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Canon announces the EOS-1D X Mark III because the DSLR still isn’t dead

Canon announces the EOS-1D X Mark III because the DSLR still isn’t dead


Canon’s top-of-the-line pro sports camera gets a refresh

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Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
Image: Canon

Canon has just taken the wraps off of its latest high-end, professional DSLR, the EOS-1D Mark III. The Mark III follows the 1D X Mark II released in 2016 and comes with a new sensor, new image processor, new autofocus system, and revised controls. It will be available for $6,499 in mid-February.

The 1D is Canon’s top-of-the-line professional camera, and it’s used at weddings, in studios, and out in wildlife preserves. But it’s most at home at sporting events, and the Mark III’s upgraded features reflect that. It can snap shots up to 16 frames per second through the viewfinder (up from the Mark II’s 14) or up to 20 frames per second with live view, complete with subject-tracking autofocus.

The new 20.1-megapixel image sensor is similar in resolution to the Mark II’s 20.2-megapixel chip, but Canon says it has a new High Detail Low-Pass filter, which should provide sharper images. Like other Canon cameras, the sensor has Dual Pixel autofocus technology built right into it, and it has 3,869 selectable AF positions and 525 automatic areas in live view shooting. It also has eye-detection autofocus when used in live view.

One processor wasn’t enough for Canon, so the Mark III has two

The camera is powered by Canon’s new Digic X processor, which allows for a native ISO range of 100-102,400 that can be expanded to 50-819,200. The new 191-point autofocus system in the viewfinder uses its own Digic 8 processor and is capable of tracking subjects’ heads and faces. Canon says the Mark III’s new processors have image processing improvements 3.1 times greater than the Digic 6+ chip in the Mark II and 380 times better autofocus processing performance. The Mark III can shoot over 1,000 images in a burst when using the dual CFexpress card slots.

For video, the Mark III can record 5.5K RAW footage internally and uncropped 4K 60P in 10-bit 4:2:2 C-Log. Video captured has up to 12 stops of dynamic range.


Other features include built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS radios, plus a built-in gigabit Ethernet port. The camera body has been enhanced with button illumination and touch autofocus. But existing 1D users should have no trouble acclimating themselves to the new model as the overall layout is very similar.

While mirrorless cameras have largely stolen the spotlight from DSLRs and are often available at a lower cost, with smaller bodies and higher resolution sensors, the 1D X is still a preferred workhorse for many pro shooters. That’s why you still see rows of them on the sidelines at professional sporting events the world over. The Mark III’s design may make it look like a relic at this point, but it’s still an extremely powerful tool for pro photographers.