultraviolet-blocking glass.

·Self-cleaning executed automatically when power is turned on or off. Manual execution also possible.

·Low-pass filter has a fluorine coating.

(2) Dust Delete Data acquisition and appending

·The coordinates of the dust adhering to the infrared- and ultraviolet-blocking glass are detected by a test shot and appended to subsequent images.

·The dust coordinate data appended to the image is used by the provided software to automatically erase the dust spots.

(3) Manual cleaning

Recording System

Recording Format
Design Rule for Camera File System 2.0 and EXIF 2.3
Image Format
Still Image: JPEG, RAW (14-bit Canon Original), M-RAW, S-RAW, RAW+JPEG, M-RAW+JPEG, S-RAW+JPEG

Video: MOV (Image data: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC; Audio: Linear PCM)
File Size
(1) Large: Approx. 22.10 Megapixels (5760 x 3840)

(2) Medium: Approx. 9.80 Megapixels (3840 x 2560)

(3) S1 (Small 1): Approx. 5.50 Megapixels (2880 x 1920)

(4) S2 (Small 2): Approx. 2.50 Megapixels (1920 x 1280)

(5) S3 (Small 3): Approx. 350,000 Pixels (720 x 480)

(6) RAW: Approx. 22.10 Megapixels (5760 x 3840)

(7) M-RAW: Approx. 10.50 Megapixels (3960 x 2640)

(8) S-RAW: Approx. 5.50 Megapixels (2880 x 1920) Exact file sizes depend on the subject, ISO speed, Picture Style, etc.
Recording Functions
1. Standard

* Records to either the CF card or SD card.

2. Auto switch card

* When the current card becomes full, the camera switches to the other card automatically.

3. Record separately

* The CF card and SD card record the same image at a different image recording quality (L, M, S1, S2, S3, RAW, M-RAW, S-RAW)

4. Record to multiple

* Both the CF card and SD card record the same image at the same image recording quality. (Also applies to RAW+JPEG, M+JPEG, and SRAW+JPEG)
Backup Recording
Images recorded in a card can be copied to the other card
File Numbering
The following three types of file numbers can be set:

(1) Continuous numbering

* The continuous numbering of captured images will continue even after you replace the camera's card. (The numbering continues even when the folder changes.)

(2) Auto reset

* When you replace the camera's card, the numbering will be reset to start from 0001. If the new card already contains images, the numbering will continue from the last recorded image in the card.

(3) Manual reset

* Resets the file number to 0001, and creates a new folder automatically.
RAW + JPEG Simultaneous Recording
The image-recording quality can be selected in any combination of the three RAW and eight JPEG recording quality settings.
Color Space
Selectable between sRGB and Adobe RGB
Picture Style
Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Defined 1-3

* Scene Intelligent Auto will set [Auto] automatically.

* [Standard] is the default setting for [User Def. 1-3]

White Balance

(1) Auto (AWB)

(2) Daylight

(3) Shade

(4) Cloudy

(5) Tungsten light

(6) White fluorescent light

(7) Flash

(8) Custom (Custom WB)

(9) Color temperature

* With an EX-series Speedlite having the color temperature information transmission feature, the color temperature setting changes to match the color temperature when the flash is fired. Set to approx. 6000K if the flash unit does not have the color temperature communication feature.
Auto White Balance
Auto white balance with the image sensor
Color Temperature Compensation
Blue/amber bias: ±9 levels

· Magenta/green bias: ±9 levels

* Corrected in reference to the current WB mode's color temperature.
Color Temperature Information Transmission


Eye-level pentaprism
Approx. 100% vertically and horizontally (At approx. 21mm eyepoint)
Approx. 0.71x / Angle of view 34.1° (with 50mm lens at infinity, -1 m-1 (dpt))
Eye Point
Approx. 21mm (At -1m-1 from the eyepiece lens center)
Dioptric Adjustment Correction
-3.0 to +1.0m-1 (diopter)
Focusing Screen
Quick-return half mirror (transmission: reflectance ratio of 40:60)
Viewfinder Information
·AF information

AF point, focus confirmation, AF status indicator

·Exposure information

Shutter speed, aperture, ISO speed (always displayed), AE lock, exposure level, exposure warning

·Flash information

Flash ready, flash exposure compensation, high-speed sync, FE lock, red-eye reduction light

·Image information

Highlight tone priority (D+), maximum burst (2-digit display), card information

·Battery check

·Composition information

Grid, electronic level

·Warning symbol

Displayed if any of the following is set: Monochrome, white balance correction, One-touch recording quality switch, expanded ISO speed, or spot metering.
Depth Of Field Preview
Enabled with Depth-of-field preview button


TTL secondary image - registration, phase detection
AF Points
61-point (up to 41 cross-type points)

* One to five cross-type AF points at f/2.8, 10 to 20 cross-type AF points at f/4, and 15 to 21 cross-type AF points at f/5.6. (The number of cross-type AF points will differ depending on the lens.)
AF Working Range
EV -2 - 18 (at 73°F/23°C and ISO 100)
Focusing Modes
(1) Autofocus

·One-Shot AF

·Predictive AI Servo AF

   -For automatic AF point selection, the AF point to start the AI Servo AF operation can be selected.

