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Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

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50 87391 Aug 27, 2013
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94% of reviewers $6,422.32
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.87
8.09
9.6
1dsmk3

Specifications:
The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III is an engineering tour de force which, true to the EOS-1 legacy, redefines the state of the art in no uncertain terms. An entirely new 21.1-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor delivers astounding image quality and creates new photographic possibilities. Dual "DIGIC III" Image Processors work in tandem to speed up data handling and camera operation, while further refining imaging performance. Tough, high-durability body and shutter designs, combined with the unique EOS Integrated Cleaning System, set new standards for professional dependability. Cutting-edge features-such as a large 3.0-inch LCD monitor with Live View Function, and a fast, precise 45-point AF system-make the EOS-1Ds Mark III powerful and versatile. And, of course, the EOS-1Ds Mark III is part of the unparalleled EOS System, which, with more than 50 EF lenses, 15 interchangeable focusing screens, and extensive wireless remote control and lighting accessories, is the most advanced and powerful digital photography system in the world.

Superb image quality: entirely new 21.1 Megapixel Full-Frame Canon CMOS Sensor, Highlight Tone Priority, and 14-bit A/D conversions for outstanding color tones.

Dual "DIGIC III" Image Processor for excellent image quality and processing speed.

Live View Function capabilities, displayed on the large 3.0-inch LCD monitor.

Outstanding durability thanks to a shutter durability-tested to 300,000 cycles, dust- and water-resistant design, and EOS Integrated Cleaning System.

Up to 5 fps, burst rate up to 12 consecutive RAW images or 56 full-resolution JPEGs, and compatible with newest UDMA high-speed CF cards.

Fast and precise AF system, with 19 high-precision, cross-type AF points with f/2.8 or faster lenses and 26 additional "Assist Points."

Compatible with wireless file transmitter WFT-E2A, extensive remote control accessories, and 15 different interchangeable Ec-series focus screens.


 


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tech058
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Registered: Dec 24, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 28
Review Date: Apr 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,999.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Low Noise, Live View (great for product work)
Cons:

I upgraded to the 1Ds Mark III from the 1Ds Mark II. The MkII was a fantastic body and the MkIII is just as fantastic and more.

Upgraded menus and controls. Set button and thumb stick like the 5D.

The greatest feature of this camera is the Live View. If you do a lot of product/studio/still life work - live view is a must have. It allows you to setup your shot and see it in real time (like a video camera) and what you see is exactly what you get. One shot and its a keeper.

ISO 3200 is very usable without post processing.

21mp is noticeably greater than 16.7 but I wouldn't pay the $$$ for that alone.

My only complaint is - I wish it had ISO 6400 or 12800.


Apr 23, 2008
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mttran
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Registered: Nov 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6855
Review Date: Apr 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Best Old King
Cons:
None

N/T

Apr 19, 2008
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Sneakyracer
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Registered: Mar 24, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2658
Review Date: Apr 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,999.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Mark III build quality / design, features and battery system. Superb. Image quality, in all aspects, color accuracy, depth, dynamic range, resolution, low noise etc. Customizing options extensive.
Cons:
High cost

The 1Ds mark III is a superb camera. Canon improved image quality in more ways than just resolution. Color accuracy was improved and specially color depth and dynamic range is better than any Canon to date IMHO (Ive used the 1Ds mk2 and owned the 5D and 1Dmk2 since they were introduced). The new battery and charger system is much better, tad smaller and much lighter and lasts forever it seems. The camera has many custom options making it very easy to customize it to your needs. Its easy to navigate the new menus too. Build quality is very nice too, the rubber covering seems nicer than the mk2, smoother but still grippy same with the other surface material. The camera really grows on you the more you use it.

AF performance so far has been awesome. Really fast initial lock and tracking. It focuses with authority even in very low light.

In short, even without the resolution improvements the camera would still be worth it. Used in the lower res jpg modes image quality is still superb, use the camera in raw with good light / technique and WOW.


