Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II SLR Review

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II

Canon EF Lens Mount

The EOS-1Ds Mark II is fully compatible with most Canon lenses (except the EF-S type) thanks to its Canon-EF lens mount. And it's important to note that because of its full-frame image sensor there is NO FOCAL LENGTH MULTIPLIER. The focal length of lenses used on the EOS-1Ds are the same focal length as lenses used on EOS 35mm film cameras.

Canon EF lenses.  Photo (c) Canon USA.

Canon's world-renowned lineup of professional EF lenses includes over 50 models ranging from fish-eye to 1,200mm super-telephoto. All of these extraordinary lenses (except EF-S lenses) are compatible with the new EOS-1Ds Mark II. Through Canon's advanced optical know-how and micron precision engineering, these lenses offer unprecedented capabilities that meet wide-ranging needs. Leading features include an Image Stabilizer (IS) that automatically compensates for camera shake via microcomputer, advanced aspherical optics, fluorite lenses, Ultra Low Dispersion (UD) lenses, and Super UD lenses.

Full-Frame Sensor & DIGIC II Processor

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

The successor to 11.1-megapixel EOS-1Ds SLR introduced in 2002, the new 16.7-megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II camera utilizes a full-size 24x36mm CMOS sensor that eliminates focal length conversion factors, and features dramatically improved image quality made possible by the combination of new image sensor technology together with Canon's exclusive DIGIC II image processor.

The new CMOS sensor features larger microlenses over each photosite compared to the EOS-1Ds resulting in an improved signal-to-noise ratio. On-chip noise reduction has also been improved to produce a cleaner signal before the image data is transferred to the DIGIC II image processor. The DIGIC II processor in turn produces rich, high-chroma color gradations for more naturally rendered images. DIGIC II also permits faster processing of large files and is twice as fast as the image processor used in the EOS-1Ds.

Driven by the new DIGIC II Image Processor, the EOS-1Ds Mark II has been supercharged for unprecedented performance and image quality, no matter the situation. Thanks to the DIGIC II Image Processor its capable of shooting up to 4 frames-per-second for up to 32 JPEG or 11 RAW images. By handling larger volumes of image data, the DIGIC II Image Processor also contributes to lower power consumption: up to about 1,200 shots can be taken on a full battery at 20° C/68° F, or around 800 shots at 0° C/32° F. With a startup time of 0.3 seconds, the benefits of the DIGIC II Image Processor are immediately evident.

E-TTL II Flash Control

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

The EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro Digital SLR camera incorporates the E-TTL II Flash control system first introduced on the EOS-1D Mark II model earlier this year. Though it remains compatible with all EX-series Speedlites as well as the E-TTL wireless autoflash system, the smarter E- TTL II flashmetering algorithm evaluates the subject as a "plane " rather than a simply a point and ensures that images containing various colors and levels of reflection are captured accurately and optimally.

The system compares the ambient light with pre-flash data reflected off the subject and recorded by the central 17 metering zones. It then selects the areas with a small difference to be weighted for flash exposure calculation. The system eliminates or under-weights areas with large differences, recognizing them as an extremely reflective object in the background or a highly reflective subject, then smartly ensuring it by considering the distance information data provided from compatible EF lenses. The system similarly prevents over-exposure when photographers lock focus and recompose the shot by considering the flash output level calculated according to the distance. The camera also allows users to select an averaged metering pattern by using its custom function settings.

The standard PC sync connector allows you to connect the camera to studio lighting or other external flash units regardless of polarity.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

Numerous high-performance E-TTL II compatible Canon Speedlites are available to meet your illumination needs. The new flagship 580EX features a short recycle time and high maximum guide number of 58 and supports color temperature data communication. Macro flashes include the ring-shaped MR-14EX and the MT-24EX with two detachable flash heads. Both models can control slave flash units in wireless E-TTL II mode. The clip-on ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter with direct contacts, E-TTL II compatibility and built-in AF-Assist Beam is also available.

