Canon EOS-1D Mark II review

According provided by Canon EOS-1D Mark II camera many thanks to Gleb Drobyazko.

Canon EOS-1D Mark II

Canon EOS-1D Mark II

The EOS-1D Mark II is the descendant of Canon's very first professional DSLR camera, the Canon EOS-1D, which appeared in November 2001. The Mark II came out in early 2004, the next model, the Mark III, came out in early 2007.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark II has a not very common APS-H sensor. There are only 5 cameras with this sensor size: Canon EOS-1D, 1D Mark II, 1D Mark II N, 1D Mark III, 1D Mark IV. Considering that the 1D Mark II N and 1D Mark II have the same sensor on board, we can assume that only 4 APS-H sensors have been developed. Since 2012, Canon APS-H cameras have been discontinued, and Canon's EOS line1D, EOS-1DSmost likely combined into one.

A lot of different information about crop factor APS-H cameras, to find out everything exactly, I performed small calculations:


Crop factor and the difference in the physical sizes of the matrices. Matrix size Canon 650D is 22.3 x 14.9mm (proof link). Matrix size Canon EOS-1D Mark II is 28.7 x 19.1mm (proof link).

Thus, everything fell into place - the APS-H matrix, in physical dimensions, is 1.6 times smaller than the 36 * 24 matrix, and 1.7 times larger than the APS-C. Most likely, the appearance of cameras with APS-H sensors is associated with the time when Canon collaborated with Kodak and released cameras with digital backs. This is how the first Canon EOS cameras were created. DCS1 and Canon EOS D6000 using matrices with crop factor 1.3 (then they were not yet called APS-H). For more details on the development of Canon's digital control center, see the review of the first full-frame digital SLR camera - Canon EOS-1DS.

Canon EOS-1D Mark II

Canon EOS-1D Mark II rear view

The Canon EOS-1D Mark II is an amazing machine. Like any professional Canon camera, the 1D Mark II has a rugged, dust and water resistant combo body that allows you to shoot in landscape and portrait modes without the need for an additional battery grip. The camera is heavy, weighing almost 1.5 kg. The controls are exactly the same as those of the 1D, 1Ds and 1Ds Mark II models, as all of these cameras are based on the same Canon EOS-1V film.

You need to get used to the controls. Personally, in 1D Mark II it’s inconvenient for me to poke around in the menu and make certain settings. If you set everything up and go directly to shooting, then holding and shooting with the 1D Mark II is very, very convenient :)

View of the Canon EOS-1D Mark II with a Canon Zoom Lens EF 55-200mm 1: 4.5-5.6 II USM lens

View of the Canon EOS-1D Mark II with a lens Canon Zoom Lens EF 55-200mm 1: 4.5-5.6 II USM

It is believed that the 'ones' (' EOS-1 D ', without the letter' S ') are cameras designed exclusively for reportage photography. Indeed, the 1D Mark II can shoot at 8.5 frames per second, which is very important for shooting action scenes. 8.5 fps is amazing speed, half a frame per second more than its predecessor. From such cameras, faster than 1D Mark II (for 2014) only 1D Mark III, 1D Mark IV, 1DX / DC and Nikon D3, D3s, D4.

The buffer of the 1D Mark II is not very large, the separator '/' shows the number of frames that are placed in the buffer when additional settings are disabled and enabled, such as extended ISO range and noise reduction.

  • 20/18 RAW format shots
  • 28/21 stills JPEG L (quality '10')
  • 53/44 images JPEG S (quality '1')
  • 18/16 shots RAW + JPEG L (quality '10')

In RAW format, 20 images will fit only when using ISO 100. At any other value, the buffer shows different numbers. I don't think 20 frames at 8.5 fps is a good indicator. RAW files have a 'CR2' extension and use 12-bit color depth, and weigh between 5 and 12 MB.

Sample photo

Example photo, used Soviet lens MC Helios-44M-4 2/58 with macro rings

The 1D Mark II uses a CMOS sensor of just 8.2 MP, which can produce an image of 3504 X 2336 pixels. I have repeatedly emphasized in my articles that 8 MP, even in our time, is sufficient for a huge number of photo tasks. True, due to new processors, even the simplest modern cameras, for example Canon 100D, in its performance bypass the 'old lady' 1D Mark II.

Example photo on the street

Example photo on the street

Time takes its toll, and the meager range of ISO 100-1600 nowadays seems archaic. ISO can be expanded to ISO L equivalent to ISO 50, and ISO H equivalent to ISO 3200. The noise level is approximately the same as that of Canon 1DS. By modern standards, the 1D Mark II matrix is ​​weak, but this does not change things if you need to get a good shot.

Sample photo

Sample photo

The 1D Mark II can only use Canon EF lenses. Unlike Canon APS-C cameras, for which special EF-S lenses are created, the focal length of which takes into account crop factor cameras, for APS-H cameras there are no special lenses. Therefore, for APS-H cameras, as well as for Canon D3o, D6o cameras, 10D (which do not support EF-S lenses) There is a theoretical problem with obtaining ultra-wide viewing angles when using Canon's native EF lenses.

Example photo on camera

Example photo on camera

The 1D Mark II uses a 45-point focusing system. The same focusing system can be found on the 1D, 1D Mark II N and 1DS Mark II cameras. Various focus settings are possible.

