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Canon EOS 1D Mark II

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98 148656 Nov 22, 2013
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98% of reviewers $3,361.23
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The EOS-1D Mark II establishes new benchmarks for quick response, flexible control, imaging excellence and RAW image management for professional digital photographers.
- New, 8.2 megapixel CMOS sensor
- High-speed shooting at 8.5 fps.
- Improved autofocus
- New, Digic II processor
- New, Digital Photo Professional (DPP) program for high-speed RAW processing
- E-TTL II Flash Exposure
- More efficient power consumption for better battery life
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Registered: Jun 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 425
Review Date: Jan 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: 8.5fps 8mp (do you need more? I don't) Built like a tank Great AF

Well I had a 1Nrs, then I bought a 10D. I was never really satisfied with the 10D in terms of color or AF performance. Especially after my 1Nrs. Well I finally bit the bullet this summer when the $500 rebate came out and sold my 10D and 1Nrs to go 100% digital. I was a very scary week for me when I was selling all my bodies for the new unkown.... But then when I opened the box and put on my lens for the first time, I knew I made the right choice. This is just like my old 1Nrs only without the film scanner. I get the colors I want right out of the camera, and the sharpness is great with a little PP. I have "fine tuned" my jpeg setting and can get very close right out of the camera now eliminating almost all PP. I shot a lot of skiing sequences and other sports and it's fantastic for that. I also love the 8mp file size. Not too big, but I can print 12"x18" with no up-res that will knock your socks off. 20"x30" are also amaizing. As for the size and weight, I don't mind at all because I'd rather carry a tank and not have to worry about it. Also the weight makes it easier to keep steady and the size, well I actually prefer the 1 series size to the 10D/20D with grip. The battery is amaizing. Lasts for the whole day no matter what, even in the cold. The price is the only thing I gave a 9 to and that is to be expected at this level of performance.

Also the 2 things that I would love to see improved, but are technical limitations of digital, not a specific flaw of this camera:

I would love to see even better hig ISO performance. This camera is great and is much better than film and my 10D was, but it can always be improved.

Also the sharpness out of the camera could be a tad better, but again this is a trade off with moire and is a technical limitation. I wish there was a way to adjust the ration or strength in camera so I old had the AA up when moire was a problem. Again this camera is great, but I would love even sharper out of the camera.


Jan 6, 2006
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Registered: Oct 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 257
Review Date: Nov 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,295.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Weight, Build, Image Quality, Features, Full Frame
Price??? But worth the money

The 5D. What a beauty. Had my 5 for about 1 month and shot over 1000 shots so far. I think this camera is by far the best thing that i purchased so far. The image quality is stunning. The Dynamic Range is outstanding. I just wish I had more time to shoot. I definitely recommend the 5 to anyone who wants the Quality and Full Frame Images. Surpassed by the 1 series in my opinion by autofocus and framerate, this is not enough for me to go the 1 route. If you are not shooting all day in a desert or Siberia the build quality is perfect. I love my 5:)

Nov 7, 2005
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Registered: Oct 24, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 414
Review Date: Nov 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp images packed with detail and accurate colour. flexible set up. fast af.
manually having to switch from the cf card to the sd card during a shoot.

this camera inspires confidence because it just delivers. it has a totally flexible setup to suit different requirements. the images it produces are outstanding, very sharp with an accurate colour balance. overall performance is second to none. fps and af are breathtaking. i think this is as good as it gets for an all round canon dslr.

Nov 6, 2005
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Registered: Dec 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1688
Review Date: Oct 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Professional level camera on all levels. Sharpness, extreme speed, flexibility
Weight, Price

After coming from a 300D, this is another world. The fps speed is amazing. I had a T90 back in the film days and this exceeds that camera...mainly because of it's speed. AI Servo mode is excellent for sports (what I was lacking with the 300D).

The metering modes are more than the average photographer could ever ask for.

Weight is a little excessive for a "walk around" camera.

I don't see myself looking to upgrade from this any time soon.

