Canon EOS 1D Mark II
Last year Nikon announced the D2H, which was clearly aimed squarely at the Canon EOS 1D, with a very similar sensor pixel count and frame rate. Now Canon have upped the ante significantly. I wonder how long before the next shot from Nikon!
The following information was taken from a Canon press release:
EOS 1D Mark II
A new 8.2 million pixel CMOS sensor, faster DIGIC™ II imaging engine and ability to capture brilliant, eight-megapixel JPEG images at 8.5 fps in continuous bursts of up to 40 frames and RAW images in continuous bursts of up to 20 frames — thanks in large part to new Canon technology's innovative use of DDR SDRAM — make the EOS-1D Mark II the world's fastest pro-digital SLR camera. Building on the success of the 4.1 megapixel EOS-1D with its 8 fps, 21 frame maximum JPEG (or 16 frame RAW) burst capability, Canon 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 EOS-1D Mark II camera the most reliable, responsive, and remarkable professional digital SLR on the market. Key among those speed-increasing innovations is Canon's first use of dual 32-bit RISC CPUs to operate the camera's autofocus separately with one dedicated to detecting focus while the second controls the lens drive.
Able to stand up to real world conditions in the field, on the sidelines, or in the studio, the Mark II 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 (50,000 more than on the EOS-1D), 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).
Despite the fanfare associated with its high profile "Super Bowl premiere," the appeal and efficiency of the EOS-1D Mark II camera is by no means limited to the sports photo market. Given its heightened resolution and speed, the EOS-1D Mark II camera is destined to be a mainstay of portrait and wedding photographers. In-studio and out, the camera is capable of brilliantly capturing corporate headshots worthy of publishing in the business section or displaying on the boardroom wall and formally posed family pictures framed above the fireplace or adorning an end table, as well as the romantic even poignant moments as wedding vows are exchanged and the candid often comic antics that can erupt at the reception. What's more, the camera's ability to capture smaller JPEG files simultaneously with large uncompressed RAW files speeds postproduction workflow and makes providing prompt proofs a snap. In addition, Canon's new Digital Photo Professional software is especially designed to speed up the workflow of wedding shooters and provide much more comfortable operation than ever. With the Direct Print function, clients can see a printed image on site.
New and Improved
At the heart of the advancements provided by the EOS-1D Mark II camera is its extra-large, high-resolution, Canon-designed and produced 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, like its popular predecessor the EOS-1D, has a 35mm focal length conversion factor of only 1.3x. What's more, the EOS-1D 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 EOS-1D Mark II camera's top-end 8.2 megapixel resolution for JPEG and RAW image files, intermediate JPEG resolution preferences of 6.4MP (medium1) 4.3MP(medium2) and 2.0MP (small) are easily selected. JPEG compression settings can be adjusted independently over a ten-step range for each of the pixel resolution levels and freely set on the camera's LCD monitor menu as well. The EOS-1D Mark II camera also marks the debut of Canon's new "CR2" RAW file format standard that eliminates any potential confusion over the use of the TIF suffix found with the EOS-1D and 1Ds. RAW, JPEG and RAW+JPEG image settings are now selectable on the camera's rear LCD panel.
Adding to its speed and flexibility, the EOS-1D Mark II camera is compatible with CompactFlash (Type I or II as well as MicroDrives™) memory cards up to a theoretical capacity of 2048GB, and it features 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 camera is capable of capturing sound clips up to a maximum of 30 seconds per image.
Evolved E-TTL - E-TTL II Flash Exposure Control
Also completely redesigned is the camera's E-TTL flash metering system. 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. This system also eliminates or under weights areas with large difference recognizing them as an extremely reflective object in the background or as a highly reflective subject, 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 broader distance. The camera also allows users to select an average metering pattern by using its customs function settings.
Enhanced Image Quality and Color
The EOS-1D Mark II camera provides superior color rendition at default settings, reduces false color artifacting and produces less "noise" in low light settings thanks to its DIGIC II image processor and a redesigned state-of-the-art CMOS sensor. The camera also features improved auto white balance control, now done entirely off the image sensor; a new user-set white balance compensation which permits varying the color temperature in amber-blue or magenta-green, or combinations of the two; and new user-set custom Color Matrix and Processing Parameter settings which allow users to select their choice of color space, contrast, saturation and tone. A white balance bracketing option adds shifting in magenta-green or amber-blue. The Mark II camera's new EXIF 2.21 compatible standard for metadata now tags Adobe 1998 RGB color space profiles directly to user-specified images, removing the necessity to assign the color space manually in Photoshop.