Apr 16, 2008
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XC90
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Registered: Mar 9, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: My upgrade from the 5D, it feels perfect in the hand, nice controls, having Canons for 30 years 6 with digital i'm used to their quirks.Batteries so much better.
Cons:
Not keen on the separate card issue, would have preferred both of the same. Of course the mirror up no instant button still!. No optional rear screen protector. A secondary AA battery holder as in my 1n just in case!>

First impressions its heavy for a 35mm but then iv'e been humping around a Pentax 67 and its a baby by comparison. having started with the 10D and then the 5D for the full frame and speed not important as with the lll
as I take lanscapes most of the time the 1Ds lll seemed the logical progression, i also upgraded all my lenses although all L they were getting on a bit and hearing the lll dosn't take any prisoners with regard to none up to standard lenses it was in for a penny so to speak.Thats the good bit.
The first 50 or so images were fine, in the next 30 I noticed on screen the images were full of very bright dots and when enlarged they were square as in pixel form. I rang Canon Service Centre and although they new what the problem was they would not commit themselves and say outright.
So add another 23.0 to post it off to them and see what is forthcoming.
They only have one bite of the cherry with me, if it goes back again they keep it. So its along with the 5D for a bit.
Sorry there is not much else I can say at present about the lll.
I have often wondered just how much these cameras are really tested before the release them on the public.


Apr 15, 2008
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KeithPride
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Registered: Apr 10, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Love the layout, large display battery life and the ability to use CF and SD cards.
Cons:
Initial cost.

Comparing with my 5D.
Much larger everything. Including a battery that seems to last all day long. Love the huge RAW and JPEG files. The (M1) medium JPEG's are bigger than the 5D Large JPEG's. All that real estate makes cropping usable images better.
AF works well in poor lighting. One nice feature is the focus adjustment. I had dropped a 24-70 lens some time ago onto concrete - breaking the filter, but the lens seemed to be fine. after testing and adjusting the focus point - It turns out the lens was slightly out of focus, which the M3 took care of.
ISO button makes changes quick & easy. I also like the menu navigation better. Oh yea, love that auto sensor clean.
I'll put her through a season of weddings and I can already tell it's going to be great!
Added a 4G SD, 8GB & 16GB CF. It's also so handy to write RAW to the CF and JPEG's to the SD.

Live view - eh.

Very nice. No regret.


Apr 10, 2008
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Stono
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Registered: Dec 4, 2005
Location: Norway
Posts: 1
Review Date: Apr 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $8,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lots of pixels = lots of details. Better pixel per pixel quality when compared to my 1ds MarkII (now my backup camera). Clear and sharp, nice colors. Less noise than the 1ds MarkII. Simply superb!
Cons:
None yet.

The 1ds MarkIII is very demanding with respect to optics, so be ready to buy really serious lenses. Not even all L-lenses will do (only about 50 % of my 13 L-lenses can deliver when mounted on the Mark III). But the details and sharpness are very, very impressing when shooting with Canon 500mm f4 IS, Canon 300 mm IS f2.8, Canon 135mm f2, Canon 90mm Tilt/shift, and Canon 180 mm (macro). The 16-35mm MarkII does well too (when stepped down 3 stops). - If you are a sharpness and detail freak you'll love this camera!!

Apr 5, 2008
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sejanus
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Registered: Jan 16, 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1060
Review Date: Mar 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: image quality, colours, metering, AF speed & accuracy
Cons:
AF point selection methods clumsy at best

Great camera. Noticeable step up in dynamic range from 5D's. The metering is superb, with barely any need to use exp compensation when in evaluative. Excellent results up to and including 1600 iso.

Has improved my in focus percentage as well, particularly at wide apertures. AF is very accurate and fast.

Though I intend to use raw mostly, the jpegs are top quality as well. AWB works very well.


