Post PMA: Canon EOS 1D Mark III: new tricks

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Down at PMA I got a chance to get up close and personal with the new Mark III update to the EOS 1D from Canon. It's a shame they have run out of numbers, because the Mark III doesn't do justice to the fact this is a complete ground up rebuild of their flagship dSLR.

There is a lot of news out and about on this camera, so here are a few features you may not have spotted elsewhere (I hadn't):

  • It can capture to a new 'Small RAW' format. About a quarter of the size of a typical RAW shot, but all the benefits of RAW. If you don't need a full size RAW shot, this is a great alternative.
  • The Mark III is dual core! That is, it has two of Canon's DIGIC III processors on board, which means faster and more efficient image processing — and delivered at 14-bit.
  • You can now shoot at far wider ISOs: down at 50, or up at 6400. That bit was well known. But with the improved processing these far ends are genuinely usable! Less noise than ever, so you can still get serviceable images for professional work (with a little noise and sharpness fixing in post).
  • The wacky 45-point AF system has been revamped, and it is easier to set the way you want it to work. Lots of settings are available (well, 17) to get it just right. I've only ever found the huge AF array to be annoying, so custom adjusting it back down to something more definite is heaven.

  • The new Wireless File Transmitter acts as a mini web server, letting you have images saved direct to a remote computer AND letting a remote computer operate the camera — everything but zoom. GPS data can be attached to the WFT, as can an 80GB hard drive when you have no computer nearby to send to.
  • You can pre-populate EXIF metadata fields so you produce pre-tagged images. Excellent for getting a job out the door in a hurry, especially when combined with the WFT sending to a remote computer system.

Learn something new? I did!

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