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|| News Item: Posted 2005-08-22

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N and 5D announced
Two new digital SLR's, two new zoom lenses and a new flash are rolled out.

By Brad Mangin,

Photo by Canon (hand out)

Photo by Canon (hand out)

The new Canon EOS 5D, left, and the new Canon EOS-1D Mark II N
Canon is announcing several new products today, including two new camera bodies: the Canon EOS-1D Mark II N (estimated selling price $3,999), which is the successor to the Canon EOS-1D Mark II and the Canon EOS 5D (estimated selling price $3,299), a 12.8 megapixel full-frame camera that will bridge the gap between the EOS 20D and the new EOS-1D Mark II N.

Also announced today is the release of two new lenses, the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. They also announced a new flash, the Canon Speedlight 430EX.

I had a telephone conversation on Friday (August 19, 2005) with Canon's Director of Media and Customer Relationships, Chuck Westfall. He likened the EOS-1D Mark II N to a newer model of an existing camera (EOS-1D Mark II), this being the 2005 model compared to last year's 2004 model, much like the way car manufacturers take an existing car model and, based on consumer feedback, make improving modifications to it.

According to Westfall, photographers from all over the world have been letting Canon know what they like and don't like about the EOS-1D Mark II and they took that feedback into consideration when they built the new EOS-1D Mark II N.

The biggest cosmetic change found in the EOS-1D Mark II N is the bigger LCD screen (50 percent larger) on the back of the camera (2.5 inches compared to 2 inches on the older EOS-1D Mark II) and the quality of the screen itself. Westfall said that the new screen is brighter and sharper and more easily seen from an angle, so you don't have to look at it from straight on. (Which is perfect timing, because I have been very jealous lately of the really big screens I have seen on the back of digital point and shoot cameras.)

The new Mark II N also has a nice new feature that allows the user to decide the file name's first four alphanumeric characters followed by the camera's fixed characters. This procedure replaces the current system of unchangeable file names consisting of four random, camera-specific, alpha-numeric characters plus a file number set at the factory.

Photo by Canon (hand out)

Photo by Canon (hand out)

The new Canon EOS-1D Mark II N
Now, users can clearly identify themselves by customizing their filenames. I can already see myself having my filenames begin with BRAD (my first name). Having my editors see files named BRAD7184.JPG instead of JC0R7184.JPG will make it much easier for them to know who shot which images at a big event with multiple photographers.

Also improved with the new Mark II N is the higher burst rate. The RAW burst is now 22 frames; RAW+JPEG is approximately 19 frames (JPEG quality: 8, Picture Style: Standard, ISO 100); JPEG large is 48 or better; JPEG Medium 1 is 59 or better; JPEG Medium 2 is 77 or better, and JPEG Small has increased substantially to 135 or better. Since I usually shoot RAW+JPEG I will now be able to squeeze out a few more frames (19 instead of 16) before I completely miss the best picture of the day.

I am anxious to try out the automatic new folder creation feature in the EOS-1D Mark II N. Now, when image file number 9999 is reached, a new folder is started automatically and the file number starts from 0001. On current 1D models (EOS-1D and EOS-1D Mark II), a dialog box appears at file number 9999 asking the user whether to create a new folder or not, interrupting shooting and causing a distraction. This has always been a complete nightmare for shooters like me who have a hard enough time trying to shoot the ballgame, let alone keep track of knowing when to make a new folder in the middle of some key action in the bottom of the 8th inning.

I can't tell you how many times I have completely freaked out in the middle of a ballgame having to fire off blank frames to get the counter to 9999 so I can then create a new folder and get back to the ballgame. I know I have complained a lot about the 9999 problem to Canon. It sounds like many others have complained also and they actually listened!

One of Westfall's favorite new features is the new split recording ability for shooting RAW+JPEG. As with the EOS-1D Mark II model, the EOS-1D Mark II N digital SLR allows the user to save the same image simultaneously in both memory cards, slot 1 and slot 2, a pretty effective backup mechanism. Also, one can record to slot 1 until it is full, going on to slot 2 as a reserve.

