New Canon 5D Mark III in the wild


Ron Howard - 5D Mark III coming soon?

There’s some pretty compelling evidence that the 5D Mk3 is out there.

  • Canon’s Tim Smith was seen at Hollywood rental house Birns and Sawyer testing a new camera, concealed from view with the whole thing under an NDA, he was said to be walking around holding 5D batteries (according to Wide Open Camera).
  • There will be a stand set aside at Canon Pro Photo solutions in London for a new camera, this is on October 25th. EOSHD will be there for it.
  • Canon USA are running a high profile Ron Howard EOS movie-making campaign which climaxes later this year with a short film shot on DSLRs by Howard. From the official press release – “These eight winning photos will become the basis and inspiration for a short film shot with Canon DSLR products that will premiere later this year in New York City with the winners in town for a red carpet event where they will have the opportunity to meet Ron Howard.”
  • Now a lot of people have been linking this to the Canon ‘The Story Begins’ Hollywood event on the 3rd of November where a new Canon 35mm 4K cinema camera might debut. But why link the video camera launch to a DSLR marketing campaign? It doesn’t make sense. Project Imagination is similar to Vincent LaForet’s Story Behind The Still competition. And why does it say New York premiere in the Ron Howard / Canon press release? Yes it is possible the venue has changed to Hollywood but it still points more to a new DSLR than a video camera despite the location because the link to the Ron Howard DSLR stuff is pretty strong.
  • Unusually the 5D Mark II has an instant rebate running until 29th October 2011, days before the Hollywood event – and has seen the first ever meaningful price drops this week, to under $2000 in Canada. Also, dealers have been offered bulk-buy discounts on the 5DMk2
  • Canon’s new S100 compact has been announced and it is the first to feature DIGIC 5, the next generation image processor that the 5DMk3 is expected to feature. Precisely 3 years ago on the 16th September 2008 DIGIC 4 was introduced in the Canon G10 compact. A day later the 5D MkII was officially announced. Is History about to repeat?

There’s also evidence for a Super 35mm 4K video camera and the 1DS Mk4.

To be honest Canon are in no rush with the 1DS since the 5D Mk2 is more important and the 1D Mk4 relatively fresh in the memory. These cameras provided for 95% of people and the 1DS Mk3 was not a big seller. But Canon badly need an answer to Sony and Panasonic in the video market and so the evidence for the 4K camera is more compelling.

I think it will be EF mount not PL, although if there are two cameras announced it makes sense to do what Sony have done and do both mounts, possibly even a new mirrorless mount like Sony has on the E-mount FS100.

  • Fujinon who already have PL cinema glass on the market are said to be developing EF mount cine lenses for the system to compete with Zeiss CP2s, the advantage of these is that they will work on EF mount DSLRs unlike PL mounts which require hardware modding of the mirror box. The move will also earn mount licensing royalties for Canon. Fuji lenses on a Canon? It makes more sense than it seems.
  • According to other rumours the EF mount video camera will be designed to compete with the FS100 at around $6,000 and there is a PL mount version will squash the Sony F3 for $15,000.
  • Canon are said to have new video optimised EF lenses that can be used on both the new 5D Mk3 as well as the EF mount video camera.

And the latest 1DS Mk4 rumours are less compelling…

  • The 1DS Mk3 – somewhat unpopular due to the more attractive 5DMkII – has now been discontinued and it has come well past its 3 year cycle. Dutch dealers have been told ‘no more’ stock, and the Canon Canada and New Zealand websites have removed it. It is time for a replacement but will there be one?
  • Although probably a typo Art Wolfe let slip on his Facebook status the following: “I just wanted to extend an extra thank you to Michael Gurley from Canon for bringing the keys to the candy store this past weekend for the workshop participants. Mike brought with him just about every Canon lens… along with numerous backs including the new 1DS Mark 4.” It was since removed and corrected to simply say ‘1D Mark 4′ instead of ‘new 1DS Mark 4′ (view).

Like I say I don’t think the new 1DS is a priority for Canon, I think it will go as follows…

  • First the 5D Mk3 in October. A big marketing push in November. Limited stock on sale for Christmas.
  • Possibly the Super 35mm cinema camera(s) in November potentially to be unveiled at the Paramount studios event in Hollywood on the 3rd.
  • Sales of the 60D, 600D, 7D and G12 are still strong so I think it will be 2012 before we see an update to those, featuring DIGIC 5.

August-October is the peak time of the year for new camera releases and until now high end Canon DSLRs have been on 3 year cycles. By October with the Christmas shopping season approaching, the 5DMk2 3 years old and Sony’s new A77 on the market don’t be surprised to finally see the Canon response we have all been waiting for.

About Author

British filmmaker and editor of EOSHD, Andrew works in Berlin on his own self funded filmmaking and video projects.


  1. With all the talk about mirrorless tech coming out soon and how video DLSR is soon to be obsolete, isn’t it possible that this is just an attempt to keep their place in the market alive a little longer? I am not a professional and have been struggling to get what I need out of my 600d and on top of that the video editing is tough for my two year old macbook because the file sizes are so huge.

  2. You should try using proxy files for editing. Maybe get a large external HDD as a scratch disc?

    Just don’t attach via USB.

  3. This is getting exciting. I’ve been holding out for a new camera and haven’t been able to make up my mind. I REALLY want a 5Dmkiii. I hope it’s everything we’ve all be hoping and waiting for. I can’t imagine that after all this time they’d disappoint everyone. They know everyone is waiting. The RED Scarlet is coming, so the timing is great. Canon can’t miss this opportunity to re-establish their place at the top of the VDSLR hill.

