Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Review

January 7, 2020 | Mark Goldstein |
Hands-on
More Pages
  1. News
  2. Hands-On
  3. Ease
    of Use
  4. Image
    Quality
  5. Sample
    Images
  6. Product
    Images
  7. Product
    Specs
  8. Rating &
    Conclusion
  9. Comment

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III News

Pricing, specifications and a full list of features for the flagship Canon EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR camera have now been revealed.

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III will go on sale in February 2020 priced at £6,499.99 / €7,599.99 / $6,499.

Canon UK Press Release

Introducing the new action hero: Master speed with Canon’s much-anticipated EOS-1D X Mark III

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 07 January 2020 – Canon today launches the ultimate sports and wildlife camera, the EOS-1D X Mark III, offering professional photographers limitless possibilities, at blistering speeds. Boasting dramatically improved AF tracking performance, image quality and communication capabilities, the camera represents the pinnacle of Canon’s EOS-1 series. Canon’s new flagship camera features incredible industry-leading shooting speeds of up to 20fps with AF tracking, along with improved high ISO performance the camera achieves ‘the shot’, every time. The EOS-1D X Mark III’s AF sensor sports 28 times the centre resolution of its predecessor to address professional photographers’ need for greater accuracy and focusing on subjects in a wider range of scenarios. What’s more, the camera offers impressive 5.5K 12-bit RAW video internal recording – the first non-cinema Canon EOS series camera to have such feature – allowing professionals to capture top-quality video as well as stills.

The EOS-1D X Mark III has been developed using feedback from the worldwide community of EOS-1D X and EOS-1D X Mark II photographers, including prestigious Canon Ambassadors. Canon’s rich heritage in optical excellence shines through in professionals’ feedback during testing, praising the EOS-1D X Mark III’s step-change in autofocus, dramatically improved image and video quality and speedy communication abilities – all features which allow professionals to achieve breath-taking images and deliver them to clients – faster than ever before.

Eddie Keogh, professional sports photographer and Canon Ambassador said: “Working from the side lines at top sporting events worldwide, Canon’s DLSRs continue to dominate professional photography. Throughout the years EOS-1 series cameras have been unrivalled in their reliability and capability, which is why I’ve been using them since 2002 with the EOS-1D. In my line of work speed is everything, so I’m delighted to be using the EOS-1D X Mark III which features noticeably improved fps, outstanding autofocus and quicker communication abilities – because, in the competitive industry of sports photography, a matter of milliseconds could mean the difference between a picture that makes it to the back pages of national newspapers or doesn’t.”

Unrivalled autofocus to achieve ‘the shot’

Based around the Canon EF mount, with more AF lenses available than any other system, the EOS-1D X Mark III features a new AF system and sensor. This Canon-developed technology enables enhanced stability and tracking giving professionals a new level of flexibility and accuracy when photographing subjects in various conditions.

In the ever-competitive professional photography industry there is no room for images of blurry subjects. With a new AF sensor, the camera provides 28 times the centre resolution of its predecessor and three times the number of AF points[i], delivering unrivalled precision and giving photographers even greater image choice of pin-sharp shots. Partnered with a dedicated DIGIC 8 processor, focusing on subjects in a wider range of lighting is made possible – conditions which would see lesser-quality AF systems fail to capture ‘the shot’ in focus. In addition to focusing accuracy in low light, the camera is ideal for photographing low contrast, patterns, fine detail and diagonal lines – all of which were previously difficult to capture.

Programmed via deep learning, the camera’s AF system can identify human subjects in a range of sporting situations, bringing them into focus – at high speeds – with newly-developed advanced subject tracking system. With this deep learning capability, the camera will lock on to a subject’s head or face – the primary place of focus for the human eye when looking at images – even in situations when the subject’s eyes are covered by the likes of helmets and goggles. A new Auto AF case setting has also been incorporated in the camera to tune the AF settings to match the subject – making setting up the AF system easier than ever before – ideal for professionals photographing subjects which occasionally maybe blocked.

Limitless creative opportunities

Thanks to its new Canon developed DIGIC X processor, 20.1 Megapixel sensor, mirror system and shutter, the EOS-1D X Mark III gives a competitive edge – achieving industry leading speeds of 16fps.

Essential for world-class sporting events and animals in the wild, the optical viewfinder provides photographers better connection to the subject, with clear and bright lag-free viewing. In Live View mode the camera can shoot at 20fps with mechanical or electronic shutter with full AF, further extending creative opportunities.

