Decision time? Check out our latest product comparisons

Canon delivers EOS 5D with full frame CMOS sensor and 8.5 fps EOS-1D Mark II

By

August 22, 2005

Canon delivers EOS 5D with full frame CMOS sensor and 8.5 fps EOS-1D Mark II

Canon delivers EOS 5D with full frame CMOS sensor and 8.5 fps EOS-1D Mark II

Image Gallery (7 images)

August 23, 2005 - Canon today announced two new digital SLR models in a move to provide dedicated cameras for both serious enthusiast and professional photographers. To support its extensive EOS system Canon also announced two new EF zoom lenses, and a powerful new Speedlite. Canon's EOS 5D answers many photographers' requests for a digital SLR camera with a Canon-developed full frame CMOS sensor. Measuring 36 x 24mm, the new CMOS sensor offers the holy grail of 1:1 lens conversion. Capturing 12.8 megapixel images, the EOS 5D offers three frames-per-second (fps) continuous shooting for up to 60 frames in a single burst. Equally as impressive, Canon's EOS-1D Mark II N offers blistering speed combined with super-high resolution. Capturing 8.2 megapixel images with its Canon-developed CMOS sensor, the EOS-1D Mark II N shoots a super-fast 8.5 fps for up to 48 frames in a single burst.

Both models incorporate Canon's proprietary DiG!C II high-speed digital signal-processing integrated circuit. Labelled as the brain inside Canon's cameras, the DiG!C II circuit performs detailed processing of large-volume data at extremely high speed, satisfying professional demands for exceptional image quality and responsiveness in any shooting situation. EOS 5D

Photographers who have yearned for a full-frame digital SLR that won't break the bank - or their backs - just got their wish with the new compact Canon EOS 5D digital SLR which offers a full-frame CMOS sensor with 12.8 megapixels of resolution, available in October for an estimated selling price of $3,299*. As the world's smallest and lightest** full frame digital SLR, the EOS 5D model features Canon's proprietary DIGIC II Image Processor allows users to shoot up to 3 frames per second; record up to 60 full-resolution JPEGs and 17 RAW images in a single burst. The camera includes a new 9-point AF system with six supplemental AF points for fast and precise focusing and a new 2.5-inch LCD/TFT screen with 230,000 pixels that's viewable even at extreme angles.

"The Canon EOS 5D digital SLR is the camera that will make quality-minded 35mm and medium format film shooters switch to digital once and for all," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. "Wedding and portrait photographers who need facial detail in their group shots require the large file sizes the EOS 5D model can provide. For landscape and nature photographers who want to enjoy the entire range of their wide angle lenses, the EOS 5D DSLR's full-frame sensor is a dream come true. And for those photographers who hesitate at carrying around EOS-1 Series heft, they will love the EOS 5D digital SLR's lightweight feel almost as much as their accountants - or spouses - will love the price."

A Premium DSLR with Outstanding Image Quality

Combining the high-end specifications of the EOS-1 Line and the operational ease of the EOS 20D model, the new Canon EOS 5D digital SLR is a premium digital SLR designed for a wide range of photographers. While a 35mm full-size image sensor is already available on the groundbreaking Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II camera, many photographers have been asking for a DSLR with a full-frame sensor that is smaller, lighter and more affordable. Enter the Canon EOS 5D digital SLR. Boasting a 12.8 megapixel, 35mm full-size image sensor in a magnesium alloy body weighing just 28.6 ounces (810 grams), the EOS 5D digital SLR is a petite but powerful imaging machine. Perhaps best of all, the EOS 5D model is a great value at $3,299 for the complete Power Kit with a full software package including the new Digital Photo Professional v2.0.

The heart of the Canon EOS 5D digital SLR is its extraordinary new, Canon-designed and manufactured CMOS image sensor. At 12.8 megapixels, there is enough resolution for a double-page spread in a magazine, a large print of the bride and groom, facial detail in group shots or a landscape of impressive dimensions. The sensor's 35.8 x 23.9mm size means that each pixel can be a generous 8.2um, resulting in exceptionally low shadow noise. The sensor's low power consumption extends battery life and lowers noise. A finer CMOS production process and optimized photodiode construction increase the light-sensitive area of each pixel and improve dynamic range as well.

The full-size sensor maximizes the performance of Canon EF lenses, the world's largest selection of autofocus lenses. With the full-size sensor, EF lenses - even wide-angle lenses - have the same look and feel they have with conventional SLR cameras, preserving their optical signatures. Imaging quality in the EOS 5D is enhanced with the addition of the DIGIC II image processor, which provides detailed and natural color reproduction and fast image processing, including an incredible burst performance of 60 Large/Fine JPEGs or 17 RAW images at 3 fps. DIGIC II also enhances start-up time on the EOS 5D DSLR, bringing it down to a lightning fast 0.2 seconds.

