The other feature that can be a challenge to control is the AI Servo mode AF. This essentially controls how rapidly the focus will shift when the AF point moves from one subject to another. This happens constantly when shooting team sports. If, for example, a player or official runs in front of the action at which you're pointing your lens, you don't want the camera instantly switching focus to the intruder, but without careful handling the 1D Mark III can be prone to doing just that in AI Servo mode.
The mode has five sensitivity positions, from slow to fast, and at the middle position - "normal" - the focus tends to switch too quickly for comfort. Slowing down the sensitivity improves things, but at the cost of a consequent deterioration in the speed at which initial focus on a new subject is acquired. This may not bother everybody, but again, it is unacceptable in a camera aimed at professional sports photographers.
Since the camera's release, Canon have released several firmware updates which may help rectify the autofocus problems, and we hear that further updates are expected in the future. However, Canon have not to our knowledge officially recognized that there is a problem, so it is impossible to guarantee that these issues will be resolved satisfactorily. If this matters to you, we recommend that you keep an eye on this issue to be sure it's properly resolved before you part with your cash.
Overall the EOS 1D Mark III is a beautifully engineered and constructed camera capable of taking jaw-droppingly awesome photographs in a whole range of conditions. It sets new standards in terms of both features and functionality, and backs this up with superior image quality. Simply, at its best the Mark III is some way better than anything else.
Sadly, we can't recommend it unreservedly. While it is undoubtedly a fine piece of equipment that will meet the needs of all but the most demanding photographer, the issues we have identified with the autofocus system are a significant consideration, especially at this price and for those who frequently use long lenses or shoot in warm conditions under bright sunlight. Such people may find they can achieve more satisfactory results with this camera's predecessor, the highly regarded EOS 1d Mark II N.
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