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Canon EOS 1D Mark II

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98 150002 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: May 12, 2005
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Weighty which I like, solid, robust, FAST!!!, needs manually tweaking to get good results which adds a personal touch, FAST!!!, only had for a day so I will leave it there!
Didnīt buy one last year. No "pop up" flash...(joking)!

Only had this for 2 days but have fallen in love with it. It is the first Pro "Digital " SLR I have had. Gone from 10D to 20D and now this and the leap was so significant. Reminds me of when I went from the beautiful Nikon F3 to the amazing F5 (before I "converted").

This camera is fast, I wasnīt expecting quite THAT speed when I first tried out the 8.5FPS!! If I miss anything now I will be gutted. It FEELS solid and it IS solid...very comforting. Going from 9 point autofocus on the 20D to 45!!!! on this is out sports and wildlife...I am coming!

If you are wondering if the extra money for this over the same pixel count on the 20D is worth it, I would say as long as you need the extra functions and speed, it is WELL worth the extra. Go on...spoil yourself! You only live once!!!


May 12, 2005
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Registered: Dec 19, 2004
Location: Austria
Posts: 9
Review Date: Mar 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very fast ( 8,5fps !!!!! wow), AF is great, great build quality, big sensor, bright viewfinder, blue LCD, great high ISOs 1600/3200!, accu,
none, you pay what you get

I bought this camera in Mai 2004. It was and it is still a great camera.
It focuses fast, it is fast (fps), and the build quality is great. I had the 10D before, but the 1DmkII is better build.

A look trough the viewfinder (16-35mm f/2,8 L USM attached) makes everybody say WOW! On the 1DsMkII could be a double WOW ;-))))

This camera will last for ne next few years (5 years from now). I'm really happy with it and it is THE CAMERA for me!

Highly recommended!

Mar 30, 2005
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Registered: Apr 8, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 97
Review Date: Mar 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,999.95 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast with outstanding AF. Built like a tank.
A little heavy. Software package is not nearly as good as the camera.

This camera without a doubt is the best I ave owned. It is very fast handling. The AF is supurb, and I like the fact I can AF well wit my 100-400 IS and the EF 1.4 TC (f8), altough it is with the enter focus point only. I am still learning how to configure the custom functions the way I want, but I certainly have total flexibility. Camera build quality is the best I have ever seen. Only downside is the software package is not as fast or easy to use as the camera. I understand the original ZoomBrowser of the 10D will soon be updated to handle the MKll RAW files. I higly reccemmend this camera.

Mar 18, 2005
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Registered: Oct 16, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 7
Review Date: Mar 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: I won't outgrow it, I never find myself wishing for this or that feature, it's already got all I need and more.
Spoils you for inferior cameras

If you miss a picture you will never blame the camera, it will be down to you. With other cameras they don't focus quickly enough, they get the metering wrong etc etc. Not this beauty.

It's actually the ultimate point-and-shoot! Though of course everything is customisable and tweakable.

This camera has spoilt me and I could never go back to a 300D or a 10D.

The 1DMkII is a true professional Single Lens Reflex Camera as well as being a digital powerhouse.

I can't see how my photographs could be any better (there's the 1DsII's extra pixels, but I don't ever need to print that big and I wouldn't want to lose the speed)

Someone else said that this camera should last you a lifetime and I have to agree, I don't think anyone could outgrow it. Get one of these and you'll never have to buy another camera. You're free to concentrate on your photography and forget about the camera.

Mar 13, 2005
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Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Location: Estonia
Posts: 940
Review Date: Mar 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great camera, fast, solid, great ergonomics
need to play around to get to know the camera (espec. on focusing & sharpness)

This is my first DSLR camera. Coming from SONY V1, i found out that i had to read a lot and play a lot in order to get best out of this great camera. Needless to say that someone has to use good glass in order to obtain the best from this excellent piece of equipment.

Mar 4, 2005
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Buy and Sell: On

Registered: Feb 27, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1498
Review Date: Feb 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,495.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Autofocus is fast and dead-on, metering is very accurate, built for rough, professional use...a dream camera!
Controls are not as well laid out as D2H

After battling with the D2H for a little over a year, I sold and/or traded in most of my Nikon equipment for the Mark II and a 70-200 USM 2.8 zoom and my only regret is that I didn't make the switch sooner.

