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Canon 1Ds Mark II vs. Canon 1D Mark III

Rachel Stephens , Jun 03, 2008; 02:19 p.m.

I am a professional portrait photographer working in a variety of situations, using natural light and strobes, often in the confines of hotel suites with less than generous square footage and I am completely torn as to what camera I should upgrade to. I have been using a Canon 1D Mark II N which I have loved but I really want better image quality, a full frame sensor and better low light capability. I know that the Mark III doesn't have a full frame sensor but it is better with low light and it is NEW...I guess what I want to know is whether or not it is a wiser choice to purchase a used 1Ds Mark II that is several hundred dollars more expensive than a brand new 1D Mark III?


Will King , Jun 03, 2008; 02:38 p.m.

I would suggest getting the 1D Mark III. It is by far the best low light body out there....even better than the 5D. I shoot ISO800 and 1600 with very little noise. I sold my 5D after buying the 1D Mark III because of how it handles noise. And why would you buy the 1Ds Mark II when you can spend about $1500 more for a 1Ds Mark III?

Rachel Stephens , Jun 03, 2008; 03:07 p.m.

Thanks Will. Why not buy the new 1Ds MIII? Well, two simple answers there: I wish I had that extra $1500 laying around and I don't need 21mp.

Will King , Jun 03, 2008; 03:20 p.m.

I would get the 1D Mark III and the 24-70mmL. Still lower in price than the 1Ds Mark II.

Christopher Hartt , Jun 03, 2008; 03:42 p.m.

I have both 1Ds2 and 1D3 and sounds like I shoot in similar conditions to you.

In portrait situations (plenty of time to think about the shot and adjust exposures) the 1Ds2 produces a superior skintone (IMO). I rarely shoot below 35mm (FF) for portrait or wedding work, so the wide end isn't that much of a factor.

For general shooting in fast changing light conditions (like a wedding reception or covering an event) however, the 1D3 is superior by quite a lot - not the least of which is the ability to program ISO, Tv and Av variables as a safety net in case I don't have time to react or just screw up.

If I had to choose just one camera for portraits & mixed light situations, I'd choose my 1Ds2. It's going to be a workhorse for me for some time to come, I think. I also have a 1Ds3 which is an awesome camera that provides image quality AND the next gen programmable safety net, but for general utility at a lesser price, the 1d3 is hard to beat in low light and high frame count situations.

Tony Clark , Jun 03, 2008; 06:08 p.m.

I have the 1DsII and would not trade it for a 1DIII. The full frame is ideal for my work and I don't see any difference in low light situations. I do not normally use AF but the extra resolution is essential. Put an 85/1.2 on a full frame body and see how bright it is.

John Crowe , Jun 03, 2008; 11:13 p.m.

I would go for the used full frame. I am not a pro so have to rely on older used bodies. My full frame is a Kodak SLRn and my crop body is a Nikon D2X.

Oistein Thomassen , Jun 04, 2008; 05:25 p.m.

You should consider a 5D. The IQ is very very close to 1DsII. You may not like the design of the camera though since you're used to working with 1D-series cameras. I used to have a 1Ds (well, still got it) but I really love the 5D and use it 95% of the time now.

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