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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Review

August 2008 | By Simon Joinson

The EOS-1Ds Mark III is the seventh Canon professional EOS-1D series digital SLR, although only the third of the 's' suffix sub-category which indicates a full frame sensor. Three years since the last EOS-1Ds, the Mark II, the Mark III pushes digital SLR resolution over the twenty megapixel barrier with specifically twenty-one-point-one million pixels (5616 x 3744) on its 36 x 24 mm (full 35 mm frame) sensor. Canon also claims to have increased the 'light gathering efficiency' of the sensor by reducing the amount of (wasted) space between micro lenses, hence despite the resolution increase the Mark III still provides sensitivity up to ISO 3200 (with boost enabled).

As well as increasing resolution Canon has pushed continuous shooting up a step with five frames per second over the Mark II's four frames per second. This means that at full speed the two DIGIC III image processors are dealing with an impressive 185 MB/sec. Other improvements include the larger screen, Live View, a fourteen-bit A/D converter and fourteen-bit RAW files, UDMA Compact Flash support (up to 45 MB/sec) and a whole range of features (such as dual storage slots and Picture Styles) inherited from the EOS-1D Mark III.

From a build, 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 for Compact Flash cards.

Model line history

The EOS-1Ds Mark III represents a 26% increase in resolution over the EOS-1Ds Mark II which in turn represented a 50% increase in resolution over the original EOS-1Ds.

Model
Announced
Effective pixels
Sensor size
Continuous High (JPEG) LCD monitor
EOS-1D Sep 2001 4.2 mp 1.3x crop 8.0 fps, 21 frames 2.0"
EOS-1Ds Sep 2002 11.1 mp Full frame 3.0 fps, 10 frames 2.0"
EOS-1D Mark II Jan 2004 8.2 mp 1.3x crop 8.3 fps, 40 frames 2.0"
EOS-1Ds Mark II Sep 2004 16.7 mp Full frame 4.0 fps, 32 images 2.0"
EOS-1D Mark II N Aug 2005 8.2 mp 1.3x crop 8.3 fps, 48 images 2.5"
EOS-1D Mark III Feb 2007 10.1 mp 1.3x crop 10.0 fps, 110 images 3.0" (Live view)
EOS-1Ds Mark III Aug 2007 21.1 mp Full frame 5.0 fps, 56 images 3.0" (Live view)

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III vs. EOS-1Ds Mark II feature and specification differences

 

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II
Sensor • 21.1 million effective pixels
• 6.4 µm pixel pitch
• 16.7 million effective pixels
• 7.2 µm pixel pitch
Image processor Dual DIGIC III DIGIC II
A/D converter 14-bit 12-bit
Image sizes • 5616 x 3744
• 4992 x 3328
• 4080 x 2720
• 2784 x 1856
• 4992 x 3328
• 3600 x 2400
• 3072 x 2048
• 2496 x 1664
RAW files • CR2 format, 14-bit
• RAW full resolution
• sRAW (5.2 MP)
CR2 format, 12-bit
RAW full resolution
Dust reduction High speed vibration of filter None
Auto focus • 45-point TTL CMOS sensor
• 19 cross-type for F2.8 or faster lens
• 45-point TTL CMOS sensor
• 7 cross-type for F4 or faster lens
AF adjustment Yes No
Metering 63-zone linked to AF points 21-zone linked to AF points
Shutter 300,000 exposure durability 200,000 exposure durability
Noise reduction Optional High ISO No option
White balance Up to five personal WB presets Up to three personal WB presets
Image parameters • Picture Styles (six default, three user)
• 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 matrix (five default, two user)
• Sharpness: 0 to 5
• Contrast: -2 to +2
• Saturation: -2 to +2
• Color tone: -2 to +2
Viewfinder • 100% frame coverage
• Magnification: 0.76x
• Eyepoint: 20 mm
• 100% frame coverage
• Magnification: 0.70x
• Eyepoint: 20 mm
ISO in viewfinder Yes No
LCD monitor • 3.0" TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixels
• 7 brightness levels
• 2.0" TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixels
• 5 brightness levels
LCD Live View Yes No
Playback modes Exposure line at top in single image view No exposure in single image view
Silent shooting Yes (quieter release) No
Continuous shooting • 5.0 / 3.0 fps
• Up to 56 JPEG Large/Fine images
• 5.0 fps
• Up to 32 JPEG Large/Fine images
Auto rotate • On (recorded and LCD display)
• On (recorded only)
• Off
• On
• Off
My Menu Up to six menu options can be customize No
Menu languages 18 15
Custom functions 57 20
Hot-shoe water resistance Yes (with 580 EX II) No
Storage • Compact Flash slot (UDMA support)
• SD card slot (SDHC support)
• USB drives via WFT-E2/E2A
Compact Flash slot
• SD card slot
Data connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed • USB 1.1
• Firewire IEEE 1394
Battery power Lithium-Ion LP-E4 rechargeable battery Ni-MH NP-E3 rechargeable battery
Dimensions 150 x 160 x 80 mm (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in) 156 x 158 x 80 mm (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
Weight • No battery: 1.2 kg (2.6 lb)
• With battery: 1.4 kg (3.1 lb)
• No battery: 1.2 kg (2.6 lb)
• With battery: 1.5 kg (3.3 lb)

EOS Integrated Cleaning System video

Foreword / notes

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read some of our Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

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Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.

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