Announced in August 2007, The Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III Pro DSLR set the standard high megapixel DSLR's with its 21 megapixel full frame sensor.
However in 2008, Sony launched a 24 megapixel A900, Nikon launched the 24 megapixel D3x, and Canon released a 21 Megapixel EOS 5D Mark II, which offered a wider ISO range, and many claim a higher image quality.
Canon has yet to respond with a flagship high-resolution body. Rumors and speculation are rife that the camera is imminent, or delayed, or the 1D line is merging into one camera, or that Canon are planning to do something different with Medium Format.
What we don't currently have is anything that would be considered credible, and the 1Ds Mark III is now looking very long in the tooth.
Below are a list of rumors regarding the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark IV, newest first. Please rate how credible you believe these to be, and feel free to add your own comments/thoughts. If you have any more information, please email us at email@example.com or click Rumors Wanted. We'll continue to add new rumors to this page as we come across them.
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NI is reporting that a Canon person down under has flat out stated that there will be 'No New 1 Series This Year'. Few other details are given, but if true that means 2012 or later for the 1D Mark V and 1Ds Mark V (or the merged 1-Series body that has been rumored for many years).
According to a CR1 rated rumor (low credibility), CR is posting that September 2011 is the date for the 1D Mark V, a 32mp full frame camera that will also represent the merged 1D line (i.e., if true, there won't be any more 1Ds cameras).
According to CR, there will be no more 1D cameras after the next 1Ds Camera, and there will be no more APS-H bodies. They also imply this will happen in 2011.
CR gives this their CR2 rating, which means he believes there is some credibility to the rumor. Rumors of the 1D and 1Ds lines merging have been around forever, but without a new disruptive technology it is hard to imagine getting both high resolution and stellar low light ability out of one sensor (pixel binning to get the high-ISO ability perhaps?)
According to CR, some current cameras and pretty much all future models have been delayed. They currently put the 1Ds Mark IV as an early 2012 camera. They also stress there is a lot of uncertainty still.
According to NI, they have received info that the 1Ds Mark III replacement is scheduled for August 2011, and the 5D Mark III as a January 2012 announcement. Then they cite a different source pointing to a 'big announcement' within the next few weeks.
Rumors are still all over the place for both of these cameras, which usually means they are at a minimum a few months out, possibly longer. Of course the problems in Japan (including the potential for rolling blackouts through September) adds even more uncertainty to the mix.
CR is reporting the merged 1D line (i.e. 1D and 1Ds in the same camera) will happen sooner than expected, and will require new tech to have both lots of megapixels and high frame rate.
The rumor of the merging of the two pro lines has been around for many years now, and the 'new tech' is nothing new - your hi-resolution camera has smaller photosites which limit light gathering ability (i.e. high ISO), and the large number of pixels tax your processing power and data throughput. Your high speed camera uses larger photosites (better ISO performance) and generates less data (fewer megapixels) given a much faster performing camera. Merging those two into one is always going to be somewhat challenging, especially with current designs.
CR has received info that the 1Ds Mark IV will be a 40mp camera, announced either very late 2011 or early 2012, and it won't be called a '1Ds'.
Our take: It's unclear exactly what Canon's plans are for their flagship hi-res studio camera. The D3x has been out since 2008, and Canon have yet to respond. Presumably a D4x could be announced as soon as this year, so it is possible they will wait until then to respond. There have also been recent rumors that Canon are looking at buying a medium format company, that the 1D and 1Ds cameras will merge into one line, that the 1Ds line will be called something else, and so forth... bottom line is there is nothing really credible out there pointing to a release in the near term.
CR is reporting that Canon plans to make the 5D Mark III the flagship resolution camera, and make the 1Ds Mark IV something completely different.
As most people are aware, the 5D Mk II seriously hit the 1Ds Mark III sales numbers, so with some weather-sealing for the more hardcore landscape folks, combined with better AF, having a 5D Mark III as your top high-res camera could make sense. It would also make a lot of people happy from a price/performance perspective.
But then what does the 1Ds Mark IV become? There has been talk for years about consolidating the pro line into one camera (which would mean the end of the 1Ds line), but that is not what we are hearing - lots of noise about the next 1Ds becoming something else, perhaps a MF competitor? (In which case, it would still be the high-res king). Time will tell.
According to a post on CR (see source link), Canon appear to be letting the 1Ds Mark III die off without an immediate replacement. They expect a 5D Mark III to come first, at around 28 mp. They go on to suggest the 1Ds Mark IV (or whatever it ends up being called) won't arrive until late 2011 or even the first half of 2012.
