Canon has today tipped digital SLR resolution over the twenty megapixel barrier with the new EOS-1Ds Mark III. The much anticipated Mark III version of the full-frame EOS-1Ds delivers medium-format threatening resolution; 5616 x 3744 (21.1 million) pixels to be precise, in a portable and robust five frames per second Canon EOS body. From a built, function and usability point of view the EOS-1Ds Mark III is identical to the EOS-1D Mark III apart from the full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor, (naturally) larger viewfinder and UDMA support (up to 45 MB/sec) for Compact Flash cards. At full tilt (at five frames per second) the Mark III is processing an mighty impressive 185 MB of data every second.

Click here for our detailed preview of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III key features

  • 21 megapixel Full-frame CMOS sensor (36 x 24 mm)
  • 5 frames per second shooting (up to 56 JPEG or 12 RAW images buffer)
  • Compact Flash UDMA support (up to 45 MB/sec)
  • Large bright 'full size' viewfinder with higher magnification than the EOS-1Ds Mark II
  • All of the operational improvements and enhancements delivered by the EOS-1D Mark III

Press Release:

Canon strengthens pro lineup with 21 Megapixel
EOS-1Ds Mark III

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 20 August, 2007: Canon raises the stakes in the professional photography market with the launch of the 21 Megapixel, 5 frame per second EOS-1Ds Mark III. Delivering 14-bit depth resolution from a newly developed 35mm full frame CMOS sensor, Canon’s new flagship digital SLR produces files that convert to over 100MB uncompressed 16-bit TIFF, setting a new benchmark in image resolution and sharpness for 35mm-format digital photography.

As well as producing outstanding colour rendition, Dual DIGIC III processors drive 5 fps continuous shooting for up to 56 Large JPEGs (12 RAW) – unrivalled by any other camera at this resolution. This capacity to shoot such large images uninterrupted is regarded as a big driver in switching studio photographers to the EOS platform.

The EOS-1Ds Mark III inherits the new technology platform introduced earlier this year in the EOS-1D Mark III, including 63-zone exposure metering, 19 cross-type auto focus system, a 3.0” LCD with Live View mode and EOS Integrated Cleaning System. The Highlight Tone Priority function expands dynamic range for more depth and detail in bright areas. The launch is supported with the announcement of Canon’s new ultra wide-angle lens, the Lens 2.

“Taking image quality and versatility to unprecedented levels, the EOS-1Ds Mark III redefines commercial photography conventions”, said Karz Suzuki, Head of Canon Professional Services. “The camera will strengthen Canon’s popularity amongst professional studio photographers. Culminating 20 years of EOS development, the EOS-1Ds Mark III represents a definitive moment in our company’s photographic history.”

Key features

  • 21 Megapixel full frame (35mm) CMOS sensor
  • 5 fps continuous shooting for up to 56 frames
  • Dual “DIGIC III” processors
  • Highlight Tone Priority
  • Auto focus system with 19 cross type sensors and 26 focus assist points
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • ISO 100-1600 (expandable to L:50 H:3200)
  • 3.0” 230K pixel LCD with Live View mode
  • Redesigned viewfinder now wider and brighter

Image quality

The EOS-1Ds Mark III produces files that exceed the standard resolution requirements of leading agencies and stock libraries. The third generation CMOS sensor incorporates a new pixel design with on-chip noise reduction circuitry to ensure high image quality all the way to ISO 1600. 14 bit A/D converters provide a total colour depth of 16,384 tones per pixel - delivering smoother gradations and more accurate colour reproduction.

The option to expand to H:3200 will be welcomed by professionals working in churches and sensitive situations where the use of flash is not permitted or desired. Where discretion is paramount, a silent drive mode delays shutter re-cocking for as long as the shutter release remains depressed.

Highlight Tone Priority mode gives wedding and landscape photographers the option to boost dynamic range for highlights when shooting above ISO 200 – reproducing more tonal detail from wedding dresses, clouds and other bright objects.

