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Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Field Guide 1st Edition

93 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1118169117
ISBN-10: 1118169115
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Editorial Reviews Review

Canon 5D Mark III Tips from Author Charlotte Lowrie

Charlotte Lowrie

Whether this is your first Canon digital SLR or you're upgrading from the 5D Mark II, you will be delighted with the large and small features and options tucked away in every nook and cranny of this camera. The changes start with the locking Mode dial, and continue through to the new Creative Photo button that gives access to the new in-camera multiple exposure and HDR features. And the new menu system is packed with features and enhancements.

If you're like me, you'll spend the first few weeks with the 5D Mark III discovering all the new features. To help you along, here are some of my favorites.

  • Set up the Custom (C) modes for specific venues. Among the best time-saving features are Custom modes C1, C2, and C3. You can set up the camera for a specific shooting venue, and then register the settings to one of the Custom modes. Virtually all the camera settings can be registered to the C modes, and now the changes you make on the fly are retained even if the camera goes into sleep mode.
  • Customize file names. You can easily customize the first four characters of image file names. Alternatively, you can set the first three characters, and have the camera automatically use the fourth character to indicate image size. Set the filenames to identify a shoot, the photographer, or your company. Go to the Setup 1 menu, choose File name, and then choose Change User setting 1 to set the first four characters, or choose Change User setting 2 if you want to include the image size.
  • Identify and use the cross-type AF sensors. The new 61-point autofocus system offers a central bank of 21 AF cross-type sensors for f/5.6 and faster lenses. Using these AF points provides increased focus sensitivity, faster detection and correction of extreme defocus, and excellent performance in low-light focusing. To display the cross-type sensors, go to the AF 4 menu, select Selectable AF point, and then choose Only cross-type AF points. That also eliminates the annoying blinking of non-cross-type AF points that happens in other AF point views.
  • Shoot silently--or nearly silently. If you're shooting weddings, news events, or any event where quietness is prized, then try using Silent continuous shooting for significantly quieter camera operation. Just be aware that the frame rate drops from 6 frames per second (fps) to 3 fps. To use Silent continuous shooting, just press the Q button, tilt the Multi-controller to select the drive mode, and then turn the Quick Control dial until Silent continuous shoot is displayed.
  • Keep things square with the Electronic level. The Electronic level is a must-use accessory in low-light scenes when it's almost impossible to visually see reference points for lining up the camera.

Sample Photos from the Author (Click on images to enlarge)

Bee on Purple Flower
Bee on Purple Flower

The 5D Mark III's new autofocus system offers improved performance in predictive focus and offers a high level of customization. AI Servo AF mode tracked the unpredictable motion of this bee with good accuracy.

Exposure: ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/500 second.

Photo copyright Charlotte Lowrie

Yellow Rose
Yellow Rose

For this shot, I used my Custom mode, C2 that is set up for overcast Seattle weather and nature shooting. The settings including Av exposure mode, a wide f/4 aperture, and the Landscape Picture Style.

Exposure: ISO 400, f/4, 1/250 second.

Photo copyright Charlotte Lowrie

Jay Leaning
Jay Leaning

The cross-type AF sensors offer precise and speedy focusing. I used AF-point expansion (Manual selection) as the AF Area for this shot of a Steller's Jay.

Exposure: ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/500 second using a -1/3-stop of Exposure Compensation.

Photo copyright Charlotte Lowrie

From the Back Cover

Get the best images from your new EOS 5D Mark III

There's a lot of power and punch packed into your new 5D Mark III, and this go-to resource shows you how to get the most out of the camera. You'll not only learn what the camera features and options are, but when and how to use them. And with the help of beautiful full-color photographs, step-by-step techniques, and expert tips, you'll quickly discover how to get the best from the camera so that your images truly stand out.

  • Explore all the options for getting the best exposures
  • Get in-depth guidance on using the new autofocus system
  • Get creative with HDR and Multiple exposure modes
  • Learn how to use multiple Speedlites for wireless flash photography
  • Record hi-def movies and play back your videos

Inside — your free gray and color checker card to help you achieve accurate white balance and color


Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118169115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118169117
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charlotte Lowrie is a professional photographer and an award-winning writer based in the Seattle, WA area. Beginning her career as a newspaper writer and photographer, she later moved from newspapers to corporate writing, and then to magazines. She became the founding editor and photographer of two trade magazines based in Dallas, TX.

