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Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II

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78 188831 May 15, 2022
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $4,779.66
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.72
8.26
9.6
1dsmarkii

Specifications:
16.7 MP full frame CMOS sensor
4 fps
32 frame continuous shooting
DPP RAW processing software
DIGIC II
E-TTL II flash system
Wide ISO speed range
Weather resistant magnesium body
Dual performance memory card slots
LCD with 230k pixels
<a target=_blank href=http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=139&modelid=10598>More info...</a>


 


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tcphoto
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Registered: Mar 29, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1515
Review Date: Jan 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Resolution, build quality, processing speed, full frame sensor.
Cons:
The DPP software.

I upgraded from the original 1Ds to the 1Ds2 recently. It's amazing how much faster this camera writes files compared to the previous version. The buffer empties faster, no long waits for the camera to catch up. The files are very clean, even in the shadow areas.

Jan 14, 2008
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condrup.eu
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Registered: Jul 20, 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 38
Review Date: Dec 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 1D series design and build. Resolution, full-frame.
Cons:
You kidding me ? None!

I have always dreamed of having the 1Ds Mark II. However due to the heavy pricetag, i went for the 1D Mark II N instead.

Now that the new 1Ds Mark III has shipped out, i was on the lookout for a 2nd hand 1Ds Mark II instead.

I found one! It is in good condition has a 130K shutter count and works like a charm! My EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens is even more amazing now, on the full-frame sensor.

If you are looking for 1D series design and build, huge resolution and full-frame, now is the time to go look for 2nd hand bodies and with some luck, you will find the camera of your dreams!

1Ds Mark II is not bad, just because a new version has been released, this camera rocks !


Dec 14, 2007
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TomRA
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Registered: Jan 5, 2007
Location: Norway
Posts: 247
Review Date: Oct 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Bright clear viewfinder, build quality, ease of use, image quality - very, very, very sharp given that the lens used is up to it (no chain is stronger than itīs weakest link). Ergonomics.
Cons:
Price, display, a bit cumbersome AF point selection.

I just recently bought my copy second hand, pretty much two days before the 1DsmkIII was revealed. Beeing a Nikon shooter throughout some 20 years this is my first Canon body.

After reading numerous articles on the web and then some i certainly expected a certain level of frustration getting used to how a 1D operates compared to a Nikon D2. I was so wrong, after browsing the menus for some 20 minutes, occasionally peeking in the manual i was ready to go. No "doh!" moments, only "ok, good".

The physical feel of a 1D body just has to be experienced, if you like things buildt solid like i do this body will leave you with a grin on your face lasting for days to end. Personally this camera sits much better in my hand compared to itīs Nikon counterpart...this is obviously a matter of taste and personal preference. Not intending to say anything bad about Nikon PRO bodies because they are magnificent but in my opinion the 1D is just as good in the ergonomic department. So far i have not put it through itīs paces when it comes to bad weather and rough handling and i probably wonīt for what i intend to use it for but it seems clear to me that this body will handle pretty much anything you throw at it.

Getting to the really interesting part now...the image quality. I have tried some high ISO shots just for fun, itīs not what i intend to do, they look fair enough, nothing impressive, just ok. Mounting it to a solid tripod, 100 ISO, MLU pared with a good lens really makes it shine, itīs sharp, sharp, sharp, sharp. Colors are excellent. Contrast excellent. Not really happy with how it deals with WB but this body is still new to me and like most digitial cameras it certainly got a personality of itīs own. Takes some time to learn how to tweak it to taste. Did i mention the sharpness?! File size is large when shooting RAW, not too large but be prepared to have a pair of decent HDīs and a decent software to handle the files.

Not gonna make this into a lengthy essay as it is an "old" camera and most things about it has already been said but thereīs one thing i would like to point out...if you would like a FF body in a 1D package and canīt afford the new hotness (1DsmkIII). Donīt hesitate if you can afford this baby second hand (or new), itīs all that and then some!


Oct 24, 2007
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bryPT
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Registered: May 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 363
Review Date: Sep 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: brilliant piece of equipment. Everything about it is positive.
Cons:
nothing.