In stark contrast, there are a lot of rumors floating around about an imminent 1Ds Mk IV on other sites. An upgrade to the 1Ds Mk III is long overdue, but most of what we are seeing right now looks like speculation and wishful thinking.
NI points to a comment they received about a Shutterbug magazine review of the Phase One 645D, which references a 32 mp Canon 1Ds Mk IV (or 34mp, depending which part of the comment you read). Having not seen the original article, it's hard to comment. See source link below for more info.
A CR source claims reports of an imminent 1D Mark IV are 'garbage'. He goes on to claim it's a 2012 camera, that the design hasn't been finalized, but there are a couple of prototypes floating around...
CR is citing a 'regular source' that claims there will be no replacement for the 1Ds Mark III in 2011, echoing other comments we've heard.
If true (emphasis on the word "if"), that leaves Canon without a competitive flagship studio DSLR, and with no real competitor to the Nikon D3x. However this could make sense if the noise about Canon making a radical departure with its 'pro studio' camera is true, or they could be delaying to see what Nikon come up with when they launch the D4 (presumably in mid 2011) - the Nikon D3x is two years old already, so an update could come in the next year or two (D4x perhaps?). Time will tell.
CR claims a known source with a good track record claims that the 1D Mark IV will be replaced in the 2nd half of 2010 with a new camera featuring a full frame sensor, 15 megapixels, and better high ISO abilities (presumably to counter Nikon's expected D4). They also claim this will be the only '1' series camera in 2011.
Assuming this information is correct (big assumption), that means one of 2 things: either the 1Ds Mark IV isn't going to drop in 2011, or the 1Ds Mark IV will be a radical departure (as rumored elsewhere) and will be called something different. Only Time will tell ...
According to NI, "the tight link between the 1D and 'Ds' versions is likely to be broken.". They've heard that the top camera will likely not be called a 1Ds, and won't have the standard FF sensor/shutter/viewfinder, since Canon is aiming at competing much more with medium format...
Assuming there is any truth to this rumor, the image circle put out by the current lenses determines the max size of the sensor, but if they are going for the MF market, a square sensor within the same image circle could make sense. (Of course, some kind of adapter - basically a teleconverter - could be used to enlarge the image circle on existing lenses and allow a larger sensor, but then you wouldn't want any associated loss in image quality or lens resolution if you are competing with MF).
As for shutters, Canon lenses typically don't have leaf shutters (unlike other Medium Format Lenses), but the shutter could be electronic (turn on/off part of the sensor to get the exposure). As for viewfinder, maybe an EVF (Electronic View Finder) or something new? It's all possible, and whatever Canon release will likely be their flagship for about the next 4 years, so if there is a game-changing technology that is ready for prime time, this could be a good time and platform to launch it...
CR reports a tip that there will be no 1Ds Mark IV, and that instead a 5D Mark III will take over the role. CR gives this their lowest credibility rating.
The 1Ds Mark IV is the high-res pro camera in Canon's lineup, and as such is primarily aimed at Studio, Fine Art and Landscape Photographers. While the current 5D Mark II is a better high ISO performer, this demographic cares little about high ISO. However landscape and even some studio photographers (your studio could easily be a beach) often require the weather-sealing that comes with the pro bodies. While a 5D Mark III type camera may take sales away from a 1Ds Mark IV, we just can't see Canon forsaking the pro market.
CR claims to have information indicating that both Canon and Nikon are aiming for very high megapixel flagship cameras, presumably the D4x and 1Ds Mark IV, near the end of 2011. He goes on to claim they will be somewhere in the 35-45 mp range.
CR further speculates that before then, both Canon & Nikon will release big megapixel cameras to come above the D700 & 5D Mark II, likely in the 28-32mp range.
No indication as to the credibility of the information was given. The D4x/1D Mark IV information sounds plausible, but since the announcement could be over a year away doesn't really mean much and could be subject to change.
The Canon in the 28-32mp range could well be the 5D Mark III, which is widely expected some time in 2011.
As to the 28-32mp camera 'above' the D700 (as opposed to a replacement?), that generates more questions than it answers. A D700 'replacement' almost certainly wouldn't have such a high MP count (more megapixels means more data throughput, which requires more processing power - the current D700 does 8 f.p.s. gripped at 14-bits, the current D3x drops to under 2 f.p.s. when in 14-bit mode, so such a high megapixel camera would almost certainly be aimed at a different customer than the current D700, more along the lines of the fabled D700x).
