Recently the EOS-1D Mark III has been the buzz of various Internet discussion forums, but not for the right reasons. Over the last few months a problem with Auto Focus has come to light which causes it to either mis-focus or slightly front or back focus, especially noticeable when tracking a moving subject in Ai Servo mode. Canon has announced that it will make a new firmware release (version 1.0.9) available for download at the end of this month (or if you prefer you can have your camera serviced right now) which is supposed to address at least part of the problem. However some detailed analysis by Rob Galbraith indicates that this firmware isn't the panacea many Mark III owners will be hoping for.

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Click here for Rob Galbraith's report on Canon EOS-1D Mark III Auto Focus performance

Press Release:

Canon EOS-1D Mark III Firmware Update, Version 1.0.9

In the interests of better customer support, Canon has developed new Version 1.0.9 firmware for the EOS-1D Mark III Digital SLR camera. This firmware update incorporates the following improvements and fixes:

  • Improves the look of images when enlarged on the LCD monitor
    Applies a slightly stronger sharpness setting to the LCD monitor when images are enlarged.
  • Improves the consistency of AI Servo AF under certain conditions
    Reduces the tendency of the camera to autofocus on high-contrast backgrounds when shooting in conditions where AF detection is difficult, such as when the main subject is not completely covered by the AF frames or if the main subject's contrast is low.
  • Provides countermeasures for Main Dial response errors (Main, Quick Control, Vertical-grip Main)
    Fixes a rare response error in the Main Dials in which they either did not respond when rotated or would change several clicks' worth even if only clicked once.
  • Corrects errors in the Italian and Simplified Chinese menu screens.

Please note that Version 1.0.9 firmware is currently scheduled to be made available for download from the Web at the end of July. It is NOT currently available for download. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. However, Canon U.S.A. Factory Service Centers in Jamesburg, NJ and Irvine, CA can install the updated firmware as of now. EOS-1D Mark III customers who wish to send their cameras into a Canon Factory Service Center for this upgrade are welcome to do so at their own expense. (Customer pays shipping to the Factory Service Center; Canon installs the firmware update and ships the camera back to the customer at no charge.)  On the other hand, if the customer prefers, he or she can wait until version 1.0.9 is available for download at no charge from Canon's web site. If a customer sends his or her camera into the service department now, and firmware is upgraded by the service department, the soon-to-be-available download will not add any additional functionality to the camera -- there will be no need to perform a further firmware update when version 1.0.9 is made available for download on Canon's web site.

U.S. residents are kindly directed to contact the Canon Customer Support Center for further assistance at 1-800-828-4040. Support hours are Monday thru Friday - 8:00 AM to 12:00 midnight; and Saturday 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM (all times EST). Alternatively, if electronic support is preferred, please send your email to [email protected]

This information is for residents of the United States of America and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.

We appreciate your understanding in this matter. Thank you for your support and patronage of Canon products.