Canon EOD 1Ds
Photo Courtesy Canon Corp.
September 20, 2002
Photokina, and the formal introduction of the landmark Canon 1Ds, is now less than a week away. But, confirmed specs have already become available. A couple of weeks ago Canon Europe accidentally spilled the beans on their web site for an hour or so, and now here's the rest of what is known based on an "accidental" release by Canon UK.
Firstly, lets establish that with the exception of the sensor and support electronics this camera is essentially the same as the Canon EOS 1D. My field review, and formal review of that camera for Photo Techniques magazine, are both online here. If you are not familiar with the 1D please read these reviews to give yourself a good grounding in what this model family is about. The 1Ds will be almost identical, with the exception of its new imaging chip and associated capabilities.
What this means is the the 1Ds will have state-of-the-art autofocus and metering. It means that the camera is one of the most ruggedly constructed picture taking machines ever built, with extensive moisture and dust sealing. Like the 1V and 1D, the 1Ds may be used by nature and combat photographers in arduous conditions and will take a licking as well as any camera can. Like the 1V and 1D, the new 1Ds has 45 point area auto focus and 21 zone matrix metering.
Rather than repeat a laundry list of the 1D and 1V's features, which you likely are already familiar with, here are the things that differentiate the 1Ds.
— Full Frame Sensor.
The 1Ds' imaging sensor is nominally 24X36mm, and thus identical in size to 35mm film. The most important advantage that this will offer is that wide angle lenses can be used as always, whereas with the 1D, as well as the D30 and D60, one had to live with a multiplication factor of 1.4X to 1.6X because of the smaller sensors.
— CMOS Sensor
Since the D30 came out, followed by the D60, many (myself included) have waxed rhapsodic about the Canon CMOS sensor. Beautiful clean colours, low noise, low battery draw, and high freedom from dust are all benefits of this sensor.
The 1Ds offers a 12 Megapixel sensor (11.1 Megapixel effective), the largest and highest resolution chip yet offered in a 35mm format digital SLR. 4064 X 2704 in RAW or Large JPG mode. The camera has Auto White Balance Bracketing as well as Auto ISO bracketing.
— Chip Features
An ISO range of 100 - 1250 is available, along with ISO 50 though the use of a custom function. The camera uses the same NP-E3 battery packs as the 1D, and Canon claim that up to 600 exposures can be made on a single charge. (Likely somewhat less in the real world).
— Shooting Speed
The 1Ds can shoot a 3 FPS and has a 10 frame buffer. Not a threat to the 1D, but certainly good enough for wildlife, fashion and non-demanding sports.
— Transfers & Formatting
Transfer of files is via FireWire (IEEE1394) at 50 Mbps. Hooray. Compact flash cards can be formatted in either the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. FAT32 will be used with cards of over 2GB and is selected automatically by the camera when formatting this type of card. (Come on IBM — where's the 4GB Microdrive now that we really need it?)
— Screen Review
One of the few complaints about the original 1D was that the rear panel LCD screen did not allow magnified image review. The 1Ds has this feature.
That's what's known about the 1Ds at this time. On September 25th it will be officially launched. Price and availability are still not firm but best guesses today are a price of about U.S. $6,500 with first shipments in November.
My preliminary field review is now online.
Update: Have a look at my Photokina Update page for the latest information from Photokina.