With the winter Olympics looming on the horizon, Canon's announcement of an update to its pro sports-shooting mainstay, the EOS-1D series, comes as little surprise. While the buzz will probably center around the incorporation of a similar video-capture engine to that of the
The reputation of the EOS' AF system has taken a beating over the past couple of years, and Canon seems to have pulled out the stops to redeem itself--of course, only time and testing will tell if it's succeeded. On paper, though, with more cross-type AF points, enhancements to improve low-light/low-contrast AF, and an update to its predictive AF tracking algorithms, it has the potential to outpower the veteran system in the D3S.
Here's where it stands on the key specs:
|Canon EOS-1D Mark III||Canon EOS-1D Mark IV||Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III||Nikon D3S|
|Sensor (effective resolution)||10.1-megapixel CMOS||16.1-megapixel CMOS||21.1-megapixel CMOS||12.1-megapixel CMOS|
|28.1 x 18.7mm||27.9 x 18.6mm||36.0 x 24.0mm||36.0 x 23.9mm|
|Sensitivity range||ISO 100 (expanded)/200 - ISO 3200/6400 (expanded)||ISO 50 (expanded)/100 - ISO 12,800/102,400 (expanded)||ISO 50 (expanded)/100 - ISO 1600/3200 (expanded)||ISO 100 (expanded)/200 - ISO 12,800/102,400 (expanded)|
|Continuous shooting||10 fps|
30 raw/110 JPEG
26 raw/121 JPEG
12 raw/56 JPEG
36 raw/82 JPEG
|Metering||63 zones||63 zones||63 zones||1,005 pixel 3D color matrix|
|Shutter speeds||1/8000 to 30 sec; 1/300 sec max flash X-sync||1/8000 to 30 sec; 1/300 sec max flash X-sync||1/8000 to 30 sec; 1/250 sec max flash X-sync||1/8000 to 30 sec; bulb; 1/250 sec max flash X-sync (1/8000 focal plane sync)|
|Video (highest resolution)||None||1080p at 30fps (720p at 60fps) H.264 QuickTime MOV||None||1280x720 at 24fps MJPEG AVI|
|LCD size||3 inches fixed|
|3 inches fixed|
|3 inches fixed|
|3 inches fixed|
|Shutter durability||300,000 cycles||300,000 cycles||300,000 cycles||300,000 cycles|
|Battery life (CIPA rating)||2,200 shots||1,500 shots||1,800 shots||4,300 shots|
|Dimensions (inches, WHD)||6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1||6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1||6.1 x 6.3 x 3.1 in.||6.3 x 6.2 x 3.4|
|Body operating weight (ounces)||47.3||47.9 (estimated)||50.0||50.4 (estimated)|
|Mfr. Price (body only)||$3,999.99||$4,999.99||$6,999.99||$5,199.95|
As is usual, in conjunction with increasing the resolution Canon has tweaked the sensor design to combat noise. In this case, that means improving the coverage of the microlenses for maximum light gathering and making the photodiode wells deeper. Canon bumps to two Digic 4 image processors, up from the Digic III, to maintain its 10fps burst rate at the higher resolution.
In addition to the increase in AF points, Canon has made them more configurable. As with Nikon, you can choose subsets of the group or expand points around the selected one, though I don't believe it allows you to clump them the way Olympus' AF system allows--one of my favorite capabilities. (You can find a complete feature list on Canon's site.) However, it does allow you to preset three selected single-focus points, one for each orientation of the camera (two vertical, one horizontal), that it automatically switches to. That sounds kind of neat.
Canon also announced a new wireless transmitter the WFT-E2 II A that only works with the Mark IV (which might peeve some people who have a variety of Canon bodies), though it has some nice features like support for Bluetooth (to link with geotagging accessories).
The EOS-1D Mark IV is slated to ship at the end of December. If the universe is feeling benevolent, I'll have one to test soon after--a (hopefully) hot camera to warm up those cold midwinter days.