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The new 21.1-megapixel, full-frame Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III digital SLR camera brings the power of Canon’s professional imaging excellence and innovation into sharper focus than ever before. While Canon’s EOS-1D series has dominated the 35mm-based professional Digital SLR market for the past six years, the new EOS-1Ds Mark III digital SLR takes Canon’s pro-digital prowess into and the realm of high-fashion and commercial photo studios where bulkier, medium-format cameras previously reigned.
The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III’s compact, lighter-weight magnesium alloy body is rugged and versatile enough to take out of the studio and into the field. The camera’s fast, five-frame-per-second (fps) shooting rate for bursts of up to 56 Large/Fine (21-megapixel) JPEGS or 12 RAW images is unmatched in its class, making it the ideal instrument for capturing the fluid motion and free-flowing lines of location-based fashion photography as well as a wide range of other professional photographic applications.
Developed and manufactured by Canon specifically for the EOS-1Ds Mark III digital SLR, the camera’s new full-size 36 x 24-millimeter CMOS image sensor offers the highest resolution in its class and is comprised of approximately 21.1 million effective pixels (5632 x 3750) set at a pitch of 6.4 microns. The user can select any one of six recording formats ranging from 21.0 megapixels in Large JPEG or RAW format, 16.6 or 11.0 megapixels in the two medium JPEG sizes, or 5.2 megapixels in the small JPEG or “sRAW” formats. In any JPEG format, the user can set one of ten compression rates for each image size. In sRAW mode, the number of pixels is reduced to one-fourth that of a standard RAW image and the file size is cut in half, while retaining all of the flexibility and creative possibilities associated with full-size, traditional RAW images.
Dual “DIGIC III” Image Processors
Fulfilling the ultra-low noise, ultra-high image quality promise of the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera requires handling the enormous signal processing requirements of the camera’s 21-megapixel resolution and top continuous shooting speed of five fps. To accomplish this, Canon has incorporated two identical DIGIC III imaging engines into the camera for parallel (and hence, faster) signal processing. The CMOS sensor reads out to the dual “DIGIC III” processors simultaneously in eight channels. DIGIC III is the next generation of Canon’s proprietary image processing engine. This technology ensures the fine details and natural colors of images are optimally recorded and, as an added bonus, is responsible for the EOS-1Ds Mark III SLR’s high-speed performance, faster signal processing, and more efficient energy consumption.
Adding to the improved virtuosity of the images captured by the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera is the camera’s 14-bit Analog-to-Digital (A/D) conversion process. Able to recognize 16,384 colors per channel (four times the number of colors recognized by the EOS-1Ds Mark II Digital SLR camera’s 12-bit conversion capability), this line-leading model is able to produce images with finer and more accurate gradations of tones and colors. Additionally, given the significantly larger image file sizes created by the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera, Canon has provided compatibility with the new Ultra Direct Memory Access (UDMA) compact flash memory card specification, which enables ultra-high-speed data transfer to the card. Utilizing a UDMA compliant card doubles the data transfer speed compared to a conventional memory card, putting the new EOS-1Ds Mark III on par with the 10.1-megapixel EOS-1D Mark III camera, even though the pixel count of this new model is more than twice as large.
Advanced Autofocus Technology
The EOS-1Ds Mark III autofocus system–first introduced earlier in 2007 on the EOS-1D Mark III Digital SLR–has 45 AF points including 19 high-precision cross-type points and 26 Assist AF points. This new array allows the 19 cross-type points to be divided into groups of nine inner and nine outer focusing points plus a center point, which makes picking an individual focusing point much faster and easier than going through all 45. During manual AF point selection, the AF point area is expandable in two stages via Custom Function control.
At the request of sports and wildlife photographers, a new micro-adjustment feature allows for very fine changes in the AF point of focus for each lens type in use, along with the addition of adjustable focus-tracking sensitivity as another sophisticated new AF feature. Other new components in the AF system include the reconfigured concave submirror and the secondary image formation lens, both products of Canon’s vast expertise in optical engineering. Finally, the low-light sensitivity of the new AF sensor has been doubled to EV-1 for superior performance compared with earlier EOS Digital SLRs.
