Canon's EOS-1D Mark II N is one of the most customisable cameras on the market, with 21 custom functions and 31 personal functions that you set via the included desktop software. Plan on spending some time setting up the camera before you begin shooting. Because this camera does not use the electronic shutter that let the original 1D achieve shutter speeds of 1/16,000 second, its top shutter speed is 1/8,000 second -- still pretty fast. You can choose from 40 different JPEG compression levels without hooking the camera up to a computer. The Mark II N's lowest ISO setting is a clean ISO 50 while its top ISO setting remains ISO 3,200.
Many of the Mark II N's enhancements over the Mark II centre around image playback and the larger, brighter 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD display. For one, you can set the camera to magnify the area centred around the AF point when reviewing shots, a big timesaver when you need to check your focus. Furthermore, you needn't pop into playback mode to zoom in -- you can do it during Quick Review. Also, the camera can return to the last image you viewed during playback, rather than the last one you shot.
New to the Mark II N are Picture Styles. In addition to a handful of presets, you can save three custom combinations of sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings.
Like all the EOS models, the Mark II N is compatible with Canon EF-mount lenses (except EF-S). It has a 1.3x lens conversion, or 'crop' factor, because its CMOS sensor is smaller than a 35mm-film frame. In other words, when you put a lens on the Mark II, it will give you the same field of view that a lens with a 1.3x greater focal length would have on a 35mm camera. The 1.3x factor makes a nice compromise between the 1.5x crop of Nikon's D2H and the 1:1 ratio for Canon's EOS-1Ds. We found that it's just enough of a difference, however, that you must shoot with a wider lens to really get a wide-angle effect, but not enough to make a significant difference with longer telephoto lenses.