Canon 1Ds Mark III vs 1D Mark IV
The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2007 and October 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (1Ds Mark III) and an APS-H (1D Mark IV) sensor. The 1Ds Mark III has a resolution of 21 megapixels, whereas the 1D Mark IV provides 16 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.
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|21 MP, Full Frame Sensor||16 MP, APS-H Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-1600 (50-3200)||ISO 100-12800 (50-102400)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 230k dots||3.0" LCD, 920k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|1800 shots per battery charge||1500 shots per battery charge|
|150 x 160 x 80 mm, 1385 g||156 x 157 x 80 mm, 1230 g|
Body comparison: Canon 1Ds Mark III vs 1D Mark IV
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1Ds Mark III and the Canon 1D Mark IV 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 1D Mark IV is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Canon 1Ds Mark III. However, the 1D Mark IV is markedly lighter (11 percent) than the 1Ds 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 IV). 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.
|Canon 1Ds Mark III»||5.9 in||6.3 in||3.1 in||48.9 oz||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999||-||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark IV«||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||43.4 oz||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999||-||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.0 oz||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 1D C« »||6.2 in||6.5 in||3.3 in||54.5 oz||1120||Y||Apr 2012||14,999||-||Canon 1D C|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||33.5 oz||950||Y||Mar 2012||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D X« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.7 oz||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||6.0 in||4.5 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||40.7 oz||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499||-||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||54.1 oz||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499||-||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||-||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||44.6 oz||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999||-||Canon 1Ds|
|Nikon D3X« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||44.4 oz||4400||Y||Dec 2008||7,999||-||Nikon D3X|
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 IV was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 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 1Ds Mark III vs 1D Mark IV
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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1Ds Mark III features a full frame sensor and the Canon 1D Mark IV an APS-H sensor. The sensor area in the 1D Mark IV is 40 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.3. 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.
With 21MP, the 1Ds Mark III offers a higher resolution than the 1D Mark IV (16MP), but the 1Ds Mark III nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.41μm versus 5.70μm for the 1D Mark IV) due to its larger sensor. However, the 1D Mark IV is a somewhat more recent model (by 2 years and 2 months) than the 1Ds Mark III, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 50-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400..
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 review, the 1Ds Mark III has a notably higher overall DXO score than the 1D Mark IV (overall score 6 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.2 bits higher color depth, and 0.3 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.
|Canon 1Ds Mark III»||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||-||24.0||12.0||1663||80||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark IV«||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 1D C« »||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||4K/24p||-||-||-||-||Canon 1D C|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D X« »||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.7||11.7||1078||71||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||-||22.3||11.1||1003||66||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||-||23.3||11.3||1480||74||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds« »||Full Frame||11.0||4064||2704||-||21.8||11.0||954||63||Canon 1Ds|
|Nikon D3X« »||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||-||24.7||13.7||1992||88||Nikon D3X|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 1D Mark IV indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1Ds Mark III does not. The highest resolution format that the 1D Mark IV can use is 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Canon 1Ds Mark III vs 1D Mark IV
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1Ds Mark III and the 1D Mark IV 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 IV (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 1Ds Mark III and Canon 1D Mark IV along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 1Ds Mark III»||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark IV«||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||10.0||n||n||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||16.0||n||n||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|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 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 5D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||3.9||n||n||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||10.0||n||n||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||8000||8.3||n||n||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||8000||4.0||n||n||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds« »||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||8000||3.0||n||n||Canon 1Ds|
|Nikon D3X« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Nikon D3X|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1Ds Mark III and the 1D Mark IV 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 1Ds Mark III vs 1D Mark IV
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-1Ds Mark III and Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 1Ds Mark III»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark IV«||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 1D C« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D C|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D X« »||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark III|
|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||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3X|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the 1Ds Mark III and the 1D Mark IV have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1Ds Mark III was replaced by the Canon 1DX, while the 1D Mark IV does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Canon website.
Review summary: Canon 1Ds Mark III vs 1D Mark IV
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1Ds Mark III or the Canon 1D Mark IV – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (21 vs 16MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.2 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.76x vs 0.58x).
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1800 versus 1500) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2007).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV:
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 155g or 11 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 2 months of technical progress since the 1Ds Mark III launch.
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 IV (7 : 6 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.
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 1Ds Mark III or the 1D Mark IV. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
Expert reviews: Canon 1Ds Mark III vs 1D Mark IV
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).
|Canon 1Ds Mark III»||-||++||4.5/5||-||-||Aug 2007||7,999||-||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark IV«||-||89/100||-||5/5||-||Oct 2009||4,999||-||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 1D C« »||-||-||-||-||-||Apr 2012||14,999||-||Canon 1D C|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||++||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2012||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||++||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D X« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||91/100||79/100||4/5||5/5||-||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||-||-||-||o||-||Feb 2007||4,499||-||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||-||++||-||o||-||Jan 2004||4,499||-||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||-||++||-||-||-||Sep 2004||7,999||-||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds« »||-||++||-||-||-||Sep 2002||8,999||-||Canon 1Ds|
|Nikon D3X« »||-||86/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Dec 2008||7,999||-||Nikon D3X|
|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.
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.
- Canon 70D vs Nikon D5200
- Canon T1i vs Sony A6000
- Fujifilm X-E2 vs Nikon Z6
- Fujifilm XF10 vs Sony RX1R
- Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5000
- Nikon D700 vs Nikon D810
- Nikon D7000 vs Nikon D600
- Olympus E-1 vs Fujifilm X-A10
- Olympus E-P1 vs Panasonic ZS100
- Panasonic GX85 vs Canon G16
- Panasonic GX850 vs Sony RX100 V
- Panasonic GX9 vs Nikon D750
Specifications: Canon 1Ds Mark III vs Canon 1D Mark IV
|Camera Model||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2007||October 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 7999||USD 4999|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-H Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||27.9 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||518.94 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||33.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||21 Megapixels||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5616 x 3744 pixels||4896 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.41 μm||5.70 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.43 MP/cm2||3.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-3200 ISO||50-102400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC III (Dual)||DIGIC IV|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||80||74|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.0||22.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.0||12.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1663||1320|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|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||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||300 000 actuations||300 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||LP-E4 power pack||LP-E4 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1800 shots per charge||1500 shots per charge|
150 x 160 x 80 mm
(5.9 x 6.3 x 3.1 in)
156 x 157 x 80 mm
(6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||1385 g (48.9 oz)||1230 g (43.4 oz)|
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