March 1st, 2012

Canon Launches 22.3MP 5D Mark III DSLR (Hands-On Preview with Photos)

Hold onto your hats, folks! Canon has officially unveiled its long-awaited EOS 5D Mark III, the 22.3-megapixel, full-frame, HD-shooting successor to one of the company’s most popular pro DSLRs of all time.

We got to spend some hands-on shooting time (see further down in this story) with a prototype of the Canon 5D Mark III this week, and as successors go, this camera is fairly loaded; even if its image sensor is only a tick higher in resolution that the 21.1MP 5D Mark II from 2008. (In contrast, the Canon 5D Mark III’s direct competitor, the Nikon D800, uses a 36.3MP full-frame chip.)

But let’s get the important stuff out of the way first: the 1080p-shooting Canon 5D Mark III is slated to go on sale at the end of March for $3,499 (body only) and as a kit with the 24-105mm f/4 L IS lens for $4,299.

While that’s nearly $1,000 more than the 5D Mark II initially sold for, Canon argues that the amount of new tech in the 5D Mark III justifies the bump up in price.

“The feature set on this thing is so far superior to the 5D Mark II, it’s worth it,” Chuck Westfall, Canon USA’s Technical Advisor in the Professional Engineering & Solutions Division told us during a hands-on preview with the new camera on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Canon 5D Mark II will remain in the line and its price will drop next week. Westfall wouldn’t say how much the price will be lowered on the 5D II but at least one site predicts it will go down by $300, starting this Sunday.

“The 5D Mark II will remain in the line for at least the next six months. It might go longer than that but it depends,” Westfall said. “There are people who will say I can get by with less so the 5D Mark II is there for them.”

Read more of this story and see additional photos by clicking here.