97 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2008
In the last 3 years I have gone from 2 different point and shot cameras to the Canon 30D to the Canon Mark III. With each camera, I was telling myself - this should do it for some time. I read and learned as much as I could with each camera. When I got the 30D I was on cloud 9 - this was great - it would be nice to shoot faster though. When I heard about the Mark III coming out, I knew that was hopefully the last stepping stone I would require for sometime.
This thing rocked - couldn't believe how fast it could shot. I was surprised at how many shots were out of focus though (birding). I didn't experience anything like this on the 30D. I read about the AI focus problems and thought - well this is what is happening to me. For the next 5 months Canon stone walled me on a weekly basis. Promised firmware fixes, this fix that fix, reps telling me off.
I wrote a letter to Yoroku Adachi (President of Canon U.S.A.) and got a call back from one of his people. Very apologetic but same old please be patient and apologies galore - but still we won't replace it with a functioning camera - it is a minor issue (again I was told that by numerous reps) - I say it is only minor if you don't use those features.
5 ½ months later it got fixed. I missed the birding season but there is next year (I was told that by a rep too!). It looks like the problem is fixed and looking forward to spring migration. If someone is reading this and hasn't purchased any camera gear yet, buy Nikon. I have too much invested in Canon gear to switch.
I would probably give the camera 4.5-5 stars now. Canon Support would get a 0.
Updated: May 29th, 2008
With the latest firmware updates and hardware fix, I would give this Camera an easy 5 stars. I have shot plays indoors at ISO 1600 (no flash) and can't believe how sharp shots come out.
My issue is still with Canon Tech (lack of) Support. I called yesterday about the WFT-E2A and got the usual run-a-round about the product. If you don't think you will ever need Canon Tech (lack of) Support, go Canon.
Updated October 11th, 2009
Well, I finally sent my camera in because I have been getting Error 99's since February - It is nice that it is working agaiin but I have no idea what to say about this camera - when it works it is great but I have had it for about 26 months and out of that time it had either the auto focus problem out of the box and error 99 problems. I would say I have had to deal with the camera being defective for about half of the time I have had it. Canon Support had me do all this useless stuff which of course involved me spending money on memory cards, calibrating the battery, using the AC adapter, various lenses, and cleaning contacts.
I was able to limp along with the camera for about 8 months because I came up with my own 'solution' of pulling the memory cards out, removing the lens, using the ac adapter (instead of the battery), and plugging in the TC803 and just setting that to shoot away until the error 99's stopped. I would than leave the camera on it on and changed the tc803 to take a picture every 3 minutes so it wouldn't go off into error 99 land again.
If I were a pro I would have dumped all my canon gear because this thing has been so unreliable. I have resisted purchasing any other canon bodies because of all the headaches I have had with this thing. Canon Support was friendly but wasted a ton of my time and some more of my $$$. It would be nice to get some sort of gift card from Canon or a lens at cost for all my mental anguish.
50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2007
I have this camera for 3 weeks now. About 600 pictures have been taken at this time. Without any reservation, I can highly recommend this camera on the following reasons:
1) Auto focus - I tried all modes, one-shot or al-servo. I used a combination of lens - 180 mm micro, 28-300mm telezoom, 24-70mm and never experienced the problems mentioned on the web as claimed so by some experts. It was as hot as 85 degrees in a very dry heat area. The camera performed flawlesslty.
2) Color - comparing the color of the shots taken from 1d mark iii and 1d mark ii n, I have found that the color is more natural and rich. There is no distortion to my eyes. I shot using 100 - 1600 ISO and saw the consistent color quality in netural mode.
3) Sensor cleaning - it works very effectively. I had to clean up the sensor on my 1d mark ii n almost every 50-100 shots. Now, the automatic cleaning starts whenever I power off of change lens. Sometimes I have to do it twice. Overall, it works very well.
4) View finder - not only the 3 inch LCD is larger but it is also more clear and real to see the pictures. I am really satisified with the display.
5) Control - the new layout is much better than 1d mark iin. I use 20d type of control with one finger, I can change and navigate quickly. 1d mark iin is less intuitive.
