A brief HDSLR history and the announcement of the new Canon 5DMKIII!

The new Canon to drool over

Holy crap…

It is finally here! For anyone who isn’t quite the camera tech junkie that I am believe me, the arrival of this camera platform has been highly anticipated within the moving image industry!

A brief history…

The HDSLR platform revolutionized the industry just a few short years ago. The whole thing was supposedly an accident too. From what I understand,  Canon originally equipped the 5D MKII (the predecessor to this model) with the ability to shoot HD video with the intention of allowing photojournalists in hot zones across the world to have the ability to shoot video while reporting from the field. It did not take long for the independent film and commercial industries to take notice of this new feature and quickly adopted the MKII as an affordable professional platform. Most famously, the 5DMKII was exclusively used to film one of the season finale episodes of House and was utilized for additional episodes thereafter. This leap forward proved the true versatility and professional quality that these cameras can offer. Since the initial release of the 5DMKII  Canon has released additional HD video capable models including the 7D, 60D, T2i and T3i with varying specs and options.

All was not well though…

The footage off of these cameras is amazing and the full-frame sensor models offer outstanding depth of field and low light performance far beyond that of traditional pro video camera formats that cost thousands more. Although these cameras are amazing, as is the case with any new technology, they also presented some new problems. Lack of audio control, lousy preamp performance, automatic gain control and no clear way to monitor both audio and video signals from the camera itself have frustrated pro users of the HDSLR platform for a while now. Most of us have come up with creative ways to work around these issues including utilizing separate audio capture systems (which is the best way to do things anyway, in my opinion), using special video monitors that “upscale” the video signal coming from the camera while recording and even going so far as to use firmware modifications to add more robust and professional options for video recording. In fact, a whole new industry of manufacturers has sprung up around these cameras creating products to address a full range of production solutions specific to the HDSLR platform. While there are workarounds, we have all desired an affordable HDSLR camera platform that “has it all”.

And that’s where the 5DMKIII comes into play…

At first glance the 5DMKIII doesn’t look very different than it’s predecessor aside from the repositioning of a few buttons and whatnot, but once you get past the external appearance the differences really begin to stack up. The 5DMKIII receives a slightly higher megapixel 35mm full frame sensor, a new processor and several physical interface upgrades that are making some of us drool (self included). The most notable upgrades include improved video monitoring resolution while recording (thanks to the new DIGIC5 processor), more manual audio control options, including control over audio gain (finally!), a dedicated headphone out for monitoring audio (once again, finally!) and a whole host of other upgraded “tweaks”. These new features make this camera a potent contender on the pro video field and I cant wait to see what myself and others can do with it!

I have provided a couple links below for anyone interested in learning more about this great new camera.

From the official Canon website: Click here!
Or copy this link into your browser:


A review on the 5DMKIII from one of my favorite industry professionals: Click here!
Or copy this link into your browser:


Remember though, new camera gear is great but what really matters is who is behind it!

- Joe

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