Precision and control

The auto focus system includes 19 cross-type sensors with sensitivity up to f/2.8, spread across the AF area to better accommodate off-centre subjects. An additional 26 AF assist points help with AF tracking accuracy.

The control layout includes a dedicated AF-ON button on the back of the camera, allowing users to instantly switch auto focus on when composing. The viewfinder is now brighter with a wider angle of view, while the 63-zone metering system gives photographers a greater degree of control over exposure.

New LCD with Live View

The bright 3.0” LCD monitor provides 230K pixels resolution for precise framing and reviewing. Live View mode displays a real-time image on the LCD, including a selectable grid overlay and a live histogram that simulates image exposure. For the studio environment, remote Live View lets the photographer compose, adjust settings and capture the shot from a PC using the supplied EOS utility software.

New controls and menu

The EOS-1Ds Mark III’s menu incorporates a tab structure that eliminates scrolling for vastly improved readability and ease of use. Improving on previous models, personal settings and custom functions are consolidated into 57 custom functions grouped into four logical categories. Photographers can also now see at a glance any default setting changes. The My Menu option allows photographers to store frequently used settings on a separate menu for immediate access. Settings for recently released accessories such as the Speedlite 580EX II and the Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2 can be controlled directly from the LCD. Along with a new dedicated ISO button, ISO is permanently displayed on the top LCD panel.

Reliability

Shutter durability is increased by 50% to 300,000 cycles. A magnesium alloy casing with dust and moisture resistant seals protects the body. The EOS Integrated Cleaning System reduces, repels and removes dust from the sensor to significantly limit the need for manual cleaning. To avoid image loss, a warning alarm sounds if the memory card door is opened while images are still being written.

Connectivity

Interfaces include video out (for display in both NTSC and PAL formats – with the Live View mode ideal for live display to clients during the shoot) and USB 2.0. To prevent the USB cable becoming accidentally dislodged during shooting, a special connection secures it to the camera body.

Compatibility and accessories

As well as full compatibility with all EF lenses and EX Speedlite flashes and accessories, the EOS-1Ds Mark III is supported by the recently released Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2. The WFT-E2 enables secure wireless uploads to FTP servers as well as remote access via HTTP and PTP protocols. The unit also connects wirelessly to external storage media and supports GPS tagging when used with a portable GPS device. For assignments where image protection and authenticity are crucial, the EOS-1Ds Mark III is compatible with the Original Data Security Kit OSK-E3.

New lens

Today’s launch coincides with the release of the EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM: Canon’s new professional L-series ultra wide-angle lens for the photographer requiring a slightly different perspective. As with many L-series lenses and the Speedlite 580EX II, the EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM incorporates environmental sealing to match that of the EOS-1Ds Mark III, creating a fully weatherproof camera system. Aspherical and UD lens elements produce exceptional image quality with improved corner-to-corner sharpness. The ring-type USM delivers fast, silent auto focus with full-time manual focus override. A circular aperture produces pleasing bokeh at wide apertures and Super Spectra coatings suppress ghosting and flare by suppressing internal reflections from lens element and sensor surfaces.

Software

The EOS-1Ds Mark III is packaged with a comprehensive software suite to streamline the photographer’s workflow. This includes Digital Photo Professional (DPP) RAW conversion/processing software for complete RAW image processing control. DPP also integrates with camera features such as the Dust Delete Data and Picture Style. The camera also comes with EOS Utility, ImageBrowser/Zoom Browser and Photostitch.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III specifications

List price (body only) US: $7,999
EU: €7,999
Body material Magnesium alloy (exterior, chassis and mirror box)
Sensor * • 36 x 24 mm CMOS sensor
• Full 35 mm size frame
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter (with self-cleaning unit)
• 21.9 million total pixels
• 21.1 million effective pixels
• 6.4 µm pixel pitch
• 3:2 aspect ratio
Image processor * Dual DIGIC III
A/D conversion * 14 bit
Image sizes (JPEG) * • 5616 x 3744 (L; 21.0 MP)
• 4992 x 3328 (M1; 16.6 MP)
• 4080 x 2720 (M2; 11.0 MP)
• 2784 x 1856 (S; 5.2 MP)
Image sizes (RAW) * • 5616 x 3744 (RAW; 21.0 MP)
• 2784 x 1856 (sRAW; 5.2 MP)
File formats

