Should you buy the Canon 1DX Mark III?

The Canon 1DX Mark III is right around the corner, but with the Canon 1DX Mark II still more than capable, is it still worth upgrading?

Canon 1DX Mark III

As a Canon EOS 1DX Mark II owner I am eagerly awaiting the Canon EOS 1DX Mark III. But will the updated specs be enough to tempt me or current Canon 1DX Mark II owners to upgrade?

Check out my Canon 1DX Mark III Announcement article for the latest news and rumors. But for a recap the current comfirmed specs are:

  • 16FPS with OVF or 20FPS Electronic and Mechanic Shutter in LiveView mode
  • 5x 1DX Mark II buffer speeds
  • Deep Learning Autofocus
  • Dual CFExpress cards
  • 4K60P 4:2:2 10-Bit Internal in CLog and Raw Video
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • Improved Battery Life
  • New AF Point Selection Tool

The Canon 1DX Mark III Video

Canon’s current flagship DSLR is the Canon 1DX Mark II. It is an incredible beast of a camera and is more than capable of meeting my requirements on the job.

But there are a few specs I wish Canon could have included; tech that was possible to include at the time of production, but was intentionally omitted.

Most likely the main reason Canon omitted was to not cannibalize its Cinema range cameras. Or maybe to leave an element of built in obsolescence. Either way Canon intentionally reduced the capabilities of this camera from what it could achieve with the tech of that time.

This time around the video specs are good enough to consider the Canon 1DX Mark III a very capable Cine B Cam. C-Log and Raw in a DSLR body makes for possibly the best hybrid video camera on the market.

So now that the Canon 1DX Mark III development announcement has been made, would I upgrade now that we have to also include the mirrorless factor?

End of the EF Mount

In 2018 Canon joined the mirrorless market with the Canon EOS R and the announcement of the superior RF mount.

Canon have subsequently released the Canon EOS RP and devoted 2019 to the development of the RF mount, announcing six lenses this year to add to the five lenses from the RF mount launch.

The general consensus is that mirrorless will eventually replace DSLRs.

While Canon have stated they will continue to develop the EF lineup and DLSR cameras, the future is inevitably with the RF mount, as it was with the EF mount when it replaced the FD mount for Canons SLR cameras.

Canon EOS 1R

Canon’s mirrorless lineup is currently the entry level full frame mirrorless Canon EOS RP, and the Canon EOS 6D Mark II equivalent, the Canon EOS R and the newly released Canon EOS Ra.

We have yet to see what we would regard as Canon mirrorless Pro body. But rumors are that the next camera from Canon will be a high mega pixel count camera, a mirrorless equivalent to the Canon EOS 5Dsr. This will probably be announced in Q1/2 2020 to be released in either Q2/Q3 2020.

Canon currently have more lenses in their RF lineup waiting eagerly for a Pro body and mirrorless bodies waiting for cheaper and more suitable RF lenses.

So if you want to buy a 1D camera, a sports orientated body, with Canon’s top specs in a mirrorless equivalent then you will probably have to wait till 2020 just for rumors to start. It will probably be 2021 at the earliest for even an announcement of a mirrorless 1D.

Should you wait for the Canon 1DX Mark III?

If you are already invested in the EF mount, owning the Canon 1DX Mark II and need a second body it does make sense to get the Canon 1DX Mark III. Especially if a mirrorless 1D equivalent will likely not be available for a few years yet.

Once that Canon EOS 1R does drop, then the decision will be much easier as the Canon EOS 1DX Mark III will likely be a few years old by then. Canon will almost definitely not release a mirrorless 1D so soon after the Canon 1DX Mark III, but don’t hold me to that!

If you are looking to buy into the 1D setup now and you are already invested in EF glass, then with the Canon EOS 1D Mark III around the corner, you would not go wrong waiting; or alternatively purchasing the current Canon 1DX Mark II, as there may not be enough of an upgrade in specs (apart from video) to warrant what will likely be a £2000 plus difference.

If you are not invested in any camera system, have either no EF glass or not a huge investment with maybe one or two lenses, then I would strongly advise caution here.

The Canon 1DX Mark III will likely be the last of its kind. And I would hesitate to invest in a mount, that while more than capable of producing stellar work and will continue to do so for years to come, will eventually be deemed obsolete.

But though I use the word obsolete, which may be too strong, what I can safely say is that, as it is today with older cameras, the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and III will continue to be used by professionals for work, years and years after even the newer upgrades have come out.


For the gear I use alongside my Canon 1DX Mark II check out my profile


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