Wireless Data Transfer

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

New for the EOS-1Ds Mark II camera is the optional Wireless File Transmitter (WFT-E1A). Given the enormous popularity of LAN-based image transmission systems and the demands for higher speed image distribution in the reporting fields, Canon developed this new accessory that allows photographers to transmit images from their cameras directly to a computer over a wired or wireless local area network (LAN).

The WFT-E1A transmitter attaches to the bottom of the EOS-1Ds Mark II, enabling the transfer of image data directly from the camera through a wireless or Ethernet-based LAN system to an FTP server. Users have a choice of two transfer modes: one that automatically sends each photo after every shot, and another that lets users select and send multiple photos after a shooting session.

The wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) system is compatible with the IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11g standards. A commercial wireless LAN access point or wireless LAN adapter is required. The transfer distance using the normal antenna is 60m which can be extended to 150m using the ERA-E1 antenna. Data transfer is secured with WPA-PSK authentication and TKIP encryption method.

ITP 1.2 Now Supports Canon WFT-E1

Toronto, ON - February 20th, 2005 - We are happy to announce the release of a public beta for version 1.2 of ITP! This new version brings the same powerful features that Nikon users have been enjoying for the last year to photographers using the new Canon WFT-E1 wireless transmitter. The assisted configurator system now produces configuration files for both the Canon WFT-E1 and Nikon WT-1 - simplifying the process of getting these complex devices to work on your system.

Like it's predecessor, ITP 1.2 assists users in the creation of configuration files for their wireless transmitter. ITP will fill in many of the details automatically, reducing the number of variables that photographers need to worry about when setting up the camera. Due to the complexity of IP networking, many users struggle to set up their wireless transmission equipment for the first time. Since ITP has access to most of the critical data that is necessary for this task, photographers can have their WFT-E1 and WT-1 transmitters up and running in much less time than what it would take to manually enter the values. In addition, ITP will also manage your library of wireless profiles and allow you to rapidly switch between different networks with only a few clicks.

As before, ITP 1.2 is being offered as freeware to the public. Commercial versions with additional automation features will follow shortly, however all current versions of ITP and PocketITP are free for anyone who is interested. For more information and to download visit the ITP website. ITP is currently only available for Windows (98, ME, NT, 2000, XP and 2003) and PocketPC* (PocketPC 2002, WM2003) platforms.

Camera Kit and Bundled Software

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

The EOS-1Ds Mark II comes as a kit and includes the EOS-1Ds Mark II camera body, NP-E3 NiMH battery pack, NC-E2 dual rapid battery charger, AC power suuply, DC power coupler, AC power cord, Video interface cable, IEEE 1394 interface cable, USB interface cable, shoulder strap and software bundle.

Bundled Software

Canon provides various advanced software with the EOS-1Ds Mark II. Digital Photo Professional facilitates the workflow of professional photographers by letting them develop and display images quickly on the screen and adjust images in real time with ease. EOS Viewer Utility imports RAW image data to a PC, converts RAW images and also allows the modification of camera settings.

Digital Photo Professional is an extremely high-speed RAW image processing program that can process images taken by any EOS digital camera (except the EOS D30 and EOS D60). Streamlined for efficiency, it displays images as thumbnails in a choice of three sizes, as thumbnails in a layout with accompanying shooting data and histogram, or in a window that fills the screen or is split to show the image before and after processing.

Image editing is possible on the main screen or editing screens (with up to 36 open at one time) and includes convenient features like simultaneous white balance adjustment of multiple images. The RAW image processing tool palette allows exposure compensation, white balance adjustment, dynamic-range adjustment, color adjustment and fine-tuning of tone curve characteristics. The RGB image processing tool palette allows adjustment of tone curve, brightness, contrast, hues and saturation.

EOS Viewer Utility is for displaying JPEG and RAW images captured with the EOS-1Ds Mark II. It's twice as fast as Canon's File Viewing Utility at image preview speed but retains the basic functions of the previous version. Its improved user interface also enables viewing and comparison of up to 6 preview images at a time. A remote image capturing function, EOS Capture, is included to replace the previous RemoteCapture and offers a much improved user interface.

See page 6 of this review for a more comprehensive look at the Canon software bundled with the EOS-1Ds Mark II camera.

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