Highly recommend

Oct 21, 2005
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Registered: Aug 31, 2004
Location: China
Posts: 1148
Review Date: Oct 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IMHO, the best overall camera available now
$$$$ weight

Full Frame cameras IMHO are overrated now because we dont have good wide angle lens for them. You spend $$$ on a camera only to have your top of the line lenses underperforming at the corners...

The 1D mkII is therefore the best tool overall. The 1.3x crop means that the best mid range zoom lens, the 24-70L is very very useable and you get Top of the line AF, Weatherproofing, 100% viewfinder and all the trimmings.

You can literally shoot anything with this camera. This is THE sports photographer camera and sports photography is one of the most demanding photography on equipment...

With this camera, you become the weakest link in your photo-taking machine... i have yet to even touch 10% of what this camera can do...

Oct 18, 2005
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Keith Flood
Buy and Sell: On

Registered: Nov 25, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 392
Review Date: Sep 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Pro body, rock solid performance, VERY fast fps, lots of custom/personal functions. Battery performance is amazing.
Images need a lot of sharpening when shooting RAW.

I LOVE this camera. As a firefighter/photographer this camera spent a week with me fighting a wildland fire in the dust, smoke and ash. It performed flawlessly. Coupled with L series lenses, dust and weather sealing are great. This camera has been 100% reliable for me, unlike my 1Ds Markk II. It is heavy but that does not bother me. It did take some time to get used to quickly making camera adjustments as most require two a button push. I am now shooting weddings and once again, this camera has come through. The high FPS is awsome and the low noise in high ISO shots is fantastic. I really like the 1.3 FOV crop when used with my 15mm FE and 17-40 zoom. Battery life is unbelievable, I get 1000-1500 shots per charge. I have yet to change the battery during an entire day of shooting.

Sep 17, 2005
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Registered: Apr 6, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Speed Fps.
Have to use two buttons every time you want to change ISO, Drive etc.

First time I touched the Shutter Button I was taken-back by the Speed fps. I honestly found this Shutter noisy, maybe louder than my other Body 20D.
Being a Sports Photographer I needed the Speed as I also use the 20D when doing a shoot.
I hand hold this camera with a f2.8L IS 70-200mm no prob, also use
a 300mm L IS f4 hand held no prob.
I must admit I 'bit my tongue' and waited for a big price-drop before I made a Purchase.
If you need the Speed, Buy this Camera. If you dont need the Speed buy the 20D.
Photos can be viewed on my website.

Aug 29, 2005
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Registered: Feb 24, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 5, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: A fast "image machine" of outstanding imaging quaility
1st product obtained faulty, service scare me (almost) to death

This is with regard to my review dated July 29, 2005. After some correspondence with their management they showed "goodwill" and replaced the faulty camera.
In consequence I'd now give the camera an overall rating of "9", and if I had received a flawless product in the first instance, it would have been a "10", and I'd also recommended it w/o reservations.

Aug 5, 2005
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Registered: Jan 25, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9483
Review Date: Aug 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: The best camera in Canon's lineup. I don't care what people said. AF is superbly fast and accurate. If speed and durability is what you want, this is it. It doesn't get any better. 1.3x crop factor is a BLESS for nature photography on the tele end. On the wide end, 17-40L is plenty wide for my need. Solid feel in my hand and balance well with my 600mm prime. The battery life lasts me about 800-1000 shots.

I have no complaint what-so-ever about this camera. It's a dream machine. I have been eyeing it since the day it was announced. The price was prohibitive then but I was able to pick one up in mint condition w/ less than 3K click for less than $3k about 4 weeks ago.

The AI Servo tracking is incredibly accurate. My keeper rate has gone up from about 50% (w/ the 20d) to about 95%. The weight and build quality of this DSLR is the best there is. For those who complained about the weight, don't be a wimp. For those who complained about the price, don't be a cheap-***. Life is too short to settle for anything less. Just buy it to satisfy your desire/need. Then go out and shoot. In a 4 week period, I have put on another 4k clicks. So what, it's a tool that build to last.

