Managed to have a play with the New EOS1D mkIII camera body recently. Initial reactions are pretty good.
Build quality seems everything that it should be, and I prefer the new layout, however I didn’t get a chance to stick a CF card in it and take some photographs. The AF (bearing in mind we were in the dimly lit basement, and I had an 85mm F1.2 mkII on board) was pretty impressive.
The live preview function was also pretty good, although you obviously have no AF, as the mirror is in the up position, and with the fairly wide viewing angle of the preview screen may be useful in crowded situations when you have shoot with the camera away from the eye. The only reservation would be in reasonably bright weather it might be tricky to see the screen.
The Screen is pretty impressive, being 3″ instead of 2.5″ on the mkII. Ask any women; they will tell you that size really does matter.
At full chat the 10 frames per second, doesn’t really sound that different from the 8.5 of the 1D mkII or the 9fps of the EOS1VHS.
The new battery pack is alleged to make a significant difference to the battery life, with it being a smaller Lithium Battery, it means that it should not need the periodic conditioning that the current batteries need. I also like the fact that the charger comes with twin charging slots, rather like the old DCS520 battery charger, rather than just two plug in leads.
One of the biggest problems with the old battery charger was trying to charge batteries in the car, you go around a corner and the batteries weight pulls them further than the charger. Meaning that whilst you think the batteries are charging in the boot, they are actually shorting themselves out on any piece of metal they come into contact with.
I will be interested to try out the mkIII when it becomes available, and shall let it be known amongst the suppliers of my kit that I want a play at the earliest possible, even if I don’t initially add one or two to the kit bag. Having only upgraded to the mkII bodies 10 or 12 months ago, I am reluctant to spend another £6k on bodies if I can’t see a very real reason for doing so.
The Body now has USB rather than a Firewire connection, which is a little disapointing as it means that even if you wanted to, you cannot now use the WFTE-1 WiFi pack, and at £700 a pop. That said the new WiFi pack does look better thought out and better designed. There have been some people who have seen the pre-production version and are whinging that it doesn’t have it’s own power supply, but uses the camera battery. Rather than pre-judge, I would like to see how long the new batteries are going to last, both with and without using the WiFi transmitter.
I must confess that I don’t see this camera as a huge leap forward, but a continuation of the evolution process of the 1D camera.
I have to say that the megapixel count increase isn’t enough on it’s own, neither is the huge buffer, however if the noise at high ISOs is significantly better then that may be enough to swing it. Unless Canon wish to donate a couple of them for free? You listening Canon?