Canon 5D Mark III Spotted in the Wild?

Canon 5D Mark III?

Is this the Canon 5D Mark III?

An unknown Canon camera appeared in Kenya this week, along with prototype versions of the Canon 200-400mm lens and Canon 600mm lens.  Lots of speculation has ensued as to whether this is the Canon 5D Mark III.

The above photo comes from the Aperture Academy blog and shows a Canon camera body attached to the new 600mm lens.  The person using the camera and lenses is claimed to be a Canon employee who is testing new equipment.

The camera is clearly a 5D/7D-sized body with a battery grip attached.  There is no pop-up flash and the battery grip offers a joystick controller.  Additionally, the display appears to be a 16:9 format akin to the more recent Canon HDSLRs. Also, note the gaff tape at the bottom of the LCD to cover the Canon log0.  I know its a pretty common thing when traveling or working in public; however, I always tend to look a little closer when logos are covered up with gaff tape.

The body actually looks a lot more like the 7D than the 5D Mark II.  That said, button layouts and general ergonomics have evolved on Canon DSLRs since the 5D Mark II was released roughly 3.5 years ago.

Your thoughts?

[Aperture Academy via Canon Rumors]



  1. Reme says

    Doing a quick comparison with images I found on the web of the current 7D, my money’s on it being the MkII version of the 7D. The similarities are just too many…

  2. says

    Hi Eric,

    I recently went to one of my camera retailers to buy an EF 28mm f/1.8 USM lens and met one of the store’s sales assistants, who is not only a part-time photographer himself but has close ties with certain insiders working for Canon Malaysia.

    We naturally discussed what the Canon community will be expecting to see from Canon this year and one of the topics centered around the 5D Mk II replacement. He told me exactly what you’ve written in this post – a full frame body with 7D-like rear controls and a widescreen 3:2 rear LCD, a’la EOS 60D with a joystick control on the battery grip. And a story about a picture of a photographer taking test shots of wildlife with this new model in Africa (he didn’t know which country though).

    I have reasons to believe that this is the pre-production model of the 5D Mk II’s successor rather than an upgraded version of the 7D, which has still ample time before it surpasses its market saturation and product life. All the visual clues which you’ve described does strongly suggest that this would be the replacement for the aging 5D Mk II:

    – The 3:2 widescreen LCD on the rear
    – 7D-like rear controls
    – Slightly revised left button layout and button markings
    – Pentaprism housing with no internal flash like the original 5D and 5D Mk II (possibly no integrated wireless flash controller)
    – A photo of an Asian photographer (very possibly Japanese, from his side profile) testing out the camera.

    From Canon’s standpoint, they’re not as concerned as coming out with a 7D Mk II because the 7D is still considered “new”, as they’ve not addressed their full frame, non-1D market since 2008. They’ve already released the EOS 1D-X to counter Nikon’s new D4 and that’s taken care of. Since the 5D Mk II’s technology is considered obsolete by today’s standards, it seems fair to assume that this is NOT the 7D’s replacement, but the 5D Mk II.

    Harking back to September 2010, I remember seeing photo leaks of the old 50D’s successor as having a Vari-Angle screen (which became the 60D), became a reality. I was also one of the skeptics back then, thinking that a swivel-out LCD on a dSLR seemed to be a silly idea. It turned out to be an invaluable feature just like their PowerShot G compacts and I accepted the novel idea of the Vari-Angle screen and bought the 60D in late 2010 and really liked it.

    Back on topic, I’m quite sure this pre-production dSLR would be the 5D Mk II’s successor. The only thing that’s uncertain is what Canon will choose to call it, e.g. 5D Mk III, 5D-X, 3D(?), etc.

    thanks for publishing this article!