I know one story about the old "ones", which was told to me by a friend of the editor of a Kiev magazine. Canon EOS-1D Mark II and Canon EOS-1D Mark II N were used in the headquarters of photojournalists for a long time, at some point the management decided to replace them with something new. Apparently there was no money for Canon EOS-1D Mark III / IV, and therefore we bought a batch of Canon EOS 7D. According to rumors, employees of the headquarters were outraged for a long time both with the image quality and the 7D functionality they needed. Indeed, observing the development of camera engineering and testing many different cameras, I can agree that there is nothing better than a professional combo monster camera, even an old one and even with a small number of megapixels :)

Sample photo

Sample photo

For the first time among all Canon cameras, the 1D Mark II has the ability to use SD cards. The 1D Mark II from my review "made friends" with a 32GB SDHC card and a 32GB card without any problems CF. Also, in the 1D Mark II, for the first time, it became possible to use two memory cards, which is very, very useful, because the data backup function can, in case of emergency, save the photographer's 'life'.

Sample photo

Sample photo.

The 1D Mark II uses a small 2-inch display with 230.000 dots. It is inconvenient to view the footage on it. For speed and ease of operation, there are also 2 monochrome displays (one on the top of the case, the other under the main screen) with blue backlighting. You can record an audio commentary on the captured photos, which will be stored in a separate file. The 1D Mark II does not have a built-in flash, but it does have a high-speed sync mode with external flash units. As befits a professional camera, the 1D Mark II has many useful features, such as minimal excerpt The shutter is 1/8000 s and the viewfinder provides 100% coverage.

Sample photo

Sample photo

Here link to the archive with the originals - 273 MB, 35 photos, RAW format.

Prices for modern Canon cameras in popular stores can look at this link.

In comments Can I ask you a question on the topic and you will answer, and you can also express your opinion or describe your experience. Many little things for a photo can be found on AliExpress.


The Canon EOS-1D Mark II is an antiquated professional fast burst camera with an APS-H format sensor. The camera shutter is designed for 200.000 actuations, so it is quite difficult to 'kill' such a device, and nowadays the 1D Mark II can still be used by experienced photographers :)

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 118, on the topic: Canon EOS-1D Mark II review

  • Sergos

    Who will tell you what type of focus the canon under discussion or the principle of action / technology, as I subtracted, are secret from all firms

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The answer is here here.

  • Mr. Boggy

    The first and mark2 in the picture are more like a film, and already the third version is already a purely classical figure, but a high-quality figure ... At the end of the XNUMXs, they stopped focusing on the film frame when developing cameras ... I don't even know what to say, I'm a little sad from this, the lamp-like fatness is now a thing of the past. We learned to deal with noise, but the photos became too slick and perfect.

    • anonym

      the film has nothing to do with it.
      the first brands and the first generations of cameras had thick color filters and did not have chamber noise cut-offs before RAV recording.
      people demanded low noise and clean high ISO.
      manufacturers made a thin color filter so that more light fell on the matrix and compensated for the loss of midtones by increasing saturation.
      many (such as Fuj) actively use non-disconnectable noise reduction.
      the result was a popular print, with rich colors, with a small number of halftones and plastic skin, but what a clean high ISO! )))
      they wanted it and got it.

      • Mr. Boggy

        Yes, that's for sure, I completely agree. And now there are few connoisseurs of camera art; most of them are quite lysed by noise and super-iso. I, too, was amazed by the ability of 1Dx when shooting with three candles in a monastery (tonsure). But the daytime landscape and city-reportage somehow didn’t really resemble the same mark4 but only full-frame. For pros who take money, this is of course the coolest tool, but as spiritual for my taste, it’s not very simple and ordinary photo from it.)))

  • Mr. Boggy

    From personal experience, I’ll add something else. The filter on the matrix costs a decent thickness for smoothing and other things, so the picture here is less sharp, although the pixel size is like a nickle. Despite the bold pixel, not all optics work perfectly. In fact, just 1,3 crop from the nickel comes out, you have to add sharpe. But shooting with a camera is a pleasure. I will not exchange my brick for new crop type 80d / 7d. If you are an experienced amateur, but there is already good optics for ff and even ff itself, then if you feel like taking a report for high-speed photos, this one is a good choice when there are limited laves. And if there is still lave, then MK3 / MK4 will be ideal. I love MK2 because of the greasy and tube pictures.

    • Vladislav

      Mr. Boggy, good afternoon. You, as having this camera, tell me, is it possible to take used with mileage of 365 thousand. Is there a big risk?

      • Volodya

        Not dangerous, I've seen one and a half run

      • Mr. Boggy

        Good afternoon, excuse me for answering late ... It is nevertheless necessary to inspect how the camera itself looks, whether it’s weird. I bought with a replaced shutter, the mileage is about 18 thousand, the camera itself is normal. When buying an old model, you should understand that the risk of breakage is high, and how long the shutter will pass is already luck, there are a million each, there are new ones broken by 10 thousand. If the camera itself is not worn out, not knocked out, then you can take it, the main thing is that with such a mileage there is no high price, because I bought it as a hobby toy, not for work. Now you can take mark4 for reporting.

  • Alexey

    I work with this camera for landscape and portrait photography. Satisfied. Compared to modern high-tech and advanced cameras - very warm shots.

  • Mr. Boggy

    The value of this veteran is in the low price, speed, bold pixels and lightweight files, professional ergonomics. And not only mature people take, but also young people are interested, because with such a technique it is very good to learn photography, no video, lamer modes, nothing distracts from the process of shooting practice.

  • Andrei

    Hello. I recently bought a Canon 1D mark ii. Everything is fine, but it has old firmware 1.0.3. The firmware manufacturer's website is no longer available. If anyone has 1.2.6 I will be very grateful if you share.

  • alex

    confused with the search for firmware, but found the same, who needs it can download

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