Canon's 1DX Mark III Development Announcement

Just in time for the opening of PhotoPlus Expo in NYC late last week, Canon decided to put out a development announcement regarding their future DSLR flagship, the 1DX Mark III. 

bythom canon 1dxiii

I have to put this one in the realm of serious FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt marketing). FUD in that no such camera is available yet while Sony is running around selling the A9 m2, while Nikon has already made a vague development announcement of the D6 competitor. Canon doesn't want people to forget about them, thus the FUD aspect of the announcement.

Still, there was some serious detail in the press release and additional comments made by Canon executives:

  • Enhanced autofocus — a claimed 28x resolution improvement of the central area of the regular focus system with better low and bright light capabilities, plus dual pixel capability in Live View. The OVF phase detect area is supposed to be slightly larger than before. The AF-On button now can control focus point used. "Deep Learning Technology" supposedly helps focus tracking.
  • Faster frame rates — 16 fps with mechanical shutter in regular shooting, 20 fps in mechanical or electronic shutter in Live View.
  • Faster cards — dual CFexpress slots and a promised 5x improvement in buffer during burst shooting.
  • New processor — DIGIC gets to 9, apparently.
  • New format — Supports 10-bit HEIF.
  • Better video — Supports 4K at 60P with 10-bit 4:2:2 C-log on the internal cards.
  • Better communications — both built-in basic Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but also an optional WFT-E9 for more range and speed.
  • Better battery life — still the same LP-E19 battery, but supposed "dramatically improved" battery life.
  • Odds and Ends — Canon finally joins Nikon in providing illuminated buttons; a faster Ethernet connection.

All, of course, in a mostly familiar 1DX body (with minor modifications). A couple of prototype cameras seemed to be at PhotoPlus Expo, but I didn't get a chance to go hands on. What we know so far sounds good, but as always, the proof is in the shooting.

The ball's back in Nikon's court, as Nikon didn't really provide any details about the upcoming D6 in their announcement. We've already got the Sony A9 m2—which will likely be improved by firmware updates between now and the Olympics—and now we have some clear details about the Canon 1DX m3, so it's only the Nikon D6 for which we (officially) know almost nothing now. 

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