Canon 1Ds Mark III First Impressions

Canon 1Ds Mark III review

My new 1Ds Mark III arrived last week and this weekend I managed to get outside and try it out. Here is my intial impression after my first outdoor trial.

I have used a Canon 10D for the last 4 years and decided to upgrade to a full frame DSLR. I was not getting the most out of my lenses due to the 1.5 multiplication factor of the 10D. I considered the 5D but the higher resolution of the 1Ds Mark III was much more compelling.

The upgrade from a 10D to a 1Ds Mark III is a very big one. A very big one ...

The basic 1DS Mark III specification is:
  • Full frame 21MP 5 fps

  • 3" LCD with Live View

  • 14 bit Raw CR2 format

  • High speed vibration dust removal

I won't go into any more of the technical specifications as they can be found on many websites - see links at the end of this page. Instead I will concentrate on my initial likes and dislikes. As you would expect, the likes outweigh the dislikes.

The 1Ds Mark III is has a great feel to it. It is big (150 x 160 x 80 mm) and solid, but not too big and compares well with the 10D plus its battery grip. I found the 1Ds Mark III comfortable to hold and well balanced. At 1.4 kg with a battery it is heavy but not excessive. I shoot landscape and nearly all my work is on a tripod so I am not too bothered about weight.

  • Resolution : The detail available from 21 mp has to be seen to be believed.

  • Low noise : I have been out shooting in low light at 800 iso and am truly amazed at the lack of noise

  • Build Quality : As it should be for a pro camera with this price tag it is built very well indeed and the has a solid feel to the control wheels, CF doors and battery covers etc. I don't have worries that things will fall off as has happened to me with previous EOS DSLRs

  • The big 3" rear LCD is great. I can now zoom in and check focus with ease

  • Auto Dust removal : My previous cameras have suffered badly from dust. I have yet to see how the 1DS Mark III performs but I have high hopes and have read good things so far. Time will tell.


Not many!
  • Small control buttons: They work but are somewhat small for me.

  • Canons Image Software : Canon's DSLR software does not seem to have improved much so I will not be using it. The interface feels very clunky. I am just glad that Lightroom exists

Overall I am hugely impressed with this camera and am excited about getting out there and really using it.
I will report my findings as I do.

Related Links

Canon 1Ds Mark 3 Preview from dpreview
Luminous Landscape's Canon 1Ds Mark III Field Report