Canon maintains its pro leadership with its 8-megapixel EOS-1D Mark II N, the fastest-shooting digital SLR on the market. Made for magazine photographers covering news and sports, the Mark II N also works well for portrait shooters who want a versatile, small-format digital camera. The Mark II N replaces the EOS-1D Mark II -- which was already at the top of its class -- and makes several useful improvements.
We have been using the Mark II for a few months and we're very impressed with its feature set, design, customisation ability and image quality.
The price quoted in this review is for the Canon EOS-1D Mark II N (body only).
The body design of the Canon EOS-1D Mark II N is very similar to that of its predecessor, the EOS-1D Mark II. At 1.5kg without a lens, the Mark II N has a perfect weight for professional use and fits comfortably in the hand, although it might be heavy for some. A solid camera, it's weatherproofed and sealed from water, dust and dirt.
One nice touch is that the rubber doors covering the ports swing around but don't come off, which means you won't lose them. Canon also made a small but important improvement in the release tab that opens the memory card door. Anyone who has ever shot with the original EOS-1D in the snow knows how difficult it was to change CompactFlash cards with gloves on. On the Mark II N, like the Mark II, the tab protrudes slightly, making it much easier to open.
As with the Mark II, the Mark II N has an integrated second grip and shutter release so that you can turn the camera 90 degrees and capture photos with a vertical orientation. Like the main grip, the vertical grip provides all the necessary controls -- a command dial, a button for multispot metering and flash exposure lock, an autoexposure-lock button, an autofocus assist button and an autofocus-point selection button -- and it's comfortable to hold.
The shooting modes you cycle through with the command dial include Program, Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Bulb. If you're upgrading from the original EOS-1D and are used to moving the command dial two clicks to go from Manual to Aperture Priority, you'll be thrown off until you become accustomed to turning only one click.