Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Camera Review: TWO Cameras in ONE Body?
Updated: Aug 19, 2021
There’s been a lot of talk about the videography capabilities of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, but what about the photography aspect? Let’s take a look at how this camera performs.
Canon kindly provided three lenses, the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III, 50mm f/1.2L and the 24-70mm f/4L IS, for us to do the review with, and most of the photos shown in the video above are taken with either the 70-200mm or the 50mm lenses.
On paper, the Mark III has the same amount of megapixels as the Mark II, but the sensor has been redesigned by Canon. You get 14-bit colour depth, better detail, better dynamic range and better ISO performance. There’s also the DIGIC X processor that’s helping with the imaging and there’s a definitive difference in the photos.
You get ISO of 100-102400, with expandable ISO from 50 up to 819200. Like always, we’re never going to shoot at that kind of range but low light performance has been improved. This camera is a beast, and it’s phenomenal in low light.
There are 191 autofocus points with a new autofocusing system inside with 155 cross-type points that locks on incredibly quickly and is way better than the Mark II.
You’ll be hard-pressed to differentiate the Mark III from the Mark II unless you have them side by side, so you can see the ports on the left side. There are flaps that make them more water-resistant, and the other discernable difference is only when you open the card slot door. There’s two CF Express card slots in this now, and we were fortunate enough to get a 512GB card from Canon for this review.
It’s expensive, but it’s incredibly fast and you won’t run out of space. The write speeds are insane, and we think any camera company not putting a CF Express slot in their cameras is doing consumers a disservice.
The display on the back is now fully touch-capable, the 2.1 million dot display is clear and vibrant with great colours.
Moving on to performance, one of the main reasons you get a 1D X camera is for the high-speed burst capability. The Mark II was no slouch by any means, but the Mark III takes it up a few notches. In mirrored mode or DSLR mode, you get 15fps which is decent. But when you take it into mirrorless mode or Live View mode, you can get up to 20fps with the mechanical shutter and there’s the electronic shutter with this camera as well.
For wedding photographers or people who need to shoot in silence, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III now has that ability with the electronic shutter. This is a huge reason that will drive many to upgrade to this camera.
The EOS R previously had the touch bar which many people didn’t like. Canon listened and tried something new with the 1D X Mark III. The AF-On button now serves two purposes, the first as back button focus and now, it’s also a touch-sensitive trackpad that allows users to quickly change their autofocus points manually.
It’s definitely useful for moments when the autofocusing system doesn’t recognise certain elements that we’d like to focus on. Once users get the hang of it, it’s second nature and works like a charm.
The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is essentially two phenomenal cameras in one. Arguably the best sports photography DSLR on the market now, and when you flip the mirror up to go into mirrorless mode, you now have a camera that performs even better than the EOS R with the latest updates.
This camera won’t be obsolete in a year or two, you’ll be able to get great photos out of this for 3 to 4 years with the best processors Canon makes to date.
The camera has been a joy to use. With it, there’s no need to worry if the shot is in focus or not. Unfortunately, there’s no in-body image stabilisation because in low-light situations, there will be camera shake sometimes, but it’s not a deal-breaker.
The gripe we have is actually that since the camera can be used in a mirrorless or Live View mode, when it’s in that mode, users can only preview the shot by looking at the screen behind. It’s not an issue with smaller lenses, but when using something like the 70-200mm, it’ll be difficult to shoot that way. If Canon had put a hybrid viewfinder in this camera, it would have been the ultimate complete package.
More information about the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III (S$9,768) is available at Canon’s website.