   -For automatic AF point selection, the active AF point can be displayed.

·AI Focus AF

   -(Switches between One-Shot AF and AI SERVO AF automatically)

   -Automatically set in A+ Auto Mode

(2) Manual focus (MF)
AF Point Selection
1. Single-point AF (Manual selection)

2. Auto selection 61-Point AF

3. Single-point Spot AF (Manual selection)

4. AF point expansion (Manual selection, 4 points: Up, down, left, and right)

5. AF point expansion (Manual selection, surrounding 8 points)

6. Zone AF (Manual zone selection)
Selected AF Point Display
Displayed in viewfinder with transparent LCD and on LCD panel
Active AF Point Indicator
AF area used in horizontal/vertical (grip up or down) shooting and the manually-selected AF point position can be set separately
AF Assist Beam
(1) Enable

With an EOS-dedicated Speedlite, AF-assist beam is emitted automatically when necessary.

(2) Disable

(3) IR AF assist beam only

* No AF-assist beam with flash bursts.

Exposure Control

Metering Modes
Max. aperture TTL metering with 63-zone SPC with the following selectable modes:

(1) Evaluative metering (linked to all AF points)

(2) Partial metering (center, approx. 7.2% of viewfinder)

(3) Spot metering (center, approx. 1.5% of viewfinder)

·AF point-linked spot metering not provided.

(4) Center-weighted average metering

a. The selectable metering modes can be limited with a Custom Function.
Metering Range
EV 1-20 (at 73°F / 23°C with 50mm f/1.4 lens at ISO 100)
Exposure Control Systems
(1) Scene Intelligent Auto

(2) Program AE (shiftable)

(3) Shutter-priority AE (Safety shift possible)

(4) Aperture-priority AE (Safety shift possible)

(5) Manual exposure

* The metering mode can be specified with a Custom Function.

(6) Bulb

(7) E-TTL II autoflash program AE

* Evaluative metering, Averaged metering
ISO Speed Range
For Stills:

ISO 100-25600 (in 1/3-stop or whole-stop increments)

·ISO speed expansion possible to ISO 50, 51200, and 102400.

·For [Highlight tone priority], the settable ISO speed range will be 200-25600.

·ISO speed safety shift possible with Custom Function.

Shooting Mode ISO Settings
A+ 100-12800
P/Tv/Av/M 100-25600
B ISO 400 fixed
With Flash ISO 400 fixed∗
∗If fill flash will result in overexposure, minimum ISO 100 is set.
∗For bounce flash, ISO 400-1600 is set automatically depending on the light level.

ISO Speed upper and lower limits:

(1) Manual setting range

* ISO speed expansion is set with this option.

(2) Auto ISO range

* ISO speed expansion not settable.

Shutter speed and automatic ISO speed control in P and Av Modes:

In the P and Av shooting modes with Auto ISO set, the ISO speed is set automatically so that a shutter speed slower than the one set with [Minimum shutter speed] (1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 0"5, 1") is not set. Exposure Compensation
Manual: ±5 stops in 1/3 or 1/2-stop increments

AEB: ±3 stops in 1/3 or 1/2-stop increments

* Indicated up to ±3 stops on the LCD panel and in the viewfinder.
AE Lock
(1) Auto AE lock

·In the One-Shot AF mode with evaluative metering, AE lock takes effect when focus is achieved.

(2) Manual AE lock

·With AE lock button. (AE lock is updated each time you press the button.) Enabled in all metering modes.


Vertical-travel, mechanical, focal-plane shutter with all speeds electronically-controlled
Shutter Speeds
1/8000 to 1/60 sec., X-sync at 1/200 sec.

1/8000 to 30 sec., bulb (Total shutter speed range. Available range varies by shooting mode.)

* Shutter speed's control range can be set with a Custom Function.
Shutter Release
Soft-touch electromagnetic release
Self Timer
10-sec. or 2-sec. delay

External Speedlite

EOS Dedicated Speedlite
E-TTL II autoflash with all EX Series Speedlites
Zooming to Match Focal Length
Flash Exposure Compensation
±3 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
FE Lock
External Flash Settings
The camera can set the following with Speedlite 600EX-RT, 580EX II, 430EX II, 320EX, 270EX II, or 270EX:

(1) External flash control

* Flash mode, sync setting, FEB (not possible with 270EX II/270EX), flash exposure compensation, E-TTL II, zoom, wireless master flash (not possible with 430EX II/ 270EX), and clear settings.

