Following a development announcement in late October, Canon has released full details of its up-coming EOS-1D X Mark III professional DSLR camera at CES 2020 in Las Vegas.

Angled view of the new EOS-1D X Mark III camera with the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens. (Source: Canon.)

Designed for professional sports and wildlife photographers, the EOS-1D X Mark III has been developed with feedback from a worldwide community of photographers who use the previous models. It is equipped with a next-generation 20.1-megapixel sensor that encompasses Canon’s widest ISO range yet, extending from ISO 50 to ISO 819,200.  The new DIGIC X processor (which is 3.1x faster than the Dual DIGIC 6+ processor in the EOS-1D X Mark II), almost zero bounce mirror system and redesigned shutter enable industry leading burst speeds of 16fps with the optical viewfinder.  In Live View mode the camera can shoot at 20fps with mechanical or electronic shutter with full AF.

Front, top and rear views of the EOS-1D X Mark III body with no lens fitted. (Source: Canon.)

The magnesium alloy body of the new camera sports extensive weatherproof sealing (shown above) enabling it to withstand extreme weather conditions. (Source: Canon.)

The new camera ensures seamless navigation by retaining the trusted ergonomics of previous models. New features include buttons that light-up in dimly-lit conditions and when the display light button is pressed, making identifying the various buttons much easier. An additional Smart Controller for selecting AF points is built into both AF-ON buttons, allowing photographers to change AF points on-the-fly.

The new Smart Controller makes AF point selection quick and easy in both landscape and portrait orientations.  (Source: Canon.)

The EOS-1D X Mark III is also the first camera to use a revolutionary new High Detail Low-Pass Filter, which samples the light over a greater number of points to achieve sharper and higher resolution images while preventing moiré. It is also the first EOS model to support the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format), which enables images with 10-bits of data to be saved in a file that is the same size as a JPEG but with fewer compression artefacts and a noticeably wider dynamic range. The camera also uses the next generation of memory cards, CFexpress, which are more than three times faster than the fastest CFast cards, allowing users to capture bursts of over 1000 images regardless of file format.

Dual slots for CFexpress cards provide fast, high-capacity storage for burst shooting and video recording. (Source: Canon.)

The new AF sensor is coupled to a DIGIC 8 chip and boasts 191 selectable AF points with 155 of these being cross-type points. Programmed via deep learning, the camera’s AF system can identify human subjects in a range of sporting situations and bring them into focus – at high speeds – with an advanced subject tracking system. The camera can lock on to a subject’s head or face even when the subject’s eyes are covered by a helmet or goggles. A new Auto AF case setting allows users to tune the AF settings to match the subject.

This diagram shows the Dual Pixel CMOS AF in Live View mode. (Source: Canon.)

Dual Pixel CMOS AF is also supported when shooting in Live View mode with 525 segments covering 90% of the frame horizontally and 100% vertically. The new camera also offers increased noise handling abilities that enable users to adjust exposure levels in images post-capture without producing shadow noise. This ensures a more usable dynamic range than previous models.

This illustration shows the movie capabilities of the EOS-1D X Mark III. (Source: Canon.)

In movie mode, the EOS-1D X Mark III is the first non-cinema Canon camera to feature RAW recording, enabling a wider range of colours and tones to be extracted in post-production for superior image quality. Video can also be recorded as 12-bit CRM file at 5.5K (5472 x 2886), allowing very detailed oversampled 4K footage. Clips can be recorded using Canon Log Gamma and captured as a 10-bit HEVC/H.265 file, giving professionals multiple editing possibilities. The new camera also supports file recording in a MP4 container for fast transmission of files and is the first to support Movie Digital IS which provides 5-axis stabilisation.

Connectivity is a key feature of the new camera, which is the first EOS-1 series camera with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and well as GPS for data logging. The Wi-Fi can be used for FTP or connecting via EOS Utility as well as connecting to a smartphone. Its Bluetooth connectivity uses the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol, providing a constant connection to a compatible smart device while requiring minimal battery power. The Canon Camera Connect app automatically connects to compatible devices, allowing image review, sharing, and remote Live View shooting with a single tap.

The new optional WFT-E9 wireless file transmitter (shown above) coupled with simpler network set-up, simplifies professionals’ workflows. Up to four users can access the dual-band Wi-Fi through this device. (Source: Canon.)

While the new camera uses the same LP-E19 battery pack as its predecessor, battery life has been extended up to 2850 shots per charge and reducing the chance of missing critical shots when changing battery. Interface ports include a USB-C digital terminal, Type C HDMI mini OUT terminal, 3.5mm jacks for stereo microphone and headphones, a remote control terminal (for N3 units), a system extension terminal for the WFT-E9 transmitter and a RJ-45 Ethernet port. The camera body measures approximately 158 x 167.6 x 8.6 mm and weighs approximately 1250 gram (body only) or 1440 grams with the battery pack and card.

The EOS-1D X Mark III will be available from Canon’s online store and official Canon retailers from February 2020, with pricing set at dealers’ discretion (although US press releases give an MSRP  of US$6449  for the camera body and US$649.99 for the WFT-E9 wireless file transmitter). A video showcasing the new camera is available to view here.  Full details can be found on the product webpage and a waitlist for photographers interested in purchasing the camera can be found here.

