Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

      Photo Review 9.0

      In summary

      The EOS-1D X Mark III enables Canon to remain at the cutting edge of digital SLR technology and is a worthy successor to the Mark II model. The introduction of the HEIF file format and RAW video recording will help it to maintain this position.

      Almost every feature has been improved in the latest model, including the touch-screen capabilities, which were disappointing in the Mark II. The introduction of the Smart Controller for AF point setting is a stroke of genius that will be valued by sports shooters in particular.

      It’s also worth mentioning the updated communications capabilities that will make it easier and more efficient for photographers to lodge images shot on location immediately after they are captured.

      Full review

      Initially heralded as a ‘development announcement’ back in October 2019, Canon’s third-generation DSLR flagship, the EOS-1S X Mark III, features a new 20.1-megapixel sensor with an ISO range from ISO 50 to ISO 819,200 plus a new DIGIC X processor, which is 3.1x faster than the Dual DIGIC 6+ processor in the EOS-1D X Mark II.  The reflex mirror assembly has been redesigned to have minimal bounce, while the shutter mechanism enables burst speeds of 16 fps with the optical viewfinder.  These improvements result from input from professional sports, wildlife, photojournalist and wedding photographers, the primary target market for the new camera.

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

      Who’s it For?
      It’s no coincidence that Canon has released each new generation of the EOS-1D X a little ahead of the Summer Olympic games. Essentially they’ve been designed mainly for professional sports photographers although, like its predecessor, the EOS-1D X Mark II, which we reviewed in November 2016,  the new camera will also appeal to pro photographers working in other genres.

      Few amateurs will be able to justify spending more than $11,000 on a camera body alone and even fewer will require the advanced capabilities this camera provides. There are cheaper cameras better suited to serious enthusiasts.

      Professionals who are developing ‘hybrid’ businesses that combine video production with shooting stills will find the new camera a much more capable and well-rounded tool than its predecessor. It also provides significant advantages in internet sharing of files through expanded networking facilities.

      Build and Ergonomics
      Physically, little has changed since the original EOS-1D X,  which is good since pro photographers don’t want radical re-designs in their ‘workhorse’ cameras. However, while the body dimensions of the Mark III and Mark II models are identical, the new camera is 90 grams lighter.

      Front, top and rear views of the EOS-1D X Mark III. (Source: Canon.)

      Like previous EOS-1D cameras, the Mark III uses a lightweight magnesium-alloy camera body plus an all-metal mirror box assembly to support long and heavy super-telephoto lenses. Extensive weather-resistant sealing and gasketing at joints in the body, buttons, dials, levers and card and battery doors prevents dust and moisture from entering the camera body.

      The diagrams above show the positions of the weather-resistant sealing on
      the EOS-1D X Mark III body. (Source: Canon.)

      The updated shutter in the EOS-1D X Mark III is now durability tested to 500,000 exposures (up from 400,000 on the Mark II model), the highest rating to date. Friction-reducing treatment has been applied to high-strength carbon fibre shutter blade surfaces and a new wet-type braking mechanism is used at the end of the curtain’s travel for better speed and reliability.

      Replacing the CF and CFast slots in the previous model with slots for high-performance CFexpress cards  has helped the new processor to boost memory card transfer speeds and capitalise on increased performance. Overall image processing performance in the new camera is 3.1x faster and continuous processing speeds are up to 380x faster than two DIGIC 6+ processors. Power consumption has also been reduced. The table below compares the EOS-1D X Mark III with its predecessor.

      EOS-1D X Mark III EOS-1D X Mark II
      Effective resolution 20.1 megapixels 20.2 megapixels
      Image processor DIGIC X dual DIGIC 6+
      Max. frame rate, viewfinder shooting 16 fps 14 fps
      Max. frame rate, Live View shooting 20 fps 16 fps
      Buffer capacity > 1000 frames (all file formats) Approx. 170 frames (with CFast card (Raw only)
      Memory card type CFexpress (both slots) CFast 2.0;  Compact Flash
      Max. card transfer speeds (theoretical) 1.97 GB/sec 600 MB/sec  (CFast)

      Note: The EOS-1D X Mark III is only compatible with CFexpress cards, Type B size, and cannot use any other memory card type. XQD cards cannot be used in this camera and there are currently no plans to provide support through firmware updates.

