1Dx3 - to be honest a bit disappointed

kirispupis

EOS 7D MK II
Oct 4, 2011
467
27
www.calevphoto.com
I recently received my 1Dx3, having upgraded from a 1Dx2, and have been putting it through the tests. The following are my opinions from use. No photos, as this isn't a full in-depth review.

AF - my first impression was that it's a lot better. It snaps on quickly and does an excellent job tracking subjects. Since I'm a wildlife photographer, I tried the auto mode. It did a fair job, but I'm going to switch to the other modes (mostly 2 and 3) because it doesn't do the best job with birds that are at rest, then suddenly take off. Mode 3 in the past has worked well for that. I also found that my keeper rate wasn't dramatically better than what I achieved with my 1Dx2. Yeah, it feels better, but the results aren't dramatic.

High ISO - from a comparison with images of similar subjects, it appears to be about the same

Dynamic range - I live in the Pacific Northwest, so ISO 100 is mostly a myth for wildlife. Perhaps at that level there's a DR improvement, but I found it to be roughly the same as the 1Dx2 in the situations I use.

AF point selector - This is pretty cool, but IMHO not worth $6500

Silent shutter - It's more silent than the 1Dx2 and not nearly as annoying. Fps is noticeably higher.

Note that AF through LiveView isn't practical for me, since I always shoot handheld. I simply don't have the ability to track a bird in flight handheld with the back LCD. I do use LiveView for landscapes, but this is not intended to be a landscape camera. I don't use a gimbal because I constantly change positions + subjects. I've shot this way for a number of years and am used to it.

Overall this isn't a bad camera. I haven't found anything really wrong with it, but I just don't see the value over the 1Dx2. I'll give it another day or two of use to see if I change my mind, but right now I'm leaning toward returning it and sticking with the 1Dx2. If the other reviews are correct that AF is awesome with LiveView, then I expect their upcoming mirrorless bodies to be what I need.

Just to be clear, no I'm not going to Sony. I still like Canon and am very excited about the R5 and eventually the R1 + the lens variety is top notch. For my uses, though, the 1Dx3 just doesn't provide much to justify the cost.
 
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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,442
1,602
Alberta, Canada
I recently received my 1Dx3, having upgraded from a 1Dx2, and have been putting it through the tests. The following are my opinions from use. No photos, as this isn't a full in-depth review.

AF - my first impression was that it's a lot better. It snaps on quickly and does an excellent job tracking subjects. Since I'm a wildlife photographer, I tried the auto mode. It did a fair job, but I'm going to switch to the other modes (mostly 2 and 3) because it doesn't do the best job with birds that are at rest, then suddenly take off. Mode 3 in the past has worked well for that. I also found that my keeper rate wasn't dramatically better than what I achieved with my 1Dx2. Yeah, it feels better, but the results aren't dramatic.

High ISO - from a comparison with images of similar subjects, it appears to be about the same

Dynamic range - I live in the Pacific Northwest, so ISO 100 is mostly a myth for wildlife. Perhaps at that level there's a DR improvement, but I found it to be roughly the same as the 1Dx2 in the situations I use.

AF point selector - This is pretty cool, but IMHO not worth $6500

Silent shutter - It's more silent than the 1Dx2 and not nearly as annoying. Fps is noticeably higher.

Note that AF through LiveView isn't practical for me, since I always shoot handheld. I simply don't have the ability to track a bird in flight handheld with the back LCD. I do use LiveView for landscapes, but this is not intended to be a landscape camera. I don't use a gimbal because I constantly change positions + subjects. I've shot this way for a number of years and am used to it.

Overall this isn't a bad camera. I haven't found anything really wrong with it, but I just don't see the value over the 1Dx2. I'll give it another day or two of use to see if I change my mind, but right now I'm leaning toward returning it and sticking with the 1Dx2. If the other reviews are correct that AF is awesome with LiveView, then I expect their upcoming mirrorless bodies to be what I need.

