Canon Announces the 1D X Mark III, an Action Photography Powerhouse

Canon has officially announced the next camera in its flagship 1D X series:

The Canon 1D X Mark III, which will undoubtedly be one of the best cameras on the market at the time of its release.

In a press release, Canon revealed and teased various 1D X Mark III features. And while we didn’t get all of our questions answered and may not for quite some time, you can rest easy knowing that the 1D X Mark III is shaping up to be an incredible piece of kit.

The Canon 1D X lineup is made for professional action and wildlife photographers, and the Canon 1D X Mark III is no exception. As Canon explains, “When using this camera, professionals will have the confidence they will get ‘the shot’ and can deliver it at a competitive speed–faster than ever before–ideal for the increasingly fast-paced industry.”

Related Post: What We Love About the 6 Best Camera Bodies for Sports Photography

But what, precisely, does this mean? What innovative features will be included in the 1D X Mark III?

The Best Features of the Canon 1D X Mark III

Let’s get one thing straight:

The Canon 1D X Mark III is not meant for beginners, enthusiasts, or even semi-professionals. It’s a pro-level camera, through and through. And while we don’t yet know the price, you can expect it to be somewhere around $5999 USD, which was the price of its predecessor, the 1D X Mark II. Unfortunately, this price-tag is prohibitive for all but the most serious photographers.

On the other hand, if you’re a professional photographer who is in the market for an incredible action camera, then you’re going to be very pleased by what the 1D X Mark III has to offer.

Now let’s take a look at the features you can expect from this flagship DSLR:

According to the Canon press release, the 1D X Mark III’s autofocus system will be “blisteringly fast,” thanks to its brand new autofocus sensor that improves upon the impressive system in the 1D X Mark II. Canon also promises that Deep Learning technology will ensure stellar tracking and accuracy. This is essential for sports and wildlife work, where your subjects rarely stay still long enough for an easy shot.

These impressive autofocus capabilities extend to shooting in Live View. The 1D X Mark III will feature Canon’s much-loved Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus; the version sported by the 1D X Mark III will offer 525 autofocus points for near-complete autofocus coverage. This is perfect for anyone who prefers to shoot using Live View, as well as for videographers.

The best wildlife and sports cameras offer top-of-the-line autofocus combined with incredible continuous shooting speeds. In this area, professionals won’t be disappointed with the 1D X Mark III. While it can’t shoot the 30 frames-per-second that was initially rumored, the 1D X Mark III features 16 fps when using the optical viewfinder and 20 fps in Live View, which is plenty fast for any type of action photography. With these shooting speeds on top of its dual CFexpress card slots, the Canon 1D X Mark III will supposedly “enable more than five times the RAW burst depth of its predecessor.” Because the 1D X Mark II was reported at around 170 RAW photos, you can expect something astonishing from the 1D X Mark III, which will likely be able to fire off 20 fps RAW photos for dozens of seconds on end.

This is possible by way of a brand-new DIGIC processor. Note that this marks the first DIGIC processor debuted in a 1D X camera, and may very well be the last.

Now let’s take a look at the 1D X Mark III’s sensor:

First and most importantly, we don’t yet know the resolution that the 1D X Mark III will offer. Canon left this out of their announcement, though rumors suggest that we may see something around 28 megapixels; at the very least, the camera should offer 22 megapixels. If this seems low to you, that’s the nature of these flagship action cameras. They frequently sacrifice resolution for increased low-light capabilities and high frames-per-second rates.

One new feature that may interest some photographers is the 1D X Mark III’s ability to shoot HEIFs, which is a compressed file format that offers better dynamic range and better colors than JPEGs. While this won’t be useful for those that shoot in RAW religiously, if you’re aiming to capture high volumes of photos while keeping storage space down, HEIF could be a useful format.

If you enjoy videography, you’ll be happy to hear that the Canon 1D X Mark III offers everything that the Canon 1D X Mark II supplied, and then some. The 1D X Mark II featured 4K video at 60p, like the 1D X Mark III. But the 1D X Mark III will also offer 10-bit 4:2:2 Canon Log internal recording, which is a step up for serious videographers.

The Canon 1D X Mark III is also designed with high-speed transferring in mind for those photographers who have tight deadlines and need to send photos at a moment’s notice. The camera offers the expected Wi-Fi and Bluetooth low-energy connectivity, but also an ethernet connection and an optional wireless file transmitter (the WFT-E9).

Finally, the build of the Canon 1D X Mark III is similar to its predecessor. The 1D X Mark III features weather-sealing, an intensely rugged body, and carefully molded ergonomics. An added bonus is the battery life, which is supposedly better than the 1210 shots of the Canon 1D X Mark II. This is ideal for photographers who spend long periods in the field, or even those who eat through batteries quickly due to high-speed shooting.

Release Date of the Canon 1D X Mark III

Unfortunately, we don’t know the release date of the Canon 1D X Mark III. However, the camera will undoubtedly debut at least a few months prior to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games. Many have speculated that the camera will drop in February of 2020, paralleling the Canon 1D X Mark II’s release date (just before the 2016 Olympics).

So if you’re interested in the Canon 1D X Mark III, keep your eyes out. It’s going to be a remarkable camera–for those who are willing to pay the price.

Related Post: Sports Photography Tips

When will the Canon 1D X Mark III be released?

It is unknown when the Canon 1D X Mark III will be released. However, you can expect it sometime between now and the summer of 2020 (which is when the Tokyo Olympics will occur). Rumors indicate that the 1D X Mark III will hit the shelves in February 2020, which mirrors the debut of the Canon 1D X Mark II.

What is the Canon 1D X Mark III?

The Canon 1D X Mark III is a recently announced flagship camera produced by Canon. It’s designed for action and wildlife photographers, and will feature a stellar autofocus system (both using the optical viewfinder and Live View), high-speed continuous shooting (16 fps and 20 fps with the optical viewfinder and Live View, respectively), and 4K video at 60p. It will undoubtedly be an expensive camera; its predecessor, the Canon 1D X Mark II, cost nearly $6000 USD upon release.

Who should buy the Canon 1D X Mark III?

The Canon 1D X Mark III is a camera for professional action photographers. You shouldn’t consider it unless you require the best-of-the-best action specs, as it will cost thousands of dollars and is a lot of camera to handle. However, for those who need lightning-fast autofocus capabililties and high continuous shooting speeds, the Canon 1D X Mark III will undoubtedly be an excellent choice.

What is the price of the Canon 1D X Mark III?

The Canon 1D X Mark III price is currently unknown. However, you can expect it to cost around the same price as its predecessor, the Canon 1D X Mark II, which debuted at $5999 USD.