On paper, the Canon 5D Mark III may not seem like a huge step up from the 5D Mark II especially given all the rumors (and long-time anticipation) surrounding its release. In some ways, the Mark III on the surface doesn’t dazzle with additional bells and whistles or even any huge leap forward in technology. And, given the fact that the Mark III currently costs about $1300 more than the 5D Mark II ($3,499 and $2,199, respectively), the 5D Mark III may be a hard sell to newcomers to the 5D family and questionable for some 5D Mark II owners.
We don’t have final test results for the Nikon D800, so we can’t compare the two for those of you who may not have a vested interest (e.g., lenses) in one system or the other. But 5D Mark II users have an even more difficult task deciding whether or not to update to the Mark III. Perhaps the best reasons to upgrade are the highly capable AF system, the improved performance from the Digic 5 + processor and higher ISO capabilities. But if you’re happy with the 5D Mark II and you don’t think your photography will benefit from those three main improvements, then you might want to see what the next generation may bring.
However, as Aristotle once said: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, (and, no, I can t believe I just quoted Aristotle in a camera review). Sure, the new 61-point AF system is excellent, faster performance is always a good thing as is high ISO capabilities. While this camera’s updates and enhancements on their own may not be particularly motivating to everyone, when integrated into a single camera, it s easy to see why the 5D Mark III is currently backordered at most retailers.
- Excellent photo/video quality
- Excellent build quality
- Advanced 61 point AF system
- Best image quality from Raw (vs. JPEG)
- Overly aggressive noise reduction
- Monaural on-board microphone