You have all read the reviews, so there is really not much more that I can say. I will throw a wrench into the comments about weight. I absolutely love the weight of this camera. First off, it is not a toy, so it should not feel and weigh like one. In 3 years, I have gone from a Digital Rebel, to 30d, to this, and every jump has been large, but the 30d to this was huge. The weight is perfectly balanced with my 100-400 and my walk around 24-105 works great with it as well. I rarely wear it on a strap, so I ain't got it dangling and choking me due to the supposed heaviness. The menus are set up nice, a step back from the 30d, but I like them just as much in other ways. Sure, no mirror lockup, small screen, blah blah blah, but we all knew that going in, so.... LOVE the battery life. Brilliant battery life. LOVE the AI Servo focusing, LOVE the ISO, and absolutely LOVE the image results. This is by far the finest piece of equipment I have ever used in photography (for the short time I have been doing it seriously), in I.T. (a computer geek by trade) or anything else I can think of. If you can get your hands on one of these new, Canon has phased it off their site, and want the most serious piece of camera hardware you can get your hand on (until mid November), I would definitely buy it. I carry it everywhere I go in a Slingshot 200 AW and could not be happier.

Sep 21, 2007
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davidmarsh
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Registered: Oct 26, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 140
Review Date: Sep 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: The finest DSL I have ever used, and I have used most of them!
Cons:
None, but I feel I should say something so here goes...its too high

I am always amazed that when reading the reviews on Canon DSLRs that everyone say they are heavy. Young children are heavy when little babies but we carry then everywhere. All they do is poo and make a mess, yet we do not complain. Your Canon, however, needs no feeding, no bathing, no patting on the back and unlike babies, they can make you money and also make you look important. The Canon 1DS MII is the most important looking camera around and does produce stunning results especialy when shooting in low light situations like concerts. They handle noise very well and if the users of these cameras read the manual, they will discover some fantastic and important features that really help you capture great images. An example of this would be the 'focus lock', the '8 point exposure control', the multi controls for both portrait and landscape images. It is heavy because it is durable, strong and can be abused without any issues.

Sep 15, 2007
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Conner999
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Registered: Jan 22, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 4299
Review Date: Jun 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ (see comments), build, ease of use, tunability, AE & AF engines
Cons:
HEAVY (surprise, surprise), RAW files take some work, Have a blistering PC/Mac, manual on the light side. Like any ultra-res body, watch for camera shake. DPP sucks.

Only had this baby a short time - came across a deal too good to say no to, so decided to give her a try. While selling it for reasons below, would recommend it -- to the right user.

Built like the proverbial brick outhouse. Would stop a bullet if that's a feature anyone is interested in. Many moan about the controls and menu system - don't give it any mind. As a dedicated Nikon user, I was fine-tuning the camera easily with maybe 30 min playing with it. Settings can be changed in seconds and tuned 8 ways from Xmas. Keeping in mind what they are all for...lets say the manual could use some work.

With a 3-4 sharpeness setting Jpegs are excellent OOC. Raw files take some work - likely due to a robust AA filter. That in itself is no issue, but bear in mind a basic 16 bit TIFF is > 90MB. Start adding layers and LR, PS, etc and things get real slow, real quick if your computer is not up to snuff (my reason for selling).

Less than top-shelf glass goes over like a lead ballon on this sucker. DPP software does great pic rendition, but PITA in use. AF and AE engines were a sweet surprise - AE bang on 8 times /10 - some minor tweaking will fix rest. AF is FAST & quiet on top L USM glass. No hunting.

For a photog looking for a FF to use in rugged conditions with a high-end computer and TOP glass, it would be a no-brainer. For the rest - a 5D would do 90% of the job for 1/2 the scratch.


Jun 5, 2007
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bslotte
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Registered: Feb 4, 2006
Location: Finland
Posts: 19
Review Date: May 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Resolution Smooth noise at high ISO (smoother than the 5D) Build quality Ergonomics Customizability Viewfinder
Cons:
Weight Ridiculously big battery charger Small rear display


I got this one second-hand after the 5D. Had to sell the 5D to finance it. Anyway, no regrets (although my occasionally aching right arm would perhaps disagree).

Noise was a very important issue for me (I often shoot a whole evening at ISO 1600, since I hate flash), and coming from the 5D I'm picky about this. So is the 5D or 1Ds mk2 better in the noise department? I would say that both are about equal. The 1Ds mk2 does have a bit more noise at 1600 and 3200, but on the other hand its noise seems to be a bit more even than the 5D's (due to better electronics design and electromagnetic shielding, I would guess) and thus less annoying.

At first I disliked the loud shutter sound (5D is much softer-sounding), but now I'm totally used to it and even like it a bit!

