March 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM ET
Canon has finally made the highly anticipated EOS 5D Mark III official and photographers everywhere are already drooling — and reaching for their wallets. The $3,500 gadget is a follow-up to the insanely popular 5D Mark II, launched in 2008. It's been a long time coming but boy was it worth the wait.
The Mark III's predecessor overturned the filmmaker world by cramming HD-quality video and a full-frame sensor into a DSLR. The 5D Mark III builds on that legacy. It has better noise reduction and longer shooting times than the Mark II. It also has a built-in headphone jack — something that the 5D Mark II was lacking, much to the irritation of many videographers — and there's a new dedicated video capture button.
The 5D Mark III is of course a full-frame DSLR, with a 22.3-megapixel CMOS sensor. The auto-focus system offered by the EOS 5D Mark II is quite similar to what is found in the higher-end EOS-1D X. (It has 61 auto-focus points.) Shooting speed at full resolution has been upgraded to 6 fps (compared to 3.9 fps with the EOS 5D Mark II).
You should check out the full specs of the 5D Mark III on Canon's website, before it's available at the end of March. The body-only configuration will cost $3,500 and a kit with a 24-105mm f/4 zoom lens will cost $4,300. And since it sounds like the 5D Mark II will stick around at least for a while, that might mean a price drop for the older model — you know, that camera you've been waiting four years to get your hands on.
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