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Heading to the 2020 Olympics? You might need Canon’s new EOS-1D X Mark III

Canon has finally unveiled a big update to the EOS-1D series after nearly four years of inactivity, promising the new Mark III will offer better autofocus, slicker performance and in-built Wi-Fi.

This is the second time that Canon has released a new sports-focused camera to coincide with both the Olympics and Euro Football Championship, making sports photographers everywhere scramble for their wallet just before the year’s biggest sporting events. As there’s been a big time-lapse between updates, the Mark III has some significant improvements over its predecessor.

Related: A full review of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

The most obvious difference is the inclusion of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which should allow photographers to quickly share their snaps when on deadline. This was something that felt missing in the Mark II, so this new feature feels more like Canon is catching up with competitors rather than breaking the mold.

The camera still comes with that big 20.2-million-pixel full frame CMOS sensor, but now it’s got an even greater sensitivity range, offering everything from ISO 50 up to ISO 819,200.

The autofocus system has been tweaked too – Canon claims that the new camera has been programmed via ‘deep learning’ to recognise human faces, even if they’re covered up with sportswear. And while the Mark II was capable of shooting at 16 fps in live view mode, the new Mark III has bumped that up to 20 fps.

This increase is apparently due to some clever mechanical engineering, which sees the SLR mirror swoop in and out of position at top speeds, minimising mirror bounce.

Related: These are our favourite cameras from 2019

A new ‘High Detail Low-Pass Filter’ has been added to the camera, which should keep images sharp while preventing moiré. And it’s the first EOS model to support HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) so storage space should go further.

The video capability has been buffed up, offering 4K Full Frame shooting and supporting 12-bit RAW internal recording. It should also now be easier to shoot in the dark with the new Mark III, as there are light-up buttons to guide your clumsy fingers.

Canon has said that the new AF capabilities, teamed with the new DIGIC 8 processor, mean that it’s a lot easier to get great shots in low-light – but we can’t confirm this until we get our hands on one.

If you’re itching to upgrade your gear before we hit the sporting summer, you can buy the new EOS-1D X Mark III in February for £6,499.99.

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