Is the Canon 1D Mark IIN still a good purchase in 2013?


*UPDATE as of May 2013* I own 3 of these bodies and they are all workhorses. They get me through absolutely everything I come up against.


With my photographic needs growing significantly towards the end of 2012  and with the expectation of bigger things to come in 2013 I felt like my equipment was holding me back a big. I love Canon, and I’d love Canon even more if I had about €4,000 to spend on equipment. But like most, I don’t have that kind of money. I had needs that my equipment wasn’t meeting and I had a budget of €500. Things weren’t looking good. I had expected to end up sticking with my current equipment but I looked around and found a great deal on a 1D Mark IIN which I instantly snapped up and haven’t regretted since. In fact, I’m considering buying another.

Why the 1D Mark IIN?

Well, simply put… the Mark II felt too dated and the Mark III was a bit too expensive with a few too many AF worries. I was specifically after a 1-Series body, for the build quality, the dual card slots and the AF system.  As much as I love the 5D Mark II it just wasn’t fit for my needs, it has the benefits of low light performance and image quality but I just needed to get away from the 9 point AF system (well, only the centre point has ever been useful on any of these 9 point systems). The Mark IIN looked like it was the one, it fit all my needs, it fit my budget and it had very few drawbacks. So I went ahead and picked it up.

How does it perform?

I’ve used it on quite a few occasions now and I am extremely impressed with it. It produces fantastic images at all ISO values (actually, I don’t think I’ve had the camera below 800 ISO yet!). I’ve shot fireworks, a concert, rugby matches and some night time street shots since I got the camera. ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 are extremely clean compared to the same settings on the Canon 40D, 60D and 500D. They equal the quality of the Canon 5D Classic and ISO 3200 on the 1D Mark IIN is slightly worse than ISO 3200 on the 5D Mark II. (I’m excluding the 5D Mark III, 1D Mark IV, 1DX etc. because, if you have the money for them then you wouldn’t be reading this post…).


1/60th, F/2.8, ISO 3200

It’s snappy to focus. Better than any Canon DSLR I’ve used before. In lower light situations, the 40D/60D are quicker to start up but the 1D Mark IIN is quicker to find focus and it’s better at finding focus in low light situations. I shot a 4 hour long battle of the bands concert and there were only 3 occasions throughout the whole night that the 1D had trouble finding focus and that was mainly my fault. If you know to look out for the high contrast areas then it’ll be easy to lock focus 99% of the time. The constant changing stage lights didn’t put the camera off once. Music photography is by far one of the hardest jobs a photographer can get, you really need to be able to rely on your equipment to pull through for you.
The 45 point AF in the 1D was phenomenal. Every point, including the non-cross-type points locked on very easily. I stayed in one shot AF for the entire gig as that’s my shooting preference and I didn’t have a single out of focus image from the entire night. The 1D rendered the colours lovely and they were a pleasure to edit. I’ll mention now that all these images were shot in RAW and processed in Lightroom 4, no noise reduction was added to any of them (I went back and checked). The dynamic range of the 1D at 1600 ISO and 3200 ISO surpassed that of the much newer 60D  and the full frame 5D Classic.


1/320th, F/2.8, ISO 1600


1/200th, F/2.8, ISO 1600


1/80th, F/2.8 ISO 3200

Regarding the editing of the RAW files: you can increase the exposure by about a stop but then the image falls to pieces. This is to be expected. Here’s a black and white image which I pushed and pulled to extremes to get just the way I wanted it, I boosted the exposure by about 2 stops and drastically increased the blacks and clarity to get the exact silhouette look I was after:


1/1000th, F/2.8, ISO 3200

However, when kept within its limits the camera’s RAW files hold up very well during the edit process.


