Canon EOS 1D Mark II N SLR Review

Click to take a QTVR tour of the EOS-1D Mark II N

The EOS-1D Mark II N Professional Digital SLR preserves the speed, responsiveness, image quality and reliability of the popular EOS-1D Mark II while incorporating newly refined features that make the camera easier and more precise to use. Firing at the same 8.5 frames per second, the 1D Mark II N captures up to 48 full-resolution JPEG images in a burst. It employs the same large-plate 8.2-megapixel CMOS sensor as the 1D Mark II and adds a larger 2.5-inch, wide-angle view color LCD/TFT monitor for crisp image playback. Startup time on the new camera has also dropped to 0.2 seconds (from 0.3) with the help of Canon's DIGIC II Image Processor.

The EOS-1D Mark II N camera shares with the EOS-1 series family its all-metal body and chassis and weather-resistant construction with its shutter durability-tested to 200,000 exposures. And perhaps best of all, the price of the new camera, $3,999, is actually $500 less than the initial price of its predecessor.

In addition to the 2.5-inch LCD wide-angle view display are several significant improvements in image playback. The user can have a magnified view from any selected AF point. Another new feature on the camera is magnified view during Quick Review. When an image is displayed on the LCD monitor immediately after capture, the user can immediately magnify the view to check focus right away. Other improved playback functions include a last displayed image remembered feature and a more complete INFO display which now shows file size and includes notations for monochrome (B/W) and color (R/G/B) when the RGB histogram is enabled.

Just like the 1D Mark II, the 1D Mark II N lets the user save the same image simultaneously in both the CompactFlash (CF) and SD memory card slots, a highly effective backup mechanism. Photographers can also record to slot one until full and then go to slot two automatically. With the RAW+JPEG mode, it's also possible to save the RAW and JPEG images separately in each memory card. The RAW images can be saved in slot one and the JPEGs, in any of ten quality levels, in slot two, or vice versa.

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N Pro SLR.

In the analog era, photographers would select the brand of film that suited their own shooting style or the subject being photographed. In the digital era, they have to rely on the image quality features and settings provided by the camera manufacturer. Some users though have experienced confusion about what effects these settings would have on the image. To provide better clarification, a new feature called Picture Styles combines processing parameters and color matrix settings into easy settings designed to obtain the desired effect, almost like choosing a type of film to obtain a specific result.

For users who don't want to be bothered with post processing, there is a 'Standard' setting within the Picture Styles mode that helps to produce images that look crisp and vivid with the sharpness set to mid-scale and the color tone and saturation set to obtain vivid colors. In the 'Portrait' setting of the Picture Styles mode, the color tone and saturation are set to obtain nice skin tones with the sharpness set one step weaker than the Standard setting so the skin and hair look softer. Under the 'Landscape' setting of the Picture Styles, the color tone and saturation are set to obtain deep blues and greens, the sharpness is set one step stronger than Standard so the outline of mountains, trees and buildings look more crisp.

The Neutral setting is the same as the default setting for EOS-1 series cameras where natural color reproduction is obtained and no sharpness is applied. This is the ideal setting for post-processing. The Faithful setting is the same as Digital Photo Professional's Faithful, so when the subject is photographed under a color temperature of 5200K, the color is adjusted colorimetrically to match the subject's color with no sharpness applied. Monochrome is the same as the EOS 20D camera's monochrome setting and with User Defined, the user can create and save their own preferred settings.

Physical Views

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N Pro SLR. Photos are (c) 2001 Steve's Digicams

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N

Canon EOS-1D Mark II NCanon EOS-1D Mark II N

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N Pro SLR.

The EOS-1D Mark II N is extremely rugged thanks to its solid magnesium chassis/body.

Red indicates areas that have been weather-proofed for dirt and moisture resistance.