Mar 30, 2008
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D.K. Owens
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Registered: May 6, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 18
Review Date: Mar 10, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: See an earlier posting
Cons:

The camera is awesome. One thing that becomes noticible is that any flaws in one's subject will be readily revealed by this camera's resolution. For the average phtographer, the use of all 21.1 megapixels may not ever be utilized to the max.
Noise is a non-entity on this camera and the fact that its max fps outut is 5, what we have here is a tool that competes across the board with its sibling, the 1D Mk3 and the Nikon D3 (boasting 9fps max reso).
Get a high capacity CF and SD cards; its very easy to fill them up being out on a full day's shoot. I found that the Lexar 8GB 300x handles the large files and bufferring with ease.
Image quality is an issue that will only come into play for those employing non-pro glass. I highly recommend everything and or anything in the prime lens "L" family. Zooms that don't boast the "L" quality character will result in less than satisfying photographs. the 16-36mm f/2.8, the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8 make for a great "basic" kit. Specialized glass, such as the 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.2, 135mm f/2.0 and the 300mm f/2.8 are capable of producing dream images. I have blown myself away with the pix and prints shot with some of these lenses. There's what someone called a "wow effect" wih this camera that just drives the optic nerve wild with excitement.

Try it, you'll like it!




Mar 10, 2008
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D.K. Owens
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Registered: May 6, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 18
Review Date: Mar 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,999.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: This camera does what most could not imagine a short time ago: provide the resolution of a medium format camera. Major improvement from the 1Ds Mk2 in terms of ease of use, screen size and handling.
Cons:
While an inch larger, the screen's resolution is not upgraded from its predecessor. Given the cost of this behemoth, Canon should've offerred a bit more than 230k dots.



Mar 10, 2008
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Andy Bennetts
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Registered: Aug 17, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent ergonomics. Speed of operation. Big files allow for serious cropping without loss of quality - you can crop 2/3 of the image, and you've still got 7mp to play with. Battery life excellent. Very solid construction. Big instruction book & big learning curve, but nearly all positive so far (in 6 weeks)
Cons:
Needs really good glass. Canon don't have any wide angle primes between 14mm and 24mm in the L series - get moving guys and make something around 18mm. Cover on extension system terminal came unscrewed - it should be tethered like the other covers on the camera body.

I came to this camera from Contax N Digital + a bunch of Zeiss lenses. I decided to sell the ND while it was still worth something & took the plunge into the Canon system.
Very pleased with the decision for a number of reasons -
Fast autofocus (I'm comparing with a 5 year old camera remember)
Focus tracking is great & I have had no problems with out of focus shots like 1D markIII.
Iso has a great usable range compared with the ND.
Microfocus adjustment for lenses is very useful, but my 24-70 zoom is out of adjustment at +20, and still isn't quite right. It's going back to Canon under warranty to be "tweaked".
70-200 f2.8 is a belter and matches the camera well (microadjusted to +13).
Disappointed in the lack of a good wide angle L series prime lens. Zeiss are reknown for wide angle quality, and the 24-70 isn't as good as my Zeiss 24-85, particularly in handling lens flare.
I also have a 17-35mm Zeiss, and could get it converted, but I nearly always used it at the 17mm end, so an L prime of around 18mm would be a good replacement.
It's a lot of money for a camera, but it's a lot of camera for the money - I'm well pleased with the purchase.


Mar 6, 2008
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Henry Goh
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Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 91
Review Date: Mar 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,999.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Huge file size allows for big prints. Large viewfinder. Good balance and weight. Fast focus acquisition.
Cons:
None that I can attribute to the camera

After shooting Nikon for the past 38 years, I finally bought a Canon 5D and several lenses 2 months ago. Once I found the files to my taste, I decided to buy the 1Ds MKIII. Its has been a very satisfying journey.

There are small nuances that I would have love to borrow from Nikon but overall, I am truly blissful with my 1Ds MKIII. I was on the verge of buying a medium format back for months but now with this 21.1Mp camera, that lust has disappeared. I'm able to blow my files up to 50 inches without any degradation. It will probably enlarge further but I have not tried it.

I also find ergonomics to beas good as on the Nikon D2 series.

If there is any disappointment it lies with Canon's range of wide angle lenses, especially good wide primes. At the moment I have resorted to using 25mm Zeiss Distagon with an adaptor. I may have to buy a 21mm Distagon but I really want wide Canon AF primes in the 14 to 24 mm range to be of better design. Even my Nikon 28mm f/1.4 works beautifully on this camera.