1/640th, F/2.8, ISO 1600


1/100th, F/2.8, ISO 3200

So, I mentioned how the AF performed in one shot, how about in AI Servo? Equally as brilliant. I photographed a Leinster Schools Senior Rugby match and I didn’t get a single out of focus shot that wasn’t my fault. I got a total of 3 out of focus shots because I selected the wrong point or focused on the wrong thing (I was still trying to get used to the AF system at this point). At no point did I have to think about the AF, I set it to back button focusing (my preference) and just held it down without letting go. At no point did I have to give the AF any thought. Tracking was exceptionally good and the camera was not easily tricked. Even when the ball passed in front of players faces there was no noticeable hiccup in the AF. I’d imagine if you set the tracking speed faster in the custom functions you might encounter some problems here, but I had it set to standard and it was perfectly fine. I shot during the rugby match with the Canon 300mm F/4L non-IS and the Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L non-IS so AF was spectacular as per usual with those lenses.


1/800th, F/4, ISO 800


1/1000th, F/4,  ISO 800

I left AF point expansion off when shooting with the 300mm. It didn’t feel natural to me, probably because I’m not used to it yet, but the camera handled the action fine without it. I was able to keep up with the players by moving the AF point myself. The dual dial system is a bit tricky to get used to compared to the newer joystick method of selecting AF points but I now prefer it, it’s much easier than the joystick for people like me with big fingers.


1/1000th, F/4, 800 ISO


1/1250th, F/2.8, 800 ISO


1/1250th, F/2.8, 400 ISO


It’s fantastic. I love it, it’s a workhorse of a camera. The files it produces are superb, the 8mp sensor is more than most people will need, it will print as big as you could ever want (unless you’re a studio photographer, in which case I doubt you’d be interested in this camera).  The smaller file sizes are much more friendly towards CF cards though, the buffer clears quicker than with bigger files (like with the 40D or 7D), due to the buffer clearing quicker it’s easier to get longer bursts at the 8.5 FPS the cameras offers. A Lexar 8GB 200x CF card gives me a good 3 second burst of RAW files on full speed before it slows down. An even faster card wouldn’t have this problem, I just have no need for faster cards at the moment.
In terms of IQ, it is far beyond any current APS-C sensor camera offered by Canon. I would rather buy a 1D Mark IIN than a 7D. The IQ of the 1D matches that of the 5D Classic, the 5D Mark II is a bit better, especially at high ISOs. It really benefits from the full frame. I love the 1D Mark IIN and I think it is a very good choice in 2013 if you’re on a budget. Other cameras around it’s price range would be a 650D, 30D, 40D, 50D, 60D, 5D Classic – it performs better than each of those models in it’s own way. The AF is far beyond that of the 5D Classic, and the image quality (as well as other features like the AF) is far beyond that of any APS-C offering.


1/10th, F/4, 800 ISO


1/1000th, F/4, 640 ISO


1/1600th, F/2.8, 400 ISO


1/1000th, F/2.2, 800 ISO

-Fantastic Image Quality
-Rugged build
-Brilliant 45 point AF system
-Dual card slots
-100% Coverage Viewfinder
-Audio Recording
-Smaller file sizes allow for cheaper CF cards (like 200x as opposed to the 600x needed for similar speeds with a 7D)

-Big and heavy
-Big battery (twice the size of the 1D Mark III/IV battery and about 3/4 times the size of the 5D/7D/xxD batteries)
-2.5 inch LCD screen, not as high quality as current screens (doesn’t bother me, it’s still a brilliant screen)
-Only goes to 3200 ISO

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Stuart Comerford

Award-winning photographer. Writer/Director of the feature film "The Kids Aren't Alright".

59 thoughts on “Is the Canon 1D Mark IIN still a good purchase in 2013?”

  1. Thanks for the wonderful post! I had a low budget but I wanted something decent and great in image quality, AF etc. I saw your post and just got myself one today. It’s really a wonderful body!

