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Canon EOS 1D Mark III

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142 220671 Mar 25, 2018
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90% of reviewers $3,709.91
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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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Registered: Jun 3, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 2000
Review Date: Mar 25, 2018 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Spot metering
10 megapixels fall short. Way short.

I use this as a second body for ice hockey. It works but unfortunately 10 megapixels misses the mark with this APS-H 1.3x crop body.

I should have bought a 1D Mark IV instead.

Mar 25, 2018
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Registered: Jan 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 293
Review Date: Nov 5, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast AF, great ISO performance, build quality, 10 FPS, battery life, responsive, price, customization, etc.
resolution, weight

Fast and accurate AF. I have owned several 1D3, serial number ranging from within recall to out of recall range. None has any AF problem. I feel the AF problem was largely exaggerated by the Internet.

Great ISO performance - I did side by side comparison between 5D Mark II and the two are extremely close at 100%. And it is much better than 1Ds II and 1D II. I shoot regularly at ISO 1600 - 2000, and the images are wonderful.

Burst rate is amazing, allowing me to capture a lot of precious moments.

Battery life is unbelievable! I got more than 1700 shots on a charge from a battery that has been used for more than 3 years.

Nov 5, 2014
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Registered: Dec 22, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 460
Review Date: Mar 27, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: great IQ, fast AF, 10fps, incredible battery life, great value for current price
would have liked ISO up to 12800 and 1/3 ISO settings from 3200 to 6400

I come to this battery after shooting a 1Dmk2 and 1Dmk2n for the past 5 years.. I shoot a lot of wildlife including birds in flight, as well as Sports, both indoors and out and under a lot of artificial lighting. I have had this body for 4 months and have shot 10,000 plus shots so far.

My thoughts so far...
1. this has been a very good step up from the 1Dmk2n which is a very capable camera. The Af seems to be faster and more accurate the images seem to be more vibrant, I really like to IQ with this camera. 10 fps vs 8 fps is no big difference for me both are great. The higher ISO capabilities of the mk3 are much better then the mk2n. I feel very comfortable shooting wildlife at ISO 1200 compared to 400 or maybe 640 for the MK2n. Inside sports at 3200 for newsprint is just fine. The LION battery is a huge improvement.

2. This is a specialty camera! for action! It is not full frame and I like the 1.3 crop for the work I do, but it is not for everyone. It is 10mp which will give you beautiful 20 x 30 prints if you nail the shot! But don't expect 24 or 36 mp detail.

3. like all cameras it takes time to learn all the capabilities and fine tune for your needs and abilities. With that said I have 20-30 % more keeper images (nice sharp images) then with my 1Dmk2n, I find that the AF keeps up with sports quite well as well as wildlife. Depending on the circumstances I may get 70 % keepers. My thoughts are the AF is limited more by my abilities. Photographers who claim 80-100 % keeper rates have great technique and have been shooting action for a long time. So be aware that you keeper rate should be really good with this camera and should improve as you learn to fine tune the camera and your technique.

My experience so far has been great here is a link to some shots...all the wildlife in this set are with the MK3[email protected]/sets/72157640321083413/

For under $1000 this is a great value, there were some AF issues with early versions which got this body a very bad rep, those were fixed early on so do a little research on that you should find that you can get an excellent copy of this camera with a lot of life less.

Canon website has info on SN range of affected bodies as well as a list of fixed bodies, not to mention they will still perform the AF fix for free.

Mar 27, 2014
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Registered: Jan 13, 2014
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jan 13, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 


This camera is my first 'real' camera and I must say I have struggled finding what would be the best camera for a good price. Indeed, I wanted to shoot sport while still being able to shoot weddings in low light situations. 5D Mark II was quite a good choice at that time for weddings but the AF problem was too big of an issue for fast-moving sports (football here). I tested the 5D II and really saw big problems with the AF right away. The 7D was also a great alternative but I could not like the way the noise was wasting the pictures.
I was not really into the highest MP count so the 1D III was also an option I did not let behind. I would have also considered the 1D4 but the price tag was too high for me.
With its AF problems, the 1DIII really gave good price for what it is, considering you just take care about wheither the body you get is in the problematic series.
In the end, I got a second-hand body which was not in the problematic series and anyway taken to customer service to check any AF problems.