• RAW (.CR2; 14-bit)
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - Fine / Normal
• RAW + JPEG (separate files)

File sizes (approx.) * • JPEG L: 6.4 MB
• JPEG M1: 5.2 MB
• JPEG M2: 3.9 MB
• JPEG S: 2.2 MB
• RAW: 25.0 MB
• sRAW: 14.5 MB
JPEG quality options Each JPEG size (L, M1, M2, S) can be set to a quality level of 1 to 10 (1 high compression, low quality - 10 low compression, high quality)
Lenses • Canon EF lens mount (does not support EF-S lenses)
• No field of view crop (1.0x)
Dust reduction * • "EOS Integrated Cleaning System"
• Self-cleaning sensor unit (filter in front of sensor vibrates at high frequency at start-up and shutdown - can be disabled)
• Dust Delete Data - Data from a test shot is used to 'map' dust spots and can be later removed using Canon DPP Software
Auto focus • 45-point TTL
• 19 cross-type points, require F2.8 or faster lens *
• Center cross-type point requires F4.0 or faster lens
• 26 assist points, require F5.6 or faster lens *
• TTL-AREA-SIR with a CMOS sensor
• AF working range: -1.0 to 18 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100)
Focus modes • One shot AF
• AI Servo AF
• Manual focus
AF point selection • Auto
• Manual (all 19 or inner 9 / outer 9)
AF assist External Speedlite only
Exposure modes • Program
• Aperture-priority
• Shutter-priority
• Manual
• Bulb
Metering

• 63 zone metering linked to 19 AF points *
• Metering range: 0 - 20 EV
• Modes: Center, Linked to AF point, Multi-spot (up to 8 readings)

Metering modes

• Evaluative (63 zone linked to active AF point)
• Center-weighted average
• Partial (8.5% of picture area)
• Spot metering (2.4% of picture area)

AE lock • Auto: One Shot AF with evaluative metering
• Manual: AE lock button
Exposure compensation • +/- 3.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
Exposure bracketing • 2, 3, 5 or 7 shots
• +/- 3.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
Sensitivity

• ISO 100 - 1600
• 0.3 or 1.0 EV increments
• ISO 50 (Enhanced L)
• ISO 3200 (Enhanced H)

Shutter • Focal-plane shutter
• 300,000 exposure durability *
• 30 - 1/8000 sec
• 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV increments
• Flash X-Sync: 1/250 sec
• Bulb
Aperture values • F1.0 - F91
• 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV increments
• Actual aperture range depends on lens used
Noise reduction • Long exposure (1 sec or longer)
• Optional for High ISO (default Off) *
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Flash
• Custom (up to 5 can be stored)
• Kelvin (2500 - 10000 K in 100 K steps)
• Personal WB (up to 5 can be preset in software *)
WB bracketing • +/-3 levels
• 3 images
• Blue / Amber or Magenta / Green bias
WB shift • Blue (-9) To Amber (+9)
• Magenta (-9) to Green (+9)
Picture style * • Standard
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Neutral
• Faithful
• Monochrome
• User def. 1
• User def. 2
• User def. 3
Custom image parameters * • Sharpness: 0 to 7
• Contrast: -4 to +4
• Saturation: -4 to +4
• Color tone: -4 to +4
• B&W filter: N, Ye, Or, R, G
• B&W tone: N, S, B, P, G
Color space • sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Viewfinder • Eye-level pentaprism
• 100% frame coverage
• Magnification: 0.76x * (-1 diopter with 50 mm lens at infinity)
• Eyepoint: 20 mm
• Dioptric adjustment: -3 to +1 diopter
• Precision matte screen Ee-C IV (interchangeable)
• Eye-piece shutter available via lever
Mirror • Quick-return half mirror (transmission:reflection ratio 37:63)
• Mirror lock-up (once or multiple exposures)
Viewfinder info • AF points
• Focus confirmation light
• Metering mode
• ISO sensitivity *
• Shutter speed
• Aperture
• Manual exposure
• AE Lock
• Exposure compensation amount
• AEB level
• Spot metering circle
• Flash ready
• Red-eye reduction lamp on
• High-speed sync
• FE Lock
• Flash compensation amount
• Warnings
• Maximum burst for continuous shooting
• Buffer space
LCD monitor * • 3.0" TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixels
• 7 brightness levels
LCD Live view * • Live TTL display of scene from CMOS image sensor
• 100% frame coverage
• Real-time evaluative metering using CMOS image sensor
• Best view or exposure simulation
• Grid optional (thirds)
• Magnify optional (5x or 10x at AF point)
• Aspect ratio masking for 6:6, 3:4, 4:5, 6:7, 10:12 and 5:7
• Remote live view using EOS Utility 2.0 (via USB or WiFi/Ethernet using WFT)
• Manual focus only
Record review • Off
• On (histogram via INFO button)
• Display mode same as last used Play mode
• 2 / 4 / 8 sec / Hold
Playback modes *

