Canon 1D MKIII vs. Nikon D3 Sports Autofocus Showdown

Started May 8, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Zane Paxton Veteran Member • Posts: 6,947
Canon 1D MKIII vs. Nikon D3 Sports Autofocus Showdown

You guys might find this test interesting:

Quotes from the test:

Nikon D3 Overall Average:
48% Out of Focus

Canon 1D MKIII Overall Average:
31% Out of Focus

And the winner is...

Canon 1D MKIII with only 31% Out of Focus


As we mentioned earlier, there has been a lot of talk about the Autofocus weaknesses of the Canon 1D MKIII. A lot of this talk is quite frankly, undeserved. We have never been able to replicate the seemingly impeccable performance of the Canon 1D MKII as observed by other parties.

I highly doubt many current gear purchasers are willing to go back in time to purchase what is now an ancient camera, in terms of overall design and features.

Hence our test of the current crop of viable options. The Canon is again the clear winner in this category. We also did this same test with one generation earlier firmware and the results were very similar. This earlier report was never published, because we just did not have the time.

Does this mean that the Canon 1D MKIII is the clear choice for overall autofocus?

No. It simply means that it performs better under this rigorous test.

Firmware improvements with Canon 1D MKIII?

Many will want to know if the firmware and sub-mirror fix improved the marks of the Canon 1D MKIII. Yes. But only somewhat. Overall we show an improvement of 9%. The prior average was 40% Out of Focus for this test. A number that is still better than the Nikon D3 received under either round of tests and firmware.

Does this mean that overall I like Canon 1D MKIII better than Nikon D3?

No. It simply means that Canon still outperforms Nikon in this autofocus category. The Canon 1D MKIII is a great camera. However, my time with the D3 has led me to seriously question whether I would stick with Canon in the future. I really like the Nikon D3. Some advantages of the Nikon D3 over the Canon 1D MKIII for my type of photography are the increased iso range, the increased resolution of the lcd screen, and the ease of setting custom white balance.

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