One of the dynamic innovations incorporated into new EOS Digital SLRs–and optimized for professional shooters on the EOS-1Ds Mark III digital SLR–is Canon’s Live View shooting mode, which provides photographers with an expanded and exceedingly convenient set of shooting options beyond the conventional SLR through-the-lens viewing. Framing and shooting subjects using the camera’s LCD screen affords the shooter the same 100 percent field of view provided by the optical viewfinder–this is a full-frame Digital SLR after all–but Live View has the added advantage of allowing the image to be more easily composed on the camera’s bright and brilliant 230,000-pixel, three-inch LED screen. Additionally, the LCD-viewed image can be magnified by five or ten times in order to ensure that the shot is optimally focused.
Live View is at its best during tripod shooting, particularly for close-up photography where precise focusing is imperative. As a side benefit, the Live View shooting mode helps to reduce vibration by lifting the reflex mirror out of the optical path well in advance of the exposure, improving image quality at slow shutter speeds. Additionally, as the release time lag is miniscule, even instantaneous movements like a bird taking flight can be readily captured. The shutter charge sound can be delayed and made quieter than normal in Live View mode to avoid spooking wildlife or disturbing people nearby with unwanted camera sounds.
If a user is going to be several feet away from the camera, such as in some studio settings, the EOS-1Ds Mark III can be connected by cable to a computer via its USB 2.0 High-Speed interface. The camera can also be operated remotely at distances up to 492 feet with the assistance of the optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2A, which allows users to view images directly off the camera’s sensor in virtually real time, with the ability to adjust many camera settings quickly and easily.
Easy to read, even in outdoor conditions such as bright sunlight, the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera features a three-inch, 230,000-pixel wide-angle LCD display screen. The TFT color liquid-crystal monitor features seven user-settable brightness levels and a wide, 140-degree viewing angle, both horizontally and vertically. An added advantage of the large, three-inch display size is the ability to utilize a larger font size for text, making it easier to read setting and menu options on the screen.
Canon extends its “ease-of-reading” policy to the EOS-1Ds Mark III’s viewfinder as well. Bright and clear with zero distortion, a 100 percent picture coverage, and a magnification factor of .75x, it is the finest viewfinder ever placed in an EOS camera.
EOS Integrated Cleaning System
Another first for a professional digital SLR of this caliber is Canon’s complete dust management solution, called the EOS Integrated Cleaning System. The new CMOS image sensor is designed with a lightweight infrared absorption glass cover that vibrates for 3.5 seconds when the camera is turned on or off. This brief delay can be cancelled immediately upon start-up by pressing the shutter button half way. Dust that has been shaken or blown loose of the sensor is trapped by adhesive surfaces surrounding the sensor unit housing, preventing the problematic particles from reattaching themselves to the filter when the camera moves.
Like its sibling, the EOS-1D Mark III, the shutter of the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera carries a durability rating of 300,000 cycles and, though it generates less dust, still charges itself three times during the manual cleaning process so that dust is shaken off the shutter curtains as well. This cleaning system uses very little battery power and can be turned off in the custom function menu.
The second part of the dust management system is a software solution that maps the location of any spots that may remain on the sensor. The mapped information is saved as Dust Delete Data and attached to the image file. Subsequently, the offending dust information is subtracted from the final image during post processing, using the supplied Digital Photo Professional software.
Rock Solid Reliability
The entire body of the EOS-1Ds Mark III, including its internal chassis and mirror box, is made of an advanced magnesium alloy for exceptional strength and rigidity. Comprehensive weatherproofing at 76 locations on the camera body ensures superior reliability, even when shooting in harsh environments. Together with the 300,000-cycle shutter durability rating, these features result in a camera that, even though it is six ounces lighter than the EOS-1Ds Mark II, can truly withstand even the most severe shooting conditions.