1. Single image with exposure, file number, storage slot
2. As 1 but also image count and quality
3. Detailed exposure information, thumbnail and luminance histogram
4. Less detailed exposure info., thumbnail, luminance and RGB histograms

Playback features • Optional blinking highlight alert
• Optional AF point display
• Magnified view (up to 10x)
• 2x2 or 3x3 thumbnail index
• Jump (by 1, 10, 100 images / by screen, date or folder) *
• Delete / Protect
• Record audio clip up to 30 seconds
Flash • No built-in flash unit
• E-TTL II auto flash / metered manual
• Flash compensation +/-3.0 EV in 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• X-Sync: 1/250 sec
• High-speed flash with EX-series speedlites up to 1/8000 sec
• Hot-shoe & PC Terminal
Drive modes • Single
• Silent (single frame) *
• High-speed continuous: 5 fps * (adjustable 5 - 2 fps)
• Low-speed continuous: 3 fps * (adjustable 4 - 1 fps)
• Self-timer: 2 or 10 sec (3 sec with mirror lock-up)
Burst buffer * • Large/Fine JPEG: 56 frames
• RAW: 12 frames
• RAW+JPEG: 10 frames
Orientation sensor Yes
Auto rotation * • On (recorded and LCD display)
• On (recorded only)
• Off
Custom functions * 57 custom functions in 4 groups
My Menu * Up to six menu options can be customized
Menu languages * • English
• German
• French
• Dutch
• Danish
• Portuguese
• Finnish
• Italian
• Norwegian
• Swedish
• Spanish
• Greek
• Russian
• Polish
• Simplified Chinese
• Traditional Chinese
• Korean
• Japanese
Firmware User upgradable
Wireless Via WFT-E2/E2A (optional)
Connectivity

• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed *
• Video out
• N3 type wired remote control
• PC Sync flash terminal

Storage • Compact Flash Type I or II (supports UDMA) *
• SD card slot (supports SD/SDHC) *
• External USB hard drives (requires WFT-E2/E2A) *
• Canon Original Data Security Kit supported ("Original Image Data")
Storage options * • Record to one memory card
• Record same image to both CF and SD cards (backup)
• Record RAW image to CF and JPEG to SD card
• Overflow (once one card becomes full camera uses next card)
• Copy from one card to another
Power • Lithium-Ion LP-E4 rechargeable battery * (supplied & charger)
• AC adapter
Power information • Current power source
• Remaining capacity
• Current shutter count on this battery charge
• Recharge performance
Dimensions * 150 x 160 x 80 mm (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
Weight (no batt) * 1205 g (2.7 lb)
Weight (inc. batt) * 1385 g (3.1 lb)

