Canon EOS-1D Mark II

Canon announced the new EOS-1D Mark II today, the successor to the EOS-1D. This is the camera that I’ve been waiting for since the release of the original EOS-1D at the tail end of 2001. The new 1D features a 8.2 megapixel CMOS sensor that can rip off 40 consecutive frames at 8.5 frames per second. If you do the math, that’s an enormous amount of image data — 69 megapixels per second — that’s being processed by the camera. The previous 1D could only handle 21 images at 4 megapixels and 8 frames a second!

There’s much more to the camera that the increased resolution. Check out the links at the bottom of this entry for more detailed information on the new features. Suffice it to say, this is a killer camera. It’s fast enough for anybody and the resolution is high enough for some of the most demanding applications. The 11 megapixel 1Ds is still the camera to get if you need a full-frame sensor and the highest resolution. For me, however, the 1D Mark II will be more than adequate for my photography work.

One aspect of the camera that’s good for existing 1D and 1Ds owners is that the button layout is virtually identical. As a result, there’s very little learning curve to go through to get up to speed on the camera. The only difference is the additional of a dedicated Delete button below the LCD screen on the backplane. If you’re an underwater photographer, however, that additional button might mean another housing purchase (unless you never delete or change the quality/white balance settings on your camera)! Accessories are also identical between the new 1D and the old 1D/1Ds. This means I don’t have to buy new batteries and my solar charger will still work. Though the batteries aren’t Lithium Ion (they are Nickel Metal-Hydride), they get more shots per charge with the new 1D over the old one. My batteries are nearing the end of their lifetime, as I’ve had them for 2 years.

There’s a tremendous amount of discussion going on about the camera since the news of it was leaked a few days ago (leading up to the official announcement today). While there is genuine excitement about the camera, there are a few individuals who have been loudly complaining about and criticizing the product. Sigh. They should spend more time improving their photography skill than complaining about something they’ve never used. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, photography is more than just having a fancy camera. Some people just don’t realize that. Double sigh.

Jim Rose, the Canon rep for the Bay Area, will be presenting Canon’s latest offerings, including the new EOS-1D Mark II at the March COBA meeting. He can’t make it to the February meeting, since it’s coinciding with PMA conference in Las Vegas. We’ll also have the Olympus rep, Joe Guzman, on hand to demo Olympus’ new offerings. The expected ship date of the new 1D is April, with a price that will be hovering around $4499.

I’m looking forward to using the 1D Mark II when it becomes available.

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