During CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Canon has just introduced its new flagship Full Frame DSLR: the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III. This beast features a brand new 20.1MP CMOS sensor and is capable of shooting videos up to 4K 60p in 10-bit 4:2:2 Canon Log and 5.5K RAW video, all of that without the need for an external recorder. Let’s take a closer look at it!
Canon EOS-1D X Legacy
Right in time before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, Canon unleashed their new Full-Frame beast: the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III. The EOS-1D series of cameras has always been the top-of-the-line DSLR from Canon since the introduction of the first EOS-1D X in 2011. In 2016, Canon launched the EOS-1D X Mark II, which is still, even today, an incredible workhorse for both stills and video shooters.
Canon EOS-1D X cameras are not for everyone: they are large, heavy, made to take some abuse, and expensive. But one thing is sure; you get what you pay for. The cameras are tropicalized, the body is made from magnesium alloy, and they feature incredible photo and video capabilities. Canon’s DSLRs have significantly fallen behind in video capabilities over the last few years, but this seems to change, finally… But let’s take it step by step.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Photo Features
The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III boasts a new Full-Frame 20.1MP CMOS sensor. Also, with a new DIGIX X processor and sensor low pass filter, the camera is capable of shooting from 100 up to 102,400 ISO (extends up to 819,200) while producing cleaner and less noisy images.
More processing power also means that the camera can shoot up to 16 frames per second when you are looking through the viewfinder or 20fps in LiveView mode. In burst mode, the AF/AE focus tracking will ensure that all your shots are in sharp focus. The RAW+JPEG buffer is rated as 1000+.
You can shoot pictures in JPEG, RAW, or HEIF format. This new HEIF format is similar to what an iPhone can shoot, and it’s a file format that can store twice as much information as a JPEG file.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Video Features
On the video side, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is an incredible DSLR. First thing first, it is the first EOS-1D X camera that can finally record in Canon Log, a long-awaited missing feature of its predecessor. Here is a quick list of the various recording modes that are available internally:
- 1080P videos up to 120 frames per second.
- 4K DCI up to 60fps in 4:2:2 10-bit in Canon Log using an H.265 / HEVC codec. Please note that when you turn off Canon Log, you can only shoot in 4:2:0 8-bit in H.264.
- 5.5K (5,472 x 2,286) up to 60fps in RAW 12-bit. The maximum bitrate is 2600 Mbps.
There is no crop in 5.5K RAW shooting mode, but there is a slight crop in 4K DCI mode. Indeed, the camera uses the entire 5.5K sensor width and downsample it to 4K DCI size, so expect a tiny crop of about 256 pixels on each side. Otherwise, a crop mode is available in 4 DCI is you want to punch in your shots.
The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III’s sensor is not stabilized, but Canon has included Movie Digital IS to compensate a bit. Also, peaking, and a focus guide are available in video modes.
All your footage are stored onto two CFexpress cards for redundancy purposes.
On the connectivity side, there is a 3.5mm microphone jack input and a 3.5mm headphone jack output. Also, there is a mini-HDMI output, but it is limited to 4K-only. There is a USB Type-C port, but there is no mention if you can charge the camera through it.
New AF Sensor
The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III features a new AF sensor, which is way more massive than the Mark II’s one. Indeed, this new AF sensor covers 90% of the sensor for a total of 525 AF areas.
There is no doubt Canon implemented some technology from the Canon EOS-R’s incredible AF capabilities. Indeed, according to Canon, they are using “advanced AF algorithms with deep learning technology for unparalleled focus tracking in any situation.”
For video shooters, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology – which is one of the best AF systems available on the market – is still there. However, keep in mind that Dual Pixel CMOS AF doesn’t work in 4K 50P/60P uncropped modes and 5.5K RAW 60P video shooting modes.
Connectivity, Display, and Ergonomics
I said it before, but keep in mind that the 1D X Mark III is a heavy camera despite its magnesium alloy body at 2.2lbs/1.4Kg with a battery and card, but without a lens. It measures 158.0 x 167.6 x 82.6 mm.
On the back of the camera, there is a 3.02″/8.01cm touchscreen display as well as a two status display: one under the main screen and one at the top of the camera. The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is powered via a big Canon LP-E19 battery. According to Canon, the battery life should be around 4 hours and 40 minutes at 23°C or 4 hours and 10 minutes at 0°C.
Like every modern camera, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is Bluetooth compatible if you want to transfer some pictures to your phone quickly. To track your photographs, there is a built-in GPS. But, as a high-end camera, it also features a full-size Ethernet port as well as a built-in WiFi module. For extended range and faster wireless transfers, you’ll have to purchase the optional WFT-E9 wireless transmitter.
Finally, on the ergonomics side, all of the buttons on the back of the camera can be illuminated, which is extremely handy in dim conditions. To effectively manage this incredible AF sensor, there is a new AF point selection control within the AF-ON button in addition to the multi-controller.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III will be available in February for $6500.
What do you think of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III? Is it the camera you’ve been waiting for? Let us know in the comments below!