In an attempt to keep a firm hold on its top spot in the camera industry, Canon debuted what it is touting as the world's fastest digital camera, geared especially to professional photographers.
The new EOS-1D Mark III Digital SLR -- the highest-end model in Canon's EOS series -- boasts a faster shooting rate, a more sensitive image sensor, and two processors designed to cut image-processing speed in half.
The Mark III aims to satisfy the need for speed, always a top priority for photographers who rely on snapping as many images as possible in short bursts The 10.1-megapixel Mark III can shoot 10 frames per second, a significant bump up from the 8.5 per second of Canon's previous model, the 8.2-megapixel Mark II.
According to IDC research manager Christopher Chute, the new Mark III represents an improvement on other high-end cameras in this category.
"It's aimed strictly at huge amounts of image quality, to take as many pictures as possible," he said, noting that the Mark III is comparable to Nikon's DX2.
Outside of the camera's speed, another standout feature is the sensitive, self-cleaning image sensor, which Canon touts as the most sensitive yet, with an ISO speed rating of 6400. The ISO speed rating is used to determine a camera's ability to capture both quickly moving objects and subjects in low-light situations.
In addition to these features, the Mark III sports "microlenses" that collect light for the sensor. The upgraded design means smaller gaps between the image sensors, which means more light is collected and less can escape.
Seeing Is Believing
Historically, users were forced with SLR cameras to view images through the lens. However, with the Mark III, the new Live View mode lets users focus and compose the image on a 3.0-inch LCD and modify parameters before capturing the shot.
Additionally, the Live View screen can be operated remotely by attaching the camera to a USB 2.0 connection or hooking it up to a Wi-Fi transmitter.
The EOS-1D Mark III Digital SLR is expected to cost around $4,000, and will be available in April.