    1. i own one of these, i shoot formula one for a large media company. Beats my 5d hands down imo. No other camera has give me so much joy. Switch it on and it works and you know it means business when you pick it up. I also use the 1ds series of cameras and it out performs them in many ways. Its 2014 and i still struggle to part with it for a silly pixel count camera. Dont think that the 8.2 mega pixel sensor wont give you better images than the new gear, you are totally misguided and in for a big shock. The quality of reflective surfaces this camera captures are phenomenal and believe me i capture some of the worlds best f1 cars on this beast and i struggle to recreate this on any other camera.
      It aint about the pixels, its about the finished product. If you get the chance to buy one just do it, you wont be disappointed and just for the record i own a 1dx and i still love using my 1d mk2n……….piers

    1. Glad you found the review useful! I was quite unsure about buying into the 1D series at first, thinking I don’t need a lot of the features but I’ve been using it to its full potential! I love it! Hope you love yours! :)

  2. I read this and am thinking of getting the 1d mark iin. I am a celebrity journalist and I shoot primarily at night. Do you think the images will be good enough for the magazines? Will it perform and fast focus in little to no light in clubs and bars? My subject love to run away and I was leaning toward the 7d but I am open minded.

    1. I’d imagine it’d be well suited to the job. It’s much better than the 7D up to 1600 ISO and even 3200 ISO in most situations, the only problem is that’s the 1D’s max ISO. But I’d assume you’d be shooting with a flash? If so, especially using the AF-assist beams on the Canon speedlights you’ll be fine for job and the image quality will be better than the 7D. Only problem is you can’t use any EF-S lenses on the 1D (incase you already own some). The AF is good enough for low light work, as good as, if not better than the 7D. Especially the center point. I would definitely prefer the 1D’s build over the 7D for use in club environments, I know what it’s like from shooting gigs and it can get pretty rough at times with people bashing off you all the time. And as long as you’re not cropping intensely then the 1D’s files will be perfect for magazines. For the price, I think the 1D is a far better option. Invest that extra money into some lenses/speedlights or so. Hope that’s helped!

      1. Well… no, not necessarily. If you can afford them then sure, they’re fantastic pieces of glass. But for example, I have a Sigma 24-60mm F/2.8 which cost me €300 that’s just as sharp and just as good quality as my Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L. I was just saying that the EF-S series of lenses aren’t able to be mounted on the 1D series cameras, they’re for 1.6x crop sensors only. If you can afford L lenses then by all means, go for it. But Sigma and Tamron, for example, offer some terrific lenses that will produce great results on the 1D. Just do a bit of research around and you’ll find plenty of alternatives to L lenses if you can’t afford them, no need to stress your budget if it’s not necessary.

    1. That sounds like a reasonable enough offer. Unfortunately, since I don’t deal in dollars I can’t be too sure. Do some research by looking at what other models sell for second hand and see if it’s worth it. If the seller is claiming that it has a new shutter then they should have proof of that, ask them to show documentation that says it has had the shutter replaced. Many sellers will say things just to get a sale and make a bit more money.

      As far as lenses go, the rugby photos were shot with a Canon 300mm L lens, the concert photos (as well as the very first photo) were shot with a Sigma 24-60mm lens and the final photo was shot with a Sigma 10-20mm lens. The EXIF data then is below each photo.

      1. Very good point. I missed that when reading it. That would be a lot to pay for a regular 1D Mark II, the Mark II sells for a fair bit less than the Mark IIN. They are mostly similar but the Mark IIN has some very good updates which really keep it from feeling like an old camera. The Mark IIN would be my preferred purchase if money allows.

  3. Great post. I’ve been shooting mostly with smaller cameras for the past year–a GX1, Fuji X10, X20 and now a Fuji X100. My Mark IIn has been sadly neglected and I was actually thinking about selling it and just getting a smaller Canon DSLR body for those times when I wanted the speed.

    I was blown away when I checked out eBay and saw how inexpensive these things are now. I was also very pleasantly surprised to see how well the focus system and frame rate have stood the test of the time. It continues to be an exceptional camera!

