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Seppe Van Grieken has an early hands on a production Canon EOS5D mkIII

By Seppe Van Grieken

My friends and I (in the middle) out around Beijing with the 5D mkIII

I’ve been lucky enough to be shooting on Dan Chung’s brand new Canon EOS5D mkIII for the past 3 days while he has been out of town shooting. It’s a production model he purchased from a Canon dealer in Beijing, China. I’m very used to shooting on the 5D mkII so I was curious to see how the camera compares. Even though I could set the menu in English the instruction manual was in Chinese – making for a hard time figuring out what was what. These are my initial observations so please wait for further testing by others.

I was very keen to test out the 720P/60 mode for slow motion and the low light performance. The short test I shot below was done at between 2000 ISO and H mode (25,600 ISO). The picture style is EOS standard throughout. Lenses were a 24-105mm f4L and a 70-200 f2.8L.

Canon 5D III from Shanghai Expo Timelapse Machine on Vimeo.

Low light performance in video mode is pretty good, it produces quite clean images on everything under 10,000 ISO. Detail is certainly not at the same level as the Canon C300 though – maybe it’s a bit better than a 5DmkII. Moire seems to be much, much better than the 5DmkII – almost invisible. Rolling shutter still seems to be there, but not as bad.

Picking it up for the first time I didn’t like the new menus. They seem more complicated than the 5DmkII for video use. Maybe after some time with the manual it will become natural.

In terms of resolution the 720P mode to me doesn’t feel like a massive improvement over the 720P on the EOS 7D.

Shooting with the 5D mkIII on a Dynamic Percpetion dolly

For stills it looks like a massive step up from the 5DmkII. It handles much faster, the HDR mode is interesting and at first inspection image quality is amazing – colours look great.

Will I buy one myself? It was nice to play with Dan’s 5DmkIII but given that the C300 is higher quality with all the video functions I need, I would rather look to buy one of those instead of upgrading my 5D mkII.

Hopefully Dan will do more tests once he gets his hands on the camera.

You can download a couple of sample original clips from Vimeo here and here. They will not display in Vimeo but you can download them if you are signed in as a user.


Seppe Van Grieken is a former Getty Images photographer turned cameraman for Belgian TV station VRT. He is based in Beijing, China

Posted on March 18th, 2012 by admin | Category: Canon EOS 5D MkIII |

One response to "Seppe Van Grieken has an early hands on a production Canon EOS5D mkIII"

  1. mdrewpix Says:
    March 18th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Is this what’s known as damning with faint praise? It seems to me that clean video up to 10,000 ISO is just a touch more impressive than “pretty good.” I’m hardly an expert but I’m kinda blown away by this. The C300 may be better but the two cameras aren’t even in the same category.
    Sorry, this maybe sounds more harsh than I mean it to be but the 5D III seems like a pretty amazing piece of technology. To each their own, I guess.

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