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Canon EOS 1D Mark III

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140 186626 Mar 27, 2014
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90% of reviewers $3,709.91
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.73
8.63
9.3
1DmkIII

Specifications:
Canon's flagship EOS-1D Mark III is the most advanced EOS Digital SLR ever produced. It has a new 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensor (APS-H size) with Canon's EOS Integrated Cleaning System and a 3.0-inch LCD monitor with Canon's Live View technology. The 1D Mark III has a redesigned 100% viewfinder, a new 45-point AF system, and can shoot up to 10 fps continuously with a maximum burst of 110 shots. Dual "DIGIC III" Image Processors work in tandem to speed up every process while refining image quality; a new, lighter body has improved weather sealing and shutter durability. Every facet of the EOS experience has been enhanced with the 1D Mark III. It's the new standard.

- Entirely new 10.1 Megapixel Canon CMOS Sensor (APS-H size, 1.3x lens conversion factor), featuring the EOS Integrated Cleaning System

- World's fastest digital SLR: shooting up to 10 fps, with a burst rate up to 110 full-resolution JPEG images or 30 RAW images
- All new high-precision AF system with 19 user-selectable AF points and 26 additional "assist points"; superior low-light performance and faster operation

- New lighter body with enhanced weather resistance and outstanding reliability: featuring a shutter that's durability-tested to 300,000 exposures

- Dual "DIGIC III" Image Processors work with new CMOS sensors to produce superb image quality; new Highlight Tone Priority option adds control of bright highlights

- Large 3.0-inch LCD monitor, featuring Live View function

- Fully compatible with over 50 EF lenses and a wide range of EOS System accessories


 


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theved
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Registered: Apr 16, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 82
Review Date: May 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast AF, Low Light AF Tracking & Speed, Silky Images At All ISO's, High Contrast 3" LCD, Ergonomics, Dual Memory Card Slots, 14 Bit Goodness, 10FPS
Cons:
NONE!

After extensive testing of many brands and models of DSLR's, I decided to buy the 1D MK III. It's THE BEST SPORTS CAMERA PERIOD. 10FPS, freaky fast AF that locks even in low light, nothing touches it.

Also, as a side, Canon's lens selection is the best in the world, no contest. I know friends that briefly switched to Nikon only to be upset with the lens selection after being spoiled by Canon. When it comes to SLR cameras, the lens selection is as important as the camera itself.


May 12, 2008
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willis
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Registered: Jul 23, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 472
Review Date: May 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: AF speed and accuracy, image quality, high ISO quality, viewfinder, solidity, ergonomics, highly configurable, general responsiveness.
Cons:
Heavy and costly (bought post sub-mirror fix and latest firmware installed so no AF/tracking issues).

Coming from a 5D, I have been very satisfied with IQ. Fractionally less resolution but even better colour and high ISO. I get the impression DR is a bit wider.
General feel and responsiveness is on a whole new level and AF speed and accuracy is spectacular. Burst rate is faintly ridiculous! I've had no tracking problems since the latest firmware was installed and nothing I could really distinguish from user error even before the update. It just feels very high quality, does the job and inspires confidence that it can handle whatever you throw at it. Highly recommended.


May 7, 2008
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brianric
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Registered: Apr 6, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 83
Review Date: May 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,099.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Accurate focus, high ISO, clean noise.
Cons:
None

Without a doubt, best DSLR that I ever owned. SN 567xxx.

May 5, 2008
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neridah
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Registered: Jul 16, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 970
Review Date: May 4, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Ergonomic perfection speed durability a quality piece of equipment!!!
Cons:
LCD can be deceptive so look closer...to ensure sharpness

Nice upgrade however the colors and overall image quality do not compare to the 5D.