Responsiveness and user-directed adaptability are clearly demonstrated in the range of the Mark II camera's shutter speeds — from 30 seconds to 1/8000, plus bulb (with user-set adjustments of 1/3, 1/2, or full stops). Maintaining (and contributing to) the camera's high-speed capabilities, the EOS-1D Mark II camera has a shutter lag time of just 55ms (adjustable to as little as 40ms via a new personal function) and the mirror "black out" time is approximately 87ms at 1/60 or faster shutter speeds, resulting in easy viewing even during high-speed shooting at 8.5 fps.
Further, Canon 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 EOS-1D 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 camera's new autofocus system. The EOS-1D Mark II camera's far-reaching flexibility, durability, and reliability make it the digital SLR of choice for action photographers in virtually every environment around the world.
The camera's brilliant and easy-to-read 230,000 pixel TFT color LCD Monitor (compared with a 120,000-pixel display on the EOS-1D) measures 2.0 inches on the diagonal and provides approximately 100% coverage. Image playback can be automatic after an image has been captured and is also reviewable simply by pressing the "display" button on the rear of the body. The Mark II camera also offers a "single image with information and histogram" that displays separate graphs for each R-G-B color channel in addition to charting the image's overall brightness. Other playback options include single image; a four- or nine-index image and a new zoom display that magnifies the image up to ten times in 15 increments. The camera also offers a video out to TV Monitor feature (utilizing a supplied cable) that is similar to the system introduced on the Canon EOS 10D but was not available on the EOS-1D and EOS-1Ds models.
The camera interfaces with computers via 4-pin FireWire (IEEE1394) at 100 megabits per second (more than twice as fast as the EOS-1D) and features a compact USB port on the side of the body for Direct Printing with compatible Canon Bubble Jet and Card Photo printers as well as many other manufacturers' PictBridge* compatible printers.
The EOS-1D Mark II also supports PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol), a universal data transfer standard that supports direct downloading in Mac OS X as well as Windows XP without the need to install proprietary driver software.
The camera's 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 added via the ISO extension option on the Menu). The EOS-1D Mark II camera offers users a choice of 21-zone evaluative metering linked to an active AF point, Center-weighted average metering, partial metering (covering approximately 13.5% of the picture area), Spot metering (covering approximately 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 EV0 - 20 for all patterns at all normal temperatures, and exposure compensation is possible in any Auto exposure mode up to +/-3 stops in 1/3 or 1/2-step increments. Available 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.
As with the EOS-1D and 1Ds models, the new Mark II features 21 built-in custom functions with an option for up to 27 personal functions which must be chosen and set up using Canon software and uploaded into the camera. New on the Mark II model however is the ability to save custom and personal function menu settings either onto a CF card or an SD card, permitting their installation into another camera or to be called up again in the same camera.
While the NP-E3 nickel metal-hydride power pack on the EOS-1D Mark II camera is identical to the one used with the EOS-1D and 1Ds, the camera's power consumption, hence efficiency and battery life, is far superior at 1200 shots per charge in normal temperatures (23ºC/73ºF). At 6.1 inches wide x 6.2 inches high x 3.1 inches deep and weighing in at 44.1 ounces (without the battery or memory cards) the Mark II camera is identical in size and slightly lighter than the EOS-1D.
Canon's New RAW File Software
The most significant software solution that is included with the EOS-1D Mark II camera is Canon's breakthrough 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.
With rendering speed that is five to six times faster than the File Viewer Utility bundled with the EOS-1D and 1Ds models, 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 bundled with the Mark II permit downloading of images directly from the camera's CF or SD cards to the computer (utilizing the supplied IEEE1394 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 image.
Together with the EOS-1D Mark II, Canon will offer an optional dedicated accessory known as Data Verification Kit DVK-E2 for image data authentication. Utilizing a Secure Mobile data card and reader, the DVK-E2 quickly scans image files from the EOS-1D Mark II or EOS-1Ds to determine whether they have been modified in any way. This feature is intended to support the use of digital images in legal proceedings and other applications where the authenticity of image data is crucial.
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 and the DVK-E2 accessory will carry and estimated selling price of $749.
© Copyright Bob Atkins All Rights Reserved
© Copyright Bob Atkins All Rights Reserved