Saturday, March 3, 2012
Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:30 AM
This is under the better-late-than never category, but here goes. Canon has announced the 5DIII, and it is quite an impressive piece of kit. While the camera may not be quite the breakthrough its predecessors were (the 5DI was the first affordable 35mm DSLR, the 5DII was the first Canon video DSLR), it is the first 5D that is not compromised in the AF department. In addition to me not liking the Canon SLR UI, the AF on the 5D reminded me of how Canon cut corners in the AF system in the EOS D30 (and D60): Slow and underperforming compared to the rest of the camera. Thankfully, the 5DIII now gains the 1DX's 61 point AF module with 41 cross points and what Canon says are 5 dual cross points. These are not very sensitive for slower lenses, so make sure you have f/4 or faster lenses to make full use of the AF features.
The camera now uses a new 22 megapixel sensor, which personally I feel is more than enough for many purposes, and the accompanying electronics (what Canon markets as Digic 5+) is finally capable of removing lateral chromatic aberrations in-camera. That took long enough for Canon to implement a very handy feature. The sensor claims an ISO range of 100 to 25k, expandable to 100k. The new electronics also promises a fast readout that can support the maximum burst rate of 6 FPS for up to 18 RAW images and more than enough JPEGs (Canon claims 16,000).
The video section has been upgraded too, with the codec now supporting either intraframe or interframe compression, in resolutions of up to 1080p. There is also SMTPE timecode support, which is aimed at professionals using mutiple-cameras (or even audio recorders). There is an audio jack for monitoring audio, a microphone jack (not the XLR variety though) and very nicely, the rear-wheel is now touch sensitive, so settings can be changed without jerking the camera during recording.
There are a number of other upgrades, like the new 100% optical viewfinder, a new 3.2" 720x480 LCD screen, in-camera HDR, a few nice tweaks to the UI (still will not make me use a Canon SLR without tearing my hair out however), and a lot more. Check out the read link which goes to DPReview. The Canon 5D Mark III will be available for US$3500 in end of March.