Just to be clear, no I'm not going to Sony. I still like Canon and am very excited about the R5 and eventually the R1 + the lens variety is top notch. For my uses, though, the 1Dx3 just doesn't provide much to justify the cost.
Thanks for this commentary. It helps cool my GAS, although I pretty well decided for uses similar to you that my few dollars will chase an upcoming R version too.

No video comments?

Jack
 

slclick

135L
Dec 17, 2013
3,893
1,702
How's the noise and colors? (basically contrasting your findings against Goldwings)
 

unfocused

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
5,367
2,109
66
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
Thanks for the comments. I'm anxious to hear more as these cameras get distributed into the world. My primary interest is in autofocus improvements for sports shooting. I'm not surprised that it isn't much of an improvement for birds and wildlife. I had hoped for some high ISO improvement, but from what I'm reading, that seems to mostly be in the processing of jpgs, rather than in the raw files themselves. A quieter shutter would be welcome, although I've solved that problem by buying the R.

Thanks also for the reasonable, non inflammatory tone. We could use more of that.
 

CDD28

EOS M50
Jun 23, 2014
32
0
I'm seriously considering cancelling my order. Any review I've seen from a real world person, non-YouTuber/"influencer," has said the camera is underwhelming.

I looked at the comparison test photos of high ISO between the 1DX2 and 1DX3, and to me it looks like the 1DX3 shows more noise that is less pleasing. I don't think it's worth paying just shy of $7,000 for essentially a 1DX2 with tweaked AF system and a new AF point selector. The R5 seems much more promising.
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
4,430
1,076
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And funny enough I felt what you said matched my thoughts going from the 1dx to the 1dx2... and the 1dx2 was quite a bit better AF wise, at first, but like all of them, started missing more and more after 3-4 years of gentle use. And some of your thoughts is exactly why I didn’t want another dslr/1-series. Most issues went away with the R.
 

unfocused

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
5,367
2,109
66
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
...The R5 seems much more promising.
Just a word of caution. Right now, we know next to nothing about how the R5 will actually perform. It is way too easy to project onto a future product what we hope it will be like. The R5 may indeed live up to the hopes and promises of people on this forum, but it may not.
 

CDD28

EOS M50
Jun 23, 2014
32
0
Just a word of caution. Right now, we know next to nothing about how the R5 will actually perform. It is way too easy to project onto a future product what we hope it will be like. The R5 may indeed live up to the hopes and promises of people on this forum, but it may not.
Very true, but honestly if it has a sensor as good as the 5D4 and eye tracking AF as good as the Sony A7RIV, it lives up to my hopes.
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
1,931
1,066
I recently received my 1Dx3, having upgraded from a 1Dx2, and have been putting it through the tests. The following are my opinions from use. No photos, as this isn't a full in-depth review.

AF - my first impression was that it's a lot better. It snaps on quickly and does an excellent job tracking subjects. Since I'm a wildlife photographer, I tried the auto mode. It did a fair job, but I'm going to switch to the other modes (mostly 2 and 3) because it doesn't do the best job with birds that are at rest, then suddenly take off. Mode 3 in the past has worked well for that. I also found that my keeper rate wasn't dramatically better than what I achieved with my 1Dx2. Yeah, it feels better, but the results aren't dramatic.

High ISO - from a comparison with images of similar subjects, it appears to be about the same

Dynamic range - I live in the Pacific Northwest, so ISO 100 is mostly a myth for wildlife. Perhaps at that level there's a DR improvement, but I found it to be roughly the same as the 1Dx2 in the situations I use.

AF point selector - This is pretty cool, but IMHO not worth $6500

Silent shutter - It's more silent than the 1Dx2 and not nearly as annoying. Fps is noticeably higher.

Note that AF through LiveView isn't practical for me, since I always shoot handheld. I simply don't have the ability to track a bird in flight handheld with the back LCD. I do use LiveView for landscapes, but this is not intended to be a landscape camera. I don't use a gimbal because I constantly change positions + subjects. I've shot this way for a number of years and am used to it.