Aug 1, 2005
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Registered: May 18, 2005
Location: Ireland
Posts: 2095
Review Date: Jul 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: I would need a bigger box!
weight, shutter noise

This is my 4th camera ever, last one was a 350D which in the right circumstances, takes just good a picture. If you move to sports (speed), lower light levels or higher F numbers, the 1D still goes strong, autofocusing easily where the 350 could not, and shooting so fast you capture everything.

Definitly worth the money to upgrade. Just feels so much more solid.

The shutter noise is loud enough to cause a distraction at a Tennis match or Golf game. But it's worth it!

Jul 29, 2005
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Registered: Feb 24, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 27, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

Pros: Great camera, fast & responsive, solid "pro" feel, 1.3x crop factor better than APS-C.
Unacceptable production and service quality issues - at least in my case. PLs. see below.

I bought the 1D Mark II 3 weeks ago as a replacement for my 20D - as a first step towards a scalabel "pro" system. First tests in broad summer daylight with a not-so-fast WW zoom showed pleasing results. So far so good. Indoor shots and out-of-the -window shots with fast lenses fully open showed that the images were increasingly blurred from the center of the image to the left side of the frame. Since this occured with all of my fast lenses wide open, it was clear that either the sensor (imager) or the bayonet must be askew. Then the horror began.
I sent this brand new, immaculate camera to the German Canon central service facility to have it fixed under warranty.
It's there now for two weeks. The most shocking part of all this is that they sent me an "estimate of cost" of 2,000 Euros for the repair - they stated a mis-aligned body (bayonet mount) and insisted that such a fault must be the result of misuse, ie "shock or drop" of the camera body. Ridiculous!

- I bought a brand-new camera for over 3,200 Euros which arrived in a completey undamaged box
- I received an immaculate camera therein without any visible outer blemishes
- I used the camera solely at home, never transported it in any way, never took it outdoors
- I did of course never drop the camera or hit any hard objects with it
- I took approx. 400 test shots within 6 days, with lenses already used on the EOS 20D
- I detected that the camera was faulty and documented the fault
- I packaged the camera very safely cushioned for shipment to the Canon Service Centre
- I thus sent the same unblemished, immaculate camera, just as received, to the Canon Service Centre
- I included a detailed description of the fault encountered, including test shots (CD-R)

I have already described the result thereof. Funny? I don't think so. If a D1 body is not rugged enough to survive well-cushioned parcel transport, it does not deserve the term "professional". But, of course, is not true. I think they're just trying to dump QC issues onto their customers. Very disappointing. The arrogance of a "market leader"? Perhaps. They're perhaps "leading" technology-wise, but in all other aspects they're not. Can I recommend this "package"? Certainly not. Sorry, folks ....

Jul 27, 2005
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Registered: Jul 16, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 52
Review Date: Jul 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Long battery life, solid, fast AF, well built, large viewfinder
Loud shutter, reviewing is somewhat slow.

Very fast and solid camera that I've used so far, start-up is fast, writing is fast (for JPEG), AF is fast and image details are great.
My camera was kicked over by someone few weeks ago and it still function as per normal, though it sustained only minor marks.
Shutter speed is loud though, can't be used for concerts.
Battery life is outstanding. I can shoot for around 800 shots before recharging. (I'm a heavy chimper)

Jul 17, 2005
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Registered: Jan 15, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 226
Review Date: Jul 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: speed,focus accuracy,custom functions,handling etc,etc,etc..
Low light focus could be a bit better.

Upgraded from a 10D and haven't looked back. This thing is incredible. For those who are upgrading from the 10d the first thing you will notice is the focus accuracy, finally a camera I I feel absolutely confident it in its focus accuracy. The next thing you will notice is very few blown highlights with this camera, the dynamic range just seems to be light years ahead of the 10D.

The camera is very well built and it feels really well balanced in may hand, its a bit heavy especially with the 24-70 attached but honestly I have carried it around for days on end on a trip to Portugal and I never felt that the weight was a problem.

