Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II SLR Review

Click here for our Main Menu

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II

Digital & Camera Controls

The back of the EOS-1Ds Mark II is the heart of its digital half. The large and bright 2- inch color LCD lets you review your images and access the menu system. The controls are well laid out and highly functional. The color LCD gives you 100% coverage when reviewing your images and it's now a 230,000-pixel monitor versus the 120,000-pixel display on the original EOS-1Ds.

Controls on the back (on the left from top to bottom): Protect/unprotect images and voice annotation button. MENU calls up the onscreen menu system. The SELECT button is held down while rotating the large Quick Control Dial on the back to make menu selections. The DISPLAY button puts the camera into playback mode. The Memory card select/Magnify button is used to select the active memory card (CF or SD) and in playback is used to enlarge the single image display. On the right is the Quick Control dial and its on/off switch, below that is the main power switch. Those four small holes to the left of the power switch is the microphone.

Canon EOS-1D Mark II Pro SLR.  Illustration courtesy of Canon USA.

The monochrome LCD shows the selected white balance option, image size and quality, CF or SD card selection, data transfer, folder name and file number. On the right are icons to indicate blue/amber and green/magenta white balance correction.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

The buttons below the data LCD are used to delete images, change image quality, white balance and white balance bracketing.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLRCanon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

The eyelevel viewfinder offers a 100% coverage (vertically and horizontally with respect to the effective pixels), this is as good as it gets. It has a 20mm eyepoint and -3.0 to +1.0 diopter correction. On the right side is the eyepiece shutter lever to block light from entering during selftimer or long shutter exposures and the diopter correction knob is on the left side.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR. Illustration courtesy of Canon USA.

Here's the layout inside of the viewfinder. This is the standard Laser-matte focusing screen layout, there are several different focusing screens available. In the center is the the Spot metering circle, the Area AF ellipse and the 45 AF point indicators. On the right side is the Exposure level indicator, the Maximum Burst frame indicator and the JPEG icon.

Along the bottom is the status line with "M" for Manual exposure, the "*" for AE lock / AEB in progress or Multi-spot metering, the Flash Ready / Improper FE lock warning icon, the "H" is for High-speed flash sync, shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, White balance correction, ISO speed, shots remaining and Focus confirmation light.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

The controls on top left hand side: Pressing (and holding) the AF and ISO buttons and rotating the Main Dial sets the Drive mode.

As the labels indicate, using a combination of buttons and the Main Dial lets you set the Exposure Mode, ISO speed, AF mode, Metering mode, Flash exposure compensation and the AE Bracketing modes.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

Controls on the grip side: Shutter release, FEL (flash exposure lock), the Main Dial, +/- Exposure compensation and the LCD illumination (light bulb) button.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

The large monochrome data LCD displays all major camera settings such as shutter speed and aperture values, exposure mode, ISO speed, focus mode, metering mode, drive mode, flash mode, exposure compensation, exposure bracketing, selftimer and battery status. The top and back LCD displays can be illuminated by a highly visible blue backlight.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

Behind the top monochrome data display along the back edge are the Assist button, AE Lock/Reduce button and the AF point selection/Magnify button. These buttons are duplicated on the bottom of the camera for use in conjunction with the vertical grip shutter release.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

And speaking of the vertical grip, here it is, shown from the side. The On/Off switch keeps it from accidentally tripping the shutter when it's not in use. You turn the camera up into portrait orientation and grip it along the front bottom edge. There is a shutter release, main command dial and FEL button on the front, the AEL, Assist and AF frame selection buttons are on the back.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

Images are stored on either CompactFlash Type I or II flash cards including IBM/Hitachi Microdrives or Secure Digital cards. The EOS-1Ds Mark II supports FAT and FAT32 file systems so any capacity card may be used. We recommend getting the largest and fastest card you can afford, a 1GB card would be a good place to start. The card slot I/O is optimized for high-speed cards like SanDisk's Extreme / Ultra and Lexar's 80x Pro Series.

Approximate File Sizes

L (Large): 5.5 MB (4992 x 3328 pixels)
M1 (Medium1): 3.2 MB (3600 x 2400 pixels)
M2 (Medium2): 2.6 MB (3072 x 2048 pixels)
S (Small): 1.9 MB (2496 x 1664 pixels)
RAW: 14.6 MB (4992 x 3328 pixels)

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR The I/O ports are located on the left side behind weather-proofed rubber flaps.

PC sync connector for external flash units.

This is the remote port for the Remote Switch RS-80N3, Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3 or the Wireless Controller LC-4.

Video out for connecting to a TV display device (NTSC or PAL)

High-speed IEEE1394 FireWire for transfering data to the host computer. It also allows for tethered operation via the EOSCapture software. And a USB port for PictBridge direct printing

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

The camera is powered by the Canon NP-E3 12v 1650mAh NiMH battery pack Canon claims the NP-E3 has power for approx. 1200 shots (at 20°C/68°F) and approx. 800 (at 0° C/32°F). The actual number of shots will vary depending on your shooting conditions and use of the color LCD.

This is the same battery as used by the EOS-1Ds but thanks to the new DIGIC II processor, the number of shots per charge has been doubled!

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro SLR

The supplied Canon NC-E2 rapid charger, a 100-240V AC unit that can charge two NP-E3 packs (one at a time.) A fully discharged pack is recharged in two hours. Canon also supplies the DCK-E1 DC Coupler for powering the camera directly from a 100-240V AC power source.

Continue on to
Page Four

Return To Our
Reviews Menu

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.