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Thread started 21 Aug 2016 (Sunday) 13:23
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Canon EOS 1D Mark III, reviewed by CyberDyneSystems

TOGGLE RATINGS BETWEEN ALL AND CyberDyneSystems (showing now: CyberDyneSystems)
Overall Rating7.5
Overall Image Quality9
Value for Money8
Must Have8
Suitability to Intended Use9
Got What I Expected2
AF Performance5
Handling and Ergonomics9.5
User-interface9.5
image
photo by DavidR
Ownership Status: "previously owned"

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CyberDyneSystems
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Post has been last edited 9 months ago by CyberDyneSystems. 4 edits done in total.
Aug 21, 2016 13:23 |  #1

EOS 1D Mark III

My history with this body is complex, and difficult. It is well documented in the posts of the time on this forum, though some serious digging would be required.

First, let me say that when Canon announced this camera, it was as if they had designed it specifically for me and what I wanted in a Camera in 2007 exactly.

From a thread originally posted in 2004, asking for our wishlist shortly after getting our 1D2's
http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?p=3​513766

===============
Thanks For listening Canon!!!!!!!

CyberDyneSystems November 2004 wrote in post #336647 (external link)
Interesting ideas... hmmm...

My next gen 1D dream list?

1. Menu System
Start the transition from the clunky 1 series menu system to the more evolved 10d/20d menu system

Check

2. Battery
Dump the half ton NIMH for a newer lighter and more powerful L-ION
This would make the Camera much lighter and give it even longer battery life.

Check!

The little 20D Eraser Head :mrgreen:
Yep.. give us the 20D's AF point selector please :)

Check!! (though I can't use it to select AF points YET! )

Oh.. and faster flash sync.. 1/500 would be nice.

Check, maybe not 1/500, but faster.

CyberDyneSystems November 2004 wrote in post #337906 (external link)
We'll Have to revise the spec sheet for the "1DSUX-2000" to include;

AntiDust solution

Check!!!

and true 16 bit color,

Check!!!! (well 14bit aint bad! )

Built in switchable ... TTL CCD preview.

CHECK!!!!!

Having used 8.5 FPS and finding way out of control.. I know I'd not need more...?

Check! Got it anyway @ 10fps...

...this leads me to more existing 1D usability complaints that could easily be resolved in newer models.

Adjustable frame rate with Camera Controls
Currently to change from 8.5 fps to say 5fps as i have done,.. one must tether the camera to a PC and use a Personal Function :( Why?

DONE!

Fix the half baked Dual memory card set up
Simple firmware changes should allow us to copy from card to another in camera. Also as Longwatcher says.. RAW to one card and jpeg to another would be nice.

Done, that an more options! Cool!

Easily accessible user defined Shooting Modes
The "1" bodies allow you to save groups of custom functions in presets.. but I had always dreamed of a camera with settings just the 10D/20D has on a dial... ala "Sportsmode", "Landscape" etc.. but allow the user to define EVERY setting for each of the modes. Ie: one setting for "indoor lowlight shooting" would allow me to spec AV with full open aperture, ISO 800, frame rate, single or AI.. different CF and PF settings, Even Which CARD to write to! etc... Then I could record a "bird in flight" setting.. AI servo, ISO 400 etc... and to get back to these setting once recorded I simply turn the dial.. or to keep the "1" weather sealing" it could be a menu on the LCD of 5 or more presets.

This Alone has been one of my own personal most sought after features in a high end pro body, and the 1D MkIII HAS IT!
I shoot a lot of Birds, and a Lot of indoor low light performances,. I can now set my camera up for these two TOTALLY different applications with one change in the menu settings! (once I record them)

===============

Well, that all looks great doesn't it?

However, the 1DIII was in fact a bipolar camera at launch. It promised (and offered) so many advances, including the premier of "Live View" that would eventually evolve into the video capabilities that now adorn all modern DSLRs. The increased color bit to 14 per channel (up from 8) and more.

And indeed, in my hands the 1D III felt like exactly what I wanted. It offered so many design and engineering improvements over the 1D2, and virtually everything I had asked for. The color and work-ability of the RAW files far exceeded previous generations, the customization were multitude and easy to access.
But....

Then there was this problem with the AF system.