This camera is really a great 1D body for a wonderful price tag. I would never trade it for another body because the MP count is enough for my photos, I love its noise and it gets high enough in the ISO for what I need.

Some arena football (european style) shot with this camera:

Jan 13, 2014
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Registered: Feb 3, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 2027
Review Date: Mar 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: speed, focus, solid build, built in grip, beautiful files, easy to post process RAW shots, Battery lasts for ages
noise of shutter is a bit loud, 10 megapixels although I'm not sure its that much of a con really

I decided to get this camera after struggling with my 7D focus and RAW images being so noisy (I have actually sorted this issue now). Picked mine up on eBay cheap with three batteries and it was in pretty good condition. I've used it in tandem with my 5DII at two weddings now use it along with a 5DIII and cant really pick which images come from which camera unless I look really close. The files are so easy to process and have a beautiful look similar to my old 5D classic. I cant really complain about anything with this camera, I will keep this camera until I can upgrade to the 1DIV or something better that has some serious frames per second for action and wildlife

Mar 23, 2013
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Registered: Apr 22, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 91
Review Date: Nov 4, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: frames per second, AI servo (focus in general is great, but the AI servo is what sold me on it), sensor size if you want something between full frame and 1.6x, viewfinder coverage, iso capabilities, battery life duration, build quality, dual card slots
LCD screen.

Got a great camera for a great price. Will be a great pairing with my 5d2 for wedding photography.

Nov 4, 2012
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Registered: Feb 7, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
Review Date: Oct 30, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built like a tank. Easy to use once you know how a 1D layout works. Excellent customization options. Blazing fast AF acquisition and speed. A killer bird photography camera. Affordable now!

I dropped my 1D2n so got the insurance company to pay me the money out instead of repairing the camera. For nearly AUD2,500 I would've been nuts to repair a broken thing. And I LOVED my 1D2n, which I bought in pristine condition with 1,600 clicks just over a year earlier. I opted to get the 1DMkIII instead. The prices have dropped and to me the number of pixels is irrelevant as I am not a cropping (minimal crop is fine, but only minimal) type photographer like so many bird photographers in the universe. I like the challenge to get as close to full frame as possible. Even 8 megapixels is enough for book publications etc anyway. I bought the 1D MkIII and one thing I looked for was that the serial was not in the range of the numbers possibly affected by that AF debacle. I found one and bought it instantly. When it arrived I was astounded to see another pristine (albeit a little more used with around 40k shutter actuations) condition. It took me all of five minutes to set the CF parameters to my style of photography and had the first serious test run this morning. I am very pleased to say the least. AF is lightning fast with a bare 500mm f/4L IS USM lens and almost as fast with the EF 1.4xII TC. A little slower with the EF 2xII TC, but still fine. I can see a long love affair already with this camera body as it is just an insane piece of machinery to make sure I get the shot I want at the time I want it.

I would strongly recommend this camera, as it is a super bit of technology and now with prices at an all-time low you can pick-up a real bargain along the way. 10 megapixels are more than enough for most people I reckon anyway. It's not about the number of pixels in the end, but the quality of the pixels, the lens and the photographer's skill.

Oct 30, 2012
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Registered: Jun 30, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1880
Review Date: Oct 25, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast accurate focusing. Superb picture quality. Its big and heavy, but I think this is a positive,I handhold most of the time and it feels solid !! Excellent battery life.
It's only 10mp , but I can live with that.

I've owned two Mark III's I regrettably sold the first for a MarkIV which I ended up selling and I bought another used mark III.

