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Le présent article n'est pas disponible en Français
February 2010

I received the EOS-1D Mark IV just in time to shoot the final Grand Prix of last season in Abu Dhabi – I used it for all of that F1 race weekend and also had the camera to shoot some touring car action in Macau.

Before I began shooting in Abu Dhabi I sat down with the Canon Professional Services (CPS) guys who were there to find out more about the camera. To be safe, first of all I took about five cameras out – including the 1D Mark III, the 1Ds Mark III, the Mark IV and the 7D. After about half an hour of shooting I was confident enough in the new camera to put the other cameras ‘back in the locker’ and just shoot with the 1D Mark IV and the 7D.

I have to say I was very happy with the camera. I had been hoping that the AF would be good, but didn't realise it would be so good. Also, the quality of the files was great with real detail in the pictures – at 400 ISO the quality of the pictures is unbelievable.

© Frits van Eldik

The tunnel at the pit lane exit, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, shot with the EOS-1D Mark IV at the 25mm focal length of the EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM zoom lens. Exposure was 1/100sec at f/7.1, ISO 640.

I shot between ISO 200 and 3200 and was really surprised at how the picture stayed ‘intact’. In the past I’ve found that skin can go a bit yellow at higher ISOs but was really amazed with skin tones, even at 3200. It makes your life a bit easier when you know you can rely on high ISO – in the past you had the risk of movement in your pictures so I’ve seen a big improvement on that side of things.

I should admit that I usually try to use as low an ISO as possible with slow shutter speeds to capture movement. I would love to have a camera that shoots lower than ISO 50 whereas all of the developments are at the higher end of the ISO scale – to get to ISO 102,400 is incredible. I always go for the best grain and the best quality and that is possible as ISO 800 is now like ISO 100 in the past. For me, it allows you to be more creative when you have the high ISO capability and you have the feeling of being able to rely on the camera.

I took a series of 30 pictures in a sequence, which is actually not normally how I shoot – at least 90% of them were pin sharp and that’s what you want as a photographer. The sharpness of the pictures seems to have improved a lot.

© Frits van Eldik

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing shot on the EOS-1D Mark IV at 78mm focal length of the EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM zoom lens. Exposure was 1/60sec at f/5, ISO 200.

I tend to follow my subject and, when I’m happy, I’ll just fire off one shot. The movement I have in F1 is not that difficult to shoot compared to trying to follow the action in football or the like. For sure, the AF has improved a lot, but I have to say I was quite happy with the 1D Mark III.

The main thing I noticed was that ‘straight out of the box’ the 1D Mark IV pictures showed great detail. Normally I would have to alter a file to fine-tune it a bit after shooting, but here you had accuracy straight out of the box. The pictures showed detail in the white parts of polished F1 cars with the sun blinking on them, through to the detail in the black tyres. This detailing in both the dark and bright parts of the images was amazing.

In fact, I sent my Macau images to a colleague in Switzerland who wanted to know immediately what camera they were shot on, such was the detail in the pictures. Just take a look at the detail in the picture of Lewis Hamilton’s glove!

Overall the EOS-1D Mark IV is very good and I’m sure there’s much more I can do with it in the future.

© Frits van Eldik

2008 F1 champion Lewis Hamilton putting on his gloves - look at the detail in the gloves! Shot on the EOS-1D Mark IV with EF500mm f/4L IS USM lens - exposure was 1/1250sec at f/4, ISO 1250.

Biographie: Frits van Eldik

Frits van Eldik

Top motorsport photographer Frits van Eldik hails from the Netherlands where he worked for a specialist automotive picture agency for seven years before starting his own motorsports publishing company. He photographed his first Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1989 and by 1994 was shooting all of the F1 races in a season. He became a Canon Ambassador in 2008 and enjoys photographing all motorsports and “everything else that moves fast.”


2008 F1 champion Lewis Hamilton putting on his gloves - look at the detail in the gloves! Shot on the EOS-1D Mark IV with EF500mm f/4L IS USM lens - exposure was 1/1250sec at f/4; ISO rated at 1250.