Canon EOS-1D Review
Just like the EOS-D30 the EOS-1D is supplied with a TWAIN module which provides a RAW conversion and programming of certain camera functions. Unlike the D30's USB the 1D has an IEEE 1394 (Firewire) port and so will require you to have Firewire connectivity to transfer images directly from the camera, control the camera from your PC/Mac (remote capture - not yet available for testing) and create image parameter sets (tone, sharpening and JPEG quality settings).
TWAIN software features summary
Direct connection to the EOS-1D (via Firewire)
- Set camera owners name, date & time, format CF card
- Set personal functions (25)
- Program camera parameter sets (custom tone curves, sharpening, JPEG quality settings)
- Program personal white balance presets (PC-1, PC-2, PC-3)
- Browse, modify, erase and transfer images from CF card in camera
Browsing images (on camera or local folder)
- View as a thumbnail index (three sizes of thumbnail)
- View as full window preview
- Check / Un-check images
- Protect / Un-protect images
- Attach IPTC information
- Playback attached voice annotations
- Transfer images from CF card to local hard disk
- Re-save images into different formats (RAW to RAW, JPEG or TIFF)
- Acquire images (convert / transfer back to host application)
- Acquire a thumbnail index (contact sheet)
- Display detailed exposure and camera settings information for each image
- Erase image(s)
- Set RAW parameters
- Tone curve (gamma)
- White balance
- Sharpening (on a global basis)
- Exposure compensation (makes use of additional latitude in RAW files)
- Convert RAW image
- Acquire back to host application (8 or 16 bit or Linear)
- Save as JPEG or TIFF (8 or 16 bit)
After starting the TWAIN module (selecting 'acquire' from a TWAIN compatible host application) the main window is displayed. Those who have used Kodak's Acquire modules in the past will find the layout of this screen quite familiar. You can connect directly to the camera to browse the contents of a CF card or select a folder on your local disk which contains JPEG or RAW files. It's interesting to note that Canon have stuck to the Kodak convention of giving their RAW files a TIF file extension (not the CRW extension used on the D30).
Images can also be 'previewed' as a full window size image, in this mode it is possible to view the AF point positions by clicking on the AF point icon on the toolbar.
The preferences dialog is spread across two tabs (as shown below). It allows you to set various conversion settings: transfer resolution (DPI embedded in the file header), transfer bit depth (8 / 16), transfer JPEG (if shot as RAW+JPEG), sharpness settings, linear (no gamma correction / tone curve), false color filter (moiré filter).
RAW file manipulation
You can manipulate one image or a multiple selection of images, RAW images can have their white balance, colour matrix, tone curve and even 'digital exposure compensation' set before the image is either acquired or saved. Some of the adjustments which can be made:
Digital Exposure Compensation
Below you can see the same RAW image acquired with both negative and positive exposure compensation. Image saved in colour matrix 1 (sRGB). Original shot: ISO 640, 1/100 s, F6.3.
|0.0 EV compen. (Original)||+1.0 EV compen.||+2.0 EV compen.|
The TWAIN software also supports IPTC (Interational Press and Telecommunications Council) information which can be embedded within the images.
With one or more image selected you can either acquire (transfer the image back to the host application) or save files as RAW, TIFF or JPEG (seen below):
Image file information (from file header)
The text below is an example of the information available in the bottom right hand pane of the main TWAIN software window. As you can see it covers a wide range of exposure and camera setting information as well as a complete set of the custom function settings.
Custom Function Settings
RAW Conversion Performance
The test machine used was a Vaio Notebook with an 850 Mhz Pentium III processor and 256 MB of RAM running Windows 2000. Software used was Canon Digital Camera TWAIN Version 22.214.171.124. A group of RAW images were selected from the thumbnail window and then the 'Save File' option was used to convert images directly to the destination format. The conversion process was timed and divided by the number of images converted.
|Conversion||Settings||Time taken per image||Time for 25 images|
|RAW -> JPEG (5)||Normal, False Color Filter, No Rotate||8.1 sec||3 mins 22 sec|
|RAW -> JPEG (5)||Normal, No False Color Filter, No Rotate||6.8 sec||2 mins 50 sec|
|RAW -> JPEG (5)||Normal, False Color Filter, Rotate 90°||23.8 sec||9 mins 55 sec|
|RAW -> TIFF||Normal, False Color Filter, No Rotate||7.0 sec||2 mins 55 sec|
|RAW -> TIFF 16-bit||Normal, False Color Filter, No Rotate||16.8 sec||7 mins 00 sec|
As you can see the EOS-1D's RAW conversion is very fast, considerably faster than the EOS-D30 and faster than Nikon Capture converting Nikon RAW files. I was however shocked to see that it takes three times longer to convert / acquire an image when rotated through 90 degrees, so the advice from me (at least until Canon fix this bug) is always acquire in the default orientation and rotate the images later. Applying differeing white balance, color matrix or sharpening settings only added about 0.3 seconds to the conversion of each image.
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