Continue on to
Features & Controls

1D Mark II N Specifications

Digital AF/AE SLR
Recording Medium
CF Card Type I and II, SD Memory Card (1 slot each)
Image Format
1.13 x 0.75 in./28.7 x 19.1mm
Compatible Lenses
Canon EF lenses (except EF-S lenses)
Lens Mount
Canon EF mount
Lens Focal Length Conversion Factor*
Approx. 1.3 times
High-sensitivity, High-resolution, Single-plate CMOS Sensor
Approx. 8.2 megapixels
Total Pixels
Approx. 8.5 megapixels
Aspect Ratio
3:2 (Horizontal : Vertical)
Color Filter System
RGB primary color filters
Low-pass Filter
Located in front of the image sensor, non-removable
Recording Format
DCF 2.0 (Exif 2.21): JPEG, RAW and RAW+JPEG simultaneous recording provided Backup image recording enabled (Same image recordable on CF card and SD memory card)
Image Format
JPEG, RAW (12-bit)
File Size
(1) L (Large): Approx. 3.2MB (3,504 x 2,336)
(2) M1 (Medium1): Approx. 2.6MB (3,104 x 2,072)
(3) M2 (Medium2): Approx. 1.9MB (2,544x 1,696)
(4) S (Small): Approx. 1.1MB (1,728 x 1,152)
(5) RAW: Approx. 7.9MB (3,504 x 2,336) JPEG quality: 8. Exact file sizes depend on the JPEG quality, subject, ISO speed, etc.
Folder creation/selection enabled
File Numbering
(1) Continuous numbering (2) Auto reset (3) Manual reset
Color Space
Five standard types plus two types that can be registered with color matrix
IEEE1394 for image data, USB 1.1 for direct printing, NTSC/PAL for video output
Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten light, Fluorescent light, Flash, Custom, Color temperature, PC-1 to PC-3 (Total 10 settings)
Auto White Balance
Auto white balance with the image sensor
Color Temperature Compensation
White balance bracketing: ±3 stops in full-stop increments*
White balance correction: ±9 stops in full-stop increments*
*Blue/Amber bias and Magenta/Green bias cannot be set together during white balance bracketing
Eye-level SLR with fixed pentaprism
Approx. 100% horizontally and vertically with respect to the effective pixels
0.72x (-1 dpt with 50mm lens at infinity)
Dioptric Adjustment Correction
-3.0 to +1.0 diopter
Focusing Screen
Interchangeable (10 types), Standard focusing screen: Ec-CIII
Quick-return half mirror (Transmission: reflection ratio of 37:63, no mirror cut-off with EF 1200mm f/5.6 or shorter lens)
Viewfinder Information
AF (AF points, focus confirmation light), Exposure (shutter speed, aperture, manual exposure, spot metering circle, ISO speed, exposure level), Flash (flash ready, FP flash, FE lock, flash exposure level), White balance compensation, JPEG recording, Number of remaining shots, Memory card information
Depth-of-Field Preview
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Eyepiece Shutter
TTL-AREA-SIR AF-dedicated CMOS Sensor
AF Points
45 AF points
AF Working Range
EV 0-18 (at ISO 100 at 68° F/20° C)
Focusing Modes
Autofocus, One-Shot AF (ONE SHOT), AI Servo AF (AI SERVO), Manual Focus (MF)
AF Point Selection
Automatic selection, Manual selection, Home position (switch to register AF point)
Selected AF Point Display
Superimposed in viewfinder
AF-assist Beam
Emitted by the dedicated Speedlite
Metering Modes
21-zone TTL full aperture metering
(1) Evaluative metering (linkable to any AF point)
(2) Partial metering (approx. 13.5% of screen)
(3) Spot metering
    • Center spot metering (approx. 3.8% of screen)
    • AF point-linked spot metering (approx. 2.4% of screen)
    • Multi-spot metering (Max. 8 spot metering entries)
(4) Centerweighted average metering
Metering Range
EV 1-20 (at 68° F/20° C with 50mm f/1.4 lens, ISO 100)
Exposure Control Systems
Program AE (shiftable), Shutter-priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual, Flash metered manual exposure
ISO Speed Range
Equivalent to ISO 100-1600 (in 1/3-stop increments), ISO speed can be expanded to ISO 50 and 3200
Exposure Compensation
AEB: +/-3 stops in 1/3-stop increments. Bracketing methods: 1. Shutter speed or aperture 2. ISO speed;
Manual: +/-3 stops in 1/3-stop or 1/2-stop increments
AE Lock
Auto: Applied in One-Shot AF mode with evaluative metering when focus is achieved.
Manual: By AE lock button in all metering modes
Electronically-controlled, focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speeds
1/8000 to 30 sec. (1/3-stop increments), X-sync at 1/250 sec.
Shutter Release
Soft-touch electromagnetic release
10 sec. or 2 sec. delay
Remote Control
Remote control with N3 type terminal
EOS External Flash or Dedicated Speedlites
E-TTL II autoflash with EX-series Speedlite
PC Terminal
Drive Modes
Single, low-speed continuous, high-speed continuous, Self-timer
Continuous Shooting Speed
Low-speed continuous: Approx. 3 shots/sec. High-speed continuous: Approx. 8.5 shots/sec.
Max. Burst During Continuous Shooting
JPEG: Approx. 48 frames (Large/JPEG 8)
RAW: Approx. 22 frames
JPEG+RAW: Approx. 19 frames
TFT color liquid-crystal monitor
Screen Monitor size
2.5 in.
Approx. 230,000
100% with respect to the effective pixels
Brightness Control
Five levels provided
Image Display Format
Single image, Single image (INFO.). 4-image index, 9-image index, Magnified zoom (approx. 1.5x-10x), Rotated image
Highlight Alert
In the single image and single image (INFO.) formats, any overexposed highlight areas will blink in the image display
Erase protection of one image, all images in a folder, or all images in the memory card can be applied or cancelled
One image, all images in a folder, or all images in the memory card can be erased (except protected images)
Direct Printing from the Camera
Compatible Printers
CP Direct, Inkjet Direct, and PictBridge-compatible printers
Printable images: JPEG images (Print ordering enabled with DPOF version 1.1)
Recording Methods
The voice annotation recorded with the built-in microphone is attached to the image
File Format
Recording Time
Max. 30 sec. per recording
Menu Categories
(1) Shooting (2) Playback (3) Setup
LCD Monitor Language
15 (English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Russian, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese)
One NiMH Pack NP-E3
AC power can be supplied via the AC adapter and DC coupler
Number of Shots
At 68° F/20° C: Approx. 1200
At 32° F/0° C: Approx. 800
The above figures apply when a fully-charged Ni-MH Pack NP-E3 is used
Battery Check
Power Saving
Provided. Power turns off after 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30 min.
Back-up Battery
One CR2025 button battery
Dimensions (W x H x D)
6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in./156 x 157.6 x 79.9mm
43.2 oz./1,225g
Operating Temperature Range
32-104° F/0-40° C
Operating Humidity Range
85% or less

Note: Note: All the specifications above are based on Canon's testing standards. The camera's specifications and physical appearance are subject to change without notice.

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