I have not so far noticed any significant difference between the 5D's and 1Ds mk2's autofocus. Some people say that there is a big difference but I have not noticed it. In whichever case, it certainly isn't worse. Maybe if I used servo AF (which I rarely do) I might notice a difference.


May 25, 2007
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tech058
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Registered: Dec 24, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 28
Review Date: Mar 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: AF is blazing fast
Cons:
Image review 10x magnification is poor

Well, even though I didn't own the 5D and the 1Ds Mark II at the same time, I did some comparisons from shots older shots I had from my 5D with recent shots with the 1DsII.

What I determined:

1. Resolution was a bit better for the 1DsII but not significant.
2. At 100%, noise was slightly better for the 5D at 1600 and noticeably better at 3200, however, when reducing the 1Ds down to 5D resolution the noise drops to a similar level and the 1DsII responds to ACR noise reduction slightly better than the 5D. Over all I would say the 5D is better in terms of noise because it just comes out nice, but the 1DsII can be just as nice with a little work.
3. difference in 3fps and 4fps is actually pretty noticeable but 3fps was enough for me, however the 5D can take more shots before filling up the buffer, thats a real bonus for me.
4. Color seems to be much more accurate and consistent with the 1DsII, but you can correct this with a color calibration macro in ACR.
5. The custom features on the 1DsII are outstanding.
6. Spot metering is far superior.
7. AF is mind boggling (but I imagine no better than the 1DII).
8. Dual cards is neat but not a big plus for me.
9. Menu system is far better on the 5D but "safer" on the 1DsII
10. The camera just "feels" much more like a solid piece of equipment (The feel and AF is what caused me to fall in love with the 1-series body over the 5D).
11. I really miss the 5D's little thumb stick to control my AF-point selection.
12. 100% viewfinder coverage in the 1DsII is REALLY nice. No more guessing, what you see is what you get.

One large difference I noticed was that I could expand a raw 1DsII image significantly more than a 5D raw image. This is only useful if you want to print a 1,000" x 1,000" print though.

All in all, I would only recommend the 1DsII over the 5D if you really like a sturdy body and AF and FF are crucial and you need the really high end custom functions that come with a 1-series body.


Mar 25, 2007
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tonyabbott
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Registered: Jul 24, 2006
Location: Spain
Posts: 30
Review Date: Sep 24, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Update to my previous review. Superb images, accurate exposure in difficult light, reliable.
Cons:

I am not sure whether I am allowed to update my previous review of this camera, where I gave it an 8, but since then I have been to Namibia for 2 weeks, and taken around 4,000 photos without a problem, and I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

As I did not have time to send the camera to Canon to have the shutter bounce problem solved before I left, I took the camera plus a borrowed 5D as back up. During the whole time I was there I had no problems whatsoever, and the camera performed impecably, I didn't use the 5D once. I was travelling around in a 4WD on dust covered gravel roads, and sand, and was amazed that the sensor only needed a brush over every 2 or 3 days with Visible Dust's Arctic Butterfly, to keep it clean. Also the L lenses didn't suffer either from dust intrusion, (I was constantly changing between 24-70, 70-200 and the 400 5.6). Exposures were spot on, even though Namibia has very contrasty, brilliant light.

I will now send the camera to have the shutter problem resolved, and have the rear LCD cover removed, cleaned and re-sealed.

Based on this recent performance I would like to change my rating to a well deserved 10.


Sep 24, 2006
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johnnyfoto
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Registered: Sep 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: Aug 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Love this Camera!!!! The cost is cheap if you look at phase one or other backs of the same size. And much easyer to use!!!
Cons:
I'm having a problem with the fire wire port, I use it a lot and has now gone bad for the second time??? Anyone else have this problem?



Aug 7, 2006
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tonyabbott
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Registered: Jul 24, 2006
Location: Spain
Posts: 30
Review Date: Jul 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Beautiful images, excellent exposure and dynamic range, raw images, when processed correctly beat what I was getting with scanned slides from my bronica 6x6.
Cons:
Came with a lump of grunge on the sensor cover, over time fine dust or pollen has appeared under the rear LCD panel, shutter problem (see below)

Up until a few days ago I would have given this camera almost full marks in every catagory. It is a fantastic machine capable of producing absolutely beautiful images. I have even taken shots with this camera for trade fair stands, with images blown up to 4 metres high,and they were excellent. I was a litle disappointed when I first bought it to find a lump of grunge on the sensor cover, and the intrusion, after a short while, of fine dust or pollen behind the LCD cover. This camera is supposed to be weather sealed, and for the price, it really shouldn't arrive with crap already on the sesor cover. However these 2 points I can live with, considering the quality of the photographs.

