Abstract: Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II Digital SLR Preview

Photography - Canon EOS, digital, nature, Canon EOS 20D

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II DSLR Preview

On September 21st a number of Canon websites released information on a new EOS DSLR, the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II. This wasn't a big surprise as strong rumors have been circulating about this camera for a while.

As expected the pixel count has been increased (from 11.1 to 16.7 MP, making it the 35mm DSLR pixel champion - at least for a while!). The image buffer is also now larger for JPEG files (32 vs. 11), though the RAW buffer isn't much bigger (11 frames vs. 10) which is a little disappointing. Frame rate is up slightly (4fps vs 3.3fps), a small but usable improvement. Canon now also provide USB connectivity as well as Firewire (IEEE 1394), though for some reason only the slow USB 1.1 protocol is supported, not the faster USB 2.0, so Firewire is clearly the preferred option for rapid data transfer. Perhaps the USB port is mainly intended for direct printer connection rather than data transfer, and in that role USB 1.1 is sufficient.

Power consumption has been reduced, which should double the number of frames which can be shot on a single battery from around 600 on the 1Ds to around 1200 on the 1Ds mark II. The shutter lifetime has been extended from 150,000 cycles on the 1Ds to 200,000 cycles on the 1Ds mark II

An optional wireless adapter which will allow IEEE802.11b/g wireless transfer will be available for the 1Ds Mark II (and which will also work with the EOS 20D after a firmware update), but no details on the price are currently available. The 1Ds MarkII should sell for just under $8000, pretty much the same as the 1Ds and it's expected to be available in November (2004). It looks like Canon's current DSLR strategy is to hold prices, but give increased performance and features (10D to 20D, 1Ds to 1Ds Mark II).

The following table summarizes the major differences between the 1Ds and 1Ds Mark II.

EOS 1Ds Mark II


Image Sensor 24x36mm 16.7MP CMOS 24x36mm 11.1MP CMOS
Image Size Options 4992 x 3328
3600 x 2400
3072 x 2048
2496 x 1664
4064 x 2704
2032 x 1352
Buffer JPEG: 32 frames
RAW: 11 frames
JPEG: 10 frames
RAW: 10 frames
Max Frame Rate approx. 4.0 fps approx. 3.3 fps
Image Processor DIGIC II DIGIC (?)
Memory Card Compact Flash (I/II)
Secure Digital (SD/MMC)
Dual writing capable
Compact Flash (I/II)
ISO Range 100-1600 (normal)
Optional L:50 and H:3200
100-1250 (normal)
Optional L:50
LCD monitor 2.0" TFT - 230,000 pixels 2.0" TFT - 120,000 pixels
Horizontal/Vertical sensor Yes No
Interface IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
USB 1.1
IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
Zoom on Playback 1x to 10x 1x to 3x
Color Balance Image Sensor Image Sensor
External Sensor
Color Matrix Space (4) sRGB
Adobe RGB
(2) User configurable
(4) sRGB
Adobe RGB
Wireless Options IEEE802.11b/g wireless None
Battery life 1200 frames 600 frames
Shutter Life 200,000 cycles 150,000 cycles

See also:

© Copyright Bob Atkins All Rights Reserved