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Canon Launches EOS 5D Mark III

Canon 5D Mark III - H 2012

New camera includes a 22.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor.

Canon has launched its awaited EOS 5D Mark III—a 22.3 megapixel full frame digital SLR camera aimed at the “advanced amateur and beginning of the professional market.”

The company is positioning the compact camera between its 5D Mark II digital SLR—which will remain in the Canon lineup—and top of the line EOS-1D X digital SLR camera. Scheduled to ship before the end of March, the new camera body will have an estimated list price of $3499, and a kit combining the Mark III and EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens will sell for $4299.

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Canon’s Chuck Westfall suggested that the 5D Mark III represents a “huge improvement” over the Mark II, with faster processing, improved noise reduction, higher sensitivity (ISO range of 100-25600), and better image quality. “Wedding and portrait photographers are a prime market; nature and wildlife photographers also,” he said. “And on the video side, there is tremendous interest following on the heels of the 5D Mark II, which more or less started the excitement three and a half years ago in terms of DSLR Full HD video.” The 5D Mark II, in fact, was used to shoot last weekend’s box office champ, Act of Valor.

The 5D Mark III includes a 22.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, DIGIC 5+ imaging processor, a 61-point high density reticular autofocus system and six frames-per-second continuous shooting speed.

This new model captures 1080p Full HD video at 24p (23.976), 25p, and 30p (29.97) fps; 720p HD recording at 60 (59.94) and 50 fps; and 480 SD at 30 (29.97) and 25 fps.

The new camera supports a pair of new H.264 video compression formats, intraframe (ALL-I) compression and interframe (IPB) compression. It also offers embedded timecode.

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The EOS 5D Mark III—with a similar size and weight as theMark II—features a 3.2-inch LCD screen with 1,040,000 dot resolution, which is also used in the EOS-1D X. It accepts both Compact Flash Type 1 and SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards in a dual card slot configuration.

It is compatible with Canon EF and EF Cinema lenses.

The EOS 5D Mark III launches on the occasion of the EOS camera system’s 25th anniversary.

New accessories that will be available before the end of April include a GPS receiver, GP-E2, priced at $390; a new wireless file transmitter, the WFT-E7A, with an estimated price of $850; and a battery grip that will list for $490. Additional accessories include the Speedlite 600EX-RT and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT, which are scheduled availability later this month for $630 and $470 respectively.