The Canon 1D X Mark III: What We Know So Far

Over the last few months, photographers have waited impatiently for news regarding the Canon 1D X Mark III, Canon’s full-frame flagship action camera. Designed with professional sports photographers in mind, the 1D series offers a whole lot of camera–for those who can afford it, that is, because cameras like the Canon 1D X Mark III don’t come cheap.

The Canon 1D X series hasn’t seen an update since 2016, which is why many Canon shooters think that a 1D X Mark III is due. Add to that a sequence of interesting rumors regarding 1D X Mark III specifications, and you’ve got plenty of photographers clamoring for a release date.

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Here’s what we know (or suspect) so far:

First, the Canon 1D X Mark III is expected to be officially announced in February of 2020. This is highly plausible, given that the Canon 1D X Mark II was announced exactly four years prior, in February 2016, just in time for the summer 2016 Olympics. And Canon just can’t afford to leave its professional photographers hanging for the 2020 Olympics, not when Nikon has recently announced the development of the D6, which would be the biggest competitor of the Canon 1D X Mark III.

As action cameras, the Canon 1D X series sacrifices resolution for speed. Too many megapixels slow down continuous shooting rates and load up buffers, which is why the Canon 1D X Mark II sensor only featured 20 megapixels. Rumors indicate, however, that while the Canon 1D X Mark III won’t be a megapixel monster, we can expect a significant bump in resolution, probably to 28 megapixels.

And for those photographers worried that this might hurt the 1D X Mark III’s continuous shooting speed, rumor has it that the new DSLR will offer up to 30 frames-per-second in continuous shooting, which is unprecedented for a Canon DSLR. Even the 1D X Mark II barely managed half that, reaching 16 frames-per-second in live view–but only 14 fps when using the optical viewfinder. This incredible frames-per-second rate is possible because the 1D X Mark III will reportedly debut two DIGIC 9 processors.

If this rumor is correct, then we’ll see a serious increase in the value of the 1D X Mark III for sports shooters, where every additional frame per second counts.

However, it’s not just sports photographers who like the 1D X series. The 1D X series boasts ultra-rugged bodies and incredible autofocus capabilities, which is perfect for fast-paced wildlife and bird photography, as well as the occasional wedding shoot. Imagine what a bird photographer could do with 30 fps continuous shooting: 20-30 shot sequences of birds in flight. And if the autofocus is good enough (and I would be surprised if it isn’t), the photos will be sharp and precise.

Like its predecessors, the Canon 1D X Mark III will undoubtedly offer plenty of high-end, rugged features: weather-sealing, dual card slots (which is practically a requirement for wedding photographers), 100% viewfinder coverage, and the best high-ISO capabilities Canon has to offer.

Rumors also indicate that the 1D X Mark III will possess a bigger and brighter LCD, which is always nice for outdoor shooting. But one of the most interesting aspects about the Canon 1D X Mark III is its rumored in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which has mostly remained a mirrorless phenomenon thus far. This will undoubtedly be useful for nature and wildlife photographers, who often find themselves shooting in low-light situations with nothing to do but crank up the ISO. But it also suggests Canon’s intention to move its DSLR lineups in a mirrorless direction. Don’t be surprised if the next few years see the slowdown of Canon DSLR production, as Canon’s main DSLR lineups are replaced by mirrorless cameras.

Here’s the bottom line:

The Canon 1D X Mark III is bound to be an impressive camera, able to satisfy even the most demanding of professionals with its 30 frames-per-second continuous shooting speeds and its 28-megapixel sensor. But for those who don’t need such specs, it might be worth looking elsewhere. The Canon 1D X Mark II debuted to a price of $5999 USD. Chances are that the Canon 1D X Mark III will have a similar price tag.

Plus, there are some other excellent options, such as the Canon 5D Mark IV, which costs half the price but offers more megapixels; the Canon EOS R, if you’re happy with a mirrorless option; and even the Canon 90D, if you’re willing to settle for an APS-C sensor. While all of these cameras will undoubtedly be outperformed by the Canon 1D X Mark III’s speed and high-ISO capabilities, many shooters may not have much use for such an action photography camera.

So make sure you think about it carefully before buying!

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

The Canon 1D X Mark III is expected to be announced in February of 2020. However, this has not been confirmed by Canon.

Will the Canon 1D X Mark III be a mirrorless camera?

The Canon 1D X Mark III will not be a mirrorless camera. Instead, it will be the DSLR successor to the Canon 1D X Mark II, though it will likely possess in-body image stabilization, which is a feature that’s traditionally been offered by mirrorless cameras.

How many megapixels will the Canon 1D X Mark III have?

The Canon 1D X Mark III is rumored to have a 28-megapixel sensor, though nothing has been confirmed. This is a significant step up from the Canon 1D X Mark II, which featured a 20-megapixel sensor.

Will the Canon 1D X Mark III come out in time for the summer Olympics?

The Canon 1D X Mark III will likely be out in time for the summer Olympics. It’s rumored to be announced in February of 2020, so that sports photographers can become familiar with it in time for the Tokyo Games.

What is the successor to the Canon 1D X Mark II?

The successor to the Canon 1D X Mark II is the Canon 1D X Mark III, which will completely replace the Canon 1D X Mark II.

What Canon DSLR has the fastest frames-per-second rate?

The Canon 1D X Mark II currently offers Canon’s fastest continuous shooting rate, at 16 frames-per-second in live view, and 14 frames-per-second when using the optical viewfinder. However, the Canon 1D X Mark III will almost certainly push beyond this number; it is rumored to feature a continuous shooting rate of 30 frames-per-second.

How much will the Canon 1D X Mark III cost?

The cost of the Canon 1D X Mark III is unknown. However, the MSRP of the Canon 1D X Mark II was $5999 USD, so you can expect the Canon 1D X Mark II MSRP to be similar (if slightly lower).

Is the Canon 1D X Mark III a full-frame camera?

Yes, the Canon 1D X Mark III has a full-frame sensor.

 


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