Lots of excitement across the video and stills blogsosphere with the launch of the Canon 5D Mark III in Shanghai on Friday, March 2nd.
Here’s the official Canon press release on the camera.
The video specs are striking, but the main takeaway is probably its full intraframe mode or I-frame-only recording (stores each frame separately) as well as IPB (interframe) recording; these are essentially two variations of the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec.
Other points of interest to DPs in the crowd include improved noise reduction, longer recording times (29 minutes versus the previous 12-minute limit), built-in mic and headphone monitoring jacks for audio, twin memory card slots, and an effective ISO of 25,600. The new CMOS sensor is about 1 megapixel larger than that in the Mark II; many bloggers find it refreshing that Canon didn’t enter the race for a higher megapixel count. This essentially means that the camera’s low-light capability won’t be compromised: you can push it to a 102,400 ISO if you like.
Also promised are reduced moire and color artifacting. Camera usability comes in for a welcome upgrade via the larger 3.2-inch Clear View II LCD which offers a reflection-resistant coating for bright conditions, and some 1,040,000 pixels for more detailed viewing.
For photography, one striking feature is the multiple exposure capabilities first intro’d on the 1D X. You’ll be able to combine up to nine separate frames into one, using a choice of four compositing options: Additive, Average, Bright and Dark.
Andrew Reid on EOSHD has the most relevant posts for anyone involved in DSLRs for HD production. Reid notes that the camera “compares favourably to the $5000 Sony FS100 because you are getting a full frame sensor and a much more compact, ergonomic body for less money.”
EOSHD also offers a page of three sample videos shot with the new DSLR.
B&H Photo, of course, will sell plenty of these new DSLRs; the company blog spots the use of the new DIGIC 5+ image processor as “one of the largest improvements” over the 5D Mark II, as it offers “increased speed and power as well as higher ISO sensitivity and better noise reduction.”
Camera Labs goes into a detailed analysis of the new camera’s specs.
Engadget shows video of an early hands-on demo of the camera and says that Canon’s PR folks noted that “JPEG shots are roughly two stops cleaner than that of the Mark II” (okay, we know you’re all shooting stills in RAW), and “the amount of noise you’d see at 6,400 with the II only creeps up to the III at 25,600.”
Canon Rumors offers up a list of retailers offering pre-orders on the 5D.
Back to EOSHD for this comparison of the video chops of the Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon’s latest, the D800.
We’ll keep updating this blog post with the best info we can glean about the Canon 5D Mark III.