Faster than a gazelle with a hungry cheetah right behind it, Canon's new sports- and nature-oriented dSLR captures 10.1-megapixel images at 10 frames per second
The hero product of Canon's Spring Collection, announced yesterday, is the Canon EOS-1D Mark III -- a professional digital SLR aimed at sports and nature photographers. It replaces the EOS-1D Mark II N, offering a higher resolution and faster continuous shooting in a lighter and more robust body.
Although Canon fans had been speculating about a replacement for the semi-professional EOS 30D, Canon chose to address the professional end of the market by replacing the sports version of the EOS-1D (there's also a version for studio photographers, the EOS-1Ds Mark II). The new camera offers a relatively modest (by current standards) resolution of 10.1 megapixels, but can capture full-size JPEG images at 10 frames per second (fps). This makes it faster than Nikon's sports-oriented D2Hs and puts it level with Canon's top film SLR, the EOS 1V HS. The 1D Mark III can also shoot up to 110 images in a burst, so there's more chance of catching the exact moment that the racquet hits the ball or the sprinter crosses the line.
With a body-only price of around £3,000 and weighing about 1.3kg, the EOS-1D Mark III isn't going to suit as many people as the new, pocket-friendly Digital IXUS 70 and IXUS 75. Some of the new features will gradually trickle down to more accessible cameras, however. For example, the 1D Mark III features a 76mm (3-inch) LCD with a Live View mode, which means -- for the first time in a Canon dSLR -- you can use the LCD rather than the viewfinder to compose your image. The live preview can also be fed to an external monitor, meaning you could set up the camera next to a bird's nest and get a virtual view through the lens from a laptop a safe distance away. The 1D Mark III can also save images to an external hard disk using Canon's Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2.
For more specifications and other details, see our news story, Canon announces new high-end SLR. The EOS-1D Mark III should be on sale in April, in time for the big sporting events of the summer. -ML