With the EOS-1D Mark II N camera in RAW+JPEG mode, it is also possible to save the RAW and JPEG images separately in each memory card. The RAW images can be saved in slot 1 and the JPEGs, in any of ten quality levels, in slot 2, or vice versa.

Because CF cards tend to hold more data than SD cards, the RAW files will be likelier to go on the CF card in slot 1, but this is not a requirement. The new option allows images to be recorded separately according to usage, finally realizing a great potential benefit of the dual slot configuration.

Since I am a pretty basic user of the EOS-1D Mark II I have never used the second card slot. In fact, I have never even used an SD card, but this new feature sounds kind of cool, so I might have to explore this option.

There are many more new features in the EOS-1D Mark II N, some of which many members will think are cool and others that many of you will not care about and never use. Below you will find a list of the new and improved features comparing the new (2005 model) EOS-1D Mark II N to the older (2004 model) EOS-1D Mark II.

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N: Summary of new and improved features

Photo by Canon (hand out)

Photo by Canon (hand out)

The new Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
• Larger, 2.5 inch LCD/TFT screen with wide viewing angle
• More burst frames: 22 RAW (from 20), big increase in small JPEG burst
• Improved image processing sequence
• Startup time 0.2 sec (from 0.3 sec)
• Estimated selling price of US $3,999 ($500 less than EOS-1D Mark II at introduction)
• New Picture Style settings, easier than Parameters, 6 pre-set, 3 user-defined
• Enhanced recording functions to 2 card slots: split recording CF/SD
• New, simple memory card switching function, CF/SD
• Low-level, physical formatting of SD cards, faster and more secure
• Magnified view from any selected AF point on playback
• Magnified view during Quick Review
• Improved image quality in Magnified view
• Last displayed image is remembered
• More complete info display includes file sizes, monochrome and R/G/B indicators
• Automatic new folder creation
• User-settable file names- first 4 characters
• More settings for Custom Functions and Personal Functions
• New access to menu options during image processing and recording
• Contact sheets, Exif printing info, Face Brightener function, new paper sizes with PictBridge
• New optional Ec-S focusing screen for more accurate manual focusing
• Automatic noise reduction menu option for long exposures
• ISO adjustable while looking in the finder
• Enhanced range of settings for burst frames
• New IEEE1394 locking cap
• Canon logo now with sunken lettering and fill-in paint
• Key features of the EOS-1D Mark II retained
• Complete EOS system compatibility
• Magnesium alloy body and stainless steel chassis create a rugged camera with a solid, high quality, professional feel.
• New software package, included at no extra cost, includes Canon's new Digital Photo Professional, ZoomBrowser EX, ImageBrowser and EOS Capture.
• Accessory Data Verification Kit, DVK-E2, permits verification of original, untampered image data.

Also announced today is the EOS 5D SLR and its all-new, specific to the 5D model, 12.8 megapixel full-frame, Canon-designed and manufactured single-plate CMOS sensor. This camera is a dream come true for photographers everywhere who love to shoot documentary-style photojournalism and have their wide angle lenses act like the wide angle lenses they remember when they were shooting film. With this camera you can break out your 16-35mm zoom and actually shoot at 16.

Photo by Canon (hand out)

Photo by Canon (hand out)

The new Canon EOS 5D
This is sure to make many members happy, including my friend Paul Myers who teaches at Brooks Institute in Ventura, California. Myers is a documentary photographer who currently shoots with a Canon EOS 10D. Myers loves the file quality he gets from the CMOS chip, but he hates having to deal with the 1.6x magnification. I have a feeling that Paul will be getting on a waiting list real soon for one of these new bodies.

Before the announcement of the EOS 5D, Canon users that wanted a full-frame chip needed to pony up for the EOS-1Ds Mark II at around eight thousand bucks. Now, full-frame fans like Myers can find the camera they have been waiting for at an estimated price of just over three grand ($3,299).