Mar 1, 2008
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brainiac
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Registered: Nov 21, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 7524
Review Date: Feb 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Image quality: tone/latitude/detail/deep noiseless shadows. No colour median filter like Nikons. Viewfinder usable. sRaw. Liveview.
Cons:
Joystick can't select AF-point. No usable C-mode i.e. comprehensive settings memory. No AF in Liveview. No is 6400 setting. No white balance display on top-plate. No dedicated white-balance button. No auto iso. My first copy had a problem that looked like red fogging in the corners using high iso in low light on continuous drive. The big scroll wheel has just died on my second copy, after only 2 months.

It's a great camera - the best image quality currently available by some margin. I may have been unlucky with reliability.

Feb 12, 2008
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mshowalter
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Registered: Dec 8, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Feb 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,999.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: I've just had the 1DsMKIII camera for a week. I've had a 1DMKII for the last three years. There is only a shallow learning curve compared to the 1DMKII(as opposed to a steeper learning curve from the 5D for another reviewer). So far, I've had no problems, the focus is spot-on with my 70-200 L IS, 24-70 L, and 85 1.2 L MKI. I also shot some bald eagles with my 500 f4 L IS and the images revealed amazing detail and sharpness even with BIF, and even though this camera wasn't meant for that, it does give a great deal of croppability when you can't get as close to the wildlife as you'd like, and you can leave the bird slightly smaller in the frame and leave room for wing spread if the birds takes flight from a perch and still have enough resolution for a great print. The battery was excellent and I suspect the first reviewer has some difficulty with camera or battery. I took 1900 pictures in 20 degree F weather(on 2 sec review, no liveview, AI servo AF) and the battery still showed full. The buffer filled up a little fast when I was birding, but 12 RAW and 5fps wasn't bad, and with 3-5 frame bursts at frequent intervals only saturated the buffer twice. This camera is lighter than my 1dMKII. I shot the 500 handheld for a number of shots, although it's a handfull. I haven't checked the viewfinder allignment(known problem on sev. forums) with the liveview in a controlled fashion, but did not notice horizons being off, but I can't speak to that definitively. Spectacular landscapes with the 24L. I mostly do senior pics and weddings, and this camera is somewhat overkill for weddings, but some of the bridal portraits are inspiring. I'm debating on a 16-35mm 2.8 II vs a Nikon 14-24 with adapter to go really wide. File sizes are very large. I have a Buffalo 1.5 terabyte raid 1, so storage won't be a problem for a little while. Lightroom and photoshop handle the files fine but slows them down some(1:1 previews in lightroom were very slow). Transfer from 8GB delkin 305x UDMA(holds ~330) card with Delkin cardbus 32 udma is fast. Colors are accurate. There is a "kinda" 3d or wow effect with pics. This camera is a dream for me. It's built like a tank and performs flawlessly. I've rambled on enough. Will know more after a little more time with the camera.
Cons:
Almost nothing. Usual: price(ouch) and no MLU button, but I'll probably die before we see the latter(Why would Canon want to be so difficult on such an easily accomplished thing?). You can place MLU on "my menu" where it's fairly quick to get to. The sensor cleaner is a little annoying(3 sec on startup and shutdown) but is overridden by any button so you can shoot immediately and you can turn it off by menu item.



Feb 7, 2008
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davidmarsh
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Registered: Oct 26, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 140
Review Date: Jan 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: great quality all round, crisp, good colours, increadible clarity, good build
Cons:
battery problems

I wondered if any users of the 1DS Mark III may have had any problems with battery life. My 1DS tends to just die after taking only a hand full of images. I have used two new batteries made by canon. Am I the only one?

Jan 27, 2008
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mbailey
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Registered: Apr 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 333
Review Date: Jan 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,999.94 | Rating: 10 

Pros: 1. Built like a tank. 2. Great user inferface. 3. Great iso performance for given resolution/pixel size. 4. Weather sealed. 5.Large viewscreen. 6.Very customizable. 7. UDMA support. 8. 5fps. 9. Super fast accurate focusing. 10. Awesome viewfinder. 11. fantastic resolution. 12. AF microadjustment (IMO, the best new feature) 13. too many others to list...
Cons:
1. Stout learning curve from 5D. 2. Cost 3. Raw files about choke my computer. 4. No mirror lock-up button. 5. No quick way to change white balance. 6. Heavy, but does not feel any heavier than a 5D with grip and 2 batteries.

