advanced professional studio, catalog and landscape photographers
wonder if they should invest the money to buy a more expensive
Canon 1D or purchase a less expensive D60 body.
Each camera is intended for specific usage. In a perfect world,
one could alternate between the two cameras using them each for
their intended purpose since these cameras do not compete with
each other in terms of features and build quality. In this article,
I will touch on what I find to be the best features and limitations
of both cameras.
camera is widely available just yet, and therefore not many
photographers have had the opportunity to shoot with them. Let
me start by stating that I own both the Canon 1D and a D30 and
I just received the D60 for a two-week period.
There are quite a few in-depth reviews on these cameras currently
available on the net and I will not bore you with technical
specifications, or any other information found on Canon's website.
My main objective during this article/review is to share my
personal experience with both cameras.
CMOS Sensor. One-shot and AI Servo AF with Focus Prediction.
Manual focusing confirmation possible with EF lenses.
Multi-BASIS. One-shot and AI Servo AF with Focus Prediction.
Manual focusing confirmation possible with EOS lenses.
Automatic and manual focusing point selection
of focusing points
(Area AF Ellipse)
0-18 (at ISO 100)
0.5-18 (at ISO 100)
Auxiliary Light built-in
Flash Syncronization speed
I and II
I and II
x 19.1 mm
x 18.1 mm
200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600
= ISO 100, H = ISO 3200
100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
NP-E3 1650mAh, 12V Ni-MH rechargeable battery
Pack BP-511 (lithium ion rechargeable battery)
3fps and 8fps
Program AE with variable shift
Program AE with variable shift
Image Control (5 settings)
frames in burst
level | Flash exposure level
mode indicator (High-speed sync)
screen Ec-C III, with AF ellipse, focusing points
and fine spot metering circle provided as the standard
screen (Interchangeable with Ec-series focusing screens)
screen marked with focusing points and partial metering
million pixel CCD Digital SLR
continuous shooting speed of 8 fps
2.0 inch color monitor
functions (21 custom functions with 67 settings)
RAW and Jpeg image capture
million pixel CMOS Digital SLR
continuous shooting of 3 fps
functions (14 selectable features)
RAW and Jpeg image capture
controlled with 2 or 10sec delay
controlled with 10 sec delay
dimensions (W x H x D)
x 6.2 x 3.1 in. / 156 x 157.6 x 79.9 mm
x 4.2 x 3.0 in. / 149.5 x 106.5 x 75 mm
oz / 1250g
oz / 780g
start with the EOS 1D SLR professional digital camera. This
camera is clearly geared towards professional photojournalists
and sport shooters. For those accustomed to shooting with the
film version Canon 1V, now there is the option of jumping into
the digital photography world with minimal sacrifices.
You may already know that the Canon 1D suffered from negative
feedback when it was first introduced. The main issue was noise
banding. There were attempts made to correct the problem via
firmware updates but Canon finally had to correct the issue
by recalling the cameras for a hardware upgrade.
So, is the banding finally gone? Yes, if the final image is
shooting high contrast images, and using moderate highlight
metering (sometimes underexposing your shots), you still need
to be careful when bringing back up the shadow detail in post
production. Depending on the number of f/stop compensation needed,
you may unintentionally bring the hidden banding pattern up
to a visible level.
Here is an exaggerated example of how the banding pattern looks
underneath any ISO setting:
you can see from the above image, even this ISO 200 file has
a clear noise banding characteristic underneath. This was taken
with a 1D-firmware v.1.3
Bottom line, when taking well-exposed shots or even correcting
minor underexposure, you probably will not find any banding
on 1D files. I should also comment that this noise characteristic
is not seen in D30/D60 images even when pushing the files above
extreme levels. I am sure these differences can be attributed
to the CMOS and CCD sensor design.
issue considering mentioning is moiré. These moiré
patterns are probably due to the 1D's use of a weaker anti-alias
filter in front of the sensor and a larger pixel size. However,
the larger pixels size (11x11µm) and excellent algorithms
developed by Canon make the 1D capable of exceptional dynamic
range along with very clean, low noise files even at high
| Evaluative | 560mm | f4
The new Canon 1D digital SLR is no different than its film
version Canon 1V when it comes to autofocus. They probably
share the best AF system in the world. It produces very precise
focusing for all Canon EF lenses.
