Canon’s much-anticipated EOS-1D X Mark III
Canon Europe launches the ultimate sports and wildlife camera, the EOS-1D X Mark III, offering professional photographers limitless possibilities, at blistering speeds. Boasting dramatically improved AF tracking performance, image quality, and communication capabilities, the camera represents the pinnacle of Canon’s EOS-1 series. Canon’s new flagship camera features incredible industry-leading shooting speeds of up to 20fps with AF tracking, along with improved high ISO performance the camera achieves ‘the shot’, every time. The EOS-1D X Mark III’s AF sensor sports 28 times the center resolution of its predecessor to address professional photographers’ need for greater accuracy and focusing on subjects in a wider range of scenarios. What’s more, the camera offers impressive 5.5K 12-bit RAW video internal recording – the first non-cinema Canon EOS series camera to have such feature – allowing professionals to capture top-quality video as well as stills.
The EOS-1D X Mark III has been developed using feedback from the worldwide community of EOS-1D X and EOS-1D X Mark II photographers, including prestigious Canon Ambassadors. Canon’s rich heritage in optical excellence shines through in professionals’ feedback during testing, praising the EOS-1D X Mark III’s step-change in autofocus, dramatically improved image and video quality and speedy communication abilities – all features which allow professionals to achieve breath-taking images and deliver them to clients – faster than ever before.
Eddie Keogh, professional sports photographer and Canon Ambassador said: “Working from the sidelines at top sporting events worldwide, Canon’s DLSRs continue to dominate professional photography. Throughout the years EOS-1 series cameras have been unrivaled in their reliability and capability, which is why I’ve been using them since 2002 with the EOS-1D. In my line of work, speed is everything, so I’m delighted to be using the EOS-1D X Mark III which features noticeably improved fps, outstanding autofocus and quicker communication abilities – because, in the competitive industry of sports photography, a matter of milliseconds could mean the difference between a picture that makes it to the back pages of national newspapers or doesn’t.”
Unrivaled autofocus to achieve ‘the shot’
Based around the Canon EF mount, with more AF lenses available than any other system, the EOS-1D X Mark III features a new AF system and sensor. This Canon-developed technology enables enhanced stability and tracking giving professionals a new level of flexibility and accuracy when photographing subjects in various conditions.
In the ever-competitive professional photography industry there is no room for images of blurry subjects. With a new AF sensor, the camera provides 28 times the center resolution of its predecessor and three times the number of AF points[i], delivering unrivaled precision and giving photographers even greater image choice of pin-sharp shots. Partnered with a dedicated DIGIC 8 processor, focusing on subjects in a wider range of lighting is made possible – conditions which would see lesser-quality AF systems fail to capture ‘the shot’ in focus. In addition to focusing accuracy in low light, the camera is ideal for photographing low contrast, patterns, fine detail, and diagonal lines – all of which were previously difficult to capture.
Programmed via deep learning, the camera’s AF system can identify human subjects in a range of sporting situations, bringing them into focus – at high speeds – with a newly-developed advanced subject tracking system. With this deep learning capability, the camera will lock on to a subject’s head or face – the primary place of focus for the human eye when looking at images – even in situations when the subject’s eyes are covered by the likes of helmets and goggles. A new Auto AF case setting has also been incorporated in the camera to tune the AF settings to match the subject – making setting up the AF system easier than ever before – ideal for professionals photographing subjects which occasionally maybe blocked.
Limitless creative opportunities
Thanks to its new Canon developed DIGIC X processor, 20.1 Megapixel sensor, mirror system and shutter, the EOS-1D X Mark III gives a competitive edge – achieving industry-leading speeds of 16fps.
Essential for world-class sporting events and animals in the wild, the optical viewfinder provides photographers better connection to the subject, with clear and bright lag-free viewing. In Live View mode, the camera can shoot at 20fps with mechanical or electronic shutter with full AF, further extending creative opportunities.
To achieve such fast frame rates impossible in any other manufacturers’ camera, Canon’s innovative technology reinvents the SLR mirror system. With Canon’s mechanical engineering superiority at the heart, the camera features almost zero mirror bounce – meaning its mirrors return to their positions as quickly and as precisely as possible – directing light to the camera’s AF sensor to take a reading faster than ever before.
Next generation imaging standards
The EOS-1D X Mark III is Canon’s first camera to feature its next-generation imaging sensor, supporting faster readout and lower noise – addressing professionals’ request for a low-noise, high-performing DSLR. The camera’s 20.1 Megapixel Full-Frame CMOS sensor also offers Canon’s widest ISO range yet. With the extended settings from ISO 50 to ISO 819,200 – the EOS-1D X Mark III further provides professionals with the flexibility to photograph in various conditions.
Thanks to the increased noise handling abilities of its sensor, professionals can alter the exposure of images in post-processing without noise affecting the dark areas of the images – providing even more usable dynamic range than previous models. The EOS-1D X Mark III is the first camera to the market to use a revolutionary new High Detail Low-Pass Filter, which samples the light point over a greater number of points to achieve sharper and higher resolution images while preventing moiré. It is also the first EOS model to support the HEIF (High-Efficiency Image File Format). This next-generation format, based on the HEVC codec, enables images with 10-bits of data to be saved in a file the equivalent size as a JPEG while suffering fewer compression artefacts. The camera also uses the next generation of memory cards CFexpress providing write speeds over three times that of that previous fastest CFast cards and making shooting bursts of over 1000 raw images possible.