An excellent camera, but one that took me a few days for transition. The interface is excellent (alot like the 5D) but it took me a while to get all settings customized to my shooting and familiarize myself with the camera before I could get the results I was accustomed to with the 5D. The AF is a significant step up from the 5D (duh). I suspect it is on par with what one would expect from a 1-series body (this is my first).
The images are nothing short of breath taking in their detail (even at iso 1600-3200). Though I may need a new computer to efficiently process RAW images. These monsters range from 20-35MB and can take a minute or so to sharpen or convert one on my system. They consume alot of hard drive space as well but I knew all this before buying.
The feature that makes this purchase really exciting is the micro AF adjustment feature. I have gone through most of my lenses now and have found some room for improvement in nearly all of them. Now the images are just that much sharper.
I should mention the UDMA support being significant given the file sizes. If you are considering this camera I would recommend the fastest card you can get you hands on. I bought the Sandisk Bugatti 8GB card. I noticed I can fire 14 RAW images before the buffer fills compared to 12 advertised by Canon. The 5 fps will probably satisfy many action situations but not for the die hard sports photographer.
Iam very pleased with the camera. It should exceed my needs for the forseeable future.


Jan 6, 2008
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dave chilvers
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Registered: Jan 11, 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1691
Review Date: Dec 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Feels lighter and more ergonomic in your hands.
Cons:
None so far

I`ve had the 1dsmk1, 1dsmk2 and now the mk3 version. My wife has heard me say this before but this now could actually be the one that sticks with me. Apart from the huge outlay each time, this new model is capable of results that I used to get using 6x7 with drum scans.( not scientifically, but visually)
I think that Canon has made just enough changes to the menu system and layout of functions to make this a worth while upgrade and the increase of resolution puts the icing on the cake. The screen size is now big enough to view the histograms along side the image without the need for reading glasses and although still a fairly low res against some of the latest offerings it does seem to be better out in daylight. The inclusion of the ISO button up by the shutter release is a marked improvement as you can change settings without taking the camera away from your eye. I found it easier to manual focus my Contax 28 and 50mm lenses without any extra aids like split image focus screen. Battery life is just a huge step up from before and being able to tell the camera what to do with regards the CF and SD cards is superb. I`ve put a set of protective clear plastic covers over the lcd and the two other readout panels because the size of the main lcd must make it more prone to damage.Write speeds are well up on par with the mk2 which is good when you consider the size of the files( I shoot raw+ j peg)
No MLU button again (I think Canon are just digging their heels in on this one)
Image Quality wise, after 2000 or so images I am very happy. Maybe some cameras might have less noise or go higher in the ISO range( I don`t know I haven`t compared) but what I do know is that the files can be manipulated more than before without falling apart and the extra headroom for cropping is really nice to have. When you get the exposure right the colours are really good and I`m sure I`m seeing more DR without having the highlight tone turned on. I haven`t tried the high speed focus tracking out(thats not what this cameras is aimed at and I don`t shoot images along those lines) but general AF seems to be right on the button and of course you do have the ability to fine tune your lenses if you need to. Viewfinder is as good as I`ve used over many years of camera use going back 35 years or more.
How does it match up against my 1dsmk2? It`s not a massive jump up and in general feels a lot like the mk2 to handle. IQ is a step up( not massively) but it is better and of course higher pixel count gives you more scope. At the end of the day it should be about taking and getting the image in the bag and both cameras are well capable of superb results but when you put all the upgrades together from the mk3 it is a much nicer bit of kit to use. Is it worth the high price? Well, what can you do? if you want the camera you has to pay the man the money. I`m seeing an improvement in the images I`ve taken with mine, it`s nicer and easier to use so for me I have no regrets what so ever.


Dec 21, 2007
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Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
50 87391 Aug 27, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $6,422.32
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.87
8.09
9.6
1dsmk3


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