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Canon 1D C vs 5D Mark III

The Canon EOS-1D C and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III are two professional cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2012 and March 2012. 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 5D Mark III provides 22.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.


Headline Specifications
Canon 1D C   Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 1D C Canon 5D Mark III
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
17.9 MP, Full Frame Sensor 22.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/24p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-51200 (50-204800) ISO 100-25600 (50-102400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.2" LCD, 1040k dots 3.2" LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
14 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1120 shots per battery charge950 shots per battery charge
158 x 164 x 83 mm, 1545 g 152 x 116 x 76 mm, 950 g

Body comparison: Canon 1D C vs 5D Mark III

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D C and the Canon 5D Mark III. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 1DC – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 1D C and Canon 5D Mark III
Compare 1DC versus 5D Mark III top
Compare 1DC or 5D 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 5D Mark III is considerably smaller (32 percent) than the Canon 1D C. Moreover, the 5D Mark III is substantially lighter (39 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 5D Mark III can take 950 images on a single charge of its LP-E6 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1DC has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the 5D Mark III, Canon provides the BG-E11 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1D C» 158 mm 164 mm 83 mm 1545 g 1120 Y Apr 2012 14,999- i Canon 1D C
Canon 5D Mark III« 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 950 g 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« » 151 mm 116 mm 76 mm 890 g 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« » 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 930 g 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« » 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 930 g 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
Canon 70D« » 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Canon 6D« » 145 mm 111 mm 71 mm 770 g 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
Canon 1D X« » 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1551 g 1120 Y Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
Canon 1D Mark IV« » 156 mm 157 mm 80 mm 1230 g 1500 Y Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 5D Mark II« » 152 mm 114 mm 75 mm 850 g 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark III« » 150 mm 160 mm 80 mm 1385 g 1800 Y Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« » 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1565 g 1200 Y Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
Nikon D4« » 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1340 g 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 5D Mark III was launched at a markedly lower price (by 77 percent) than the 1DC, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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: Canon 1D C vs 5D Mark III

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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.

Canon 1D C and Canon 5D Mark III sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the 5D Mark III offers a higher resolution of 22.1 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the 1DC. This megapixels advantage translates into a 11 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the 5D Mark III has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 6.25μm versus 6.95μm for the 1DC). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

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 5D Mark III are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400..

1DC versus 5D 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 5D Mark III« Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
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 3744-24.012.0166380Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.297566Canon 1D Mark II N
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the 1DC provides a higher video resolution than the 5D Mark III. It can shoot video footage at 4K/24p, while the 5D Mark III is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1D C vs 5D Mark III

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 1DC and the 5D 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1D C and Canon 5D Mark III along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 1D C»optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 14.0 n n Canon 1D C
Canon 5D Mark III«optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 6.0 n n Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 7.0 n n Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 4.5 n n Canon 6D
Canon 1D X« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 14.0 n n Canon 1D X
Canon 1D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 3.9 n n Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 8.5 n n Canon 1D Mark II N
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n Nikon D4

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1DC and the 5D Mark III write their files to Compact Flash cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1D C vs 5D Mark III

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 5D 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
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon 1D C»YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 1D C
Canon 5D Mark III«YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
Canon 6D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
Canon 1D X« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D X
Canon 1D Mark IV« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 5D Mark II« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II N
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4

Both the 1DC and the 5D Mark III have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 5D Mark III was replaced by the Canon 5D Mark IV, while the 1DC does not have a direct successor.


Review summary: Canon 1D C vs 5D Mark III

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1D C or the Canon 5D Mark III – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1D C:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/24p vs 1080/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1120 versus 950) on a single battery charge.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (22.1 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
  • More compact: Is smaller (152x116mm vs 158x164mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 595g or 39 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (77 percent cheaper at launch).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (4 points each). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

1DC 04:04 5D Mark III

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 1DC and the 5D 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: Canon 1D C vs 5D Mark III

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1D C»----- Apr 2012 14,999- i Canon 1D C
Canon 5D Mark III«HiRec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« »HiRec87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« »Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »Rec83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
Canon 70D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Canon 6D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
Canon 1D X« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
Canon 1D Mark IV« »-89/100-5/5- Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »-HiRec4.5/5-- Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« »----- Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. An 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 5D Mark III

    Camera and Lens Specs
    Camera Model Canon 1D C Canon 5D 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 March 2012
    Launch Price USD 14999 USD 3499
    Sensor Specs
    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
    MP Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 22.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5760 x 3840 pixels
    Pixel Size 6.95 μm 6.25 μm
    Movie Capability 4K/24p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-51200 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-204800 ISO 50-102400 ISO
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 14 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E4N power pack LP-E6 power pack
    Battery Life1120 shots per charge950 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 158 x 164 x 83 mm
    (6.2 x 6.5 x 3.3 in)
    152 x 116 x 76 mm
    (6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 1545 g (54.5 oz) 950 g (33.5 oz)

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