Canon EOS-1D Mark IV at a glance:

  • 16.1 million effective pixels
  • APS-H-sized (27.9×18.6mm) sensor
  • 10fps continuous shooting
  • New 45-point
  • AF system
  • Street price approximately £3,740

Canon had quite a torrid time with its EOS-1D Mark III, which was announced in February 2007. First, there were the notorious AF issues, with some users claiming that the camera couldn’t follow focus as well as its predecessor, the EOS-1D Mark IIN. Initially, Canon batted these concerns away, saying the problems reported by some professionals were a result of them not understanding or correctly selecting the various custom modes. This may have been a fair point in certain cases, but it soon became apparent that the camera also had problems that had to be addressed by a couple of firmware upgrades as well as the recall of some bodies.

To make matters worse, Nikon created quite a stir in August 2007 when it announced the D3 and D300. Nikon had made a huge leap forward with the introduction of the full-frame, 12.1-million-pixel D3, with its maximum sensitivity setting of ISO 25,600, 9fps continuous shooting and 51 AF points. Subsequently, the ten-million-pixel Canon EOS-1D Mark III, with its sub-full-frame (APS-H-sized) sensor, started to lose its appeal despite its 10fps shooting rate. Unfortunately for Canon, many professional photographers chose to switch systems and use Nikon equipment.

Clearly, Canon has learned a few lessons in the intervening period. Its recent DSLRs have indicated a change in its ethos, as new systems and technology have been introduced to make the company’s cameras even more competitive. For the latest camera in the EOS-1D series, the EOS-1D Mark IV, this has meant a completely new AF system, a 16.1-million-pixel APS-H-format sensor and a maximum sensitivity setting equivalent to ISO 102,400, which matches that of Nikon’s D3S. It could be the riposte that Canon has been searching for.

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