      The mirror drive mechanism of the EOS-1D X Mark III has been totally redesigned with a much stronger and more robust mirror frame and linkage joining the main and sub-mirrors (shown below). Both mirrors are now motor-controlled and joined, so they will ‘brake’ into their resting position simultaneously.

      This graphic shows the new mirror assembly with the linked main and secondary mirrors driven by a new direct-drive motor. (Source: Canon.)

      Sub-mirror bounce is substantially reduced, giving the AF system more time to get a stabilised view of light rays directed to the AF sensor. In addition, the drive speed of the mirror control motor is increased and the mechanism is more shock resistant. These changes provide a more stable view with reduced black-out between frames plus up to 16 fps continuous shooting enabled during viewfinder shooting without requiring mirror locking or a fixed, semi-transparent mirror structure.

      A new Smart Controller built into the AF-On button provides fast control of the AF Point selection. It works like a mini touch pad with sensors that can detect the position of your fingertip and move the focus area accordingly. (The regular 8-way Multi-controller is also available and both can be customised to allow quick manual adjustments to AF points or AF Areas.)

      Finally, although the EOS-1D X Mark III uses the same LP-E19 battery as its predecessor, power management has been dramatically improved. Whereas the Mark II  was rated for approximately 1210 shots/charge with viewfinder or 260 shots/charge in Live View mode, the Mark III claims a rating of approximately 2580 shots/charge with the viewfinder or 610 shots/charge or over four hours movie recording in Live View mode.

      What’s New?
      More than 100 improvements have been implemented in the EOS-1D X Mark III although, as with the previous model, most are internal. In addition, the entire camera — not just the shutter mechanism — has been durability tested to 500,000 exposures, up from 400,000 on the Mark II model. Other important updates include the following:

      1. While the resolution of the sensor is largely unchanged, the Canon designed and manufactured 20.1-megapixel CMOS Sensor is new and features special circuitry around each photosite to improve noise control at the pixel level. Individual photosites also have greater sensitivity to light, contributing to lower overall noise especially at higher ISO levels. The read-out circuit is significantly faster at the sensor, improving performance for burst shooting and video recording and reducing rolling shutter effects in the latter.

      A new High Detail Low-Pass Filter sub-samples the incoming light into 16 separate rays at the sensor and uses a complex algorithm to average the results. Working with the DIGIC X processor, this processing delivers greater subject detail and sharpness and fewer instances of moiré patterns and false colours than conventional low-pass filters.

      This graphic shows the new High Detail Low-Pass Filter.
      (Source: Canon.)

      1. The new DIGIC X Image Processor can apply many more processing steps and algorithms during image processing than previous processors, including the dual DIGIC 6+ processors in the Mark II. ‘Blocks’ in the processor have been dedicated to specific Dual Pixel CMOS AF tasks, as well as for subject detection (including the new Head Detection AF, and AF tracking capabilities for both viewfinder and Live View shooting).

      The new processor also allows advanced noise reduction processing at the sensor to be applied across the default ISO range of 100-102400, which can be optionally expanded to ISO 50 and ISO 819200. According to Canon, preliminary comparisons of images show about a 1-stop improvement in general noise performance over the previous EOS-1D X Mark II camera.

      1. Significant changes have been made to the autofocusing system, which now consists of two separate modules: the viewfinder-based system, which has its own 191-point AF array, and the Live View/video system, which reads focus directly from the imaging sensor using Dual Pixel CMOS AF. The new viewfinder array has roughly 100 times more pixels on the AF sensor than previous Canon 61-point AF sensors, as shown in the diagram below.

      This graphic shows the ultra-high-resolution viewfinder AF sensor. (Source: Canon.)

      The new system uses Deep Learning Technology to make head- and face-tracking AF more accurate and also provides significant improvements to focusing precision and accuracy, especially with subjects containing detailed patterns or diagonal lines. It also supports all EF lenses and compatible teleconverters. In addition, the AF area modes are almost all identical for viewfinder and Live View shooting, with the exception of the Face+Tracking mode, which is only available with Live View.