To achieve such fast frame rates impossible in any other manufacturers’ camera, Canon’s innovative technology reinvents the SLR mirror system. With Canon’s mechanical engineering superiority at the heart, the camera features almost zero mirror bounce – meaning the its mirrors return to their positions as quickly and as precisely as possible – directing light to the camera’s AF sensor to take a reading faster than ever before.

Next generation imaging standards

The EOS-1D X Mark III is Canon’s first camera to feature its next generation imaging sensor, supporting faster readout and lower noise – addressing professionals’ request for a low-noise, high-performing DSLR. The camera’s 20.1 Megapixel Full Frame CMOS sensor also offers Canon’s widest ISO range yet. With the extended settings from ISO 50 to ISO 819,200 – the EOS-1D X Mark III further provides professionals with the flexibility to photograph in various conditions.

Thanks to the increased noise handling abilities of its sensor, professionals can alter the exposure of images in post-processing without noise affecting the dark areas of the images – providing even more usable dynamic range than previous models. The EOS-1D X Mark III is the first camera to the market to use a revolutionary new High Detail Low-Pass Filter, which samples the light point over a greater number of points to achieve sharper and higher resolution images while preventing moiré. It is also the first EOS model to support the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format). This next generation format, based on the HEVC codec, enables images with 10-bits of data to be saved in a file the equivalent size as a JPEG while suffering less compression artefacts. The camera also uses the next generation of memory cards CFexpress providing write speeds over three times that of that previous fastest CFast cards and making shooting bursts of over 1000 raw images possible.

Meeting the demand for high-quality video

Thanks to its new sensor and processor, the EOS-1D X Mark III is now also Canon’s most advanced video product with interchangeable lenses outside of the Cinema EOS series – offering 4K Full Frame and supporting 12-bit RAW internal recording. It is the first non-cinema Canon camera to feature RAW recording, providing an expansive range of colours and tones which can be extracted in post-production for superior image quality. In addition to this, using the camera, video can also be recorded as 12-bit CRM file at 5.5K (5472x2886), allowing very detailed oversampled 4K footage – meeting the demand for high-quality video.

The camera can also record using Canon Log Gamma, captured as a 10-bit HEVC/H.265 file, giving professionals multiple editing and unlimited creative possibilities. Addressing the need for speed, the EOS-1D X Mark III supports file recording in a MP4 container, for fast transmission of files. What’s more, it is also the first EOS-1 series camera to support Move Digital IS – providing 5-axis stabilisation to cope with a wide range of movements – a feature seen in high-end Canon cinema cameras like the EOS C500 Mark II.

Using the EOS-1D X Mark III, Dual Pixel CMOS AF is supported in 4K and RAW mode[ii], when coupled with Movie Digital IS, professionals can have confidence their movie image footage will have pin-sharp focus and be steady – whatever the condition or scenario – perfect for impromptu video opportunities.

Content delivery at competitive speeds

Keeping pace with shortening deadlines and addressing professionals’ needs for seamless and speedy content delivery, the EOS-1D X Mark III is the first EOS-1 series camera to feature built in  Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Wi-Fi can be used for FTP or connecting via EOS Utility as well as connecting to a smartphone. Its Bluetooth connectivity uses the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol, providing a constant connection to a compatible smart device yet requiring minimal battery power – ideal for long shoot days. By opening Canon Camera Connect, the EOS-1D X Mark III automatically connects to compatible devices[iii], allowing image review, sharing, and remote Live View shooting with a single tap.

With inbuilt GPS, professionals can capture location data to images – particularly useful for travelling sports photographers and exploring wildlife photographers. The camera transfers data faster than the speed of the EOS-1D X Mark II when using the built in ethernet, or the new optional wireless file transmitter – the WFT-E9. Coupled with simpler network set-up, it greatly enhances professionals’ workflow.

An extension of professionals’ creativity

Allowing seamless navigation with trusted ergonomics, existing EOS-1D series users will be comfortable handling the EOS-1D X Mark III. Its magnesium alloy body offers the durability expected from Canon’s EOS-1 cameras – withstanding extreme weather conditions, with phenomenal weather-sealing. The EOS-1D X Mark III also makes shooting in dark or dimly-lit conditions easier, with light up buttons – a feature added directly as a result of professional feedback. A number of buttons on the camera illuminate when the display light button is pressed making identifying the various buttons much easier – offering again, limitless shooting possibilities.

The camera also provides additional control for selecting AF points, built into the AF-ON button, allowing photographers to change AF points on-the-fly for the best composition – further simplifying their work. Professionals can also benefit from dramatically improved battery life – with the same LP-E19 – enabling them to shoot 2850 shots per charge – reducing the chance of missing ‘the shot’ when changing battery.