May 4, 2008
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no123one
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Registered: Apr 30, 2008
Location: N/A
Posts: 3
Review Date: Apr 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Blazingly fast AF, fantastic LCD, viewfinder, customizations, best IQ of any camera I've owned, clean high ISO's, best ergonomics to date
Cons:
none

After being a Nikon user for many years, I had planned to upgrade to the D3. I tried it in a local store and was not at all impressed with it's build or feel. Even the old D2 series was better. The vertical grip was especially clunky to use (and hard on my wrist)

So, I asked to try the new Canon 1D MK3 and was BLOWN away with it. It's like a piece of art, and head and shoulders above what I was used to on the Nikon side. I ditched my Nikon kit and couldn't be happier.

AF is faster and more accurate than anything I used on the Nikon side. It felt about 2x faster than the D3 I tried, and much faster than any of my previous D2x cameras.

The bonus is that Canon has a better lens lineup for me. And, prices for the Canon lenses are much cheaper than what is comparable for Nikon.

I'm glad I've seen the light and made the switch. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.



Apr 30, 2008
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studiom
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Registered: Feb 20, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,390.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image Quality, Build, Ergonomics, Low High ISO Noise, Frame Rate, Auto Focus
Cons:
LCD could be a little sharper for reviewing images..

After using this camera for a couple of weeks, I can say that as an all rounder this one is hard to beat. Superb image quality with good optics and fantastic low light noise performance make it incredibly versatile in many shooting situations. I have none of the servo focus issues that plagued early models so I can only say the auto focus is ridiculously fast and accurate. It's not cheap but you get a lot of camera for the money.

Apr 30, 2008
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crfrey71
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Registered: Nov 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 773
Review Date: Apr 21, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Solid shutter feel, color, clarity, low-noise at high ISO's
Cons:
AI Servo focusing, Buttons and functionality not consistent from the Mark II N body. The LCD screen resolution sucks.

I just rented this body for 3 days to shoot low-light, high school gymnasium lighting, with fast, erratic, fast-paced action...called winterguard (indoor colorguard), using only ambient lighting, with no strobes. Therefore, this camera really got put to the test. My review is mainly based on this subject, therefore, the focus of this review is specifically low-light, high-ISO action.

First off, the LCD screen on this body has to be the most annoying thing on the body. Nothing looks in precisely in focus on the screen. The colors look better than the Mark II N on the LCD screen.

I hate how you delete images. It is 180 backwards from the mark II N.

I like where the ISO is placed on the camera. Why didn't they put the same ISO button on the portrait shutter side? Those two shutter areas should mirror each other, IMO.

What happened to the WB button that I like using on the Mark II N?

I heard great things about how much better this camera was vs. the Mark II N for low light action. I have to say that it isn't much better at all. It does a fine job acquiring focus. At a close distance, it seems to struggle tracking. I set everything up like I would have on my Mark II N. I shot both bodies and I used the same 200mm f2.8 lens like I have done many times on the mark II N for this subject.

Image quality, I think the Mark III is cleaner and nice colors. But, I think my Mark II N produces consistently sharper photos.

I also like the feel of the shutter on the mark III. Feels more solid than the Mark II N's.

If I am a Mark II N owner, I would pass on this body until canon comes out with a newer edition.


Apr 21, 2008
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jonbrach
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Registered: Dec 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 896
Review Date: Apr 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality,speed,IQ,low light focus,high ISO performance,battery life,improved layout compared to markII,terrific IQ
Cons:
the whole soap opera with the servo AF issue

I decided to wait to review the markIII because of all of the turmoil regarding the servo AF and because I wanted to make sure I was describing a unit that had the sub mirror fix along with the firmware fix.....for background let me state that i did not experience the problems spoken of before the fix and have had no problems to speak of since.I have owned the markII and currently own the 40d as well as the 5d....the markIII is the best camera I have owned without question and the only criticism I might put forth is that the price given the market today is probably a bit too high...that said,I do recognize that if one had gotten a unit that didnt function properly I understnd that they would not feel quite the same way...I can only comment upon my personal experience.I also do beleive that the markIII has become the most scrutinized camera ever and as a result will probably always have a stigma attached to it...