In the mid-80s, Charlotte moved to the Seattle area and spent the 16 years as an award-winning writer and editor, and as an editorial manager for a large software company. She wrote documentation for a variety of popular consumer software programs, as well as writing software manuals. She also contributed to the ongoing redesign of instructional models for various learning systems.

During her last four years with Microsoft, she was the editor, writer, and a photographer for the MSN Photos Web site (now discontinued).

Today, Charlotte divides her time among writing books and photography magazine articles, shooting stock images, shooting editorial assignments and weddings, and making portraits for various private clients. She also teaches three monthly photography courses at (

Charlotte shoots with a variety of Canon 35mm cameras and lenses.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was pretty familiar with the 5D III as I have and still use the 5D II. The manual for Canon cameras is excellent, and I was easily able to set up the camera to shoot.

However, this book gives you some helpful hints that are not gone into in detail in the manual, and is a mini review course in exposure and the use of Manual mode. There are little tips throughout which add to the experience of this exceptional camera body. The one area that this book handles, and which the manual lacks, is an explanation of AF and the 61 AF points.

I'll be taking this guide with me on photo shoots abroad just to have everything I need at hand to operate the Mark III.
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50 of 59 people found the following review helpful By alost VINE VOICE on September 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For first-time DSLR users or users who are new to the Canon 5D line (Mark I, Mark II and Mark III), there are better guides to the 5D Mark III available than Lowrie's "5D Mark III Digital Field Guide". A far better choice is Douglas Klosterman's Canon 5D Mark III Experience - The Still Photography Guide to Operation and Image Creation with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Klosterman's book covers the camera extensively and in a direct, readily comprehensible manner. I would also recommend the DVD Blue Crane Digital Introduction to the Canon 5D Mark III: Basic Controls zBC143. The Blue Crane DVD provides a less extensive exploration of the 5d Mk III than Lowrie's or Klosterman's book, but provides an excellent introduction and overview of the camera. As well, since the Blue Crane is a DVD, it is perhaps the medium for the easiest introduction to this camera. Lastly, based on my experience with his book on the 5D Mark II, David Busch's Canon EOS 5D Mark III Guide to Digital SLR Photography would likely also make a better choice once released. The Klosterman & Busch books and the Blue Crane DVD have a better presentation style which, in my opinion, makes it easier to familiarize oneself with the 5D Mark III, its controls and its use.

The issue with the Lowrie book is not so much the content, but the presentation and organization. The content is there - Lowrie certainly covers the camera, its functions, setting and controls.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Steve Haslip on July 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I found this book incredibly useful.

This is one of those books that you will constantly refer to for years to come. The kind of book that you should throw in your bag on every trip. Its like a missing manual of little tips and tricks, sure to help out everyone from the beginner to the seasoned pro. If you just bought a Mark III (even if you came from a Mark II) you really should get this book as it goes into far greater detail than the manual that accompanies your camera. The book acts as a refresher to key concepts in photography (like exposure) and really goes into detail on things like the new autofocus system.

The only thing that the book lacks is a more serious approach to DSLR film making. But it touches on the key principles, and would definitely provide more than enough info to get you started. Overall, a great book that I know I will take with me on every trip I take.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert Baldwin on August 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Charlotte Lowrie's Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Field Guide (John Wiley & Sons, 2012) comes on the heel of her earlier guides to various Canon DSLRs including the Rebel T3i and the 7D which I found useful. Unlike the camera technicians who produce official manuals for Canon, Lowrie writes as a professional photographer and, more importantly, as a teacher of photography. Her book offers something closer to a workshop blending two kinds of information. On the one hand, she moves through all the menus and options found in the 5D M3 while providing more detailed explanations and comments than those offered in the official manual. If many photographic choices come with advantages and disadvantages, this is even more true for digital photography where one must consider RAW vs. JPEG and other digital options. Beginning and intermediate photographers will appreciate Lowrie's more extended discussion of the pros and cons of each menu option. The longer, book-length format also allows Lowrie to illustrate her discussion lavishly with ten photos of equipment, a dozen diagrams, ninety-five photos of camera menus, and seventy-five color photos of subjects demonstrating various choices in lenses, aperture, shutter speed, and lighting. Most of these photos of subjects come with captions indicating the lens, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and exposure compensation, allowing readers to see the choices behind each shot.

On the other hand, Lowrie's guide offers a tutorial in basic and lower-intermediate photography. This makes her guide invaluable to anyone willing to invest a little time mastering the complex features of this more advanced DSLR. In my experience, most people leave their digital cameras set on AUTO.
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