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Canon EOS-1D Mark II

Canon doubles the resolution of their speed demon SLR, while actually increasing its speed and cutting image noise. Amazing!

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Page 2:Comparison, Canon EOS-1D Mark II vs EOS-1D

Review First Posted: 01/27/2005

Comparison, Canon EOS-1D Mark II vs EOS-1D

Since many of our readers will already be familiar with the earlier Canon EOS-1D, we've prepared the following table showing differences between the two models:

Canon EOS-1D Mark II vs EOS 1-D
Camera EOS-1D Mark II EOS-1D
Sensor Type 28.7 x 19.1 mm CMOS w/ RGBG filter 28.7 x 19.1 mm CCD w/ RGBG filter
Sensor Improvements Larger microlenses, size of gaps between microlenses reduced by 50%. Greater area of each pixel on the sensor sensitive to light, due to elimination of transistors in each pixel. Canon claims higher sensitivity, higher dynamic range -
Sensor Resolution (total) 8.5 megapixels 4.5 megapixels
Sensor Resolution (effective) 8.2 megapixels 4.1 megapixels
Image Sizes 3504 x 2336, 3104 x 2072, 2544 x 1696, 1728 x 1152 2464 x 1648, 1232 x 824
File Formats Four JPEG sizes, 10 possible levels of compression, plus CR2 RAW format.
(CR2 format allows more room for metadata, much of which is supported by Photoshop CS.)
Two JPEG sizes, Original CRW RAW format
Image Storage Compact Flash and Secure Digital cards supported.

Can write to either card separately, or both cards simultaneously (redundant backup) or sequentially ("reserve tank").

Opening card compartment halts writing, but does not erase written data. Writing resumes when cover is closed again.

Compact Flash only
FAT 32 file system support Yes No
IPTC data support RAW and JPEG files RAW files only
RAW File Format .CR2 (Canon RAW, Second Edition) .CRW (Canon RAW)
Compliance EXIF 2.21 (Adds Adobe RGB support to EXIF 2 spec.) DCF (EXIF 1?)
ISO Sensitivity ISO 100 - 1600
(extendable to 50 to 3200 via menu option)
ISO 200 - 1600
(extendable to 100 to 3200 via menu option)
Image Noise High sensitivity CMOS sensor and new second-generation on-chip 3-stage noise reduction circuit. CMOS sensor consumes less power, so less temperature rise and noise in longer exposures. Digital control circuit board completely separated from analog circuitry. Flex circuit wiring reconfigured to shorten analog signal paths. Noise is lower at all ISO ratings, especially above ISO 400. -
Noise Reduction New long-exposure noise reduction feature, using dark frame subtraction. Shoots a second identical shot after image capture with shutter closed, then subtracts this frame to remove fixed long-exposure noise. Power to the output amp and circuit-driving standard current is cut off during long exposures to reduce noise. -
White Balance
CMOS image sensor only
(New white balance algorithm eliminates need for external sensor)
External light sensor plus CCD image sensor
White Balance and Color Rendering Auto white balance now more precise and accurate in low color temperatures (eg, tungsten light sources). False colors and noise in low light have been reduced.

White balance compensation function added, permits up to 9 levels of adjustment for each color. Blue/amber and magenta/green bias adjustments can be set simultaneously.

White balance bracketing now done in a single shot (3 bracketed files from one exposure).

Color reproduction of high-saturation, bright subjects improved.

Color Matrix 4 sRGB, Adobe RGB, 2 user-set

User-set color matrices can be set to sRGB or Adobe, any of 5 saturation levels, or 5 color tone levels

Menu now states what each color matrix setting is (standard, portrait, etc), rather than just displaying a number.

