Canon EOS 1D Mark II Digital Camera Press Release

Canon Announces the EOS 1D Mark II Pro Digital SLR

Canon's newly developed single-plate CMOS sensor with 8-channel reading technology delivers exceptional image quality and accelerated continuous shooting. Large and extremely sensitive, with approximately 8.2 million effective pixels (8.5 million total pixels) and a generous 28.7 x 19.1mm image size, it faithfully captures every nuance of your scene from highlights to shadows. Moreover, extensive noise reduction ensures an extremely high S/N ratio. Framing is natural because the sensor's 3:2 aspect ratio is the same as in 35mm cameras, and the sensor's large size realizes an effective angle of view that's just 1.3 times the focal length indicated on Canon EF lenses.

Compatible with DDR SDRAM, Canon's newly developed, state-of-the-art DIGIC II imaging engine achieves super high speed processing that results in continuous shooting of 8.2 megapixel images at 8.5 fps in maximum bursts of 40 (JPEG format) or 20 (RAW format) shots. This single-chip image processor employs original Canon algorithms to accurately convert signals from the CMOS sensor into crisp, high-quality images with natural color and rich gradation. By handling larger volumes of image data, DIGIC II also contributes to lower power consumption: up to about 1,200 shots can be taken on a full battery at 20ºC, or around 800 shots at 0ºC.

Professionals and serious amateurs alike will appreciate the new flexibility that two memory card slots provide. Images can be recorded on a CompactFlash card or SD memory card alone; on both cards at the same time as a safeguard against losing important data; or on both cards, one at a time, to maximize storage capacity. Type I and Type II CompactFlash cards with capacities up to and beyond 2GB are supported. Other advances include faster writing of image data to memory cards and an easier-to-open slot cover knob.

Images can be recorded in the JPEG image format, the RAW image format, or both formats simultaneously - with unprecedented control over image quality. The JPEG format is ideal when reduced file sizes are desired, and provides four quality settings (L, M1, M2, S) at any of ten compression ratios, as opposed to the Fine and Normal ratios available in previous models. Settings are easily selected by using a dedicated button that changes the setting shown on the rear LCD panel with each press. Canon's proprietary RAW format offers higher image quality, with rich 12-bit gradation and lossless image compression, but requires processing before use on a computer. This new CR2 version of the RAW format will be used on all future Canon digital cameras.

Seven Color Matrix settings are provided for JPEG and RAW images, allowing unparalleled control over color characteristics. The settings include five factory presets that were previously available and two new settings that allow independent user adjustment of color space, color saturation and color tone within a prescribed range. Users can choose the more versatile sRGB color space or the Adobe RGB color space, which is ideal for fine-tuning the color saturation of images on a PC or outputting images for commercial printing in an Adobe RGB environment. Five-level adjustment is provided for both color saturation (Low, Slightly Low, Standard, Slightly High and High) and color tone (-2, -1, Standard, +1 and +2).

ISO speeds are selectable in 1/3 increments (100-1600) and may be set as low as 50 or as high as 3200 through the ISO extension menu. This is the widest ISO speed range of any EOS digital camera. When combined with a high shutter speed, a high ISO speed can produce blur-free photos in dark settings.

Through 10 selectable white balance modes and other advanced WB settings, the user can obtain highly accurate color reproduction in almost any kind of lighting. New WB Compensation allows adjustment of blue/amber and magenta/green biases in ±9 steps, as well as combined use of light-balancing (LB) and color-correction (CC) equivalent digital color filters. In fact, 360 combinations of 36 (4 colors with 9 steps each) built-in digital color filters are possible. Improved WB Bracketing creates three bracketed images from a single shutter release by shifting the white balance by up to ±3 levels from the value set in the current WB mode. Images can also be bracketed to a magenta/green or blue/amber bias.

With its continuous shooting speed of approximately 8.5fps, the EOS-1D MARK II is the world's fastest Digital AF-SLR camera (as of January 2004). This record-breaking speed is achieved even when recording in the Large JPEG setting (approx. 3,504 x 2,336 pixels) - a major triumph, considering the EOS-1D's renowned 8fps continuous shooting speed is accomplished at about half this resolution. Moreover, 8.5fps are maintained during maximum bursts of 40 shots (20 shots in RAW format), whether recording in the One-Shot AF or AI Servo AF mode. Bursts are first recorded to memory to ensure maximum speed and then transferred to memory card for storage. The number of shots remaining during a burst is displayed on the right side of the viewfinder.

In comparison with the EOS-1D, the EOS-1D MARK II offers higher One-Shot AF speed and higher AI Servo AF focusing precision. These improvements are realized by newly employed split multiprocessors that handle AF operations via two CPUs: the AF CPU and camera CPU.

The new improved version of Canon's proprietary Evaluative Through-The-Lens (E-TTL) Autoflash system offers new averaged metering in addition to the evaluative metering available on other EOS models.

Averaged metering employs a new E-TTL autoflash recording algorithm to meter everything at the same distance from the camera, regardless of color, and calculate an accurate weighted average. More stable E-TTL autoflash control, an improvement much requested by EOS users, is the highly beneficial result. Even when a subject changes location, reflectivity or size, this stability in metering helps prevent underexposure and overexposure. Lens distance information is also taken into account, when available, to enhance metering stability should mirrors, white plates or other highly reflective objects be present in the frame.