      This graphic shows what can be displayed in the hybrid LCD viewfinder. Not all the data displayed on the above graphic will appear simultaneously and users can control the amount of information displayed. The AF points appear exclusively in red, and are not part of the black LCD overlay in the finder. (Source: Canon.)

      A new Smart Controller that uses an optical sensor covering on the AF-on button makes it easy to move the AF point or area around the frame by simply sliding the tip of your thumb while you’re looking through the viewfinder. Two Smart Controllers are provided, as shown below, the second one positioned for use during hand-held vertical shooting.

      They operate when the shutter button is half-pressed and makes it very quick to reposition the focus in the frame. The sensor ‘reads’ the user’s thumb movements and operates over the entire 191-point AF array. They also work in Live View mode.

      The camera’s C.Fn menu provides adjustments for the sensitivity of the Smart Controller, with the + adjustments increasing sensitivity so that minor movements have large consequences. The – setting works in reverse. Also in the C.Fn menu is the option to disable the vertically-positioned Smart Controller without affecting its AF-ON function.

      Users can combine the Smart Controller and AF-ON (back-button AF) and pressing the button in toggles between them. Because the sensitive area is quite small, it takes a while to learn how much to move your thumb but, once mastered, it’s a real time-saver.

      Every point in the 191-point AF array can be manually selected by the photographer, and a variety of AF Area selection possibilities are available as well. A dedicated DIGIC 8 processor is provided for AF management and control of the 400,000 pixel RGB metering sensor. It works in tandem with the central DIGIC X processor and a new AI Servo AF IV algorithm to deliver faster subject detection and tracking. Deep Learning processes also enable the AF system to use settings with different subject types to ‘teach’ the camera to focus as the photographer does.

      New  Head Detection AF and AF Priority (People) functions make it easier for the AF system to track human subjects, with AF Priority (People) able to track even when a full face can’t be identified (such as when the face is partly obscured or the subject is wearing a helmet). The system can seamlessly switch from Face Detect AF to Head Detect AF if a subject becomes unidentifiable due to backlighting or if the subject turns away.

      This illustration shows the new Dual Pixel CMOS AF array for Live View autofocusing. (Source: Canon.)

      Live View focusing uses Dual Pixel CMOS AF using an array covering 100% of the frame vertically and 90% horizontally.  With 525 possible AF points available during Face Detect + Tracking (automatic AF point selection), photographers can also manually select any of 3,869 possible positions. Live View adds Head Detection to the existing face and eye detection and the new camera can carry out Servo AF for moving subjects with Live View at up to 20 fps.

      Depth information has been added to Live View AF, making it easier for the camera to isolate subjects from backgrounds with similar tones and/or colours. In addition, all AF pre-set ‘Cases’, including the new Case A (Auto), are available in both viewfinder AF and Live View AF modes.

      Focusing aids include the standard MF peaking display, a Focus Guide that shows when the sharpest focus is achieved and up to 10x magnification in all AF modes except Face Detect + Tracking. Both systems can cover exposure values from -6 EV in very low lighting to Extreme brightness levels at 18.

      1. Canon has added support for the new HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format), which are saved as *.HIF files, to the normal JPEG, CR3.RAW and C-RAW options provided by most Canon cameras. Click here to find out more about HEIF. Both JPEG and HEIF images can be set to 10 levels of compression in the camera.

      There are some restrictions on how the new format is used, however. For starters, HEIF images can’t be captured in Live View mode with the electronic shutter; only the mechanical shutter can be used. In addition, – although HEIF files can be combined with RAW or C-RAW files, they can’t be recorded with JPEG files.

      Furthermore, ISO extensions are not supported for HEIF files and so far, these files can only be converted into editable formats with Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software. Like raw files HEIF files can be converted into JPEGs in the camera, although conversion will sacrifice the wider dynamic range of the HEIF files which have a higher bit depth.

      Normally, the choice for RAW and/or JPEG images is done in the Image Type/Size menu area (Red shooting menu > Screen #2 > Img type/size > select RAW or JPEG). However, to change from JPEG to HEIF files, a separate menu line-item must be enabled:

      Red shooting menu > Screen #4 > HDR PQ Settings > Disable/Enable. When shooting HEIF images, Canon recommends that Highlight Tone Priority (D+) be active, to capitalise on the expanded tonal range effect in bright highlight areas.