My first 1D3 was crippled with AF problems. They manifested themselves only under certain conditions, but those conditions included those under which a bird photographer was constantly working. It also effected sports photographers and many other types of high paced shooting.

It took Canon over a year to finally solve the hardware issues that plagued the 1D3, and to replace my own terrible copy. This scar can not be ignored when reviewing the 1D3, especially if you were one of the many that suffered from it's results. This all happened to me at a time when I was most active in my shooting, both wildlife, and performance work in a dark theatre. The Split personality shown dramatically in my hands as the 1DIII literally mopped the floor with any previous model I had owned shooting dance, music and performances under dark theatrical liking, while at the same time utterly failing to EVER track a bird in flight when the 1D2 was so epic-ly good at that task.

During that time the 1D3 (the bad one) went to Africa with me.
Again, the dual personalities were visible daily, as the 1D3 provided perfectly sharp images of large beasts moving slowly, or idle birds perching in trees, but failed so often for my usual favorite subjects, birds in flight.

To cut the AF story shorter, almost exactly 18 months after receiving my twisted bi=polar 1D Mark III, after it's 4 trips back to Canon to repair or update, or for the two hardware recalls, I finally was able convince Canon to replace my failed 1DIII (this was not easy, and is an entire story unto itself)

The New 1DIII was vastly superior, and in fact I would say simply "Worked" and soldiered on for me for another 5 years or so with no issues. I never felt as confident with it as I did the 1D2 that was amazing out of the box on day one for AF, but all of it/s superior ergonomics and image quality still made up for that in the long run, and in a big way.

Today the 1DIII is a bit of a dinosaur, but be sure to understand that the 1DIII was a break through turning point in Canon 1D Series design. It is THE biggest upgrade in the 1 Series since launch with all other 1D upgrades before or since feeling incremental as compared to the leaps that the 1DIII was over it's predecessors. In your hands the 1DIII will feel as modern as it did to me in 2007.

If budget is a concern, but fast action and rock solid durability are required, the 1D3 is a hard to beat option for the price they sell for now.

Recommended with strong reservations*

*This of course assumes that you buy a used body that is not still plagued by the problems that many shipped with, and in some cases could not be fixed.

Sample Photos;

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-2/p1422592030-4.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p326415976/​e54cb081e] (external link)

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v3/p1422591782-4.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p326415976/​e54cb0726] (external link)

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-2/p1422592022-4.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p326415976/​e54cb0816] (external link)

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v47/p1467975144-4.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p326415976/​e577f85e8] (external link)

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-2/p1467980020-5.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p245759215/​e577f98f4] (external link)

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-2/p1467981770-4.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p245759215/​e577f9fca] (external link)

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v57/p1484391986-4.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p78285212/e​587a0632] (external link)

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v73/p1484392036-4.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p78285212/e​587a0664] (external link)

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I'm ­ Sasquatch
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Post has been last edited 10 months ago by I'm Sasquatch with reason 'I'm losing an argument with Flickr.'. 2 edits done in total.
Aug 22, 2016 19:25 |  #2

A bit of a dinosaur? Hey, this is my newest camera! Dinosaur...

So much of what your review included is exactly what I've discovered since buying the 1D3 last year and I just love the camera. Canon must have molded this camera to my hands when I wasn't looking. And the batter? Holy cow, it just keeps going.

But I have a question about the AF issues.

I often have issues tracking moving subjects, typically animals such as a bird or a dog and often coming towards me. If I hadn't heard of AF issues I probably wouldn't ever suspect anything and assume my hands and level of expertise are the shortcoming. Was there a specific range of serial numbers that had this issue or was it hit and miss for the entire run? I still suspect the error is me as I don't shoot enough action to stay proficient. Of course, I may not yet have figured out the AF settings that work for me.

When it does come together things are absolutely wonderful. I can't imagine shooting with anything but a 1D for quite some time. Now for some long glass and cooperative birds.

IMAGE: https://c7.staticflickr.com/2/1653/25387340646_3b45eeaa12_c.jpg

Have a wheelie nice day!

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CyberDyneSystems
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Post has been last edited 9 months ago by CyberDyneSystems. 2 edits done in total.
Aug 31, 2016 15:22 |  #3

Hi Sasquatch, sorry for the delay, i have been out of town.

