Best Buy
  • Price: 4510

  • Company: Canon

  • Pros: Full frame CMOS panel allows unrestricted use of Canon’s wide-angle EF lenses. The 16.7mp resolution permits a double-page spread at 300dpi with minimal interpolation.

  • Cons: Menu system is poor. Frame-lines for only three focal lengths.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 9 out of 10 We rate this 9 out of 10

The update to Canon’s EOS-1Ds hardly comes as a surprise. It’s the studio-&-location version of the sports- and press-oriented EOS-1D, which was updated last year. However, the timing of the EOS-1Ds Mark II’s release is surprising – Canon announced it just days after Nikon announced its 12.4mp challenger to the original 1Ds.

Visually, the EOS-1Ds Mark II has hardly changed over its predecessor, but in fact each magnesium alloy panel has actually been subtly altered. The matte finish paint is less reflective too, though few users will notice at first. What matters is this camera now features an impressive 16.7mp CMOS sensor, and it’s still full-frame. With a maximum 4,992-x-3,328-pixel image size, the EOS-1Ds Mark II can punch-out a 300dpi image at 16.5-x-11-inches without interpolation.

At 36-x-24mm, the CMOS sensor is precisely the same size as a single 35mm frame, allowing Canon’s wide-angle lenses to be used without the irreversible cropping of the field of view associated with digital SLRs using smaller, often APS-C-sized sensors. Conversely, there’s none of the extra reach when using telephoto lenses, which is one of the reasons why sports and action photographers like the smaller chip. But, with so much resolution and detail available, it’s still feasible to crop an image to give a similar effect.

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Canon have increased the continuous framing rate to a respectable 4fps with buffering for up to 32 high-quality JPEGs or 11 RAW images, up from the 3fps and 10 JPEG or 10 RAW shots from the discontinued 1Ds. Even with the substantial increase, it’s nothing like the turn of speed available from the press cameras. This isn’t really what this camera is for. For many users, the EOS-1Ds Mark II will be seen as an alternative to using slower, versatile, 645 medium format cameras and digital backs. 
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Noise from the proprietary CMOS panel is impressively low, and Canon has expanded its sensitivity with a range the equivalent of ISO 50 to ISO 3200. There’s nothing to be gained quality-wise with the lower setting, but by adding the ISO 3200 option at least puts the spec on a par with recent semi-pro digital SLRs, and can be the difference between getting a shot and missing out. 
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Other changes and improvements include a more detailed screen, and the addition of an SD card slot next to the standard CF Type II bay, which can be used individually or to write files simultaneously, as back-up. Faster processing is claimed, and it’s certainly visible in certain areas. JPEG images appear on the monitor within an instant, but a supposed 50 per cent increase in AF processing is barely noticeable in practise.
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<b>Picture this</b>
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