      To view HEIF files on the camera’s monitor, users can choose between Exposure Priority (mid-tones) and Tones Priority (highlights). Neither option will change the tonal values in the original file; just the viewing parameters.

      At present, there aren’t many software applications that support HEIF files. For our tests we had to use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional to convert6 them into editable formats. But even that was not fully functional because we were unable to make any adjustments to the files before converting them, despite having installed the Canon HEVC Activator. So, for the time being, these files are interesting to use but still a bit limited in functionality.

      Switching to video is accomplished with the lever switch to the right of the viewfinder. Recordings are started and stopped by pressing the button on this switch. As with all DSLR cameras, video can only be recorded in Live View mode.

      Improvements to video recording in the EOS-1D X Mark III are significant enough to merit a separate section in this review. The leading advancement is the ability to record 5.5K 12-bit RAW video with a 17:9 aspect ratio at frame rates up to 60 fps. Users can also opt for the movie-centric 4K DCI production format or the television/web-centric 4K UHD production format, as well as the Full HD format (where frame rates up to 120/100 fps are available for recordings without audio), as shown in the diagram below.

      This illustration shows the frame sizes available for users of the EOS-1D X Mark III. (Source: Canon.)

      The provision of these recording options requires the use of high-performance CFexpress cards, which can handle the faster video data rates delivered by both RAW video recording and high bit-rate compressed video formats. The EOS-1D X Mark III uses the Type B memory card and has dual slots that are both CFexpress compatible. Note that during RAW recording, only one CFexpress card can have 5.5K RAW files written to it; the other will simultaneously record high-quality 4K MP4 video with Canon Log.

      Some of the movie recording options offered by the EOS-1D X Mark III. Note how available recording times change with changes in resolution and frame rates.

      The Canon Log OETF (optoelectronic transfer function) was developed for Canon’s Cinema EOS C300 and C500 cameras and tailored to record a wide dynamic range. In post-production, Canon Log can be transformed to allow digital processes like colour matrix transformations, secondary colour correction, luminance tonal adjustments and image compositing to take place without compromising the recorded dynamic range or bit depth.

      The Canon Log page in the camera’s menu.

      In line with supporting the HEIF file format for stills, the EOS-1D X Mark III also includes support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), the latest video coding standard from the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). It is sometimes referred to as MPEG-H Part 2 and ITU-T H.265 and provides much better compression performance than MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, along with higher video resolution and increased use of parallel processing architectures.

      Users can choose between the HEVC file format which supports YCbCr 4:2:2 10-bit compression and the well-established MPEG-4 /H.264 AVC codec, which provides very good quality YCbCr 4:2:0 8-bit compression, which is suitable for professional newsgathering and low-budget documentaries as well as other applications that result in footage that will be displayed on TV screens. The new camera also provides additional control over 4K file sizes through the choice between All-Intra and standard or light IPB modes within MPEG-4 with both the H.265  and H.264 codecs for all frame rates.

      All these options mean footage from the camera can be integrated into cinema production systems as well as broadcast television production that are working in 4K UHD. Some typical workflows are shown in the diagram below.

      Workflow options for video shooting with the EOS-1D X Mark III. (Source: Canon.)

      While 5.5K RAW recording ensures maximum flexibility for postproduction, it can also be used as for master data stream, coupled with simultaneous MP4 recording.  Canon recommends setting the colour matrix to CINEMA EOS Original for RAW movie recordings.

      Uncompressed 4K (DCI or UHD) can also be output via the HDMI interface to an external recorder and non-linear editing plugins are available from both Avid and Apple, with the Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software another option for video development. Canon has also committed to enabling the Cinema EOS CRD (Cinema RAW Development software) as yet another development tool. Note that RAW movies can only be displayed on a computer via DPP software.

      All the normal functions like an attenuator, wind noise filter, flicker reduction, time coding, digital image stabilisation are available for movie recording. Focus peaking is provided – but not zebra patterns.  Because it would interrupt the video, still frames can’t be captured while recording a movie clip. The main downside to shooting in 50 or 60p is that you don’t get Dual Pixel AF.

