Everybody loves new kit day! Especially when it comes in the form of the Canon 5D Mk3.
In order to put the camera through its day-light paces (we plan a night demo video soon!) I headed over to the beautiful Isle of Purbeck and spent to day climbing around cliffs and avoiding waves in Kimmeridge Bay. Check out our short video below.
Owing to the 5D Mk3′s full frame sensor and the 24-105mm ‘L’ glass there is a good amount of detail captured in the H.264 video files. From my tests; the 5D chucks out an impressive average bitrate of 80mbp/s VBR which is great for pushing the video a bit further in post – It’s still nothing compared to that of the ProRes or DNxHD video files of some dedicated video cameras but for the file size it sure is impressive. I won’t waste my time talking about audio quality – yes the 5D has a headphone jack to monitor the audio being captured – it even has onscreen audio levels; but if you’re serious about getting good clean sound, use an external recorder and I would only use the in camera audio as a guide to sync up good sound.
If I wanted to be overly critical about the 5D Mk3′s performance I would start picking on how soft it can be. Obviously, when comparing the raw photo images, or even the JPEG’s compared to the video files; the 5D mk3 does seem to soften the image quite considerably. It’s quite common to lock your focus and pixel peep to ensure razor sharp focus from the ‘L’ glass – only to review the footage on the big screen to reveal ever so slightly soft images. The issue isn’t overly present with close up shots, where details are mostly large – it’s most evident when shooting wide angle landscapes where the edges and fine details can be a little mushy. I’m not entirely sure if this is a result of the Codec compression or the down-scaling of the sensors native 22.3 megapixels to 2 megapixels of Full HD – but either way the footage does benefit from a small amount of sharpening in post.
I’ve been finding my way around the 5D Mk3 for just over a week now and I can certainly say I’m a fan. The build quality is fantastic, autofocus is outstanding and the screen is super sharp and exhibits a ton of colour (it is however perhaps a little too high contrast – when displaying on accurate monitors the images seem a little far off from the contrast displayed on the back screen). The full frame sensor gives you that extra DOF from fast optics and breaths new life into lenses such as the cheap as chips 50mm f1.8.
Both the images and video captured out of this camera are excellent. However, if I’m honest; in terms of video only – from my tests, under good light (daylight or a studio) the performance isn’t a million miles away from some of budget Canon cameras (such as the 550D/600D/6D). It’s only when the sun goes down or when you need to shoot that client testimonial in a dimly light office space that the 5D Mk3 really stands out from the crowd. The high ISO performance from the full frame sensor is outstanding. If the situation required – I would be quite confident shooting up to ISO 6400. And in a pinch, footage is still passable at ISO 8000, 10000 and 12800.
Everything in this video was shot with the Canon 5D Mk3 (Mark III) with the Canon EF 24 – 105mm F4 L IS USM with the exception of the shot of the 5D at the end, which was shot on a Canon 600D + Samyang 35mm T1.5.