Here's a gallery of pictures taken with the markIII


Oct 25, 2012
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Registered: Mar 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3430
Review Date: Oct 9, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Speed, handling, build, size, battery, Hi ISO performance
19 selectable AF points

I got on the Mk3 train late in the game after selling my Mk2N's. I picked up a couple of these 3's for a great price and couldn't be happier.
Both bodies needed MAing to get the most from my lenses.
All the things I liked about my 2N's carry over here. I like the one button actuation and menu of the 3's (never thought the 2N's were a problem here). I still get the same keeper rate as the 2N's so I'm happy with that.
I like the Hi ISO performance and the speed boost writing to and viewing. I've been playing with these for several months now and I am very happy with them.

Oct 9, 2012
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Registered: Aug 26, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1044
Review Date: Mar 5, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lighter than MKII and MKIIN, better battery, dedicated iso, 3.0 screen, liveview although manual focus, incredible clean noise even at 6400
manual focus in liveview, can live with it.

I've had many cams, 10D,20D,30D,40D,50D,60D, 1D original,1DMKII,1DMKIIN, 1DsMKII, and the Images from the 1D3 out shines all, the noise from the MK3 is usable even at 6400 with alittle noise level from LR it is damn sweet, i do not see me needing another cam, the 60D with 18Mp does not look as good as the MK3, I did like the articulate screen and the live view and the wireless flash, but will forgo all of that for the images this puts out its that good. The cleanest ISO I have seen yet, have not put it agaist the D3s, or others no need.

these are all 6400 ISO

Mar 5, 2012
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Registered: Apr 27, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 15, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built like a tank; lighter than the mk2; large LCD screen; fast AF speed; instantaneous preview of images after burst shots; one-touch preview like the EOS 7D; nice and crisp shutter closure sound
Well, its MP count...

By chance I got hold of an used 1Dmk3 at S$2200/- with around 28K shutter count. Tested the set at an event. The EOS 1Dmk3 has fulfilled what its built for - durability and speed. Fast AF speed and shutter lag are its main advantages. It is built for event photographers who need their cameras to be "on the ball" always. Another good point about the mk3 is that its big 3" LCD screen. A tremendous amount of improvements over its mk2 brother on the preview screen. Now with the mk3, whatever burst rate I shot at, I got to preview almost straight on thanks to its dual "Digic III" processors - another leap over the mk2!

Next, the ease of previewing. A touch on the "preview" button instantly show the images taken. Its bigger brothers the mk1 & mk2, need to hold down 2 extras buttons and turn the dial before you could preview the images recorded. Now, with the mk3, previewing of images isnt a tiring and heretic task anymore.

My set of 1Dmk3 is combined with use of the EF24-105mm f4 L IS USM. on this 1.3 crop body, it is neither too wide or too tight. The experience gained using the 1Dmk3, with a f4 lens, an all round coverage of any event is almost possible without the need of a backup body. But having said that, I always believe in bring an extra camera body and extra speedlite, just in case!

With that, how I wish I could have the 1Dmk3 when it was first launch. Its latest successor, the 1Dmk4, triumph the 1Dmk3 over the megapixels count and cleaner noise level at higher ISO. But still, I reckon that 1Dmk3 will still be around for many years to come.

Oct 15, 2011
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Registered: Apr 2, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 129
Review Date: Sep 8, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,750.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: High quality files; need little pp. Fast accurate autofocusing. Accurate metering. Built like a tank, solid, weatherproof. Easy to operate controls - much better ergonomics than the pro level Nikons.
Expensive. Smallish crop viewfinder. Wish it was a full frame camera or at least Canon used magnification in the viewfinder like Nikon.

Mine is a blue dot version and I've never had any problems with the autofocus. You do have settings and adjustments that can greatly change how the autofocus works, so be careful. The camera just handles like a dream. Autofocus is amazing, especially in low light and the meter is spot on. Shot a rapidly moving subject that is zig zagging and the camera will lock on and hold autofocus. Try that with the Mark IV and you'll quickly discover that Canon dumbed the autofocus down and it can't handle erratically moving subjects. This is where the Mark III simply shines along with superior low light focus.