Apr 13, 2008
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shooterg
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Registered: Apr 12, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 101
Review Date: Apr 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fastest, most accurate autofocus I've ever used, brilliant color, great dynamic range
Cons:
None

After a bad experience with a Nikon D3, I tried my first Canon, the 1D MKIII. WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT. The focus was blazingly fast, much faster than the D3 I had used for low light. Buttons were laid out better, especially things like ISO.

IQ from this beast is second to none. Much more lifelike than the D3 or any Olympus cams I have used before. Out of camera the images are insanely sharp. Also, noise at high ISO's is non existent.

Highly recommended.


Apr 12, 2008
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Gijs
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Registered: Dec 3, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 687
Review Date: Mar 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great IQ, build, viewfinder, menu structure, battery life, spread of AF points.
Cons:
Not possible to evaluate critical sharpness on LCD (too few pixels), AF not as faultless as hoped, danger of accidentally changing settings.

In many ways this is the great camera that it looks to be based on its specs. The image quality is fantastic, especially noticeable at lower ISOs. Very little sharpening is required for tack sharp and detailed images, so there is little danger of artifacts showing up. Even at high ISOs there is a lot of headway when making parts of the image lighter in post processing. At high ISO, I get maybe a 2/3 stop advantage over my 20D in terms of noise. ISO 3200 is now useful in most situations for newspaper and magazine publications.

The menu is just great. My Menu is very useful and I also love the fact that the camera remembers the function you last selected in each menu tab, so little scrolling is necessary. Battery life is very long. So long, in fact, that I sometimes forget to check it. But the indicator of the percentage of battery charge remaining is very useful.

The 1.3 crop factor has many advantages for me. I use the 19 AF points very often, especially when shooting portraits or when tracking a subject in AI-servo mode. Due to the crop factor, the AF points are spread out more than they would be in a full-frame 1DS. The range of the 16-35mm lens on this camera is great for photojournalism and the 70-200 lenses still have plenty of range too.

My main complaint is the low resolution of the LCD, or that of the images displayed on it. It's still impossible to evaluate critical sharpness which is very annoying if you're out shooting and you want to know if you nailed the perfect shot already or that you need to keep trying.
AF performance in both One Shot and AI Servo is good, but not perfect. It may have something to do with the AF issue, for which my camera will be sent to Canon because its serial number is within the possibly affected range. Despite the inconvenience that this brings, I must say that I'm very pleased with the way the repair facility has treated me so far. Even though I'm no CPS member, the camera will be picked up at my house by a courier service and delivered back within a week.


Mar 24, 2008
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pc168
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Registered: Mar 9, 2007
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent IQ, noise control and body build! High fps. Very good battery life. Structured menu system layout, Mymenu is great. 1.3x crop factor is very handy, a good standard between FF and APS-C.
Cons:
10.1 million pixels seems a bit small. Back LCD display resolution not high enough. Anyway, these negative aspsects are negligible.

Considered to get a used 1D Mark II n or even 1Ds. At last, I decided to get something with current technologies like Digic III, 14 bit A/D conversion, sensor dust cleaning.

It's too bad early batches have AF issue ... QC issue! My copy was manufactured in Jan 2008 and AF performance is pretty impressive. Images are Sharp, Sharp, Sharp! My recommendation is, try not to be early adopters.



Mar 11, 2008
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pixelda
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Registered: Sep 4, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: The obvious - frame rate, sensor quality, especially at high ISO, customisabilitym good battery life, nice Raw images - the not so obvious, 14 bit sensor, dual cards, easy to operate, not as heavy as expected it to feel, easier to learn than I expected. Camera recognised as a device in Vista x64 - you can even view images in Windows Browser. Live view image visible on a PC - Raw files at 14 bit work well for HDR images compared to 12 bit Raw on earlier cameras
Cons:
After a few weeks, dust and hairs visible in the viewfinder/pentaprism. Expensive battery

I've previously owned a 30D, and the 1D now partners my 5D. I can put the 17-40mm f4L and 35mm f1.4L on the 5D for wide angle, and the longer lenses on the 1D for longer work.

