The 21.1-megapixel Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III is Canon's flagship professional DSLR.

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

Overall score:94%
Image Quality:100%


  • High resolution, full frame, low noise, solid build, speed of AF


  • Manual focus live view, low-res LCD, artisan design


Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III Review


Price as reviewed:


Performance and Handling

Quick AF

Once we’re up and running, the camera is a breeze and a joy to use. The AF is quick and quiet, and the shutter release button is responsive. While it’s not the fastest shooter at five frames per second, it’s impressive that the large file sizes can be passed through the system so quickly and sustained bursts of around 60 Jpegs are easily achieved using a SanDisk Extreme III CF card.

Secure Grip

The camera grips are comfortable despite the weight, with the same rubber coating of other Canon DLSRs providing a confidence-instilling and secure grip. It’s a camera better suited to larger hands and longer fingers though, as there can be a bit of a reach to certain buttons. It’s not a major problem it’s just a big camera!

We always find ourselves fumbling around with EOS cameras not through unfamiliarity but it’s just a little awkward and the 1Ds Mk III is no exception. Having to press two buttons simultaneously then using the dial to access the exposure bracketing is a case in point; another being using the ‘Func’ button to change the White Balance on the grey LCD on the back of the camera. They’re all subjective quibbles, but we just find it less intuitive than it could be.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to try the camera’s weatherproofing across a range of climate conditions, but it certainly coped well with a downpour of fine rain, the sort that soaks you right through.

LCD Quality

The viewfinder matches the size of the sensor, noticeably larger than that of an APS-C type DSLR, and is bright and clean with clear green LED readout and red projected LED AF points. The AF points can be selected individually using the front command dial and the large rotating command dial on the back. The monitor is a useful size, but the resolution and clarity really fail to match that of the ultra-high resolution of the Nikon D3 or Sony Alpha 700. At this price, we really would expect more resolution, especially as the live view only works in manual focus mode and so requires the sharpest view possible.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features and Design
  3. 3. Performance and Handling
  4. 4. Image Quality & Value
  5. 5. Verdict
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