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Canon 1D C vs 1DX Mark III

The Canon EOS-1D C and the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2012 and January 2020. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The 1DC has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the 1DX Mark III provides 20 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1D C VS Canon 1D X Mark III
Canon 1D C Canon 1D X Mark III
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
17.9 MP, Full Frame Sensor 20 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/24p Video 4K/60p Video
ISO 100-51200 (50-204800) ISO 100-102400 (50-819200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.2" LCD, 1040k dots 3.2" LCD, 2100k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
14 shutter flaps per second 20 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1120 shots per battery charge2850 shots per battery charge
158 x 164 x 83 mm, 1545 g 158 x 168 x 83 mm, 1440 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1D C and the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D C and the Canon 1D X Mark III. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 1D C vs Canon 1D X Mark III
Compare 1DC versus 1DX Mark III top
Comparison 1DC or 1DX Mark III rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 1D X Mark III is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Canon 1D C. However, the 1DX Mark III is markedly lighter (7 percent) than the 1DC. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 1DC gets 1120 shots out of its LP-E4N battery, while the 1DX Mark III can take 2850 images on a single charge of its LP-E19 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, both cameras have a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1D C» 158 mm 164 mm 83 mm 1545 g 1120 Y Apr 2012 14,999iCanon 1D C
 
Canon 1D X Mark III« 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1440 g 2850 Y Jan 2020 6,499 iCanon 1D X Mark III
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999iCanon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« » 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199iCanon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark III« » 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 950 g 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499iCanon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 6D« » 145 mm 111 mm 71 mm 770 g 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099iCanon 6D
 
Canon 1D X« » 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1551 g 1120 Y Oct 2011 6,799iCanon 1D X
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« » 156 mm 157 mm 80 mm 1230 g 1500 Y Oct 2009 4,999iCanon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 5D Mark II« » 152 mm 114 mm 75 mm 850 g 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499iCanon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III« » 150 mm 160 mm 80 mm 1385 g 1800 Y Aug 2007 7,999iCanon 1Ds Mark III
 
Nikon D4« » 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1340 g 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999iNikon D4
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 1DX Mark III was launched at a markedly lower price (by 57 percent) than the 1DC, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon 1D C and Canon 1D X Mark III sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the 1DX Mark III offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the 1DC. This megapixels advantage translates into a 6 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the 1DX Mark III has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 6.57μm versus 6.95μm for the 1DC). However, it should be noted that the 1DX Mark III is much more recent (by 7 years and 8 months) than the 1DC, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 1D X Mark III implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 1DX Mark III for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inch or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inch or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inch or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 1D C are 25.9 x 17.3 inch or 65.8 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 13.8 inch or 52.7 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 11.5 inch or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The 1DX Mark III has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS-1D C has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III are ISO 100 to ISO 102400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-819200.

1DC versus 1DX Mark III MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1D C Full Frame 17.9 5184 34564K/24p........Canon 1D C
 
Canon 1D X Mark III Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p23.413.4244583Canon 1D X Mark III
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark III Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 6D Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
 
Canon 1D X Full Frame 17.9 5184 34561080/30p23.811.8278682Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D Mark IV APS-H 16.0 4896 32641080/30p22.812.0132074Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 5D Mark II Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III Full Frame 21.0 5616 3744none24.012.0166380Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Nikon D4 Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 1DX Mark III provides a faster frame rate than the 1DC. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/60p, while the 1DC is limited to 4K/24p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 1DC and the 1DX Mark III are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), as well as the same magnification (0.76x). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1D C, the Canon 1D X Mark III, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1D Coptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n Canon 1D C
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIIoptical Y 3.2 2100 fixed Y 1/8000s 20.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark III
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark IIIoptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 n n Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 6Doptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n Canon 6D
 
Canon 1D Xoptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D Mark IVoptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 5D Mark IIoptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 3.9 n n Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIIoptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Nikon D4optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 1DX Mark III has a touchscreen, while the 1DC has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The Canon 1D X Mark III has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The 1DC writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the 1DX Mark III uses CFexpress cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.

 

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS-1D C and Canon EOS-1D X Mark III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1D CYmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 1D C
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIIYmonomonoYYmini3.1Y-YCanon 1D X Mark III
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark IIIYmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 6DYmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
 
Canon 1D XYmonononeY-mini2.0---Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D Mark IVYstereononeY-mini2.0---Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 5D Mark IIYmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIIYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Nikon D4YmonomonoYYmicro2.0---Nikon D4

It is notable that the 1DX Mark III offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 1DC does not offer wifi capability.

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the 1DX Mark III has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

The 1DX Mark III is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the 1DC has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the 1DC from Canon. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1D C or the Canon 1D X Mark III – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-1D C:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2012).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/60p versus 4K/24p).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2100k vs 1040k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 14 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (2850 versus 1120) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 2.0).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (57 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 8 months of technical progress since the 1DC launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1DX Mark III is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 1 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

1DC 01:14 1DX Mark III

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1D C and the Canon 1D X Mark III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 1DC and the 1DX Mark III in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1D C.......... Apr 2012 14,999iCanon 1D C
 
Canon 1D X Mark III+ +........ Jan 2020 6,499 iCanon 1D X Mark III
 
Canon 1D X Mark II..89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999iCanon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199iCanon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark III+ +82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499iCanon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 6D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099iCanon 6D
 
Canon 1D X....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2011 6,799iCanon 1D X
 
Canon 1D Mark IV..89/100..5/5.. Oct 2009 4,999iCanon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 5D Mark II91/10079/1004/55/5.. Sep 2008 3,499iCanon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III..+ +4.5/5.... Aug 2007 7,999iCanon 1Ds Mark III
 
Nikon D4....4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999iNikon D4
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 1D C:
Check Ebay offers
Canon 1D X Mark III:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 1D C vs Canon 1D X Mark III

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1D C Canon 1D X Mark III
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2012 January 2020
    Launch Price USD 14999 USD 6499
    Sensor Specs Canon 1D C Canon 1D X Mark III
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.95 μm 6.57 μm
    Pixel Density 2.07 MP/cm2 2.31 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/24p Video 4K/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-51200 ISO 100-102400 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-204800 ISO 50-819200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5+ (Dual) DIGIC X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 83
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 2445
    Screen Specs Canon 1D C Canon 1D X Mark III
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.76x 0.76x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 2100k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1D C Canon 1D X Mark III
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 14 shutter flaps/s 20 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CFexpress cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1D C Canon 1D X Mark III
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.1
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Geotagging no internal GPS GPS built-in
    Body Specs Canon 1D C Canon 1D X Mark III
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E4N LP-E19
    Battery Life (CIPA)1120 shots per charge2850 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 158 x 164 x 83 mm
    (6.2 x 6.5 x 3.3 in)
    158 x 168 x 83 mm
    (6.2 x 6.6 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 1545 g (54.5 oz) 1440 g (50.8 oz)

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