Overall this isn't a bad camera. I haven't found anything really wrong with it, but I just don't see the value over the 1Dx2. I'll give it another day or two of use to see if I change my mind, but right now I'm leaning toward returning it and sticking with the 1Dx2. If the other reviews are correct that AF is awesome with LiveView, then I expect their upcoming mirrorless bodies to be what I need.

Just to be clear, no I'm not going to Sony. I still like Canon and am very excited about the R5 and eventually the R1 + the lens variety is top notch. For my uses, though, the 1Dx3 just doesn't provide much to justify the cost.
If you did not already own a 1D X Mark II and needed to choose between buying a brand new 1D X Mark II for $5,500 (current price at B&H) or a 1D X Mark III for $6,500 (current price at B&H) including a Sandisk 64GB CF Express Card and reader, would it be worth the extra $1000?
 

kirispupis

EOS 7D MK II
Oct 4, 2011
467
27
www.calevphoto.com
If you did not already own a 1D X Mark II and needed to choose between buying a brand new 1D X Mark II for $5,500 (current price at B&H) or a 1D X Mark III for $6,500 (current price at B&H) including a Sandisk 64GB CF Express Card and reader, would it be worth the extra $1000?
Tough call. Of course, I could always buy a used 1Dx2 for ~$3200.

A friend is letting me borrow his 1Dx2 (in all my excitement, I sent mine to Canon CPS for cleaning before putting it up for sale). I plan to test the two cameras side by side, then make a call.
 
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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,442
1,602
Alberta, Canada
If you did not already own a 1D X Mark II and needed to choose between buying a brand new 1D X Mark II for $5,500 (current price at B&H) or a 1D X Mark III for $6,500 (current price at B&H) including a Sandisk 64GB CF Express Card and reader, would it be worth the extra $1000?
I'll answer that; I wouldn't even blink for $1000 but as others have said to sell used and then buy is quite expensive and there is the R5 or ?? carrot on the stick now. To buy a 1DX3 I'd certainly sell the 1DX2 but probably not if I get an R5 for example. But honestly, I shouldn't be buying anything more! ;)

Jack
 

kirispupis

EOS 7D MK II
Oct 4, 2011
467
27
www.calevphoto.com
Thanks to a friend who loaned me his 1Dx2, I was able to perform a short side-by-side comparison this morning. I shot the same subjects (herons bringing sticks back to the nest) with the same light, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. I also used the same AF mode between them, which was mode 4 and cross pattern (5 points shaped like a +).

First impressions - The 1Dx3 has a lot more focus points. At first glance it would seem to be no contest. The 1Dx3 through the viewfinder looks light years ahead of the 1Dx2.

Subject focus lock -
The 1Dx3 was able to lock onto subjects quicker

Subjects in constant motion parallel to me - This was pretty much a wash. Both did well

Subjects moving from still to in motion toward me - The 1Dx2 hit pretty much every shot here, while the 1Dx3 suffered. The 1Dx3 initially hit, then as the subject moved more it missed.

Subjects in constant motion toward me - The 1Dx2 missed a number of shots here, while the 1Dx3 did very well

Weirdness - On my 1Dx2, I tended to use the "square" AF selection (9 points in a square). This mode is awful on the 1Dx3 and results in many misses. The + pattern works fine though.

Image quality - Since I now have identical results, I can make a final call on this tonight. As already stated, my previous analysis showed them to be pretty much the same.

Live View AF - I tried this a little bit on the 1Dx3. On in motion herons it couldn't lock on, so I achieved no shots even when I managed to get them in the LCD (very difficult). I did aim at a few ducks and it picked them up fine, but ducks have never been an AF challenge.

Small things - The AF in both full speed and silent is much quieter on the 1Dx3 than on the 1Dx2.

Verdict - I'm still forming one, as this is a crucial decision. I plan to shoot at a different location this weekend. The problem is I want to keep this camera, but so far the only differences are 2 fps, two fast card slots (the 1Dx2 slows down if you add a CF card), and a nifty AF selection button. What I want to understand is whether this camera will help increase my keeper rate, but so far I'm doubtful.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,442
1,602
Alberta, Canada
Thanks to a friend who loaned me his 1Dx2, I was able to perform a short side-by-side comparison this morning. I shot the same subjects (herons bringing sticks back to the nest) with the same light, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. I also used the same AF mode between them, which was mode 4 and cross pattern (5 points shaped like a +).

