Canon 1D Mark III Review

 
Camera Reviews / Canon Cameras i Initial Test

Canon EOS-1D Mark III (Prototype) Imaging Characteristics

NOTE: All images shown here are from a prototype camera: production models may show improved image quality, please don't view the results shown here as final!

As mentioned elsewhere in this review, one of the more important improvements the Canon engineers made in the EOS-1D Mark III was in the area of light sensitivity and image noise relative to the earlier EOS-1D Mark II N. To our eye, they've managed almost a full f-stop of noise improvement, meaning that ISO 3200 images from the Mark III look about like ISO 1600 ones from the Mark II, and the Mark III's amazing ISO 6400 shots look only slightly noisier than the ISO 3200 ones from the Mark II. The crops below compare critical detail areas from our Still Life test target shot with the two cameras under identical conditions. (Click on the thumbnails at the top of each table to see and download the full-resolution files. See the Thumbnail index page of this review for a broader range of sample shots, at a variety of ISO settings.)

As usual, the red-on-red fabric swatches seem to be the real torture test for noise-suppression systems, but both cameras do very well with them. The brighter leaf pattern shows a bit less subtle detail on the Mark III than on the Mark II, revealing a slight tradeoff of subject detail for lower noise on the Mark III. That said though, the difference is small, and the Mark III is clearly the overall leader in the high-ISO derby, among all competitors.

 

ISO 1600 Tone-on-Tone Noise/Detail Comparison
Canon EOS-1D Mark III Prototype Canon EOS-1D Mark II N

 

ISO 3200 Tone-on-Tone Noise/Detail Comparison
Canon EOS-1D Mark III Prototype Canon EOS-1D Mark II N

 

ISO 6400 vs ISO 3200 Tone-on-Tone Noise/Detail Comparison
Canon EOS-1D Mark III Prototype Canon EOS-1D Mark II N

 

Canon 1D Mark III

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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