    Instead of selling it I’ve dusted it off along with a nice beefy L lens and it’s being used regularly again. The smaller cameras are a blast for street shooting or carrying full-time but when you need fast focusing and/or fast frame rate in all different lighting conditions the Mark IIn is an amazing value and both RAW and JPG output can be stunning!

  4. This is the best and most helpful review I’ve read regarding the Mk II N’s viability compared to newer models. I shoot with a 60D and, while it’s a great camera that works well for me in most contexts, I like to shoot live events and often get a very low percentage of keepers due to its autofocus not being up to the task. My 1D Mk II N will be arriving from Adorama in a couple of days and your post has made me even more excited about shooting with it. Thanks for this, and happy shooting.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you found the review helpful, I used to be a 60D owner myself, then I passed it on to my sister and now own two 1D Mark IIN’s! I got rid of it for the same reasons you have. I hope you enjoy your new camera :)

  5. Hi. Based on your Article, I also bought the Canon 1D Mark IIN on a Bargain on EBAY. Was a poor rebel 450d user since 2008 and no budget for a serious upgrade! I’m really happy. Pro Camera for low budget! Am very pleased! A friend gave me he is old 28-80 f2.8-4L Lens they work great togehter. Thanks a lot!

    1. Thank you! You’re welcome! I’m glad you’re happy with your purchase, I strongly believe that the 1D Mark IIN is an incredible purchase for the price it’s available at nowadays. Happy shooting!

  6. Interesting post. I wish I had read it before I invested in a Canon 60D. But no matter. I am happy with my 60D despite its limitations in comparison with the 1D Mark IIN. Ignorance is sometimes bliss. Thank you for visiting and deciding to follow me. I do appreciate it.

    1. The 60D is still a fantastic camera, with many advantages over the 1D Mark IIN. After I bought two 1D Mark IIN’s I gave my old 60D to my sister, I still use it from time to time to play around with video mainly. It’s newer camera with many features that may appeal more to less serious shooters. The smaller form-factor is definitely a plus that the 60D has for most people. As long as you’re happy with what you currently have, then all is good :)

  7. Stuart,
    Great post and spot-on analysis in my opinion. I’ve been shooting pro motorsports with a Canon 1D MKII since the end of 2005 (bought a show demo model from a Canon rep), and it served me well all those years. It’s now getting pretty long in the tooth as it’s been hammered as far as use (it’s been rebuilt twice, once for a failed shutter and once for a damaged mirror box), and I’m now having some AF issues with it, but CPS (Canon Pro Services) doesn’t service these anymore. Mk IVs are still about USD $3500, and 1DXs are over six grand, so I just picked up an incredibly clean, LNIB Mk II N with only 22K shutter actuations from a seller on Fred Miranda for $750. Looking forward to putting it throught it’s paces at an event next month (NHRA Drag Racing). I tried a 5DIII recently, but for sports or motorsports photojournalism, it’s really tough to beat a 1D-series body. Some pros I know still feel the MkII N had the best AF performance they’ve ever used.

    Stephen Scharf

  8. I shoot weddings. At weddings it needs high iso. but if you combine it with larger apertures like f1.4 your good to go with iso 400. Clean and Sharp. I have a friend with 5dmk2. When editting in lightroom. those 2 had no comparison at all in picture results except mp. Great strength is daylight you can step to L iso. Sometimes i would not prefer it shooting at night. coz of the noisy. but I would really like to try iso 1600 on printing. is it good? check my website. shoot with 1D mkIIN camera.

    1. Honestly, I think ISO 1600 on the 1D Mark IIN is amazing. It resembles grain, not noise. ISO 3200 (H) is even acceptable for many situations. But I’ve done 18inch x 12inch prints from a photo shot at ISO 1600 and they’ve been brilliant. However, as a music photographer I don’t really tend to mind noise, a studio photographer would probably have a heart attack if he saw my images. It’s quite subjective to many people, but I’d say ISO 1600 is roughly the same on the 1D Mark IIN as it is on the 5D Mark II.

