Canon today has announced the successor to the EOS-1D. Dubbed the EOS-1D Mark II, the 1-2 punch of the new model is its ability to record 8.2 million pixel photos at a sprightly 8.5 fps, making it the first digital SLR ever to incorporate truly high resolution image capture and an ultra-quick frame rate into a single camera model.
As its name suggests, the EOS-1D Mark II (1D MKII) is a rework of the popular EOS-1D model that Canon has been shipping since late 2001, rather than a new-from-the-ground-up effort. In fact the 1D MKII looks almost exactly the same as the model it replaces, uses the same battery and charging system, is the same size and about the same weight and shares many of the same components.
The lionís share of Canonís development budget for this camera has clearly been directed into the Canon-designed CMOS sensor, the DIGIC II image processing circuitry, its extensive controls for fine-tuning the colour and tone of 1D MKII photos and the new Canon Digital Photo Professional software that ships with the camera.
Canon EOS-1D Mark II
But it would be a mistake to think of the 1D MKII as nothing more than a 1D with a higher-resolution sensor. While Canon didn't start with a blank sheet of paper, as Nikon did in developing the D2H, it's apparent that Canon has put considerable effort into refining the 1D in core areas such as autofocus and TTL flash. The 1D MKII isn't all new. But it's shaping up to be so much more than a 1D with a fresh coat of digital paint too.
Canon EOS-1D Mark II - rear view
This preview report is broken down into four sections - an overview of the camera's features, a comparison of the 1D and 1D MKII's key specifications, screenshots of the camera's revamped menus plus new Digital Photo Professional software and detailed specifications.
Thanks to Chuck Westfall, Deb Szajngarten and Neil Stephenson for their assistance in the preparation of this article.