Camera Reviews
by Brad Soo on April 6 2012

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EOS 7D

Hot on the heels of our Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs EOS 7D article and Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs EOS 7D photo gallery are 3 videos in this latest write-up showing the new Canon EOS 5D Mark III and its performance. Check them out after the jump, they should only need 5 minutes of your time, and we even threw in our good old friend, the EOS 7D, into the videos with the EOS 5D Mark III for more comparison purposes.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III shutter sound and mirror action on normal, burst and silent modes

This first video shows the Canon EOS 5D Mark III along with its mirror action and shutter sound when being taken. We went from single frame shooting to continuous shooting before showing off the two new silent modes on the EOS 5D Mark III. Silent mode when using the optical viewfinder was previously exclusive to the expensive EOS 1D series, where the camera would slow down mirror action as a picture is being taken to reduce the loud ‘clack’ noise; on models like the EOS 7D, silent mode was limited to use in live view only.

Silent mode definitely comes in handy when taking photos of subjects you don’t want to disturb such as sleeping kids, babies and wildlife. It also helps when you want to be discrete when shooting in certain places such as museums, concerts and plays and libraries. Silent shooting on the EOS 5D Mark III certainly was useful when we were testing the camera; especially when taking photos some 3 meters from squirrels eating and some indoor locations where we took sample photos.

Just like on the EOS 1D series, the EOS 5D Mark III has 2 silent modes: silent single photo and silent continuous. Shooting speed definitely drops when using silent mode due to the camera deliberately slowing down the up/down movement of the mirror.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III speed, shutter lag and response test (EOS 7D comparison included)

This is a very interesting test of the EOS 5D Mark III and its speed and response times. It is definitely one of the faster EOS digital SLR cameras we have tested lately and it is a fraction of a second more responsive than the EOS 7D.

Start-up time of both cameras is identical: they boot instantly and are ready to shoot. The difference lies in the dust reduction cycle where the cameras ‘shake’ off dust from the low pass filter during startup (dust reduction at startup can be canceled anytime by pressing any button or disabled inside the camera’s menu). When it comes to dust reduction, the EOS 5D Mark III completes the task more quickly and completely silently, while the EOS 7D is behind by about one second and makes an audible squeaking noise (that eek-eek-eek-squeak sound you hear is the EOS 7D cleaning itself).

You can also hear (or more like can’t hear) how quiet the EOS 5D Mark III’s controls and buttons are. From the power switch to control dials, everything on the EOS 5D Mark III is quieter than on the EOS 7D and other EOS camera models (except the new EOS 1D X which is just as silent); this is a nod to the camera’s movie mode where silent operation is desired as you change settings while filming.

Then we move on to speed tests where both cameras had their shutter buttons set to ‘AE only’ (since they were using different lenses, it would be unfair to compare focusing speeds) before we fired off some photos with them at the same time. I would say the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 7D perform similarly in speed of taking photos and mirror/live view blackout times but the EOS 5D Mark III gets done with photo processing and displays the review image on its LCD a split second faster than the EOS 7D does. The EOS 5D Mark III also starts up its live view mode faster than the EOS 7D.

Check out some other Canon EOS 5D Mark III related content:

Canon EOS 5D Mark III 6 FPS continuous shooting speed versus EOS 7D with 8 FPS

The content of this brief video is obvious: both the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 7D firing at high speed in continuous shooting mode. The EOS 5D Mark III has a top frame rate of 6 FPS while the EOS 7D shoots slightly higher 8 FPS. The difference is slight but noticeable in the video. Also take note of how much bigger the EOS 5D Mark III’s mirror is compared to the 7D, due to the 5D’s larger image sensor.

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