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The Canon 5D mk3 “Final Leak” – 61 Point AF, $3500! – Cameratalk w/ Matthew Saville

By Matthew Saville on February 22nd 2012
is currently totally flooded with traffic right now so you may not be able to read the post, but apparently the Canon 5D Mk3‘s “final leak” is here, just 6-7 days before the official announcement.

Everything you’ve hoped and dreamed for is happening.The 61 point flagship AF, the CF+SD dual card slots, …and WITHOUT a crazy megapixel increase, (21->22) so there will probably be a near-1DX improvement in the ISO performance. All this, for (almost) the same price tag as what the 5D mk1 / mk2 originally sold for…At “about” $3500, this camera is going to FLY off the shelves, for years to come.Also, remember, the economy is terrible right now and the Yen vs USD is not in “our” favor, so over the next 2-3 years there could be a gradual drop of $1000 or so.


To my (slight) surprise, some are complaining that it’s NOT ENOUGH of an upgrade to justify the $1100 price increase above the currently $2400 5D mk2.WOW.Complain, complain, complain!All I can say is, compared to what else is out on the market, and what the 5D mk3 can offer, I personally see this as an amazing camera, the camera Canon SHOULD have made 3-4 years ago.

If you’re one of those people who just can’t justify $3500 for a 22 megapixel camera when you can get a 21 megapixel camera for $2400, then yeah, you should either get a 5D mk2, or wait 6-12 months to see if Canon does something in the 30-40 megapixel range.I TOTALLY understand that landscape, architectural, and studio etc. photographers may be PERFECTLY happy with their 5D mk2, and might even decide to buy a 2nd or 3rd camera now that the 5D mk3 may push used 5D mk2 prices down a bit….However for the rest of us, mostly low-light wedding / portrait photographers and photojournalists / videographers, this camera is PERFECT!!!And at $3500, well, it’s a SCREAMING DEAL compared to the 1Ds mk3 or the 1DX, neither of which offer THAT much of an advantage for the “average” photographer, even the average PRO.

It’s kinda funny, actually, how this generation is turning out to be the complete opposite of the new Nikon generation.In the past, Canon was the megapixel king and Nikon “focused” on other things.(no pun intended)Now, Nikon is king of the megapixel hill with the 36 megapixel D800, and has a huge “gap” where the aging 12 megapixel D700 sits, while Canon plays it conservative with the 5D mk3 resolution, and goes for broke with every other feature… Well, such is the ebb and flow of each DSLR generation!I’m sure in 12-24 months, the tide will be turning again.

All in all I’d say it looks like Canon is hitting a home run in 2012.Not exactly enough to get ME to switch from Nikon for my personal work, but at least now it is an equal or better option, depending on what youshoot…I konw the rest of the guys here at the studio are going to be chomping at the bit to get their hands on this camera!!


Of course, I keep saying “this is the last leak / rumor before the official announcement!” …and yet, we still haven’t even seen any official image leaks, only the African safari test camera image.So maybe in the next few days we’ll see an official product image leak out, I dunno.If that happens we’ll post it here, and I apologize to those of you rare camera geeks who actually dislike rumors and leaks and things!;-)

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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Michael Yuen The site has now posted Canon invite images for a March 2nd unveiling of something — along with purported shots of the actual camera itself. Can’t wait!

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  2. Jerrygspin

    As a working pro, I can tell you that I will wait for the 1DX to age a bit before buying. I’m a 1DsMK3 owner, and have been regretting the purchase, as the 5dMK2 hase made my competition much more… competitive on price, with equal image quality, and ability to shoot video.

    The 1DX will be a sports/reporter/nature photog’s dream cam – water resistant, bullet proof body, fast fps with huge buffer and dual CF slots = amazing. From a practical standpoint, however, I have not ever relied on these ‘pro’ features on the 1DSMK3, and so have paid the extra price for nothing. 

    I’m eyeing the 5d3 with extra batteries, maybe a specialty lens, and vert grip, possibly for the same price as a 1DX. 

    Now if the economy ever gets off the ground again, I may change my tune.

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  3. CJ

    Not enough! I’m disappointed that there was no 1Ds lV, in the 30-something MPX range, and will certainly have to actually see the specs on ISO of the 5Dlll, before I shell out $3500 for it. 

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  4. CJ

    Not enough! I’m disappointed that there was no 1Ds lV, in the 30-something MPX range, and will certainly have to actually see the specs on ISO of the 5Dlll, before I shell out $3500 for it. 

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    • Matthew Saville

      CJ, I think that especially with Nikon making a 36 megapixel camera, Canon is probably no more than 12-18 months away from releasing their own 30+ beast.  I think the 5D mk3 is a tactical move for those who don’t long for more megapixels, but who really want the KEY features of what the 1Ds 3 offered, without the price of the actual flagship itself…

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  5. Jenn Bates

    Wooo – I’m completely stoked!!  Be sure to let us know when we can pre-order!  Thanks for this post.  Helpful and informative, per usual.  xo

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  6. Matthew McGuire

    For a pro the price may be worth it, but for most of the non-pros I talk to the price is simply too high.

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  7. Michael Yuen

    Good news about an improvement in the AF and ISO areas. As someone who backpacks a lot, I tend to leave my SpeedLite 580 at home to shave off weight. The aforementioned improvements would tremendously help with landscape photography in dark/moonlit conditions without the use of a tripod :)

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  8. Ashkan Ahmadi

    I’m an amateur photographer and I don’t really need 5dmk3 or even mk2. But I think the noise performance and other features are much more important than the number of megapixels. 1Dx has only 16MP and 5dmk3 22MP, so I guess Canon is focusing on the quality of their images rather than the size of their images. I think it’s a very good strategy IMO.

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    • Anonymous

       1DX has 18MP actually. The D4 has 16MP. 1DX will definitely have many other “convenient” features that the 5DIII won’t have.

      There are different audiences for the two cameras. However, given that Canon probably doesn’t expect more than 100,000 sales for the 1DX compared to many millions they will sell for the 5D over the next few years, I think the decision to cut into the 1DX sales with better AF on the 5DIII is definitely a calculated decision that will result in even MORE sales for the 5D series. Good Job Canon!

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    • Matthew Saville

      That’s exactly what I’m thinking.  Canon realizes they can only sell so many cameras at $6800, and they’ll make a huge profit on VOLUME for any camera that is more affordable, so why not maximize sales at a lower price point?  The market is getting more and more competitive, Nikon is on their 2nd / 3rd generation of “affordable flagship AF”, and this 5D mk3 is exactly the camera that Canon needs to make right now…


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  9. Dan Fields

    Love reading your stuff Matt….give me higher quality image any day over larger image…should be an interesting announcement for sure.

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