Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Review
Body & Design
Physically the EOS-1Ds Mark III is superficially identical to its predecessor the EOS-1Ds Mark II, though look a little closer and you'll find plenty of subtle changes. Most of these are round the back, where the considerably larger screen means a lot of the controls have been moved around, more details of which you'll find below. The camera itself if fractionally taller (thanks to the larger prism) and there's a new system expansion terminal (for the Wi-Fi connector) on the right side. Otherwise it's pretty much business as usual - this is a working camera and professionals don't take kindly to having to adapt to major operational changes - and like all its predecessors, the EOS-1Ds is built like a tank with a reassuring solidity and a good level of weatherproofing.
Canon has dropped the 'hold button and turn dial' control system of the old 1D cameras (which gets a big hurray from me) - you can now press the button once then turn the dial to change a setting, which is far, far quicker (though of course does marginally increase the chances of changing something by accident). The large quick control dial on the rear of the camera provides control over LCD functions as well as exposure compensation and aperture selection in Manual exposure mode (as with most controls its operation is customizable).
Side by side: EOS 1DS Mark II and EOS-1DS Mark III
Where the EOS-1Ds Mark II was almost identical to the original EOS-1Ds, the Mark III brings more significant changes, though they're far from radical, and bring the professional '1' line closer in operation to the mid range 40D (Canon is obviously working towards a unified user interface for the EOS range). The main reason is that the screen size has leapt from 2.0 to 3.0 inches, and now takes up far more of the surface area of the back of the camera. To accomodate the new screen Canon's designers have had to move the row of buttons from its left side, and several of the other buttons have been re-assigned (though as we'll see later the 'customizability' has been improved too, so you're not completely stuck with Canon's decisions).
The quick dial has shrunk a little, though you'd never know it in use. More importantly it's also now got a 'SET' button in the middle. This is normally used to activate Live View, but can also be customized to give quick access to a variety of settings including white balance, image size, ISO and image playback. The menu button has moved to the left of the eyepiece (along with a new 'Info' button), there's a new customizable FUNC button (which makes up for the loss of the WB button) and a new AF-ON button (again, customizable). Last but by no means least the new multi-controller makes navigating menus and changing AF points even easier. Taken as a whole I think it's fair to say that the Mark III represents a small but significant step forward in control and ergonomics from what was already a very mature, tried-and-tested system.
Anyone who can use their EOS-1Ds Mark I or II blindfolded will need a few days' shooting to customize the Mark III and get used to the new layout, but I think they'll agree with us that the changes are, without exception, an improvement.
Side by side: Nikon D3
Below you can see the EOS-1Ds Mark III beside Nikon's twelve megapixel flagship pro DSLR, the D3. From a build and finish point of view these two cameras are very similar, the only visible difference perhaps being Canon's cleaner, minimalist approach to design and control layout (Nikon has a slightly more traditional take on camera design). The Nikon is also fractionally larger and a little heavier, though once you've added a few lenses and a couple of ounces isn't going to make any difference; these are not cameras for the weedy armed photographer.
In your hand
Both hand grips are deep and well designed with a distinctive middle finger recess. In your hand the camera feels weighty but well balanced and extremely solid. The depth of the recessed 'lip' at the top of the hand grip provides a vital key for locating the correct grip as well as providing additional grip ability. This is a camera that feels like it's been molded to your hand and feels incredibly secure even with a big heavy lens on the front.
The Mark III's new 3.0" TFT LCD is considerably bigger than the Mark II's, but the resolution is still a rather miserly 230,000 pixels and is put to shame by the ultra high resolution display on the Nikon D3.
That said, it's bright and clear, and to be honest you don't really use it for much in everyday shooting beyond the usual chimping.
Top LCD Panel
The top LCD panel provides information related to the cameras photographic settings such as exposure, drive mode, metering, focus mode etc. As shown below this panel has a blue LED backlight which can be turned on by pressing the backlight button. The display is similar to the Mark II (and identical to the 1D Mark III), though it does manage to cram a little more information in - most importantly ISO is now displayed all the time.
(P, M, Tv, Av)
|7||Exposure level / exposure compensation scale|
Highlight tone priority display
Dust Delete Data acquisition (----)
(Single, Low speed continuous, High speed continuous, 10 sec self-timer, 2 sec self-timer)
Bulb time (Min/Sec)
FE lock (FEL)
Sensor cleaning (CLn)
|9||Exposure level / exposure compensation scale|
Dust Delete Data acquisition
|11||Auto Exposure Bracketing indicator|
|5||Shots remaining *1
Self timer countdown
Bulb time (Hours)
Recording media full (Full)
Remaining images to record
|12||Flash Exposure Compensation indicator|
|13||Battery level indicator (6 levels)|
(Eval, Partial, Spot, CWA)
(One Shot, AI Servo)
Default display is indicated in bold.
Diagram adapted from the EOS-1Ds Mark III manual with permission.
Rear LCD Panel
The rear LCD panel provides information about the digital portion of the camera including current image quality setting, white balance, folder and file number and other associated information. Just like the top LCD this one is backlit by blue LED's which can be turned on by pressing the backlight button on the top of the camera. A complete breakdown of information provided on the Rear LCD Panel is shown below.
|1||Compact Flash card selection icon||9||File number
Color temperature value
Custom white balance number
Personal white balance number
Compact Flash card indicator
Recording media indicator (Full, Err)
|3||Secure Digital selection icon||11||Data transfer icon (when connected to PC)|
|4||Secure Digital card indicator||12||Wireless LAN connection *2|
|5||External media selection icon||13||Wired LAN connection *2|
|6||External media connection icon *1||14||Monochrome shooting|
|7||White balance correction||15||Image size & quality
Large / Medium1 / Medium2 / Small JPEG
RAW / sRAW
|8||White balance mode
(Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, Manual, Color Temperature)
|*1||Only displayed when connected to WFT-E2|
|*2||Only displayed when connected to WFT-E2 and external media in use|
Default display is indicated in bold.
