Canon EOS-1D X: 20 Facts And Stats On Canon’s New Pro EOS DSLR
With Canon’s new flagship EOS-1D X pro DSLR now on sale, we thought we’d give one a proper going over and find out what you get if you splash out over £5K* for one of these big, beautiful beasts of a digital camera. In no particular order, here are 15 reasons for re-mortgaging your house and investing in a new Canon EOS-1D X pro DSLR (as well as five reasons to think twice)…
* £5,299 to be precise for body only, in stock and available at www.parkcameras.com or $6,799 on back-order at www.bhphotovideo.com
1. Incredible high ISO – low noise and high image quality
As most of us know by now, and as you’d expect from Canon’s flagship pro EOS D-SLR, the 1D X tops out at a whopping ISO204,800 in the sensitivity stakes, enabling you to shoot in near dark conditions and still obtain a fast enough shutter speed to shoot handheld and capture a half-decent shot. We say half decent, because at ISO204,800, images are pretty noisy, and at ISO102,400 they still showed off obvious grain. However, as the 1D X maxes out so high in the ISO arena, this means that you can shoot in the normal range (rather than the expanded ISO 204,800 and 102,400 sensitivity settings) of ISO100-51200 and capture images with impressively low levels of noise, even at ISO51200.
We regularly shot at ISO3200 and 6400 to shoot indoor portraits, gigs at night and interiors of churches, and could do so confidently, without the need for a tripod, and without fear of ending up with useless noisy images. The important thing, is that the Canon EOS-1D X, as well as keeping grain and noise levels down, it manages to retain good definite and colour rendition in subjects and scenes, even when light levels are almost non-existent.
2. 14 fps burst rate
For shooting fast action on a full frame camera the new 1D X really comes into its own enabling you to shoot JPEGs at a whopping continuous shooting rate of 14 fps with mirror lock up. It does however drop down to a still impressive figure of 12 fps when shooting in Raw, which more than what the 7D offers at 10fps.
The maximum frame rate then drops to 10fps at ISO32,000 and above but this still equals the fastest shooting rate of the EOS-1D Mark IV.
The only problem with the increase in speed is the battery life, however, the 1D X has a new larger-than-average battery! The battery capacity has increased from 2300mAh to 2450mAh. It has even been made compatible to use in older EOS-1 series camera models and the older batteries can also work in the new 1D-X too!
3. Improved seals and build quality
You can certainly feel the quality when you first pick up one of these bad boys! It feels very solid and at first glance appears fairly similar to the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV; with 76 seals around a magnesium body and internal structure, it is however slightly taller, deeper and heavier. It has both vertical and horizontal grips making it easy to handle when shooting at portrait and landscape orientation. If you’re thinking of upgrading from a 5D model you will need to invest in a bigger kit bag for this beast.
The 1D X as you’d expect from a pro camera has full weather sealing making it water resistant even in inclement weather conditions. Underneath the toughened plastic exterior, a magnesium alloy chassis further protects the insides of the 1D X.
The new push buttons allow for improved weather sealing too, compared to dials. They are much easier to use even when wearing gloves, plus they are less likely to get knocked during use.
4. Customiseable buttons on the front
Like the EOS 7D, the 1D X allows you to customise the controls and layout to suit your needs, you can set up a specific function to each button on the camera and you can also change what adjustments the Main Dial, Quick Control Dial and Multi-controller control. To add even more control to the handling of this camera, the 1D X also includes three multi function buttons two on the front, one each for both vertical and horizontal shooting and one on the top panel where the FEL button was situated on the EOS-1D Mark IV.
5. Huge range of AF modes to suit the moving subject you’re shooting
Like the 7D the 1D X features a comprehensive list of focus point selection modes. It features six, Spot, Single Point, Single Point with surrounding four points, Single Point with surrounding eight points, Zone selection and Automatic AF point selection.
In addition to the data provided by the AF system, the 1D X also makes use of data provided by the new AE sensor and AE DIGIC 4 processor to improve focus tracking in AI Servo mode. Canon’s iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF can handle tracking of accelerating or decelerating subjects and even detects the colour of the subject. What’s more impressive is the detection of faces; this is especially helpful when you have several faces within the frame. You can manually select an AF point and ensure that face will be tracked.
The 1D X has also grouped all the AF settings and Custom functions in their own menu tab menu enabling easier and quicker access and adjustments. Within these settings they have included new configuration options, enabling you to customise tracking sensitivity, AF point auto-switching and how it handles the accelerating and decelerating subjects.
6. More AF points and zones for improved and more accurate AF
The EOS-1D X has 61 AF points to choose from, giving you more scope to find an AF point to focus on your subject (or part of your subject – the eyes in a portrait, for example) when composing your shot in frame.
The EOS-1D X has a precision 61 point AF system, featuring 41 sensitive cross-type sensors, which all help to deliver fast, accurate focussing of all subjects from static scenic shots to fast-moving subjects. Better still, the centre five AF points are dual cross-type for added precision.
