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Canon Unveils 1D Mark III d

Lake Success, N.Y. — Canon will ship the successor to its high-end EOS-ID Mark II digital SLR this spring, the company said today.

The EOS-1D Mark III Digital SLR boasts a number of enhancements, including faster burst speeds, better low-light shooting, a live view mode, improved autofocus, more file saving and customization options, dust reduction and a new CMOS sensor.

The 10-megapixel Mark III can capture up to 110 large JPEG or 30 RAW files at 10 fps. The speed boost is courtesy of a new dual DIGIC III processing engine, which performs parallel processing to juice the camera’s performance when saving to CompactFlash or SD memory cards (including SDHC cards).

The SLR sports a new, APS-H size CMOS with a new design that Canon says will improve low-light shooting to ISO 6400. It also offers a live view mode on its 3-inch LCD screen, which can be activated for close up shooting or remotely via an accessory wireless controller (WFT-E2A ) or when the camera is tethered to a PC running Canon’s included software.

The Mark III will employ a dust-reduction system that Canon dubbed the “EOS Integrated Cleaning System.” It includes a vibrating glass cover on the sensor to shake off dust. It also employs a software solution that records the location of any spots that may remain on the sensor which can later be purged from the image using Canon’s included software.

The camera takes a new LC-E4 lithium-ion battery pack which makes the unit 8 ounces lighter than its predecessor. It also offers more power, capable of 2,200 shots per charge. The camera can also display battery charge levels in 1 percent increments.

A new RAW file format — sRAW — lets shooters record in the uncompressed format at one quarter the resolution and approximately half the file size of conventional RAW images.

Canon did not officially announce pricing on the Mark III but said it would be similar to the Mark II, which sold for $7,999 when it was introduced in 2004.