However, last weekend I was taking shots from a boat, of yachts taking part in the America Cup, in Valencia Spain. I was useing my 400 5.6, (which by the way is a fantastic lens) at high shutter speeds (1/1600-2,500) to counteract the movement of the boat. When I downloaded the shots I noticed a thin white line down the left-hand side of portrait shots, and across the top of landscape ones. It seems, from what other people have experienced who have had the same problem, that this is due to shutter bounce, at high speed, and may indicate that the shutter is on its way out. The camera is out of guarantee, but has only 2k shutter firings recorded. I have been in touch with Canon in Madrid, who tell me it will cost 600euros to replace the shutter and clean.

When I remarked that did they think that a camera body that costs almost the same price as small car, should have this problem after so little use, there reply was, "this is the problem nowadays with electronic devices".

I really do find this an unacceptable excuse, and am quite disapponted with Canon's response.

Tony Abbott, Spain





Jul 28, 2006
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perspective
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Registered: Oct 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 589
Review Date: Jul 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Stunningly beautiful photographs
Cons:
Price - I'm constantly, and deathly afraid that it will be stolen from me.

I hardly know where to start, so let me start with a summary: This camera takes the most stunning pictures imagineable. You cannot do better unless you spring for a 30+ megapixel camera for $30,000 (or more).

We're talking almost 17 megapixels and no matter what others say, that does matter. That pixel depth is going to help in a multitude of ways. Even if you're going to dilute it down to 72 dpi, the pictures are still going to be better than a 8 megapixel camera will produce because the re-sampling algorythm will have more data to use to begin with so you will have a truer image left over even after massive re-sampling.

You can create a 12x18 print with this camera at nearly 300 dpi. That's quality. I've done a lot of prints from this camera and the only times I've been disappointed is when I did something dorky - the camera never fails to do well.

There's something immensely satisfying about being a photographer and having the privilege of owning this camera. It is a privilege too because you're going to shell out a lot of money for this camera and you're going worry that some day a better one will come out and your investment will be halfed, and over time whittled to a fraction of what you paid.

I had the 20D for a while and wanted to move up. I struggled with the decision to buy either this camera or the 5d. Both are full-frame; but in the end, I felt that for landscape photography, which is my what I like best, I needed the extra pixel density. That's not the only reason if I'm being totally honest. I am one of those people who has to have the best I can get, even if I don't really need it. In this case I did need it, or I convinced myself I did - either way I cannot really tell the difference because I've probably fooled myself into thinking I needed the extra megapixels just to satisfy that itch in my brain that makes me do some of the more outlandish things I do (like buying $7,000 cameras). That's how I know I must really be an artist, I'm not completely sane.

People comlain that this camera is heavy. So what. If you need 16.7 megapixels then you're going to have to expect that will come in a slightly larger package than 8 megapixels. You're not going to walk around the street taking candids with this, are you? Well maybe you're an artist and loopy just like me so maybe you will use it for street photography. Really though, for that, a 20D or 30D is much better probably, unless you want those candids to pop off the paper like only a picture taken by a 1ds Mark II can. I do notice the weight, but I'm zen about it - it is what it is and there's just no need to complain and no one is going to take you seriously bitching about a camera that cost more than most very good Jet Skis. I will tell you that this camera weighs more than a 20d, 30d or a 5d and leave it at that.

The files it creates are large. Don't buy this camera unless you have a good computer to process the files with. If you have to have the camera and have a crappy computer, at least make sure your spouse or your kids have a good computer you can borrow. Otherwise you'd better save another $1500 so you can buy a Pentium D with 2 gigs of ram.

All of the technical data that people tell you about this camera is true. The colors are spot on, and the images are maleable within Photoshop to the Nth degree. The camera doesn't leak, everything works very well 98% of the time. The buttons are really hard to get used to so when you buy this camera you should practice a lot first by shooting candids of your wife and kids until they boot you from the house. Really, you're actually going to have to practice for awhile before you will remember how to manipulate the buttons on this thing. After you do, you're good to go and you will almost never accidently set the aperature to 2.8 for that landscape shot or 32 for that picture of the flower you want with the nice bokeh. It has a button positioned perfectly for those portrait oriented shots too, this is something I really appreciate.

