Canon has announced a new firmware upgrade for the EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR camera – but camera owners will have to wait until March or April 2013 for it to become available.

No information is provided to explain the delay in releasing the update. The new firmware will enable the use of HDMI output functionality, enabling the camera to record High Definition uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit)  directly to an external recorder via the camera’s HDMI terminal. This allows users to edit video with minimal image degradation for greater on-site workflow efficiency during motion picture and video productions. It also allows video to be displayed in on a monitor real time as it is captured.

The firmware upgrade provides enhancements to the camera’s AF system by enabling the camera’s central dual cross-type points, which are currently compatible with maximum apertures up to f/5.6, to be used at f/8. This allows greater use of lens extenders and expands the range of lens options with full AF capability to include new lenses and extenders such as the EF400mm f/5.6 and the EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS with 1.4x extenders, for zoom ranges up to 560mm.

The EOS 5D Mark III update available for download at Canon Australia Firmware Updates when it is released.