While the key specification changes since the 5D Mark II largely just bring the Canon EOS 5D Mark III into line with Canon's existing DSLRs, we're impressed with the results from the new camera.

Raw and JPEG images have plenty of detail, noise is well controlled at the higher native sensitivity settings and colour and exposure are generally very good.

Canon has also clearly put in a lot of thought about how enthusiasts use a camera, and the new HDR system is the best on the market.

Images are generally well exposed, thanks to the iFCL metering, and the white balance and Picture Styles deliver the colour and tones we expect from a top-end Canon camera.

We liked

Provided you keep the camera reasonably still, the Canon EOS 5D Mk III's HDR mode does a great job of aligning and merging images, plus you have the fallback of all the raw and JPEG files if you want.

We disliked

Existing Canon EOS 5D Mark II users will find the AF system more complex than they're used to. While this is an improvement, the various AF-point selection mode options and characteristic adjustments can be a little confusing.

Final verdict

While it may not have excited the photographic world in the same way that the Nikon D800 seems to have, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a very capable camera.

It suffers a little from the fact that the majority of the systems have been seen elsewhere in the Canon DSLR lineup, and therefore there is nothing really groundbreaking..

Image quality throughout the native sensitivity range is excellent, noise is well controlled and there's plenty of detail. The AF system has been given a serious upgrade on what the Canon EOS 5D Mark II version has, and it puts in an excellent performance.

Costing £2,999/$3,499 for the body only, however, the price seems a little on the high side.