Tag Archives: Canon EOS-1D X Review

Canon EOS 1DX Mark II Review

The Canon EOS 1 series, the flagship Canon DSLR camera, the most powerful and fastest Canon DSLR camera, a must have workhorse lens for journalists, sports and wildlife photographers. Once you used the EOS 1 series, that’s no turning back.

My love affair with the EOS 1 series started when I playing with my friends Canon EOS 1D Mark I and Mark IIN, I was totally awed by its high frames per second and the sound of the high speed shutter. In time to come, I found myself owning a used Canon EOS 1D Mark III that I faithfully used for a few years before I upgraded to another EOS 1 series, the Canon EOS 1DX, also a used camera when the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II was announced and the price of a used EOS 1DX started to drop.

During a media event in February 2016, I got my hands on experience with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and inside my heart said, “I know you want it, buy it!”. However, my brain said, “It’s out of your current budget at the moment, even though you have a use for it on a professional basis” Therefore, I opted for a used Canon EOS 1DX, that I still love it and it’s now my current workhorse DSLR camera, as much as I badly wanted the EOS 1DX Mark II.

I did have an opportunity to review the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II recently, I was very excited because I am a huge fan of the EOS 1 series, not just on and from a professional basis, also from a photography enthusiast perspective.

During the review period, I had the opportunities to test the EOS 1DX Mark II over different situations, themes and events, from Singapore Motorshow 2017, Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail CNY 2017, River Hongbao 2017, Battle for Singapore Tour media preview, Chinese New Year gathering, Jaybird Freedom Wireless earphones product theme shoot and walking around Marina Bay area in the blue hour and night sceneries walkabout shoot. The experiences were really good and I was secretly lusting for a Canon EOS 1DX Mark II for my professional photography work along with a Canon EOS 1DX as a back up / second camera setup!

Through the various types of photographs that I took with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, I have the following observations, views and opinions of this powerful and awesome Canon flagship DSLR camera, written down in this review article.

However, before I begin, first and foremost, let me highlight the key differences between the technical specifications between the Canon EOS 1DX and EOS 1DX Mark II, the information that I extracted from Canon Singapore website by comparing these two Canon DSLR cameras side by side –

DSLR Specifications Canon EOS 1DX Canon EOS 1DX Mark II
Continuous Shooting Speed (shots per sec) (Up to) 14 16
Custom Functions (Total) 31 34
Dimensions (Excl. Protrusions) (mm) (Approximately) 158 x 163.6 x 82.7 158 x 167.6 x 82.6
Effective ISO 50 to 20,4800 (expandable to L (ISO50), H1 (ISO 102,400), H2 (ISO 204,800) 100 to 51,200 (expandable to L (ISO50), H1 (ISO 102,400), H2 (ISO 204,800), H3 (ISO 409,600)
Effective Pixels (Megapixels) (Approximately) 18.1 20.2
File numbering Consecutive numbering, Auto reset, Manual reset Continuous, Auto reset, Manual reset
Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 (L)
4608 x 3072 (M1)
3456 x 2304 (M2)
2592 x 1728 (S)
5184 x 3456 (RAW)
3888 x 2592 (M-RAW)
2592 x 1728 (S-RAW) 
5472 x 3648 (L)
4368 x 2912 (M1)
3648 x 2432 (M2)
2736 x 1824 (S)
5472 x 3648 (RAW)
4104 x 2736 (M-RAW)
2736 x 1824 (S-RAW) 
LCD Monitor Resolutions (dots) 1,040,000 Approx 1,620,000
Max. Resolution (Pixel) (Still images) 5184 x 3156 5472 x 3648
Memory Card Type CF Card (Type I or II) CF cards (Type 1, UDMA 7 supported)

Cfast card (Cfast 2.0 supported)

Metering Mode 252-zone TTL Evaluative, Partial Spot, Centre-weighted Approx. 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor and 216-zone TTL open-aperture metering, EOS iSA (Intelligent Subject Analysis) system, Evaluative metering, Partial metering, Spot metering, Center-weighted average metering