If you are happy with your 1D3, I would suggest that it's probably fine. That said, I did try to find Canon info on the serial numbers, but nothing appears to be available any more.

Instead I have this page from when this occurred (complete with all the dead links)
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=448450

and the word then at least was that this is the serial number range;

"If the serial number on the bottom of the camera is between 501001 and 546561, it could be affected by the “AF mirror adjustment issue

Things were changing fast back then, so i can't say how accurate this old post remained.

Also, even if the body is in that range, it may have had a recall/repair that fixed it.
Also, as my own experience was, even if it DID have a repair, it may still be bad! :shock:

.. but this was not the norm.


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bildeb0rg
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Sep 04, 2016 11:45 |  #4

Curious as why you felt the need to review a nine year old body that has been superseded three times and now sells for less than the current x0 series bodies?




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CyberDyneSystems
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Post has been last edited 9 months ago by CyberDyneSystems. 3 edits done in total.
Sep 04, 2016 17:02 |  #5

I did not feel the need to, I was asked to.

The fact that the resale price has come down to less than a new Rebel, for which one can have in their hands such a fast action, bullet proof tough system, makes it an appealing purchase to many budget minded shooters, told me it might be worthwhile to some.


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bildeb0rg
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Sep 05, 2016 03:00 |  #6

Cool. I'll add that I've used mine almost exclusively for nine years (200,000 clicks) and its pretty much never missed a beat. Nails focus 95% of the time regardless of af point selected and falls within the "affected serial number" range. I know some where a nightmare and Canon failed to admit the problem until too late.
As long as I fill the frame and keep iso to 1600 I can make up to 40" (on the long edge) prints from its 10mp files that my buyers like. This one printed at 30"x20" and the club were delighted.

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CH_Devin
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Sep 09, 2016 02:31 as a reply to CyberDyneSystems's post |  #7

I read the review and thought it was entertaining at today's timeframe. Thank you for writing it!


50D, 50L, 100L

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mickeyb105
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Sep 18, 2016 09:38 |  #8

Jake, if you had your own blog I would probably pay to subscribe to it.

Seriously, between you and Hatch--best and most entertaining reviews. Thank you for always being so generous with your insight and experiences!


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Sep 18, 2016 15:23 |  #9

Thank you!

I updated with some sample images taken over the years.


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Chet
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Sep 20, 2016 11:35 |  #10

I am also enjoying my "new to me" 1diii. Great upgrade over any rebel. Thanks for the review.


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RicardoB
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Post has been edited 8 months ago by RicardoB.
Oct 13, 2016 20:48 |  #11

Jake,

Your review was the defining moment for me to bite on a used (25000 actuations) 1dMK3. I checked all around the web and thought to myself hey this camera was the Shizznit back in the day, I can make this work for my Part Time Biz. The camera I got was within the serial numbers you listed as having the AF issues. With the purchase I received a CPS receipt showing the AF fix.

I have paired it with a 24-70mm L II and I am a happy camper. Did a senior HS photoshoot last weekend and was astounded by the high percentage of in focus shots I have. Best 450.00 camera I will ever purchase!

Loved the fact from the git go that the ergonomics of the camera mimic'd my 5D that I had stolen along with some high priced lenses while on vacation in California.

So now I have a MK3, MK2 and 20D....I know, I know dinosaur like equipment but it is making me a little bit of extra $.

My two cents worth.....

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Oct 13, 2016 21:42 |  #12

RicardoB wrote in post #18156293 (external link)
....Best 450.00 camera I will ever purchase!

.....
thumbnailHosted photo: posted by RicardoB in
./showthread.php?p=181​56293&i=i166881966
forum: Camera Reviews

Damn, I paid 10 times that!

Glad you are enjoying it and that it is working out well. It was a $4,500.00 camera at one point, and it doesn't stop being as good as it was when it was released. Seems like a steel to me!


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Oct 13, 2016 21:43 |  #13

Chet wrote in post #18134319 (external link)
I am also enjoying my "new to me" 1diii. Great upgrade over any rebel. Thanks for the review.


Regardless of how old it may be, it certainly will feel like "big boys toys" after the rebel :)


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RicardoB
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Oct 15, 2016 20:36 |  #14

I know right!!
Except the fever now is to find a nice low shutter count 1D markIV!!




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