I'm really impressed with the focus accuracy of this thing especially in servo mode, tracking fast moving object were always a problem with the 10D but this camera handles these situations exteremely well.

I know some users have complained about the battery weight and technology but quite frankly they are pretty amazing in that they seem to last forever. I usually get at least 1200 shots per charge and that includes a fair bit of chimping. I guess the only improvement I would like to see in the battery department would be a smaller battery charger, its pretty large and it's a pain to pack especially when traveling.

It take a bit of time to get use to the two button navigation/selection but after a while it really becomes second nature and it really hasn't been a really issue in all the shooting situations I have been involved in.

I really like this camera and I pretty sure it will be in my arsenal for a long time. Newer models will likely come along and at some point I will be hit by the upgrade bug but this thing will be around for quite sometime.

One thing I would like to see improved is the location of the FEL button, for some reason I find it difficult to reach/actuate, it just doesn't feel right.

Jul 16, 2005
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Registered: Apr 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 165
Review Date: Jul 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Speed!! Its so fast in every aspect. No delay with any part of using this beast. Sutter lag is smooth, and speedy. Autofocus is amazing. Spot on. Many more keepers than the 20D. Love the display also. So crisp. Option for 50ISO is very cool. Viewvinder is huge and bright.
Being REALLY picky. No USB 2.0 out of the camera. I prefer the thumbstick from the 20D to scroll around pictures. On the MarkII, you use 2 different scrollers. NIMH Battery.

I upgraded from a 20D, and it was well worth it.

Autofocus - Amazingly fast and accurate. From the shots I have taken, I have a much higher % of keepers. Things that should be in focus, are in focus. The 45point system, really seems to capture what you want. It feels like there is more range in the pics I have taken. Shots just look a little cleaner, more dynamic.

Shutter - OMG! You have to shoot with this thing, to really know what I am talking about. Absolutely no shutter lag. The 20D shutter really does feel like a toy, compared to this. The MarkII's shutter feels very precise. A completely different feel, to the 20D. Just an amazing release.

Camera Feel - So nice. My 20D with grip really doesnt compare. Sure, this camera is heavier, however it is more balanced. You dont really notice how heavy it is.

Menu Navigation - OK. This was interesting. It took a good 2 hours before I got the hang of the "hold 2 buttons and scroll" functionality. However believe it or not, its a better system, because when you release the buttons, thats the same as selecting the options. Very hard to explain, however it does feel better. I loved the menu navigation system on the 20D, however the MarkII's seems more thought out.
Also, the fact that you dont have to go into the menu system to change between RAW, great.

LCD Screen - WOW. Detailed and bright. I love it. A great improvement from the 20D.

Hi Speed burst - Amazing. A very fast, precise and clean burst mode.

Overall, just an awesome camera. You can tell lots of thought was put into this camera, when it was designed.
The responsiveness is second to none.

If you are pondering the upgrade from a 10D or 20D and have the cash, just do it. You will not regret it. I promise. Just having this beast in the hands is worth it. For sports or anytype of moving subjects you cant go wrong.
Your % of keepers will be higher. For objects that are more stationary, this camera shines, as you can hold it steadier. Its balanced so well. Its such a relief knowing that you have the best tools for what you are trying to do.

Jul 14, 2005
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Registered: Dec 22, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2138
Review Date: Jul 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast like my own eyes and reflexes. It takes the picture as fast I can see them. A pro photomachine like no other. Most allround camera at the moment, fast AF, low noise high ISO, great bufferspeed.
Still pricey, even though compared to the competition it's not exceptional. Images maybe a bit soft out of the camera. Sharpening to incredible levels compensate though.