Weight is less of an issue than I expected, coming from the 5D, the menu system isn't that much different, and easier to get my around than I expected too. If you are in a hurry to set the camera up with a rarely used option, you might struggle to do it quickly, and some of the button combinations could be better - one extra button on each side of the the top of the camera would have solve some of this.

Quality is slightly ahead of the 5D, but given the age of the 5D now, it isn't streets ahead on standard or flash shots.

The RAW files are generally pleasing, with little work required to bring out the full glory. I got a Canon certified camera, and AF has been accurate and consistent on servo, although not 100% on one-shot in low light (switching to servo mode solved that issue) with the 24-70mm f2.8 L.

It's difficult to pick out any major issues for use in my (amateur) work - a hard working pro might find a few.

At less than half the price of a 1Ds, 10 MPixels will be suffient for most, especialy for sports, where the gattling gun 10fps is desirable. I managed to shoot 50 frames in 5 seconds before the buffer filled, and even then, 3-5 shot bursts every recond were still possible as the buffer emptied.

Not tried the dust delete data yet, or bothered to verify lens data for focusing - results achieved so far are OK

The overall rating wasn't worth 10. I knocked off a point for the minor niggles - Canon - get these issues sorted for the next version - this is all minor design stuff that has no real production impact - get more feedback from users than you do currently.

Sample images
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelda/2279056885/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelda/2276886423/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelda/2270740815/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelda/2268161791/


Feb 22, 2008
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drisley
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Registered: Jul 12, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1527
Review Date: Feb 17, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super fast and accurate auto focus even in almost complete darkness, beautiful colour accurate LCD that's viewable even in bright daylight, extremely low noise at any ISO, near perfect exposure metering, micro adjustment for auto focus, MY MENU, silver hotshoe, build and ergonomics, 14 bit goodness make files more editable, best dynamic range of any DSLR, wonderful colour rendition, extremely customizable menus, and on and on
Cons:
no more 2 button AF on back (like the MK2), but I don't believe any other brand has this either

Superb, beats almost every camera out there in almost every respect, save for the 1DS MKIII. This high serial, blue dot, camera was $1500 less than the cheapest D3 price I could find so it was a no brainer.
This camera has made me happier than any other DSLR I've used.
It makes the Nikons that I've tried feel like toys.
I highly recommend it!



Feb 17, 2008
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LincolnRogers
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Registered: Aug 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 178
Review Date: Jan 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great auto-white balance AI. Love the super-fast frame rate. Solid keeper ratio in low-light shooting conditions.
Cons:
AI Servo seems to lose a bit of quickness (keeper ratio goes down) when battery is below 50%.

I waited until I really put the camera through its paces before writing this review. I just finished photographing the $40,000 Grand Pix and the championship round of rodeo action at the historic National Western Stock Show in Denver, where the lighting conditions for action photography are not ideal, to say the least.

I am thoroughly impressed with the low-light, high ISO performance and capabilities of this camera. I was able to shoot at 1600-2000 ISO (using 70-200mm f2.8 IS) with ZERO qualms about image performance (and my ability to tweak the images using Photoshop Elements) and send them along to magazines and websites for use along with my articles and columns.

The 10 FPS is awesome for being able to capture peak action, and the white balance AI is impressive. I need to move from one arena to another in order to capture events at the stock show, and the AI nailed the white balance no matter what type of overhead lighting was in use. I had to color correct my images all the time when I used the 20D, not so with this puppy! Some of my photographer buddies using Nikons were pleasantly envious of the 10 fps burst performance (the guys using other Canons just drooled!). They were getting 1-2 shots of peak action for my three shots. That extra 1-2 shots creates a better chance for hitting the perfect action moment.

On the real-world experience side of things, I can say out of about 700 images shot during the rodeo championship round, I had to delete less than 70 due to AI Servo focus mishits (for a 90+% keeper ratio in difficult lighting conditions with action photography). With my 20D, I usually had to delete about 40% of the images. Needless to say, I am quite pleased.

