Well, I missed seeing the announcement the minute it was made, though we had all already heard the (IMO) disappointing news that this new camera was going to be only 4.1 MP. Hardly worth a second look. Yet, who could resist at least LOOKING...
I couldn't. Being no stranger to the digital darkroom, I decided to put the 1D's sample images - from http://www.usa.canon.com/EOS-1D/sample.html
- through the paces with the good tools.
1. ISO Noise! Worse... Banding noise!
This thing's got a CCD. Guess what? It's got nasty stuff happening in dark places in medium ISO images. Check this snippet of the ISO 400 motorcyclist shot, in which I pushed the luminance curves up on one of the darker areas... Note the noise, and ESPECIALLY the banding:
2. Pattern inaccuracy!
People have said that the hair detail in the image of the girl is good. Is it? It's arguably a bit better than the D30, pixel for pixel, but it ain't perfect. Canon apparently has its problems when it comes to interpreting imager data in images of things with fine lines... I found a couple of kinds of pattern in there. Note the little light squares with dark centers in these nearest-neighbor enlargements:
3. Upsample test.
One thing I like to do is print digital images large on occasion. I've made some stunning 24 x 36 images from D30 shots. How well will the 1D fare? Here's one area where it appears to shine. Check this 4x upsample of two of the small diamonds in the ring in one of the sample images. Based on what I see here, the 1D will print a sharp, though not quite large format sharp, 24 x 36 image.
4. The Carboni special sharpening treatment.
How well do 1D images stand up to my special upsample-sharpen-downsample treatment for sharpening. Fairly well, I'd say. Check this "before and after" out:
I worry that these things won't be fixable in firmware (or simply won't be fixed by Canon). They didn't fix the little glitches in the D30, after all, and I for one made darn sure Canon knew about them.
Lest I sound like a nay-sayer, the 1D images are about on a par with those delivered by the D30's CMOS (except for that banding noise; here the D30 wins), and with 30% more pixels, I guess the 1D will be be a pretty good camera. Stellar? No.
Perhaps not worth trading in my D30 for just yet.
[ September 26, 2001: Message edited by: Noel Carboni ]