6) Battery power - I used a varierty of zoom lens and played back a lot using the LCD. After 500 shots, the battery showed that I still have 50% or so jucie to go. I think that achieving 1000 shots on a full charged battery is quite good. My previous 1d mark ii n can only go for half or 1/3 of it.
Overall, I am very satified with the performance. However, the software provided to clean up the dust is not that great. The dust data somehow is not recognized by the software. I have to use other software to clean up the dust. Out of 500 pictures, I got 5 pictures showing dust and I removed them in two sensor cleaning cycles. It is an expensive toy but well worth the money if you can afford it.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2009
I have owned the Mark III for a little over a year. Not long after receiving it, it quit. I sent it in for a "mirror magnet" problem. After I got it back I would get an Err99 almost daily. I documented it with Canon. It would happen most often when I turned it on for the first time. After several conversations with Canon, I sent it in and they replaced the mirror box. It has not had an Err 99 since then.
The camera was purchased as a "Blue Dot", meaning it had been fixed for the original focus issues some people were reporting. Since the second repair it has functioned flawlessly and now focuses to meet anyone's reasonable expectations. I get 80% to 90% in-focus. In most of the out of focus photos there was a legitimate reason. I can see this when I check my photos in Canon's Zoom Browser. I can see where the camera was focused at the time of shutter release. It is easy to miss a shot on a fast moving object by missing the subject or hitting a different part of the subject. Often times it would be the focus changing from head to hip (on a running dog), not the camera's fault but mine.
There are many settings on this camera to fine tune it to your way of shooting and the shooting situation. I have gotten some awesome action shots from this camera and am very pleased with it.
Canon clearly brought this camera to market too soon. It was not tested properly or either production standards were not watched. I would bet that the parts they were producing were not meeting the standards of their research and development, plus the conditions that caused a problem may not have been reproduced in test. This clearly threw Canon for a loop and they did a poor job managing public relations. I am surprised there has not been a class action lawsuit since so many pros use this camera. Some have toughed it out; those who had a lot of money went to Nikon, which is currently hitting it with some good cameras, something Canon normally is known for.
If you are buying a Mark III now, you are more than likely going to be blown-away by such a great camera that focuses and gives you shots you never imagined. I love shooting it and learning to fine-tune it for particular shooting circumstance.
Working as it works now, I would purchase it again.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2008
Purchased the Mark III in September 2007. Over one year later this camera still continues to amaze me! The controls are laid out perfectly and the camera feels like it's just the right size in my hands.
Others have complained about the price, but believe me, you get what you pay for!! I purchased this camera to take professional portraits, weddings special events. This camera was an upgrade from the Canon 20d and 30d cameras I previously owned.
Some of my favorite features are the auto - ISO feature. This mode allows you to set the camera in shutter or aperture priority, and if the camera cannot compensate for the exposure, it automatically increases the ISO. Great feature that allows the photographer more creative control of the picture while getting that perfect shot every time.
Another nice feature is the live view shooting. This mode allows you to take long pictures, or pictures in awkward angles without requirig you to look into the viewfinder. You still have to manually focus.
Another feature I like is the ability for the camera to record on multiple media targets. You can set the camera up to record raw on one card and jpeg on another. Or, you can set the camera up to jump to the other card when one is full. This is very convenient for me since I shoot in RAW.
Another feature is the limits, configuration, and file handling settings. You can set the minimum and maximum ISO, shutter, aperture settings, fast shutter speed, slow shutter speed, and the camera will compensate within your set parameters and deliver results.
One last feature worth noting is the microadjustment. This camera allows you to micro adjust for each of your lenses. This is especially useful if you have a front focusing lens that appears to be just a little off. You can adjust the camera so when you attach that lens, the camera automatically adjusts for that particular lens.
Sure, this camera costs a few dollars more, but the payback in the pictures is nothing short of amazing.. This is a TRUE professional camera and as such requires the photographer to have a significant knowledge of photography.
The battery life is phenomenal! Not only does the camera provide you with a battery meter, it has a menu setting that actually tells you what percentage of battery life you have left and the number of shutter actuations since the last charge. I routinely manage over 2000 (and once over 3000) actuations on a single charge. This is something that NO other digital camera can do! Significant upgrade over the 1dMarkII series cameras where the battery was larger, heavier, and lasted for at most 700 actuations. I thought of purchasing a backup battery, but haven't brought myself to do so because of the longevity of this battery.