The 2 D2H's that I had were back-focused with any lens, the metering was 1 full stop off plus I had to send one back for focus adjustment 4 times and the shutter went out this summer during a 60 head class at a horse show.

After continued focus problems, I finally got a new one from Nikon a couple of months ago and it displayed the same characteristics so I was either going to wait on a D2X, change to Canon or pull the rest of my hair out fighting with the D2H.

After shooting a rodeo and basketball league this past Saturday with the D2H and a brand new 70-200VR, I knew something was wrong...either camera, lens or operator error.

The images were soft, most back-focused and exposures were way off even though I used a hand-held meter and strobes with Pocket Wizards.

I took everything into my dealer and asked him what could be done and he said that the D2H would have to go back for focus adjustment.

After reading the spendid reviews on the MarkII, I dcided that
it was a much better product than anything Nikon could come up with so I traded in most of my Nikon stuff for Canon.

I shot my first basketball tournament on Saturday and the results from the Mark II and the 70-200 were back-focus, exposures dead on and no noise.

The camera and lens combination is so much better than the Nikon equivalent and I can't wait to start adding other Canon lenses to my collection. I will have to wait awhile since I lost nearly $3000.00 on a one year old camera, SB-800 and various AF lenses.

I will finish a basketball tournament this week with full confidence that what I ask the camera and lens to do will be
without issue and am now looking forward to the remainder of my indoor rodeos, horse shows and youth soccer beginning in a month.

I would have to say that my one-day experience with the Mark II and the 70-200 has shown me why most pro sports photographers are using Canon products and why Nikon is no longer the leader.

Feb 27, 2005
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Registered: Jan 2, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Feb 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Smooth noise free images, Speed, solid build, weather proofing, handling and balance, total control over camera function, every function you could ever want.
Errrm heavy and I am only saying that for something to write in this box

The first DSLR I have used that does it all. It matches any film camera and then gives you all the benefits of film in addition.
The images are of a smooth noise free quality as good as any slide film. The handling is the best of any SLR camera I have used it feels like an old friend already.
The build is solid and robust with every feature you could ever need.

I can totaly recommend this camera. I traded up from a 10D which is a great piece of kit but sometimes lets you down with things like poor low light focus or lockout when buffer fills just at the wrong moment. The 1Dmk2 simply does not do any of this.

Focus is fast and almost fool proof. The 1.3x crop seems to hit the sweet spot on all my lenses especially the 17-40mm L and 24-70mm f/2.8. The buffer is huge and clears quickly (Am using Sandisk Extreme III CF and SD cards). Images need almost no post process. I will keep this camera for a long time. It is in my opinion a classic and does all I want and much more besides.

Feb 23, 2005
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Registered: Oct 7, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 81
Review Date: Feb 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: it can do all plus more of what a film camera can do
there's no buy one get one free offer

I mean this camera has it all,well for a digital it makes my critique

Feb 2, 2005
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Registered: Dec 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2984
Review Date: Jan 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,100.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: strong build. good balance and ergonomics.
posterization in out of focus areas and in some low light situations

i come from a d60 which has great color but the 1dmkII has incredible color. not much post processing needed on these files compared to a d60. everything about it is great. low noise at high iso's sharp images straight out of the camera.the only problem im having with this camera is posterization which shows up very minor in out of focus areas but sometimes shows up pretty heavily in my outdoor night photography...usually in the part of the images where bright areas meet dark areas.beyond that its a dream machine

Jan 11, 2005
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Registered: Jul 10, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 973
Review Date: Dec 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Solid and tough, as a pro camera should be. Astounding battery life. Has all the necessary advanced pro features.
Ergonomics not optimal. LCD display is slow. AF selection could be more advanced. Auto White Balance isn't accurate. Crappy strap included. Huge accesories.

This is my first DSLR--or even my first SLR. Prior to this camera, I was using an Olympus C3030Z, which was my first camera (used it for 3 years). Although I'm not a pro, I am a serious artist, and demand the best for my creative endeavors. I got the 1D MKII because it had all the features I was waiting for (the 1D was missing a few things)--speed, resolution, features, reliability..etc. Since the camera was out of my price range, I had to save up for a year to get it (I had no lenses either, and was starting from scratch).