* With the Speedlite 600EX-RT, radio wireless control is possible.

(2) Flash Custom Function setting
PC Terminal
Provided (no polarity)

Drive System

Drive Modes
Single, High-speed continuous, Low-speed continuous, Silent Single Shooting and Self-timer (10 sec. self-timer/remote control, or 2-sec. self-timer/remote control)
Continuous Shooting Speed
High-speed: Maximum approx. 6 shots/sec.

Low-speed: Maximum approx. 3 shots/sec.

Silent continuous shooting: Maximum approx. 3 shots/sec.
Maximum Burst
·JPEG Large/Fine: Approx. 65 shots (approx. 16270 shots)

·RAW: Approx. 13 shots (approx. 18 shots)

·RAW+JPEG Large/Fine: Approx. 7 shots (approx. 7 shots)

*Figures are based on Canon's testing standards (ISO 100 and Standard Picture Style) and a 8 GB card.

*Figures in parentheses apply to an UDMA mode 7, 128 GB card based on Canon's testing standards.

Live View Functions

Shooting Modes
Still photo and video recording
(1) Autofocus (One-Shot AF)

·Live mode

·One-point, contrast AF. Switching to another AF point possible.

·Face detection Live mode

·Face detection, contrast AF. Face selectable.

·Quick mode

61-point, phase-difference AF, same as normal shooting.

(2) Manual focus

* Magnify the image by 5x or 10x and focus manually.
Metering Modes
Real-time Evaluative metering with the image sensor
Metering Range
Real-time evaluative metering with image sensor:

·Metering range: EV 0 - EV 20 (At 73°F/23°C, 50mm f/1.4 lens, ISO 100)

·AE lock possible

·The active metering time can be changed.
Grid Display
Three grid display provided
Exposure Simulation
Silent Shooting
Provided (Mode 1 and 2)

Video Shooting

File Format
MPEG-4 AVC / H.264

Variable (averaged) bit rate
File Size
Recording Sizes:

1920 x 1080 (Full HD), 1280 x 720 and 640 x 480
Frame Rates
[1920 x 1080]: 30 fps / 25 fps / 24 fps

[1280 x 720]: 60 fps / 50 fps

[640 x 480]: 30 fps / 25 fps
Continuous Shooting Time
Based on 8GB Card:

[1920 x 1080]

30 fps ALL-I: 11 min. (685 MB/min.) / IPB: 32 min (235 MB/min.)

25 fps ALL-I: 11 min (685 MB/min.) / IPB: 32 min. (235 MB/min.)

24 fps ALL-I: 11 min. (685 MB/min.) / IPB: 32 min. (235 MB/min.)

[1280 x 720]

60 fps ALL-I: 12 min. (610 MB/min.) / IPB: 37 min. (205 MB/min.)

50 fps ALL-I: 12 min. (610 MB/min.) / IPB: 37 min. (205 MB/min.)

[640 x 480]

30 fps IPB: 97 min. (78 MB/min.)

25 fps IPB: 97 min. (78 MB/min.)

* If the recording time reaches 29 min. 59 sec., the movie shooting stops automatically.

* Movie shooting does not stop when the file size reaches 4GB.
Same as focusing with Live View shooting

* During movie shooting or if movie cropping has been set, the image cannot be magnified for manual focusing.
ISO Range

·P, Av, and Bulb: Automatically set within ISO 100 - 12800, expandable to H (equivalent to ISO 25600)

·A+ and Tv: Automatically set within ISO 100 - 12800

·M: Auto ISO (automatically set within ISO 100 - 12800), ISO 100 - 12800 set manually (in 1/3- or whole-stop increments), expandable to H (equivalent to ISO 16000/20000/25600)

* If Highlight tone priority is set to enable, the settable ISO speed range will be ISO 200 - 12800.
Exposure Control
(1) Program AE for movie shooting

* For shooting modes other than manual exposure and bulb.

* Shutter speed (1/30 - 1/4000 sec., signal accumulation time), aperture, and ISO speed automatically set.

(2) Manual exposure

* For manual exposure.

* Shutter speed (signal accumulation time), aperture, and ISO speed (auto/manual) manually set. The shutter speed (signal accumulation time) is limited to 1/4000 sec. at the maximum and to 1/30 sec. at the minimum for 24/25/30 fps or 1/60 sec. or higher for 50/60 fps.
Exposure Compensation
Up to ±3 stops in 1/3-stop increments

* For movies, even if exposure compensation has been set beyond ±3 stops, exposure compensation up to only ±3 stops will be applied.

* For still photos, exposure compensation up to ±5 stops can be applied.

