Canon’s new machine gun: EOS-1D X Mark III

Important things:

  • 20.1 megapickles
  • 20 frames per second (FPS)
  • ISO range from 50 – 819,200 (expandable via menu options)
  • CR3 file format (new)
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in
  • 5.5K RAW (60p), 4K DCI (60p), 4K UHD (60p), Full-HD (120p)
  • 2 x CFexpress storage
  • 1440 g without lens, but with batteries
  • Probably immortal
  • $6499 USD at launch

You’ve heard these things. You’ve probably seen them alongside football pitches or basketball courts or slung around the necks of war photographers. They’re big. They’re rugged. They’re iconic. They fire an insane number of shots in a second making them sound like machine guns as the shutter fires away under an index finger.

Imagine a normal DSLR, then stick a battery grip on the bottom, then wrap the entire thing in magnesium alloy and you’re pretty much there.

Image courtesy of


It’s a monster. Better spec’d than anything else on the Canon roster with a bigger battery and more gubbins, yet 100g lighter than the previous version (the mkII, released in 2016), the mkIII will find its home in press kits the world over. The shutter is made from kevlar and can stand up to 500,000 shots, which at 20 FPS, it will need to. If you went full out at 20fps you could reach that lifespan in about 7 hours. As we all know though this is Canon’s conservative estimate and 1d bodies reaching 2 million shutter actuations aren’t unheard of. If yours dies at 500,000 you’re unlucky.

But, it’s an interesting time for the release as Canon have recently announced there will be no new developments in EF mount lenses and will be focusing on RF mounts from now on – the RF mount appears only on their mirrorless systems and not their SLR mirror-based bodies, on which the EF mounting system has been featured for about 30 years. Times they are a changin’.

So this might be the last 1DX as we know it. Canon have made noises about a professional level mirrorless system and rumours on specs, names, prices etc are all out there in the wild but nothing confirmed. It is clear though that Canon, and every other camera manufacturer, sees mirrorless technology as the future of photographic equipment and the more investment put into it the cheaper the tech becomes.

At the onset of 2020 Canon’s mirrorless offerings have been well-received with a feeling that they weren’t quite where they could be. Canon know this and their announcement of a professional body is well timed. It keeps those thinking of migrating hanging on for the announcement, keeping them in the Canon ecosystem, disrupts the footing of the competition, and shows an attitude which is clearly looking down the track at the next generation of pro camera.

But this isn’t about mirrorless. It’s about the 1dx mkIII, the last machine-gunning behemoth we might see. Sometimes it’s a sad day when progress comes knocking.