Canon EOS 1D X Mark III Review

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is the company’s most recent high-end, ultra-tough, and rapid DSLR camera. The exterior design is identical to earlier Canon



The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is the company’s most recent high-end, ultra-tough, and rapid DSLR camera. The exterior design is identical to earlier Canon EOS-1D bodies, some dating back over two decades. On the other hand, the inside has undergone significant revisions.

If you have the strength to hold the camera in front of you for lengthy periods while using the Live View mode, you can use this large DSLR camera as if it were a compelling mirrorless one. This is true even though it has a double grip and is a DSLR.

This camera can take you beyond shooting in 8-bit JPEG as your “finished image,” which features AF topic identification based on machine learning in both the optical viewfinder and the live view shooting mode and has some excellent video capabilities (including internal Raw video).

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as of February 29, 2024 9:46 pm
Last updated on February 29, 2024 9:46 pm

Because there is much information about the EOS-1D X Mark III, let’s start with a pervasive list of basic specs before delving into precisely what this means on the following pages. There is much information to review regarding the EOS-1D X Mark III.

Important details are as follows:

  • Upgraded CMOS sensor with 20.1 megapixels and dual-pixel autofocus
  • Digic X processor
  • HEIF recording with a bit depth of 10 (supports HDR display at smaller-than-JPEG sizes)
  • Bursts may be taken at either 16 or 20 frames per second while using the viewfinder.
  • Completely redesigned mirror mechanism to lessen shaking and blanking out
  • 191-point autofocus system with a viewfinder that uses a novel “square pixel” design, 155 cross-type points, face, and head detection, sensitivity to -4 exposure value, and all points enable shooting at F8.
  • The Live View AF system now has a horizontal coverage of 90 percent and vertical coverage of 100 percent, along with improved eye recognition, sensitivity down to -6 EV, and support for F11 shooting.
  • New “Smart Controller” for the autofocus system integrated within the AF-ON buttons
  • 5.5K recording at 60p with a bit rate of 12; 4K recording at 60p with a bit rate of 10 in H.265, HEVC.
  • Dual CF Express card slots, allow for an almost limitless buffer in practically all circumstances.
  • CIPA-rated for up to 2850 shots when using the viewfinder, and 610 while using Live View when powered by an LP-E19 battery.
  • 500 thousand times through the shutter
  • Weighs 1440g

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is the most well-rounded and well-specced camera currently available for both stills and video shooters with the necessary funds, except landscape and studio specialists who need massive amounts of megapixels.

This is because these types of photographers require incredibly high-resolution images. Therefore, despite the ever-quickening rate of technological advancement and the ever-shortening duration of product cycles in the industry, it is abundantly evident that Canon intends for the 1D X III to continue serving professional users for a considerable amount of time in the future.

What’s new, and how does it stack up?

The EOS-1D X Mark III interior is where all the most significant updates have been made. However, there have been some modifications made to the exterior as well. It is important to note that there is so much to discuss autofocus that we have spent the entirety of the page that follows discussing that topic in further depth.

Key takeaways:

  • The upgraded sensor and CPU provide improved speed and should result in improved performance at high ISO.
  • Burst speeds of 16 and 20 frames per second in the viewfinder and in live vision (an increase from 14/16).
  • It is possible to utilize either the mechanical or the electronic shutter for the 20 fps burst rate in live view.
  • Lowpass filter that is brand new and unique in its category
  • The inclusion of HDR stills captured at 10-bit resolution
  • Ergonomic enhancements include an AF smart controller
  • There are a variety of possibilities for the quality of 4K capture, however, there are few capture tools.
  • Sensor, CPU, driving mechanisms, and low-pass filter have all been upgraded.

A 20.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel focusing is at the core of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III camera. It is accompanied by a brand new Digic X processor, which Canon says should be called “ex” and is not the Roman numeral for the number ten. According to reports, the performance of the new CPU is significantly superior to that of the two Digic 6+ processors found in the earlier Mark II model in terms of image processing and computing speed. These enhancements bring many new capabilities, the most notable of which is the capacity to capture images at a rate of up to 20 frames per second while maintaining autofocus and autoexposure in live View utilizing either the mechanical or electronic shutter (16 fps using the OVF). In addition, the new mirror and shutter drive mechanisms, which were fine-tuned using simulations, allow the camera to achieve quicker burst rates and minimize the viewfinder blackout.

According to Canon, the new lowpass filter will produce photographs with backgrounds that appear more organically blurred

The sensor and the Digic X processor work together to provide a maximum native ISO value of 102,400 and a maximum extended ISO value of 819,200. Both are one-stop enhancements compared to the Canon 1D X Mark II. When we asked about the benefits of using the quiet, totally electronic shutter, we were assured that customers might anticipate experiencing substantially fewer rolling shutter artifacts. Although our data points to a solid rolling shutter performance, this camera can still not compete with the readout speed of Sony’s a9 and a9 II sports cameras.