  9. thank you for this very very clear and good review of the old lady 1D MARK II N. I have bought a very clean 1D MARK II N with only 37500 Shots, it looks like brand new. (price 600 €) :-) Best regards from germany and happy shooting!

  10. Hi Stuart great review of what is a fantastic camera despite being at least 8 years old now! I am a 15 year old photographer and have had a 40D for about 6 months and wanted something for reportage, aviation, sports, etc-would the 1D mk II N be worth considering over my 40D?

    1. You’ll probably miss the additional reach of the 40D’s APS-C sensor during sports/aviation, but apart from that I believe the 1D Mark IIN is a far better camera than the 40D. I had a 40D for about a year and was very unhappy with it, I currently also have a 50D and wouldn’t use it to take photos – I have it mainly for video purposes. And my sister’s 60D doesn’t stack up to the quality of the 1D in my mind – I’ve never been happy with Canon’s APS-C sensors, I find that image quality is just far better with the APS-H or full frame sensors.

      The 1D surpasses the 40D in the features it has, but it’s a lot of weight to carry around – it can cause frequent wrist pain from carrying it all day. But I love my 1D cameras, I’d never even consider getting rid of them.

  11. the review was awesome…very interesting… and very tempting…hehe.. I’m wedding photographer and currently using 5D MK ll + 40D and considering buying a 2nd body for me.. and at the moment I got an offer for 5D MK l and 1D MK ll N…

    Can you guys perhaps give me a comments and recommendation here?

    1. I’d go with the 1D Mark IIN over the 5D Mark I – practically identical image quality, the 1D will give you dual card slots for added safety, and the built quality will withstand being chucked around a lot, the AF system alone would sell me on the camera for wedding photography. However, you might not like that it’s big and heavy (the only drawback) so for that reason the 5D could be better.

  12. thanks Stuart..still doing my research on these models.. now got another offer for 7D and it is a good offer so far..most likely i’ll go for 7D but I do favor for 1D MK ll and 5D.. sighh.. so painful to decide a single body.. hahaha

  13. Hey Stuart, I have the canon 40D and 7D and I just brought the 1d mark 2. I love all of these cameras, but was wondering if I should get the 1d mark 2n? Is it that much better than the mark 2?

    1. There’s no difference in the quality of photos from the Mark II and Mark IIN. If you’re happy with the Mark II then keep it. The only differences with the Mark IIN are the slightly larger LCD screen, ability to shoot RAW+JPEG and a few other firmware things. They’re listed in the post.

  14. Hi Stuart

    Thanks for your earlier advice on how the 1D IIN compares with the 40D.
    I just wanted to know, would it be better to buy the IIN and save up on a few nice lenses or wait a year or two till the price of the Mk III comes down although im aware that a good amount of units have the AF issues. Also, is the noise of the IIN better than that of 600D, 7D, etc?

    1. I’d save up for lenses, the glass makes a bigger difference than the camera.

      The MKIII is a better camera than the Mark IIN, but if you’re fine with the slightly older feeling MK IIN then it should be fine.

      I always thought Canon’s APS-C sensors were pretty terrible at everything, including noise and detail. So I prefer the MK IIN to the 60D, 7D etc. Up to ISO 1600 I’d say the MK IIN wins, since ISO 3200 is its H1 I can’t say it’s better than an APS-C sensor. But I rarely have to use ISO 3200 at all.

  15. I have been sitting on the fence considering saving for a Canon 5D Mk2 or buying a Canon 1D MK2 N that is for sale locally. I already own a Canon 7D which I am very happy with but I would like another back up camera that is a little more rugged for taking outdoor shots of coastlines etc. I think you comments have now steered me towards the 1D Mk2 N as ther are times when I need need quick and accurate focusing especially for wildlife shots and even the odd wedding. Thanks for the information I will now but more confidently.

