So besides the obvious specs (here), what are the key differences and upgrades?
First and foremost, the 14 bit a/d conversion and sensor size of 24x26mm is still the same. So for sheer image quality it’s probably not a big upgrade. However, it does have the beautiful DIG!C5 processor which reduces false color and other ‘junk’ that can prevent beautiful imagery, however the difference may be subtle.
The 5D3 now has 6 frames per second in burst, which is a big step up! Also, in video, at 720p you can now shoot at 60fps! (Yes!). Furthermore, the ISO range has expanded.
It used to be ISO 100 to 6400 calibrated basic, now it has expanded to 100 to 25,600 calibrated basic, expandable two levels up all the way to 102,400.
They also have a new button called “rating” where you can star your shots to bookmark your favorites of the bunch. It’s one of those features you know you wanted but never thought about creating a tool for it in camera. I always write the file number down for the ones I love when previewing them after the shoot when I know I got the shot.
Finally, there’s another mode where you can shoot in ‘silent single frame’, where it makes far less noise than regular, in situations where shutter slaps aren’t welcome. This is also available in burst mode too.
They also modified the design a bit, making it more rounded from the side, and angled at the top. I do prefer the MKII design more, though.
Has the autofocus improved?
There is good news! Prior, on the 5D2, the focus was apparently not that great. It needed to be improved similarly to how the 7D was. Furthermore, you couldn’t enable the autofocus assist beam unless you had a flash or an STE-2 (if I recall correctly).
Now, changes are:
1) They fixed the autofocus issue.
2) You can now enable the autofocus assist beam without anything attached! It works very good!
AF Assist Beam
With an EOS-dedicated Speedlite, AF-assist beam is emitted automatically when necessary.
(3) IR AF assist beam only
There are plenty of other features, like a HDR mode increasing the natural dynamic range of each image without the ugly faux-HDR look.
Also, the improved weatherproofing on the body, just don’t play with it in the rain.
Additional CF and SD card slots.
This review was primarily leaning to the stills side, but there are also more video upgrades which you can find in the spec list at the top of this article. The most relevant being the headphone jack.
6 fps, DIG!C 5, 60fps in 720p, better autofocus, 100 to 102400, silent single and burst frame mode + more features.