It also begs questions about Nikon's sensor strategy - new sensors have just come out in the D7000 and D3100, we are expecting a new sensor in the D4 and D4x, so are they really going to produce yet another big, high mp sensor as well? Time will tell.
NI has a detailed commentary from a "long time trusted source" on the Canon 1D Mark IV prospects. They claim that the high price of the D3x has lessened pressure to release the Mark IV, which was originally planned for August 2009. The August 2009 date is now unlikely, since 1Ds Mk 3 sales remain strong too.
They also claim Canon have a range of sensor choices here, up to 39MP, and that the delay also allows the new AF system to be considered - one of the main weak points of the current 1D series cameras. Since AF is a key factor in 1D4 timing it is also important to the 1Ds4 too.
Allegedly Canon have two release windows in mind, either January/February 2010 or August/September 2011 (3 years).
NI is claiming a big UK dealer claims the Canon 1Ds Mark IV could be announced on Thursday.
The same source says the Nikon D4 is already in their system and expected 'shortly'. A D4 this year would be a major surprise, with summer 2011 being the expected date and with the current D3s still retaining the crown as 'low light king'.
Northlight is reporting the 1Ds MkIV was said to be virtually 'production ready'
As for specs, 32MP, "Looks like a 1D4 with a bigger bump on top", New sRAW modes, AF looks to be the same as the 1D4, Similar features to 1D4 in most areas - inc. ISO (on a 32mp sensor????), 5FPS, and that the users are very happy at the image quality for a range of studio/location work.
CR has received an email stating January 2010 is the date:
“Yes, it has been delayed until January now, this is the second time this has happened although this time not due to a technical issues but more marketing. If everything goes to plan (which hardly happens to be honest), January will be a killer month for announcements:
1Ds Mark IV together with the new duo of high end lenses. The 70-200 2.8 IS II and of course the 24-70 II IS.”
They rate it as CR1 - their lowest rating - click the source link below for their response.
According to CR, the Canon 1Ds Mark IV is on track for a Photokina 2010 launch, with a whopping 32 megapixels (or possibly 28 mp), ISO 100-6400, 5 fps and the same body and AF system as the new 1D Mark IV.
"I have recently been into one of the Canon authorised service centres to pick up my recently cleaned EOS1ds Mk II.
I got into a fairly detailed discussion with the guy about the relative differences between the slightly older model 1's and the newer models (say the 5 mkII). His view was that the 1's were 'losing ground' in terms of technology against the newer models - the 5 MkII and the 50D.
He said that while the 1ds Mk III was still an awesome body, Canon were set to announce a whole new revamp to their top of the line model - and possibly other in the 1 range especially after Nikon announced the arrival of the D3X recently
He said the announcement was not due to be made until april at the earliest - but more realistically June.
NI is reporting that the 1Ds Mk IV is slated for a February launch. They are also reporting that the 1Ds Mk IV will not be yet - later in the year, and the Feb announcement will refresh the lower end of the DSLR range.
In an interesting comment (thanks) from one of our previous sources, we hear that some people at Canon are saying thet the 1Ds3 still has over a year's life, and that Canon will not be releasing a pro camera in 2010.
Nikon doesn't currently have anything over 12 megapixels for under $8k, so while there is not huge pressure there, 2011 does seem a very long wait.
Canon Hong Kong have announced a price drop for both the Canon 1D Mark 3 and 1Ds Mark 3, by about 10%.
Could be an indication the replacements for both these cameras are coming. Could be currency fluctuations. Could be just trying to clear excess inventory (although a temporary rebate would be more likely then)
According to NI, Dell has told at least one customer that it would not lease a Canon 1Ds Mark III to them (even though they had two in stock), because they are at the end of its product life cycle.
They would however lease the Canon 1D Mark III.
As NI points out, the expectation for a while has been that the 1D Mark III would be replaced first (as a response to the Nikon D3 combined with recent rumors of an 'N' version), so the 1Ds being replaced first would be a surprise to a lot of people.
That said, in terms of image quality, the Canon 5D Mark II does in some ways obsolete the 1Ds Mark III (unless you are going to take it anywhere damp/humid - see Canon 5D Mark II Problems).
Either way, this is an interesting piece of information.
Northlight Images are quoting one of their long-time sources suggesting the launch will be delayed to later in 2009:
Is it the combination of the economy and the less than enthusiastic response (in some quarters) to the Nikon D3x that makes a launch somewhat less imperative? That or a chance to test the new AF a bit more ;-)"