Picture Styles for Better Pictures

In the analog era, photographers would select the brand of film that suited their own shooting style or the subject being photographed. In the digital era, they have to rely on the image quality features and settings provided by the camera manufacturer. Some users though have experienced confusion about what effects these settings would have on the image. To provide better clarification, a new feature called Picture Styles combines processing parameters and color matrix settings into easy settings designed to obtain the desired effect, almost like choosing a type of film to obtain a specific result.

For users who do not want to bother with post processing, there is the Picture Style called Standard which produces images that look crisp and vivid with the sharpness set to mid-scale and the color tone and saturation set to obtain vivid colors. In the Portrait setting, the color tone and saturation are set to obtain nice skin tones with the sharpness set one step weaker than the Standard setting so the skin and hair look softer. Under the Landscape setting, the color tone and saturation are set to obtain deep blues and greens, the sharpness is set one step stronger than Standard so the outline of mountains, trees and buildings look more crisp. The Neutral setting is the same as the default setting for EOS-1 series cameras where natural color reproduction is obtained and no sharpness is applied. This is the ideal setting for post-processing. The Faithful setting is the same as Digital Photo Professional's Faithful, so when the subject is photographed under a color temperature of 5200K, the color is adjusted colorimetrically to match the subject's color with no sharpness applied. Monochrome is the same as the EOS 20D camera's monochrome setting and with User Defined, the user can create and save their own preferred settings.

Sophisticated New Autofocus System

The Canon EOS 5D digital SLR has a new nine point AF system with six Supplemental AF points, a new AF algorithm and a new AF circuitry. The new AF system improves subject detection and focusing precision at the center, the most frequently used area, and significantly enhances subject tracking performance.

On the EOS 5D model, the nine AF points are concentrated at the center, but the extreme left and right points are located in the same positions as the corresponding AF points on the EOS-1Ds Mark II. In addition, the six invisible Supplemental AF points, grouped around the center of the image provide highly accurate focusing and do a great job of tracking the subject in the AI SERVO AF mode. In addition, three AF points on the new EOS 5D model work with f/2.8 or faster lenses for enhanced precision.

Highly Durable New High-Speed Shutter

The EOS 5D digital SLR has a newly developed, high-speed and highly durable shutter unit that was designed to meet the demanding requirements of a full frame sensor in a relatively compact body. The shutter is a vertical travel, focal plane type with two parallelogram link curtains. Each curtain has four blades, three made from KN Mylar and one from Duralumin, to create a professional-level shutter with a durability rated at 100,000 shots.

Premium Design and Construction

The EOS 5D digital SLR has a solid, substantial and organic feel that complements its compact dimensions and relatively light weight. With the top, front and rear covers and battery grip made from light and highly durable magnesium alloy, this new model is truly a premium camera. The EOS 5D model also has an improved grip and mode dial, a modified terminal cap share and clearer rear controls.

The pentaprism has an all-new shape necessitated by the full-frame sensor and all associated components such as the mirror, mirror box and shutter. Thanks to Canon design and manufacturing know-how along with having the low-pass filter integrated with the CMOS cover glass, the EOS 5D digital SLR is unusually streamlined for a camera with a full-frame sensor.

The camera body consists of a stainless steel chassis and a mirror box made of high-strength engineering plastic. Since the grip and front cover are one piece, body rigidity on the EOS 5D DSLR is excellent. The exterior surface is a high-density black satin finish with a leathery touch that feels smooth in the hands. The three grip surfaces are covered with rubber and the electroplated "EOS 5D" badge and recessed and painted Canon logo give a quality appearance to the camera.

High Performance LCD Monitor

The EOS 5D model has a 2.5-inch polysilicon TFT LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 pixels. At 170 degrees, it has an exceptionally wide viewing angle. In contrast, picture brightness on older LCD screens was often lost if viewed from even a slight angle, so oftentimes image review involved a lot of guesswork. The new LCD on the EOS 5D model, however, maintains the same brightness from almost any viewing angle. Brightness on the monitor is also adjustable in five levels and the screen's backlight feature uses six LED modules, as opposed to three on previous models, to helps illuminate the 2.5-inch LCD evenly. Along with the larger monitor, the menu text is also larger and easier to red. The full-featured INFO screen includes files sizes, RGB histogram and AF frame displays. In addition, Quick Review images are now enlargeable.

