Canon EOS 1D MK3

After much deliberation, I recently decided to upgrade my EOS 40D to an EOS 1D MK3.
I will admit that at the time I was close to packing in my Canon gear and switching over to Nikon with the purchase of the awesome D700.
I know upgrading your gear does not necessarily upgrade the photographer, but after having the opportunity to handle the D700 I was really impressed with how complete the camera felt in my hands. After months of research I finally decided to go with the 1D, primarily because of the lens collection I had been able to build up with Canon. I usually don’t part with my cash before researching what it is I’m buying.

Because of this trend I generally expect something a little special from my purchase.
It therefore usually takes a while of being put through its paces before I recognize the benefit of spending a substantial amount of money.
For all intents and purposes I believe that a camera feeling good in your hands is one of the most important qualities for a camera to have. Cameras are producing very similar results these days, and a suitable photographer should be able to produce stunning images with most of what’s available out there. I personally want to be producing those results with a tool that feels good in my hands.

I had the opportunity to use Chanelle’s EOS 5D as she had upgraded to the 5D MK2 back in December 09, for a couple weddings, and while an excellent camera it felt a little flimsy in my hands. I must say I was actually amazed by the MK3 from the minute I was able to get my expectant
little hands on it. The camera was built to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Canon and the 20th anniversary of its top-selling EOS single lens reflex camera system. A more fitting tribute for such an occasion I imagine would be hard to beat.

Although initial batches were known to have focusing issues, but these were later rectified.
(On a side note, just an example why I don’t subscribe to the school of “get it as soon as it’s available” when it comes to any sort of technology.)
Detailed reviews of the 1D MK3 can be found on multiple websites on the net, but I’d just like to touch on some of my initial impressions.
The build quality with its weather sealing is superb. It is an absolute joy to hold in my hands and although it may be a little bulky for some,
I challenge anyone to hold one and not be suitably impressed.
The menu system is similar to the 40D so it was familiar territory navigating through it. The main difference aesthetically was the missing mode dial on top of the camera. Selecting your shooting modes is achieved by pressing an access button and scrolling through to the desired mode.

So far so good, but how would it perform in the field?

I was especially keen to try out the auto-focus in AI Servo mode and had just the candidate.
Marley is our Toy Poodle cross Italian Greyhound (otherwise known as a Pootalian ) who is deceptively quick.
I decided to take out my 40D and 1D with the 70-200mm f2.8 on alternating days. Having taken the 40D out on a few occasions I was aware of its AI Servo performance which is quite impressive, but I just wanted to get a side by side comparison.
One of the biggest advantages I found was the keeper rate of the 1D. This of course can’t be illustrated in the images so does need a mention.
A picture speaks a thousand words so I have of course attached several pictures of both outings.
The pictures with Marley without his coat were taken with the 1D. Although I was expecting the 1D to outperform the 40D, I was stunned with how good the autofocus system was on its default settings.
I have since tweaked the custom settings and look forward to seeing what improvements this may have initiated.
– Craig

Marley the Pootalian:

I wanted to add in a little disclaimer here, although I think the 1D is an absolute beast of a camera, I really wouldn’t be able to lug a chunk of gear like that around at a wedding all day. It really is heavy. Great for Craig, but for me the 5D Mark 2 is a sweet piece of kit. – Chanelle

  1. Leonel Teddick on March 18, 2010 at 1:57 pm

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  2. keV on April 22, 2010 at 7:09 am

    I agree with you since first holding my very first 1series body (1d) I won’t use anything else all other canon models feel like toys in my hands. I have large hands and shooting a wedding or motorcycle racing all day doesn’t bother me,I just love using the 1d mk3 I have.
    Wish I could afford the 1dmk4 but my mk3 does fine.


  3. Colin Osborne on August 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Cheers very much, I have found this info extremely good!

  4. ian adamson on December 25, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I have owned a 1D mk3 for just over a year and think it is a fantastic camera.Autofocus is very fast and accurate,image quality is superb.

  5. Jules Corry on June 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    This is my first response in a blog but I too am the proud owner of the EOS1D MKIII,and I LOVE IT!!!!.

    Prior to buying it I was using the EOS5D MKII and although the camera is very good and the resolution is second to none I found that the focus rate was too slow and the frames per second very poor for a semi-pro set up.

    So EOS1 range will be all I use moving forward and would be more than happy to use 2 of these moving forward.

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