Canon EOS 5D vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III

  • Full frame
  • 13 megapixels
  • Canon EF
  • 42
    Overall
  • 17
    Imaging
  • 39
    Features
  • 70
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • Full frame
  • 22 megapixels
  • Canon EF
  • 50
    Overall
  • 29
    Imaging
  • 50
    Features
  • 70
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Canon EOS 5D vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

The goal of this overview is to provide a detailed comparison of two popular camera models from Semi-Pro DSLR category, introduced by Canon. We are going to take a closer look at the technical and physical characteristics, features, and performance. The models we are going to assess and compare in this review are EOS 5D and EOS 5D Mark III. Both products that we are going to review are equipped with the same type of sensor - CMOS. However, they have different resolution. Thus, Canon EOS 5D comes with a 13.0 MP CMOS sensor, while the Canon EOS 5D Mark III features a 22.0 MP CMOS sensor.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

Canon EOS 5D Key Features:

  • 13.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 3.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 152 x 113 x 75 mm
  • Weight: 895 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced by Canon 5D MII.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Key Features:

  • 22.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 25600 (Expands to 50 - 102400)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 6.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps fps), 1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (25, 30 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 152 x 116 x 76 mm
  • Weight: 950 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Canon 5D MII.
  • Replaced by Canon 5D MIV.

Since Canon EOS 5D has been around for some time, it was substituted by Canon 5D MII.

Why is Canon EOS 5D a better choice than Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Timelapse Recording Yes vs No Creative shooting
Weight 895 g vs 950 g 55 g lighter

What are the key reasons to pick Canon EOS 5D Mark III over Canon EOS 5D

Wireless Connectivity Optional vs No Better connectivity
Storage Slots 2 vs 1 Extra storage slot
Sensor Resolution 22.0 MP vs 13.0 MP 40.9% more pixels
Continuous Shooting 6 fps vs 3 fps 3 fps faster
Number Of Focus Points 61 vs 9 52 more focus points
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes vs No Very handy for portraits
Screen Size 3.2″ vs 2.5″ 0.7" larger screen
Screen Resolution 1,040k dots vs 230k dots 77.9% higher resolution screen
Battery Life 950 shots vs 400 shots 550 more frames with a single charge
Dxo Color Depth 24 vs 22.9 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 11.7 vs 11.1 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 2293 vs 1368 Better High ISO performance

Key PROs of Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) | Optical (pentaprism) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Environmental Sealing Yes | Yes Shoot at tough conditions

Key CONs of Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Type Fixed Type | Fixed Type No flexible viewing angles
Continuous Shooting 3.0 fps | 6.0 fps Low continuous shooting
Built-In Flash No | No No built-in flash
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization

Canon EOS 5D vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 5D Mark III from the front view.

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
HTML
BB

Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
HTML
BB

After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Canon EOS 5D is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 55g less than the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Battery values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Canon EOS 5D — 400 shots
Canon EOS 5D Mark III — 950 shots
Min: 390 shots
Average: 871 shots
Max: 1840 shots
Thickness values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Canon EOS 5D — 75 mm
Canon EOS 5D Mark III — 76 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm
Weight values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Canon EOS 5D — 895 g
Canon EOS 5D Mark III — 950 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Comparing Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 5D Mark III by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 5D Mark III any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Canon EOS 5D features a 13.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a Digic II processor . Canon EOS 5D Mark III, in its turn, comes with a 22.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 5D Mark III by the size of their sensors.

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
HTML
BB

Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 5D Mark III are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 5D Mark III Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 5D Mark III in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Portrait Photography
94%
100%
Street Photography
58%
90%
Sports Photography
91%
97%
Daily Photography
96%
67%
Landscape Photography
83%
95%

Canon EOS 5D for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Canon is famous with its skintones

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Canon EOS 5D Mark III for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (22 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Canon is famous with its skintones
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Canon EOS 5D for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Large Full frame(36 x 24 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (152 x 113 x 75 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (9)

Canon EOS 5D Mark III for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (950 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (152 x 116 x 76 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Canon EOS 5D for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big size (152 x 113 x 75 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (3.0 fps)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (9)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (3200)
  • Small battery life (400 shots)

Canon EOS 5D Mark III for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (61)
  • Big Number of CrossFocus Points (41)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2293)
  • Big size (152 x 116 x 76 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (6.0 fps)

Canon EOS 5D for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (895 g)
  • Big size (152 x 113 x 75 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash
  • Video is not available

Canon EOS 5D Mark III for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (950 g)
  • Big size (152 x 116 x 76 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Canon EOS 5D for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (11.1)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (13 MP)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (3200)

Canon EOS 5D Mark III for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (11.7)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2293)

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (22 MP)

Comparison of Canon EOS 5D vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Canon EOS 5D or Canon EOS 5D Mark III, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 5D Mark III here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Canon EOS 5D Mark III deserves a higher Total Score than the Canon EOS 5D. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Canon EOS 5D vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark III
General
Brand Canon Canon
Model EOS 5D EOS 5D Mark III
Announced Nov 12, 2005 May 22, 2012
Body Type Mid-size SLR Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 36 x 24 mm 36 x 24 mm
Sensor Area 864.00 mm2 864.00 mm2
Sensor Resolution 13.0 MP 22.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4368 x 2912 5760 x 3840
Max Native ISO 3,200 25,600
Max Boosted ISO n/a 102,400
Min Native ISO 100 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Canon EF Canon EF
Number of Lenses 256 256
Focal Length Multiplier 1x 1x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking No Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center No Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View No Yes
AF Face Detection No Yes
AF Contrast Detection No Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 9 61
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a 41
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 2.5″ 3.2″
Screen Resolution 230k dots 1,040k dots
Live View No Yes
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 96% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.71 0.71
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 3.0 fps 6.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Built-in Flash No No
Flash Range 0 0
Flash Modes External no built-in flash
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No Yes
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 71 81
DxO Color Depth 22.9 24.0
DxO Dynamic Range 11.1 11.7
DxO Low Light ISO 1368 2293
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps fps), 1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (25, 30 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
Video Formats n/a H.264
Microphone Port No Yes
Headphone Port No Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No Yes
HDMI No Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 895 g 950 g
Physical Dimensions 152 x 113 x 75 mm 152 x 116 x 76 mm
Battery Life 400 shots 950 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model BP-511A LP-E6
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes No
GPS Optional
Storage Type Compact Flash (Type I or II) Compact Flash Type I (UDMA compatible), SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage Slots 1 2

Most popular cameras

Fujifilm X-T3 26.0 MP BSI-CMOS
APS-C
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 20.0 MP CMOS
Four Thirds
Nikon D610 24.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Sony Alpha A7S 12.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 30.0 MP CMOS
Full frame