  16. Thanks for the great review, I was debating between these three bodies (7D, 5D Classic and 1D Mark II N) .. I enjoy shooting landscapes, night sky photography with the widest angle lens and the widest aperture too (Mostly outdoor with an extreme weather sometimes!). I was afraid of the noise performance of the 11 N since it’s an old Canon DSLR, but after looking at your photos, man your photos are just great (Basically you’re a good photographer, doesn’t mean the camera making the photos as good) … But the camera is handling the noise pretty well (especially when I compare it with my Canon 1000D ). I think I made up my mind, I’ll go ahead and take this old baby and see if I’ll like it or not. Thanks again for the great review.

  17. Thanks for the detailed, but simple to understand, review. I’m currently using two Canons, a 20D and 50D. Although I’ve been very pleased with both I wanted to take a leap and expand into the more expensive camera market. I’ve looked at several models but with the price tag attached to the newer models, I quickly realized they exceeded my budget with four kids. I have a friend who shoots for UPI and he said his Mark IIN, now retired, was one of the best cameras he’s ever used.

    After reading your review, and with my friends’ comments, I decided to try to find a good used Mark IIN at a reasonable price. After much shopping around at camera stores and online I pulled the trigger on ebay and bought one for $542 including shipping.

    I just received mine in the mail in a package that contained the battery charger, four batteries, all the cables, manuals (English and Spanish versions), along with the Canon EOS Digital Solution Disk and software. The body looks like a 9 out of 10 and it appears, so far, that everything is in perfect working order.

    Now comes the fun part, reading material time! I’m so looking forward to using this camera at my kids sporting events, indoors and outdoors.

    Thank again for the in depth, plain language review.

    1. I’m glad you found use in the review! And congratulations on your purchase!

      I have a 50D that I use for carrying around on casual personal outings, just so it’s a nice lighter kit to have on me. And while the 50D is a great camera, and better than the Mark IIN is several respects, I still love my Mark IINs more, and I hope you find the same love for yours!

  18. Just bought my 1DmkIIn. I also own an EOS M and a 5DMkII. Modern APS-C sensors are full of pixels but the image quality is bad. In term of resolution the 5DmkII wins hands down, but the image quality is on pair with the 1DMkIIn, which is exceptional. For the rest the 1Dmkii is fantastic, is better in every way, you cannot stop using it. The AF is fantastic, the body is rock solid. Depsite other comments, i found iso 1600 acceptable, but iso 3200 horrible…modern sensors do a far better job at high iso. It’s perfect for a large type of works, not only for sports action, the image quality is so good you can sue it for ceremony or for studio portraits…it’ll keep out the best from your lenses

  19. Thanks for a great review, Stuart. I bought a brand new Mk3 a few years back, which arrived with a dead battery and is about to go back to Canon for the third time., this time with ERR99 at startup. Lovely camera and I love the feel of 1d’s in my hand, but I’ve lost all confidence in it. I shoot concerts and weddings, and at the very least need a reliable replacement or backup. You’ve sold me on the Mk2n. I can pick one up for less than the repair price for the Mk3 and 1/10th of it’s price new – hell, I might buy two and use the Mk3 as a door stop!

  20. I am in the same boat as a lot of previous comments have a 40D love it but I feel I have to take my passion to the next level after seeing the visuals made me pull the trigger I’m off to obtain my Mark ii N thanks for the post

  21. I got mine, an absolute bargain, late in 2014. I had become too frustrated with the slow operation and incredibly slow write times of my Sigma SD1.

    I love the 1D ii N. it is a joy to work with. But what really surprised me was how well its 8.2 Mp compare to the 15 Mp files from Sigma’s 45 mega-sensel Foveon Merrill chip. The answer is “far better than I expected”, despite the disadvantage of fewer pixels, incomplete colour information, a strong anti-aliasing filter, and the inherently lower resolution of a Bayer sensor. I don’t know what magic Canon works in de-mosaicing, but it works.

