Body & Design

The physical design of the EOS-1D Mark II is almost identical to the EOS-1D (and EOS-1Ds). The only noticeable differences are a slight pinch of the body around the viewfinder prism, the removal of the external white balance sensor and the addition of a third button below the rear LCD panel. The body is based around the EOS-1V's original design and has an extraordinary solid robust feel about it, as I noted in my previous reviews it really does feel as though it is hewn from a solid block of metal. Rubber seals around compartment doors and rubber grommets around all controls hint further at its robust and weatherproof design. It doesn't get much more 'professional' than this.

The EOS-1D Mark II has fully integrated design with a manageable control structure which tends towards avoiding accidental settings changes (a must for professional photographers). This means that most settings changes / navigation require the use of a button and command dial. The quick control dial dominates the rear of the camera and provides control over LCD functions as well as exposure compensation and aperture selection in Manual exposure mode.

Side by side

Below you can see the EOS-1D Mark II beside Kodak's new fourteen megapixel DCS SLR/c (which also has a Canon lens mount). The difference in build quality between these two cameras is pretty obvious both in appearance and as soon as you pick them up. Without a lens (but with a battery) the EOS-1D Mark II weighs in at 1.56 Kg (3.4 lb), the DCS SLR/c body (with a battery) weighs 1.05 Kg (2.3 lb).

In your hand

Both hand grips are deep and well design (being based on the EOS-1V) with a distinctive middle finger recess. In your hand the camera feels weighty but well balanced and extremely solid. The depth of the recessed 'lip' at the top of the hand grip provides a vital key for locating the correct grip as well as providing additional grip ability

Rear LCD Monitor

The Mark II's rear LCD is a newer 2.0" 230,000 pixel type (compared to 120,000 pixels of the EOS-1D). It is protected by a plastic screen (which extends over the rear status LCD). Put the Mark II next to an EOS-1D or EOS-1Ds and you can see the improvement, this LCD is much brighter, smoother and sharper.

Once more it doesn't have an anti-reflective coating as we have seen on various Nikon digital SLR's.

Top LCD Panel

The top LCD panel provides information related to the cameras photographic settings such as exposure, drive mode, metering, focus mode etc. As shown below this panel has a blue LED backlight which can be turned on by pressing the backlight button.

1 Shooting Mode
(P, M, Tv, Av)
6 Metering mode
(Eval, Partial, Spot, CWA)
2 Aperture (0 - 91)
DEP point number (1, 2)
AEB amount (0.0 - 3.0)
AF point selection (AF, [ ], HP)
Memory card number (1, 2)
7 AF Mode
(One Shot, AI Servo)
3 Shutter speed (8,000 - 30)
Bulb time (Min/Sec: 00:00 - 59:59)
AF point selection ([   ], SEL)
FE lock (FEL)
Busy (busy, PC)
Error (Err)
8 Drive Mode
(Single, Low speed continuous, High speed continuous, 10 sec self-timer, 2 sec self-timer)
9 Exposure level / exposure compensation scale
4 ISO indicator 10 Battery level (four stages)
5 Shots remaining (1999 - 0) *1
ISO speed (L, 100 - 1600, H)
Self timer countdown (10 - 1)
Bulb time (Hours: 1 - 23)
Error code (1 - 255)
Remaining images to record
11 Personal Function indicator
12 Flash exposure compensation indicator
13 Auto Exposure Bracketing indicator

*1 • C.Fn 8 allows you to select remaining shots, ISO sensitivity or shots in folder for this display.

Default display is indicated in bold.
Diagram reproduced from the EOS-1D Mark II manual with permission.

Rear LCD Panel

The rear LCD panel provides information about the digital portion of the camera including current image quality setting, white balance, folder and file number and other associated information. Just like the top LCD this LCD is backlit by blue LED's which can be turned on by pressing the backlight button on the top of the camera. A complete breakdown of information provided on the Rear LCD Panel is shown below.

1 White balance mode
(Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, Manual, Color Temperature)
5 Folder number (100 - 999)

Compact Flash card slot
Selector & indicator

6 File number (1 - 9999) *1
Color temperature value (2800 - 10000)
Personal white balance (PC-1 - PC-3)
3 Secure Digital slot
Selector & indicator
7 Data transfer icon
4 Image size & quality
RAW / Large / Medium1 / Medium2 / Small
RAW + Large / Medium1 / Medium2 / Small
8 White balance correction
Blue to Amber (B9 - 0 - A9)
Green to Magenta (G9 - 0 - M9)

*1 • C.Fn 8 allows you to select file number or remaining shots for this display.

Default display is indicated in bold.
Diagram reproduced from the EOS-1D Mark II manual with permission.