First of all, this is a great camera, and probably hands down superior to its competitions on the market (actually, there is no competition in its price range. Even if price isn't an issue, there really isn't a camera out there that can compete in all the relevant departments (speed, reliability, features, lens lineup). This camera, for all intents and purposes, can last someone a lifetme and they'd probably never outgrow it--unless technology has advanced so much that compatibility has become an issue (like what happened to the FD lineup).

A few things really stand out about this camera, and they are speed, battery life, and construction. Everyone knows how fast this beast is, so I won't get into it. The battery life was a big surprise for many people--you could shoot for what feels like an eternity before the battery starts running low. I could shoot a whole week, everyday, for hours and hours with it, and the batter will last me almost that whole week. The construction is very solid, as to be expected for a pro camera. I could use it as a weapon if anyone tried to rob me, and it would probably survive the ordeal far better than the person on the receiving end of the beating. I bet I could use it to take pictures of the robber's bruised face and it'll work just fine.

Now, about the negatives (just a warning--I'm a very picky person. I want perfection, and am hopelessly idealistic).

I don't like the ergonomics. It's not laid out very well, or very intuitive. It takes too many buttons to activate certain things or change certain settings. The displays can also be better in terms of showing the current setting of the camera. It isn't bad at all, just that it could be better.

I want more than one instant recall of AF point. Why not have more than one and you can scroll between them? Also, I don't like having to use two dials to move the AF point.

The LCD display is too slow for such an expensive camera that's supposed to tackle sports photography headon. Both displaying the picture after it's taken, or scrolling through existing pictures are too slow for me.

The Auto White Balance is lacking. I expected much better from a pro camera. There are consumer cameras on the market that is better at it.

The strap included is crappy. It's stiff, uncomfortable to wear, and not the best looking. They should've included something more like the kind of highend strap people have purchased to replace the default one with. I actually think they should've included a wrist strap too, but that's just me.

The charger is huge--it is literally the size of a brick. Does it have to be so damn big?

I think DSLR manufacturers should really include some form of dependable sensor cleaning accesory with the body. Sensor dirt/dust is an everyday reality in the world of DSLR, and most manufacturers aren't doing enough about it. Canon, being the leader of the market, should take lead in that department. (Bravo to Olympus and others who are doing something about it.)

Dec 31, 2004
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Registered: Dec 12, 2004
Location: Italy
Posts: 12
Review Date: Dec 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: Just the higher definition for eventual croppings
Well.....there's no comparison with the color rendition and the sharpness od the former CCD powered EOS 1 D (obviously allowing for the differences of a lower resolution).

It's a bit long story. I now eventually own the camera (# 247516) but I hade to go through six 1 D Mark II before I found an acceptable one. I do not mean to scare anybody and , besides , I am a very dedicated Canon user. But... the first I got
was focusing at "leopard spots" , i.e. : randomly distributed focused patches within
the image. I had to cover a Photokina event for "Classic Camera"magazine and I stupidly left home my backup D 20. "Quilting" and patching together an acceptable
article took TWO Photoshop's days , some profanities and a sore...back.
The second camera was shortening the accu somewhere inside....two accus flat after a total eight pics. It was a marriage and I luckily had the D 20 with me.
The third camera had it's best resolution slightly worse than a Supermarket freebie.
Unbelievable murky and smudged shoots. Canon Milano's Mr. Angelo got the willies.
The fourth and the fifth got "reasonably" sharp focus just on the right half of the frame. The details on the left half (placed on the same picture'splane) were slowly and cutely tiptoeing into blur.
The sixth , the one I now own , after some tuning, is acceptable.
The real miracle was the patience of my pro shop , the FCF in Milano, in allowing me to carry on all those checks. Anyway ...I look forward to receiving the relevant Miranda plug ins. Sorry for the long talk. Looks almost like "Ben Hur" movie.... with hints of "Carrie".

Dec 15, 2004
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Registered: Mar 24, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3027
Review Date: Dec 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,099.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image Quality (Sharp, Clean, excellent dynamic range), Speed (plenty of it), Build quality and feel (extremely high quality, even the shutter sounds incredible like a solid machine), 1.3x sensor (much closer to 35mm full frame than some people think), Controls (easy to use after a few sessions)
just to mention something, size and weight.

