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Canon Unleashes New Flagship DSLR, 21.1MP Full Frame 1Ds Mark III

As the follow-up model to the 1Ds Mark II, introduced nearly three years ago, the updated DSLR combines features from the 1Ds Mark II predecessor and the more recent 1D Mark III. The camera possesses a Canon all-time high 21.1-megapixel resolution, full

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*August 20, 2007 *– Part of Canon’s overhaul of its digital camera lineup is the

EOS-1Ds Mark III, the company’s new flagship model. As the follow-up to the 1Ds Mark II, introduced nearly three years ago, the updated DSLR combines features from its predecessor and the more recent 1D Mark III. The camera possesses a Canon all-time high 21.1-megapixel resolution, full frame CMOS image sensor, updated 5 fps burst rate, Live View, and a brand-new viewfinder. The Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III has a suggested retail price of $7,999 and is scheduled to hit the market this November.

"Without changing the price of the Mark II, this is a comprehensive upgrade," said Chuck Westfall, Canon’s director of media and consumer relations, in an interview with DigitalCameraInfo.com.

The updated EOS-1Ds Mark III’s massive 21.1-megapixel resolution surpasses the 16.7-megapixel 1Ds Mark II and competing SLRs. The double-digit resolution borders on medium format territory.

'...the new EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR takes Canon's pro-digital prowess into the realm of high-fashion and commerical photo studios where bulkier, medium-format cameras previously reigned,' according to a company press release.

Like its predecessor, the EOS camera features a full frame CMOS sensor. The full frame allows users to shoot as they would with traditional 35mm film, eliminating focal length conversion on lenses. The 1D Mark III, on the other hand, uses an APS-H size sensor (1.3x magnification). The 1Ds Mark III's new 36x24mm CMOS image sensor consists of 21.1 megapixels.

Supporting the image sensor are Canon's latest dual Digic III image processors. 

'This technology ensures the fine details and natural colors of images are optimally recorded and, as an added bonus, is responsible for the EOS-1Ds Mark III SLR's high-speed performance, faster signal processing and more efficient energy consumption,' according to the release.

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The camera uses a 14-bit A/D (analog-to-digital) conversion process like the 1D Mark III, an upgrade from 12-bit conversion of the 1Ds Mark II, for faster processing speed. According to Canon, the new conversion process can recognize up to four times more colors than the 1Ds Mark II.

The high 21.1-megapixel sensor affects the speed of the camera. With its 10 fps burst, the 10.1-megapixel 1D Mark III can shoot 110 consecutive JPEG photos or 30 RAW images. The new 21-megapixel 1Ds Mark III, however, can shoot at 5 fps for 56 JPEG files or 12 RAW images in succession, according to Westfall. While the 1Ds Mark III’s shooting speed doesn’t reach that of the 1D Mark III, it surpasses the Mark 1Ds II, which has a 4 fps burst at 32 consecutive frames in JPEG or 11 frames in RAW.

Canon also introduced a new pentaprism viewfinder with 0.75x magnification that provides 100 percent field of view.

"With the full frame sensor, the view that you’re getting through this camera is bigger and brighter than any other EOS that has ever been made so far. It’s really the best viewfinder that we’ve ever had," Westfall said. "With the target audience being primarily studio and commercial photographers who are going to be, day-in and day-out, hours on end, looking through this camera, having a real high quality viewfinder is a big plus.'

The 1Ds Mark III possesses other traits of the 1D Mark III, continuing the evolution of the 1D series. The new SLR includes 45-point auto focus, comprised of 19 cross-type points and 26 assist points for more accurate focusing. The 1Ds Mark III will also host the Live View function, allowing photographers to use the 3-inch LCD in lieu of the viewfinder. Like the viewfinder, the LCD provides 100 pecent field of view. The image viewed on the LCD can be magnified five or 10 times to check for focus, according to the release. The Live View can be combined with Canon's Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2A, also announced today, to connect the camera to a computer for remote shooting.

The camera includes the EOS Integrated Cleaning System that removes dust from the image sensor. Upon turning the camera on and off, the sensor vibrates for 3.5 seconds. The dust is then captured by sticky material around the sensor. The camera's internal dust removal system works in conjunction with software that identifies any remaining dust. Any dust artifacts can then be removed with Canon's Digital Professional software, according to the release.

Like the 1D Mark III, the 1Ds has a 300,000 shutter cycle durability and lithium-ion battery system versus the heavier Ni-NH battery used in the Mark II.

The Evolution of the 1D Series Comparison Chart

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