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Canon 1D Mk.III Versus Canon SX110

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The Two Contestants

This will be a bit of an ongoing comparison between one of Canon’s pro-level cameras (the 1D) and a convenient point-and-shoot camera that was purchased on a binge at a bankruptcy sale of a large retailer- the Canon SX110.

This is not meant to be a joke. It’s part of my way to try and be a better all-around photographer and get used to equipment from both professional and casual shooter territory. I’ll be posting more of these types of comparisons as time permits. It’s actually rather fun and isn’t meant to be a put down for the more expensive camera- and definitely not a situation where a rinkydink point-and-shoot is being fed to a tiger den.

I’m not really out to prove anything, just to have some fun along the way- but this is really serious work.

The first comparison is completely casual and semi-scientific. You could say it represents more of a real-world type comparison. There were three subjects that were shot with both cameras, and a 100% cropped image is viewable if clicked below. Otherwise if you just look at the page content, these are much smaller resized thumbnails that you are looking at.

Can you guess which camera took which photo?

Subject03, Camera02

Subject03, Camera01

EDIT – Whoops. I guess I should set these to equivalent focal lengths. But I’ll do that next time, I promise 🙂

Subject02, Camera01

Subject02, Camera02

Subject01, Camera02

Subject01, Camera01

Contestant #1 – Canon 1D Mark III

The Canon 1D Mark III is a professional body digital SLR camera targeting the sports and photojournalist photographer market. It has a top frame rate of 10 shots per second, and a weather-sealed body. It has a 10 megapixel sensor known for its ability to work under low light, and both CompactFlash and SDHC memory card slots. While the sensor is not a full frame 35mm sensor, it is considerably larger in surface area than the standard APS-C sized sensors in entry level and prosumer digital SLR cameras.

The autofocus is very quick and accurate. Some of the first-revision cameras suffered from a design defect that crippled the autofocus sensors under high heat and bright light situations, but rest assured that if you have a camera built after May 2008- it is fast and very good at what it does. Few cameras like the Nikon D3 or D700 on centerpoint mode can come close to the speed of this system.

It has a very low shutter lag latency (when you hit the button, it’s so fast it feels like it’s part of your finger) and accepts all of Canon’s EF series lenses. Unfortunately you can’t use any of the EF-S lenses as they have a protrusion out the back and could come in contact with the mirror if you were to even shoehorn the lens to the body anyway. EF-S lenses were originally built for cropped sized APS-C sensors anyhow. Canon’s lens selection from extreme macro (close-ups) to long telephoto (papparazo/ birding lenses) are very deep and versatile indeed.

The camera has very fast controls, and I’ve been so spoiled by its quick interface that I find even the Digital Rebel series to feel sluggish in their handling (they really are NOT though!). There are only a few routines to memorize, and if you do that you can change almost any important setting without taking your eye out of the viewfinder. I purchased the camera prior to my wedding and honeymoon. It was both a impulse and planned purchase. I really love using this camera and it has served me well.

Contestant #2 – Canon SX110

The Canon SX110 is a convenient point-and-shoot camera with a variety of automatic and manual control modes. It has a 10x zoom lens, covering a range roughly from 36mm to 360mm using the ‘standard’ 35mm ratio as a reference. It does not have a viewfinder, and image composition is performed exclusively on its 3″ screen. It can record movies, and has a 9 megapixel sensor. The camera uses easily available AA batteries and use SDHC media. It can be found in retail stores for under $220 USD.

It is well made, easy to use, and has a pretty good ergonomics considering its lineage- as a commodity consumer product. It’s a neat little camera and I would recommend it easily for anyone looking for a simple, reliable camera.

Written by Tijger Tsou

November 11th, 2008 at 11:10 pm

One Response to 'Canon 1D Mk.III Versus Canon SX110'

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  1. That sx110 can take some really great pictures!
    Thank you for article it was ver interesting.


    16 Jun 09 at 9:14 am

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