Canon EOS 1DX MkIII

Being a Canon user from day one I think I’ve gained enough experience to be able to comment freely on the flagship EOS 1DX MKIII.

I’ve been using the EOS1DXIII for a while now and I have to say that it does exactly what Canon claimed it would. There’s plenty of technical info out in the ether if you want the nerdy stuff but I’m just going to make a few comments about using the 1DXIII in the field…what you might call a short real-life review.

If, like me, you use battery grips on your DSLRs to extend battery life then the ‘feel’ of the 1DXIII will be familiar to you. And so will the weight. I use grips on my EOS 7Dmkii and EOS 5DMkiv because if I’m shooting high speed trying to capture that ‘decisive moment’ I don’t want to worry about power running low and having to change batteries in the field. I want to reduce ‘faffing’ time to a minimum. Hence my using battery grips. The EOS 1DX III has a fantastic extended battery life that has to be seen (or rather, used) to be believed. A year ago WEX Photographic released a video demonstrating the continuous burst rate (16fps) of the EOS 1DXIII shooting in RAW & Large Jpeg combined. They used a 128GB card and shot and incredible 5,846 continuous, fast, high-speed frames filling the card completely. Staggering! No loss of battery power whatsoever. Battery life is not an issue with this camera.

Ruggedness: this camera is built to withstand extreme use in extreme conditions. Much more so that the EOS 5D MKIV, which is pretty tough anyway. Now… this is something I would never do and I would never recommend you try it… but sometimes I feel that the EOS 1DXIII is so tough I could throw it against a wall and it’d still perform perfectly. So it’s a real tough cookie this beastie which gives me peace of mind when I’m out and about.

AF Tracking: Unbelievable. ‘191 AF points, of which 155 are cross-type for extra sensitivity – perfect for nailing critical focus on fast-moving birds when light levels get low’. I’ve never had a problem locking-on to fast-moving animals with the EOS 1DXIII. Again, it does what Canon claim.

Low light performance: I’ve shot at 20,000 ISO and been amazed at the detail. I regularly shoot in good weather at ISO 3200 with very high shutter speeds to freeze rapid animal movement (that decisive moment). Noise? Nothing to speak of. At least nothing that very minimal use of noise-reduction software won’t deal with.

Will I go mirrorless? Especially in light of the upcoming Canon EOS R3? To be honest, having tried existing Canon mirrorless I don’t think I will. At least not for the foreseeable future. For me, it’s very much about my ‘in-field’ workflow and I’m happy the way things are. For the time being. Crudely speaking, I prefer looking directly at what I’m shooting rather than looking at a video screen. I’m not knocking it, it’s just not for me…yet. Watch this space.

Make no mistake, the EOS 1DX MKIII is a high-end piece of pro kit with a corresponding high-end price tag, but having used one for a while now it does exactly what I want, when I want. It’s not about using the best camera possible in the hope that your images will somehow improve…the most important part of photography is not what’s in front of the camera, but those six inches behind it. If you’re hoping that owning a flagship piece of kit is the answer to all your prayers then think again…if you buy a top of the range camera then you immediately wipe out all your excuses!

Stay safe my friends.

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