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Head-2-Head Review: Canon 1Ds Mark III vs. Canon 5D Mark II
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posted on Jun 15, 2009 at 11:40AM

Head-2-Head Review: Canon 1Ds Mark III vs. Canon 5D Mark II

Introduction: The Matchup

By Ted Dillard


The Matchup
Rarely at Head2Head do we feel justified, or compelled, to review a flagship model next to its “little brother,” but the case of the Canon DSLRs begs for new rules. There is little more than a year between the release of the 1Ds Mark III (Aug. ’07) and the 5D Mark II (Sept. ’08); that year saw a wave of technology that has changed the landscape of the entire industry. The two DSLRs weigh in with similar specifications, but the 5D Mark II adds HD video capability at a price point of less than half that of its big brother; the 5D Mark II has challenged not only the rest of the industry, but its own family of Canon EOS products.

Key Advantages
The obvious differences between the cameras are the size, weight and price; here is a comparison of the two models, with the advantages of each. 

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

  • AF micro adjustment - 2 modes (body, individual lenses up to 20)
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

  • More robust magnesium chassis and exterior, better sealing
  • Updated Digic 4 processor
  • More JPEG image size options
  • Better organization of  shooting info in viewfinder
  • Autofocus (higher number of “assist points,” more control)
  • 3 RAW image size options
  • 100% frame coverage by viewfinder
  • Lighter, smaller body
  • Fast burst rate – 5 fps RAW
  • ISO expansion up to ISO 25600
  • HD video mode
  • Optional battery/vertical grip


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