Well, the first impressions are here. Since the camera is already in stores, I can publish my first impressions and evaluation.
Externally, not much has changed. From the front, the part above the prism is shaped differently. Next to the display, there's an additional button used to change the ISO setting directly. (Praise the lord, says the translator.) Therefore, it's no longer necessary to press two buttons simultaneously. The metal flash hot shoe is no longer painted black. To the left, there's an additional contact for the WTF-E2, which enables wireless image transfer. The camera is now more than 200 g lighter and even more ergonomic. Believe me, after using the camera for a day, this is very noticeable.
A very noticeable difference compared to the predecessor is the reshaped prism bulge.
The back, however, underwent some significant changes.
There's a new, 3 inch screen with a resolution of 230,000 pixels. Some buttons used to change resolution, WB etc in the previous models are gone, replaced by a more versatile FUNC button. This, however, means that the display must be used to change the settings. Also, the joystick was added to the camera. Another addition is the AF-ON button, used to activate focusing without pressing the shutter. Also, the INFO button is a new addition, used to display the currently used settings.
Personally, I think the camera gained in usefulness with this reduced number of buttons. It might take a week or so, but you get used to the new handling.
The biggest change becomes apparent after pressing the MENU button, located to the top left of the display. The icons and text on the screen are completely new to Canon users. There are far more settings than in previous cameras. Of course, you can just set some of those once and forget about them, and then just change those you need. In addition, the camera has more personal settings. In this way, the camera can be personalised even further than before.
The viewfinder is far away from the body. This makes using it easier.
Anyone going from previous 1D series cameras to the Mk III, well, it'll take some getting used to.
The battery is also new. Is this good or bad? Well, the battery is better and lighter. Alas, if you continue to use a previous 1D series camera, you'll need to lug around two chargers, which is not all that good.
At Photokina 2006, SanDisk representatives told us that the new Extreme IV cards were produced primarily to provide sufficient speed for the 1D Mk III. In addition to standard CF cards, SD/SDHC cards can be used.
There are also new features: A 10 MP CMOS sensor, a dual DiGIC III processor which makes the camera blazingly fast, the ultrasonic sensor cleaning, software removal of dust specks in recorded files, LCD live view, the new, smaller Li ion battery, ISO 6400 sensitivity, 10 frames per seconds, lens calibration etc.
Image quality is not at first place in photojournalism. Camera is pretty much the same as MkIIn. At 100-400 ISO the photo is worse than from EOS 5D and EOS 1Ds MKII. But in higher ISO just one glace is enough to see a big difference. With MKIII we can reach one level higher ISO and even that the sensor has 2 MP more, we will se less noise that with MkIIn.
Anyway, I found the camera to be very good and quite an improvement compared to the Mk II N.
Along with the Mk III, I used other 1D cameras.
The difference from the front.
The top differs mainly in the buttons to the left and the hot shoe colour.
Of course, there's still a marked difference in user interface philosophy between the Canon (left) and Nikon cameras.
The LCD display on the Mk III is very large, with a diagonal of 3 inches. It is the small size of the screen on the 1Ds II that gives me hope that it'll be updated soon.