Compact Flash compartment

The Compact Flash compartment is situated at the back of the hand grip. It can accept either Type I or Type II Compact Flash cards and is fully compatible with the IBM Microdrive. It is opened by turning a small knob (at the bottom of this image). The door itself is spring loaded and 'pops open' as soon as you turn the knob. Similar in design to Nikon's D1 you can close the door and pick up the camera in one movement. If you take a closer look at this image you'll see the rubber environmental seal around the inside of the compartment door.

  • C.Fn 2 allows you to disable shutter release when there is no Compact Flash card inserted.

Battery, Charger, AC Adapter and Compartment

The EOS-1Ds' battery fits into the base of the camera, it has a double locking system which requires you to turn a lever and then press a release button before the battery can be removed. The battery itself is of the NiMH type. Battery life is said by Canon to be improved on the EOS-1Ds (thanks mostly to the use of a CMOS sensor) and certainly our experience supports this, a full day of shooting over 500 frames and the battery was still going strong.

The battery charger connects to the battery via a plug on the end of two cables and is capable of charging two batteries simultaneously (a full charge of a completely flat battery takes approximately two hours). Note that there is also a 'refresh' feature for conditioning batteries. Oddly on this charger the indication light blinks once the battery is charged, the opposite of most other chargers (and even Canon's charger for the D30/D60).

If you take a close look at the last image below you'll see some of the rubber environmental seal around the end of the battery which keeps the compartment waterproof.

AC Adapter / DC Coupler kit DCK-E1

Supplied with the EOS-1Ds is the DC Coupler (a dummy battery with a DC-IN socket) and AC Adapter PA-V16 (100 - 240 V AC input, 13V, 1.8A output). This kit allows you to connect the camera to an AC power supply for studio shooting, remote capture and long Firewire connectivity (or simply while the battery is charging). Kudos to Canon for making this a standard item.

Environmental seals

Just like the EOS-1D/1V the 1Ds is fully environmentally sealed, this means that there are rubber O-rings around the controls and that compartment doors have rubber seals. In total the camera has no less than 90 environmental seal points (indicated in red in the image above). It is however worth bearing in mind that the camera is only as well sealed as the lens used, and for that you'll need one of the special L lenses with rubber grommets which fit flush to the lens mount:

  • Canon EF 16 - 35 mm F2.8L USM
  • Canon EF 24 - 70 mm F2.8L USM
  • Canon EF 70 - 200 mm F2.8L IS USM
  • Canon EF 300 mm F2.8L IS USM
  • Canon EF 400 mm F2.8L IS USM
  • Canon EF 400 mm F4.0 DO IS USM
  • Canon EF 500 mm F4.0L IS USM
  • Canon EF 600 mm F4.0L IS USM


On the right side of the camera (from the rear) are two rubber doors which can be opened and rotated 180 degrees (as shown here). They cover the PC sync terminal (flash), remote terminal and IEEE 1394 (Firewire) port. A 6-pin to 6-pin Firewire cable is included.

Note that the EOS-1Ds has no serial input (for GPS for example) nor a video out capability.

Flash / Accessory Hot shoe

The EOS-1Ds features the same E-TTL hot shoe seen on so many other Canon EOS SLR's. Full electronic TTL metering (a pre-flash before the main exposure) is supported by the EX series of Canon Speedlights (such as 380EX, 420EX and 550EX). Pictured below with the 550EX speedlight attached.

In addition the EOS-1Ds has the following flash photography features: a 1/250 sec X-Sync shutter speed, High Speed Sync (FP Flash), AF Assist (with speedlight lamp), Flash Exposure Lock (FEL), Flash Exposure Compensation (+/- 3 EV in 0.3 EV steps),

  • P.Fn 15 allows you to disable the flash unit's AF assist beam.
  • C.Fn 14 allows you to disable the automatic reduction of fill-in flash. Normally the 1Ds will decrease flash output in a well lit situation to avoid overexposure, however you may wish to cancel this auto-reduction if the subject is strongly backlit
  • C.Fn 15 enables you to choose from first curtain or second curtain flash synchronization


The bottom of the EOS-1Ds is fairly straightforward, the metal tripod mount is aligned with the center of the lens. The eyelet on the left is for attaching the supplied hand strap. The base is plastic, which is a pity, I preferred the D1's "rubber foot" which can often assist when using a street lamp as an impromptu tripod.

Note that this image was of the pre-production 1Ds which is why it doesn't have a serial number label.

Data Verification Kit

New to the 1Ds is the optional DVK-E1 data verification kit. This comprises of a SmartCard reader, a SmartCard (we assume containing Canon's encryption algorithm) and the Data Verification software. Enable personal function 31 and the camera will write an encrypted 'signature' into the header of each image, this adds approximately 2.5 seconds to write time. The Data Verifier software can then be used to confirm the image is authentic and hasn't been modified since it was shot.

At the time of writing this preview the Data Verifier software was only available in Japanese, however here's a clip of the software showing five verified images and six unknown images (without the signature). Canon claim that the software can detect a modification of data down to 1-bit accuracy, so it sounds to me like an encrypted checksum algorithm.

In the box

Inside the box you'll find a large range of accessories and items:

  • Canon EOS-1Ds digital SLR
  • Eyecup Ec-II
  • Battery Pack NP-E3 (NiMH)
  • Battery Charger NC-E2
  • DC Coupler Kit DCK-E1
  • Neck Strap L4
  • Hand Strap E1
  • Interface Cable IFC-200D6 (Firewire - 6-pin to 6-pin)
  • CD-ROM's (different than those pictured):
    • EOS Digital Solutions Disk (File Viewer Utility, Remote Capture, WIA driver)
    • Adobe Photoshop LE Disk
  • Manuals / Paperwork:
    • EOS-1Ds Instructions (main manual)
    • Battery pack and charger Instructions
    • DC Coupler Kit Instructions
    • EOS-1Ds Software Instructions
    • Quick Operation Guide
    • Warranty Card
    • EOS-1Ds Accessories guide