The EOS-1Ds Mark II is the sixteen (point seven) megapixel successor to the EOS-1Ds which was announced almost exactly two years earlier. Carrying on from the EOS-1Ds the Mark II has a full size 35 mm (36 x 24 mm) sensor which means it introduces no field-of-view crop, an 18 mm lens on this camera will provide exactly the same field-of-view as it would on a 35 mm film camera. At first glance it's clear to see that Canon has stuck (as they did with the EOS-1D Mark II) with the same body and control layout. The timing of the EOS-1Ds Mark II's announcement was interesting if not totally surprising coming just five days after Nikon announced the twelve (point four) megapixel D2X, the megapixel one-up-man-ship continues.

Despite the significant jump in resolution from the EOS-1Ds (11 mp) to the EOS-1Ds Mark II (16.7 mp) the camera maintains an impressive four frames per second shooting rate and a buffer large enough for 32 JPEG or 11 RAW images. The EOS-1Ds Mark II's internal bus throughput of approximately 67 megapixel/sec is virtually identical to the eight megapixel EOS-1D Mark II.

Wireless transmitter

In July 2003 Nikon announced the D2H and the WT-1 wireless transmitter which screws to the base of the camera and is connected by a Firewire cable to the camera. This transmitter provides 802.11/b WiFi transmission of images either immediately or selectively later. This has been followed by the WT-2 which now supports both 802.11/b and 802.11/g and hence faster maximum throughput of 54 mbp/s (although we all know that in reality the true rate is almost half this).

Along with the EOS-1Ds Mark II Canon has announced its own wireless transmitter, the WFT-E1 which provides 802.11/b and 802.11/g transmission as well as a wired LAN socket. The WFT-E1 connects to the EOS-1Ds Mark II via its Firewire port. Another interesting difference between the Nikon and Canon offerings are that the Canon WFT-E1 has its own battery, probably because Canon intend the unit to be backwardly compatible with other EOS digital SLR's and none have power terminals on their base.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II vs. EOS-1Ds (feature & specification differences)


Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II

Canon EOS-1Ds
Sensor • 36 x 24 mm CMOS
• 16.7 million effective pixels
• 36 x 24 mm CMOS
• 11.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes • 4992 x 3328
• 3600 x 2400
• 3072 x 2048
• 2496 x 1664
• 4064 x 2704
• 2032 x 1352
Processor DIGIC II Unknown
White balance Image sensor • External sensor
• Image sensor
Sensitivity • ISO 100 - 1600
• Boost: ISO 50 (L), ISO 3200 (H)
• ISO 100 - 1250
• Boost: ISO 50 (L)
Color matrix • 4x sRGB
• Adobe RGB
• 2x user configurable
• 4x sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Contrast • Tone curve
• 5 level contrast control
Tone curve
Sharpness Level • Level
• Pattern
Continuous Max. approx. 4.0 fps Max. approx. 3.3 fps
Buffer size • JPEG: 32 frames
• RAW: 11 frames
• JPEG: 10 frames
• RAW: 10 frames
Storage • Compact Flash
• Secure Digital
(Dual writing capable)
Compact Flash
Digital connection • IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
• USB 1.1
IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
LCD monitor • 2.0" TFT
• 230,000 pixels
• 2.0" TFT
• 120,000 pixels
Orientation sensor Yes No
Playback zoom Yes, up to 10x Yes, 3x

Review notes

Due to the similarity between the EOS-1Ds Mark II and the EOS-1D Mark II we have re-used some editorial and some images from that review.