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A blight on Canon 1D Mark III's record

Consultant and prominent photo blogger Rob Galbraith says it appears the new high-end Canon SLR has problems with autofocus when it's warm and bright outside.

So far, most of the reviews of Canon's high-end EOS-1D Mark III digital SLR have been highly favorable, as befits a $4,500 camera from the leader of the pack. But this week, Rob Galbraith, one of the privileged few to get an early look at the camera, issued a scathing review of its autofocus abilities.

Canon's EOS-1D Mark III
Canon's EOS-1D Mark III Canon

In a Tuesday post, Galbraith said that under some circumstances, the 1D Mark III's autofocus can have trouble focusing initially on a subject, doesn't track moving subjects well and can lose focus. The problems cropped up when the weather was warm and the light was especially bright, he said. It afflicted one preproduction model, two production models and a third production model is "giving off the same vibe."

"We don't know whether it's the light, the heat or both that's causing the problem we've encountered, but we're leaning towards both being the culprits somehow," Galbraith said. The predecessor 1D Mark II N has better autofocus, he added.

Not everybody is having trouble. CNET's review rated the camera as "spectacular." And freelance photographer Allen Rockwell, had no problems taking pictures at the Paris Air Show. "I have not had a single problem with my Mark III," he said. "I picked it up a day before my trip and I have shot about 4,000 images since then and I could not be happier with my new toy."

However, in an update Thursday, Galbraith said he's received more than 200 e-mails corroborating his complaint.