New Automatic and Intelligent Noise Reduction Function

Because noise is difficult to see on a camera's LCD monitor, even one as large and detailed as the EOS 5D camera, it is hard to know whether noise reduction should be turned on or not. Thanks to a new automatic noise reduction feature on the EOS 5D DSLR, getting rid of unwanted noise has been made even easier that with previous models. In the C.Fn-02-1 setting, automatic noise reduction occurs when noise is detected for exposures of 1 second or longer, regardless of ISO. In the C.Fn-02.2 setting, full-time noise reduction for exposures of 1 second of longer occurs regardless of whether noise is detected and regardless of ISO. With these two options, photographers using the Canon EOS 5D DSLR can adjust the camera's noise reduction capabilities to suit a particular situation.

Other High-End Features

The EOS 5D DSLR has a bevy of other high-end features including the same ISO range as the 1Ds Mark II - ISO 100-1600 in 1/3-step increments and ISO speed extended at L:50, H:3200. Also included on the camera is ultra-precise white balance with nine types of white balance settings, white balance bracketing (blue-amber and magenta-green, even on RAW and RAW+JPEG shots) and white balance correction. Other features include enhanced 35-zone exposure metering; spot metering in approximately 3.5 percent of the viewfinder area; six selectable JPEG recording modes including RAW and simultaneous RAW+JPEG; a large bright viewfinder with three interchangeable focusing screens; new flexible and convenient folder creation and selection; and more advanced PictBridge functions.

EOS-1D Mark II N

The new Canon EOS-1D Mark II N digital SLR preserves the speed, responsiveness, image quality and reliability of the popular EOS-1D Mark II model while incorporating newly refined features that make the camera easier and more precise to use.

Firing at 8.5 frames per second for up to 48 full-resolution JPEG images in a burst (vs. the same firing rate and a 40 JPEG burst for the 1D Mark II model), the Canon EOS-1D Mark II N camera ups the ante while retaining the superb CMOS Sensor of the 1D Mark II model, with its convenient 1.3x lens conversion factor. Along with its improved burst rate, the 1D Mark II N digital SLR adds a new 2.5-inch, wide-angle view LCD/TFT monitor that offers crisp image playback. Startup time on the new camera has also dropped to 0.2 seconds (from 0.3) with the help of Canon's DIGIC II Image Processor.

The EOS-1D Mark II N camera shares with the EOS-1 series family its all-metal body and chassis and weather-resistant construction with its shutter durability-tested to 200,000 exposures. And perhaps best of all, the price of the new camera, $3,999**, is actually $500 less than the initial price of its predecessor.

"Working photographers will feel at home immediately with the EOS-1D Mark II N digital SLR. It has the feel and responsiveness they have come to know and rely on combined with a new ease of use they will appreciate and enjoy," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. "With the new EOS-1D Mark II N, we've created a new professional standard with enough speed, resolution and features to appeal to a wide range of pros."

Improved Image Playback for Better Views

To give photographers a more accurate view of the pictures they've shot, the EOS-1D Mark II N model has a beautiful new, 2.5-inch LCD/TFT monitor with 230,000 pixels of resolution for accurate image playback. Its total viewing area is actually more than 50 percent larger than a 2-inch screen and its backlight is brighter with six LED modules. Thanks to the new screen, examining images in playback, checking focus and selecting menu items are now all easier. The improved display enables viewing angles up to a remarkable 170 degrees from any direction.

Sharing the stage with the new, 2.5-inch LCD wide-angle view display are several significant improvements in image playback. For starters, the user can have a magnified view from any selected AF point. Previously, magnified views took the center of the image as the starting point, but a new menu item enables the user to select a specific AF point and magnify the image in 15 steps with the press of a button. Another new feature on the camera is magnified view during Quick Review. When an image is displayed on the LCD monitor immediately after capture, the user can immediately magnify the view to check focus right away. Other improved playback functions include a last displayed image remembered feature and a more complete INFO display which now shows file size and includes notations for monochrome (B/W) and color (R/G/B) when the RGB histogram is enabled.

Bigger Bursts and Automatic New Folder Creation So Photographers Won't Miss a Shot

Photographers always want as many continuous frames as possible. For many pro shooters, even one more shot could prevent that lost photo opportunity. An improved image processing sequence and a better memory management method in the EOS-1D Mark II N digital SLR has ramped up its burst capability with the camera now able to shoot up to 22 RAW frames and up to 48 full-resolution JPEGs in burst. The camera can also shoot 19 frames of RAW+JPEG (JPEG quality: 8, Picture Style: Standard, ISO 100); and at 59 frames or better at the JPEG Middle 1 setting, 77 frames or better at JPEG Middle 2, and 135 or better at JPEG small, a substantial increase. Professional photographers will love the extra margin of comfort that greater burst performance provides. Additionally, the EOS-1D Mark II N digital SLR now creates new folders automatically when file numbers reach 9999, making the new camera more responsive in fast-moving news and sports photography situations. Photographers can even customize the first four characters in filenames, enabling superior image organization and camera identification capabilities.