 

Metering Range (Measured at at 23°C or 73°F with EF50mm f1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)

 

EV 0 – 20 EV 0 – 20
Mirror Quick-return half mirror Quick-return type
Movie Format MOV MOV, MP4
Peripheral Connections Hi-Speed USB, Video Output, HDMI, LAN SuperSpeed USB, Video Output, HDMI, LAN
Playback Zoom (Approximately) 1.5x – 10x 1.5 – 10x
Processor Type Dual DIGIC 5+ Dual Digic 6+
Red Eye Reduction Yes
Standard Power Supply Battery Pack LP-E4N Battery Pack LP-E19 / LP-E4N / LP-E4
Video Resolution (HD) (Pixel) (Approximately) 1280 x 720
Video Resolution (SD) (Pixel) (Approximately) 640 x 480
Viewfinder Information AF information, metering and exposure information, flash information, white balance correction, JPEG Type / RAW Type recording, maximum burst, number of shots remaining, battery check, recording media information, highlight tone priority (D+), composition information, grid, electronic level

 

Image type: JPEG/RAW, Shooting mode, Metering mode, White balance, Drive mode, AF operation, Flicker detection, Warning ! indicator, AF operation indicator

 

White Balance Auto, daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten light, white fluorescent light, flash, custom, colour temperature setting, personal white balance (Total 5 settings)

 

Auto (Ambience priority), Auto (White priority), Preset (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten light, White fluorescent light, Flash), Custom (5 settings), Color temperature setting (approx. 2500-10000 K), Personal white balance (5 settings)

 

Based on the comparisons of technical specifications only, the key differences may not seem by many users as a big jump from the EOS 1DX to EOS 1DX Mark II. From my sharing of my Canon EOS 1DX Mark II review, I would share some of the key improvements that makes professional photographers to make their upgrade from EOS 1DX to EOS 1DX Mark II.

Colours

The Dual Digic 6+ processors inside the EOS 1DX Mark II make a key difference and impact to the quality and output of the photographs. They were richer and more accurate in colours, making it even easier and faster for jpeg photographs straight out from the EOS 1DX Mark II to be used quickly for your work requirements.

Dynamic Range

From my observations of the photographs shot with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II review camera, on various subjects and themes during the review period, the dynamic range of the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II has improved. Therefore, the EOS 1DX Mark II is able to capture and retain more details and information. With this significant improvement, the shadows/dark tone areas of the photograph are lifted.

Anti-Flicker Technology

The Anti-Flicker technology that was first introduced to the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is now available inside the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II. The flickering of the indoor lights always pose an issue to photographers and they can give some photographers many problems/challenges to handle when shooting indoors. With the Anti-Flicker technology, indoor sports or events photography with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is so much more easier and pleasant, without the hassles of the flickering lights.

Auto Focus

The Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is the current flagship DSLR camera, it’s a monster machine as I always love (and usually) call it. Their Auto Focus system has improved significantly over the past few models since I started off (still owning it at this current juncture) with the EOS 1D Mark III and I am currrently using the EOS 1DX.

What make this Canon flagship DSLR camera so powerful, highly trusted and widely adopted by professionals around the world, from photojournalists, sports and wildlife photographers, are the AF technology packed inside this camera.

The technical specifications on paper shows how good and powerful this Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is. I recommend photographers who are keen in this camera to try it out and have a go at this flagship DSLR camera, you will then know why it is so highly trusted and widely adopted by the professioanls in photojournalism, sports and wildlife.

Here are the key improvements that are built inside the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II

  • 170 RAW images with CFast 2.0 card
  • Live View RAW – 16fps
  • New AF algorithm and AI Servo AF III+
  • EOS iTR
  • Large Zone AF
  • Newly developed 61-point AF sensor
  • AF shooting is possible on most lenses using all AF points with a maximum aperture value of f/8
  • Intelligent viewfinder II

During my review and research that I done previously for the Canon EOS 1DX, I discovered Canon USA produced a guide book on Canon EOS 1DX AF Setting Guidebook for users to fully utilise and customise the full AF capabilites. This book is now helping me to fine tune my AF settings in my EOS 1DX.

