Canon announces its answer to the Nikon D3S – the Canon 1D Mark IV pro dSLR

Written by Gary on October 21st, 2009

Nikon recently announced a 12mp 9fps full frame pro expensive dSLR with ISO to 102,400 and a movie mode – the Nikon D3S.

Not to be outdone, Canon has just announced its upgrade to the 10mp 10fps 1.3x crop Canon 1D Mark III – the new 16mp 10fps 1.3x crop Canon 1D Mark IV with ISO to 102,400 and movie modes and a revamped AF system.

On paper, it would seem the Canon 1D MIV is much better suited to sports photography than the Nikon D3S and has a much more versatile movie mode. The Nikon D3S being full frame will not have the same telephoto reach but will be able to use the 35mm lenses at there native focal length without cropping and thus will provide better ultra wide angle possibilities. Presumably the larger photosites in the Nikon D3S should give lower image noise at higher ISO but we will have to wait and see if this is indeed the case.

Canon 1D Mark IV specifications:

  • 16 megapixel, 1.3x crop (APS-H size) sensor
  • 10 fps burst rate with a continuous burst of up to 121 large JPEGS, or 28 RAW images using a UDMA 6 card
  • ISO 100-12,800 with boost from 50 to 102,400
  • new 45-point Auto Focus (AF) system with 39 f/2.8 sensitive cross-type points and newly-evolved AI Servo II AF offers more precision when tracking moving objects. The user can select which AF points to use for each camera orientation.
  • the first ever integration of ALO (Auto Lighting Optimizer) in a professional EOS body, automatically correcting the contrast and brightness of images as they are recorded
  • Canon 7D movie modes including 1080p at 24,25, 30fps and 720p at 50 and 60fps with manual exposure control but no AF, recorded in H.264 MOV files BUT maximum recording is 30min and 4Gb file size
  • flash x-sync 1/300th sec with EX speedlights – unchanged from Mark III
  • 1180g – only marginally lighter than the Nikon D3S which is 1240g w/o battery
  • RRP $US4999 – $US200 cheaper than the Nikon D3S

Will I take better photos with the Mark IV instead of my 1D Mark III?

  • if I was a dedicated sports photographer, the hopefully fixed AF bugs along with higher ISO would potentially give more in-focus images and ability to stop action in low light
  • if I regularly took indoor available light action shots then the above would help get images previously not possible
  • it would be great for those pre-dawn, super telephoto shots of wild cats on African safari – but I don’t do that either
  • if I didn’t have the Panasonic GH-1, the movie modes would have been very handy
  • thus, for me, there is not much to be gained by upgrading, but for many this does represent a very handy upgrade, and looks like it will be a great camera albeit heavy, bulky and expensive

1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Great article. I am waiting for the positive review of these two great camera. I want to buy one camera for my wife.