First impressions - The 1Dx3 has a lot more focus points. At first glance it would seem to be no contest. The 1Dx3 through the viewfinder looks light years ahead of the 1Dx2.

Subject focus lock - The 1Dx3 was able to lock onto subjects quicker

Subjects in constant motion parallel to me - This was pretty much a wash. Both did well

Subjects moving from still to in motion toward me - The 1Dx2 hit pretty much every shot here, while the 1Dx3 suffered. The 1Dx3 initially hit, then as the subject moved more it missed.

Subjects in constant motion toward me - The 1Dx2 missed a number of shots here, while the 1Dx3 did very well

Weirdness - On my 1Dx2, I tended to use the "square" AF selection (9 points in a square). This mode is awful on the 1Dx3 and results in many misses. The + pattern works fine though.

Image quality - Since I now have identical results, I can make a final call on this tonight. As already stated, my previous analysis showed them to be pretty much the same.

Live View AF - I tried this a little bit on the 1Dx3. On in motion herons it couldn't lock on, so I achieved no shots even when I managed to get them in the LCD (very difficult). I did aim at a few ducks and it picked them up fine, but ducks have never been an AF challenge.

Small things - The AF in both full speed and silent is much quieter on the 1Dx3 than on the 1Dx2.

Verdict - I'm still forming one, as this is a crucial decision. I plan to shoot at a different location this weekend. The problem is I want to keep this camera, but so far the only differences are 2 fps, two fast card slots (the 1Dx2 slows down if you add a CF card), and a nifty AF selection button. What I want to understand is whether this camera will help increase my keeper rate, but so far I'm doubtful.
Thanks for taking the time to outline all these observations. I'd love that AF selector and was hoping it'd be on an R variant.

Jack
 

StoicalEtcher

EOS RP
Jan 3, 2018
257
161
Yorkshire
Thanks to a friend who loaned me his 1Dx2, I was able to perform a short side-by-side comparison this morning. I shot the same subjects (herons bringing sticks back to the nest) with the same light, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. I also used the same AF mode between them, which was mode 4 and cross pattern (5 points shaped like a +).

First impressions - The 1Dx3 has a lot more focus points. At first glance it would seem to be no contest. The 1Dx3 through the viewfinder looks light years ahead of the 1Dx2.

Subject focus lock - The 1Dx3 was able to lock onto subjects quicker

Subjects in constant motion parallel to me - This was pretty much a wash. Both did well

Subjects moving from still to in motion toward me - The 1Dx2 hit pretty much every shot here, while the 1Dx3 suffered. The 1Dx3 initially hit, then as the subject moved more it missed.

Subjects in constant motion toward me - The 1Dx2 missed a number of shots here, while the 1Dx3 did very well

Weirdness - On my 1Dx2, I tended to use the "square" AF selection (9 points in a square). This mode is awful on the 1Dx3 and results in many misses. The + pattern works fine though.

Image quality - Since I now have identical results, I can make a final call on this tonight. As already stated, my previous analysis showed them to be pretty much the same.

Live View AF - I tried this a little bit on the 1Dx3. On in motion herons it couldn't lock on, so I achieved no shots even when I managed to get them in the LCD (very difficult). I did aim at a few ducks and it picked them up fine, but ducks have never been an AF challenge.

Small things - The AF in both full speed and silent is much quieter on the 1Dx3 than on the 1Dx2.

Verdict - I'm still forming one, as this is a crucial decision. I plan to shoot at a different location this weekend. The problem is I want to keep this camera, but so far the only differences are 2 fps, two fast card slots (the 1Dx2 slows down if you add a CF card), and a nifty AF selection button. What I want to understand is whether this camera will help increase my keeper rate, but so far I'm doubtful.
Great post - thanks for sharing, and giving a blow-by-blow comparison.
Really interesting that the 1DXIII autofocus seems better at some parts, but not as good on others. Wonder what the focus engineers have been toying with....
Cheers.
 