Westfall compared the EOS 5D to the old EOS 3 film camera that made its debut in 1998. I remember when the EOS 3 came out. It was never built as rugged as the professional EOS-1N film camera, but it had many great features, especially the faster motor drive. Many pros bought it and made it an integral piece in their camera bag.

I can recall seeing an EOS 3 for the first time when Sports Illustrated staffer and member Peter Read Miller was using it to shoot a 49er game with at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The camera had what Peter was looking for in a camera- especially the fast motor drive. The same will be said for the new EOS 5D.

The camera is not built as sturdy as the top-of-the-line pro model Mark II N, but it's rugged body built using magnesium alloy (including battery grip) and stainless steel chassis should be good enough for most users.

I know of many members and professional shooters who have been using EOS 10D and EOS 20D cameras for their daily shooting. I have a feeling that many of them will be upgrading to the EOS 5D.

There are many features in the new EOS 5 that I have failed to mention. For those of you who enjoy the details, I've included the follow summary, found within the Canon EOS 5D 'White Paper' document.

Canon EOS 5D: Summary of new and improved features

Photo by Canon (hand out)

Photo by Canon (hand out)

The back of the new Canon EOS 5D shows off the new 2.5 inch LCD screen.
• World's smallest and lightest full-frame digital SLR (as of August 2005)
• Full-size 12.8 megapixel Canon-designed and-manufactured CMOS image sensor with large 8.2µm square pixels for ultra-fine detail and high image quality
• Incredible value at an estimated selling price of $3,299 in complete Power Kit form with full software package including new Digital Photo Professional v2.0
• New Picture Style function for easy, customizable and complete image control
• DIGIC II Image Processor and 4-channel reading for fast 3 fps continuous shooting, even at full resolution
• Outstanding burst performance: 60 Large/Fine JPEG or 17 RAW frames
• Fast, 0.2 second startup
• Newly developed 9-point AF unit with 6 invisible Supplemental AF points, improved AI SERVO AF subject tracking and improved focusing from a defocused state
• 3 AF points work with f/2.8 or faster lenses for enhanced precision
• Improved 35-zone exposure metering
• Spot metering, approximately 3.5% of viewfinder area
• Rugged body built using magnesium alloy (including battery grip) and stainless steel chassis
• Compact and lightweight for a DSLR with a full-frame sensor
• New, more durable shutter rated to 100,000 shots for professional use
• New 2.5 inch, approximately 230,000 pixel, wide-view LCD monitor
• 6 selectable JPEG recording modes, RAW and simultaneous RAW+JPEG
• Interchangeable focusing screens: 3 types
• Shutter speeds to 1/8000 sec. and X sync at 1/200 sec.
• More advanced PictBridge functions
• New automatic noise reduction function
• Wide ISO range: 100 to 1,600 in 1/3 stop increments (extendable to 50 and 3,200)
• Ultra-precise white balance (9 types), WB bracketing (blue-amber and magenta-green, even on RAW and RAW+JPEG shots) and WB correction
• Full-featured INFO screen (including RGB histogram and AF frame displays)
• Quick review images enlargeable
• Powerful new Jump function for image viewing (jump by 10 or 100 images, date or folder)
• Storage of one set of frequently used camera settings
• 21 Custom functions with 57 settings
• Flexible folder creation and selection
• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connection for fast image transfers
• Compatible with wireless/wired LAN image transmission via optional WFT-E1/E1A
• Original image verification system with optional DVK-E2
• Sculpted Canon logo, electroplated "EOS 5D" badge and higher density matte finish for quality look and feel
• Optional battery grip, BG-E4, accepts up to 2 battery packs (BP-511A/511/512/514) or a set of six AA-size batteries for long periods of continuous shooting

Westfall says that Canon expects to begin shipping the EOS-1D Mark II N camera bodies in mid-September of 2005 and the EOS 5D in early October of 2005.

Canon, a sponsor of the Clip Contest (, has agreed to upgrade the grand prize for the 2005 winner to the new EOS-1D Mark II N.

Related Links:
EOS-1D Mark II N White Paper PDF prepared by Canon USA
EOS 5D White Paper PDF prepared by Canon USA
Canon USA website

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