Canon's EOS-1D Mark II
Style, Speed, And Character
When I received Canon's EOS-1D Mark II for testing, I planned to photograph Jaguar Mark 2 automobiles comparing camera and car models, but the changeable weather of springtime in the Rockies (it snows a lot) meant my choices were narrowed as the deadline marched on. So I ended up taking the EOS-1D Mark II with me everywhere, on assignment or for fun, and have never been more impressed with any camera--digital or film--before. The EOS-1D Mark II is a lot like a Jaguar Mark 2; it has style, character, and fast speed!
The Good Stuff
The big news is the 8.2-megapixel
CMOS sensor that captures images at 8.5 fps in continuous bursts of up
to 40 JPEG or 20 raw frames. Canon is now all CMOS, all the time, with
its digital SLRs. The Mark II includes the next generation DIGIC II image
processor, permitting faster processing of large files with, Canon says,
"superior color and more precise detail." PR talk, for sure,
but borne out by my real-world experience working with this camera under
many kinds of lighting and working conditions. The new and improved auto
white balance control is done directly off the image sensor and I found
it to be spot-on accurate all the time. Picky photographers might want
to play with the camera's seven color matrices as well as a white
balance bracketing option that lets you shift color balance slightly in
magenta-green or amber-blue directions.
The Mark II's 2"
LCD preview screen contains 230,000 pixels (the EOS-1D only had 120,000)
and provides approximately 100 percent coverage. Like a real pro camera,
the Mark II's screen offers the option of showing a single image
with histogram with separate graphs for RGB colors. If any exposure compensation
tweaking is needed, you'll know it.
Bigger Files + Faster
Frame Rates = Bigger Memory Cards
Stealing some good ideas from
the EOS 10D, the Mark II offers video out to a TV monitor and includes
the needed cable. It has a FireWire out jack as well as a USB port for
direct printing to compatible Canon and PictBridge-capable printers. The
NP-E3 nickel metal-hydride power pack is the same as the other "Ones"
use, but Canon claims battery life is superior at 1200 shots per charge.
Of course, that ultimately depends on your chimping habits. (See Chimping
The Bad Stuff
Let me get this straight; it's
harder to use the on-screen controls because pros want extra steps that
slow them down? I don't think so.
A Dream Camera?
(Sidebar) Bedtime For
Bonzo Or Chimping's Genesis
For more information about the EOS-1D Mark II, visit Canon's website at: www.usa.canon.com.
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