This is the best SLR ive used, digital or film. Its very very resposive and image quality is is better than I expected, coming from a 10d I didnt expect much improvement in image quality but i was wrong.

The larger sensor (1.3x vs 1.6x) is a huge benefit also, it has allowed me to capture the feel of my 35mm film cameras regarding composition, now i can get closer with long lenses while mantaining some loose compositions which is great instead of having to move back or use a shorter lens.

Regarding responsiveness the 1D mark 2 is such a huge improvement over a 10d its unreal. Evereything is more inmediate which helps capture action and facial expressions much more surely and consistenly. AF is better also.

Build quality is trully top notch and feels like a solid mechanical device not just an electronic wonder. The shutter sound reinforces that aspect. It is worlds ahead of a 10d. The difference is significant and I love the fact that it has an integrated "grip" with vertical shutter release.

I really sweat deciding between this camera and the 20d and though about it even when pressing the buy it button on B&H's web site but now after a few jobs I have forgotten that and really think I made the right choice.

Dec 4, 2004
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Registered: May 21, 2004
Location: France
Posts: 50
Review Date: Nov 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,690.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Bright viewfinder, perfect handling
weight... jest to say something

I've switched from Canon FD T90 to Canon EOS D60 to 10D and now to 1DmkII.
It has many functions i loved from the T90 but what should you expect from a pro body !
Honestly the best is the pleasure to use it. It's very fast in all aspects and truely deserves its high rating among pros and amateurs alike.

My recommandation to any hesitant futur wanabe buyers, find a camera shop that will let you handle it. Once you've used it a few seconds you'll be seduced and you won't have second thoughts... It's a winner !!!
Cheers from France.
I've just openned a website dedicated to Canon's DSLRs. Come in and send your feedbacks.

Nov 28, 2004
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Registered: Sep 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 56
Review Date: Nov 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,495.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: All the pros mentioned and then some.
Many of the negatives that I have read on this forum will disappear as shooters learn the ergonomics of this camera - the ability to fit the camera to the shooter is a huge advantage. As to a "con", the only one that really bothers me is the noisy shutter action, which makes the camera useless for venues that demand quiet. I have tempered this drawback somewhat with a Nikon blimp.

Nov 25, 2004
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Registered: May 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 61
Review Date: Nov 18, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: See Message Body
Startup delay should be 0. Bundled software is awful.

I've shot almost 20,000 frames with it and figure I'm qualified to chime in.

Cons: Just a few.

1) There should be no startup delay on a $4,500 camera.
2) The included software is not good at all for processing large numbers of images. Also, cameras at this level should come with quality software for shooting tethered.
3) Should display ISO in viewfinder as it changes. I get tired of counting to 3 for each stop.
4) Ruins you for prosumer cameras.

Pros: Almost too many to list.

1) AF speed and accuracy. My number of keepers quadrupled on the first outing. The 45 point system works very well in servo mode.
2) Over 8fps. With a Sandisk Ultra II SD you can fly. No more full buffers.
3) Extremely configurable.
4) Very solid. Feels substantial.
5) Weather sealing.
6) Dual card slots; instant backup.
7) ISO 50. Wow! You lose some DR but just bracket and blend.
8) 200,000 cycle shutter life.
9) CMOS image quality. You can jack up the ISO.
10) Unlike other photogs, I like the two finger controls. With experience I can do it fast and have never changed a parameter by accident.
11) Very long battery life. I regularly shoot over 2k frames per charge.
12) Can record a voice message with an image.

Think before you buy. The 20D has comparable image quality and you can get some pretty sweet glass for the price difference. Just don’t get it wet.


Nov 18, 2004
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Review Date: Oct 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, fast, and 1.3 crop factor, e-ttl2, longer battery life.
there's not instant review at LCD after you take night shoot use long shutter speed.

i have confused before which camera should i keep, 1D or 1Dmk2, i like the CCD result from 1D, but there's no zoom preview at 1D.

At the end i choose 1Dmk2 bcoz e-ttl2, zoom review, and shutter lag time, and longer battery life.

Oct 24, 2004
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Canon EOS 1D Mark II

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
98 150002 Nov 22, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $3,361.23
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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