It has features galore and can be highly customized. The detail in the raw images make you feel like you have 12 mp's, not 10. I've never found a need to shoot higher than 3,200 ISO, but images at 6,400 are very usable with light noise reduction.

Sep 8, 2011
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Registered: May 1, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 393
Review Date: Aug 16, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Incredible AF, excellent IQ & colour quality, amazing battery life & build quality
Heavy, lcd could be better

This camera produces very high IQ files, publishers just love them! The AF has never been a problem, its a blue dot body, and had the latest fix. AF is FAST and accurate for both sports and landscapes. Colour & contrast are well balanced and crisp, even in RAW files. The files can be described as "thick", and will take any amount of pp without falling apart. It is a heavy unit, but completely weather proof. The battery life is truly amazing.

Aug 16, 2011
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Registered: Jan 19, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 805
Review Date: Mar 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,275.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Awesome AF, impressive ISO performance, monster battery-life, weatherproof, built like a tank, dual memory card slots.
No real complaints, although 12mp would've been slightly better, as would the current 920k LCD's.

I had no intentions of purchasing this camera, but a super cheap and low-mileage copy sprung up and I had to bite. On a cloudy day photographing gulls in flight, my former 50D just could not AF fast enough in the dismal light, so I tried the problem! The files are very low on noise...I feel comfortable going 1+ stops higher than I ever did before. And that battery...what longevity! If I am going out to shoot amphibians in the rain, this is my body (due to waterproofing).

Mar 19, 2011
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Registered: Jul 30, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Review Date: Oct 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: AF, Build quality, Speed, Feeling in hand
10PM only, just a bit heavy, screen

Hi all,

As you all know, EOS 1D serie is the flagship Canon's serie. With the ESO 1D Mark III, Canon completely revamped it.

This camera is all about speed and build quality, don't buy it for anything else. If you need gorgeous image quality, rather go for a 5D II (about same price), but if you need an unsinkable tank that can take any job in any kind of weather, it's your choice, best for the money.

Hey, remember that a lot of people paid 4500$ for this body. I think that it goes very well with a 5D II, each bringing their specialty and creating a nice and well balanced kit.

As usual, here are my detailed pros and cons :
+ 10 fps is a nightmare in post but a dream for action shots. Even just for this feature, this camera worth it.
+ Build quality, weather sealing. I shot on heavy rain with it, no problem at all.
+ Double card (CF + SD), clearly nice to have.
- Well, 10MP don't leave much for cropping.
- In regards of latest sensors capacity, high ISO are not great.
- I would like more possibility in AF adjustments.
- Screen is a bit old, no way to use it for checking if something is sharp.

Need examples/samples ?
All wildlife and action shots are taken with the 1D on this story:
Also check my blog for behind the scene tips.

Best regards,

Oct 29, 2010
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Registered: May 26, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 360
Review Date: Jun 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,800.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast accurate focus, excellent image quality, fast, fast, fast
Not much comes to mind

I last used a 1D shortly after the original 1D was introduced. I sold that when the 5D was introducted and have been using 5Ds and more recently a 5DMKII. The 5D and 5DMKII are exceptional cameras. The only thing lacking with the 5Ds is top notch focus ability. I have put the 1DMKIII through some typical use and I really like this camera. It is much more robust than the 5D series, focus is so much faster, very accurate, and the image quality is extremely good.

I give the camera a 9 rather than a 10 in overall rating because the 1DMKIII, like all of the canon systems, still has a inconsistent flash system. I've been using Canon ETTL for a long time, and I have learned to live with it, but it could be much better.

Jun 4, 2010
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Canon EOS 1D Mark III

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
142 220671 Mar 25, 2018
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $3,709.91
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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