  4. I think for Canon what matters is the timing of the Sony A77. That is a very viable option against the 5DMkII and cheaper. It is a threat.

  5. I don’t think Canon would release a 5D Mark 3, however I believe they may announce a full frame EVIL camera with 1080p (to 4K) video capability

  6. We’re talking image quality that normal buyers notice when they use the camera, and look at the photos. Full frame is a niche and for experts, it represents a very small chunk of the market. For video a full frame sensor has its place and it’s unique, it fits in tight spaces with a fast wide angle yet maintains a shallow depth of field even at 24mm. To do that on a crop sensor is much harder. But for everything apart from fast wides a crop sensor is fine for video and is closer to the Super 35mm motion picture standard. Also the aesthetic people like about the 5D Mk II is not really excessive shallow DOF – it is the smoothness of the colour, good dynamic range and the overall characteristics of the image. Let’s not get too hung up on sensor size, APS-C is pretty good.

  7. Sure I agree with you about the whole video-part. Allthough I myself think that the perceived picture quality from 1000D/600D/60D/7D is very alike. Only in extreme cases such as super low-light, high-fps there is a difference. Handling is another story, but has little to do with picture quality from the sensor.

    My journey has been from 350D, 40D, 7D and now finally 5Dmk2. Sure, the autofocus, high iso-capabilities and live-view made the 40D and 7D easier to use than the 350D. But would i see a lot of difference in picture quality between them in a normal viewing situation? Not really.

    Could I on the other hand see a big difference when i got my 5D? Most certainly!

    In my opinion, APS-C never can compete with full frame since the pictures aren’t really comparative. Before I bought the 5Dmk2 I was thinking of buying the 5Dmk1, but not having live-view and a more high res LCD stopped me. It is still just as good as the 7D picture-qualitywize even though it’s so old. And the filming i could have done with my 7D.

    Therefore I mean that the sensors don’t and never will play in the “same league”.

    Video is another story, and I really do hope Canon can get their heads around todays problems. I really like what I see on your site with Panasonics gear.. Keep it up!

  8. I was at the Art Wolfe workshop you mentioned, and although Canon was nice enough to provide the ‘candy store’ (a 8-15, an 800, and just about everything in between!) there were no surprises. After spending some time with Art, it doesn’t surprise me that he (or one of his staff) would make a minor typo like this. He clearly is an artist and not a gearhead.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean he maybe doesn’t have one hidden away back at his studio. Ha!

  9. While we are all excited and waiting in anticipation for whatever Canon has up it’s sleeves I would implore those looking to inform to be mindful about sharing information this way. While I don’t doubt the validity of Jared’s report here, the fact that he posted the camera house and an individual’s name can indeed put their career and reputation at risk. Be curious, be investigative, but don’t burn those who are already in the fire. This is coming from somebody under several NDA’s from different studios at the moment.

  10. I’m hearing rumors that it could be in the 3000+ range, which is a bit much. Some real nice markdowns may be around the corner on Mark II.

  11. Hmm. If this S35 4k camera is real, its about 1-2k shy of making snapshot dale photography obsolete.
    Anyone agree?

  12. One thing that went trough my mind: what if canon have found a way to make use out of the extra flange distance of an EF mount on a mirrorless system? That way their old lenses would adapt straight to a mirrorless system whilst they could produce new lenses for some extra feature of tech..

    Don’t really know what feature it would be, but it could have been an interesting approach – a turn of events which make them stand out again in the competition; rejuvenating their inevitably obsolete mount.

    I doubt they are that proactive, though!

  13. …has anyone else notices that the 3rd ‘i’ of the ‘Mark iii’ logo is simply a duplicate of the second. Come on, people. If you’re going to photoshop a fake ‘Mark iii’ logo, at least try a bit.

  14. Off topic question, but can anyone point me towards a cheaper zoom for the GH2 that is controllable from the camera? Looks like some of the Sigma’s work, but will it give me autofocus, etc?

  15. JohnnyMossville on

    good call, it’s a fake pic. This is a pacifier pic. Like a binky for 5D junkies hungry for anything, any news at all.

  16. The pic is for illustration purposes, if the 5D Mk III badge had been spotted believe me I would have made more of it in the actual article!

  17. My excitement about the possible technologies in a 5D Mkiii is somewhat dulled by what will clearly be a silly price. If I were working for them, it’s what I’d do, especially given the level of hype! I expect close to three grand than two, especially if it’s plugging the 1Ds Mkiii hole as well.

    Still, a year from that we’ll see the same features for cheaper, but by then perhaps we’ll have a Canon mirrorless too! It looks like Nikon have signed their retirement in the long term, pending some major reinvention or purchase by another concern. Who knows, perhaps they’ll swing it round, but were I throwing money at such companies as a habit, I certainly wouldn’t be giving it to them…

    Competition is good for consumers and business. I just hope that Sony jack some of their old habits (proprietary nonsense, intentional firmware crippling etc.) and realize that the reason Canon are cleaning up is BECAUSE they allow the enthusiast user full choice of frame rates etc. and this positive marketing trickles down to consumer level. Rant ends!

  18. Sorry, was asking what budget alternatives exist to the Panasonic 14-140mm kit with some auto controls from camera.

    Looking for a longer zoom which can hit 80mm+

  19. The reason why the 1ds isnt a priority is in the canon time line they alway release the 1dmk* every few years as with the 5ds but there i no set pattern with the 1ds

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