Click to take a QTVR tour of the EOS-1D Mark II
As of the time of this review, the Canon EOS-1D Mark II is the world's fastest
pro-digital SLR camera. It combines a new 8.2 million pixel CMOS sensor with Canon's
DIGIC II imaging engine and captures eight-megapixel JPEG images
at 8.5fps in continuous bursts of up to 40 frames and RAW images up to 20 frames.
Canon took their popular 4.1 megapixel EOS-1D and
doubled the resolution of the imaging sensor, doubled the size of the high speed buffer
memory and reevaluated, redesigned and in some cases, actually reinvented the technology
that makes the new Mark II camera the most reliable and responsive
professional digital SLR on the market.
The Mark II is not only fast, it's built to take the daily punishment that photo journalists
and sports shooters often subject their cameras to. The camera's exterior and chassis
are constructed of a rugged yet lightweight and weather-resistant magnesium alloy. Its
shutter is durability-tested to 200,000 exposures, the body is highly weather-resistant
with more than 70 gaskets and seals, and the camera's lens mount is made of stainless
steel (and is fully compatible with all Canon EF, TS-E and MP-E lenses).
Exposure modes include Manual, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority, Program
and Bulb and the ISO range extends from 100 - 1600 in 1/3-step increments (with ISO 50
and ISO 3200 possible).
Exposure bracketing options are standard
auto bracketing (available through aperture and/or shutter speed) and ISO bracketing
which keeps the speed and aperture constant but varies the ISO sensitivity to alter the
Exposure metering choices include
a choice of 21-zone evaluative metering linked to an active AF point,
Center-weighted average metering, partial metering (approx. 13.5% of the
picture area), Spot metering (approx. 3.8% of the picture area) and Spot
metering options including Center only or linked to 9 or 11 AF points as well as multi
spot metering. The metering range is from EV0 - 20 for all patterns.
Exposure compensation is possible in any Auto exposure mode up to +/-3
stops in 1/3 or 1/2-step increments.
At the heart of the Mark II is its extra-large, high-resolution, Canon 8.2
megapixel CMOS sensor. Measuring 28.7 x 19.1mm and 34.5mm on the diagonal, the CMOS
sensor is comprised of 3520 x 2336 recording pixels, each 8.2 microns square, featuring
primary RGB filtration and has a 35mm focal length conversion factor of only 1.3x.
The Mark II is the first Canon Digital SLR equipped with the next
generation DIGIC II image processor, which permits faster processing of large files with
superior color rendering and more precise detail. This new DIGIC II chip is twice as
fast as the image processor used in the EOS-1D and four times faster than the DIGIC chip
in the EOS 10D and EOS Digital Rebel.
In addition to the 8.2 megapixel resolution for JPEG and RAW image files, intermediate
JPEG resolution sizes of 6.4MP (medium1) 4.3MP(medium2) and 2.0MP (small) can also be
selected. JPEG compression settings can be adjusted independently over a ten-step range
for each of these image sizes. The Mark II marks the debut of Canon's new
"CR2" RAW file format standard. RAW, JPEG and RAW+JPEG image settings are now selectable
on the camera's rear LCD panel.
Adding to its speed and flexibility, the Mark II is compatible with CompactFlash (Type I
or II as well as MicroDrives) memory cards up to a theoretical capacity of 2048GB, and is
also equipped with a second card slot for SD cards, allowing for successive or
simultaneous recording on both types of media. Like its EOS-1D and 1Ds forebears, the
Mark II is capable of capturing sound clips up to a maximum of 30 seconds per
The Mark II's E-TTL flash metering system has been completely redesigned. Though still
compatible with all EX-series Speedlites, the smarter E-TTL II captures the subject as a
"plane" and ensures that images containing various colors and levels of reflection are
captured accurately and optimally. The system compares the ambient light with the
reflected pre-flash off the subject reported in all 17 metering zones and selects the
areas with a small difference to be weighted for flash exposure calculation.
Canon has developed entirely new circuitry, calculations and algorithms for the
45-point autofocus system. This new, faster AF operation provides faster "read and
react" times in One-Shot AF mode and takes twice as many readings between shots as the
with moving subjects in AI Servo AF, allowing for more effective sequential shooting.
Twin 32-bit processors that control the focus function and lens drive independently
accomplish the extraordinary speed of the Mark II's new autofocus system.
Included with the Mark II is Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) program that
offers users high-speed processing of RAW images. Rivaling and even surpassing features
of expensive, stand-alone and plug-in RAW image processing programs, DPP streamlines
professional photographers' workflow, providing time and labor saving options such as
instantaneous RAW image adjustment display and support for .CR2 and RAW .TIF as well as
Exif TIFF and JPEG formats. Among the numerous features DPP provides is the capability
to save multiple adjustments to an image as a "recipe" that can be reloaded and used
again or applied to other images. In comparison mode, original and edited images can be
compared side by side or within a single split image.
DPP is compatible with multiple color space
settings including sRGB, Adobe RGB and Wide Gamut RGB as well as Color Management
Settings using ICC profiles. Among the array of processing options provided by DPP are
color channels, tone curves, exposure compensation, white balance, dynamic range,
brightness, contrast, color saturation, ICC Profile embedding and assignment of monitor
profiles. Another new feature sure to be embraced by DPP users is the program's ability
to allow continuous editing while batches of previously adjusted RAW files are rendered
and saved in the background.
The upgraded EOS Viewer Utility/EOS Capture programs permit
downloading of images directly from the camera's CF or SD cards to the computer
(utilizing the supplied IEEE 1394 cable or a peripheral card reader) for use by DPP or
other programs, and the EOS Capture program in particular works together with DPP to
support tethered shooting with a full range of image adjustments in studio environments.
Once images have been adjusted in DPP, a transfer function allows immediate editing in
Photoshop or any other imaging program. The Mark II camera's software bundle also
includes a TWAIN Driver (for Windows only) and a WIA Driver (for Windows XP only) as well
the PhotoStitch program that automatically composites multiple images into a single
Set for delivery to Canon USA, Inc. authorized dealers in April, the EOS-1D Mark II
digital camera carries an estimated selling price of $4,499.
2004 Best Professional Digital SLR
Canon EOS 1D MkII