Canon Breaks 16.7 Megapixel Barrier with EOS-1Ds Mark II

Canon USA, Inc. set a new megapixel barrier for 35mm digital single lens reflex (SLR) cameras Tuesday with the announcement of the EOS-1Ds Mark II with an effective resolution of 16.7 megapixels.

The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II (seen below) is similiar in style and performance to its first generation cousin, the EOS-1Ds, but adds a number of new features, in addition to the higher resolution. The Mark II uses a full-frame 36 x 24 millimeter image sensor, meaning it will have the same focal length as when used on a 35mm film camera. This can be extremely important for photographers taking wide angle shots.

Other features include a second-generation, on-chip noise elimination circuit which corrects fixed-pattern and random noise, a larger ISO range of 50 to 3200, four resolutions in JPEG mode (L at 16.60MP, M1 at 8.60MP, M2 at 6.30MP, and S at 4.20MP), JPEG files in 10 compression levels, and the saving of RAW files now in Canonis .CR2 RAW format.

The 1Ds Mark II also becomes the fastest performing digital camera on the market. The Mark II starts up in a fast 0.3 seconds, has continuous shooting of four frames per second for up to 11 RAW frames, or 32 JPEG frames, and a flash card write speed of 5.8 megabytes per second, up from under 2MB/second on the original 1DS.

The LCD display offers almost double the resolution of its predecessor. It also uses a white LED backlight, instead of fluorescent backlighting, thereby reducing power consumption and still giving a better color image.

The EOS-1Ds Mark II will be available in November for an estimated street price of US$7,999, the company said.