* New or changed compared to the EOS-1Ds Mark II

Technologies Explained

CMOS

Canon’s CMOS technology is one of the company’s key competitive advantages, with noise reduction circuitry at each pixel site delivering virtually noise-free images. In comparison with CCD technology, the lower power consumption characteristics of Canon’s CMOS sensors also contribute to longer battery life.
Signal conversion in Canon’s CMOS sensors is handled by individual amplifiers at each pixel site. Unnecessary charge transfer operations are avoided, vastly speeding up the process of getting signals to the image processor. Noise generation is reduced, power consumption is limited and faster frame rate potential is increased.

EOS Integrated Cleaning System

The EOS Integrated Cleaning System combats sensor dust in three important ways: Reduce, Repel and Remove.

  1. Reduce – Internal camera mechanisms are designed to minimise dust generation. The redesigned body cap prevents dust generation through wear on the cap itself.
     
  2. Repel – Anti-static technologies are applied to the low-pass filter covering the front of the sensor so as not to attract dust.
     
  3. Remove – A Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit uses hi-frequency vibrations to shake dust from the infrared filter for a period of approximately one second after each start up. For instant shooting after power up, this feature is disabled immediately the shutter release is depressed.

Canon has also developed an internal Dust Delete Data system, which can map the position of visible dust on the sensor. This can then be deleted automatically after the shoot with the latest Digital Photo Professional software.

Picture Style

Picture Style pre-sets simplify in-camera control over image qualities. Picture Style pre-sets can be likened to different film types – each one offering a different colour response. Within each selectable pre-set, photographers have control over sharpness, contrast, colour tone and saturation. The camera’s factory default configuration is set to deliver immediately-usable JPEG images without need for additional menu settings. Picture Style pre-sets applied to a RAW image can be revised with Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software.

The six presets include:

  • Standard – for crisp, vivid images that don’t require post-processing
  • Portrait – optimises colour tone and saturation and weakens sharpening to achieve attractive skin tones
  • Landscape – for punchier greens and blues with stronger sharpening to give a crisp edge to mountain, tree and building outlines
  • Neutral – ideal for post-processing
  • Faithful – adjusts colour to match the subject colour when shot under a colour temperature of 5200K
  • Monochrome – for black and white shooting with a range of filter effects (yellow, orange, red and green) and toning effects (sepia, blue, purple and green)

The User Defined Picture Style can be used to store up to three customized pre-sets, or any of the pre-sets available for download from Canon’s web site at www.canon.co.jp/Imaging/picturestyle/file/. Additionally, users can create their own custom Picture Style pre-sets using the supplied Picture Style Editor software.

Software

Digital Photo Professional Software

Digital Photo Professional software provides high speed, high quality processing of lossless RAW images. Processing with Digital Photo Professional allows real-time display and the immediate application of image adjustments, giving control over RAW image variables such as white balance, dynamic range, exposure compensation and colour tone. Images can be recorded in camera with sRGB or Adobe RGB colour space. Digital Photo Professional supports sRGB, Adobe RGB, ColorMatch RGB, Apple RGB and Wide Gamut RGB colour spaces.

ICC (International Colour Consortium) profiles can be attached to TIFF or JPEG images when converted from RAW. This allows faithful reproduction of colours in software applications that support ICC profiles, such as Adobe Photoshop. For improved efficiency, a set of image adjustments can be saved as a combination and applied.

Improvements in the latest version of Digital Photo Professional include three times faster image previews, an enhanced Noise Reduction tool and simultaneous batch processing of TIFF and JPEG images.

EOS Utility

The latest version of EOS Utility provides essential support for remote shooting control, camera configuration, remote Live View support and configuration of the new Original Data Security Kit OSK-E3 and Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E3 accessories. EOS Utility can be configured to monitor ‘hot’ folders, automatically renaming and moving incoming images to a structured file system – ideal for Wi-Fi transfers, or for commercial and studio photographers who want to shoot direct to a computer.

Click here for our detailed preview of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III