Pricing and Availability

The EOS-1D X Mark III will be on sale in February 2020, with the following RSPs:

£6,499.99 / €7,599.99

i Features 191 selectable AF points with 155 of these being cross-type points

ii Dual Pixel CMOS AF is not possible at 50/60p, except in crop 4K

iii Compatible Android devices will automatically connect. iOS device users must confirm the network on their smart device, but the camera does not need to be interacted with


Canon USA Press Release

A Masterpiece In Engineering And Design: Canon Announces The EOS-1D X Mark III Camera

MELVILLE, NY, January 6, 2020 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the highly anticipated Canon EOS-1D X Mark III camera – the successor to the world-renowned and award-winning EOS-1D X Mark II. The Company’s new flagship DSLR has been engineered and designed using extensive feedback from the professional sports, photojournalist, wildlife and wedding photographers.

This new groundbreaking workhorse EOS-1D X Mark III DLSR Camera features:

  • New 20.1 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor combined with newly designed High Detail Low-Pass Filter
  • New DIGIC X Image Processor with an ISO range of 100-102400; Expandable to 50-819200i
  • New 191-point optical viewfinder AF system capable of tracking the subject’s head, and face using Deep Learning Technology
  • New Smart Controller built into the AF-On button for fast control of the AF Point selection
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF for fast and accurate autofocus in Live View covering 90%x100% of the image area at an EV of -6 ~ 18
  • The lightning-fast camera features the ability to shoot up to 16 frames-per-second in optical viewfinder shooting and up to 20 fps while in Live View shooting with mechanical or silent shutter
  • Maximum buffer in continuous shooting (RAW+JPEG) of 1000 images or more with dual CFexpress card slots
  • 12-bit 5.5K RAW video internal recording and oversampling 4K 60p video recording using the full width of the sensor in Canon Log with 10-bit 4:2:2

“When engineering and designing the new flagship camera, Canon’s top priority was collecting and implementing extensive user-feedback from a variety of professionals,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “In the end, the outcome is at first glance a familiar tool, but in reality, so much more; a camera unlike anything the company has introduced before. Canon is eagerly waiting to see what timeless memories professional image makers capture with this new camera.”

At the camera’s core is Canon’s newly developed 20.1 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, a High Detail Low-Pass Filter and the DIGIC X image processor. These features will help to provide professional photographers with a fast and powerful tool to capture images with a greater level of resolution, higher sensitivity, reduced moiré and improved image quality in higher ISO ranges with reduced noise. Utilizing a single DIGIC X image processor and a DIGIC 8 dedicated for AF/AE the camera's image processing performance far exceeds and surpasses that of its predecessor, all while reducing power consumption. The DIGIC X is capable of up to approximately 3.1 times the image processing and 380 times Dual CMOS AF processing performance compared to the dual DIGIC 6+ found in the EOS-1D X Mark II. The new powerful image processor also allows for an ISO range of 100-102,400 (expandable up to 50-819,200), providing users with higher clarity images and quality in various shooting situations.

The EOS-1D X Mark III camera also provides users with equally impressive video features, with the ability to internally record 5.5K RAW video and uncropped 4K 60p derived from the original 5.5K readout in Canon Log with 10-bit 4:2:2. Canon Log allows users to record 4K and 1080p video files with up to 12 stops of High Dynamic Range and wide exposure latitude, making it simple to coordinate color settings with other Canon cameras in multi-camera set-ups. It’s ideally suited to help streamline and provide greater creative freedom during the extensive post-production processing. In addition, the camera’s HDMI terminal can be used to transmit 4K 60p data to another device for display or external recording.

When developing the EOS-1D X Mark III, Canon put a heavy emphasis on designing and installing a completely overhauled and comprehensive Auto Focus system for the user with the need for speed. The new 191-point AF system with 155-point all cross-type points helps users to quickly and smoothly track a subject and maintain a level of focusing accuracy during a variety of shooting situations such as tracking a motorcar circling around the race track or a leopard bolting across the plains. Canon has redesigned the AF sensor incorporating a new square pixel design based on an image sensor, essentially making the AF sensor 28x higher resolution at the center area.

Canon’s revolutionary Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology provides users with fast and accurate AF using 3869 manually selectable AF positions and 525 automatic areasii. In Live View shooting, the EOS-1D X Mark III’s AF system supports face, head and, most noteworthy, eye detection AF tracking. Eye detection AF provides high-precision tracking by locking in on and following the eye of a moving subject. When in Live View AF/AE tracking is supported during high-speed burst shooting with the ability to capture up to 20 fps in both RAW and RAW + JPEG file format.

