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New carping about high-end Canon SLR focus

Another high-profile blogger--Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar this time--complains about autofocus in Canon's new EOS-1D Mark III.

Photographer and consultant Rob Galbraith isn't alone in griping that the autofocus feature in the new $4,500 Canon EOS-1D Mark III is a step down from that of its predecessor, the 1D Mark II N.

Seattle Times sports photographer Rod Mar posted two blog entries last week criticizing the camera. He complained of fuzzy artifacts in his two brand-new models after photographing several games.

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

"Believe it or not, Canon's new flagship camera...has trouble focusing. And it isn't a rare, isolated problem," he said in the first blog entry. "The camera has trouble tracking subjects in its autofocus. Further, the problem is worse in bright, sunny conditions with low ISOs."

In the second post, he complains of the fuzzy-focus problem, which he believes is different from ordinary out-of-focus softness. And he adds, "Instead of choosing frames by judging light, composition and moment, I'm choosing them solely by the accuracy of the focus...Editing the Pittsburgh game was tough because of this."

It's not all bad news. Mar also praised some camera features, including its "amazing ability to shoot in very low light." And he also gave high marks for the camera's results when shooting at high-sensitivity settings that, in lesser cameras, produce multicolored speckles of image noise: "The Mark III shot at ISO 3,200 looks like the older cameras' (shot) at ISO 1,000."