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Canon EOS-1D Mark III
The Canon EOS-1D Mark III is a solid camera for the outdoor photographer. For starters, image quality is superb. The new 10.1-megapixel sensor provides 23% more resolution than the EOS-1D Mark II N, and in my opinion, the images are even better than those of the 16.7-megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II, especially in dim light and at higher ISO settings. Handling of high-contrast subjects and scenes is excellent.
The Mark III can shoot those 10.1-megapixel images at up to 10 per second (for up to 110 large JPEGs or 30 RAW images), great for even the fastest wildlife action moments. The camera’s new AF system can keep up with that shooting rate, functioning in light levels down to EV-1 (ISO 100).
The easy-to-read, three-inch LCD monitor offers Live View capability, very handy in dim light and for odd-angle shooting. You can send the live image to a computer via USB 2.0 Hi-Speed cable or wirelessly via an optional WFT-E2A transmitter—use your laptop as a king-sized focusing and composing screen!
There’s also a new Self-Cleaning Sensor, and while it’s impossible to prove a negative, I credit the self-cleaning feature with the fact that I found no dust specks in more than 4,500 images shot with our test camera. This is a priceless feature on a D-SLR that will undergo lots of lens changes in the field.
The Mark III with battery isn’t light, but it does weigh a significant half-pound lighter than the Mark II N. As one who has lugged both cameras up local mountains because I didn’t want to leave them in the car at the trailhead when going for a hike after a morning of photographing birds, I can attest that those 7.9 ounces make a noticeable difference. The weight savings doesn’t come at the expense of durability. In the tradition of the professional models in the EOS lineup, the chassis is extremely rugged, dust- and weather-resistant.
With dual DIGIC III image processors and a professional- quality body, the Canon EOS-1D Mark III gets high mark
A new lithium-ion battery delivers nearly doubled shooting capacity (up to 2,200 shots per charge versus 1,200 for the Mark II N), so you don’t have to cart a lot of extra batteries into the field. There’s a battery-level indicator, too—a first for a Canon D-SLR.
Among the camera’s other features are ISO settings up to 6400, a 300,000-cycle shutter, a new 63-zone metering system, dual DIGIC III image processors (versus one DIGIC II in the Mark II N) and slots for both CF and SD memory cards. The camera offers you a choice of automatic switching from one card to the other when the first becomes full, simultaneous writing to both cards (or JPEG to one card and RAW to the other), or writing to an external hard drive via USB 2.0 Hi-Speed or an optional wireless transmitter. And a new safety mechanism finishes writing if you open the card cover or switch the camera off before writing is finished.
Bottom line: The Canon EOS-1D Mark III is an excellent all-around camera. While it’s not an inexpensive body, it has few if any shortcomings. It’s among the best cameras I’ve used in my 35 years in this business. Estimated Street Price: $4,499.
Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.