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Canon EOS 5D vs EOS 5D Mark III Comparison

Storage & Battery

Canon EOS 5D

Canon EOS 5D

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
August 22, 2005
March 02, 2012
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III emerges as the winner with a score of 65/100, while the Canon EOS 5D trails behind at 40/100. Both cameras are DSLRs and share similar dimensions, with the Mark III being slightly larger and heavier. The 5D was released in 2005 with a launch price of $2000, while the Mark III came out in 2012 with a heftier price tag of $3499.

The Mark III outperforms the 5D with its higher score, suggesting better overall features and performance. However, the 5D still has its merits, such as its lighter weight and lower price, which may appeal to budget-conscious photographers.

Taking all factors into account, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is the superior choice for those seeking enhanced performance and features, while the Canon EOS 5D remains a viable option for those prioritizing affordability and weight.

Canon EOS 5D vs EOS 5D Mark III Overview and Optics

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III outperforms the Canon EOS 5D in optics with a score of 67/100 compared to the 5D’s 46/100. Both cameras share common specifications, including a CMOS sensor, full-frame sensor size, Canon EF lens mount, and the absence of image stabilization.

The 5D Mark III’s superiority in optics is evident in its higher megapixel count of 22.3, compared to the 5D’s 12.7, which allows for capturing more detailed images. Additionally, the Mark III offers a faster shooting speed of 6, compared to the 5D’s 3, enabling it to capture fast-moving subjects more effectively. The Mark III also features a more advanced processor, the Digic 5+, which contributes to improved image quality and faster performance. Lastly, the Mark III boasts a higher DXOMARK sensor score of 81, compared to the 5D’s 71, indicating that the Mark III has better overall image quality.

The Canon EOS 5D, though inferior in optics, may have some advantages in specific situations or for certain users. For instance, its lower megapixel count may be sufficient for casual photographers or those who do not require high-resolution images. Furthermore, its lower score and older technology may result in a lower price point, making it a more affordable option for budget-conscious buyers.

When comparing the optics of the Canon EOS 5D and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the Mark III is the clear winner with higher scores and better specifications. The 5D, however, may still be a suitable choice for those who prioritize affordability and have less demanding photography needs.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
12.7 MP
22.3 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
4368 x 2912 px
5760 x 3840 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
24 x 36 mm
24 x 36 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
3 fps
6 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Canon EF
Canon EF
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Digic II
Digic 5+
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentaprism)
Optical (pentaprism)

Canon EOS 5D vs EOS 5D Mark III Video Performance

When examining the video capabilities of the Canon EOS 5D and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, it is important to note that the Canon EOS 5D does not have any video functionality. This means that the camera cannot record videos, and therefore, lacks any related features.

On the other hand, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III has a video score of 56 out of 100. This camera supports Full HD video recording, with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Additionally, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III can reach a maximum video frame rate of 60 frames per second, allowing for smooth video capture. However, it is important to note that the camera does not have built-in time-lapse functionality.

Taking these factors into account, it is clear that the Canon EOS 5D Mark III offers video capabilities, while the Canon EOS 5D does not. This distinction is an important consideration for potential buyers, depending on their specific needs and preferences in a camera.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Full HD
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
1920 x 1080 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
60 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Canon EOS 5D vs EOS 5D Mark III Features and Benefits

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III emerges as the winner in terms of camera features, with a score of 59/100, while the Canon EOS 5D lags behind with a score of 30/100. Both cameras share some specifications, such as the absence of a touchscreen, flip screen, GPS, and Bluetooth.

The 5D Mark III excels in the screen department, boasting a larger 3.2-inch screen compared to the 5D’s 2.5-inch screen. Additionally, the 5D Mark III has a significantly higher screen resolution of 1,040,000 dots, providing a clearer and sharper display than the 5D’s 230,000 dots. However, the 5D Mark III lacks built-in WiFi, which the 5D does have.

On the other hand, the Canon EOS 5D has the advantage of built-in WiFi, allowing for easy sharing and remote control of the camera. Despite this advantage, the 5D falls short in other features compared to the 5D Mark III.

Taking into account the differences in features, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III stands out as a superior camera due to its larger screen size and higher screen resolution, providing a better user experience. The Canon EOS 5D, while offering WiFi connectivity, falls short in other aspects, making the 5D Mark III a more suitable choice for those prioritizing camera features and performance.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
230,000 dots
1,040,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Canon EOS 5D vs EOS 5D Mark III Storage and Battery

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III outperforms the Canon EOS 5D in storage and battery with a score of 76/100, compared to the 5D’s 24/100. Both cameras lack USB charging capabilities. However, the 5D Mark III surpasses the 5D in several aspects.

The 5D Mark III has two memory card slots, allowing for more storage options, while the 5D has only one slot. The Mark III accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, Compact Flash, and UDMA cards, whereas the 5D is limited to Compact Flash (Type I or II). The 5D Mark III also boasts a longer battery life of 950 shots, using the LP-E6 battery type, while the 5D offers 400 shots with its BP-511A battery.

The Canon EOS 5D does not have any advantages over the 5D Mark III in terms of storage and battery capabilities. The Mark III’s increased storage options and longer battery life make it the superior camera in this comparison.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
Compact Flash (Type I or II)
SD / SDHC / SDXC, Compact Flash, UDMA
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
400 shots
950 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
22.9 bits
24 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
11.1 EVs
11.7 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Canon EOS 5D vs EOS 5D Mark III – Our Verdict

Canon EOS 5D vs EOS 5D Mark III Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Canon EOS 5D or the Canon EOS 5D Mark III:

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