I think you should never use the jpeg feature of this camera and only output RAW files though. I think you give up too much just putting the camera into sRGB or aRGB and allowing the camera to process the JPEG. I *always* output to RAW and set the white-balance, adjust exposure and curves outside of the camera. I'm sure if you're reading this though and thinking of buying this camera you don't need this drivel from me so let's move on.

Every now and then a company creates a product that is truly special. The Canon 1ds Mark II is that camera that reigns above all others right now within the realm it is designed for. This camera will give you higher quality results than you can get from 35mm film. I've owned a lot of film cameras (most of them Canons, Minoltas and Olympus camera bodies) and none of them can, or could touch this piece of nirvana. There are medium format cameras that come close (they are sharper, but with more grain) and large format cameras that still produce better pictures, particularly for mega-sized prints (even then, not always) but for an all-in-one camera that is as portable as this one, as easy to use (well relatively so, you'd better know something about photography) this camera still reigns supreme. Poke around and read reviews from other sites, you will have a very hard time finding anyone with a negative word to say about this camera. Despite it's cost, I have never once regretted buying this camera.


Jul 19, 2006
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clocksley
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Registered: Mar 7, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 547
Review Date: Jun 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, Image quality, Quality!!!
Cons:
Heavy, even more with a large lens attached. Small screen. Menus (much better operation on 1D N)

I took the plunge and got the best camera Canon make at present - and I'm not disappointed. Like the 5D it is full frame, but unlike the 5D it doesn't seem to have metering "mad moments", and the focus is pretty much instant.

It is however a massive camera, and weighs a tonne with a big white "L" glass on the end. It is also pricey and I can't help feeling this will seem very expensive in a year from now when more models appear and prices fall.

If you want to go all the way for quality of image and camera then go for it - if you want 90% then save yourself a fortune and get a 5D.


Jun 20, 2006
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KETCH
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Registered: Apr 22, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 5
Review Date: May 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid like Italian marble, yet feels just perfect in your hand, smooth and curvy, all the bottons on the right place, so fast I look for cops before I shoot, constructed like a armer vehicle, autofocus very impressive w/45p, love this camera never step down fron the 1d series again, trully unbelivaible machine.
Cons:
Absolutelly nulla, nada, rien, nothing, nudda.

I can definatelly feel up pages talking about the 1D MARK 2 n, is just that great, but I weel be short, also becouse the more I write the more errors I will make my inglish is not as good, but I tell you if you are in the market for a new pro camera look no more this is it!!!

I my self try for months different cameras, Nkon, Kodak, Fujitsu, Mamiya, but at the end also thanks to the reviews of this fantastic site I decide for the Canon 1D mark 2N and love it!!!


May 1, 2006
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lenslover
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Registered: Mar 22, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Review Date: Mar 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build quality that inspires confidence, processing speed, large, detailed files, relatively low noise, good battery life
Cons:
It's certainly expensive, however it does have a lot to offer. My MAJOR gripe is that although it excels in perfect front lit conditions it REALLY struggles at times in non standard/moody lighting. AF can be a bit sketchy

There's no question that I'm a perfectionist and to that end I'm very difficult to please, particularly when I have high expectations for a camera with a gargantuan price tag... I have owned two of these bodies and as digital SLRs go the 1Ds mk 2 is the pinnacle of technology and build quality rolled into one. The key to that last sentence is 'technology' and that's where the shortcomings lie. My first issue with the Canon arose as a result of compatibility problems whilst using Lexar cards (back in winter 2004/5). Many of you will have heard the stories of lost images etc. Well I lost a great deal of money as a result of that and I have to say having shot film for many years my first foray into the digital arena was going anything but smoothly, as most will know the more complicated a system is, the more likelihood of a failure... My second issue is that I am now making photographs with a very compact and complicated high powered computer. This requires maintenance and some of this is particularly tricky, so much so that Canon no longer warranties their own sensor cleaning - I never had problems like that when I was having my 1V Hs serviced! The third issue which occurrs even when I have exposed manualy and have selected only the centre AF point is the tardiness of the AF. Admittedly if you want a body for fast action then really the 1D mk 2 N is the one to go for, but the AF has proved woefully inadequate and therefore untrustworthy so, as a result I spend the majority of the time manually focusing in situations where I would normally have employed AF. My fourth and most important issue centres around image quality and, which for me is the most important consideration when buying cameras/lenses. I have been highly impressed by the 1Ds mk 2s performance under controlled lighting, in fact the results when shooting on Canon's finest glass are phenominal, however in non-standard lighting, or shall we refer to it as 'interesting lighting' I have encountered problems. In short I own what many regard as the finest digital camera available and yet I still reach for a film body when the conditions are moody. I hate to say it but I just can't get as excited about the results from the 1Ds mk2 as I still get from a well exposed, thoughtfully composed, crisp tranny shot on oneof my favourite emulsions. The images produced from this camera, although fantastic by digital standards are lacking and I think the element they lack is depth. Denounce me as an analogue purist, but here we are in 2006 approximately 117 years after the first photographic film was loaded into a Kodak camera, we have transparency and black and white films that yield near perfect renditions of reality and yet in the short time digital cameras have become more widely available image quality seems to have devolved rather than evolved, the illusion of speedier, less complicated workflow has ultimately led to quality being compromised and photographers spending more time in front of a computer screen than out making pictures. I will continue to shoot 120 and 35mm tranny alongside my 1Ds 2 for as long as I see (photographic) magazines displaying images showing all manner of aberrations including 'artefacts' and 'banding' across smooth, graduated tones. Roll on tri-tiered sensors (that rumour has it fuji are working on) that bring us closer to the day when digital offerings are truly on par with film. If you've reached this point, I hope I haven't pontificated too much and I hasten to apologise for being so long-winded!

