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Pro Photo Rental

Canon Makes Statement With 1DX MkIII
By Zac Henderson

If you think that the DSLR is dead, think again. Canon recently released their flagship 1DX Mk III camera body and guess what, it’s still a DSLR. Despite Canon’s newfound zeal for mirrorless cameras, the company has yet to turn its back on the larger DSLR bodies, at least for the targeted user base of pro sports and wildlife photographers. Canon has made a resounding statement with the 1DX Mk III: the DSLR is (still) the best option of action photography. And, oh, it's pretty amazing at video too. 

This release is significant for a few reasons, but I’ll go ahead and mention the biggest one first: 5.5k Internal RAW recording at 60fps. Go ahead, read it again. 5.5k RAW, shot internally, at up to 60fps. In a DSLR. Without an external recorder. Using the full width of the sensor. That’s…wow. The video features on the 1DX Mk III don’t stop there. The body also includes various 4k options, including internal 10-bit 4:2:2 video in C-Log. Dual Pixel AF is available up to 30fps in full frame mode, while AF at 60 fps is available in a cropped DCI 4k option. The 3rd gen 1DX doesn’t have any in-body sensor stabilization, but does offer digital stabilization which looks quite good.

1dx side

The above video specs place the 1DX Mk III in a unique position. RAW video is something we’re not yet used to seeing in DSLR or mirrorless cameras. The only other options for native RAW video support not found in dedicated cinema cameras are the Sigma FP and the Nikon Z6/Z7 with the help of an external recorder. Those two cameras caused quite a splash when Nikon announced they were even capable of recording RAW video, much less that it would be fully supported. Now, it would appear that Canon is trying to take some of that attention away and produce a RAW capable powerhouse, showing that they’re not afraid of sharing that functionality with their cinema line.

Yes, the video specs are (extremely) impressive, but let’s talk about the still specs for a moment. The Canon 1DX Mk III is capable of shooting stills at 20 frames per second while using live view, and 16fps while using the viewfinder. The newly designed AF sensor uses “Deep Learning Technology” to figure out what the subject is that you’re trying to capture and stays with it as it move across as well as towards and away from the camera. The new AF sensor is also quite large, boasting 525 AF areas and covers 90% of the imaging sensor.

1dx side

Speaking of imaging sensor, the new 20.1 megapixel sensor of the 1DX Mk III includes a new low pass filter which Canon claims increases sharpness to be comparable to 24MP camera systems. Considering the high fps still capability (buffer is 1k RAW images and unlimited in JPEG), and the internal 5.5k RAW recording capability, it’s no stretch to say that the 1DX Mk3 is a data generating juggernaut. So where does it all go? Into two blazingly fast CFexpress cards, that’s where.

Other new upgrades over the 1DX Mk II include a newly designed AF-On button which lets you quickly and accurately change the AF point as you swipe your thumb across it. The 8-way joystick is still around, but this new selection method seems to work exceptionally well. The 1DX Mk III also uses the same LP-E19 battery as its predecessor, but uses it more efficiently. Low light capabilities are also quite impressive, with a maximum boosted sensitivity of ISO819,200. Canon is also introducing the HEIF format, which is sort of like JPEG, but better since it can capture more information but has a smaller file size than RAW.

Make no mistake, Canon’s new flagship camera is a powerhouse. They’re pretty proud of it, and have suggested a retail price of just under $6,500. Add that to buying some new CFexpress cards, and you’re looking at a pretty significant upgrade cost. Fortunately, we have the Canon 1DX Mk3 available for rental so you can take advantage of the absolutely insane features this camera body offers without having to go into debt.

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