Image via Canon

A recently developed lowpass, an anti-aliasing filter, can be seen in front of the sensor. The one on the 1D X III is unique, although typically designed to divide light beams to the impacts of moiré patterning. This filter, which Canon calls a 16-point lowpass filter, offers separation in eight radial directions. Canon states that the ’16-point separation creates an MTF pattern that closely mimics a Gaussian curve’ for more naturally faded backgrounds and improved sharpness for in-focus portions of your photographs. This is in addition to the fact that the ’16-point separation’ is effective in preventing moiré.

pictures saved in the HEIF 10-bit HDR format

The EOS-1D X Mark III is one of the first cameras that we’ve seen that goes beyond 8-bit JPEGs and produces out-of-camera photos that more completely leverage the advantages in current screens and sensors. This makes it one of the first cameras in its class. In addition, you can now provide a more natural-looking perspective of the environment with a more excellent dynamic range since modern displays can display a perfect degree of brightness than was before achievable.

HDR playback of HEIF files enables more realistic image viewing when shown on HDR televisions

If you have an iPhone, there is a reasonable probability that you have already been capturing images in the higher-quality HEIF format. It is more of a set of standards than a single file format and far more complex than JPEG. For example, it supports picture sequences, encoding up to 16 bits, larger color gamuts, and rich metadata. HEIF also produces smaller file sizes than 8-bit JPEGs due to the more effective compression used in the format.

Canon’s solution to offer 10-bit files with HDR encoding uses a non-linear tone curve called the perceptual quantizer (PQ). This tone curve was developed to encode high dynamic range in a manner compatible with human perception. It is a standard that is being embraced more often for HDR content. In addition, pictures are stored in the expansive Rec. 2020 color space, which makes it possible to select from a more extensive color palette.

When you watch images on high-dynamic-range screens, such as those seen in HDR televisions and the most recent iPhones and iPads from Apple, HDR playback enables a more realistic viewing experience. This means that rather than trying to cram highlights and shadows into the limited dynamic range of a standard JPEG (which, ironically, can sometimes result in an ‘overly-HDR’ look), displaying HEIF files on an HDR monitor allows for truly bright brights and dark darks, which is closer to the contrast we perceive in the real world. Again, this is because the HEIF file format has a higher bit rate than the JPEG format.

The rear panel of the Canon 1D X Mark III does not support HDR, but if you shoot in this format, there is an option called “view assist” that makes the files appear more or less expected when you review them in playback. You also have the opportunity to prioritize the accuracy of the highlights or the mid-tones in the image.

There is not much support for these photos yet, and Canon is not the first consumer camera maker to offer HDR capture for still photographs (Panasonic supports still capture based on the HLG standard). However, we are impressed by Canon’s forward thinking in embracing this new format, and we hope that more firms will follow Canon’s lead in this regard.

To promote its use, if you decide to shoot in HEIF format, your camera will allow you to convert the resulting files to the more common JPEG format on the fly, should you or your client require them. You can also record them simultaneously with the Raw and C-Raw files, which are the industry standard (although doing so may cause the camera to run more slowly).

AF-ON Smart Controller, in addition to additional improvements in operability

What Canon refers to as the new AF Smart Controller is included in the 1D X Mark III package. There are now sensors concealed within the camera’s two AF-ON buttons. When you drag your finger over the buttons – they function almost exactly like highly fine touchpads – you can change the placement of the AF point in the optical viewfinder and Live View. It might seem like a gimmick, but it performs rather admirably. This is not a touch bar blunder in the style of the EOS R. Within the settings, the user is provided with granular control over the sensitivity of the Smart Controller, and it is even usable when wearing gloves.

A handful of illuminated buttons on the rear plate also glow in conjunction with the top LCD information screen. These are both nice improvements. In addition, a new menu option can be used to do a full factory reset, and users may expand the menu interface by double-tapping with two fingers to make it easier to read.


Canon has come out swinging regarding the EOS-1D X Mark III video, calling it the ‘greatest movie shooting performance in EOS history.’ (Canon has come out depending on video on the EOS-1D X Mark III.) If you remember when Canon released the first EOS-1D X, you might recall that the company also introduced a companion model called the EOS-1D C. It was a variant of the EOS-1D X focused on video rather than still photography and included improved video capabilities and performance. Because it already has some essential video skills built-in, the EOS-1D X Mark III thankfully does not require a second, dedicated ‘C’ model to fulfill its video needs.

The 1D X III can record 5.5K/60p 12-bit Raw video internally to a CFExpress card. We have an entire sample reel coming up later in the review, but for now, know that the 1D X III has this capability. Consider that a 128GB card can only contain around 6 minutes of footage at that resolution before you start shooting.

If you don’t have a personal server farm to store all that Raw video, the 1D X III also shoots cinema 4K at up to 60p in All-Intra and IPB formats. However, if you want Dual Pixel AF while shooting, you must enable a cropped 4K/60p or drop to 30p. Additionally, it hits a 10-bit 4:2:2 BT video.

The HEVC file format is used to hold the 2020 Canon Log when it is recorded in any of the 4K modes.

The film captured in DCI 4K is oversampled from 5.5K, whereas footage captured in UHD 4K is oversampled from a somewhat smaller crop. During our first experiences with the camera, we discovered that the video focus was very high quality. In either of the video modes, though, you won’t be able to use the zebra exposure warnings, but you will have access to focus peaking and Canon’s manual focus guide.

Because of the rocker switch on the rear plate of the camera and the fact that the camera now remembers distinct exposure settings for still photography and video recording, it is a breeze for hybrid photographers to go back and forth between still photography and video recording.

Cards for the CF Express standard, networking, and flash memory

The 1D X Mark III does not have the mismatched CFast and CF card slots that its predecessor did; instead, it has two places compatible with CFexpress cards. CFexpress cards are lightning-fast, but much like the rest of the market’s current crop of quick storage, they are prohibitively expensive. However, the write rates can enable the 5.5K Raw video recording and the virtually limitless continuous shooting that the 1D X III is capable of.

Professional customers will be glad to see updated networking choices such as gigabit ethernet. In addition, Canon has integrated GPS and Wi-Fi with Bluetooth for the user’s convenience. The availability of simultaneous communications methods is a feature that deserves special attention. For example, you may use an optional external wireless adapter (the Canon WFT-E9) to transfer files to an FTP server. On the other hand, you can utilize the camera’s built-in Wi-Fi and the EOS Utility software to control the camera remotely and adjust its settings, for instance.

Flash consumers will also welcome the new E-TTL exposure choices since they give users greater control over the desired outcome. These include face priority and a new option to bias an image’s exposure towards either the flash output or the scene’s ambient illumination, depending on the user’s chosen set.


It should not surprise that many of Canon’s efforts have made the autofocus system even more capable. The EOS-1D X Mark III will likely be the camera of choice for many of the world’s best sports photographers. It should come as no surprise that the autofocus system is the primary focus of the company’s efforts.

  • The New Pixel grid AF module provides 191 AF points (155 of which are cross-type)
  • Subject tracking is improved in the viewfinder thanks to a new 400,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor that is coupled with new algorithms.
  • Face and body identification, as well as priority modes, are both supported by machine learning.
  • Available in live view at up to 20 frames per second is a dual-pixel autofocus system.
  • Using the open viewfinder

Speculations were going around that the next camera in the 1D series would be a hybrid DSLR/mirrorless model. That might very well be the case, and I’ll explain why in a moment. First, however, it appears to be a DSLR that has taken a lot of cues from mirrorless cameras regarding design and functionality.

As a digital single-lens reflex camera from the 1D series, it will most likely be taken primarily utilizing the optical viewfinder in conjunction with a secondary, specialized phase-detection autofocus sensor. This sensor, in contrast to every other DSLR we’ve seen in the past, utilizes a grid of pixels rather than a set of line-shaped sensor strips; this gives it the appearance of an image sensor.

Because of this, the autofocus system has more scene information to work with when determining how to offset the stereo pair of images from ‘left-looking’ and ‘right-looking’ (or up-and-down looking) AF detectors. This allows the system to determine how far to drive the lens to achieve focus more quickly and accurately.

Because of the smaller and denser pixels, the resolution of the focusing system has been effectively increased, contributing to the rise in the number of autofocus points from 61 to an impressive 191 points. One hundred fifty-fiveFurthermore, these autofocus points are of the cross-type, meaning they are sensitive to detail in both the horizontal and vertical planes. The enhanced resolution of the grid-type AF detectors not only helps improve focus on low-contrast subjects but also makes it possible to reliably detect even the most minute differences in distance to the subject.

The autofocus points with the highest degree of sensitivity are sensitive down to -4 EV (one stop slower than the Mark II) and up to 21 EV (three stops more elevated than the previous model). You can still access 191 autofocus points even if you add a lens or lens/teleconverter combo with a maximum aperture of F8 (65 of which remain cross-type).

Taking pictures in live View

When the live view mode is activated on the 1D X III, the camera looks like a mirrorless camera. It is possible to shoot at a rate of up to 20 frames per second while maintaining complete autofocus and autoexposure, and the shutter can be entirely mechanical or electronic.

This places it in a position that is nearly comparable to the best sports-shooting mirrorless model currently on the market. However, despite Canon’s promises of the lowest level of rolling shutter they’ve yet achieved, Canon has not yet been able to match the fast readout, non-existent levels of rolling shutter, nor banding under artificial light Sony a9 has reached.

When working in live view mode, the autofocus capabilities of the 1D X Mark III’s Dual Pixel AF system encompass 90% of the scene’s width and 100% of the scene’s height. In addition, the camera will choose any 525 segments across the screen (compared to 143 on the EOS R). At the same time, you can manually select any of the camera’s 3869 available places.

Autofocus in live View is compatible with lenses with a maximum aperture of F11, making it possible to use combinations such as an 800mm F5.6 lens with a 2x teleconverter. When using an F1.2 lens, the AF utilizing the center point (AF-S) is rated to work down to -6 EV, which most likely translates to a value somewhat lower than -4 EV when using an F2.8 lens. This shows that AF performance in low light is comparable to that of shooting with an OVF when using an F2.8 lens, while performance is improved when using faster lenses. Dual Pixel AF, in our testing, has been shown to perform significantly better in environments with low levels of available light.

Learning using machines and following subjects

Regarding subject tracking, Canon DSLRs have historically been known to lag behind the competition. Subject monitoring refers to the capability of the camera to automatically move AF points as required to follow your topic throughout the frame. However, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III features several substantial upgrades designed to change that.

The most recent versions of Canon’s focusing algorithms (utilized in both OVF and live view mode) were created using machine learning, which involves ‘training’ the system to detect subjects by presenting them with millions of photographs. Although the camera cannot learn independently, the autofocus (AF) mechanism may be trained to recognize specific categories of subjects.

The AF system has been taught to recognize the heads and eyes of human beings

Specifically, the camera is equipped with face and body detection and a “People Priority” option, which allows the user to instruct the camera to prioritize focusing on human subjects over non-human ones.

The company claims that the algorithms were trained using appropriate data sets that considered the AF system being used: optimizing for either the 400,000-pixel resolution of the RGB + IR metering sensor for OVF shooting or the image sensor for live view shooting. In addition, the AF system has been trained to recognize human heads and eyes.

The Dual Pixel AF in live View has seen considerable improvements, encouraging news for Canon’s following mirrorless product lines. For example, toe 1D X Mark II only employed brightness, color, and face-detection data to comprehend and follow a subject throughout the frame in live View. However, the 1D X Mark III adds depth-of-field information and eye and head identification to understand better and track your issue.

When it comes to distant subjects that are difficult to isolate against their backgrounds using distance information alone, the AF system prioritizes luminance, color, and pattern detection to understand your issue. This is because distance information alone does not provide enough information.

AF Configuration

Compared to the 1D X Mark II, the autofocus arrangement of the 1D X has been simplified. In place of the previous six presets, there are now only four, each of which may be customized to meet the specific needs of your shooting situation. According to Canon, the ‘Case 1’ mode will handle a wider variety of subjects and subject movement better than the other shooting modes.

The most significant alteration, however, is the addition of a mode labeled “Auto.” This analyzes the movement of your subject and any other activity in the scene (such as different possible issues entering and exiting), and it attempts to alter its settings to be appropriate for the circumstances.

The AF area modes have now been made substantially consistent between shooting with the OVF and shooting with Live View, except the “Face+Tracking” option, which is absent when shooting with the OVF.

Structure, operatives, and maneuvering

To say that the EOS-1D X Mark III is instantly recognized (at least to us camera folk) as a member of the 1D series of cameras is an understatement. The camera has the same fundamental structure as its predecessors, which dates back decades. However, there is much room for improvement, and a few long-standing problems still exist.

Key takeaways

  • The brand-new AF Smart Controller is a very helpful feature that enables you to position your AF region with lightning speed.
  • Touchscreen capability has been added to the rear display, which is also highly snappy.
  • CFExpress cards offer blisteringly quick transfer speeds.
  • The customization choices are good, but we believe that they have room for improvement.
  • Even though the live view functionality is excellent, you probably won’t want to have this camera in front of your face for too long.
  • Choices for robust connection for professionals and options that are simpler for consumers
  • Even though it’s the same LP-E19 pack, the battery life is improved.

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is a giant camera with an inbuilt vertical handle with a battery capable of jumpstarting your automobile. In addition, it has the sensation of a weapon that may be used for self-defense in the house when held in hand. There is, of course, nothing shocking about all of this information, yet, Canon has a few surprises with this most recent model. First, let’s have a more in-depth discussion of the AF Smart Controller that we presented before.

AF Smart Controller

Even though they don’t take up much area on the 1D X III, the two AF Smart Controllers are likely the most critical change to the camera’s handling (at least for the people who are supposed to be using the camera). This is because they function very similarly to little touchpads, as you merely need to slide your thumb around on them to change the autofocus region displayed in the viewfinder or live view mode.

Users of Canon cameras can disable both the vertical and horizontal smart controllers, or they can choose to disable simply the vertical one. You may also modify their sensitivity on a scale from minus two to plus two. Our research has shown that if you reduce the number of autofocus points visible in the viewfinder, you should probably alter the sensitivity of the Smart Controller to compensate.

In live View, the AF Smart Controller is the finest way to manipulate the region that is autofocused on by the camera. Of course, you can fine-tune your area using the classic AF joystick (and holding it in one way accelerates the movement a little), and of course, you can also tap the touch-sensitive rear LCD (more on that later). But the Smart Controller achieves precisely the ideal blend of speed and precision for us, and once again, you can tune this into your preferences using the sensitivity scale.

Because the AF-ON button doubles as a touchpad, you can adjust the autofocus area even while you’re continually focusing

Now, why would you choose to make use of it? It has been developed to provide a quicker approach to picking our AF area, but it benefits shooters who “back-button focus.”

When you do this, you uncouple autofocus from the shutter and utilize only the AF-ON buttons. Because of this, the AF-ON button should be a touchpad so that you may move your AF region around while continually focusing. Of course, this is less significant if you are using the camera’s tracking modes; nevertheless, this might be a handy new function for users who prefer focusing on a single point or a zone.

The electronic touchscreen

We are proud to introduce a full-function touch-sensitive rear LCD on an EOS-1D camera (the previous model had minimal touch functionality). As a result, you can manage the focusing in live View, access the menus, double-tap to zoom in playback, swipe to scroll through photographs, and a lot more, thanks to its fluidity and responsiveness, which is what you would expect from a Canon product.

Another new feature is the capability to pinch-zoom when in the menus to enlarge the text on the screen. People who usually use glasses but aren’t now sporting their prescription eyewear could find this helpful.

There is no option to utilize the touchscreen as a touchpad for your viewfinder AF point when the camera is held up to your eye. Still, the intelligent controller makes this feature completely unnecessary. It is interesting to note that the options do not include an option to deactivate the touchscreen completely.

Personalization, in addition to the existing controls

The 1D X III, like its predecessors in the 1D series, does not have a mode dial. Instead, it would be best if you pressed the ‘Mode’ button, which is located on the upper left shoulder, and then manually adjusted the dials. This control philosophy (which has been honed over quite some time, we should add) carries through to the rest of the camera; from drive mode to metering, white balance to ISO, many shooting parameters are configured by pressing a direct button and manipulating either the front or rear dials. Again, this philosophy has been carried through to the rest of the camera.

The catch here is that, in contrast to many of the other rivals, only a tiny fraction of the external buttons can be changed, even those with fewer possibilities than you would usually anticipate. (In this article, we went into great detail about the EOS 5D Mark IV; the 1D X III offers more possibilities, but there are still restrictions.) We do not anticipate that this will influence every user. Still, we do not believe providing consumers with additional options for customization is inherently harmful (as long as those options are well-organized).

The depth-of-field (DoF) preview and M-Fn2 buttons, located beneath your ring finger and middle finger, respectively, provide the most personalization available of all the buttons. For example, they can provide you with immediate access to various autofocus configurations, lead you straight to the settings for your network, let you establish a new folder on your card, and do a great deal more besides.

You can create three AF modes that are entirely distinct from one another by using the shutter button, the AF-ON button, and the Auto Exposure Lock (AEL) button. In addition, you can define your beginning location, AF case, and whether you want single or continuous autofocus, as well as the area mode you want, by using the AF-ON and AEL buttons.

When you combine this with the settings you can obtain on the DoF and M-Fn2 buttons, which were just covered, you get a good array of possibilities that allow you to adjust rapidly to new circumstances as they occur.

Management of live views

We have stated in a previous article that if Canon removed the mirror box from this camera and replaced it with an electronic viewfinder, you would virtually have a mirrorless sports camera that is on the cutting edge.

Using the EOS-1D X Mark III in live View, you can unleash outstanding Dual Pixel AF performance and 20 frames per second burst speeds with a mechanical or electronic shutter. However, this is not something that Canon has done (yet). Although those burst speeds do not prevent blackouts like Sony’s a9 models can, keeping up with the action is still not overly challenging.

No, as you would have viewed, the device’s weight makes utilizing this camera in live view challenging. Nevertheless, I could use the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III in live view mode to capture video and still images, and it wasn’t too difficult to do so with lenses of a reasonable focal length. However, if you want to utilize live view with bigger lenses or lenses with a focal length of 70–2Viewillimeters, you should consider using a monopod or tripod.

Even if you don’t require 20 frames per second, you should still consider using live view since this camera’s live view focusing system is more competent than the viewfinder autofocus system, despite all the enhancements made to the viewfinder autofocus system. It can’t be helped. You have pupil detection, as opposed to the OVF’s head detection, a much more extensive AF point coverage, and you won’t ever have to worry about having to bother about micro-adjusting your lenses.

If anything, the EOS-1D X Mark III is a good sign of what Canon’s next EOS R5 will be capable of, which is to say nothing of what a future EOS R1 will be capable of.

Integrated antenna for wireless connections

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS antennae incorporated into the camera. The GPS antenna will likely be helpful for anybody operating away from the grid. In addition, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi make it exceedingly simple to transfer photographs taken with the camera to your phone, which can then be uploaded to any social network you choose.

It performs the same duties as Canon’s consumer-oriented cameras in everyday use. Turn on Bluetooth, launch the Canon Camera Connect app, and choose the 1D X III from the list of available cameras. From that point on, all you have to do to view your photographs is start a Wi-Fi connection by tapping the option “pictures on the camera.” Other capabilities, such as shooting with a remote live view and adjusting the camera settings, are also available inside the application.

The Canon 1D X III is a professional-grade DSLR equipped with various advanced wireless and file transmission functions. For example, you may save different configurations to ‘banks’ for easy recall. You can connect Canon’s WFT-E9A wireless transmitter for 5Ghz Wi-Fi to increase the transfer speeds or operate with FTP servers. Both of these features are available to you. You may also hardwire into the camera using gigabit ethernet.

At long last, Canon has introduced the world’s first camera capable of simultaneously supporting various network protocols. This means that you could, for example, set up the 1D X III as a remote camera that is set up to auto-transfer files with the WFT-E9A and then connect to the camera’s built-in wireless antenna with your phone to adjust settings even if you do not have physical access to the camera itself. You could also set up the WFT-E9A to transfer files automatically.

Battery and memory cards are both included.

The LP-E19 is the same battery that Canon’s 1D X Mark III utilizes. This will be excellent for professionals, rental homes, and agencies that already have some of them (they aren’t cheap, after all). With the help of the newest processors in the camera, they travel further than they ever have. CIPA estimates that the camera can take 2850 pictures using the OVF and 610 while using live view.

Keep in mind that you will most likely receive far moreViewn this. For example, you will get more than 30.5 seconds of use out of the battery pack if you shoot at a quiet 20 frames per second while in live view.

Quality of the Image

Key takeaways

  • More usable results can be obtained directly from the camera if the default JPEG settings are improved.
  • Although it has far less noise at high ISOs than its predecessor, it is still not nearly a match for Nikon’s D5 camera.
  • Improvements have been made across the board to JPEG’s noise reduction and conservation of information.

HEIF files

We go into some length Viewhe article on the HDR / PQ potential of the EOS-1D X III, but we thought it would be helpful to look at what you may anticipate if you want to play with it on your own. For instance, imagine you wanted to record an event in HEIF to be seen on an HDR television; what would happen if you subsequently wanted to view the same image on standard dynamic range (SDR) displays?

As of this writing, you may convert HEIF files to JPEG using the in-camera or desktop version of Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software. Of course, you have no influence over the process in any way, shape, or form with either choice, but the end effect is notably distinct from what you would get with a regular JPEG straight from the camera.

Standard JPEG

In-camera conversion of HEIF images to JPEG format

If you want to start shooting in HEIF in preparation for an HDR workflow, you can safely convert the files to JPEG, and even though the converted files will look slightly different than standard JPEGs, they will still look fine on most SDR displays. If you want to start shooting in HEIF, you can safely convert the files to JPEG.

HDR representation of HEIF file formats

However, when recording and displaying high dynamic range situations, the most significant advantage of shooting HDR PQ HEIF images is afforded by using these files. Although it is difficult to demonstrate on a website using only SDR output, we have used a camera to photograph the production of the 1D X III on an HDR display while maintaining the same exposure.

You may get a sense from this of the other highlight range that the HDR output of the 1D X III provides you with. The increased dynamic range of the product helps to alleviate some of the flat results that necessarily result from trying to cram a large scene dynamic range into the capabilities of an SDR display. These balanced results are caused by trying to squeeze a large scene dynamic range into the qualifications of an SDR display (by, for example, darkening highlights and lifting shadows).

To prevent highlights from being overexposed when shooting in HDR HEIF mode, Canon suggests using the Highlight Tone Priority (HTP) setting on your camera.

Because of the limitations of your SDR display, this comparison of the differences between standard dynamic range (SDR) and high dynamic range (HDR) pictures is inevitably restricted.

On an HDR monitor capable of brighter whites and darker blacks, the shadow region would be more optimistic and able to express more contrast on the screen. At the same time, the sky would be brighter still and more distinguishable from the foreground, just as it would be in the real world. This is because HDR monitors are capable of displaying a higher dynamic range.

It is interesting to note that the ‘Standard JPEG’ versus the ‘JPEG converted from HEIF’ rollover above has the exact opposite effect: whereas the converted HEIF file demonstrates reduced sky brightness, the slider above demonstrates increased sky brightness while still retaining the hues of the sunset. This is an example of a “JPEG converted from HEIF.”

This is because the HEIF files could record a more excellent dynamic range, while the HDR display could present that range as brighter brights and deeper shadows, respectively.


Key takeaways

  • The EOS-1D X III is the most powerful DSLR camera that we have yet seen in terms of video capabilities.
  • Video quality is outstanding in all settings
  • The focus in videos is often quite good.
  • Internally, the camera is capable of capturing both raw footage as well as C-Log with 4:2:2 10-bit, which increases the camera’s flexibility.
  • Digital picture stabilization is excellent to have
  • Ergonomics may provide some difficulties.

Video Specifications

Video may be recorded with the 1D X III using the entire width of the sensor in the camera. This 5.5K region may be scanned at up to 60 frames per second and captured in various output formats and resolutions. The exact dimensions of this region are 5472 by 2886 pixels. The internal Raw capture option, on the other hand, is the one that has received the most attention thus far.

Raw footage is a significant thing to have. A central portion of the camera’s dynamic range is stored in a manner that allows for a great degree of latitude in post-production in the video that several cameras may capture. This allows for a great deal of creative freedom in the final product. Despite this, not all the information initially gathered is preserved in this manner.

Much like Raw stills, Raw video gives you access to most of the sensor’s actual output, if not all of it. This gives you more processing leeway regarding tone information and white balance because the three color channels haven’t been fixed about one another.

It is essential to remember that autofocus is unavailable in the 60p Raw mode and in any other 60p preset. Because of the extremely high bit rate, you can fit almost six minutes of film at 60 frames per second into a 128 GB card.

If you configure the camera to write Raws to card 1 and MP4 to card slot 2, you can concurrently record a DCI 4K MP4 file that may be used as a proxy. The IPB compression technology is used for proxy file storage.

10-bit Log capture

In addition, the 1D X III features a Canon Log mode that is 10-bit. When this is off, the camera captures all of its videos as 8-bit 4:2:0 H.264 files; however, when Canon Log is enabled, the camera changes to 10-bit 4:2:2 recording using the H.265 codec.

Frame Rates:
EncodingBitrate, Mbps
(5472 x 2886)
Raw2600Linear PCM
29.97, 24.00, 23.98
(25.00, 24.00)
(4096 x 2160)
All-I or IPB940 / 230Linear PCM or AAC
29.97, 24.00, 23.98
(25.00, 24.00)
470 / 120
DCI Crop
(4096 x 2160)
1.34x crop
940 / 230
29.97, 24.00, 23.98
(25.00, 24.00)
470 / 120
(3840 x 2160)
940 / 230
470 / 120
Full HD
(1920 x 1080)
180 / 60
90 / 30
IPB Light12AAC

Extremely high-speed video.

Depending on whether you have the camera set to record for NTSC or PAL, the 1D X III can also capture Full HD footage at either 119p or 100p. Again, the frame rate that you use is determined by which system you have the camera set to record for. This film is rendered at a quarter speed, either 29.97 or 25 frames per second.

Video handling

When taking still images or videos with the 1D X, the exposure settings, including white balance and Picture Style, are kept entirely separate. Again, this makes it much simpler to transition between shooting video and still images, and you can do so with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t mistakenly take a series of still images with a shutter speed of 1/50 of a second.

The camera is only capable of handling exposure time in terms of the shutter speed, and not the shutter angle.

On the other hand, the camera can only deal with exposure time in terms of the shutter speed. Instead of being able to specify a shutter angle that is proportional to the frame rate, this implies that you will have to be cautious to modify the shutter speed when going back and forth between frame rates of 60p and lesser frame rates.

Video stabilization

“Enable” and “Enhanced” are the names of the two different degrees of digital image stabilization available on the 1D X Mark III. These give a growing amount of stability by cropping the frame to a greater degree to get the desired effect. However, the lower crops, as one might anticipate, make it more challenging to accomplish wide-angle framing and harm the amount of noise in the image.

Video Autofocus

In video mode, the camera provides the same autofocus area modes as in the stills mode; however, the AF mode you choose does not transfer over when switching between the two types of photography.

The responsiveness and sensitivity of the AF system to changes in distance, known as Movie Servo AF track sens., may be customized in the camera’s Spot and 1-Point AF area modes. You can also choose the pace at which the camera forces a change in focus (Movie Servo AF speed). For example, if you want to do a slow (Auto) focus pull by tapping on the screen, you should use the Spot or 1-Point mode instead of any other methods since all different ways will refocus at the average pace.

The camera lets you focus at the standard speed while setting up the shot and then switch to the preset movie autofocus speed once you begin recording.

If you wish to be able to stop and restart the focusing in the middle of a movie, you may program a few of the camera’s buttons to operate as a ‘Movie Servo AF Pause,’ which will allow you to do so. Assigning a button to do the “AF Stop” function accomplishes the same thing but requires the button to be kept down.

The performance of autofocus

One of the most trustworthy (and thus, useable) video AF systems we’ve come across is Canon’s Dual Pixel AF system, which, in essence, enables every pixel to contribute to the system’s overall AF efforts.

However, the zone focus modes offer more dependability if you’re trying to keep a specific subject in focus but can be sure they’ll stay roughly the same place within the frame. Although we found the subject tracking to be pretty reliable regarding staying on the right subject, the zone focus modes offered more reliability.

The Dual Pixel AF technology that Canon use is one of the most trustworthy and practical video AF systems that we have come across.

If you want to shift focus from one subject to another, the 1-point and spot settings are excellent choices since they allow you to adjust the pace at which the refocusing occurs, as well as the responsiveness of the camera. We got accurate results from this, and there was very little chance that the focus would “hunt” or “overshoot” when we moved it to a different distance, which made it a beneficial tool.

The camera’s focus tracking mode also works quite well, remaining steadfastly attached to the topic it is following. This mode will mainly track faces if you concentrate on them as your objective. However, due to the camera’s size, it is not always simple to tap the screen to select a subject, and as was previously said, you do not have any control over how quickly or slowly the focus reacts.

Auto ISO

You can record movies using Auto ISO with the 1D X III, even when manually adjusting the exposure settings. Unfortunately, you are unable to set a minimum shutter speed threshold for it to maintain; however, you can specify the highest ISO location that it should use, and you can use the exposure compensation scale that is displayed on-screen to adjust the level of brightness that the camera is attempting to keep consistent.

The adjustments to the brightness that Auto ISO makes are made quickly and smoothly, without any discernible lag or stepping.

Canon Log

If you activate the Canon Log function, the camera will immediately transition to the 10-bit H.265 mode, as was previously described. As is customary for Log modes, the camera uses a flatter gamma curve intended to incorporate a more dynamic range. This allows the camera to distribute the available data values more evenly between the stops of light that are captured, thereby increasing the latitude available for color grading.

In Log mode, increasing the base ISO to 400 allows for a reduction in the metered exposure, which increases the available dynamic range. Lower ISO values are possible. However, these extension settings clip the highlights early, reducing the overall dynamic range preserved in the file.

You have a selection of color matrices available when shooting in Canon Log mode. The ‘Cinema EOS Original’ matrix is the default, producing colors identical to those of the EOS-1D C. However, you can also select ‘Neutral,’ which is intended to produce an accurate color response. Which one you pick will be determined by the color grading procedure you have in mind.

Using the ‘Characteristics’ menu option, you may additionally alter the sharpness, saturation, and hue shifts for each color channel. Finally, if the ‘Color Matrix’ setting is changed to Neutral, you can select whether the camera will produce an HDMI signal using the REC 709 colorspace or the broader HDRTV REC 2020 colorspace. This option is available only when the ‘Color Matrix’ setting is changed to Neutral.

Video performance

The rolling shutter values for most of the camera’s video modes are around 15 milliseconds. This is a terrific result and will eliminate the need to worry about rolling the shutter in all except the most challenging situations. However, it is interesting to note that the camera produces somewhat less spectacular figures in full-width 24 and 30p settings, which increases the likelihood of skewed verticals.


