Canon EOS-1D Mark IV DSLR

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mark4Make no mistake, this is a pro camera.

Canon Canada calls it “a high-speed multimedia performance monster.” It has a 16-megapixel Canon CMOS sensor, dual Digic 4 imaging processors, and 14-bit A/D data conversion, all at 10 frames-per-second (fps), with the widest ISO range Canon has produced to date. This new camera also features 1080p full HD video capture at selectable frame rates, all combined in what the company calls its most rugged and durable professional camera body.

There’s a new autofocus system, starting with 45 AF points including 39 high-precision cross-type focusing points capable of tracking fast moving athletes or wildlife accurately at speeds up to 10 fps. With greater subject detection capability than ever before plus a newly redesigned AI Servo II AF predictive focusing algorithm, the Mark IV sets new standards for autofocus performance among professional digital SLRs, says Canon.

What makes the camera different from its predecessors, in addition to numerous focusing system and image quality improvements, is its exceptional full HD video capture capability. So there’s appeal to not only pro still photographers but also to a diverse market of professional videographers and filmmakers.

With more than twice as many cross-type focusing points as the EOS-1D Mark III and a new AF sensor construction that improves performance in low light and with low contrast subjects, the Mark IV has greater subject detection capabilities than any previous EOS model. To complete the range of AF improvements, Canon has developed a new AI Servo II AF predictive focusing algorithm that significantly improves responsiveness and stability by making better decisions on focus tracking in a variety of shooting conditions.

Photographers shooting in low light without the benefit of a flash can take advantage of Canon’s widest ISO range and highest performance ever. The camera’s ISO speed settings range from 100 up to 12,800 in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments with ISO expansion settings of L: 50 for bright light or H1: 25,600, H2: 51,200, and H3: 102,400 for even the most dimly lit situations. High ISO, low light still images are further enhanced by Canon’s adjustable High ISO Noise Reduction feature, now a default setting in the camera.

The Mark IV, along with Full HD capture, offers full manual exposure control, plus selectable frame rates on an all-new APS-H-sized image sensor that’s similar in size to a Super 35mm motion picture film frame. Note: the large sensor allows filmmakers to achieve shallow depth-of-field just as cinematographers have traditionally done using much higher-cost motion picture equipment.

The Mark IV allows for three video recording resolutions: 1080p Full HD and 720p HD in a 16:9 aspect ratio and Standard Definition (SD) in a 4:3 aspect ratio. The camera will record Full HD at 1920 x 1080 in selectable frame rates of 24p (23.976), 25p, or 30p (29.97); and 720p HD or SD video recording at either 50p or 60p (59.94). SD video can be recorded in either NTSC or PAL standards. Sound is recorded either through the internal monaural microphone or via optional external microphones connected to the stereo microphone input. The camera also provides an in-camera video editing function allowing users to remove the start or ending of a video clip directly in the camera to eliminate unwanted footage and speed up post-production.

The newly developed 16.1-Megapixel CMOS sensor features Canon’s latest and most advanced proprietary technologies. These technologies include improved photodiode construction to enhance dynamic range and gapless microlenses that are positioned closer to the photodiodes for improved light gathering efficiency. The transmissive quality of the colour filter array has been enhanced to improve sensitivity. Canon has also upgraded the sensor
circuitry to improve noise reduction before the image data is exported from the CMOS sensor to the rest of the image processing chain.

mark4bWith 60 percent more pixels than the Mark III, the Mark IV has dual Digic 4 image processors with approximately six times the processing power of Digic III for full 14-bit A/D conversion at 10 fps. High-speed continuous shooting up to 121 Large JPEGs is possible using a UDMA CF card. This camera also features three RAW shooting modes for versatility with Full RAW (approx. 16 million pixels), M-RAW (approx. nine million pixels), and S-RAW (approx. four million pixels). Three additional JPEG recording formats (M1, M2 and Small) are also available.

The 14-bit per channel conversion facilitated by the dual processors provides smoother tonalities in final images capturing all 16,384 distinct tones in each channel (red, green and blue) at the full 10 fps frame rate. RAW images shot on the Mark IV use the entire 14-bit space when converted to 16-bit TIFF files in Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software, which is supplied with the camera. The 14-bit A/D conversion is also the foundation for Canon’s Highlight Tone Priority feature that takes maximum advantage of the camera’s extensive dynamic range to preserve detail in highlight areas of the image. The camera also features an improved white balance algorithm making colours more accurate when shooting under low colour temperature light sources such as household tungsten lamps.

The new DSLR features Canon’s Peripheral Illumination Correction function which corrects darkening that can occur in the corners of images with most lenses when used at their largest apertures. When activated, it is automatically applied to JPEG images and video clips as they are shot. For RAW images, it can be applied in DPP software.

Other new features include a 3-inch LCD screen with 920,000 dot/VGA resolution and 160-degree viewing angle. The new in-camera copyright information feature helps professionals secure control over images by setting copyright data directly into the camera and appending that information to each image file in the Exif metadata. Additional features include a fluorine coating on the Low Pass Filter to further repel dust and enhance the EOS
Integrated Cleaning System.

The Mark IV helps reduce post-production work with a powerful new Auto Lighting Optimizer (ALO) system. When enabled, Canon’s ALO automatically adjusts the image for optimal brightness and contrast on the fly during in-camera image processing, reducing clipped highlights while keeping shadowed areas as clear and detailed as they actually appear. By optimizing brightness and contrast in-camera, Canon’s ALO system significantly reduces the need for post-production image optimization, and gives photographers image quality they can take directly to press.

Demanding professional photographers who tested ALO clearly stated that this one feature will reduce their post-production image optimization process by more than 75 percent. Canon’s ALO works with both RAW and JPEG images as well as video recording.

The camera incorporates a wide range of design features that enhance its durability and reliability for professional assignments. For example, the body, chassis and lens mount are completely weather-resistant and 76 gaskets and seals surround all buttons and seams. The body covers and internal chassis, including the mirror box, are constructed with magnesium-alloy. For added strength, the lens mount is constructed with stainless steel. In fact, when used with Canon’s Speedlite 580EX II and/or most current L-series lenses, the entire camera system remains fully weather resistant.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $5499.99. Final pricing will be available later this year.

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