High speed tethered shooting with EOS 5D Mark III

EOS 5D Mark III transfers a lot of data fast

Ever since my initial demonstrations of Canon software with the EOS 5D Mark III, I had a feeling that it transfers data over a USB cable much faster than other older cameras. This weekend I was watching an online seminar on creativeLIVE and the photographer was tethered via a long USB cable in to Adobe Lightroom. The photographer was using an EOS-1Ds Mark III shooting RAW and after a few shots the camera wouldn’t shoot as the connection was backed up with all the data. It got me thinking and a few calls later I had a test to do.

Testing with EOS Utility


– 15 RAW files transferred

-343.5MB of data

– 25 seconds transfer time

– 13.74MB / s

EOS-1Ds Mark III

– 15 RAW files transferred

-263.7MB of data

– 23 seconds transfer time

– 11.46 MB / s

How the test was done

Each camera was set to manual exposure, 1/200s f/4 ISO 100. Picture style was set to Standard, white balance was set to Kelvin 5500K. I connected a Timer Controller TC-80N3 to the remote release and configured it to take 15 pictures at 1 second intervals. I used a Sandisk 64GB UDMA 6 CF card in each of the cameras and formatted it before each run of the test in each camera. I connected the cameras to the computer using a standard USB cable with no extensions. I used a MacBook Pro with OS 10.7.4 with 8Gb RAM and 2.66 GHz i7 processor. EOS Utility 2.11.0 was used for the tethered shooting. Each test was repeated three times and each time the CF card was formatted and the transferred files were deleted and the trash emptied.

Of course next i’ll have to look at tethering with Lightroom and see if the results change… keep watching the blog for that


About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag