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Thread: 1Dx III VS R3

  1. #1
    Senior Member Fast Glass's Avatar
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    1Dx III VS R3

    Ok, so I got my 1Dx III. And this is not the first time I have used or even owned it. And while I absolutely LOVE this body for what it does, and quite likely I will keep it. Part of me still kinda not sure about the R3 and whether I should swap it out for one of those instead.

    Or alternatively hold out for the R1.

    With the 1Dx III in front of me it does bring out some of the advantages and disadvantages of the body. And I think it does fit me well right now, with the only real big thing for me would be RF lens compatibility being one of the biggest drawbacks to the 1Dx III. But there are several little things that I do really like about the 1Dx III.

    But the advantages that stick out while fondling the 1Dx III;

    EF body, I don't know about you but I have always liked these bodies a lot and having used them extensively I do like it a lot better than R3 from a format/aesthetic standpoint. But super subjective and not a deal breaker. But I do like it quite a bit.

    Fast mechanical shutter, this is actually a very important feature for me as I will be shooting in situations where jello does show up. Fast action/sports. 20fps vs 12fps is very big for me.

    LONG battery life, not the end of the world. But sometimes I will be shooting 8k to 10k shots in a session. I can get 2k to 3k shots on a battery vs maybe 300 to 500 depending on the mode and how much AF action I'm doing. Having to deal with substantially less battery changes and much fewer batteries is a nice plus for the 1Dx III. And a cost savings.

    Higher ISO, yes I do use 800k ISO for very select applications. With DXO's incredible AI noise reduction it makes acceptable webized images.

    Not a huge deal but dialing in the FPS is something I like doing, since I don't always need a blistering 20fps. Being able to dial it down to what I want is nice, R3 is just 30fps or 15. A lot of times I set it to 10 or 12 or 8 ect. Not a deal breaker but I use this feature a fair amount.

    Dual CF Express cards are very nice, I recently lost virtually an entire senior photo shoot do to a corrupt card. Customer went and had it redone by someone else. Worse yet it was a friend! So I appreciate this A LOT!!!! Not quite a deal breaker, but it's a big plus for me. And the other photographer did a much worse job than me. But at least he got them images I didn't. Lesson learned.

    This might be the biggest thing for me, and what swayed me with the 1Dx III in the end, unlimited buffer depth. I sometimes shoot burst in succession a lot, I run out of buffer very easily. It can also limit what I do and have to time myself a lot more. Having an unlimited buffer has been a HUGE boon for me. One such instance is I shoot marathon runners, I can outrun the buffer quickly on just about anything, I can work around it. But not having to worry about it is SOOOOO nice and pretty much why I chose the 1Dx III in the end. It just makes you feel like there is nothing you couldn't capture. LOL.

    Disadvantages of the 1Dx III;

    Lower FPS in. Truth be told 10fps would do most of what I want, 16 is already fantastic and 20 just blows me away. I really don't need more than that. 30fps is just an insane amount of frame rate for me. But nonetheless it is a disadvantage.

    Not an RF mount. This may be an issue for me as some of my favorite portrait lenses are amazing in the RF mount and the new super telephoto lenses are very much in my sights. But probably a ways away. So I may get my moneys worth out of the 1Dx III. But this is a big advantage.

    Not and advantage or disadvantage compared to the R3. Because I don't know the answer to this. But which has better AF. I know shooting side by side with the R5 the 1Dx III has a decided advantage in the AF department especially with the 85mm f/1.2 equivalents of both systems. The RF is by far faster, but I have the darndest time hitting absolutely perfect focus. It basically doesn't, usually focuses on the eye lashes or the wrinkles around the eye, almost never the iris. Masks completely mess with it or glasses. 1Dx III is FAR FAR FAR better in this regard, even though it is much slower because of the older EF 85mm prime. It usually nails it every time no matter what. Huge difference. And since the R3 AF is more similar than different, I'm leaning towards it still not being as good. Maybe I'll rent one when it becomes available and record my findings.

    That's the only disadvantages that concern me really, maybe resolution. But 4mp really is barely noticeable. Both are pretty much the same to my eye in terms of noise levels. I couldn't tell a difference on the DP review samples. If there is a difference it doesn't bother me one way or the other. IBIS is nice, but I would really have to try it with an R3 to make up my mind for sure. I didn't really notice it in my typical shooting when using the R5. Partly because when I was using it, it was portraits and primes. I had plenty high shutter speeds anyway.

    As you can see not a lot that bothers me with the 1Dx III besides it being an EF body vs RF body. This definitely is a bit of a personal choice matter as I am pretty happy with 99% of EF lenses and the RF mount doesn't have a lot of lenses yet. So I would be shooting a lot of EF lenses still via an adapter. But the ones that are available are nothing short of outstanding!

    There are a lot of experienced photogs here that could definitely bring up some good talking points on this matter, both are EXTREMLY nice bodies and I feel so privileged to be able to own either.

    What you guys think? I think there could be some good conversations and some plusses and minuses comparing these two awesome bodies! And maybe you can bring up enough good points or logic to switch to mirrorless.

    For higher resolution work I did end up getting the 5Ds R, also as a body for the wifey as she has gotten bit by the photography bug and really wanted a body she loved, especially from a size and weight standpoint. She definitely loves it to death. Paired it with the 24-70mm f/2.8 II. Not crazy heavy but insane overall IQ!

    My ideal body probably would be the R1, but it's not available and I am doing a lot more shooting so I kinda need something now. Besides a lot of work doesn't need high resolution all the time. But I would still prefer to have a fast pro body with high resolution when that becomes a reality.
    Last edited by Fast Glass; 02-26-2022 at 08:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Good comparison! I need to also ask your opinion about OVF vs EVF. Which do you like better?

    I own the 1DXIII also. I agree with your points about the dual CF Express cards, unlimited buffer, and the crazy good battery life.

    I also own the R5, and I grab it a lot when I'm taking shots around home, especially if they involve people. And it's great for landscapes too of course. But I love love (love) my 1DXIII for wildlife. The R5 eye-detect AF doesn't work all that well on animals other than birds (at least, based on my experiences photographing elk). And with the track-pad style AF-ON button on the 1DXIII, I can quickly whip the focus point around and always get the dot where I want it. So not having the eye-detect on the 1DXIII is fine.

    I haven't used the R3, but it has the same track-pad AF button so it ought to be a killer camera. The only thing it doesn't have is an optical viewfinder. I sure like looking through an OVF, but I have to say that the EVF is pretty darn good.

    I'm already making plans to go to Mexico in 2024 for the solar eclipse. To view and photograph it, I will use my 1DXIII. The OVF will be a superb advantage, because I get to watch it in real life (I have a solar filter for the partial phase, and no filter is needed for totality). There's no substitute for seeing a total eclipse through real glass. If I were using a camera with an EVF, then I would need to watch separately with binoculars.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fast Glass's Avatar
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    I agree with you, the 1Dx III does have some advantages for sure.

    I'd have to shoot more side by side with the R5. But I'm pretty open minded for both OVF and EVF, thus far I'm fine with either. But I have not used it extensively enough like you to say which has advantages in what applications.

    I did give a shake down with my 1Dx III, 300mm f/2.8 IS II, 24-70mm f/2.8 II, 85mm f/1.2 II 5Ds R for a proposal shoot on Sat, OMG I forgot how awesome this body is!!!! The unlimited buffer depth (Used the 300mm while hiding in a corner) allowed me to shoot burst in a way I would not have been able with the R3. I think I did 600 shots in a matter of a few minutes of the proposal! It was a suggestion of the previous photographer who got the gig but couldn't do it. And he said to shoot lots of burst images when she is being proposed. Too get all the emotions and expressions. She did not disappoint with happiness, joy, crying, back to laughing, crying ect. She was over the moon.

    Now, I could shoot in a way that could have kept me from over running the buffer of an R3. But it so was nice having those extra frames.

    Now if I was shooting much much faster action the R3's frame rate could definitely be an advantage and change my mind. But to be honest 16/20 is very fast for my use. But this could definitely be a factor for someone else. But thus far I prefer the unlimited buffer depth. Maybe I will change my mind with use though.

    I have not ruled out the R3, still wanting to make the best choice. But thus far the 1Dx III has made a very good impression. I'm kinda in a way looking for an excuse for the R3. Because I try to be as objective as possible. Part of it is I have not shot an R3 yet. Which I'm sure will be very good.

    Also I shot a display R5 just to compare it to the R5 I had shot before from my good friend with the RF 85mm f/1.2. The guy at the counter was super insistent that the AF accuracy was excellent and he had shot it with the 85mm f/1.2 for a multiple shoots with at least 90% accuracy.

    Well even in decent light he nor I could get a truly perfectly in focus shot no matter what we did, masks made it completely impossible and glasses made it near impossible to get an in focus shot.

    And it always just barely missed, it never landed it with perfection. Good enough for web viewing or small prints, but that is it. I would not do an 8x10 with them. Needless to say I walked away with the same impression of the R5's AF as I always have.

    VS I shot probably 100 shots at the proposal with 100% dead on accuracy with no fuss and it was scary accurate. This was the EF 85mm f/1.2 II. Yes it is not near as fast, but it didn't need to be. It was more than fast enough taking only a split second to focus and it was dead on every single time.

    Needless to say I find most people who say the R5 has AF that is better than a 1Dx III has not shot one side by side or is not picky about their focus. Or uses lenses that have much more DOF and it is not an issue. But the 85mm is my bread and butter lens, it gets me my money shots every time and I use it frequently wide open. So I use it in a way that will show the weakness of any camera body.

    But, and it is a big but. The R5 is touted constantly has have far better AF than even the 1Dx III. Well if your version of better AF is auto detect. Then I guess it is. Personally I would rather have an in focus picture for taking a portrait with an 85mm f/1.2. The R5 is not capable of that. I have tried and tired. It just doesn't. Which is a shame really. Even old EF bodies could do that much.

    I'm more than willing to be proved wrong, but between two R5's and three people it just doesn't do it.

    So far I have regulated the R5 to having poor AF performance with an 85mm. There is just no nice way of putting it.
    Last edited by Fast Glass; 02-28-2022 at 10:41 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Glass View Post

    I'm more than willing to be proved wrong, but between two R5's and three people it just doesn't do it.

    So far I have regulated the R5 to having poor AF performance with an 85mm. There is just no nice way of putting it.
    The EF 85mm 1.2?
    What aperture are you shooting?
    Wide open?

    There is a reason the R3 is a 3 and not a 1.
    I think you might be seeing part of the reason.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Huyer View Post
    I'm already making plans to go to Mexico in 2024 for the solar eclipse. To view and photograph it, I will use my 1DXIII. The OVF will be a superb advantage, because I get to watch it in real life (I have a solar filter for the partial phase, and no filter is needed for totality). There's no substitute for seeing a total eclipse through real glass. If I were using a camera with an EVF, then I would need to watch separately with binoculars.
    It is good to know I am not the only one already making plans. The eclipse cuts through my home state, and there are some nice cabins just in the path. I was debating if it is to early to go ahead and reserve a cabin.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Fast Glass's Avatar
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    @HD

    So this would be the RF 85mm f/1.2 on the R5. Wide open.

    EF 85mm f/1.2 II on the 1Dx III, wide open.

    Stopped down this goes away.

    I would have to agree, the AF is just not quite 1-series level.

    Yes it is faster on the R5 just because of the lens, the RF focuses much faster. So if you are not being particular about the accuracy i can see why someone would think it blows the 1Dx III away.

