In the last week, we've seen a sharp uptick in the number of queries received about EOS-1D Mark III autofocus. This article update is to address some of these recent questions.
Q. Have you tested the EOS-1D Mark III's autofocus with beta firmware v1.1.1 installed?
Yes. We have had installed in two EOS-1D Mark IIIs here the same beta firmware as was made available to photographers covering the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Osaka, Japan in late August.
Q. Does it correct the more serious of the camera's autofocus problems?
No. There seem to be changes to the AI Servo Tracking Sensitivity timings, changes that improve the feel of the autofocus. But in bright light, the camera's three most significant autofocus problems - poor initial focus, poor tracking and fidgety focus on static objects - remain. And as before, warmer ambient temperatures seem to make the problems worse.
In the August 29 update to this article, we said that the plan here was to not say much about the performance of beta v1.1.1, because of the possibility that the firmware could change by the time it was publicly released. We're going to mostly stick to that plan, especially since enough time has passed now that any upcoming firmware update is almost certainly going to be different than the Osaka-vintage beta version.
Q. Has Canon in Japan delivered their response to your report of EOS-1D Mark III autofocus problems?
No. We have been and will continue to be in close communication with Canon USA in particular, and we can say there is positive movement within the company in regards to the camera's autofocus difficulties. This hasn't yet translated into anything concrete, like an official acknowledgement of the problems, a release date for new firmware or anything else that might constitute news on the autofocus front, which means the wait to see how all this turns out continues for EOS-1D Mark III owners or prospective purchasers. But we're fully committed to seeing this through to its conclusion, as well as encouraged by the amount of Canon's attention this matter is receiving.
Q. When will you be writing about EOS-1D Mark III autofocus again?
The moment that Canon shares the results of their investigation or passes on anything else that hints at their intentions going forward.