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|| News Item: Posted 2000-05-30

Viva the V?
By Peter Read Miller, Sports Illustrated

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You've heard about, you've probably seen it and most of you "early adopters" have already bought one: so what more can I say about Canon's new EOS 1v? After a month with that camera here are a few thoughts.

It does everything previous EOS cameras have done, but better: and it does some nifty new things too.

It is heavier than previous EOS's, but it seems to be very solid and well sealed against dust and moisture.

Motor drive speed is up (9.5 fps w/ autofocus, 10 w/o). Anyone want to buy a used RS? Cheap. This does take some getting used to. Running out of film in the middle of a big play has become ever easier.
Autofocus tracking and acquisition are both noticeably faster. To me, this was demonstrated clearly when I shot with the 1200 f5.6 in Denver a few weeks ago. The 1200mm was never the swiftest autofocusing lens. With the 1v it really moved, seeming more like a 600 with a 1.4 extender.

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The 1v also brings back some features missing from the EOS 3. An adjustable diopter (and no Eye Control!), and a 1/250 flash synch. Though not new to the 1v, the 550EX flash system offers some amazing (to a non on-camera-flash guy like me) abilities. Control of multiple units on and off camera, ratioing between units and all still metered through the lens.

I am finding myself using two 550s and the IR control unit in some situations where I would have used a Norman 400B in the past.

The most obvious new feature on the camera feature is the Assist Button. This button is on the back of the camera next to the autofocus button. It's close enough to reach with your thumb, but not so close as to be confusing (at least to me, and I'm easily confused). This button allows you to activate a second set of previously selected AF points.

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For example, I generally shoot with only the single center AF point selected (it's the fastest).

If the subject is suddenly all over the frame, I can hit the assist button and kick over to all 45 points, or whatever set of points I've selected.

I'm just getting used to using the assist button, but I think it's going to prove really helpful to those of us who live-and die-on AF.

When you get the camera set up the way you want it, you can save all your settings as a Personal Function. You can have multiple personal functions for different shooting situations. Many of the custom and personal functions can also be set through a computer interface.

I haven't seen the software yet (W98 version is due soon, Mac and W2000 later this year). Hopefully, it will make setup a little less complicated.

After a month with the camera, I really can't find anything not to like about it. It's really a definite improvement of the Canon system in every way.

(Peter Read Miller is a staff photographer for Sports Illustrated based in Southern California.)

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