      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 EOS-1D X Mark III is the first EOS-1 series camera equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and it also includes integrated GPS technology for location data logging.

      Network settings

      A special Network tab in the menu (shown above) makes it easy to set up connections via built-in gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi or low-energy Bluetooth. Wi-Fi can be used for connecting to an FTP server or to a computer via EOS Utility as well as to a smartphone via the Camera Connect app. Camera Connect can also be used to maintain an always-on connection between the camera and a smartphone via low-energy Bluetooth, which enables certain functions to be controlled remotely from the smart device. Note that only one smart device can be ‘paired’ with the camera via Bluetooth.

      Connection options

      The built-in GPS recorder enables users to geotag images and log routes travelled by the camera. The optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E9 can connect the camera to a wireless LAN and provide transfer speeds and capabilities to meet most professional requirements.

      Playback and Software
      No surprises here; the EOS-1D X Mark III provides all the playback settings users of previous models would expect plus a couple of interesting ‘extras’. As well as being able to convert CR3.RAW files into JPEGs in the camera, the playback menu includes the ability to convert HEIF files into JPEGs, although you lose the benefits of the higher bit depth, which means the dynamic range would be reduced in shots taken in contrasty conditions.

      Frame grabbing is possible with movie playback, although not for RAW movies or those with Canon Log settings. RAW movies can’t be processed in the camera but they can be played and processed in the latest version of Digital Photo Professional.

      As usual, the software bundle is provided online for owners of the camera to download (you must input the camera’s serial number before any of the applications can be downloaded). The software bundle includes the usual applications: EOS Utility, Digital Photo Professional and Picture Style Editor, as well as a GPS Log File Utility and the Canon HEVC Activator, which you’ll need for converting HEIC (stills) and HEVC (video) files into editable formats for use with Digital Photo Professional or other applications.

      Evaluating imaging performance with our usual Imatest application was challenging because we had to look at the HEIF files in addition to our regular JPEG and TIFF file analysis. Because CR3.RAW files are supported in the latest version of our preferred raw file converter, Adobe Camera Raw, that’s what we used to produce the 16-bit TIFF files on which our measurements were based.

      We carried out two conversions for the HEIF files, both with Digital Photo Professional. First we converted them into 16-bit TIFF files and in addition into regular 8-bit JPEGs. Each batch was measured separately. The results are shown below.

      This graph shows resolution levels for JPEGs, converted CR3.RAW files and HEIF files with TIFF and JPEG conversions across the supported ISO range. Note that ISO extensions are NOT available when shooting HEIF files.

      It’s interesting to note that both sets of HEIF conversions produced similar results, although the 16-bit TIFF conversions delivered slightly higher resolutions. It’s also worth noting that both sets of HEIF conversions showed much less discrepancy between centre and edge resolution than either the JPEGs or TIFF conversions from CR3.RAW files.

      This demonstrates the value of the HEIF format for capturing a much wider dynamic range and utilising it to produce files that produce better results, even when they are converted into JPEGs with the resulting drop in bit depth. What’s not shown in the graph is the fact that converted HEIF files retain higher ‘ideal’ resolutions, even though their resolution in line/picture height is lower.

      The green ellipses indicate the ‘ideal’ resolutions, which are similar in JPEG files straight from the camera and HEIF files converted into JPEG format, despite the absolute differences in resolution shown in the boxes above. Other files can be seen in the TESTS section below.

      We also explored the editing possibilities of the HEIF to see how far the files could be ‘pushed’ before quality suffered. The results were interesting and showed the files were able to withstand a substantial degree of manipulation. The three examples below show the converted file with minimal editing.

      85mm focal length, ISO100, 1/800 second at f/8.

      A crop from the above image at 100% magnification.

      The converted file edited to produce the best tonal balance and colour reproduction.

      Long exposures at night were noise-free up to ISO 12800 where the first signs of softening appeared. But you had to look hard to find increased softening in images captured at ISO settings between 12800 and 51200.

      By ISO102400, noise became visible and the dynamic range in images was noticeably reduced. Beyond this point, visible granularity increased, highlights blew out and shadows were progressively blocked up. We wouldn’t recommend using the two highest settings (equivalent to ISO 409600 and ISO 891200, respectively) since the resulting images were soft and highly granular in appearance. Nonetheless, the overall performance is impressive, even for a professional camera.