This camera has been a very important compliment to my existing L series lenses.
Overall, I would recommend this camera for the professional photographer that is SERIOUS about the business of photography and needs proven professional equipment to deliver results to the customer. I have been considering purchasing a second Mark III as a backup to the one I own. My 5d is currently my backup camera (great, but not at the same level as the EOS-1 series).
You can check out some of my pictures at [...]
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2008
When one reads the early reviews of this camera, they will be surprised to see the focusing problems experienced by a seeminly large number of photographers. Canon has come out with both hardware and firmware fixes to this body. I purchased a model with a serial number indicating manufacture after these fixes have been effected. I am having absolutely no issues with this camera's focusing in both focusing modes. I love this camera. It is truely a magnificient camera. For those of you who are serious about your photography, you won't be disappointed (except for the cost). Enjoy if its in your budget.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2008
I'm a sports photographer. I've been using this camera for a while now. I decided to give it a good testing before even writing any remarks.
There seems to be a lot of hype about the focus issue. Personally, I've never experienced the problem, and I bet the majority of photographers haven't either. Some people need to do research before blaming the camera. There are many user faults, causing the camera to seem as if it is not focusing. They also need to check their lenses.
I shoot different sports, from rugby to show jumping, polo and horse racing. So, tracking a fast moving object (person or horse) is very important. Out of about 100 images, maybe 2 would be out of focus. Those I would more blame on myself than the camera. People really need to RTFM. There are so many custom settings, especially for focus, to enable you to use the camera to it's full potential, for whatever you use it for.
The camera is pure quality. I don't deny that there are some focus issues, but again, these are under specific circumstances. The body is solid and sturdy. It is good to hold and not too heavy. The battery life is brilliant (nearly 3,000 shots per charge). The fps is stunning. I've had to limit my burst rate to 25 frames, just so I don't fill my memory cards too quickly. :-) I did give it a good workout, using the full fps and burst rate at an event, and I was stunned.
There are just so many custom functions, that allow you to setup the camera depending on what you are doing. That is brilliant for me, since some events are at night under lights, while others are during the day, either cloudy or bright. Different saved setting sets allow me to quickly change to suit my circumstances.
For those who need a fast, reliable pro camera, this would very much be my camera of choice.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2013
At the time of this review this camera is a little old compared to current technology. So with all the other reviews out there i'm not going to beat up a dead horse with everything you've herd or haven't herd about the camera. This camera is built with speed in mind and for me it has far exceeded my expectations. When I was deciding on what to purchase I thought the 10.1 MP would be a hinderance to workflow as i'm more familiar with higher MP files. Once files where in Adobe camera Raw I almost agreed with that statement. I then tried other Raw conversation software and realized that was incorrect. I was able to crop just as much as the higher MP files. This camera restored my faith in my 24-70mm lens and now is my favorite lens paired with this camera. Though the 7d and 5d mark iii and other newer cameras have more sophisticated AF systems. I've found that this system is so simple to use that I wouldn't want to deal with those systems. This camera just gets out of your way and lets you concentrate on capturing the image. The 7d which in most cases people will say is better because of that more sophisticated AF and higher megapixels and currently at the same price point. I will say that its no where as responsive as this system and while it may have more MP it does not have more color depth. Those factors where important to me and I couldn't be more happier.
25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2008
Canon tried to make a big splash with the 30th anniversary EOS, but it really was a dud. I've had this body for over 6 months now, and it's by far the worst purchase decision I've every made.
1. It doesn't focus as it's supposed to. It has out of focus shots for one shot and AI modes, at a far worse rate than its predecessor. Canon even acknowledged this defect.
2. It has severe error problems (such as Error 99).
3. Even after the fix, it still doesn't focus as it should -- lots of professional sites note this -- and now Canon is indicating as of 2/1 that there could be another fix in the works.
