Canon has today announced a long-expected major update to its flagship professional digital SLR, the awesome but ageing EOS 1D Mk III. After listening to feedback from the professional press, sports and wildlife photographers who are the 1D's main users, Canon has revamped all of the camera's major systems.
Top of the list of improvements is a custom designed 16.1 megapixel APS-H CMOS sensor, a big increase over the 10.1MP of the previous model. APS-H is slightly larger than the APS-C sensors used in the majority of digital SLRs, giving a crop factor of x1.3. The new sensor features gapless microlenses with less surrounding circuitry and more sensitive, high-capacity photodiodes, and an ultra-fast eight-channel data path feeding into dual DIGIC 4 processors, enabling 10 frames per second continuous shooting at full resolution.
Another major component to see an upgrade is the autofocus system, which has been replaced by a new 45-point array with 39 f/2.8 cross-type sensors for improved speed and accuracy especially in low light or with moving subjects. It is linked to a 63-zone light metering system, with multiple metering modes including AF-point linked and multiple spot metering options.
Other upgrades include a standard ISO range of 100 to 12,800, with an extended range from 50 ISO to an almost unbelievable 102,400 ISO, the highest sensitivity ever on a Canon camera. It has an intelligent noise reduction system to keep chroma and luminance noise to a minimum, while maintaining colour balance.
Like the previous models in the EOS 1 range the MK IV has an exceptionally strong magnesium alloy body with 76 rubber seals fitted around the controls and cover seams, making the Canon EOS 1D MARK IV dust and water resistant when used in tandem with Canon's range of weather-resistant EF lenses and Speedlite EX flash units.
Of course no modern DSLR would be complete without video recording, and the EOS-1D Mk IV is the latest to jump on the HD bandwagon. It can shoot 1080p high definition video at 30, 25 and 24fps and 720p footage at 60 and 50fps. It also offers full manual exposure, and a programmable control button to allow instant movie recording.
Other improvements include the 920k Clear View II monitor, in which the gap between the display and its cover has been filled with a transparent material to cut down on reflection. The previously acrylic cover has also been replaced by reinforced glass, providing strong, scratch-resistant protection for the screen. The Mk IV also features integrated sensor cleaning, which automatically eliminates dust on the sensor - ensuring reliable image quality when shooting in dusty environments.
Of course a camera like this doesn't come cheap. The EOS 1D Mark IV will be available from the end of December 2009 priced at £4499.00 RRP inc. VAT.