      Auto white balance performance was generally better than we found with the EOS-1D X II,  which also enabled users to choose between ambience and white priority settings for auto white balance. The ambience priority setting retained a slight orange cast in shots taken under both incandescent lighting and warm-toned LED lights. However, the white priority setting effectively eliminated both warm casts and delivered a natural-looking colour balance.

      Shots taken under fluorescent lighting showed no apparent colour cast. The manual pre-sets over-corrected very slightly but it was easy to pull colours back into line with the in-camera adjustments provided. As usual, raw files provided plenty of scope for adjustments post-capture.

      Autofocusing was, if anything, even faster and more accurate than we found with the EOS-1D X II.  As usual, the best results were obtained when the AF mode was matched to the subject. Even though the new Auto AF case setting did a fine job with the two radically different lenses we were given with the camera, we believe most photographers will make full use of the ‘case’ settings and AF area settings they choose for different shooting scenarios.

      When shooting video with the review camera we encountered the same problems as we find with other DSLR cameras: in bright outdoor lighting, the monitor screen becomes almost unreadable, making it very difficult to frame shots accurately. There’s nothing wrong with the screen itself, which is larger than average and boasts 2.1-million-dot resolution. The problem lies with the LCD technology itself, as to date the only solution has been to switch to a mirrorless system that allows video to be shot when the viewfinder is used for framing.

      Otherwise, video quality was much as we expected, with the RAW video and Canon log footage producing footage with reduced contrast and saturation in order to capture the widest possible brightness range. While this footage is great for post-production, still frames extracted from it don’t look particularly good, as you can see in the Samples section below. Note: because this camera provides more than 30 different recording options, we’ve only been able to present representative frame grabs from across the recording range.

      Regular MP4 footage also showed subdued contrast and saturation, which was easily correctable and the sensor was able to encompass a wider-than-average brightness range. Autofocusing while shooting movie clips was reasonably good, although there were a few occasions where the camera took a second or so to lock onto the subject. Subject tracking was also efficient thanks in part to the face and body detection algorithms.

      Soundtracks recorded with the camera’s built-in microphones were generally clear and immune to external noises when the wind filter/attenuator was enabled. No interference was recorded from lens adjustments during autofocusing or zooming.

      For our timing tests we used the 352GB ProGrade CFexpress card, which was supplied with the camera and is rated for a write speed of 1400 MB/second and a read speed of 1600 MB/second, roughly three times faster than the CFast card we used when reviewing the previous model. The review camera powered-up almost instantly, taking less than half a second before the first shot could be captured.

      When the viewfinder was used, we measured an average capture lag of 0.1 seconds. This delay was eliminated by pre-focusing the lens. Live View performance is difficult to evaluate since it’s highly lens dependent and neither of the lenses we had would have yielded values that could be used for other lenses in Canon’s EF range.

      It took an average of 0.2 seconds to process a single file regardless of whether it was a JPEG, a raw file, an HEIF file or a RAW+JPEG or RAW+HEIF pair. Shot-to-shot times averaged 0.25 seconds, which was about as fast as we could keep pressing the shutter button.

      With buffer depths of over 1000 frames, we didn’t attempt to check buffer capacity. However, we did test frame rates with both viewfinder shooting (which has a maximum speed of 16 fps) and in Live View mode (which supports frame rates up to 20 fps).

      In the high-speed continuous shooting mode when the viewfinder was used, we were able to record 33 Large/Fine JPEGs in 2.5 seconds, which equates to 13.2 frames/second, which is slightly below the specified frame rate. It took approximately 0.6 seconds to process this burst. The same frame rates applied with both or raw file and RAW+JPEG capture, with the burst of raw files taking took just over a second to process and the burst of RAW+JPEG pairs taking 1.6 seconds.

      With Live View shooting, we recorded 224 Large/Fine JPEGs in 10.2 seconds, which is very close to the specified 20 fps frame rate. The buffer had cleared within less half a second of the last frame recorded. The same frame rates were achieved with raw files and RAW+JPEG pairs, and processing of each burst was completed within 1.2 and 1.6 seconds (respectively) of the last frame captured.


