I'm not going to write a review about the camera itself. I'm sure we all know there are a zillion and 7 reviews done by "pro" reviewing companies as well as 50 times that many reviews already done by everybody else. Suffice it to say this Camera is the current top of the line, must have, all the features beastly behemoth of digital photography and we all love it. What I am here to review instead, is the REST of the "package".
First and foremost, and hear this clearly: DO NOT BUY THIS PACKAGE BASED ON ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE CAMERA. I knew this going in, and I didn't even look at all the /stuff/ included with it, but O still had an OUTRAGEOUS deal of a price, so buying it was a no brainer based solely on the price of the camera. So do not go into this package expecting anything fancy with the accessories. Most people who buy this nice of a camera already have all the doodads and bits and bobs they need and will not want or appreciate the /stuff/ included with this package. This stuff is meant to be included in low-end $100 throw away point-n-shoot jobbies. expect it, that's what you get.
Here is what I got:
1. Completely flimsy junk tripod that only stands about 4' tall. I would not put my 10 year old 20D on this thing.
2. Vivitar branded extra battery pack. No comments on this yet, it's still on the charger. At least it is "branded" a recognizable brand.
3. little "universal" memory card holder. Claims to hold any card (3 in fact), but is frankly far too small to hold a CF card or a memory stick.
4. lens cleaning kit which I would not use on a $10 throwaway. Includes a micro tabletop tripod about 6" tall that can't stand the weight of a 5D3 much less with lens and flash attached.
5. 16GB CF card... generic unbranded no frills - will be replaced just as soon as my Sandisk Extreme III 64GB comes in. For now just using it to mess around with.
6. generic multi-function USB memory card reader.
7. HDMI cable 6' no frills brand
8. small soft side case, too small to hold the 5D3 with anything more than a Nifty Fifty on it. No room for flash in the case either.
NOTE the picture of the product package on O's website is VERY WRONG. In fact, between reviewing the item on the website, placing it in my cart, order confirmation page, and the email I got, there werre 4 DIFFERENT pictures. Some showed colored lens filters, some showed a 32GB SD card instead of a 16GB CF card, 1 showed a soft carry case that is size and shape of a typical cigarette box sized point&shoot, and other things. So... DO NOT GO BY THE PICTURE. Knowing this, read the description. THe description for the package I bought said this: (copy-pasta from the site)
Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera
Extended Life Battery
16GB CF Memory Card
USB SDHC Memory Card Reader
Deluxe Case with Strap
Memory Card Wallet
Pack of LCD Screen Protectors
Lens/LCD Cleaning Kit
Mini Table Size Tripod
Mini HDMI to HDMI Cable
So everything in the accessory kit list was included... but it is definitely NOT substantial stuff, and I would give it absolutely ZERO value in the package price. In fact, it might be considered a bit of an insult to include this JUNK with a $3000 top of the line camera.
The camera arrived in what appears to be one piece. Thus far it has taken about 40 nice photos of misc goofing around in the house. Maybe I will get a chance to play with it this weekend more. Note that the camera came in the official Canon **KIT** Box, and NOT THE BODY ONLY BOX! The serial numbers match, it would appear that O removed the 24-105 kit lens that the box advertises is supposed to be included. This is extremely short sighted, and begs the question of quality control. Nevertheless, herein lies the "discount" price. No, I do not think the camera is refurb or used, it certainly appears to be in pristine condition and no indication of a refurb on the body... it just seems they took the lens out of the box. Everything else seems to be in the box as expected.
The outer shipping packaging was probably less than SHOULD have been used, but everything seems to have arrived in decent condition, so I guess that's all fine.
so.. again... buy this camera pacakge based ONLY on the price of the camera. Do not expect anything great in the accessories, and don't you're getting anything special. Now if O would like to offer me a set of accessories more appropriate to the price tag of this camera, and not the junk that should be packaged with a little Kodak point & shoot, well then maybe I will rewrite this review to one that is more favorable.
Why did I rate this product 5 stars? Simple, it's a 5D3, it's the global kickbutt leader in DSLRs for a reason. The price was outstanding, and everything is fine. Sure it came with a bunch of junk accessories, but even pulling them out of the package entirely it's STILL well worth the outstanding price tag! So... 5 stars.