Canon 5D mark 3 – a videographer’s weapon of choice

Canon 5D mark 3 – a videographer’s weapon of choice

The latest tool in the professional filmmakers toolbox is the Canon 5D Mark 3. We use ours for a wide range of live event films although it would be an ideal camera for a wide range of applications. Like our other Edinburgh based DSLR Equipment the camera is available for dry hire too and our rental rate is £100 / day and includes our Canon 24-105 f4.0 lens. While this lens would typically not be an ideal choice on many other DLSR bodies, with incredible low light performance makes the f4.0 no longer such an issue, with the extra benefits of a longer focal range and image stabilization. We also so a 70-200m f2.8 with a Canon x1.4 teleconvertor should you require a longer range.

So here’s some of our personal favourite things…


This camera has been touted as the best low light video camera in the world. The 5D mk3’s low-light performance and ISO range means less noise in the dark – my biggest bug bear with the other DSLR cameras.

The ISO range now extends from 50 to 26,500 – and can even be extended to a whopping 102,800. Compared with our Canon 550D and 600D which we would typically take as high as ISO 1250 this is exceptional. Canon claims that shooting at ISO 3200 on the Mark III produces the same amount of noise as shooting at ISO 800 on the Mark III. I have read noise doesn’t appear until around ISO 1600 (and that’s when shooting at night, without dedicated lighting). Reports are apparently also coming in that the footage captured by the Mark III holds up better in post-production when performing extreme grading and colour correction adjustments.

Certainly it looks to me as though the 5D Mark III has 2 – 3 (USABLE FOR VIDEO) f-stops higher ISO range than the 550D.


The video output specifications are essentially unchanged in terms of resolution and framerate (1080p30 maximum) compared with the 5D mark 2, but Canon says the processing is improved to minimise moire and other artefacts, and has included the higher quality All-I and IPB interframe compression options introduced with the EOS-1D X. Interframe (IPB) and Intraframe (ALL-I) are essentially different methods of compressing movie files. We use ALL-I compression.


Twin Memory Card Recording Options means we’re half as likely to have to change cards during that important moment!
Customisable buttons
Large screen


The Naysays will comment on some of it’s drawbacks…

NO XLR microphone jack
NO 60P mode at 1920×1080 for capturing high-speed footage in full HD
NO uncompressed HD signal out of the camera

So still wanting for some things for larger scale productions, however for videographers it an amazing leap forward.

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