Long awaited—much coveted—endlessly discussed—eagerly anticipated—the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is finally here and finally available for pre-order!
Here's a link to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera Kit with Canon 24–105mm ƒ/4L IS USM AF lens. Canon has also completely refreshed its top of the line Speedlite system "bringing it to new levels of performance and control."
It's possible to argue that the Canon 5D has been the No. 1 most important camera of the present era to serious and dedicated amateur and artistic photographers, also finding favor among passionate camera aficionados as well as a sizeable coterie of working professionals. It's sort of the central serious mainstream offering by the dominant cameramaker of the era, offering 90% of the performance of the top dedicated professional models in a portable, more reasonably-priced package, and offering quality overkill for hobbyists who want the best.
It might be worth mentioning that the original 5D of 2005 was so good that it's still in fairly wide use today, 49 dog years later.
For those eager to dive into the happy minutiae, I'd recommend Dpreview, Imaging-Resource, and especially Rob Galbraith DPI, whose articles on Canons are arguably the equal of Thom Hogan's on Nikons. Rob notes that "While things like pixel count, ISO range and video additions such as the headphone jack will get the most attention and discussion in the days ahead, the real story of the 5D Mark III is how much effort has been directed towards making it better as a camera."
Also, keep an eye on Luminous-Landscape for Michael R.'s comments. He knows Canons.
Go nuts, camera world! (Picture me grinning.)
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Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by MM: "I thought of the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry when Mike wrote, 'It's sort of the central serious mainstream offering by the dominant [carmaker] of the era.' For me the 5DII has been that kind of camera—a comfy, hard-to-dislike, reliable, well-performing day-in/day-out workhouse. I've put more than 150,000 'miles' on my 5DII so far, with no problems. (And yes, the Honda Accord was a game-changer, at least in the U.S., when it was released more than 35 years ago.)
"But of course that's the problem for the manufacturer—of cars or of cameras—that brings out a new iteration that's a bit better than the old one and sells for a bit more: if the old one is soldiering on just fine for most users, it's that much harder to motivate them to buy the new model that's more evolutionary than revolutionary. The 5DIII will never be seen as important as the 5DII was; I'm not sure any dSLR even can be a game-changer anymore. But like the Camry and Accord, the 5DIII will likely do very well for the manufacturer and for countless buyers: definitely not everyone's cup of tea but a solid 'you can't go wrong' choice for an awful lot of people.
"P.S. Since there are no comments posted yet (though I am doubtless not the first) I just want to anticipate the criticisms of the term 'pre-order.' Like many terms in English, it leaves a word unsaid but understood: availability. Just think 'pre-availability order' every time you see the term 'pre-order' and everything should be chill."
Mike replies: I would put the 60D more at the Accord/Camry level, and equate the 5D Mark III to something like a BMW 3-Series or a Corvette. But I take your point.
Featured Comment by Ronny Nilsen: "I just handled a 5D Mark III earlier today. AF is good, and it handles well and feels right in the hand. It's not a small camera; it felt bigger than my 5D Mark II, but I have not handled both cameras at the same time. Will I upgrade? I'm not sure. The new AF is the best selling point for me. Photographing the kids in action, my old Mark II sometimes misses focus. But for my landscape photography, the Mark III would have to have cleaner shadow noise to make it worth it."
Featured Comment by Michael Ryan: "I know the current 'megapixel race is over' slogan being pushed by the camera manufacturers may apply to amateurs but as a professional who can neither afford nor justify a 1Dx I'm very disappointed that there wasn't a significant pixel increase. For me, and my clients, there is no such thing as too many pixels. It's more like the 5DMkIIs...."