At our preview of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, we had the chance to snap a few photos of the camera itself.
Expect the 5D Mark III from late March, at AU$4399 for the body only and AU$5499 for the premium kit with the EF 24-105mm f/4 L lens. Later on in April the camera will be available with the new EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II lens for AU$6899.
Here it is. The Mark III took three years to emerge from the wilderness, following on from the wildly successful 5D Mark II. Never fear, though, if your budget can't quite stretch to the wads of cash you will need to hand over to get this shiny camera, as the Mark II will be continuing on its valiant journey. Pictured here is the new 24-70mm L series lens, which offers a new optical design and is much lighter than its predecessor.
Did we mention wads of cash? If you fancy picking up just the lens without the camera it will set you back AU$2899 when it goes on sale in April.
Front on, the Mark III doesn't look all too different from its predecessor. That is, until you turn it around and discover all the different ways it has been influenced by other cameras from the EOS range such as the 7D.
Here is the rear of the camera, which features a new 3.2-inch high-resolution screen. Pictured here on the screen is a photo taken on the 5D Mark III of another 5D Mark III with one of the new 28mm prime lenses attached. The image you see above was taken on a 5D Mark II. Meta, much?
Take note of the repositioned power switch, now located underneath the mode dial. The video recording and Live View switch has been relocated just next to the viewfinder, with the rather apt "Start/Stop" caption emblazoned on the button just in case its positioning wasn't obvious. We had some brief hands-on time playing around with the new positioning and found it took a little while to get used to, particularly given we were able to compare it side by side with the implementation on the 5D Mark II. Evidently, this new configuration is designed first and foremost for video shooters, rather than stills shooters who like to occasionally dabble in video.
Also something else to note on the back panel is the soft touch dial, which makes very little noise when turned or clicked into place (unlike that on the Mark II), which is designed to be super silent to avoid leaking into audio recordings.
This looks familiar. It's the locking mode dial we first saw on the 60D. We found the locking system is pretty annoying as the Canon mode dial doesn't seem to fall out of place particularly easily anyway when shooting. The lock just seems to add another level of complexity to changing shooting settings. However, some others love the locking functionality, so we're prepared to compromise.
At the ports on the side we find, finally, a headphone jack for monitoring audio. Visual levels appear on the screen and live monitoring of the audio is available — or so we're told. Unfortunately, being a pre-production model, we weren't able to film anything on it.
Two card slots, one for CompactFlash and one for SD/SDHC/SDXC.
The new 600EX speedlite on top of the camera.
One of the most interesting features of the Mark III is the built-in photo modes of HDR, multiple exposures and picture styles. A dedicated button at the top of the left-side menu buttons (pictured here with the little paintbrush on it) activates this menu. From here you can adjust picture styles (like in earlier EOS cameras), fiddle around with multiple exposures or create some in-camera HDR images.
Digging deeper into the HDR menu you will find the following options, which shows the way to activate the HDR photo effects as well as the auto-align feature.
Our first sighting of the brand new 28mm f/2.8 prime lens.
On the camera it makes for quite the diminutive package. The Mark III is just a touch heavier than its predecessor without its battery, at 860 grams compared to 810 grams of the Mark II without the battery.
The new battery grip accepts two LP-E6 or six AA batteries to extend the camera's juice pack. It also allows for both vertical and horizontal shooting.