    And if the images are ultimately beaten for resolution by my Sigma they are more likely to be in accurate focus, correctly exposed, and sharp into the corners, from the superior performance of my Canon full frame lenses on an APS-H camera.

    And because the camera is so much more responsive I get shots I would miss with the Sigma.

    And finally, until I start to make wall-sized exhibition prints the 8.2Mp from the 1D ii N are enough for any size of print I am likely to make.

  22. p.s. I dropped it 4 feet onto concrete on my second outing. It was barely scratched and carried on working perfectly. It is so easy to use. I doubt that I will ever use anything but 1D series bodies ever again.

  23. I bought one of these new many years ago. A great camera, with rarely any dodgy shots being the fault of it.

    However in 2007 I replaced the shutter (it had done 188k shots – and while still OK it was a convenient time to get it done when close to its life expectancy). It has had very little use since then, but it seems the shutter has now failed and it seems Canon no longer supply the parts to repair it.

    A deep shame.

    1. There seem to be several 3rd party repairers advertising on the net that claim to be able to replace or repair shutters on older Canon cameras. The going rate is $200 to $400. Presumably they have stockpiles of spares, or they cannibalise other defunct cameras for the bits that they need.

  24. Bought a 1D MK II n a few months ago for $200, so hey, how can I go wrong? The 8.5 fps is so much better than my 6D and 600D, I have used it at a wedding shoot and shooting wildlife in Yellowstone. The only problem I have is that I have to run Topaz DeNoise on pretty much every shot over 400 ISO. It’s 10-12 years old so will it be as good as my 6D in low light? No. Is 8.2 MP going to print any larger than 8×12? No. Is it a freaking blast machine gunning a bear with the 500mm lens? Absolutely.

  25. I have recently been shooting both the 1D Mark II and the 1D Mark IIN, and for 10 year old cameras I am convinced that they still hold their own in 2015. Really built like brick outside lavatories (being polite here!), the image quality is superb, and matches the build quality of these big brutes. I have mostly been trying to keep the ISO down at 100, but in view of Stuart Comerford’s observations, I will certainly crank up the ISO in poor outdoors lighting (like this Summer in the UK!), or indoors at a stage or sports event. I managed to pick up one of each on a well known Internet auction site recently. A 1D Mark II for £220 with 29,000 shutter actuations, and a 1D Mark IIN for £250 with 22,000 shutter actuations. Can’t go wrong at these prices. And with a Canon 24-70 mm f4 IS lens, I am thrilled with the image quality.

  26. Bit late to the party but your article convinced me! I purchased a 1D mkii n and it is great for action shots in good light but it is essentially useless at any iso over 400. My 6D is so much better at high iso it’s almost comical but I get it, the 1D is 10 years old but getting 8.5 fps for under $200 it’s a no brainer!

    1. What I find useful on the Canon 1D is that it will still allow autofocus on my f4 70 – 200 lens with a x2 converter, this has proven really useful for capturing motor sport shots like the TT event here on the Island with pretty good results.I now have a 5D MKii which is an amazing camera, but my 1D is still used quite a lot and has the build quality that gives you confidence in most weathers and terrain circumstances.

  27. My cousin just gave me a 1D2N. Batteries were dead, so I ordered a pair of them from Amazon. So far I’ve only taken test shots around my workplace, but I’m very pleased. I’m actually very surprised at how good it is, considering it’s a 10-11 year old camera at this point. Focusing system seems to be on par with my 7D, and I feel image quality is better than that of my 7D….though not quite as nice as my 5D2. Can’t wait to give this camera more real world use in the coming months.

  28. It almost looks like one could update this blog with ANOTHER headline;

    Is the Canon 1D Mark II N still a good purchase in 2017?!?!?

