Fortunately, given the resources that have been poured into its development, the image quality of the 1D Mark III is uniformly superb across the full range of lighting conditions. Photoreview.com.au goes as far as to describe it as "the best digital camera we have seen." The camera's images bear this out, showing excellent color accuracy, negligible chromatic aberration and extraordinary sharpness, especially in images with moving subjects.
The automatic white balance adjustment is also generally good, although like many DSLRs it tends to struggle under incandescent light. Under the right circumstances, the autofocus and autoshoot systems really work, allowing rapid and responsive capturing of rapidly moving images. The camera makes light work of high-speed activities such as cycling and gymnastics, taking sequences of sharp, crisp images with perfect color and tonality.
However - and it's a big however - under certain conditions, and particularly when the camera is used in conjunction with long lenses, the autofocus system suffers from a number of issues. Four key areas of concern can be identified:
The camera can struggle for initial focus, especially under extremely bright lighting conditions.
Again under bright lighting, tracking of moving subjects can be erratic.
Focus shifts have been observed when the camera is locked on to static subjects.
Focus shifts too rapidly at times when on erratically moving subjects.
Identifying these problem areas is difficult because the camera is always capable of shooting sharp images. However, the proportion of blurred images increases greatly under bright lighting and, bizarrely, in warm conditions, to the extent that Rob Galbraith at robgalbraith.com has described the autofocus in full sunlight as "unusably poor." This would be cause for concern on any camera, but on a $4,000 top of the range professional model it is clearly unacceptable.
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