Now that it’s here, let’s talk about the big question on many people’s minds. Should you buy the Canon 5D Mark III?

The 5D MkIII is probably one of the best camera packages on the planet for under $5,000. The ability to shoot stunning stills and video in one small camera makes it a dream come true for most. But is it the right camera for you? Let’s break it down…

What the 5D MkIII DOES DO

  • Take amazing stills, remember this is a stills camera first and foremost.
  • Have improvements in almost every feature.
  • Shoots in lower light situations = Higher ISO sensitivity.
  • Improved codec for video.
  • Headphone output for monitoring audio.
  • Adds ability to shoot 60p (though only in 720p).
  • Reduced moire and aliasing.
  • Adds option for time code.

What the 5D MkIII DOES NOT DO

  • Have clean HDMI out. Big frowny face on this one. That means no external recorders.
  • Have XLR audio in (still uses 3.5mm audio jack).
  • Have RAW video (though no one really expected that).
  • Eliminate moire and aliasing. New processor doesn’t line skip anymore but it still has to process the image down from 22.3 MP to 1920×1080 which may possibly create some minor moire or aliasing issues.
  • Be a true video camera.

I’m reminded of Halo: Combat Evolved for the Xbox (for those of you who play video games). When the game was released, it revolutionized console first person shooters. By the time Halo 3 came out for the Xbox 360, it was a great game, but many called it Combat “Refined” rather than a new evolution for the franchise.

I think the 5D MkIII is HDSLR “refined”. It isn’t revolutionizing the market, rather it improves upon an already solid platform.

So should you buy one?

I think it depends on who you are.

The Novice

At $3500, it ain’t cheap! Chances are great you won’t benefit much from the premium price tag required for 5D MkIII ownership. Take a look at a 5D MkII for a much more affordable price or a 7D or 60D for an even larger price difference.

Verdict – There are more HDSLR fish in the sea. Pass.

The Professional Videographer

The 5D MkIII is certainly an improvement over the MkII, but stepping up to the $3500 price point puts you within a stone’s throw from a true large sensor video camera like the FS100 or AF100. If you’re a serious shooter, you may miss many of the pro features found in a true camcorder. But if you do photo work as well and want to either have one small package or invest in a single camera, then it may be a good option for you.

VerdictFor Video Only = Pass – For Stills & Video = Buy

The Photographer

The 5D MkIII is a beautiful stills camera. Full frame images have their own unique flare that can’t be achieved with any other format. The 5D3 will be the flagship camera of any professional wedding, event or portrait photographer. Video may be just a bonus for you but certainly can be a welcome feature for business or just for fun.

Verdict – Save up your pennies and Buy!

At the end of the day, a camera is an investment and a tool to bring your visions to life. A DSLR has the unique ability to become an extension of the shooter. You will find yourself looking at life as if through the lens of your camera even when it’s not with you. With all the features crammed into this amazing looking camera, it would be hard to go wrong with a pal like the 5D MkIII.

Want one? Pre-order right now to get ahead of the crowd.