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Canon EOS-1D

Canon leaps into the professional SLR arena, with the fastest digital SLR on the planet!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 12/08/2001

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Manufacturer Overview
Ask a photographer, be they professional or amateur, to name the first couple of camera manufacturers that they can think of, and chances are that one of those would be Canon. Ask the same photographer what the Canon name means to them, and many would suggest that they associate the name with innovation, the company having brought such technological advances as Eye-Controlled Focusing (Canon EOS 5, 1992) and the USM ultrasonic motors used in the more recent Canon EF lenses, which are extremely quiet and very fast.

In the digital realm, Canon's progress has been marked by cautious advances, but excellent products when they finally make a step. In the consumer realm, their digital cameras offer good value and exceptional color and image quality. About a year and a half ago, they introduced their first digital SLR, the EOS-D30. While many D30's found homes in professional photographer's equipment kits, it clearly wasn't intended to be a fully professional camera. Compared to Canon's film-based SLRs, the D30 was slower and less ruggedly constructed than Canon's pro models.

Now, after several apparent development delays, Canon has come forth with the first digital SLR they're comfortable applying the label "professional" to, and it's clearly a formidable entry to the market. It holds the distinction of being the fastest true digital SLR on the planet, with blazing 8 frames/second maximum frame rate. It also incorporates all the sophisticated exposure and autofocus modes of Canon's top-of-the-line EOS-1v film SLR, as well as that model's exceptional ruggedness and environmental sealing. As you'll see in the review below (one of the most extensive I've yet written), it has digital sophistication to match it's construction and raw performance specs. Overall, a very impressive camera, destined to be almost required equipment for professional Canon shooters.

High Points

  • Basic camera capabilities and operation virtually identical to Canon's EOS-1v pro film SLR. Similarities include 45-point Area Autofocus, 21-zone Evaluative Metering, dynamic mirror damping ("Active Mirror Control") for very short viewfinder blackout, low vibration, wireless TTL flash capability, ultra-rugged magnesium alloy chassis, full environmental sealing, and more.
  • 4.48-megapixel CCD (4.06 million active pixels) delivering image resolutions as high as 2,496 x 1,662 pixels.
  • TTL optical viewfinder (100 percent field of view) with full information display.
  • Lens mount compatible with Canon EF lenses.
  • 45-point, Area Ellipse autofocus area, with One-Shot AF and Al Servo AF modes.
  • Program AE, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, Depth of Field AE, and Bulb exposure modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/16,000 to 30 seconds, with Bulb mode for unlimited exposure times.
  • Sensitivity equivalents from ISO 100 to 3,200. (Default range is 200 to 1,600. Expanded range from 100 to 3,200 is a menu option.)
  • 21-zone Evaluative Metering system, as well as conventional Center-Weighted, Partial (large spot), Spot (both Center Spot and AF Area-linked), Multi-Spot, and FEL (Flash Exposure Lock) metering systems.
  • User adjustable White Balance setting with 10 modes, plus a White Balance Bracketing option.
  • ISO and Auto Exposure Bracketing options.
  • Hot shoe for connecting an external flash unit, as well as a threaded PC socket for electronic flash.
  • 2.0-inch LCD monitor for image playback and review.
  • Low-Speed and High-Speed Continuous shooting modes.
  • sRGB and Adobe RGB color space options.
  • 21 customizable functions, as well as the ability to download three groups of image settings from a computer.
  • Sound recording capability.
  • RAW and JPEG image file formats.
  • Images stored on CompactFlash Type I or II (includes Microdrive).
  • High-speed, IEEE-1394 "FireWire" interface for computer host connection.
  • Optional remote control accessory.
  • Weatherproof body design.
  • Power supplied by (very high capacity) rechargeable NiMH battery pack (NP-E3) or AC adapter kit (both included).
  • Canon Solution Disk interface software included, providing for extensive camera control and customization, as well as processing of RAW image files.

Specification Comparison
Many of our readers will be interested in comparing the features and capabilities of the EOS-1D against other current professional SLR digicams. To aid in that end, we've prepared a chart comparing the EOS-1D to the earlier EOS-D30, Nikon's D1H, D1X, and the original D1, and Kodak's DCS-760. - To save page-loading and -rendering time, I've set it up as a separate page. (Thanks to my News Editor, Mike Tomkins for preparing this detailed chart!) Click here to view it.


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