The Canon EOS-1D Mark II N shares an almost-identical body with its predecessor, the EOS-1D Mark II , along with the same 8.2 effective megapixel CMOS image sensor and EF lens mount. The only outwardly obvious change is an increase in the LCD display size; the camera now uses a 2.5" display which Canon tells us has a particularly wide 170-degree viewing angle and a brighter backlight than that found in the original EOS-1D Mark II (pixel resolution of the display remaining identical). Burst depth has increased slightly, to 22 RAW or 48 JPEG frames, and startup time has apparently been reduced from 0.3 to 0.2 seconds.Other 1D Mark II N changes include the new Picture Style settings found in the EOS 5D model, replacing the Parameters settings from the older EOS-1 series cameras. There are 6 preset picture styles, as follows:
- Standard (standard snapshot characteristics, same as Digital Rebel series Parameter 1)
- Portrait (softer and more natural skin tones)
- Landscape (vivid blues and greens, enhanced sharpness)
- Neutral (natural color reproduction with settings that stress image elements, intended for post-processing, same parameters as the EOS-1D series)
- Faithful (color reproduction that colorimetrically matches the original as closely as possible, also intended for post-processing)
- Monochrome (same as on the EOS 20D camera, and the first time this feature has appeared on an EOS-1 class digital SLR)
All of the picture styles can be tweaked to the user's preference, and serve as a starting point for customisation. There are also three user-defined settings, allowing photographers to separately store their own preferred setups.
Canon has also taken a look at the EOS-1D Mark II N's dual card slots, and made a number of changes in that area. A new Memory Card Selection button speeds up the procedure of switching between card slots, and a new Split Recording function allows photographers to automatically save RAW files to one card slot while JPEGs are routed to the other, when using the RAW+JPEG mode. It is now possible to low-level format Secure Digital cards in the camera, ensuring that private data can be completely erased from the SD card (note that the CompactFlash slot does not offer this functionality). Folder creation and file numbering is now handled automatically when the EOS-1D Mark II N reaches file number 9999 in a folder, rather than prompting the user whether to create a new folder as in the older EOS-1D Mark II model. It is also possible for users to set the four alphanumeric characters which prefix filenames in the camera, if they wish.
There's also a new optional Ec-S focusing screen offering more accurate manual focusing thanks to more pronounced bokeh characteristic at the point of focus when using lenses faster than f/2.8, as well as the ability to set the camera to automatically zoom in on the focus point that was used to lock focus when an image was captured, rather than zooming into the center of the image. Magnified view is also now possible during the camera's quick review function. The camera also now remembers the last image viewed when browsing stored images, and returns to that image when you next resume image playback, rather than going straight to the most recent image - making it easier to browse through a large quantity of stored images while still capturing new images intermittently during browsing.
Other EOS-1D Mark II N designed to improve the camera's functionality include ability to adjust ISO while looking in the viewfinder, an enhanced range of settings for burst frames, the ability to access certain menus while images are being processed and recorded, improved PictBridge printing functionality, a new Auto noise reduction function, improved image quality in Magnified view, more complete information display including file sizes, monochrome mode, and R/G/B indicators, as well as more settings for the camera's custom functions. A new locking cap aims to prevent damage to the IEEE 1394 FireWire port, and the Canon logo now uses sunken lettering filled in with white paint. Software included with the camera now includes Canon's Digital Photo Professional, ZoomBrowser EX, ImageBrowser and EOS Capture.
The Canon EOS-1D Mark II N will go on sale in mid-September 2005, with pricing set at US$3999.