If you're like me and heavily invested in Canon glass, then there's nothing to do but ride it out and hope they eventually get it right. (I still have faith in Canon, and think their products are very good, and the image quality of the 1dIII is simply amazing when it works....) But if you're new to the dslr (and ask yourself then, why you need such an expensive body anyway), it's worth investigating other options. The one thing a photographer can't have is a body that can't be depended upon.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2009
This is my second 1D Mark III. The first one I received from Amazon, although beyond the registration number from Canon that had problems, it didn't perform well. Out of 1236 test wildlife photos, only about 30 were in focus. I'm no way in the rank and file of a professional photographer, but those percentages were terribly low. I called Canon's technical support, and they very courteous. But I felt cheated that after spending nearly $4000, the camera had issues. Canon recommended that I return it for servicing, while my husband suggested that I return it. Amazon's customer service was top-knotch. Readily and with no questions asked, Amazon issued a full return and within days a new camera was in my hands. I took this one out for more testing and it seems to being fine. Wildlife photography is my passion, so I need a camera that will respond. I've shot with Canon's 30D and NEVER had the focusing problems that I had with this camera. I'm going on safari in a couple of months and having gear that doesn't work - and at this price - is unacceptable.
I shoot with a 100mm-400mm lens, and carrying it around can be somewhat tiring, so I'm using a Manfrotto monopod that I bought two years ago. That makes a big difference. I'm sure with a smaller lens, the weight wouldn't be a factor. I've used the 100mm-400mm on the 30D for two years without feeling weighted down. Granted the camera is much lighter than the previous model, but just something to keep in mind if you're walking around all day.
The battery life is incredible. For the previous camera, I charged the battery when I received it, and never charged it again. As I stated, I shot the 1200+ photos, replayed and enlarged everything on the LCD. When it was returned, it still had about 63% battery life left. So well done to Canon for the life of this battery. Which, by the way, is 1/2 the size and weight of the 1D Mark IIN.
The burst mode is great. When I shoot in full burst, it looks like a movie is playing. The shutter speed is that fast.
I'll do more test shots but this one seems to be OK. If you're wondering, the serial number for the camera I returned, it was in the 56000 range. This one just above 59000. Maybe Canon figured it out by now.
All in all, I enjoy all my Canon products and the results (except for the first 1D Mark III I mentioned here).
I lowered the rating by 1-star because of the focusing problems I had with the first camera. For this price, I think Canon should have mastered the problems. A nearly $4000 camera should work...in my humble opinion.
24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2007
This Camera is brand new, and like most new electronics will have a few bugs, and I figure most can be fixed by firmware updates or Canon, will do any minor adjustments needed when its sent in for Service.
I sold off my 5D to step up to this one. For shooting in non perfect weather, like my Alaskan winters, or even some summer days, this camera does perform great. The Battery life is great. I am use to long life, as all my cameras have the battery grips on them, but I was shocked by how long the battery lasted with the new Mark, and even better it telling you when to recondition it! WOW!!
The NOISE on the Mark 3 is FANTASTIC!! Compared to the 5d, its almost 2 stops better, and thats with the cameras noise reduction mode turned off. The noise/grain at 3200 is very useable, and even 6400 is not too bad, granted I would not print a 20x30 but at iso 1600 I can. The Highlight preservation feature is great, esp for wedding photographers. You can now shoot the wedding dress in sunlight and have the detail! I know several pros that are moving from their nikon d2x to the Mark 3 because of that and the very low noise!!!
I shoot Automotive (hot rods and high end sports cars, and make custom photographic art for the owner), as well as the wonderous Alaskan wilderness, landscapes and wildlife. This Camera is a dream to use. It is not as heavy as the older Marks, and personally I think it is about the same weight as the 5D was with the battery grip, but has a better fell in my hand.
The 10MP is fine and I can still take images to 20x30 and larger with no problems! The 1.3 crop factor still gives me the prospective I like on my extreme wide angle lenses, like my 14mm or the fisheye. If you are one of the lucky ones to get one of these wonderful cameras, you are lucky, if you want one, get on a list fast.
Mine is even used a lot around and for photos of the guests at my folks B&B in Soldtona Alaska, the Kenai River Hideaway, and even the guests love to see it, and are impressed by the quality images even at low light! I have some images on my website, as well as the B&B site if you want to check them out. Enjoy! Its a great CAMERA!!!!