4 sRGB, Adobe RGB
Contrast Control Tone curve, plus 5-level contrast adjustment Tone curve
Sharpness Control Level Level, radius
Orientation Sensor Yes No
Shutter Durability 200,000 cycles 150,000 cycles
Shutter Speed 1/8,000 to 30 sec, bulb 1/16,000 to 30 sec, bulb
X-sync Speed 1/250 sec. 1/500 sec.
Burst Speed 8.1 frames per second
(By actual measurement)
7.7 frames per second
(By actual measurement)
Burst Depth (Large / Fine JPEG) 40 frames 21 frames
Burst Depth (RAW) 20 frames 16 frames
Start-up Time (approx.) 0.5 seconds 0.9 seconds
Shutter Lag (approx.) 55 milliseconds
(40 msec with Personal Function 26)
55 milliseconds
Autofocus Improvements Autofocus function now divided between two 32-bit RISC microprocessors. Twice as many focus operations per unit time than the (already very fast) EOS-1D.

AI Servo AF/Predictive AF uses statistical information from previous focusing operations to enhance speed and improve precision. Faster predictive AF means AF more likely to catch subject movement just prior to the shutter release.

Bottom line, one-shot AF speed is higher for Mark II, and AI Servo AF precision is higher.

(Single processor for AF operations.) 
Shooting Modes P, M, Tv, Av P, M, Tv, Av, DEP
(Depth of field priority)
Flash Metering E-TTL II E-TTL
Flash Metering Improvements Ambient light measurement before pre-flash and distance information from lens helps to identify and ignore highly reflective or specular objects, avoiding underexposure.

Flash autoexposure no longer dependent on active AF point. Compares ambient and flash exposures at 17 central metering zones, uses match between ambient and flash to exclude reflective and non-subject objects.

Distance information from EF lenses also incorporated into flash exposure determination.

Image Processor DIGIC II DIGIC
Image Processor Improvements Data read from sensor chip via 8 channels simultaneously, double data-rate SDRAM used in buffer memory.

CompactFlash maximum write speed now 5.0 MB/sec.

Data read from sensor two channels at a time.

CF max write speed 3.2 MB/sec.

Control and Layout Improvements Color Matrix settings now labeled with description vs just a number.

White balance color temperatures now entered directly via WB button and the main dial, vs in a menu window.

JPEG, RAW, and RAW+JPEG formats all selectable via a single control. (No need for menu entry.)

ISO speed extensions moved to main menu from Custom Function menu.

Enlarge button added to control playback magnification.

Erase button moved to bottom row with Quality and White Balance buttons.

Erase button now has small raised point in center to distinguish from other buttons.

Camera settings can now be saved to a memory card, allowing settings to be copied to multiple cameras used for covering a large event, or preserved when the camera is sent in for service.

Custom/Personal Functions

21 custom functions. New or changed functions are:

C. Fn-03, ISO expansion has been dropped. (ISO 50 ("L") and 3200 ("H") are always available)

C. Fn-06, Exposure level increments, has been modified slightly, to give separate options for exposure settings and compensation adjustments.

C.Fn-14 E-TTL II - was formerly "Auto reduction of daylight sync.

C. Fn-21, Drive speed priority AI Servo, is newly added., Exposure level increments, has been changed to 0: 1/3 stop and 1: 1/2 stop. (Moved from Personal Function menu.)

P.Fn-26 added, Shortened release time lag

P.Fn-30 added, Quick Control switch turns off main dial too.

P.Fn-31 added, Add original decision data.

21 custom functions
Connectivity IEEE 1394 (FireWire), 4-pin connector
USB v1.1 (For printing only, with PictBridge support)
IEEE 1394 (FireWire), 6-pin connector
Direct Printing Supports PictBridge via USB v1.1 N/A
LCD Display 2.0", 230,000 pixels

White LED backlight
(Brighter, lower power)

2.0", 120,000 pixels

Fluorescent backlight

Playback Enhancements Zoom option on playback, up to 10x in 15 steps. Scroll around magnified image, view next image while retaining magnification and location settings(!).

RGB histogram facilitates checking color-related information that the LCD can't show.

Orientation Sensor Yes No
Video Out Yes, NTSC or PAL timing, user-selectable No
Audio Recording Yes No
Size 6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in
(156 x 157.6 x 79.9 mm)
6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in
(156 x 157.6 x 79.9 mm)
Weight 43 oz. (1220 g) body only 44.1 oz. (1250 g) body only


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