LCD Monitor

TFT color, liquid-crystal monitor
Monitor Size
Approx. 1.04 million dots
Approx. 100%

Approx. 170° vertically and horizontally
Brightness Control
Auto: Brightness adjusted automatically by the light sensor

* Adjustable to one of three levels: Darker, Standard, Brighter

Manual: Adjustable to one of seven brightness levels
Interface Languages
25 (English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Ukraine, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese)


Display Format
Single image, Single image + Image-recording quality/shooting information, histogram, 4- or 9-image index, magnified view (approx. 1.5x-10x), rotated image (auto/manual), image jump (by 10/100 images, index screen, by shooting date, by folder), two-image comparative display, slide show (all images/selected by date/folder), star rating
Highlight Alert
With single-image display (Info.) and single-image display, overexposed highlight areas will blink

Image Protection and Erase

Erase protection can be applied or canceled for a single image, all images in a folder or all images in the card
Erase a single image, selected images, all images in a folder, all images in a card or erase only unprotected images

Direct Printing

Compatible Printers
PictBridge-compatible printers
Printable Images
RAW and JPEG images complying to Design rule for Camera File System

·Movies cannot be printed

DPOF: Digital Print Order Format

Version 1.1 compatible

Direct Image Transfer

Compatible Images
JPEG and RAW images and movie

For RAW+JPEG, only the RAW or JPEG image or both images can be transferred


Custom Functions
13 Custom Functions settable with the camera
Camera User Settings
Current camera settings can be registered to C1, C2 and C3 on the Mode Dial (Automatic registration update is possible)
My Menu Registration
Up to six top-tier menu options and Custom Function settings can be registered

Power Source

One Battery Pack LP-E6

AC power can be supplied with the AC Adapter Kit ACK-E6
Battery Life
1) Camera body only:

Shooting Method Temperature Possible Shots
Viewfinder Shooting At 73°F/ 23°C Approx. 950
At 32°F/ 0°C Approx. 850
Live View shooting At 73°F/23°C Approx. 200
At 32°FF/ 0°C Approx. 180

2) With Battery Grip BG-E11:
Shooting Method Battery Temperature Possible Shots
Viewfinder Shooting LP-E6 x 1 Same as (1)
LP-E6 x 2 At 73°F/ 23°C Approx. 1900
At 32°F/ 0°C Approx. 1700
Size AA/LR6 alkaline batteries At 73°F/ 23°C Approx. TBA
At 32°F/ 0°C Approx. TBA
Live View shooting LP-E6 x 1 Same as (1)
LP-E6 x2 At 73°F/ 23°C Approx. TBA
At 32°F/ 0°C Approx. TBA
Size AA/LR6 alkaline batteries At 73°F/ 23°C -
At 32°F/ 0°C -
∗Based on CIPA testing standards Battery Check
Automatic battery check when the power switch is turned on:

Displayed in 6 levels:

·Battery level displayed on LCD panel and in viewfinder.

·Battery information can be checked with the [Battery info.] menu

·If Battery Grip BG-E11 is used with size AA/LR6 batteries; the battery level is displayed in four levels instead.
Power Saving
Power turns off after the set time (1, 2, 4, 8, 15 or 30 minutes) of non-operation elapses.
Date/Time Battery
CR1616 lithium battery
Start-up Time
Approx. 0.1 sec

Dimensions and Weight

Dimensions (W x H x D)
Approx. 6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0 in. (152.0 x 116.4 x 76.4 mm )
Approx. 33.5 oz. / 950g (Based on CIPA standards)

Approx. 30.3 oz./ 860g (Body only)

Operating Environment

Working Temperature Range
Working Humidity Range
85% or less

You can get the Instructions Manual for the ST-E3 here.

You can get the Instructions Manual for the Flash 600EX & 600EX-RT here.

You can get the instructions Manual for the 5D MarkIII here or here.

I Also got access to the 1DX Auto Focus Setting Guide that is also the same for the 5D MarkIII in case you want to have a look. Download it from here.

Hope you have enjoyed the Hands On for the Canon 5D MarkIII, please read part 1 for the other Canon goodies.

Hands On: 5D MarkIII, 24-70 2.8 USM L II and Flash 560 EX-RT (Part 1)


Nika Wedding Photography said...

Nice review, thanks for takeing the time to post it. As a wedding photographer no sure if it makes sense as an upgrade for me from the mark ii. if it wasn't so expensive, i'd buy one, but seeing that in Montreal they are selling for $300 more than they are in the states, rules it out for me.

David said...

As a prime lens shooter, I am a bit concerned about the lack of interchangeable screens. Even with the improved AF system, the 50/1.2 misses focus sometimes and the EG-S screen is critical for checking focus.

Anonymous said...

Ever since I left the Pentax line for Canon I have missed double exposure!
The Pentax K10D had this like, eons ago. I have always wondered since, why Canon didnt.


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gear said...

THE HDR stuff could be cool. I gonna try it :)