Among the most valuable features of the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR is its compatibility with Canon’s new Picture Style Editor 1.0 software. With PSE, photographers can personalize the look of their photographs by inputting their own preferred image processing parameters, including custom tone curves. The EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR also ships with the latest versions of Canon’s powerful software applications, including Digital Photo Professional 3.2 and EOS Utility 2.2, which support the camera’s Remote Live View and Dust Delete Data functions, as well as incorporating a broad range of additional improvements designed to improve image quality and speed up workflow. Particularly noteworthy in DPP 3.2 is a new Lens Aberration Correction Function that corrects various image defects such as chromatic aberration, color blur, vignetting, and distortion. Initially, the Lens Aberration Correction Function will support images captured by the EOS-1Ds Mark III and 11 other EOS Digital SLRs using any of 29 individual EF and EF-S lenses. Also included are ZoomBrowser EX 6.0 and ImageBrowser 6.0 for easy browsing, viewing, printing, and archiving with compatible computer operating systems, including Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows XP, as well as Mac OS X.
Canon EF 14mm f2.8L II USM Lens
Designed primarily for discerning landscape and architectural photographers, the Canon EF14mm f2.8L II USM lens is ideally suited to the EOS-1Ds Mark III’s full-frame capability. Measuring 3.7 inches in length and weighing in at under 23 ounces, this ultra-wide angle L-series prime lens is well corrected for rectilinear distortion, provides a 114-degree diagonal angle of view, and delivers high-speed autofocus with higher image quality overall including superior peripheral image quality, compared to its predecessor, the stalwart EF 14mm f2.8L USM lens.
While its large diameter, high-precision aspherical and UD elements, optimized lens element positioning, and flare and ghost-reducing lens coating ensure that this lens delivers the top optical performance in its professional class, Canon has added other features photographers have been asking for–improved dust and water resistance incorporated around the mount, switch panel and focusing ring, and a round aperture that creates a nice background blur and makes it easier to recognize an out-of-focus scene in less than brightly lit conditions. Furthermore, Canon has created a new lens cap specifically for the EF 14mm f2.8L II USM that is held to the lens by a stopper.
1Ds Mk3 Product Features and Technical Details
21.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
Large 3.0-inch LCD display with Live View and seven brightness settings
5 fps at shutter speeds 1/500 second or faster (for bursts of up to 45 Large/Fine JPEGs or 15 RAW images) sRAW mode; 35-zone metering system; 45-point AF; integrated Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit
Powered by LP-E4 lithium-ion battery pack; stores images on CF, SD, or some SDHC memory cards
Effective resolution: Approximately 21.1 million pixels (total pixels: approximately 21.9 million)
Recording pixels: 5616 x 3744
Sensor type: Full-frame CMOS sensor, with primary R-G-B filtration (28 x 18.7 millimeters)
Pixel size: 6.4 microns square
Lens focal length factor: None (1x)
Imaging processor: Dual DIGIC III image processors
Maximum frames per second: 5 frames per second (fps) at shutter speeds 1/500 second or faster, in all recording modes
Drive modes: Single; silent (single-frame); high-speed continuous (5 fps; adjustable 5 to 2 fps); low-speed continuous (3 fps; adjustable 4 to 1 fps)
Maximum number of frames / burst: JPEG: 45 (full-resolution, Level-8 fine compression); RAW: 15; RAW plus JPEG: TBA
Flash sync speed: Up to 1/250, with EX-series Speedlites
Shutter “lag” time: Approximately 55 milliseconds (from half-way to fully depressing shutter button)
Start-up time: 0.15 seconds
Image type: JPEG, RAW (14 bit); improved A/D conversion to 14-bit processing for 16,384 individual tones
Highlight tone priority: Improve tonal range in highlight areas by approximately 1 stop (C.Fn II-2)
