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Canon 1D Mark III


I was lucky enough to have a Canon 1D mkIII on loan to play with for a few weeks, along with the wireless kit and a 24-70mm f2.8. The purpose of the loan was to demonstrate it to a customer of ours. To do that, I spent some time with the camera. These are my impressions.

It is rather heavy. Compared to my 350d, it is actually very heavy. Add on the 24-70mm lens, a 580ex flash, the wireless kit and you start to feel like a serious photographer. The sort that would go chasing celebs around for fun.

The downside to all that seriousness is my 50mm f1.8 looks ridiculous on it.

The speed of this camera is just brilliant. If I was shooting sports I’d be incredibly excited by it. Add in the low noise and high iso and you’ll find yourself getting shots you wouldn’t have before. The live view is fun to play with, but unless you’re doing lots of studio or product work, I’m not that sold on it. The viewfinder is so crisp, I was more than happy to use that.

The wireless kit is something of a strange beast. If you need wireless, then it has enough features to suit most needs. It can FTP to a server, or shoot to a USB hard drive, or allow remote shooting with live view over wireless, or act as a web server with camera controls active from a browser.

Enabling wireless tended to make the camera a bit flakey during the configuration process. It was usually okay once things were working. For the purposes of our demonstration, it worked flawlessly. Using the camera in the audience to shoot pictures that turned up on the main projector added a touch of immediacy and wow.

The bit that kills me is the price. The wireless adaptor just isn’t that cheap for what it is. It is a feature you would really need to have to justify the expenditure. And I’m not so sure you’d really need it. Again, product photographers or studio photographers seem to be the main purpose. Showing off at tradeshows would be the other use. I’m still hoping we can have one in the office for that.

I was sad to give it back, but ultimately it is too much camera for the level I’m shooting at. The features I liked are available on the 40d, so like the rest of the planet, I’m waiting for the next revision of the 5d. The full frame is going to work nicely with my fisheye and the reduced weight means it will spend more time at the snow.

Photos from the 1D.

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