Some photographers have reported an issue commonly known as
"front focusing". This is similar to a problem I
had when I bought my 1V film body. The camera had a tendency
to focus in front of the subject. Not all 1D and 1V bodies
have this miscalibration, which happens in One-shot and AI
Servo AF modes. If you have encountered this problem with
your camera, Canon will fine-tune your body for a more accurate
Fortunately this isn't a problem with the Canon D30 or D60,
even with their inferior autofocus system. Accuracy seems
excellent in One-shot mode, however autofocus speed especially
for action and low light photography leaves too much to be
desired. Many pro photographers didn't take the D30/D60 route
because of its inferior autofocus speed and tracking ability
when compared to more advanced Canon bodies.
45-point AF vs. 3-point AF
The fantastic 45-point AF found on the 1V, EOS 3 and 1D bodies
are a necessity for photojournalists, sport shooters and wildlife
photographers, especially when shooting in Servo mode. The
camera's built-in computer predicts the location from frame
to frame, and calculates the location between the time that
focus is achieved and the camera shutter actually fires.
However, in my opinion, this feature is overkill for studio,
still life and for those landscape photographers adventuring
to leave their medium format cameras and going digital. They
won't need 45 points. Or in certain landscape, or macro photography
they may not even need AF at all.
Having said that, the AF system provided by the D60 is suitable
for its target photography field, which is studio photography.
The new D60 has advantages from its predecessor D30 with its
new laser matte focusing screen and highlighted AF points
in viewfinder view.
Photographers may be dissatisfied by the D60 AF performance.
Which by the way, is identical to the D30. Keep in mind
that both D60 and 1D AF systems are passive. This means that
they respond to the brightness and contrast of the subject
and react to the ambient light the subject is reflecting.
Because of this, the AF system works best with brightly illuminated
and/or contrasty subjects. Both 1D and D60 AF can fail with
dull, low-contrast or smooth, untextured subjects. So don't
expect that just because you have a 1D, you will be able to
auto-focus in any condition.
modern film or digital SLR cameras share the same limitations
when shooting in low light. Experienced photographers
know that what is crucial in low light photography is having
fast lenses and being able to find the points of contrast
in your subjects.
AF Point Registration and Switching is a great feature
offered by the Canon 1D. This option gives you the opportunity
to pre-select a focusing point and switch for example from
Auto focusing to that specifically created point.
I find it to be a great time saver when switching from Automatic
selection to Manual selection. For example you can assign
the "Assist button" to engage automatic selection
of the focusing points and the "AE lock" button
to engage your manually selected point. For more info and
instruction on how to register and switch a point, read page
69 of the manual.
| Centerweighted average | 16mm | f/16
I rarely use this mode when shooting with my D30 or D60. It
could be helpful when the subject(s) are covered by the 3 focusing
points but unfortunately this rarely happens, especially with
landscape photography. The 1D's depth-of-field mode is extremely
useful in contrast. It lets photographers assign which subjects
are to be in focus and then calculates the depth of field for
you. In my opinion, it is a great feature and very helpful especially
for those learning about depth of field. This is not to be confused
with Depth of Field preview, which both 1D and D60 have as a
Light metering system
| Evaluative mode | 400mm | f/4
It's not a secret that the D60 evaluative mode rarely gives
us perfect exposure, unless with low contrast subjects. But,
I have had substantial success using Centerweighted average
metering mode and adjusting EV(exposure compensation) when
complaint about the D60 metering system is the non-inclusion
of spot metering which is helpful in certain lighting settings.
I think that metering is not as critical for digital as it is
for film photography, even though film has a higher dynamic
range. With digital you can rely on the built-in histogram.
It's a tool that safely offers an option to tweak your exposure
output on the spot.