Noise reduction: Long exposures 1 second and longer (C.Fn II-1); high-speed ISO images (C.Fn II-2)
Storage media: Compatible with two card slots and external storage media; CompactFlash (Type I or II, including MicroDrives); SD
card slot (SDHC-compatible for 2GB higher SD cards); USB external hard drives (requires optional WFT-E2A wireless transmitter)
Recording options: Multiple media recording options: record to only one memory card; record the same image to both SD and CF card; record RAW image to a CF card and JPEG image to a SD card
New additional features: Files can be automatically written to another media if card beomes full; select different image sizes and save to different media (example: different JPEG sizes); record same image using all three media options, including external hard drive; copy files manually from one card to another, or to connected USB hard drive
Image format options: JPEG (compression adjustable in 10 steps on menu); RAW (“CR2″ RAW file format); RAW + JPEG (selectable on rear LCD panel); sRAW (“CR2″ small RAW file format; 1 /4 file size of full-resolution RAW, approximately 5.2 megapixels)
Resolution options: Large: 5616 x 3744 (approximately 21.0 million pixels); “Medium 1″: 4992 x 3328 (approximately 16.6 million pixels); “Medium 2″: 4080 x 2720 (approximately 11.0 million pixels); “Small”: 2784 x 1856 (approximately 5.2 million pixels); “RAW”: 5616 x 3744 (approximately 21.0 million pixels); “sRAW”: 2784 x 1856 (approximately 5.2 million pixels)
Data recording format: DCF 2.0 and EXIF 2.21; EXIF 2.21–applies “Adobe 1998 RGB” color space tag to images
Sound recording: Maximum 30 seconds per sound clip (more than one clip can be assigned to each image)
Folder settings: Create new folder and select on memory card
3-part approach to dust reduction: EOS Integrated Cleaning System; self-cleaning sensor unit–low pass filter in front of the sensor vibrates at a very high frequency for about four seconds to “shake” off loose dust and dirt; occurs on start-up and shut down–can also be activated by user or totally disabled; Dust Delete Data: a test shot is taken and any dust spots are “mapped” and added to each image’s text data; automatic removal possible in Canon DPP software; manual: user can lock up mirror to blow off any dust or have service technician wipe sensor clean
LCD monitor: 3.0-inch (diagonal) TFT color; approximately 100% coverage; approximately 230,000 pixels
Playback options: Single image; single image with info and histogram; 4-index or 9-index image; magnified zoom display
Live View type: Electronic viewing of scene, directly off imaging sensor, on LCD monitor
Coverage: Approximately 100%
Metering: Real-time evaluative metering (off CMOS imaging sensor)
Grid display: Two vertical and two horizontal lines; can be turned on or off by user
Aspect ratio: Masking for 6:6, 3:4, 4:5, 6:7, 10:12, and 5:7
PC live view: Enabled using EOS Utility (v.2.0) (use computer monitor as viewfinder)
Shutter speed range: 30 seconds to 1/8000, plus bulb (1/3, 1/2, or full-stop increments when user-set)
Maximum flash sync speed: 1/250 second
Anticipated shutter durability: 300,000 exposures
ISO range: 100 to 1600, in 1/3-stop increments; ISO 50 and 3200 can be added via ISO extension on menu; new ISO safety shift (camera shifts ISO in Tv or Av mode if needed to preserve exposure)
Exposure modes: Manual, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority, Program, Bulb
Metering: 63-zone metering linked to 19 AF points; Evaluative metering (63-zone, linked to active AF point); Center-weighted metering; Partial metering (approximately 8.5% of the picture area); Spot metering (approximately 2.4% of the picture area); Options: Center only; linked to any of 19 AF points; and Multi-spot metering up to 8 readings
Metering range: EV 0 to 20 (all patterns; at normal temperatures)
Exposure compensation: Possible in any Auto exposure mode; up to +/- 3 stops, in 1/3-stop increments
Exposure bracketing: 2, 3, 5, or 7 shots (selectable with C.Fn I-6); up to +/- 3 stops, in 1/3-stop increments; Standard Auto bracketing, via aperture and/or shutter speed
Compatible flashes: Canon EX-series Speedlites (TTL flash not possible with non-EX speedlites)
