EOS-1Ds Mark III

One of the most keenly anticipated new cameras in years, Canon's new top-end professional studio camera is simply astonishing in almost every way, not least for its price: the EOS-1Ds Mk III goes on sale in October with a recommended retail price of £5999.99 including VAT. I'm sure that 1p change from your six grand will make all the difference. That price is body-only, of course.

Every fact about the Ds Mk III is filled with superlatives. It has a newly-developed 21-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, providing 14-bit depth resolution and the possibility of converting files into 100MB 16-bit TIFF images, for the ultimate in picture quality. Despite this awesome power, dual DIGIC III processors mean that it can shoot at five frames a second at full resolution, and the enormous image buffer means that it can shoot 56 maximum quality JPEGs or 12 RAW files in a row. The third generation CMOS sensor incorporates a new pixel design with on-chip noise reduction circuitry to ensure high image quality all the way to ISO 1600. 14 bit A/D converters provide a total colour depth of 16,384 tones per pixel - delivering smoother gradations and more accurate colour reproduction.

The Ds Mk III inherits some technology from the press-oriented EOS-1D Mk III launched earlier this year, including 63-zone exposure metering, 19 cross-type auto focus system, a 3.0in 230k LCD with Live View mode and the same EOS Integrated Cleaning System as the EOS 40D. The Highlight Tone Priority function expands dynamic range for more depth and detail in bright areas. For the studio environment, remote Live View lets the photographer compose, adjust settings and capture the shot via a PC using the supplied EOS utility software.

The menu system incorporates a tab structure that eliminates scrolling for vastly improved readability and ease of use. Improving on previous models, personal settings and custom functions are consolidated into 57 custom functions grouped into four logical categories. Photographers can also now see at a glance any default setting changes. The My Menu option allows photographers to store frequently used settings on a separate menu for immediate access. Settings for recently released accessories such as the Speedlite 580EX II and the Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2 can be controlled directly from the LCD. Along with a new dedicated ISO button, ISO is permanently displayed on the top LCD panel.

New USM lens

Today's launch coincides with the release of the EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM: Canon's new professional L-series ultra wide-angle lens for the photographer requiring a slightly different perspective.

As with many L-series lenses and the Speedlite 580EX II, the EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM incorporates environmental sealing to match that of the EOS 1Ds Mark III, creating a fully weatherproof camera system. Aspherical and UD lens elements produce exceptional image quality with improved corner-to-corner sharpness. The ring-type USM delivers fast, silent auto focus with full-time manual focus override. A circular aperture produces pleasing bokeh at wide apertures and Super Spectra coatings suppress ghosting and flare by suppressing internal reflections from lens element and sensor surfaces.

Link: Canon digital SLRs



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