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:


Image Quality & Value


There’s little to criticise the camera for in terms of exposure. For average subjects it’s consistently spot on, while the more usual meter-fooling culprits will be easily sorted using exposure compensation. If you’re less sure about exposure, use bracketing, but seriously if you’re spending £5,500 on a camera, you should be able to drive it!


Ever since the original EOS 1Ds, the range has always impressed with its noise control. Canon was the first to use CMOS and the lack of noise proved its worth. Canon has done it again with this version; ISO 800 is noise free while the higher sensitivity shows so little as not to matter.

Tone and Contrast

Images are punchy and crisp, while still maintaining smooth tonal gradations. There’s plenty of shadow detail, and when highlight detail is lost, such as bright skies for example, it can usually be brought back during Raw processing. I’ve seen few cameras that can maintain that level of retention, indicating an impressive dynamic range.

Colour and White Balance

Another bonus for the 1Ds Mk III, the auto white balance proves remarkably effective and for the picky there’s plenty of control on board for fine-tuning. Similarly, with general colour control the camera makes a good show, with vibrant images, though not over saturated.

Sharpness and Detail

This is where the camera shines, with its 22 million pixels enhancing the perceived sharpness of the images, especially when viewed on screen or printed to A4. Zooming in on the images reveals levels of detail that lower-resolution cameras can’t capture (nor often need to)

Value for Money

It’s the most expensive DSLR on the market, but is it worth the money? To the man on the Clapham Omnibus, probably not, but to the top-end advertising or fashion snapper, it’s less than a day’s wages.

  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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