New Split Recording for RAW+JPEG

Just like on the EOS-1D Mark II model, the EOS-1D Mark II N digital SLR lets the user save the same image simultaneously in both the CompactFlash (CF) and SD memory card slots, a highly effective backup mechanism. Photographers can also record to slot one until it was full and then go to slot two as a reserve. Now, with the EOS-1D Mark II N in RAW+JPEG mode, it's also possible to save the RAW and JPEG images separately in each memory card. The RAW images can be saved in slot one and the JPEGs, in any of ten quality levels, in slot two, or vice versa. Since CF cards tend to be larger, currently, than SD cards, the RAW files will be likelier to go on the CF card in slot one, but this is not required. The new option allows images to be recorded separately according to usage, finally realizing a great potential benefit of the dual slot configuration.

Picture Styles for Better Pictures

In the analog era, photographers would select the brand of film that suited their own shooting style or the subject being photographed. In the digital era, they have to rely on the image quality features and settings provided by the camera manufacturer. Some users though have experienced confusion about what effects these settings would have on the image. To provide better clarification, a new feature called Picture Styles combines processing parameters and color matrix settings into easy settings designed to obtain the desired effect, almost like choosing a type of film to obtain a specific result.

For users who do not want to bother with post processing, there is a 'Standard' setting within the Picture Styles mode that helps to produce images that look crisp and vivid with the sharpness set to mid-scale and the color tone and saturation set to obtain vivid colors. In the 'Portrait' setting of the Picture Styles mode, the color tone and saturation are set to obtain nice skin tones with the sharpness set one step weaker than the Standard setting so the skin and hair look softer. Under the 'Landscape' setting of the Picture Styles, the color tone and saturation are set to obtain deep blues and greens, the sharpness is set one step stronger than Standard so the outline of mountains, trees and buildings look more crisp.

The Neutral setting is the same as the default setting for EOS-1 series cameras where natural color reproduction is obtained and no sharpness is applied. This is the ideal setting for post-processing. The Faithful setting is the same as Digital Photo Professional's Faithful, so when the subject is photographed under a color temperature of 5200K, the color is adjusted colorimetrically to match the subject's color with no sharpness applied. Monochrome is the same as the EOS 20D camera's monochrome setting and with User Defined, the user can create and save their own preferred settings.

EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Canon's latest addition to its L-Series of lenses, the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is a standard zoom lens that incorporates a super UD glass lens and two types of aspherical elements, to effectively correct aberration. Image Stabilizer provides the equivalent of a shutter speed three stops faster during hand-held shooting, while travelling photographers will love the high dust and moisture resistance that makes it suitable for use in harsh environments. Other features include a circular aperture for improved background blur, full-time mechanical manual focus (even during AF mode) and a closest focus distance of just 45 centimetres at all zoom focal lengths.

EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

The Canon Telephoto Zoom Lens EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM combines several advanced optical technologies, including ultra-low dispersion (UD) and aspherical lens elements. These work in conjunction to achieve a high zoom ratio while effectively correcting for a variety of aberrations that can occur when zooming. The lens provides a closest focus distance of just 1.5 metres at all zoom focal lengths, and incorporates an Image Stabilizer (IS), which compensates for approximately three shutter speeds. This allows photographers to capture handheld shots that would otherwise be blurred by camera shake.

Like many Canon lenses, both models are constructed using only environmentally-friendly lead-free glass.

Speedlite 430EX

In addition to the two new EOS models, Canon has also released its latest Speedlite - the Speedlite 430EX. The Speedlite 430EX relies on a highly efficient power supply design that provides massive improvements, up to 40 percent, in flash recycle time, allowing photographers to make the most of its high-power flash output.

Using E-TTL II evaluative flash metering for critically accurate exposure, the unit also uses data from selected digital SLR cameras to determine autozoom and colour temperature information. A built-in slave with wireless flash compatibility makes it invaluable for use in multiple flash set-ups. Its AF-assist beam is also compatible with EOS multi-point AF systems, utilising up to nine autofocus points for high accuracy.

Pricing and Availability

Canon's EOS 5D and EOS-1D Mark II N are compatible with the full range of Canon EF lenses (except EF-S Lenses), and EX-series Speedlites. The EOS-1D Mark II N, EF lenses and the Speedlite 430EX will be available through selected Canon Photo Dealers from September 2005, while the EOS 5D will be available from October 2005. Pricing is as follows: EOS 5D: US$3,299 EOS-1D Mark II N: US$3,999 RRP

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
Tags
Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our 29,168 articles