Sold my 1Ds after I bought this camera and found myself using this photomachine 90% of the time. The 1Ds did have more detail, but after I learned postprocessing the 1DII files with good sharpening technique I found the value added by my 1Ds marginal. The 1DII is so much more responsive, stunning speed and incredibly versatile with it's high ISO performace. I would not have believed 3 years ago, still shooting film then, that digital would go this level of performance that fast. The camera feels like I can do with it for another 10 years. Of course the replacement ratio for D-SLR's is higher than any film body has been in the past. My next camera probably will have about 20Mp and maybe even faster or higher ISO. But at the moment I can't see why I would need that. I am perfectly happy with this photobeast.

Jul 7, 2005
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Registered: Jul 27, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 313
Review Date: Jun 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: the real canon deal for quality (and regretably the only). Autofocus at last (comming from a 10D and 20D)
a little to big for my liking. Battery looses power if not use.

It's been two months since my purchase. I'm a student and paid photographer but this purchase was frankly over the top considering strictly my assignement requirements. I bought it to fulfill my quality standards in things. In this aspect i can say that 1D markII delivers. It's greatly built, doesn't present any obvious weak part, either on the photographic side. You know you're olding a serious and state-of-the-art tool, again both on the construction and photographic sides. And it's the first raison that made me justify the price (in canada those things retails for over 6000$). The second raison was autofocus. I always found this point lacking in my previous 10D and even my now sold 20D, with the 1D when one of the 45 point (actually rectangle) blinks your subject IS in focus.
Now i can hear you thinking ("who is that stupid student complaining about autofocus on a 20D?!?") and i'll echo that and say that sadly in this world (specialy in north america) you can choose to genuinely learn something or you can just buy it. I could have learn to tame myself down more to allow more time and make it easier for the camera to do its part, i never could "afford" it. In all fairness i tried to revert to manual focusing but even with perfect eyesight the viewfinders of the smaller models are painfully small and dark (the 20D being even darker but easier to focus in bright light) so manual focusing in very poorly lit music shows with not so still subjects was a "miss or miss" game. With the pro-dslr i don't even look for a high-contrast subject to put an autofocus point on ...actually i couldn't because the 45 autofocus points are not marked on the default groundglass, they just blinks when focus is achieved.
Enough said about focus! It's reliable and does what it should be doing, it's even terrific in some cases.
The file: i found it to be similar to the other canon cameras but with a subjective and welcomed ressemblance with the 10D file. I was never entirely fond of the 20D file, its 3-stage on-ship noise reduction kind of over-softens the image and smears details. To put it briefly the 1D markII is a 10D with bigger imaging aera image quality wise (with a little less noise and i think greater dynamic range, yeah it's actually better!)
The 20D file is impressive for its resolution, but i don't need it really (at least not now) and the wider spreading of the 8 MP in the 1D is to be prefered in my opinion.

Let's come back to the quality issue for the ending, i think it's great and it is the "feature" i enjoy the most overall in this camera. Though it's so sad that it comes in only one package. For instance i would prefer a camera with less rear protusion; that's it, i think that the screen and digital controls protrude too much. I can understand that it's made for a lot of people and specially "tough" pros but i'm personally a little smaller than that and less "viril" but i surely could use the quality of this camera in a equally smaller package (the nikon f6 comes to mind, even if its a film body, i'm just talking about size here).
To go further i have wished for an "eos 3" for a long time but not anymore because of the fact that it would mean build a cheaper camera than the 1D in a corporate mind. I've gone all the way from a film rebel (my first 35mm-reflex) to the really really expensive pro 1D and can clearly recognise that the mid-level and low-end cameras are dumbed-down products from the pro bodies. Quality is just lost at each step toward the lesser cameras.

So i'm happy with my 1D markII, quite a fine product but a little to viril for me. The main thing is that the camera is always ready to take pictures and doesn't come in the way with some "busy" or "please wait the camera can't yet achieve focus on that pole slightly behind your subject" (sorry i couldn't resist) even in fast shooting situations.

Quality, yes, but at a high price and in only one package.

I apologize for my english, i'm a french speaker. I hope you enjoy reading though :-) Have a nice day!


Jun 13, 2005
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Canon EOS 1D Mark II

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
98 148656 Nov 22, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $3,361.23
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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