    But it's all for not if the AF accuracy is not there.

    What I would like to do is take a extremely fast focusing lens like the 300mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm, both with out of this world fast AF. Mount it on my 1Dx III and my friends R5. Just a gut instinct I think the auto eye detect will not always be super consistent but a fixed focus point will. And the 1Dx III will still edge it out. But I would suspect in good light both being very quick with lower light levels where the R5 will show it's weaknesses.

    That's my predictions anyway without testing it yet.
    Last edited by Fast Glass; 02-28-2022 at 03:18 PM.

  7. #7
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    I have the 1D IV and it was always faster than any of the 5D body's. I always contributed this to the battery power. I actually ran comparisons on the my 500mm and the 1D IV with a timer. On smaller lenses speed was never noticeable but hit rate on in focus pictures was always higher by several %.

    I would expect similar for the R5 vs the 1Dx III.

    However the first lens I tried on my R5 was the EF 35mm f/1.4L II. As you know the lens is great because of the critical focus between 1.4 and 2.0 and the interesting bokeh it generates. It did great for me, but I only used it a few days.

    Another lens I tested on the R5 was the EF 180mm F/3.5L Macro, and I thought it was much quicker to focus than it did with the DSLR bodies. I was actually somewhat impressed. The lens had a reputation of being very slow.

    So far the critical narrow DOF focus I thought has been good.

    Did you compare the EF and RF 85mm on the R5?

    Not to doubt what you are saying, but I would put both lenses on the R5 and do a chart test in MF wide open to make sure it isn't a lens issue.
    Or even just a simple comparison of walk around shots on the R5 with the EF 85mm and an adapter.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Fast Glass's Avatar
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    I did with my friends R5. Same results.

    Now, I do realize this is a very narrow circumstance with me asking a lot from the AF. 85mm at f/1.2 is EXTREMELY narrow the DOF and we are talking about a very small margin of error. Basically none.

    But I agree, I have been trying to rule out things like lenses not focusing correctly or bad samples. I do not want to put something down do to it not focusing correctly.

    Just for reference though, my own personal 85mm f/1.2 II is dead on focus with two 1D III's, a 1Ds III, two 1Dx III's, an R5, EOS RP, 60D.

    So it's not impossible for it to not behave with a particular body. But I'm fairly confident if there is a mis focus issue it probably be with the body in question.

    But the results are the same with two copies of the RF 85mm f/1.2 on two separate R5 bodies, on a R6 and RP.

    Anything could happen, I won't dismiss anything.

    This is a matter of millimeters. It's not like we are talking about huge differences. But it's just one of those things like you said. It could be taxing what a 5-series AF can do.

    Now, I never did broad day light, it was either well lit indoors, dim indoor or cloudy outdoor with it being the last half hour of the day.

    It could be in good light it performs better. But mildly dim lighting is a frequent situation for me. So not exactly usable. Part of the reason for a extremely wide aperture for me.
    Last edited by Fast Glass; 02-28-2022 at 10:16 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Fast Glass's Avatar
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    But, I'm EXTREMELY curious now after this conversation to try and rent an R3 for a direct comparison.

    I do have a date to go with my buddy to do a direct apples to apples comparison with all my lenses and his lenses with the 1Dx III and his R5. And record the results along with possibly a video of it. My first hand at video making.

    Because I don't feel like an extremely exhaustive comparison has ever been done.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the additional details. When you're using the 1DXIII with the 85 f/1.2, what focus mode are you in? I'm presuming servo, with all the focus points activated and auto-select with people priority? In other words, the camera looks for people in the frame, and moves the focus point automatically. Is that correct? I know the 1DXIII does that very well, but it can't do eye-detect AF unless you're in live view mode. So I'm curious if you're using the optical autofocus (mirror down), and still getting accurate eye focus (better than the R5). Or, are you manually selecting a focus point, and moving it over the subject's eye yourself?

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