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Just because the newer Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is available doesn’t mean that it’s predecessor, the Mark III, should immediately be passed over. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR packs in many wonderful features that make the jump from a cropped to full frame sensor a little bit easier. Though this doesn’t beat out our pick for the best digital camera and the best digital camera for filmmaking—that title goes to the Sony Alpha a7 III mirrorless digital camera—it’s still a wonderful option to consider for aspiring photographers and filmmakers.

Why We Like It – Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR

First time photographers looking to make the jump from a cropped to a full frame image sensor are sure to be extremely pleased with the high quality images possible on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR. This digital camera contains many great features like full HD video recording, multiple exposure capability, and an autofocus system, all contained in a solid and sturdy camera body that can go just about anywhere.

Pros
  • Super fast and accurate 61 point AF system
  • Upgraded iFCL metering system better captures off-center subjects
  • Great low light opportunities thanks to expanded ISO range
Cons
  • Noise can get pretty noticeable in the higher end of the ISO range
  • AF system is complicated and has a steep learning curve

Image Quality

The image quality on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR is great, especially for a product this size, but the new sensor is not necessarily improved enough over the previous model to justify a purchase alone. That being said, this camera definitely does perform slightly better, especially in low light: other than the expanded ISO range, it also hosts several different modes for exposure control. Manual exposure may take some time to learn, but the images you can get from doing so speak for themselves. The metering system is also a nice touch because it adjusts based upon the AF point selected. Finally, a great camera can’t do it all alone: this digital camera uses the excellent Canon EF lenses that you are sure to notice in the final product.

Ease of Use

For the quality possible on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR, it might be a bit surprising the camera is as accessible as it is. The camera body is relatively light and handles well, and the speed matches that of a model with a crop sensor. The super bright and crisp LCD screen is fantastic for live view, particularly for zooming in for macro shots. The auto white balance is superb, and 6fps continuous shooting is great for capturing quick motion. Image processing and the autofocus system are both incredibly fast, and the 63 zone metering sensor is accurate in the majority of situations.

Battery Life

The battery life of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR is fairly good and definitely better than the newer Mark IV model. A single full battery charge can produce about 950 captures through the viewfinder and 200 shots in live view. Considering how bright and snappy the LCD screen is, this hardly comes as a surprise. The battery is the same as the one used in the previous Mark II and lasts a substantial amount of time, and the battery indicator gives a fairly accurate readout so you know just how much more time you can squeeze from it.

Durability

Thanks to a fully weather and dust sealed camera body, users shouldn’t be too concerned with being overly precious with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR. Canon upgraded the weather proofing on this digital camera from that used on the Mark II. The body itself is made up of magnesium alloy and polycarbonate: it’s weighty without being overly heavy. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR is also a joy to handle: the body is well contoured to fit your hands and utilizes a textured finger grip for added handling security.

Value

Because the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR has been available for awhile now, it can be purchased at a fairly reasonable price. Even for the MSRP, the upgrade from cropped to full frame is sure to be enough for many buyers. This camera isn’t without fault, though: the AF system, for instance, is not available for use during video recording. The autofocus system is also a bit complicated and thus has a fairly steep learning curve, so anyone with this camera will want to study up before taking it out for a field test. Videographers may like this camera, but will also likely be just as happy with cheaper alternatives like the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 and the Sony A6100.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Digital Camera Wrap Up

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR is a very nice camera on par with other cameras of this caliber. This digital camera really shines with its fast and accurate autofocus system, but newer users should beware that this will take some getting used to. And although this camera does have a high ISO range, noise can unfortunately get very noticeable at higher levels. It’s not the best camera, but it is a great one, and if it sounds like it will fit your needs as a photographer, you’re sure to enjoy this camera.

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Zoe Dumas

Zoe is a digital native who cannot remember a time when she didn’t have access to some type of computer. When she’s not busy researching the latest innovations in technology, Zoe loves playing video games, watching movies and TV, reading books, and playing with her two cats.

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