    These days cameras are becoming a lot like computers, or worse, like cell phones. Heaven forbid you are carrying a model that is over 3 years old, or in some cases even last YEARS model. Horrors.
    Well, guess what? There were actually top professional photographers shooting DIGITAL back in the early and mid 2000’s and using Canon EOS DSLR gear like the 1D Mark II N. (Heck, there was a time that THIS WAS THE TOP CAMERA!)
    And, those pros were shooting Grand Scale Global sports & other noteworthy, crucial events, like the Olympics, world class car races, big media events, political and war related material, fashion and product photography and much more for MANY magazines and any other place where professional images were required.

    Our criteria for awesome looking images has not evolved that much and the Canon 1D Mark II N is still a very capable camera. As many have noted, it is not simply about the amount of pixels, it is about the final resulting image and the 1D Mark II N produces stunning, great looking images.
    Sure, it does not have the ISO 4,000,000 capability of your current modern (cheap plastic, Made in Taiwan, light as a feather, fit under your thumbnail) camera, but so what?!?! Neither did film and somehow professionals managed to make memorable and classic images even using that ancient, aged medium (sic).

    I started shooting film (as a hobby) back in the late ’60’s and then became a more serious amateur into the ’70’s & ’80’s. Still own some very nice Canon & Nikon gear of that late ’60’s / early ’70’s era. Really good, solid stuff, not worth selling, so I still have it.
    And then over the years when digital came about, all that I had was point & shoot cameras, which are fun and just fine, up to 2016. First of that year I decided to get into real DSLR photography and bought a Canon 40D, and then a second body, and then some lenses and on and on. Summer of 2016 I took my pair of 40D’s to Wyoming to shoot a week long wedding event for two close, dear friends. I was hooked.
    And then in the fall, I had the good fortune to see a local ad for a PAIR of near mint Canon 1D Mark II N camera bodies and bought them. Was thinking that I would sell one of them off to help me pay for some better lens compliment, but the more that I hold and use this camera AND see what else is out there on this level (and for the price?!?!?) I’m thinking that it is well worth keeping both here for myself.

    If you are looking for a pro level camera and your budget is not in the thousands, do consider checking one of these out, ESPECIALLY if you can find one that is not all beat to crap. Many are, and will keep working regardless because this IS what this camera was built to do. Go into war zones and jungles, deserts and mountains, literally, and just keep on shooting and shooting and shooting…
    Oh, and ignore the weenie naysayers about ISO and low light shooting. Just grow a pair and shoot wherever you happen to be in whatever light and see what happens. Enjoy~!


    1. Fall 2017 and this is still a beast! I purchased one 2 days ago fair condition($120) Mark II N. I’ve been shooting with a 60D for 5yrs and the moment I picked up this tank, I knew I would soon be in heaven. The AF is on point 10000000000x faster than my 60D and takes clearer images @8MP! I mainly got this camera because 1) I don’t have lots of $$$$ 2) I love to shoot action
      The pluses of this camera to date? it’s almost a full frame 28.7 × 19.1 mm sensor capable of shooting 8.5 FPS vs my 60D 22.3 × 14.9 mm sensor capable of 5.3 FPS! I won’t go into details about the other specs, but do know if you are hesitating about getting one of these tanks, don’t be.

  29. Bought this beast for 80, euro, in mint condition, 100.000 clicks, so just half way its shutter life (i hope). i Own 2 5D1’s but when i grap this beast by the horns i’am gonna smile. The feeling when you have this beast in your hands is reason alone to use it. Mine has one problem, in the viewfinder the shutter speed and aperture values are not being displayed, so i have to check the top lcd for the exposure. But hey for just 80,- euros and with a body almost as new, i just learn to live with it. I useed it with a m32 Takumar 50mm and the results are beautifull, lightroom cleans very easy all the noise, so the images end up VERY clean, with soo much detail! I would not hesitate to buy another one, even when beatup. The quality is seen everywhere, when you push a button, change battery, turn it on, it is such a pleasure to handle!

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