The histogram however, isn't the route to go if you are shooting
for photojournalism, sport photography or any other situation
where the photographer doesn't have time to fine-tune the camera's
exposure settings. In this case the 1D is a much better and
The new Canon D60 really shines in comparison to the 1D when
taking long exposure shots. Due to its physical design, the
1D has limitations and compromises image quality as the exposure
The legend of "purple upper corners" reported by many
1D photographers is true.
And the sad fact remains, that a firmware update to correct
this issue is impossible to accomplish since this is a design
compromise and more of a hardware issue.
The D60 on the other hand is capable of producing virtually
noiseless images up to 4:30 minute exposure. This is quite remarkable
considering that it is the first digital camera to ever produce
I compared the 1D versus D60 with an exposure time of 3 minutes
and lens cap on. Here are the results:
All shot at ISO 100 (for lowest noise possible)
1D's picture at 25s starts to show purple noise on the upper
corners and noise starts to become apparent around the frame.
D60: It is remarkable at long exposures. It's truly the first
digital camera that could work for amateur astronomy photographers
because it provides noiseless files even with up to 4-minute
This is what Chuck Westfall had to say about the 1D and long
exposure shots, in an email he recently sent to me. "Canon
Inc.'s response has not been publicly posted, but the bottom
line is that the issue cannot be resolved via firmware. It is
a by-product of the CCD design. Here is a translation of Canon
CCD used in the EOS-1D incorporates a simultaneous-retrieval
multi-line system in order to achieve approximately eight frames
per second in continuous shooting mode. Therefore, two exits
are designed in the CCD, and also two amplifiers with two different
circuits are applied to the inside. The electric charge, which
is generated with the photodiode (Photo detector) in the CCD,
is transferred vertically and horizontally in a bucket brigade
way, and composes an external output of picture signal by converting
it into voltage with the amplifier near the exit.
The generated electric charge includes the noise components
of both the signal data, which is proportional to the incident
light, and the dark current, which is produced by the photodiode
itself. It is known that the longer the exposure is, and the
higher the environmental temperature gets, the larger the noise
component with the dark current becomes.
magenta-colored noise, which appears on both upper corners of
the frame in images taken at slow shutter speeds, is due to
the fact that heat caused by the amplifiers, which are positioned
close to the sections of the CCD where the picture signal is
read out, is higher than in other parts of the CCD. As result,
the dark current, which occurs at the photodiode near the amplifier,
is also increased. This phenomenon can be seen in other digital
cameras as well, however, in case of slow shutter speed photography,
we recommend you not to use the camera continuously, but turn
it on just before taking pictures."
also wrote that, the D60 does not have the same issue for several
reasons; mainly the signal amplification and readout method
are totally different with a CMOS chip compared to a CCD.
We should not expect anything better from the EOS-1D. It is
not a matter of money; it is a matter of design priorities.
The overriding design priorities on the 1D were maximum performance
at shooting speeds up to 8 fps, together with unsurpassed weather
resistance and customization (white balance, color space, custom
tone curves, variable JPEG compression, etc.).
When judged on these merits, it succeeds magnificently. The
fact that it may not perform as well as some digital SLRs for
time exposures longer than 30 seconds is simply a fact of life
that can be overcome by using other cameras more suited to this
task, such as the EOS D60.
In my opinion, as much as we would all like to have a single
camera that surpasses the performance of all others in every
respect that has not happened just yet.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before going
the 1D route:
you need clean high ISO images?
Do you need 8 frames per second?
Do you shoot sports or any type of action including wildlife?
Do you need a strong and sealed body?
Do you need spot metering?
Do you need AF working with lenses + extenders with max aperture
are some questions you should ask yourself before deciding on
often do you shoot with long exposures?
Do you often use ISO 100?
Do you need 11x17in prints without any interpolation?
Does price plays a role on your purchase decision?
Is resolution more important than frames per second?
it's clear that Canon released two different cameras for different
photography needs. Photojournalists and sport shooters should
embrace the 1D and now have the first viable alternative to
film in their hands. With the introduction of the 6.3 MP D60,
studio photographers now can print up to 11x17in without interpolating
their files. Both cameras are great choices. The ultimate decision
is yours and I recommend evaluating your anticipated needs carefully
before choosing one over the other. Happy Shooting!