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Canon EOS 5D Mark III has improved controls, movies

The hotly anticipated follow-up to the Mark II is here -- it's more rugged, and has improved controls.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II was one of our favourite SLRs, winning our coveted Editor's Choice award three years ago. Now -- at last -- the follow-up is official, and it doesn't disappoint.

Canon obviously knows it's onto a good thing, as at first glance the Mark III looks almost indistinguishable from its predecessor. Look a little closer though, and there are plenty of improvements.

For a start the megapixel count has been bumped up from 21.1 megapixels to 22.3. Okay, so that's not going to make a huge difference, but it's an improvement nonetheless. The LCD on the back is now larger too, standing at 3.2 inches to the Mark II's 3 inches.

A 61-point autofocus system and 63-zone metering mean you can snap more quickly and find your focus point with less hassle. The ISO range has also been extended to 50 to 102,400, letting you shoot in low light. And there's a 6fps burst mode, so you can make a flipbook of someone walking/dancing/falling over.

HD movies are also on board, with the Mark III capturing 1,080-line video at 24/25/30p or 720 resolution at 50/60p. You can also add some professional-grade audio to your movies by plugging in your own microphone in the mic input. It's also the first EOS SLR to come with a headphone jack, so you can get more immersed in the filming process than ever.

The controls on the back have been rejigged, and the inner part of the control wheel is touch-sensitive, so you can adjust exposure and your audio levels while filming without a click sounding and ruining your movies.

Make no mistake, this is going to be huge. It'll go on sale at the end of the month, costing a penny shy of £3,000. We can't wait for a review model.

What do you reckon? Too little an improvement to merit upgrading, or the best thing since sliced bread? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.