New AF System
One of the most significant advances in the EOS 5D Mark III is the new 61-point, high-density reticular AF system. This is the same system as the new EOS-1D X, and Canon touts it as the most sophisticated SLR AF system they have ever released. It works in light levels as dim as EV -2, uses the same high-performance AI Servo III AF tracking algorithm as the EOS-1D X and can be configured in a number of ways to suit the shooter. The 21 central AF points serve as cross-types with apertures of ƒ/5.6 or faster lenses. Prior to the EOS-1D X, not even 1-series EOS cameras provided cross-type sensors at ƒ/5.6. This is a particularly welcome advancement for bird, wildlife and sports-action shooters.
It's easy to do live-view and video shooting with the big 3.2-inch, 1,040,000-dot LCD monitor. You can activate a dual-axis electronic level on the LCD monitor or in the optical viewfinder.
The Mark III can shoot at 6 fps, making it the fastest over-20-megapixel DSLR currently available. That should make the Mark III a better bird and wildlife and sports-action camera than its 3.9 fps predecessor.
Silent Shooting Modes
There are now silent shooting modes for both low-speed continuous shooting and single-shot operation, ideal features when dealing with skittish wildlife or macro subjects.
The 5D Mark III gains a new in-camera HDR mode, which merges three bracketed exposures into a single image with more detail from shadows through highlights. An automatic alignment function permits you to do HDRs handheld.
Landscape Photography Accessories
The Battery Grip BG-E11 holds two LP-E6 batteries or a set of six AA batteries, and provides a full set of controls for vertical-format shooting. The GPS Receiver GP-E2 can log latitude, longitude, elevation and universal time code for each image as you shoot, as well as the direction the camera is pointed for the shot.
Canon's 63-zone iFCL (Focus, Color and Luminance) dual-layer metering system was introduced in the EOS 7D. It's a considerable improvement over the 5D Mark II's 35-zone system. It takes into consideration brightness, color and data from each of the AF system's 61 points to provide proper exposures in a wide range of shooting situations. As implemented in the 5D Mark III, it also offers center-weighted, partial (which reads the central 7.2% of the image area) and 1.5% spot metering.
The eye-level viewfinder shows 100% of the actual image area, and can overlay AF points, gridlines and shooting information when you want them.
The Tamrac Adventure 9 is a camera bag and daypack in one. It's perfect for landscape shooters who hike for their trophy shots—it can hold the 5D, lenses and accessories, as well as a jacket and a light lunch. www.tamrac.com
The Hähnel Giga T Pro wireless remote and intervalometer turns the EOS 5D Mark III into a time-lapse powerhouse. www.rtsphoto.com
SDXC Memory To take advantage of the camera's high-res still and HD video capabilities, the 64 GB Professional X Series memory card from PNY is an excellent option. www.pny.com