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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Review

October 2005 | By Phil Askey

The EOS-1Ds Mark II is the sixteen (point seven) megapixel successor to the EOS-1Ds which was announced almost exactly two years earlier. Carrying on from the EOS-1Ds the Mark II has a full size 35 mm (36 x 24 mm) sensor which means it introduces no field-of-view crop, an 18 mm lens on this camera will provide exactly the same field-of-view as it would on a 35 mm film camera. At first glance it's clear to see that Canon has stuck (as they did with the EOS-1D Mark II) with the same body and control layout. The timing of the EOS-1Ds Mark II's announcement was interesting if not totally surprising coming just five days after Nikon announced the twelve (point four) megapixel D2X, the megapixel one-up-man-ship continues.

Despite the significant jump in resolution from the EOS-1Ds (11 mp) to the EOS-1Ds Mark II (16.7 mp) the camera maintains an impressive four frames per second shooting rate and a buffer large enough for 32 JPEG or 11 RAW images. The EOS-1Ds Mark II's internal bus throughput of approximately 67 megapixel/sec is virtually identical to the eight megapixel EOS-1D Mark II.

Wireless transmitter

In July 2003 Nikon announced the D2H and the WT-1 wireless transmitter which screws to the base of the camera and is connected by a Firewire cable to the camera. This transmitter provides 802.11/b WiFi transmission of images either immediately or selectively later. This has been followed by the WT-2 which now supports both 802.11/b and 802.11/g and hence faster maximum throughput of 54 mbp/s (although we all know that in reality the true rate is almost half this).

Along with the EOS-1Ds Mark II Canon has announced its own wireless transmitter, the WFT-E1 which provides 802.11/b and 802.11/g transmission as well as a wired LAN socket. The WFT-E1 connects to the EOS-1Ds Mark II via its Firewire port. Another interesting difference between the Nikon and Canon offerings are that the Canon WFT-E1 has its own battery, probably because Canon intend the unit to be backwardly compatible with other EOS digital SLR's and none have power terminals on their base.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II vs. EOS-1Ds (feature & specification differences)

 

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II

Canon EOS-1Ds
Sensor • 36 x 24 mm CMOS
• 16.7 million effective pixels
• 36 x 24 mm CMOS
• 11.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes • 4992 x 3328
• 3600 x 2400
• 3072 x 2048
• 2496 x 1664
• 4064 x 2704
• 2032 x 1352
Processor DIGIC II Unknown
White balance Image sensor • External sensor
• Image sensor
Sensitivity • ISO 100 - 1600
• Boost: ISO 50 (L), ISO 3200 (H)
• ISO 100 - 1250
• Boost: ISO 50 (L)
Color matrix • 4x sRGB
• Adobe RGB
• 2x user configurable
• 4x sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Contrast • Tone curve
• 5 level contrast control
Tone curve
Sharpness Level • Level
• Pattern
Continuous Max. approx. 4.0 fps Max. approx. 3.3 fps
Buffer size • JPEG: 32 frames
• RAW: 11 frames
• JPEG: 10 frames
• RAW: 10 frames
Flash E-TTL II E-TTL
Storage • Compact Flash
• Secure Digital
(Dual writing capable)
Compact Flash
Digital connection • IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
• USB 1.1
IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
LCD monitor • 2.0" TFT
• 230,000 pixels
• 2.0" TFT
• 120,000 pixels
Orientation sensor Yes No
Playback zoom Yes, up to 10x Yes, 3x

Review notes

Due to the similarity between the EOS-1Ds Mark II and the EOS-1D Mark II we have re-used some editorial and some images from that review.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2005 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

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