7. Full-frame advantage
The 1D X has an 18.1-million-effective-pixel, 36x24cm full frame CMOS sensor to ensure better image quality at the upper ISO settings. Being a full frame sensor, it’s only compatible with EF mount lenses, which delivers true focal length for wide-angle lenses. It also gives you greater control over depth of field producing beautiful shallow depth of field at wider apertures.
8. Dual DIGIC 5+ processors
The 1D X has not one but two DIGIC 5+ image processors plus a DIGIC IV processor. The DIGIC 5+ is a new and improved, more powerful processor and is said to perform three times faster than the DIGIC 5 processor. This in turn offers the fast burst rate of 14fps for JPEG and 12fps for Raw files making the 1D X one of the fastest DSLR’s on the market.
9. Dual Compact Flash card slots
Most pros uses Compact Flash (CF) cards in their cameras, so doing away with the SD card slot wasn’t a big loss for us. But adding another CF card suits us, plus it enables you to instantly back-up images on a second card – very handy for important shoots, such as weddings, or lucrative shoots with big clients.
10. Ethernet connection
The 1D X now provides a built in wired RJ-45 LAN Ethernet port that provides a Gigabit Ethernet connection. This allows for faster transfer speeds of your images and better handling of HD video transfers too.
11. Dual buttons
The 1D X has dual shutter/AF point focusing/Focus Lock and jog dial buttons for easy reach for both portrait and landscape format shooting.
12. Crisp image quality
The 1D X captures crisp images with tons of detail and a good range of natural tones without any unrealistic in-camera effects ruining the shots. Canon’s 100,000-pixel RGB AE metering system offers evaluative, partial, spot and centre-weighted metering modes. When the iFCL metering system is used in Evaluative mode the 1D X can deliver correctly exposed results even under extreme light conditions. The EOS-1D X also offers +/- 5-Stops of Exposure Compensation; with 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments. This is handy for when you’re shooting sequences of exposures to combine into a detailed HDR image, so you can capture 11 images from -5-stops through to +5-stops. Plus auto bracketing offers a /-3 EV range for 2,3,5 or 7 shots.
13. Canon EF pro L-series lenses
Pro cameras coupled with Canon EF pro L-series are a winning combination, as the bring out the best in each other, in terms of accurate focusing, speed of focusing, and brilliant contrast and colour in images. We found when shooting with EOS-1D X with a good L-series lens (and of course a suitably fast shutter speed for the focal length and subject matter) we rarely had to zoom in to check shots for sharpness on the large LCD as the focusing is so consistently accurate.
14. Print sizes
For 95% of photographers, a full-frame 18-megapixel camera is perfect as image sizes (at 5184×3456 pixels) are big enough for double-page spreads in magazines and good-sized prints, without ridiculously large file sizes. You can print up to A2 sized prints at excellent quality even after cropping!
15. HD Video
A first for a 1-series body, the 1D X is dubbed as the filmmakers DSLR enabling users to shooting full HD (1920x1080p) videos at 30, 25 or 24 fps. Whilst incorporating all of the video features found in other Canon models, the 1D X also offers new video compression formats to simplify and speed up postproduction work. It also includes two methods of timecode embedding that enables users to sync together multiple cameras and separate sound recordings in postproduction too.
Another big thanks to the DIGIC 5+ processors as they are said to reduce moiré artefacts. Another significant change is the new file splitting function when a single file reaches 4GB. This allows for continuous video recording up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files; no frames are dropped and the multiple files can be seamlessly connected in postproduction.
As we like to offer balanced opinions on PhotoPlus, here are some negative points to consider with the EOS-1D X:
1. Cor, it’s a bit heavy
The 1D X weighs over 500 grams more than a 5D Mk III, you’ll soon notice the weight when its equipped with a big L series lens; 1D X with a new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens weighs 2,830 grams. Most pros are used to beefy cameras, but those making the step up might find the extra weight causes more hand/wrist/arm/shoulder ache than it’s worth.
2. The price
Five grand is a lot of anyone’s money. You can buy a new car for £5K. Admittedly it won’t be very big. Probably about the same size as the 1D X, but still, this camera is a serious investment.
3. File sizes
Raw files from the 18-megapixel sensor are big at around 25Mb on average. Not as big as the 22-megapixel 5D Mk III Raw files that average around 28Mb, but these 1D X Raw files soon add up, especially if you’re firing off lots of bursts at 12 or 14 fps. So factor in new memory cards and upgrading your computer’s hard drive into your budget.
4. 18-megapixel trade off
The 18-megapixel trade off for faster frame rates and improved ISO performance might not be enough for jobbing pros who need big images for big clients.
5. Did we mention its price?
For more information about Canon’s EOS-1D X….
This entry was posted on Monday, September 17th, 2012 at 12:14 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.