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EOS-1D Mark III

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It’s not every day that a camera company launches a new top-of-the-range DSLR, and when that company is Canon it’s big news indeed. The most eagerly anticipated of Canon’s new launches is the replacement for the EOS-1D Mark II, called – can you guess? – the EOS-1D Mark III. Well at least it’s easy to remember…

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The EOS-1D Mark II was launched three years ago as a specialist press photographer’s camera, a companion to the slower but more powerful EOS-1Ds. The Mark II was updated in 2005 as the EOS-1D Mark II N, retaining the same 8.2 megapixel half-frame CMOS sensor, but gaining 8 frames a second shooting speed and a 48-shot buffer.

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The EOS-1D Mark III surpasses even this performance. It is fitted with an APS-H CMOS sensor measuring 28.1 x 18.7 mm, slightly smaller than that of the Mark II, but with higher resolution of 10.1 megapixels. Where it gains most significantly though is in speed. It is now officially the fastest digital camera on the planet, capable of an astonishing 10 frames a second, with a buffer that can hold a burst of 110 full-resolution JPEG shots without pausing. This amazing speed is provided by not one but two Digic III image processors, capable of processing over 100MB of image data per second.

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Like its predecessor it has an immensely strong environmentally-sealed magnesium alloy body, but is slightly lighter at 1155g with a 180g battery, as opposed to 1225g with a 335g battery for the Mark II N. Other improvements include a 3.0in TFT LCD monitor, and more importantly a high precision and extremely fast autofocus system with 19 cross-type AF points, with sensitivity up to f/2.8, spread out across the wide AF area. This should make tracking moving subjects even easier, so there’s no excuse for those blurry front-page paparazzi shots any more.

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No firm launch date has yet been announced, but I can reveal that the UK launch price has been confirmed as £3044.

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