The new Canon EOS-1D Mark II is the successor to the Canon EOS-1D which was announced and introduced at the end of 2001. This new generation of digital SLR almost doubles resolution with its new eight megapixel CMOS sensor, doubles the size of the continuous shooting buffer. Despite the advertised 8.5 fps the EOS-1D Mark II actually shoots at a maximum of 8.3 fps (the same as the EOS-1D).

The EOS-1D Mark II is also obviously Canon's answer to Nikon's fast shooting D2H announced last year, it does appear however as though Canon are raising the bar with resolution and one would hope we can expect similar low noise performance from its CMOS sensor as we have seen from the same technology in the EOS 10D.

Putting the additional resolution and buffer size to one side there are also a variety of improvements and changes compared to the EOS-1D, not least of which a new version of Canon's DIGIC image processor, an extension of selectable ISO sensitivity, support for Secure Digital as well as Compact Flash and the addition of a USB port (although only USB 1.1). The SD slot and USB connector are interesting additions as they may hint towards potential future add-ons for this camera such as a wireless kit (pure speculation on my part at this stage).

Canon EOS-1D Mark II vs. EOS-1D (primary specification differences)

Canon EOS-1D Mark II

Canon EOS-1D
Sensor 28.7 x 19.1 mm CMOS
8.2 million effective pixels
28.7 x 19.1 mm CCD
4.2 million effective pixels
Image sizes 3504 x 2336, 3104 x 2072, 2544 x 1696, 1728 x 1152 2464 x 1648, 1232 x 824
White balance Image sensor only Hybrid external & image sensor
Shooting modes (P, M, Tv, Av) (P, M, Tv, DEP, Av)
Sensitivity ISO 100 - 1600
Boost: Low: 50, High: 3200
ISO 200 - 1600
Boost: Low: 100, High: 3200
Color matrix 4 sRGB, Adobe RGB, 2 user configurable 4 sRGB, Adobe RGB
Contrast Tone curve, 5 level contrast control Tone curve
Sharpness Level Level, Pattern
Continuous Max. approx. 8.3 fps Max. approx. 8.3 fps
Buffer size JPEG: 40 frames
RAW: 20 frames
JPEG: 21 frames
RAW: 16 frames
Max shutter 1/8000 sec 1/16000 sec
Flash X-Sync 1/250 sec 1/500 sec
Storage Compact Flash
Secure Digital
(Dual writing capable)
Compact Flash
FAT32 support Yes No
Digital connection IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
USB 1.1 (enables PictBridge)
IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
LCD monitor 2.0" 230,000 pixels 2.0" 120,000 pixels
Orientation sensor Yes No
Playback zoom Up to 10x No