Diagram adapted from the EOS-1Ds Mark III manual with permission.
- 18 Software & Raw
- 19 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 20 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 21 Photographic tests (DR)
- 22 Vignetting/Shading
- 23 Photographic tests
- 24 Compared to
- 25 Compared to (JPEG)
- 26 Compared to (JPEG)
- 27 Compared to (JPEG)
- 28 Compared to (RAW)
- 29 Compared to (RAW)
- 30 Compared to (RAW)
- 31 Compared to (Resolution)
- 32 Conclusion
- 33 Samples
It won't come as a surprise to anyone that there are some unpleasant, predatory men within the photography industry. However, a long-form, extensively researched special report in the Columbia Journalism Review about sexual harassment is still a depressing, eye-opening read.
Is this the end? Nikon's UK and Japanese websites now list some of its KeyMission action cameras as discontinued.
Leica Camera AG is now an investor in Light, the makers of the innovative L16 camera. According to the company, the funding will allow Light to 'expand the reach of its imaging platform beyond consumer photography'
YouTuber ZY Productions has a video wherein he provides a succinct summary of how phase detection autofocus systems work, their benefits and their shortcomings.
The X-U is Leica's first ruggedized compact camera and is still the only waterproof camera on the market with a large APS-C sensor. That sensor sits behind a 35mm-equivalent, F1.7 lens, and we've taken it to the mountains and back to see just what it's capable of.
Gitzo and Sony have teamed up to launch a new tripod and L-bracket designed specifically for Sony α-series cameras.
There have now been seven variants of the Sony RX100 series, and at least six of them are still current models. Confused? Here's an updated look at their differences, and our recommendations among them now that we've tested the Mark VI.
The Kodak-branded 'Kashminer' Bitcoin mining scheme announced at CES has apparently collapsed, with Eastman Kodak distancing itself from the company behind it.
The software uses computational imaging techniques to boost detail and dynamic range in your images, and reduce noise levels.
As part of a promotional giveaway, Fujifilm Korea has released kimchi-flavored instant noodles wrapped in branding inspired by Fujifilm Provia 100 color reversal film.
The Leica Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH is a fast, high-quality and decidedly heavyweight short telephoto prime lens, designed for use with Leica's digital M-series rangefinders. We've been grappling with it for a little while - take a look at our sample images.
70-200mm F4 zoom lenses may not get as much attention as their faster F2.8 siblings, but for many photographers these lenses hit the perfect sweet spot of price, performance, and weight. This week, we shoot the new Tamron 70-210mm F4 alongside the equivalent Canon and Nikon models to see how they stack up.
Blackmagic recently worked with Apple to develop Blackmagic eGPU, an external GPU that brings "desktop-class graphics performance" to the new MacBook Pro laptops with Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Lightroom alternative Luminar has received numerous updates across both its Mac and Windows versions, primarily improvements to existing features, as well as support for additional cameras from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, and Pentax.
Sony has quietly updated its RX100 V, bringing a couple of the goodies from the RX100 VI travel zoom. The updated RX100 VA gains a new processor and various firmware tweaks but misses out on the VI's other hardware improvements.
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro series of notebooks with 15in and 13in models that are claimed to be better for intense image and video editing. The company says the new models are the most advanced ever, and that they feature 8th generation Intel Core processors for faster performance.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Adobe will announce a full-fledged Photoshop version for the iPad at its annual conference in October.
The last day to place an order for Apple photo prints and related products is September 30th.
Manfrotto has launched its new Noreg camera bag series with the Backpack-30 and Messenger-30 models. Both bags are designed for premium mirrorless camera systems, each featuring internal camera units that can be removed and used independently of the larger bags.
Industrial designer Thomas Müller has created a concept device that attempts to democratize film development using an all-in-one device that sits on your countertop.
Mastin Labs has released its latest set of presets titled 'Kodak Everyday.' The pack includes film emulation presets for iconic Kodak films, including Ektar, Gold and Tri-X.
Canon has released firmware update 1.0.4 for the EOS 6D Mark II, adding important bug fixes for "rare instances" of issues with the touch panel and operation buttons.
In an email to DPReview, Nikon Inc. has confirmed ''The Nikon 1 series cameras, lenses and accessories are no longer in production'.
Nikon's new Coolpix P1000 boasts an extraordinary zoom range and a suite of powerful stills and video features in a (relatively) compact body. We're taking a detailed look at this powerful compact's key features.
PhotoMirage, a new Windows application from software company Corel, transforms images into "mirages" by adding movement to elements like water or clouds. Unlike a cinemagraph, it does not require video footage – instead animating a single static image.
Tamron's version 2.0 firmware update for its 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD claims to have addressed reported issues with autofocus during video shooting.
Lens maker Moment is leaning into the software sector, launching a newly-revamped smartphone camera app targeted at enthusiast photographers.
A groups of researchers from NVIDIA, MIT, and Aalto University have developed an AI capable of removing noise and grain from images with incredible accuracy.
If the 24-2000mm equiv. zoom range on Nikon's Coolpix P900 just wasn't enough then you'll be excited about today's announcement of the Coolpix P1000. This camera has a once unthinkable 24-3000mm equivalent F2.8-F8 lens, though it's anything but light and will set you back $999.