Body typeLarge SLR
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Max resolution5472 x 3648
Other resolutions4368 x 2912, 3648 x 2432, 2736 x 1824
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors21 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDigic X
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 100-102400 (expands to 50-819200)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)819200
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes (5 slots)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.31)HEIF (10-bit)Raw / C-Raw (CR3)
Optics & Focus
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points191
Number of cross-type focus points155
Lens mountCanon EF
Focal length multiplier
SingleHigh-speedContinuousLow-speedSilent single silent high-speed continuousSilent low-speed continuous
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots2,100,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.76×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modesMultiCenter-weightedSpotSpot AF-area partial
Continuous drive20.0 fps
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpotSpot AF-areaPartial
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264, H.265
Storage typesDual CFexpress type B
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 GBit/sec)
HDMIYes (HDMI mini)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Remote controlYes (Wired, wireless, smartphone)
Environmentally sealedYes
Battery descriptionLP-E19 lithium-ion battery & dual charger
Battery Life (CIPA)2850
Weight (inc. batteries)1440 g (3.17 lb / 50.79 oz)
Dimensions158 x 168 x 83 mm (6.22 x 6.61 x 3.27″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes

Overall conclusion

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is honored among the most excellent single-lens reflex cameras ever produced. It’s quick, challenging, and delivers some of the highest-quality images we’ve ever seen produced by a Canon camera (limited resolution notwithstanding, since speed is the game’s name here).

An experienced professional might pick up a regular EOS-1D and get right to work with minimum hassle. However, doing so would mean losing out on some crucial advances that Canon has added to this workhorse sports photographer. Canon has included a lot of new features in this camera.

The AF “smart controller” is not a gimmick, and the new autofocus technology performs better than ever before while still being simpler to operate. In addition, incorporating HDR image capture utilizing the HEIF format offers protection against the foreseeable future (though you may need to upgrade your monitor to get a feel for it). Finally, the fact that the camera may be connected to several devices or services in parallel will make previously unavailable options available to both experienced photographers and novices.

There is no better DSLR on the market today that can capture video. The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is a large and heavy camera, but if it’s internal Raw and 10-bit 4:2:2 C-Log capture, accurate and easy-to-use autofocus. At the same time, recording and the ease of switching from stills to video (the camera remembers your settings separately) convince you that it should be your next hybrid camera. It would be best not to let its size and weight discourage you from purchasing it.

Regarding subject tracking through the viewfinder, we find that competitors such as Sony’s a9-series and Nikon’s D5 have an advantage over this camera. Unfortunately, this is the case even though the focusing mechanism is quite capable (we received a Nikon D6 too recently to include it in our side-by-side testing for this review).

The EOS-1D X III, on the other hand, is superior in live view; during our testing of its focusing capabilities, it sucViewfully followed the subject’s head, even thougsubject’s face was concealed. And because of the nature of the market area that it competes in, it will not be the first choice for photographers who capture landscapes or studio scenes and want more megapixels. However, compared to its immediate competitors, it offers superior image quality in most scenarios.

The EOS-1D X III will continue to fulfill users’ needs for many years to come while providing a glimpse of what the mirrorless future may store

It is simple to enjoy using a camera such as this one. It is challenging to foresee anyone using it to its utmost potential; one might argue that the EOS-1D X Mark III is meant never to limit anyone. But, on the contrary, it is a camera that allows you to “grab the shot” in practically any circumstance while at the same time staying out of your way as you take images.

Some people may complain and say things like “DSLRs are dinosaurs” and other such things. Still, the reality is that many professionals and organizations might not be ready (or able) to move to mirrorless cameras just yet. So when they push the live view button, the EOS-1D X III will provide them with more than enough satisfaction for many years and allow them to glimpse what the mirrorless future has in store.

Canon EOS 1D X Mark III Price

in stock
4 new from $6,499.00
10 used from $3,495.00
as of February 29, 2024 9:46 pm
Last updated on February 29, 2024 9:46 pm

Canon EOS 1D X Mark III FAQs

When did the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III come out?

In February 2020, Canon announced the availability of the EOS-1D X Mark III.

What is the image quality of Canon EOS-1D X Mark III?

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III has an impressively high picture quality thanks to its full-frame CMOS camera that has 20.1 megapixels and its sophisticated image processing capabilities.

What is the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III used for?

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is predominantly used for professional photography applications such as photojournalism, sports photography, wildlife photography, and other high-end professional endeavors.

Is Canon 1DX Mark III good at photography?

With its superior autofocus capabilities and quick group recording speeds, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is an excellent camera for photography.

What is the price of Canon EOS-1D X Mark III?

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III can be purchased for approximately $6,500.

Is Canon EOS-1D X Mark III full-frame?

Full-frame photography can be accomplished with the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III.

Is Canon EOS-1D X Mark III waterproof?

Although it is protected from the elements thanks to its weather-sealing, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is not entirely submersible.

Is Canon EOS-1D X Mark III a full frame?

Full-frame photography can be accomplished with the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III.

Is Canon EOS-1D X Mark III mirrorless?

Mirrorless cameras do not exist, and the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is not one of them.

Is Canon EOS-1D X Mark III good for portraits?

Although it can be used for portraiture, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is predominantly intended for use when photographing athletics and other types of action.

How many fps is EOS-1D Mark III?

When photographing in live view mode, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is capable of up to 16 frames per second, while when recording through the viewfinder, it can achieve up to 20 frames per second.

Does the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III overheat?

During extended use, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III has sophisticated thermal management features that protect the camera from overheating.


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