The arrival of affordable DSLR cameras has, undisputedly, paved the way for many casual photographers to finally make the leap forward in advancing their photography know-how. If you were to take a quick look back in time, you should have no difficulty recalling all the buzz and busy marketing done for the lower rung of DSLR cameras. Canon's EOS 300D, EOS 350D, EOS 400D and even the EOS 5D have all but livened up the photography community. While the EOS 5D does not fall under Canon's affordable DSLR series, it is just as revolutionary, though more in the product positioning versus technology sense than absolute affordability.
After a relatively quiet spell, we are glad the cycle has finally come round for cameras further up the technological hierarchy to take the limelight. The source of excitement today is the successor to the venerable EOS-1D Mark II, the all new EOS-1D Mark III. Obviously, we can expect nothing less than a whole new set of bells and whistles from Canon's latest creation, but before we plunge happily into the specifics, it's worthwhile to hold our breath momentarily to appreciate the EOS-1D Mark II first.
Speed of a camera is always a concern for professional photographers. To cater to this crowd, the EOS-1D Mark II is capable of 8.5 FPS for up to a maximum of 40 frames in JPG mode or 20 frames in RAW mode. Corresponding to that capturing speed is a fast data transfer speed of 5MB/s, which is necessary to prevent data storage from being a performance bottleneck. Following that was the introduction of Canon's DIGIC II processor and a high ISO 3200 sensor sensitivity. Without going into the mundane specifics, it is this combination of qualities that gives the EOS-1D Mark II its high level of performance.
Now for the juicy part you've been waiting for. After more than two years in the making, Canon has finally rolled out its next chapter in the high-end DSLR segment. One step up from the old, the new EOS-1D Mark III has a new 10.1-megapixel CMOS sensor that's fully equipped with Canon's EOS Integrated Cleaning System and a 3.0-inch LCD monitor to better accentuate Canon's Live View technology. Clearly, given the long development time, the list of improvements can just go on and on, but the crux can be summed up easily: a lighter camera body with improved weather resistance properties, Dual DIGIC III image processors, faster shooting rate, a more durable shutter, Live View technology and a brand new CMOS sensor with self-cleaning capability.
|Canon EOS-1D Mark III||Canon EOS-1D Mark II|
|Image Sensor||APS-H CMOS with 10.1 million effective pixels (28.1 x 18.7 mm)||CMOS with 8.2 million effective pixels (28.7 x 19.1 mm)|
|Image Processor||Dual DIGIC III (simultaneous parallel processing)||DIGIC II|
|ISO Ranger||ISO 100 to 1600; Low: 50, High: 6400||ISO 100 to 1600; Low: 50, High: 3200|
|Shutter Cycle||Up to 300,000||Up to 200,000|
|Continuous Shoot||Up to 10 FPS||Up to 8.5 FPS|
|Maximum Frames||Up to 110 frames (JPEG) or 30 (RAW)||Up to 40 frames (JPEG) or 20 (RAW)|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000 seconds||1/8000 seconds|
|Flash X-sync Speed||1/300 seconds||1/250 seconds|
|Storage||Compact Flash Type I and II (CF) & Secure Digital High Capacity (SD/SDHC) cards. Supports Dual writing.||Compact Flash Type I and II (CF) & Secure Digital (SD) cards. Supports Dual writing.|
||3.0-inch with Live View Technology||2.0-inch|
|Integrated Sensor Cleaning System||Yes, using ultrasonic technique||No|
|Metering||TTL full aperture metering with 63 zones||TTL full aperture metering with 21 zones|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||156 x 156.6 x 79.9 mm||156 x 158 x 80 mm|
|Weight (body only)||1.155kg||1.2kg|
Coincidentally, the EOS-1D Mark III is the first from Canon to come fitted with Live View technology, which in simple terms means the LCD screen can be used as a viewfinder, much in the same way as a digital compact camera. Another exciting element of the EOS-1D Mark III that will delight time-sensitive photographers is the camera's ability to transmit pictures wirelessly to computers via the new WFT-E2A transmitter. At point of writing, Canon Singapore has yet to finalize the exact recommended retail price (RRP) of its flagship DSLR. What we do know however, is that it will be retailing between SGD$6,000 and $7,000.