      Please Login or Register to access the Conclusion.



      Image sensor: 35.9 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor with 20.1 megapixels effective; 3:2 aspect ratio
      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, 5.5K RAW movies with Canon Log (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; ALL-I  and IPB compression available
      Aspect ratios: 3:2
      Image Stabilisation: Lens based
      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 for stills; BT.709  or BT.2020 for movies
      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 Type B 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: Fixed 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), Bluetooth
      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

      Distributor: Canon Australia; 1800 021 167



      Based on JPEG images taken with the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens.

      Based on CR3.RAW images converted to 16-bit TIFF format with Adobe Camera Raw.

      Based on HEIF images converted to 16-bit TIFF format with Digital Photo Professional.




      The following images were captured with the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens

      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting, ambience priority.

      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting, white priority.

      Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.

      Auto white balance with warm-toned LED lighting, ambience priority.

      Auto white balance with warm-toned LED lighting, white priority.

      30-second exposure at ISO 50, f/2.2.

      25-second exposure at ISO 100, f/3.2.

      15-second exposure at ISO 800, f/6.3.

      10-second exposure at ISO 3200, f/10.

      8-second exposure at ISO 12800, f/9.

      4-second exposure at ISO 25600, f/20.

      1.3-second exposure at ISO 51200, f/14.

      1-second exposure at ISO 102400, f/20.

      1/4-second exposure at ISO H1 (204800), f/11.

      1/4-second exposure at ISO H2 (409600), f/16.

      1/10-second exposure at ISO H3 (819200), f/14.

      File comparison: JPEG (TOP), from CR3.RAW (middle), from HEIF (bottom); ISO 200, 1/250 second at f/9.

      File comparison: JPEG (TOP), from CR3.RAW (middle), from HEIF (bottom); ISO 320, 1/320 second at f/9.

      File comparison: JPEG (TOP), from CR3.RAW (middle), from HEIF (bottom); ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/8.

      File comparison: JPEG (TOP), from CR3.RAW (middle), from HEIF (bottom); ISO 100, 1/640 second at f/8.


      File comparison: JPEG (TOP), from CR3.RAW (middle), from HEIF (bottom); ISO 200, 1/250 second at f/4.5.

      File comparison: JPEG (TOP), from CR3.RAW (bottom); ISO 100, 1/200 second at f/8.

      ISO 2500, 1/250 second at f/8.

      ISO 200, 1/30 second at f/10.

      ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/5.

      These files were captured with the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM lens

      ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/5.6.

      ISO 100, 1/2000 second at f/2.8.

      Crop from the above image magnified to 100%.

      ISO 100, 1/640 second at f/4.5.

      ISO 100, 1/800 second at f/5.

      ISO 100, 1/640 second at f/4.5.

      Still frame from RAW video clip recorded with C-4K 50p resolution and Canon Log.

      Still frame from MP4 video clip recorded with C-4K 50p resolution with ALL-I compression.

      Still frame from MP4 video clip recorded with C-4K 25p resolution with ALL-I compression.

      Still frame from MP4 video clip recorded with UHD-4K 50p resolution with IPB compression.

      Still frame from MP4 video clip recorded with UHD-4K 25p resolution with IPB compression.

      Still frame from MP4 Full HD video clip recorded at 50p with ALL-I compression.

      Still frame from MP4 Full HD video clip recorded at 50p with IPB compression.

      Still frame from MP4 Full HD video clip recorded with crop setting at 50p with ALL-I compression.

      Still frame from MP4 Full HD video clip recorded with crop setting at 50p with ALL-I compression.

      Still frame from MP4 Full HD video clip recorded with crop setting at 25p with ALL-I compression.

      Still frame from MP4 Full HD video clip recorded with crop setting at 25p with IPB compression

      Additional image samples can be found with our review of the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM  and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS  III USM lenses.



      RRP: AU$11,299; US$6,499

      • Build: 9.2
      • Ease of use: 8.9
      • Autofocusing: 9.2
      • Still image quality JPEG: 9.0
      • Still image quality RAW: 9.0
      • Still image quality HEIF: 9.0
      • Video quality: 9.0