Unleash the Power of Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III: A Comprehensive Review

In this blog post, we will delve into the robust features of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III. From its full-frame sensor to its efficient autofocus system, we'll explore why this camera is a top pick for professional photographers worldwide.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III article cover photo

Key Features

Aug 18 2008


21 megapixels


Sensor TypeFull frame

Other similar cameras

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II thumbnail

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II

Released Oct 11 2005 | 17MP resolution

Canon EOS-1D Mark III thumbnail

Canon EOS-1D Mark III

Released Feb 22 2007 | 10MP resolution

Canon EOS-1D Mark II thumbnail

Canon EOS-1D Mark II

Released Jun 14 2004 | 8MP resolution

Overview of the EOS-1Ds Mark III

When it comes to professional cameras, the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III is a legend in its own right. Its full-frame sensor and exceptional image quality have made it a trusted companion of many photographers. Whether you're a seasoned professional or a budding enthusiast, this camera is sure to impress. Join us as we dive into the nitty-gritty details of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and discover why it has rightfully earned its place in the hall of fame of professional cameras.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


Top-tier image quality
High resolution (21MP)
Accurate autofocus
Durable, sturdy build
Compatibility with a wide range of Canon lenses
Fast burst shooting speed
Excellent low light performance


Hefty and heavy
Limited video capabilities
Requires high-end computer for processing RAW files
High noise at high ISO settings
May be overwhelming for beginners
Short battery life

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III

Weather sealed
Dimensions150 x 160 x 80mm

Weather Sealing

The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III camera is equipped with environmental seals that make it resistant to weather, preventing water and dust from entering the camera. If you enjoy outdoor photography and need a camera that can handle extreme conditions, the EOS-1Ds Mark III is an excellent choice.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderOptical (pentaprism)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution230k dots
Body typeLarge SLR

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 230k dots. This makes the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


EOS-1Ds Mark III includes a optical (pentaprism) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of 100% and a magnification of 0.76x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III has a 21MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 21 pixels. Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III has a native ISO range of 50 - 3200 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Aug 18 2008


50 - 3200

ISO Range

SensorFull frame
Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution5616 x 3744 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


80 / 102

Color Depth

24 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

12 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

1663 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also above average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the EOS-1Ds Mark III is average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: Full frame



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageCompact Flash (Type I or II), SD card
Battery Life1800 shots
Battery Model
Wireless Connectivity


The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III supports Compact Flash (Type I or II), SD card with 2 slots for storage. Having dual SD card slots on the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III is highly advantageous as it mitigates the risk of losing footage due to memory card malfunctions. This feature is particularly beneficial for wedding photography and other professional settings.


The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III uses the undefined model of battery pack. This is rated for 1800 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/8000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III includes phase detection autofocus (AF), with 45 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III?

The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III features a CMOS sensor

Is the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III weather sealed?

Yes the EOS-1Ds Mark III does have weather sealing.

When was the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III announced?

The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III was announced on Aug 18 2008

Does the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III have in-body image stabilization?

No the EOS-1Ds Mark III does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III?

The EOS-1Ds Mark III has a native ISO range of 50-3200, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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