May 11, 2014
4
1
I have had the 1Dx mk III's for about three weeks now, having transitioned from the mkII bodies. One thing to consider before going on a deep-dive on raw image noise/color/dynamic range comparisons is that none of the key raw converters (Adobe, Skylum/Luminar, etc.) are most likely using a "final" algorithm for their conversions of the CR3 files from the mkIII. In fact, Capture One still has not released an update to support the camera yet at all.
In my experience (using Adobe, and Luminar 4) it would seem they have made a few tweaks to the existing CR3 support as a standby until they can refine it further.
Any comparison between the mkII CR2 file and the mkIII CR3 file is not exactly apples-to-apples because you are comparing a conversion from a "mature" mkII algorithm versus a newer and not necessarily refined CR3 conversion.
I have not gotten out-of-this-world results from any of the raw converters at this point with the mkIII. One might want to wait a bit until the various raw conversion software platforms release a more mature version of raw support for the mkIII before passing judgement.
Of course there is always DPP... slow, clunky, somewhat imprecise, but if you can beat it into submission you can eke out a nice file with a bit of work.

As far as the actual cameras:
--I am finding that canon has greatly improved the autofocusing ability of the camera. It locks on much more quickly, it is able to track subjects much more confidently (including ones moving in erratic patterns), and the outside focus points work reliably, even in very low light. The ability to select the focus point on the rear button is awesome, too.
--The CFExpress cards (although pricey) are awesome. Super fast, no buffer issues and it is great to have two fast cards in the camera instead of a fast card hobbled by a slower card (like the mkII)
--Camera is definitely quieter.
--Improved battery life WITH improved performance is a nice treat (and thank you Canon for keeping the LP-E19 batteries and not making us switch to something new!)
--I think that the files from the mkIII definitely look better than the mkII. Even doing some jpg to jpg comparisons (repeating from above, it is hard to make rock-solid raw comparisons at this point) the files are sharper overall, cleaner at high ISO (and incredibly clean at low ISO, like the mkII) and seem to have better shadow and highlight details. I am fairly happy with the raw conversions I have made so far, mostly with Lightroom, (they definitely take some extra work) but I'm really looking forward to Capture One support, which is my preferred raw editor.
I think the camera is a worthy upgrade and I have no regrets.
 
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arthurbikemad

EOS 7D MK II
Jul 19, 2015
474
54
UK
I agree with a lot that has been said, my upgrade was not a major cost factor, I got good money for the old Mk2 and sold my 5D4 backup to help fund it (have EOS R backup - soon to be R5). I don't feel that cameras have got "much" better for some time, a good photographer will always get the shot imo, within reason. The Mk3 is not a MASSIVE step forward but it is moving forward, its not a magical camera and still requires setup and skill, and an understanding of the subjects you are going to shoot to get the best from it. I've bashed a few comments on the other thread about poor Mk3 results but they are light hearted and my personal findings only, so no offence to @GoldWing I do listen to what you all have to say. So far I have enjoyed the camera but once the new buzz has worn off its just a camera, then we can get a feeling for it in the real world, I am still happy but it does have some minor quirks over the Mk2, one thing that bugs me in on my desktop workstation (this one Windows 10, i9, GTX1080Ti, 64Mb and so on) when you open a folder with EOS R images and now 1DX3 images it takes a while to index the folder, the Mk2 files where BAM just there ready to search, odd, a codec thing I know but frustrating, can't recall how it is on my Mac, anyway, back to the Mk3, IMO if you are looking to buy it for the new features and are considering the cost of the upgrade then you may want to think long and hard, could I have stuck with the Mk2 absolutely, was the upgrade worth what I paid, no, do I get shots that I could not get before, no, does it miss shot I did get before, unknown! All in all I have taken the miles off my main body, get new features and off set the cost over the time I owned the Mk2, I think of it like changing cars, well not quite true as I run my cars until the wheels fall off, in the light of that I may have had the Mk2 for another 8 years ;)
 
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