E-TTL II: 63-zone metering with EX-series speedlites; evaluative E-TTL flash metering (can be averaged over all 63 metering zones); distance information now used from compatible Canon EF lenses for flash calculations
Flash metered manual: Possible with flash in Manual mode, via FEL button
Flash exposure lock: 2.4% Spot metering of pre-flash illumination
Flash exposure compensation: Possible on body for certain speedlites (up to +/- 3 stops, in 1/3-stop increments)
Flash exposure bracketing: Possible with 580EX II, 580EX, 550EX, MR-14EX, and MT-24EX (set on Speedlite)
Hi-speed flash speed: Possible with EX-series Speedlites, up to 1/8000 second , normal maximum x-sync is 1/300
PC socket: Standard; sync line voltages up to 250v are OK through PC socket or hot shoe
Number of AF points: 45 (inside of ellipse area of focus screen); 19 high-precision cross-type points (require f2.8 or faster lens for cross-type coverage); 26 assists points (require f5.6 or faster lens)
Number of cross-type points: 19 points–any of these can be user-selected with manual AF point selection (high-precision type points; require a f2.8 or faster lens; center point requires f4 or faster)
Focus modes: One-Shot AF (for stationary subjects); AI Servo AF (for tracking moving subjects)
Manual AF point selection: 19 AF points ( default); inner 9 AF points (via C.Fn III 9-1); outer 9 AF points ( via C.Fn III 9-2)
Automatic AF point selection: Possible in both One-shot and AI Servo AF modes
AF On button: AF button on rear of body executes AF and metering; AE Lock button can switch functions with AF On button via C.Fn IV-2-1
Viewfinder coverage: 100%, vertically and horizontally
Eyepoint: 20 millimeters
Focusing screen: Ec-C IV (new standard focusing screen); interchangeable with Ec-series screens from all previous EOS-1 series cameras
Diopter: -3 to +1.0 (user-adjustable); further adjustment possible with Eg series diopter lenses
Mirror lock-up: Possible via C.Fn III-14; new: option to have mirror remain up for multiple pictures, until SET button is pressed
Eyepiece shutter: Built-in; activated by lever to right of eyepiece
White Balance modes: Auto (WB is read off of CMOS imaging sensor only); Pre-set (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash); Custom (reading taken off 18% gray card or white object; up to 5 custom readings can be stored); Color Temperature (range 2500k to 10,000k; 100k increments); Personal WB settings–PC-1 to PC-5 (up to five, created in computer and uploaded into camera)
White Balance compensation: Alter white balance in amber-blue direction, and/or magenta-green direction +/- 9 levels
White Balance bracketing: Alter White Balance in amber-blue direction or magenta-green direction, up to 15 mireds
Picture Style: Allows user to easily adjust the “look” of JPEG images, or RAW files processed with Canon software; six presets: Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Monochrome, Faithful; adjustable settings: Sharpening, Contrast, Color Saturation, and Color Tone
Digital terminal: USB 2.0 Hi-speed (Type B port)
Video output terminal: NTSC/PAL
System extension terminal: 15-pin terminal (connects new wireless file transmitter WFT-E2A)
Remote control terminal: N3-type terminal
Custom functions: 57 Custom Functions (personal functions built into Custom Functions)
My Menu: Up to six menu settings can be stored separately for quick access
Battery: Lightweight LP-E4 lithium-ion battery pack
Battery information: Current power source in use (battery, AC adapter, etc.); remaining capacity (displayed in 1% increments, on camera’s LCD monitor); current shutter count on this battery charge; recharge performance (displays when battery should be discarded; 3 levels)
Main switch: Three settings: Off, On, and On with Quick Control Dial active
Camera body exterior material: Magnesium alloy
Chassis material: Magnesium alloy, including mirror box
Operating temperature range: 32 degrees to 113 degrees F (0 degrees to 45 degrees C); 85% or lower relative humidity
Dimensions (W x H x D): 6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 inches (156 x 160 x 80 millimeters)
Weight (without battery or CF card): 41.3 ounces (1205 grams)
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