Shooting with the Canon 1D twenty years later: How does it hold up?

Sep 1, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Shooting with the Canon 1D twenty years later: How does it hold up?

Sep 1, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Canon EOS 1D was the first digital camera in the EOS-1 line. It’s already been twenty years since it was launched, can you believe how time flies? Technology has come a long way, and so did digital cameras. But is the old 1D still relevant and can it stack up against modern gear? Eduardo Pavez Goye decided to find out. In this video, he takes you on a shoot and tells you his impressions of this two-decade-old Canon camera.

YouTube video

In the first half of the video, you can watch Eduardo and his model Georgia walk around and take photos. Eduardo shares a bunch of them straight out of camera, so you can see what he ended up with. In the second part of the video, he proceeds to share his impressions of the Canon EOS 1D.

Compared to modern cameras (especially mirrorless), the 1D is huge, cumbersome, and heavy. But I guess that’s no surprise. It has a 4.15 MP CCD sensor and uses 2GB cards. Still, due to a relatively small resolution, you can take more than 400 with a 2GB card.

Shooting at a higher ISO will give you more noise on this camera than it does on modern ones. But Eduardo points out that it doesn’t look bad with a CCD sensor, especially if you shoot black and white.

It’s worth noting that the 1D has a 1.3x crop sensor, not 1.6x. So a 50mm lens will not give you 80mm equivalent focal length, but 65mm. Eduardo notes that the AF is not particularly great, which is again not surprising for a 20-year-old camera. The display on the back is really small, so you can’t be sure whether the photo is in focus or not. But even if it were larger, I’d still suggest waiting till you see your photos on a computer.

Despite some obvious drawbacks, Eduardo notes that he still likes the results he got with this camera. Looking at the photos that he took, I like them too. I probably wouldn’t go for a 20-year-old digital camera even if I were a newbie. I don’t need 100 MP resolution, but I still want more than 4. However, for a grandpa that it is, Canon 1D is not bad at all, even in 2021.

Did you have the chance to shoot with the Canon EOS 1D? Or perhaps the Nikon D1 from 1999? Do you think they’re still relevant, at least in some situations?

[Using a Canon 1D in 2021? via FStoppers]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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3 responses to “Shooting with the Canon 1D twenty years later: How does it hold up?”

  1. Rolf K Zigler Avatar
    Rolf K Zigler

    I jumped into the Canon 1D ecosystem starting with the EOS 1D Mark II, and I liked it well enough to buy a second body. My goal was to capture US High School Football, and both the original 1D and 1Ds were lacking for sports.

    The Mark II is still great for daytime sports and I still use them for the grandkids sports even today.

    Just make sure to couple that body with a sports-capable lens, like one of the EF 70-200mm, f2.8L USM tele-zooms and learn how to track the action for autofocus. Good to go! ?

  2. DeeJay522 Avatar
    DeeJay522

    I also have the 1dmkii and a 6d. The 6d is worthless for anything moving…I still use the 1d for any event photography or sports.

  3. Bob Heathcote Avatar
    Bob Heathcote

    Have mine still! AF was so much better than anything else at the time as was 8fps – magic. The CCD sensor was great and the experts said it had “big pixels” or something like that I remember reading. I could up-res easily to 8MP and nobody knew. Kept using until 1DIIn was available. Only real drawback was batteries were heavy and you definitely needed two if you were going to be out shooting sports for a few hours. Not like with today’s batteries where you get > 2000 frames!