Canon 5D Mark III review

New DSLR is like a cross between the EOS-1DX and the 7D

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We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.

We have compared the Canon 5D Mark III with the Nikon D810, Sony A7 and Canon EOS 6D.

JPEG Signal to Noise Ratio

Signal to Noise ratio JPG

The 5D Mark III produces the cleanest images of the bunch up to ISO800, at which point it starts to fall short of the Canon 6D and Sony A7. It still manages to produce slightly better results than the Nikon D810 until ISO12800, where the two cameras then even out. It's worth noting that these tests are not always an accurate representation of real-world image quality, so check out the sensitivity and noise images to visually examine noise levels at higher sensitivities.

Raw signal to noise ratio

Signal to Noise ratio TIFF

Analysing the camera's raw output (after conversion to TIFF) we can see that the 5D Mark III scores consistently higher than the D810 at all sensitivities and comes close to the Sony A7's performance. The 6D starts out slightly down on its bigger brother, but regains the lead as sensitivities increase, theoretically producing cleaner images.

JPEG dynamic range

JPEG Dynamic Range

All cameras are capable of very high dynamic range up to ISO3200 with no obvious difference in real world image quality. The 5D Mark III and D810 maintain very close results up to their maximum sensitivities, whilst the 6D and Sony A7 produce high scores up to ISO25600.

Raw dynamic range

Raw Dynamic Range

Comparing the dynamic range of the camera's raw files (when converted to TIFF) reveals that the 5D Mark III falls slightly short of the competition up to ISO800, where it then claws back ground against the D810. The 6D and A7 are still the cameras to beat though.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution22.3 Megapixel
Product FamilyEOS
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), CompactFlash (CF) Card
Image StabilizationNo
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesFace Detection, External Flash Shoe, Live View, Self-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor, Time Lapse Function
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)860 g
Image Sensor Size36 mm x 24 mm
Maximum Image Resolution5760 x 3840
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height116.8 mm
Width152.4 mm
Depth76.2 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product Model5D Mark III
Product NameEOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera
Product LineEOS
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Shutter priority AE
  • Aperture priority AE
  • Manual
Manufacturer Part Number5260B002
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The Power to Create.

Canon is proud to present the highly anticipated EOS 5D Mark III. With supercharged EOS performance and stunning full frame, high-resolution image capture, the EOS 5D Mark III is designed to perform. Special optical technologies like the 61-Point High Density Reticular AF and an extended ISO range of 100-25600 (expandable to 50 (L), 51200 (H1) and 102400 (H2) make the EOS 5D Mark III ideal for shooting weddings in the studio or out in the field, and great for still photography. Advanced professional-level high definition video capabilities (that includes a host of industry-standard recording protocols and enhanced performance) make it possible to capture beautiful cinematic movies in EOS HD quality. A newly designed 22.3 Megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, Canon DIGIC 5+ Image Processor, and shooting performance up to 6.0 fps provide exceptional clarity and sharpness, even when capturing rapidly-unfolding scenes. Additional technological advancements include an Intelligent Viewfinder, Canon's advanced iFCL metering system, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and Multiple Exposure mode - all of which that help make the EOS 5D Mark III the perfect multimedia tool.