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Canon EOS 1DsM3 — detail galore

To balance Wednesday’s entry on the noise and color of the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, what excites many people are those 21 megapixels, which offer a fantastic amount of detail, provided that top-performing optics are used, such as the Zeiss ZF 50/1.4 Planar used in the image below (or even better, the Coastal Optics 60/4 APO macro).

The EOS 1DsM3 offers unprecedented image detail from a DSLR, and only a drum scanner with the finest-grain slide film could hope to offer more usable detail. The Nikon D3 simply cannot approach this level of detail, so if resolution is what floats your boat, then the EOS 1DsM3 is your camera. But the overall visual impact (color, contrast and lifelike rendition) simply does not match that of the Nikon D3. Still, there’s no denying the vicarious pleasure of seeing more after taking the picture than being there in person. Call it the “handheld surveillance camera”.


A typical San Francisco street
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III ISO 400 + Zeiss ZF 50/1.4 Planar 1/1000 @ ~f/5.6, handheld

Actual pixels
(click for more)

Black and white shooters won’t find color or noise to be troubling at ISO 1600, in fact the results are very nice indeed. These images were converted straight from Canon’s Digital Photo Professional, using the “Monochrome” Picture Style. For this style of shooting, I love how the Zeiss ZF Lenses render the out of focus areas. The 35/2 Distagon offers particularly lovely results.


Victorian bathroom
(Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III + Zeiss ZF 35/2 Distagon @ ~/f4)

Victorian era cookstove
(Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III + Zeiss ZF 35/2 Distagon @ ~/f2)

Cable car sheaves
(Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III + Zeiss ZF 50/1.4 Planar @ ~/f11)

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