A couple of quick points:
* Wait for real life pics to appear before passing judgement;
* IQ depends largely on the person behind the camera;
* Nikon samples ... no wildlife pics, no landscape pics bar one where the focus is on the flowers and not the background so I can't really compare ... ;
* Trees will be surely be softer than books stacked in a library;
* CANON Images do not mention whether shot in RAW or JPEG (notice the file size?) - though you may have a valid point why CANON would post basic JPEG as samples;
* The most valid comparison would come from shooting the same scene with both cameras otherwise it is comparing apples to oranges considering the variables involved;
* Bad marketing doesn't mean bad product - Hell Nikon's commercial in Bangkok was shot in part by a 5DMII http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,3976.0.html;
* CANON may not be as stupid as you would like us to believe;
Being an ex-lawyer I could argue this to death but choose not to. I'm not one to slag off a product / person on the basis of 'samples' which are dependent on variables such as human beings behind the camera, choice of lens, choice of focal length, choice of focus point and what not.
Who am I to claim that 5DMIII is the best thing since sliced bread, but I can bet that it won't be as bad as you say. I notice you've slagged off the 5DMII to the extent of claiming that you stopped taking pics with it ... CMON ... with this prejudice, as I said, you are bound to see what you want to see ...
Please don't judge me wrong. I did not like my ex 5d2 due to some things: terrible AF, 1/125 real x sync, no lamp supporting AF in dim light, terrible mattering (all images was underexposed, even checked it with my light meeter, but canon service stated it was ok) I just did not have such a problems with Nikon.
My judgment now is only based on samples provided by Canon. For me it is obvious that a company which brings such awaited product to market makes everything they can to show possibly best images. If this is it, they just did not convince me to stay with them. Of course i will probably wait to see the real tests and reviews, but from what I have seen so far, it's not worth even half of the money. All i need is a 5d2 with some tweeks and it seemed that that 5d3 was that kind of a stuff, however a close look (even just a look) on samples completely change my thinking. Samples look like a step back in quality. Samples are described with lens used, parameters, etc so u have this information. In my opinion it's not the person behind the camera, we don't judge the photos itself, but the quality, sharpness-which are connected only to to camera.
Do you always judge cameras by the sample pics put on their marketing sites? There are a few 20+~ megapixel cameras that have been out in the market for awhile. Can you show me some pictures that directly compare to these samples that all is judged by in your book to illustrate the problems you find in the 5d III?
And in the end..
Honestly like the poster mentioned above. Do you think Canon would be as dumb to release a camera with IQ that is that much worse? I'm mind blown by some of these comments out there. And why does everyone throw away the fact that a 36mp sensor can possibly resolve detail better. Isn't that the reason why you have higher mp?
Also your problems with the 5d II....Most of those were obvious as soon as the specs were laid out (except your statement about metering). Never did canon say it had vastly improved AF from the 5d, or an AF assist lamp? If those type of things were so important that you would stop using an 5d II because of it why did you buy it in the first place?