Mar 28, 2006
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Olsen
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Registered: May 4, 2003
Location: Norway
Posts: 147
Review Date: Feb 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Awesome resolution on large prints. Beats medium format. Incredible low noice on high ISO. Fast buffer handling of large files. Great flexibility regarding custom tuning of just anything from tonal range, contrast, sharpness, WB and what not. Sturdy; you can kill a man on short distance.
Cons:
Heavy. Probably too flexible regarding custom tuning (what is the ideal tuning of this monster?!) Demanding on your lenses. Lots of CA and light fall out on WA lenses; you have to stop them down. Cumbersome 'mirror up' shooting by custom function. No Canon WA good enough for this camera.

The 1Ds II is an awsome instrument, - at a fair price.

I don't have the same blood dripping relation to my 1Ds II as I had to my 1Ds, - my first camera of this class, knowing that we shall part when a heftier Canon camera is introduced. I finally had my 1Ds ideally tuned regarding tonal range and sharpness etc. when we parted, - I sold it. The same tuning is more difficult - due to more posibilities - to hit with the 1Ds II,- if at all possible. I am still fumbling around trying our different settings having had the camera since april 2005. I miss a book that digs deep into this camera's abilities regarding custom settings and capabilities and systematically presents how they look on screen or paper. Something like Wildi's Hasselblad Manual. There should be a Pulnitzer Price waiting for anyone who dared attack such a momentous task.

I have always regarded myself as a '100ASA man'. Not anymore. The low noice level and surefootedness of the automatic white balance of 1Ds II on high ISO are mind boggling. They will change photography.

Demanding on lenses, but don't loose out of sight that still quite a few comes out very good on a 1Ds II. Like the 35 mm 1,4L, 24-70 mm 2,8L (and indeed 28-70 mm 2,8L), 17-35 mm 4,0L. Sure, 1Ds II compromises quite a few Canon lenses that Canon now must phase out for better ones. You have to work stopped down. Preferably to the aparture that produces the best result (in 100% in PS - the tool that has made us all resolution & optics freaks) Not at all unusual for anyone experienced with dark room work and MF, - or photography a bit above ordinary amateur level.

Far better battery economy than 1Ds, but it is just as inconvenient whenever the battery falls flat. Demands two batteries.

The best viewfinders of the business. As bright and large as it must be for checking if the motive is sharp. A pritty obvious and important thing, really.

Sturdy as a tank. Swinging it above your head by it's strap you could kill a man on short distance, - and keep shooting with it afterwards (like documenting the dead body). But I found the surface treatment on the 1Ds stronger. The 1Ds II gets scratched easier. Not a good thing if you are dependant on a good 2.hand price to finance the next Canon moster (22 million pixels?).

And heavy. You'll end up as a gold mine for a ciropractician.

I find the 'in the box software' a bit slow and cumbersome - but still far faster and better than what came with the 1Ds. I am not sure if I have really picked up the reccommended work flow. Anyway - I hate the PC part of modern digital photography! Which reminds me that both 1Ds and 1Ds II are cameras for those who love to read manuals and flick around with raw files.



Feb 18, 2006
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Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II

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