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Canon EOS-1DS

Canon extends the EOS-1D with 11.1 megapixels, and a full-frame CMOS sensor!

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Page 11:Video, Power, Software

Review First Posted: 9/24/2002

Video Out

The EOS-1Ds has no video output.


Power is supplied to the EOS-1Ds via an NiMH rechargeable battery pack or the included "DC Coupler" (AC adapter) accessory. The NP-E3 battery pack and DC coupler both accompany the camera, along with an external battery charger. According to Canon, a freshly charged NP-E3 battery pack should produce as many as 600 shots at normal temperature. (At low temperatures, battery capacity can be significantly reduced.) The (approximate) amount of battery life remaining is displayed on the top LCD status display panel. An Auto Power-Off feature automatically turns off the camera after 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, or 30 minutes, depending on the time set through the settings menu (you can also turn this off). A CR2025 lithium battery serves as the backup power supply for the camera's internal calendar and clock.

Working with the DC coupler, I performed my usual measurements on the EOS-1Ds' power consumption in various operating modes. (Really, runtime in various operating modes makes a lot more sense than the "number of shots" figures published by the manufacturers and some other sites. The number of shots is certainly important to a photographer, but shooters expecting 600 shots from the EOS-1Ds would be sorely disappointed if they tried to capture all those shots over the course of an 8-hour shooting day.) Here's what I found for the 1Ds' power consumption numbers:

Operating Mode
(@ 13v)
Est. Minutes
(1650 mAh
NP-E3 pack)
Capture Mode, "semi-sleep"
146 mA
Capture Mode, "awake"
494 mA
Image Playback
386 mA


Overall, the 1Ds' run time numbers reflect the huge capacity of its hefty 1650 mAh, 12-volt battery pack, and are considerably higher than those of the original 1D. This is doubtless due to the lower power consumption of the CMOS sensor in the 1Ds. Runtime in "standby" mode (capture mode, but with the camera in the "semi sleep" mode it goes into after two seconds of inactivity) is over ten hours, but active capture mode drops this to only about three hours. Furthermore, the power demands of fast-acting autofocus lenses with large optics are considerable. (Current drain spikes to over 1 amp when a Canon USM autofocus lens is focusing.) Likewise, the 1Ds' shutter mechanism consumes a noticeable amount of power. Overall, the EOS-1Ds has very good battery life, but a practicing pro should definitely plan on purchasing a second NP-E3 battery and packing it along. For extended studio work, the DC coupler will be a lifesaver.

Included Software

The software they didn't include...
(But that you should)
Few people realize just how *much* you can improve your digicam images through clever processing in Photoshop. Greatly (!) increased sharpness, reduced noise, and even ultra-wide dynamic range (light-to-dark range) by combining multiple exposures. Fred Miranda and uber-Photoshop expert Fred Miranda has packaged some of his Photoshop magic in a collection of powerful and affordably priced "actions." Check out his site, the results are pretty amazing!

Two software CDs come with the EOS-1Ds, one containing Canon's Solution Disk software for both PC and Macintosh platforms, and a second containing Adobe Photoshop LE 5.0. The camera connects to the computer via an IEEE-1394 "FireWire" interface cable. The Solution Disk software package includes Canon Utilities, RemoteCapture (for operating the camera from the computer), and the necessary drivers. I mentioned the Canon software earlier, calling particular attention to the ability it provides the user to customize the camera's tone curves. I hope to revisit this review to add some further information on the software package, but at the moment, time prevents it.

Not Included: "Brainware"
Every manufacturer includes some level of needed software with their cameras, but what's missing is the knowledge and experience to know what to do with it. For lack of a better term, I've called this "Brainware." There's a lot involved between snapping the shutter, and watching a beautiful, professional-quality print spool off your printer, and there's sadly very little guidance as to how to get from point A to point B.

Fortunately, Uwe Steinmueller of has come up with an excellent series of e-books that detail every step of the process, show actual examples of files moving through the workflow, and the final results. If you want to get the absolute best prints possible from your digital files, you owe it to yourself to purchase one of the Outback Photo Digital Workflow books.


In the Box

Included with the EOS-1Ds digital camera are the following items:

  • Eyecup for optical viewfinder
  • NiMH NP-E3 battery pack with protective cover
  • NiMH battery charger
  • DC Coupler Kit
  • Neck Strap
  • Hand Strap
  • IEEE-1394 IEEE-1394 "FireWire"
  • EOS Digital Solution Disk software CD and Adobe Photoshop LE 5.0 CD.
  • Instruction Manual, Registration Information, and Quick Guide


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