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Canon 1D Mark III color

I have several hundred images from my recent trip to the eastern Sierra and White Mountains to process. More on that in a future blog entry. Today was a grab-shot day with family at the local farmer’s market (ah, the bounty of spring!), leading me to subjects that show off the phenomenal image quality of the Canon EOS 1D Mark III. I used the Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS, an excellent performer on the 1D Mark III, as predicted in my May 2 blog entry.

Mohammed Soumah, Under the Sun, mural in Palo Alto, CA

The 24-105 f/4L IS is a very handy lens for comfortable carry-around use, with an equivalent 31-136mm field of view on the EOS 1D Mark III, due to its smaller than full-frame sensor. The disappointing corner and edge “crud” of the 24-105 simply are never “seen” by the sensor of the 1D Mark III; the 24-105 is a perfect match for the camera.

Fantasy frames

Though Canon’s 16.7-megapixel EOS 1Ds Mark II offers superior spatial resolution, there’s no way I’d trade my 1D Mark III for that camera’s higher resolution; it simply does not match the beautiful results produced by the 1D Mark III. For that matter, one can smugly snicker at those suckered into paying more money for the Leica M8, a camera demanding incessant attention to focus, framing, and filtration, albeit one whose image quality can be very high—but a camera which proffers gratuitous idiosyncrasies to connoisseurs of self-flagellation.

With essentially zero effort (straight processing with Canon’s Digital Photo Professional, Neutral, Daylight, Sharpening=1, Saturation=1), exceptionally pleasing results are delivered, results that I never achieved with the Canon EOS 5D, even with post-processing effort. That’s not to say the results are readily quantifiable, but years of experience and many tens of thousands of frames with various Nikon and Canon digital DSLRs do educate one’s eye. The difference is often subtle, yet not so—whether it’s 14-bit or more advanced electronics I simply cannot say, but the difference is a poise and transparency never before seen with a digital SLR.

Fair maiden

Today’s images are a small sampler of handheld grab shots, all taken in the space of 30 minutes, most at ISO 800 (!). They demonstrate the pleasing color rendition of the Canon EOS 1D Mark III, and its unprecedented image quality. As I predicted in my June 5 entry, if Canon can produce a 20 or 22-megapixel full-frame DSLR with the same image quality as the 1D Mark III, it will simply walk away with the entire high-end market, including the lion’s share of the medium format crowd.

Edible color

Mohammed Soumah, Under the Sun, detail

Green glory

Of course, JPEG compression and small size don’t show off the images at their best, but if you want minimally-compressed high-res images, you’ll want my review when it becomes available. Such reviews take considerable time to conceive and prepare, so patience is required. The 1D Mark III is not perfect, and I have found a few issues with it already, one of which is a troublesome impediment in certain circumstances, yet is outweighed by so many other positive characteristics that I am willing to forgive.

And yes, the Canon EOS 1D Mark III can photograph more than potatoes and onions:

Garish garage by day

To the point
(dark tones are intentional)

Yellow, interrupted

Time for a new sign

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