I’ve been using the Canon EOS 5d Mark iii for about 3 months now. I have to say I’m really impressed with the upgrades. Shooting with the camera regularly for Newsday has been a pleasure for both video and still photography.
Over the last two years, I have really enjoyed my EOS 5d Mark ii. It was my primary video workhorse camera during that period. Unfortunately, at times I found the camera lacking while shooting video or when I needed a fast still body for assignments. Don’t get the wrong idea, I loved my 5dm2, but I like my 5dm3 even more!!!!
Using the camera primarily for video, the first upgrade I noticed was the audio level display on the LCD. With the mark 2 I had to trust that my audio feed into the camera was working. Now I can easily adjust levels and monitor them while shooting an interview with the new camera. Knowing that you are recording a good audio signal is a massive relief while in the field.
The larger 3.2 inch 1,040,000 pixel LCD screen is also an added bonus. Not something that I would complain about if the screen wasn’t revamped, but it’s always nicer to have a larger monitor.
The increased focus points from 9 to a 61-point array, has major advantages. I prefer setting the camera to autofocus by the AF button on the rear of the camera. With this addition I can move the focus area across most of the LCD with the toggle and use the AF button to focus. This is a big advantage in bright sun when it’s challenging to clearly see the LCD while using a low depth-of-field setting. An example of another small problem that was improved with the new camera.
The ergonomics have also been refined. The camera has a more robust feel, and is better designed for hand-held shooting. Switches and buttons are more durable and defined. The on/off switch and toggle from video to still are also much nicer. I find that I don’t accidentally turn on modes as I did with the 5dm2. The power switch has been moved and beefed up. On the 5dm2 the switch was small and in an inconvenient spot for the user. I also really like the new toggle switch from video to still photography with the addition of a button in the center to start video recording. I find that this addition reduces accidental button hits when the camera is on your shoulder.
High speed, yipee!! Now I don’t have to change camera bodies when I want 60 FPS. So cool. However, I do wish Canon would have made this improvement at 1080p. Perhaps in the future we will see a DSLR with 1920×1080 at 60 FPS, fingers crossed.
Besides the focus points improvement, focusing speed has also gotten better, a huge upgrade when shooting in video and still modes. I also greatly appreciate the increased frame-rate while making still photos. Before I found myself setting down the 5dm2 and picking up a different body for still assignments. Now I can easily work a still assignment with this camera. At times I’m tasked with shooting stills and video simultaneously, these improvements and more make the 5dm3 my new primary workhorse for daily video and still assignments at Newsday.