Using the traditional optical viewfinder, the camera has the ability to capture up to an extraordinary 16 fps with reduced time lag and image blackout. Reducing lag and image blackout greatly increases a photographer's ability to track moving subjects and never miss a shot. Regardless of the method of shooting through the OVF or LCD, the EOS-1D X Mark III can shoot over 1000 images in a burst using the dual CFexpress cards.

To support the needs of top professionals, the camera’s communications functions have been greatly enhanced. Incorporating a dedicated Network tab in the menu, the photographer can much more easily set up network functions such as connections via built-in gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi® connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity and destinations such as FTP servers, EOS Utility, or Browser Remoteiii functions. It will even support encrypted network authentication for advanced network users.

Thoughts from the First Users

“I can't say enough good things about how well the EOS-1D X Mark III camera performed on so many levels. The new AF system is a game-changer for me, I was totally blown away by how well it performed in various situations, including very low-light levels,” said wildlife photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Adam Jones. “The ability to move the AF point quickly with the new sensor-based AF button was simply amazing; the focus followed the subject like nothing before. As a wildlife photographer, I never dreamed we would have a camera that could follow focus on fast-flying snow geese using a super-telephoto lens with 1.4x and 2x converters - but with the new camera here we are!”

“My job is to travel the world to photograph automobile racing and car culture in the harshest conditions imaginable. Racetracks, salt flats, sand dunes, frozen lakes, you name it, I photograph all things four wheels. That is why I need a camera that works as hard as we do,” said automotive photographer Larry Chen. “I started my professional career on the EOS-1D series of bodies, and I’ve had several over the years with over one million images captured. The EOS-1D X Mark III really is the next generation of professional cameras in a familiar package, the first words out of my mouth after shooting with it were ‘There are no more excuses, to miss a shot!’ I can't wait to use it for the 2020 racing season!”

Additional Features of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR Camera Include:

Enhanced operational controls including button illumination, Touch AF and a multi-controller allowing users to select the desired AF point more easily

Face-Priority E-TTL II metering enables the camera to automatically adjust to provide the appropriate output of an external flash when it detects a face

Digital Lens Optimizer helps to correct against any potential lens diffraction or aberration based on the design of each individual lens. DLO also improves the overall resolution of an image

Ability to capture stills in 10-bit using the HEIF (High-Efficiency Image File) file format. HEIF produces a wider dynamic range and greater color representation compared to 8-bit JPEG

Built-in Wi-Fi®iv, Bluetooth® v, and GPSvi Technology

Faster speed and improved user interface for networking with optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E9 or with the built-in gigabit ethernet port

Canon EOS-1D series level of durability including dust-and-weather- resistance

Price and Availability

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR camera body and WFT-E9 wireless file transmitter are both scheduled to be available in mid-February 2020 for an estimated retail price of $6,499.00 and $649.99, respectively*. For more information, please visit, cusa.canon.com.

† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

* Pricing, availability and specifications are subject to change without notice.

i Camera’s ISO range expandable for still image shooting only.

ii Available AF positions may decrease when shooting with AF cropping or in movie mode, or depending on camera settings or lens attached.

iii Browser Remote will be supported through firmware update after shipping.

iv Compatible with iOS® versions 9.3/10.3/11.2-11.4/12.2/13.2, Android™ smartphone and tablet versions 5.0/5.1/6.0/7.0/7.1/8.0/8.1/9.0/10.0. Data charges may apply with the download of the free Canon Camera Connect app. This app helps enable you to upload images to social. Please note that image files may contain personally identifiable information that may implicate privacy laws. Canon disclaims and has no responsibility for your use of such images. Canon does not obtain, collect or use such images or any information included in such images through this app.

v Compatible with select smartphone and tablet devices (Android™ version 5.0 or later and the following iOS® devices: iPhone 4s or later, Pod Touch 5th gen. or later) equipped with Bluetooth® version 4.1 or later and the Camera Connect App Ver. 2.5.10. This application is not guaranteed to operate on all listed devices, even if minimum requirements are met.

vi in certain countries and regions, the use of GPS may be restricted. Therefore be sure to use GPS in accordance with the laws and regulations of your country or region. Be particularly careful when traveling outside your home country. As a signal is received from GPS satellites, take sufficient measure when using in locations where the use of electronics are regulated.

Image Gallery

Click on a thumbnail to see the full version.

  1. News
  2. Hands-On
  3. Ease
    of Use
  4. Image
    Quality
  5. Sample
    Images
  6. Product
    Images
  7. Product
    Specs
  8. Rating &
    Conclusion
  9. Comment