Canon EOS 5D Mark III, that's now the name of Canon's flagship digital SLR for professionals who like to take pictures.

So how exactly does the new snapper shape up? Designed to go up against Nikon’s new D800, the Canon 5D MK III comes with a 22.3 megapixel full-frame sensor that will let you shoot HD movies and up to 6 frames per second. There is a 61-point AF system and 63-zone metering support as well. Canon has also added the new DIGIC 5+ processor.

“The EOS 5D Mark III represents a big step forward for the EOS 5D series” said Kieran Magee, Marketing Director, Professional Imaging, Canon Europe. “The EOS 5D Mark II is an exceptional camera and we’ve listened carefully to feedback from its passionate community of users to improve performance in every area.  This camera has been designed to meet virtually any creative challenge – it’s faster, more responsive and features the tools to adapt to everything from studio photography to creative videography, while producing results of the highest quality.”

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Building on the EOS-1D X launched recently, the new camera is jammed packed with features including an increased 8-channel read out.  It can capture a maximum full-resolution speed of up to 6fps in bursts of 18 RAW images or more than 16,000 JPEGs, without the need for extra accessories.

Additionally, the sensor’s native ISO range of 100-25,600 is expandable to 102,400.

"The EOS 5D Mark III features a new Creative Photo button, which enables users quickly to select Picture Styles and capture multiple exposures, as well as offering direct access to the HDR shooting mode. In playback, pressing the Creative Photo button displays a new comparative playback function, displaying two images side-by-side to allow photographers to view, magnify and compare the quality of different exposures mid-shoot," explains Canon.

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In a first for Canon the camera also features a new silent mode. The new mode dramatically reduces the sound of the shutter and mirror, ensuring they can work quietly in the background. A continuous silent mode is also available, enabling photographers to capture faster-moving subjects without attracting attention.

Body wise and the new camera features the same reinforced 3.2-inch Clear View II LCD screen as used by the EOS-1D X, but adds a headphone socket and locking mode dial. Photographers will be able to use CF or SD cards, as there are slots for both, and you'll be able to save to both cards simultaneously, auto switching when the one in use becomes full and with the option to copy images from one card to the other in-camera.

The EOS 5D Mark III will be available from end of March 2012, priced at £2,999.99 / €3,569.99 RRP including VAT.

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III – Key features:

- 22.3 Megapixel full-frame sensor

- 61-point autofocus

- Up to 6fps continuous shooting

- Native ISO 100-25,600 sensitivity

- Full HD video with manual control

- 14-bit DIGIC 5+ processor

- Enhanced Weather sealing

- 8.11cm (3.2-inch) 1,040,000-dot screen

- HDR mode with presets

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