As it's not been done yet I'd thought I be the 1st to write a review on the 1Ds Mk3.
It’s hard to believe that this camera has been around for nearly 8 years. With Camera technology moving at such a fast pace the 1Ds3 is still up there with the best and was once Canon’s flagship camera. Of course it has it’s limitations and cannot be expected to outperform the newer less expensive models but what an incredible camera body this is.
My review is not on this camera’s specifications, but more so on why I like this camera and why I have owned it for over 4 years. I have no intentions of upgrading it. It suits me for my style of photography. I have learn’t over the years of what it can and cannot do and yet it still impresses me to this day.
For a start it’s built like a tank the weather and dust resistant sealing unbeatable. Mine has seen many windy beaches over the years and constantly gets caught in the continuous harsh English rain. I easily take 25k photo’s a year with it. I have no ideal of the shutter count but why care when the shutter has been designed for 300,000 actuations. That’s 12 years use in my case.
It has a full frame 21mp sensor able to recall a huge amount of resolution and detail through a bright 100% coverage viewfinder so what your lens sees you see through the viewfinder.
It delivers 5 frames per second for a continuous burst of up to 56 JPEGs (12 in RAW). Not a lot in todays standards but adequate for me when at motocross events.
Noise starts to appear at ISO1600 but still the results are excellent. I am not interested in extreme ISO settings as I rarely take photographs in such lighting conditions.
I enjoy long exposure photography as well as HDR photography and I particularly like the fact that you have an eyepiece shutter lever that prevents stray light from entering the eyepiece. Also by holding down the Mode button and AF-Drive button at the same time sets the Auto Exposure Bracketing for 7 shots at different exposures. This also can be changed to 3 as well as 5 shots.
The battery power life is unbelievable. On 2 week family holidays I find that just taking a spare battery is more than adequate. They just keep on going forever.
Being a bit paranoid I use both the CF and SD cards to store the images and I normally set the camera to write to both cards simultaneously. This means I have a backup in camera - great if either a card fails or I loose one!
I set my camera for back button focussing with AI Servo, I have used this method for a few years now. The focussing is spot on with its accuracy and is extremely fast. The exposure and white balance is excellent. I also like the feature that allows spot metering to track along with the centre spot AF.
The colours are also vibrant and rich. I have used it with more than a dozen different EF lenses and not had a problem with any of them.
The menu’s are easy to understand and to make selections/changes to. Customising the camera to your requirements again is easy.
90% of the time I set the camera for MANUAL, the speed can be changed by simply rotating a dial, the Aperture can also be changed by using another dial. The ISO value is selected by pushing the ISO button and then rotating the dial. In fact everything is easily accessible.
It’s just such a good all rounder designed for tough professional use.
My only real complaint is that the screen is not as bright as others. When I first started using it, I thought I was underexposing, but later looking at the images on the laptop, I discovered I wasn’t. The screen is only of use for checking the composition of the photo. If you zoom in on any part of the photo the definition is not high enough to be able to confirm the focus accuracy. However, saying that I do use it successfully for live view when mounted on my tripod. Ah one thing...in live view you can only focus manually.
I've got a 7D and 5d2 to supplement my 1Ds3. I use the 7d as my 1.6x Crop camera and my 5d2 for video as the 1Ds3 cannot do video.
if you are not bothered by the lack of video, then this body represents superb 2nd hand value.
So, to conclude, the 1Ds Mk3 lives up to everything I expect of it and I'm absolutely delighted with it. I use it lots. Very rarely picking up any other camera. Of course it could be better but for now I'm perfectly content with the camera and do not feel it constrains me in any way.
There are so many other features that I could talk about but if you have any questions please feel free to ask me.
I have taken great care of mine as can be seen in the few pictures below.
Thank you for reading my review and I would be very interested to hear what other owners have to say or anyone who maybe interested in buying one.