Meeting the demand for high-quality video
Thanks to its new sensor and processor, the EOS-1D X Mark III is now also Canon’s most advanced video product with interchangeable lenses outside of the Cinema EOS series – offering 4K Full Frame and supporting 12-bit RAW internal recording. It is the first non-cinema Canon camera to feature RAW recording, providing an expansive range of colours and tones which can be extracted in post-production for superior image quality. In addition to this, using the camera, video can also be recorded as 12-bit CRM file at 5.5K (5472x2886), allowing very detailed oversampled 4K footage – meeting the demand for high-quality video.
The camera can also record using Canon Log Gamma, captured as a 10-bit HEVC/H.265 file, giving professionals multiple editing and unlimited creative possibilities. Addressing the need for speed, the EOS-1D X Mark III supports file recording in an MP4 container, for fast transmission of files. What’s more, it is also the first EOS-1 series camera to support Move Digital IS – providing 5-axis stabilization to cope with a wide range of movements – a feature seen in high-end Canon cinema cameras like the EOS C500 Mark II.
Using the EOS-1D X Mark III, Dual Pixel CMOS AF is supported in 4K and RAW mode[ii], when coupled with Movie Digital IS, professionals can have confidence their movie image footage will have pin-sharp focus and be steady – whatever the condition or scenario – perfect for impromptu video opportunities.
Content delivery at competitive speeds
Keeping pace with shortening deadlines and addressing professionals’ needs for seamless and speedy content delivery, the EOS-1D X Mark III is the first EOS-1 series camera to feature built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Wi-Fi can be used for FTP or connecting via EOS Utility as well as connecting to a smartphone. Its Bluetooth connectivity uses the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol, providing a constant connection to a compatible smart device yet requiring minimal battery power – ideal for long shoot days. By opening Canon Camera Connect, the EOS-1D X Mark III automatically connects to compatible devices[iii], allowing image review, sharing, and remote Live View shooting with a single tap.
With inbuilt GPS, professionals can capture location data to images – particularly useful for traveling sports photographers and exploring wildlife photographers. The camera transfers data faster than the speed of the EOS-1D X Mark II when using the built-in ethernet, or the new optional wireless file transmitter – the WFT-E9. Coupled with a simpler network set-up, it greatly enhances professionals’ workflow.
An extension of professionals’ creativity
Allowing seamless navigation with trusted ergonomics, existing EOS-1D series users will be comfortable handling the EOS-1D X Mark III. It's magnesium alloy body offers the durability expected from Canon’s EOS-1 cameras – withstanding extreme weather conditions, with phenomenal weather-sealing. The EOS-1D X Mark III also makes shooting in dark or dimly-lit conditions easier, with light-up buttons – a feature added directly as a result of professional feedback. A number of buttons on the camera illuminate when the display light button is pressed making identifying the various buttons much easier – offering again, limitless shooting possibilities.
The camera also provides additional control for selecting AF points, built into the AF-ON button, allowing photographers to change AF points on-the-fly for the best composition – further simplifying their work. Professionals can also benefit from dramatically improved battery life – with the same LP-E19 – enabling them to shoot 2850 shots per charge – reducing the chance of missing ‘the shot’ when changing the battery.
EOS-1D X Mark III and EOS-1D X Mark II compared
EOS-1D X Mark III - 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor
EOS-1D X Mark II - 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor
EOS-1D X Mark III - ISO 100-102,400 (H: ISO 819,200)
EOS-1D X Mark II - ISO 100-51,200 (H: ISO 409,600)
Cont. shooting (OVF/Live View)
EOS-1D X Mark III - 16/20 fps
EOS-1D X Mark II - 14 fps/16 fps* no AF tracking
Number of AF points (OVF/LV)
EOS-1D X Mark III - 191/3869
EOS-1D X Mark II - 61/2583
AF lowest EV
EOS-1D X Mark III - -4 EV/-6 EV Live view
EOS-1D X Mark II - -3
EOS-1D X Mark III - 2850
EOS-1D X Mark II - 1210
EOS-1D X Mark III - CR3 (RAW), JPEG, HEIF
EOS-1D X Mark II - CR2 (RAW), JPEG
EOS-1D X Mark III - Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in/WFT-E9
EOS-1D X Mark II - Wi-Fi via adapter WFT-E8
EOS-1D X Mark III - High speed Gigabyte Ethernet and USB C
EOS-1D X Mark II - Gigabyte ethernet and USB 3
EOS-1D X Mark III - 500,000
EOS-1D X Mark II - 400,000
EOS-1D X Mark III - 5.5K RAW (60p), 4K DCI (60p), 4K UHD (60p), Full-HD (120p)
EOS-1D X Mark II - 4K video (60p), Full HD (120p)
Movie crop factor
EOS-1D X Mark III - Full width DCI, 1.3x crop
EOS-1D X Mark II - 1.3x
Movie RAW recording
EOS-1D X Mark III - Yes
EOS-1D X Mark II - No
EOS-1D X Mark III - 2x CFexpress
EOS-1D X Mark II - 1x Cfast 1x Compact flash
EOS-1D X Mark III - Yes, Built in
EOS-1D X Mark II - Yes, Built in
Weight (CIPA standard)
EOS-1D X Mark III - 1440 g
EOS-1D X Mark II - 1530 g
*Max shooting speed 20 fps in live view mode.
*Pricing and availability to be confirmed