Body & Design

Just like the EOS-1V and EOS-1D the EOS-1Ds has a 'hewn from a solid block of metal' feel about it. The entire case is made from magnesium alloy and doesn't creak or rattle in any way. When you first pick up the EOS-1Ds you first notice the weight and then the 'feel' of the camera. Closer inspection reveals the rubber grommet seals around buttons and rubber o-ring seals around compartment doors. The EOS-1Ds truly feels like a professional tool.

The EOS-1Ds 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.

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.

Hand Strap

Another item included with the camera is the hand strap which attaches to a dedicated strap mount on the bottom of the camera and the mount found at the top of the hand grip. With the hand strap in place you can also additionally attach the supplied neck strap.

Kudos to Canon for making this a standard item, it makes carrying a weighty camera such as the 1Ds far easier and leaves the camera in a more 'immediate' place than with a neck strap.

Rear LCD Monitor

The 1Ds' rear LCD is a 2.0" 120,000 pixel unit. It is protected by a plastic screen (which extends over the rear status LCD). The display is sharp, bright (there are five levels of brightness available) and clear.

Unfortunately (and rather surprisingly) it doesn't have an anti-reflective coating as we have seen on Nikon's D1, D1H and D1x. This means that the screen will suffer from a certain degree of reflection especially in brightly lit outdoor situations.

Top LCD Panel

The EOS-1Ds has the same top LCD information panel as the EOS-1D (apart from requiring one less '1' digit on the shutter speed readout and not needing the H/L indicator for continuous shooting mode). This 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, DEP, 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)
7 AF Mode
(One Shot, AI Servo)
3 Shutter speed (8,000 - 30)
Bulb time (Min/Sec: 00:00 - 59:59)
Depth-of-field AE (dep)
AF point selection ([   ], SEL)
FE lock (FEL)
Busy (busy)
Error (Err)
8 Drive Mode
(Single, 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 (100 - 1250, L)
Self timer countdown (10 - 1)
Bulb time (Hours: 1 - 23)
Error code (1 - 255)
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-1Ds manual by 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 LCD Monitor display mode
(Info, Single, Four index, Nine Index, Folder)
5 File number (1 - 9999) *1
Color temperature value (2800 - 10000)
Personal white balance (PC-1 - PC-3)
2 CF Card inserted indicator 6 Folder number (100 - 999)
3 White balance mode
(Auto, Daylight, Shade, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, Manual, Color Temperature)
7 Recording image quality
(Large / Fine, Large / Normal, Small / Fine, RAW)
4 Date transfer mark    

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

Diagram reproduced from the EOS-1Ds manual by permission.