August 25, 2007 Following news of its latest prosumer digital SLR - the EOS 40D - Canon has announced the upcoming release of their new professional flagship model, the EOS 1Ds Mark III. The impressive specs of the Mark III include a massive 21.1 megapixel CMOS Sensor and the ability to capture up to 5 frames per second (fps), along with a dual DIGIC III Image Processor, EOS Integrated Cleaning System and a 3.0" fine detail LCD Screen.

Superseding the 16.7 megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II, the Mark III features a 36 x 24 mm CMOS image sensor that is comprised of approximately 21.1 million effective pixels (5632 x 3750) and set at a pitch of 6.4 microns. This ultra-high resolution was developed by Canon specifically for the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR, and offers fast, five-frame-per-second (fps) shooting rate for bursts of up to 56 Large/Fine (21-megapixel) JPEGS or 12 RAW images. Additionally, the user can select any one of six recording formats ranging from 21.0 megapixels in Large JPEG or RAW format, 16.6 or 11.0 megapixels in the two medium JPEG sizes, or 5.2 megapixels in the small JPEG or "sRAW" formats. In any JPEG format, the user can set one of ten compression rates, whilst in sRAW mode the file size is cut in half, while retaining all of the flexibility and creative possibilities associated with full-size, traditional RAW images.

In order to achieve the substantial signal processing required for the camera's 21-megapixel resolution and continuous shooting speed, the EOS 1Ds is powered by two identical DIGIC III imaging engines for parallel (and hence, faster) signal processing. The ultra-low noise CMOS sensor reads out to the dual "DIGIC III" processors simultaneously in eight channels. This provides the professional photographer with the technology to ensure finer details and natural colors of all images are optimally recorded. The Dual image processor is also responsible for the EOS-1Ds Mark III SLR's high-speed performance and more efficient energy consumption.

Comprised of a strong and durable magnesium alloy body with over 70 waterproof and dust proof seals, the EOS-1Ds compact and lighter-weight alloy body is rugged enough to take the camera just about anywhere in the field. Other practical advantages to Canon’s new flagship camera are the 14-bit Analog-to-Digital conversion process, which is able to recognize 16,384 colors per channel, and the Advanced Autofocus Technology, which includes 45 AF points including 19 high-precision cross-type points and 26 Assist AF points. The low-light sensitivity of the auto-focus sensor has been doubled, and the camera’s AF also contains new features which allow for micro-adjustment and focus tracking sensitivity. This makes picking an individual focusing point much faster and easier.

Given the significantly larger image file sizes created by the new EOS-1D, Canon has provided compatibility with the new Ultra Direct Memory Access (UDMA) compact flash memory card, which enables ultra-high-speed data transfer to the card. Images can also be transferred to computer via its USB 2.0 High-Speed interface. The camera can also be operated remotely at distances up to 492 feet with the assistance of the optional Wireless File Transmitter (WFT-E2A).

Canon's Live View shooting mode is also utilized within the design of the EOS 1Ds to allow the image to be more easily composed with a convenient set of shooting options. This is all viewed through a 3.0” LCD screen, which operates at 230,000 pixels and affords the shooter a 140-degree viewing angle, both horizontally and vertically. The LCD image can be magnified by five or ten times in order to ensure that the shot is optimally focused, and an added advantage is the ability to utilize a larger font size for text, making it easier to read setting and menu options on the screen.

The unit also included the EOS Integrated Cleaning System - a complete dust management solution according to Canon, which uses a lightweight infrared absorption glass cover that vibrates for 3.5 seconds when the camera is turned on or off. The cleaning mechanism can then map the location of any spots that may remain on the sensor. The mapped information is saved as “Dust Delete Data” and attached to the image file. Subsequently, the offending dust information is subtracted from the final image during post processing using Canon’s Digital Photo Professional Software.

Canon sees the EOS-1Ds Mark III as entering the realm of high-fashion and commercial photo studios where bulkier, medium-format cameras previously reigned. “This new camera is aimed at delivering photographic professionals with the tools they need to create the finest quality images” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president of Canon’s Consumer Imaging Group. “Canon's ongoing commitment is to provide not only the right professional tools, but also the finest photo tools for the job and do so consistently”

Canon’s new EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR is available from November at a price of US$7,999.00. Also available as an accessory for this camera is the EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Lens, which is an ultra-wide angle L-series prime lens with a 114-degree diagonal angle of view designed primarily for landscape and architectural photographers. This new 3.7” lens is likely to retail at US$2,199.00. Visit the Canon site.

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