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Canon announces 16.06 million image pixel EOS-1D Mark IV - Continued
HD video Now a standard digital SLR feature, the EOS-1D Mark IV's 1080p video mode features are on par with the 7D in almost all respects. This means manual and automatic exposure, three static AF modes that can be activated prior to and during video capture, both a built-in mic and a 3.5mm miniphone jack for an external stereo mic, audio sample rate of 48khz, built-in speaker, automatic audio gain with no manual override, H.264-compressed movie files with a .mov extension, in-camera video clip trimming and a 4GB clip length limit. Plus, a healthy selection of video and frame rate options:
  • 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30fps (actually 29.97fps)
  • 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 25fps
  • 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 24fps (actually 23.976fps)
  • 720p: 1280 x 720 pixels at 60fps (actually 59.94fps)
  • 720p: 1280 x 720 pixels at 50fps
  • SD: 640 x 480 pixels at 60fps (actually 59.94fps)
  • SD: 640 x 480 pixels at 50fps
The resolution and frame rate selection screens are below. You'll see the menu on the left if the camera is set for NTSC. PAL brings up the menu on the right.

Freeze Frame: Video frame rate selection menus (Screenshots courtesy Canon)

The EOS-1D Mark IV is expected to lead all other video-capable Canon digital SLRs in low light performance, and will certainly offer the highest sensitivity (the camera can capture stills or video at up to ISO 102,400). It will also be capable of depth of field effects that are shallower than the smaller-sensor 7D for a given field of view, but not as shallow as the 5D Mark II and it's larger full-frame sensor.

Canon hasn't incorporated the smart still/video mode switch and start/stop button of the 7D into the EOS-1D Mark IV. They have empowered the flash exposure lock (FEL) button, however, to optionally serve as the video quick start button. With the camera configured this way, pressing FEL, even when not in video mode, will begin the recording of a movie clip.

Quick Movie: The FEL button can be configured as the video quick start button (Screenshot and photo courtesy Canon)

922,000-dot rear LCD 
The EOS-1D Mark IV contains a 3.0 inch (diagonal), 922,000-dot rear LCD that, in addition to being much crisper than the EOS-1D Mark III's 230,000-dot rear LCD, is also designed to be easier to see in overcast and even sunny conditions.

The EOS-1D Mark IV is the second Canon digital SLR - after the 7D - to employ a tempered glass cover over the rear LCD, rather than clear resin. In addition, an optically-clear filler eliminates the air gap between the glass and LCD itself. The filler both strengthens the cover and limits the loss of contrast in brighter ambient light.

Rear LCD colour accuracy is expected to be the best of any Canon to date, owing to the use of an LCD component with a wider colour gamut than any previous digital SLR model.

Other changes and additions Canon has revised Live View to bring its features up to the level of other current Canons, which principally means that the EOS-1D Mark IV can autofocus in this mode, whereas the EOS-1D Mark III cannot. The new camera's E-TTL II algorithm has been revised to provide better flash exposures when shooting with a wide angle lens and the subject is small in the frame. Both global ambient and flash exposure adjustment Custom Functions also debut in the EOS-1D Mark IV.

Well Adjusted: Ambient and flash exposure adjustment Custom Functions  (Screenshots courtesy Canon)

In the 7D, not the EOS-1D Mark IV The EOS-1D Mark IV is meant to be a better-specified camera than the 7D in most respects, and ought to be, given the much higher price tag on the camera being unveiled today. That said, the 7D incorporates several features that didn't make it into the EOS-1D Mark IV, features that would be equally useful in Canon's latest news and sports camera.

These include the 7D's combo mode switch and start/button, Q button for quick access to key camera settings, unparalleled control customization options, an electronic level and revised 63-zone meter. The lack of some of these refinements gives the EOS-1D Mark IV the feel of an interim product, like an EOS-1D Mark III N. That said, if the autofocus and high ISO image quality are top-notch, then the absence of things like an electronic level won't keep the EOS-1D Mark IV from flying off store shelves.

Wirey: The WFT-E2 II/WFT-E2 II A. Click photo to enlarge (Photo courtesy Canon)
Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2 II/WFT-E2 II A Also announced today is an update of the WFT-E2/E2A. Called the WFT-E2 II in most markets, and the WFT-E2 II A in the U.S., Canada and a few other locales, it's a wired Ethernet/wireless Wi-Fi transmitter with the capabilities of the previous model, plus more. Changes includes support for 802.11a wireless networks, in addition to 802.11b/g, a revised HTTP mode called WFT Server and slick multiple remote camera triggering capabilities.

WFT Server mode allows for remote viewing of the camera's Live View feed, adjusting of shutter speed, aperture, ISO and various other camera settings, as well as firing the shutter, all from the web browser of a linked computer, iPhone or other smartphone.

It's designed to be a web browser version of  EOS Utility, though without the same range of features as Canon's standalone camera control application.

The screenshots below show WFT Server mode in action from a wirelessly connected iPhone. These screenshots were generated using a 7D and its companion WFT-E5/E5A transmitter, but the interface and controls with the EOS-1D Mark IV + WFT-E2 II/WFT-E2 II A are the same as shown.

Linked In: WFT Server mode in action (Screenshots courtesy Canon)

The WFT-E2/E2A, which Canon shipped alongside the EOS-1D Mark III back in 2007, is compatible with the EOS-1D Mark IV, though minus the nifty new wireless features like WFT Server - those require the newer transmitter. Conversely, the WFT-E2 II/WFT-E2 II A is compatible with the EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1Ds Mark III. Both cameras will require a not-yet-released firmware update, says Westfall, to operate the new transmitter.

An EOS-1D Mark IV with a WFT-E2 II/WFT-E2 II A attached can be configured to fire multiple remote cameras, up to 10 in all, in concert with the camera in your hand. Once configured, pressing the shutter button on the camera you're using causes the remote cameras to fire as well, presumably with a slight delay. The master and remote cameras can be any combination of:
  • EOS-1D Mark IV + WFT-E2 II/WFT-E2 II A
  • EOS 7D + WFT-E5/E5A
  • EOS 5D Mark II + WFT-E4 II/WFT-E4 II A (also announced today)
  • EOS-1D Mark III + WFT-E2 II/WFT-E2 II A
  • EOS-1Ds Mark III + WFT-E2 II/WFT-E2 II A
More information is in a WFT-E2 II specification sheet.

Price and availability

The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV has an expected street price of US$4999 in the U.S. and is to ship in late December 2009. Note that in the U.S., and perhaps other countries too, AC Adapter Kit ACK-E4 will not be included in the box and must be purchased separately, which is a departure from the EOS-1D Mark III.

In Canada, the EOS-1D Mark IV has an expected street price of CDN$5499, with a ship date of late December 2009. There will be CPS pricing in Canada on the EOS-1D Mark IV. If you're a Canadian CPS member, contact your dealer for more information.

Canon USA is preparing a detailed technical paper on the new model, which will be posted for download on the Canon USA website in late October 2009 (when it goes live it will be linked to on this page). Example EOS-1D Mark IV photos and movies are here.

As of this writing, the price and ship date for the WFT-E2 II A have not been set for either the U.S. or Canada. Canon UK has said that the WFT-E2 II will be available in late December 2009 priced at 699.00/849.00 RRP inc. VAT.
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