Apart from the addition of averaged metering and the absence of infrequently used depth-of-field AE, the EOS-1D MARK II offers the same AF modes, metering modes and other shooting modes as the EOS-1D, but with numerous improvements.

By taking advantage of Custom Functions and Personal Functions, users can easily tailor the EOS-1D MARK II to meet their own specialized needs.

21 Custom Functions are provided with 67 settings and various improvements requested by EOS-1D users. These include the removal of the ISO speed extension setting to the ISO speed extension menu, the addition of new E-TTL averaged autoflash metering, and the inclusion of AI Servo continuous shooting, which was previously a Personal Function.

25 Personal Functions can be installed in the camera at any time, via driver software, to meet high-level customization needs. New features include the ability to append data for data verification and the ability to apply the Quick Control Dial's ON/OFF switch to the Main Dial to prevent accidental changes to settings when shooting remotely with EOS Capture.

Another requested feature, the ability to save and read camera settings, is now also possible. Almost all camera settings that appear in the top LCD panel, rear LCD panel, and menus (including Custom Functions and Personal Functions) can be saved to a memory card and later reloaded for use by simply inserting the card.

Designed as a serious tool for professionals, the EOS-1D MARK II performs reliably in the most demanding shooting conditions. Its handsome body offers the same high durability as the EOS-1D and EOS-1Ds, thanks to rigid magnesium alloy in the chassis and external covers (top, front, rear and memory card slot cover). Magnesium alloy also contributes to effective electromagnetic shielding, a long-lasting luxurious finish, and extremely low body weight that landscape photographers will surely appreciate.

Exceptional durability extends to the inner mechanisms as well, which are shielded from dust and water by protective sealing on all exposed moving parts. Improvements include shutter durability which, at 200,000 shutter cycles, is 30% higher than in the EOS-1D and EOS-1Ds.

The new 230,000-pixel, high-definition, 2.0-inch color TFT LCD offers nearly twice the resolution of monitors on other EOS digital models. In addition to providing superior image detail, it offers nearly 100% coverage of JPEG images, a new bolder typeface that simplifies reading of text menus, and brightness adjustable in five levels via LCD brightness menu. Users can choose to display one (Single), four (4-image index) or nine (9-image index) images on the screen, and the Single (Info) setting displays one image with detailed shooting information. A highlight alert function draws attention to white portions of the image that lack image information by blinking them when viewed in the Single (Info) or Single setting.

Photos displayed on the high-resolution LCD monitor can be magnified from 1.5X to 10X in 15 increments, allowing users to check the focus and exposure of images with high precision. Operation is also extremely simple, since users need only press the Enlarge/Reduce button in combination with the AF point selector to zoom in, the AE lock button to zoom out, the Main Dial to scroll horizontally, or the Quick Control Dial to scroll vertically. For convenience, the magnification ratio selected for one image is maintained when the next image is viewed. The expanded zoom display function is not available on the EOS-1D and is only available with one fixed ratio on the EOS-1Ds.

The RGB histogram function - a first for any EOS digital model - is a unique feature available on very few commercial digital cameras. This professional feature enables separate checking of color information for the red, green and blue channels, as well as inspection of other color-related information such as white balance bias, color balance, color saturation and color gradation compression. Available when viewing any recorded image in the Single (Info.) image playback mode, the RGB histogram is displayed in the same histogram display menu as the brightness histogram, which is also available on the EOS-1D and EOS-1Ds. Users can switch between the two histograms with ease.

To enable easier viewing, images shot vertically are automatically rotated when played back on the LCD monitor. Manual clockwise rotation of the image is also possible by 90, 270 or 0 degrees through the image rotation menu. Automatic rotation is not available for image previews, but is available during video output of images to an NTSC or PAL external monitor via compatible video cable.

The viewfinder provides true 100% coverage of what is recorded, as well as indicators for ambient and flash exposure compensation, WB correction, shots remaining in a burst, JPEG image recording and current ISO setting. An adjustable diopter and eyepiece shutter are of course included, and the diopter range can be extended using E-series diopters for the EOS-1 series.

Canon's world-renowned lineup of professional EF lenses includes over 50 models ranging from 14mm ultra-wide-angle to 1,200mm super-telephoto. All of these extraordinary lenses, except the EF-S, are compatible with the new EOS-1D MARK II.

Through Canon's advanced optical know-how and micron precision engineering, EF lenses offer unprecedented capabilities that meet wide-ranging needs. Leading features include an Ultrasonic Motor that silently drives the autofocus mechanism with very high precision, an Image Stabilizer that automatically compensates for camera shake via microcomputer, advanced aspherical optics, fluorite lenses, Ultra Low Dispersion (UD) lenses, and Super UD lenses.

Canon's sophisticated electronic lens mount technology communicates with the camera as soon as the lens is mounted to transfer information about the lens, such as its type, f-number and focal length, thus enabling faster, more precise control from the camera.

Numerous convenient accessories are available for the EOS-1D MARK II, allowing users to meet additional needs. Besides a new camera strap and DVK-E2 data verification kit designed exclusively for this model, the EOS-1D MARK II is compatible with all accessories available for the EOS-1D and EOS-1Ds (except the DVK-E1, IFC-450D6, IFC-200D6). These accessories include the Ni-MH battery pack NP-E3 and Ni-MH battery charger NC-E2, DC coupler kit DCK-E1, various interface cables, a range of Speedlites, the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2, and many more.

Back to the Canon EOS 1D Mark II review.

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