Is The New Canon 5D Mark III Definitely worth the Upgrade?
When the Canon 5D Mark II was initially released, it was groundbreaking. No time before could we shoot full 1080p video in the handheld SLR camera. Three and a half years later, Canon has released the Mark III. Is it three and a half years evolution on the camera? Yes and no. I want to explain. Canon 24-70 F2.8 L
Let's start with all the good. The sound features about the Mark III are drastically improved. About the previous version, you had been left having to monitor audio blindly, that is a terrible way to do things. Now with the addition of the headphone out jack built-in, we are able to listen to what's being recorded. Thank heavens! The addition of manual audio levels is amazing, and seeing the meters on the watch's screen while recording is even better! While recording, you can also change the audio levels using the touch wheel, so if the audio is riding a touch too high, you can change on the fly! Sweet!
In regards to picture styles, there isn't any more moire or aliasing that I can see. This is a fantastic improvement. Before with all the Mark II, I seldom sharpened the footage in postproduction, the good news is with a clean image straight from camera, I can sharpen without seeing nasty artifacts appear. In relation to sharpening, I do get the 5D Mark III footage just a little flat. I don't start to see the crisp image seen in my c300, and I would never use the in camera sharpening styles. So to add one extra step, I'm sharpening all my Mark III footage in postproduction. It really brings the footage to life, and doesn't look muddy because the straight from camera clips do. About the downside, rolling-shutter is still there (and in all likelihood always will with SLR cameras).
Your camera recording time is greatly improved this go around. Now you can record clips continuously approximately 29 minutes 59 seconds. Apparently a camera that records over Half an hour continuously classifies being a full video camera in some countries, so for this reason for the maximum clip length allowed. Also the addition of 60FPS at 720p is a nice improvement, but not groundbreaking since this feature has been included on Canon cameras for some time now. canon 5d mark III raw magic lantern
The low light capabilities within the Mark III certainly are a huge improvement. Around the Mark II, I came across that 1250 ISO was bad. Canon's noise is ugly, and i also found the noise within the shadows at 1250 pretty gross. With my low light tests, I had been amazed at 6400 ISO on the Mark III. You can see noise, but it's not horrendous. 3200 is totally useable, and of course anything below that is very clean!
Now about the "bad." The resolution and detail of the image isn't really an enormous improvement from the earlier release. Alongside, both cameras output much the same looking footage, and also the specs are pretty much identical. Like I mentioned, rolling shutter artifacts are still there (and just slightly improved, or no).
On the Mark II, the output was rather pitiful at 480p. About the Mark III, no clean output can be obtained at 1080p. This is a huge disappointment as both of Nikon's new releases (the D800 and D4) have this feature. It could be possible using a firmware update, but I'm not holding my breath. Canon definitely missed the mark on this one.
If I'm getting picky, I'd love a chance to "punch in" and see focus while I'm recording, but alas which include isn't available. They've also moved the punch in button top directly to the left hand side. This is an unnecessary move, but could be changed from your menu settings.
So, ultimately, what's my final conclusion? Is it worth selling your Mark II and upgrade to the new, big brother? I think, yes! The headphone out jack is worth the price upgrade alone. A high level documentary filmmaker, the lower light capabilities certainly are a huge plus, and recommended. Sure, there's nothing truly groundbreaking, however, if comparing it towards the Mark II, that was, it's hard to compete. The potential II was the very first of it's kind, but the Mark III continues the tradition.