The only downside I have noticed so far is that the AI Servo mode seems to lose a bit of quickness in nailing the focus in low-light conditions when the battery is at less than 50%. I haven't noticed anything other than that, however.

I highly recommend this camera for sports shooters. You won't be disappointed.


Jan 29, 2008
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Alex2008
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Registered: Jan 24, 2008
Location: Belarus
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros:
Cons:

A very good camera.
I had semi-switched from Nikon to Canon with the purchase of this camera. Despite reports over focusing issues, I haven't had any real problems with it. The frame rate and high ISO on it is phenomenal. Anyone whose wanting a pro-caliber camera, this unit and the Nikon D3 are, in my opinion, ought to be the top 2 choices. Having used both cameras, I have to give Nikon the nod because of its 9-fps burst at FULL frame, slightly lower noise level at high ISO, and a more accurate auto white balance. Nevertheless, the Mark III is a fantastic camera. Shooting with both Canon & Nikon is like dating a blonde & brunette at the same time. :o)


Jan 24, 2008
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BA31Driver
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Registered: Dec 24, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 549
Review Date: Jan 17, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Build quality, ergonomics, high iso performance, dynamic range, low light AF performance, and more to discover. 3 stops of flash exposure compensation is nice.
Cons:
Clumsey AF point selection, extra card slot should be for another CF card, not SD.

After years of reading many of these reviews on many different cameras and lenses, I was never interested in posting one myself until my experience with the 1Dmk3. Years ago I was bit by the 1-series bug with my EOS-1s, and the side effects included wanting more L lenses to build the arsenal. I've owned two 20Ds, and a 40D, but they just didn't quench my thirst for a pro-build camera. Though no camera is perfect, this one I still consider the best I have ever used or owned. I had tried one out at the store (a pre blue dot machine), with a 35f1.4L, and after viewing the results at home, saw absolutely no AF issues. I later took a blue dot machine for a test flight, and bought it after reviewing the results on my monitor at home. The following weekend used it for my last wedding of 2007, and it performed flawlessly. AF was bang-on in lower light than I had used my 40D, and the keeper rate was better. On the 40D I couldn't trust the AF points (other than the center, and center-top); all the ones on the sides for holding vertically back focused almost every shot in brighter light than where the 1Dmk3 never missed a mark with any of it's AF points. ISO 3200 is as good as iso 1600 was on the 40D, maybe even better. I do a lot of photography for our church during services (so being flashless is necessary) with my 1Dmk3/70-200f2.8 IS, and this combo is perfect. My 24-70L is now more usable that on the 40D, gaining back some wide angle ability, and using f2.8 on these lenses looks better. Battery life per charge has been great, I've only charged my first battery once, and that was on the 21st of December; it's still going (today is 17 Jan 08). The sensor has only been cleaned once out of the box, and I've been changing lenses in places I chose not to with my 20Ds; I just hate dealing with dust!!! It's EVIL! Though I'm still carefull with how/where I change a lens, the Dust Removal system works great. Choosing other AF points is clumsier than the 20/40Ds, but not enough for me to lower my score below '10'. I have no interest/use in Live View at all. I've tried the AI Servo mode, only because I was curious. I'd never tried it on my 20/40Ds. It was on easy subjects, using 70-200f2.8L with 1.4x, the keeper rate was very high. Some other time I'll test it out in more demanding conditions. Despite Canon's blunder in how they handled the AF issue, both bodies I tried were perfect. Dynamic range is better than the 40D, and I wish Canon would do the same as Nikon in making both card slots for CF cards. After using this camera, it would be very difficult to settle for anything less, and I'm looking forward to getting my 2nd body.....which won't be soon enough!

(haven't even opened the manual yet..... yes, I'm a man, and I can change, if I have too, ...... I guess)


Jan 17, 2008
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Canon EOS 1D Mark III

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
140 186626 Mar 27, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $3,709.91
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.73
8.63
9.3
1DmkIII


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