I went to the launch event for the Canon 1d MkIV at Park Cameras yesterday. After a talk by Canon on the technology inside we all got to have a play with them. At ¬£4,499 the camera body is not cheap.
One things that Canon has improved is the autofocus system. This is now a 45 point system and 39 of these points are cross hair type sensors. The other thing that Canon have added in is an option you can set that means when you rotate the camera from portrait to landscape mode the focus point moves to the corresponding place in the orientation you are now in (hopefully I have explained this properly !).
I will say at this point I am a Nikon user so all the menus, button positions etc were totally new to me so it would be unfair on me to comment to much on the layout except to say that I think it would only take me an hour or so to get used to the differences..
The weather proofing has also been improved and you can use the camera in rain falling at 10mm an hour (from memory they said for 3 minutes). This is a lot of rain and I think I would be adequate for most things
We were not allowed to take away the images that we shot with the cameras;¬† they are pre-production models…. I tried some shots at ISO 102,400 just to see what the noise looked like. In shadow areas the noise is quite colourful but the highlight and midtone areas were relatively clean; the images would need to be run through some noise cleaning software but it is amazing how much development and progress has been made in this area. This means you can still take photos without flash in much darker conditions than before.
For me the weight of the camera body with lense attached would be an issue (unless I go the gym regularly) the thought of carrying two of them all day at a wedding would be a bit much. I will be very interested to see how the “real-life” weight of this compares with the Nikon D3S. A lot of the weight was in the lens (85mm f1.2) but it would be even heavier by the time I have a 70-200 f2.8 lens on the front !
Canon are very aware of the damage that has been done to their reputation with earlier autofocus systems and this is one of the main areas addressed. It would be nice to see this new autofocus system if a full frame body the size of the 5d.