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Canon 1D Mark III vs 1Ds Mark III

The Canon EOS-1D Mark III and the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2007 and August 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-H (1D Mark III) and a full frame (1Ds Mark III) sensor. The 1D Mark III has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the 1Ds Mark III provides 21 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 Mark III   Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark III Canon 1Ds Mark III
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
10.1 MP, APS-H Sensor 21 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-3200 (50-6400) ISO 100-1600 (50-3200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
2200 shots per battery charge1800 shots per battery charge
156 x 157 x 80 mm, 1155 g 150 x 160 x 80 mm, 1385 g

Body comparison: Canon 1D Mark III vs 1Ds Mark III

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D Mark III and the Canon 1Ds Mark III is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Canon 1D Mark III and Canon 1Ds Mark III
Compare 1D Mark III versus 1Ds Mark III top
Compare 1D Mark III or 1Ds 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 1Ds Mark III is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Canon 1D Mark III. However, the 1Ds Mark III is markedly heavier (20 percent) than the 1D Mark III. 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. A larger imaging sensor (as in the 1Ds Mark III) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (1D Mark III). You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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 Mark III» 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 40.7 oz 2200 Y Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III« 5.9 in 6.3 in 3.1 in 48.9 oz 1800 Y Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 5D Mark III« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 33.5 oz 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 1D X« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.7 oz 1120 Y Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 43.4 oz 1500 Y Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 5D Mark II« » 6.0 in 4.5 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1D Mark II N« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 55.2 oz 1200 Y Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 1D Mark II« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 54.1 oz 1200 Y Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 42.9 oz 1200 Y Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 44.6 oz 600 Y Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds
 
Nikon D3X« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 44.4 oz 4400 Y Dec 2008 7,999- i Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D3« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 45.9 oz 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999- i Nikon D3
 
Nikon D2Xs« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs

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 1D Mark III was launched at a markedly lower price (by 44 percent) than the 1Ds Mark III, 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: Canon 1D Mark III vs 1Ds Mark III

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1D Mark III features an APS-H sensor and the Canon 1Ds Mark III a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the 1Ds Mark III is 65 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.3 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1D Mark III and Canon 1Ds Mark III sensor measures

With 21MP, the 1Ds Mark III offers a higher resolution than the 1D Mark III (10.1MP), but the 1Ds Mark III has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.41μm versus 7.21μm for the 1D Mark III). Yet, the 1Ds Mark III is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the 1D Mark III, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark III has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 50-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-3200..

1D Mark III versus 1Ds Mark III MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 1Ds Mark III has a markedly higher DXO score than the 1D Mark III (overall score 9 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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 Mark III» APS-H 10.1 3888 2592-22.711.7107871Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III« Full Frame 21.0 5616 3744-24.012.0166380Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 5D Mark III« » Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381Canon 5D Mark III
 
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 1D Mark II N« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.297566Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 1D Mark II« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.1100366Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » Full Frame 16.6 4992 3328-23.311.3148074Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« » Full Frame 11.0 4064 2704-21.811.095463Canon 1Ds
 
Nikon D3X« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-24.713.7199288Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D3« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832-23.512.2229081Nikon D3
 
Nikon D2Xs« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.210.948959Nikon D2Xs
Both the 1D Mark III and the 1Ds Mark III offer Live View, so that they make it possible to use the rear screen for framing. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Canon 1D Mark III vs 1Ds Mark III

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1D Mark III and the 1Ds 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%), but the viewfinder of the 1Ds Mark III has a higher magnification than the one of the 1D Mark III (0.76x vs 0.58x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1D Mark III and Canon 1Ds 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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1D Mark III»optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III«optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 5D Mark III« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 n n Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 1D X« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 3.9 n n Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1D Mark II N« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 8.5 n n Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 1D Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3 n n Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n n Canon 1Ds
 
Nikon D3X« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D3« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D3
 
Nikon D2Xs« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D2Xs

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

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1D Mark III vs 1Ds 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 Mark III and Canon EOS-1Ds 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 Mark III»Y-----2.0---Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III«Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 5D Mark III« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 5D Mark III
 
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 1D Mark II N« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 1D Mark II« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »Y-----FW---Canon 1Ds
 
Nikon D3X« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D3« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D3
 
Nikon D2Xs« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2Xs

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

Both the 1D Mark III and the 1Ds Mark III have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1D Mark III was replaced by the Canon 1D Mark IV, while the 1Ds Mark III was followed by the Canon 1DX. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.


Review summary: Canon 1D Mark III vs 1Ds Mark III

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1D Mark III or the Canon 1Ds Mark III – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Canon EOS-1D Mark III:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 230g or 17 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (2200 versus 1800) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2007).


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

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (21 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 44%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.76x vs 0.58x).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1Ds Mark III comes out slightly ahead of the 1D Mark III (6 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

1D Mark III 05:06 1Ds Mark III

Do the specifications of the Canon 1D Mark III and the Canon 1Ds Mark III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 1D Mark III or the 1Ds Mark III. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews: Canon 1D Mark III vs 1Ds Mark III

This is why expert reviews are important. 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, photographyblog).

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 Mark III»---o- Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III«-++4.5/5-- Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds 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 5DS R« »+83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 5D Mark III« »++82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
 
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 1D Mark II N« »----- Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 1D Mark II« »-++-o- Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »-++--- Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »-++--- Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds
 
Nikon D3X« »-86/1004/55/55/5 Dec 2008 7,999- i Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D3« »-++5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999- i Nikon D3
 
Nikon D2Xs« »---o- Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 1D Mark III:
Check Ebay offers
Canon 1Ds Mark III:
Check Ebay offers

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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 1D Mark III vs Canon 1Ds Mark III

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1D Mark III Canon 1Ds Mark III
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2007 August 2007
    Launch Price USD 4499 USD 7999
    Sensor Specs Canon 1D Mark III Canon 1Ds Mark III
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-H Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 28.1 x 18.7 mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 525.47 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 33.8 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.3x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 21 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 5616 x 3744 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.21 μm 6.41 μm
    Pixel Density 1.92 MP/cm2 2.43 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-3200 ISO 100-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-6400 ISO 50-3200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC III DIGIC III (Dual)
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 71 80
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.7 24.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7 12.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1078 1663
    Screen Specs Canon 1D Mark III Canon 1Ds Mark III
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.58x 0.76x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1D Mark III Canon 1Ds Mark III
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy300 000 actuations300 000 actuations
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDHC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1D Mark III Canon 1Ds Mark III
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1D Mark III Canon 1Ds Mark III
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E4 power pack LP-E4 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)2200 shots per charge1800 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 156 x 157 x 80 mm
    (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
    150 x 160 x 80 mm
    (5.9 x 6.3 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 1155 g (40.7 oz) 1385 g (48.9 oz)

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