Update 9/1/2020:  Canon has released two separate technical white papers for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, one covering stills photography and the other the camera’s video technology.   Click here for the PDF copy of the Photography white paper and here for the Video white paper. A third white paper covering the networking capabilities of the camera is being prepared.

Image sensor: 35.9 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor with 20.1 megapixels effective; 3:2 aspect ratioi
Image processor:  DIGIC X
A/D processing: 14-bit (12-bit A / D conversion processing is applied to RAW images taken with the electronic shutter)
Lens mount: Canon EF
Focal length crop factor: 1x
Image formats: Stills: JPEG (8-bit), HEIF (10-bit), RAW (14-bit Canon original), RAW + JPEG and RAW + HEIF simultaneous recording possible; Movies: MP4 format with MPEG-4 H.264/H.265 compression, YCbCr 4:2:0 8-bit/ 4:2:2 10-Bit colour sampling, AAC/Linear PCM (Stereo)  audio
Image Sizes: Stills – 5472 x 3648, 4368 x 2912, 3648 x 2432, 2736 x 1824; Movies: 5472 x 2886, 4096 x 2160, 3840 x 2160, 1920 x 1080 at 100/50/25 p for PAL format
Aspect ratios: 3:2, 4:3, 5:4, 7:6, 16:9, 65:24, 1:1
Image Stabilisation: sensor-shift
Dust removal: Auto/Manual; appending Dust Delete Data
Shutter (speed range): Electronically-controlled focal plane shutter (30 to 1/8000 second plus Bulb; flash sync at 1/250 sec.)
Exposure Compensation: +/- 5EV in 1/3 or 1/2EV steps (+/-3EV for movies)
Exposure bracketing: +/-3 stops in 1/3 or 1/2EV steps
Other bracketing options: WB (+/-3 stops)
Self-timer: 2 or 10 seconds delay
Focus system for viewfinder shooting: TTL-SIR phase-difference detection with dedicated AF sensor; 191 points with 155 cross-type points); Spot, 1-point, AF point expansion, Zone AF and auto selection available; EOS iTR AF subject detection, AF configuration tool (Case 1-4 + A), AF micro adjustment
Focus system for Live View shooting: Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 3869 point positing, 525 points available for auto selection; Face+Tracking, 1-point, AF point expansion, Zone AF available; eye detection, 5x/10x magnified view, MF peaking, Focus Guide
Focus modes: One-shot AF, AI Servo AF, Manual Focus (MF)
Exposure metering: Viewfinder: 216-zone (18 x 12) TTL open aperture metering with 400m000-pixel RGB+IR sensor; Live View: 384-zone (24 x 16) metering from image sensor; Evaluative, Partial, Centre-weighted average and Spot metering patterns
Shooting modes: Program AE, Aperture-priority AE, Shutter-priority AE, Manual, Bulb exposure, Custom (x3)
Picture Style modes: Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Fine Detail, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User-defined 1-3
Other shooting modes: Multiple exposures (2-9 shots with additive, average, bright or dark control), HDR in HEIF 10-bit format with YCbCr 4:2:2 colour sampling,
In-camera effects: Flicker reduction (viewfinder shooting)
Dynamic Range functions: Auto Lighting Optimiser
Colour space options: sRGB and Adobe RGB
ISO range: Stills: Auto (ISO 100-102400) adjustable in 1/3 or 1 EV steps  with extension to ISO 50 and ISO 819200 available in 1-stop increments; Movies: Auto (ISO 100-25600, expandable to ISO 204800
White balance: Auto (Ambience/White priority),  Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White Fluorescent, Flash, Colour Temperature (2500-10000 K), Custom (x5)
Flash: External EL/EX compatible Speedlites only
Flash metering: E-TTL II autoflash
Flash exposure adjustment: +/-3EV in 1/3, 1/2 steps
Drive and Sequence shooting: Max. 20 shots/sec. in Live View mode; 16 fps with viewfinder
Buffer capacity: 1,000 shots or more (all file types)
Storage Media: Dual slots for CFexpress cards
Viewfinder: Eye-level pentaprism with 100% frame coverage, 20mm eyepoint, 0.76x magnification, -3 to +1 dpt adjustment, built-in shutter, fixed focusing screen
Monitor: 3.15 inch TFT colour LCD with 2,100,000 dots. 7 levels of brightness adjustment, capacitive touch control, 4 tonal adjustments
Playback functions: With/without shooting data, index (4/9/36/100 thumbnails). Highlight alert, AF  point display, grid (3 types), 1.5 to 10x magnification, rating, rotate, protect, copy, resize, crop, voice memo, slideshow, movie playback with basic editing, 4K movie frame grab, slideshow, in-camera raw processing, print order (DPOS 1.1 compatible)
Interface terminals: USB Type-C, Micro HDMI (type D), N3-typeremote control jack, 3.5 mm stereo mini jack (microphone), 3.5 mm stereo mini jack (headphone), Super Speed (USB3.0) PC interface, RJ-45 terminal
Wi-Fi function: Built-in (IEEE 802.11b/g/n)
Power supply: LP-E19 rechargeable Li-ion battery pack; CIPA rated for approx. 2580 shots/charge (viewfinder); 610 shots/charge or over 4 hours movie recording (Live View)
Dimensions (wxhxd): Approx. 158 x 167.6 x 82.6 mm (excluding protrusions)
Weight: Approx. 1250 grams (body only); 1440 grams with battery and card