For this review article, I went back to Canon USA website and discovered that they have produced a new book titled Canon EOS 1DX Mark II AF Setting Guidebook. I strongly encourage photographers (whether professionals or serious enthusiasts) to download this handy guide book for their Canon EOS 1DX Mark II DSLR camera. This is a very handy and useful guide book to have for the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II.

Thoughts and views

The Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is the flagship Canon DSLR camera, this camera is highly regarded and used by professional photographers in the fields of journalism, sports and wildlife.

Owning a EOS 1DX is a huge upfront investment, the cost is pretty substantial. Therefore, this camera model is not something that all photographers would choose to purchase, considering their shooting requirements and budget. Moreover, Canon has a series of different professional DSLR camera models for professional as well as photography enthusiasts to choose from, such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R and not to forget the semi-professional camera models such as the EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 6D, EOS 80D etc.

Key factors that make photographers upgrade from EOS 1DX to 1DX Mark II

While the differences between the EOS 1DX and EOS 1DX Mark II may not be that big of a difference on paper, professional photographers who view the photos and read about the key differences in performances, they would choose to let go of their EOS 1DX and go for the EOS 1DX Mark II.

During the period when I reviewed the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, these key factors (in my personal opinion) are why some photographers are letting go of their Canon EOS 1DX for the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II

  • Improved dynamic range
  • Shadows/Dark tone areas improvements
  • Anti-flickr shooting capabilities
  • Smarter and faster auto focusing with the new AF algorithm and AI Servo AF III+
  • 170 RAW images with CFast 2.0 card

On a personal note, I would really love to own the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II when my budget and finances allow. The Canon EOS 1DX is still a very capable camera, that is still doing its job well for me. Therefore when the opportunity arises, I hope that I can upgrade to the EOS 1DX Mark II in the near future.

I would like to thank Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations for the opportunity to review the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Canon EOS 1D X Photography Adventure

On the 18th October 2011, at 1300hrs Singapore Local Time, I was first introduced to a very powerful DSLR that sets the benchmark for professional level series DSLR, “it’s a monster” something like what we called the Nissan Skyline GT-R 34, the same equivalent of a very powerful DSLR. This was the Canon EOS-1D X and I still recall my first hands on experience with the Canon EOS-1D X, it’s so beautiful and so powerful.

I am a current EOS-1D Mk III user and my experiences with the 1D series DSLR bodies helped me a lot in using the Canon EOS-1D X when I had a hands-on 1 week photography adventure with the 1D X with the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 pan cake lens, courtesy of the special arrangement by Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.Thank you very much for this wonderful arrangement that gave me an opportunity to test and try it out during the one week stint. Oh yes, if you are keen on the Canon EOS-5D Mark III, do check out my earlier post! While the Canon EOS-1D X wasn’t available to enter any photography competition during my one week stint, I am very happy to have this beautiful and powerful DSLR for a test run and it just reinforces something in me –

My belief and trust in the Canon EOS-1D series especially the Canon EOS-1D X, the strengths, reliability and high speed capabilities for photojournalism, events and high speed sports action photography

Let me share with all of you, some of the key technical specifications for the Canon EOS-1D X

Canon EOS-1D X Specifications Summary

  • Dimensions : 158 x 163.6 x 82.7mm
  • Image Sensor : 18.1 mega-pixel 35mm full frame DUAL Digic 5+
  • ISO Speeds : 100 – 51200 with (L: 50) and (H1:102400, H2:204800)
  • Multiple Exposures : Yes
  • Continuous Shooting Speed : 12 fps (Max) / 14 fps (Super High Speed Continuous Shooting)
  • Shutter Durability : 400,000 cycles
  • Recording Media : CF Cards x 2
  • AF System : 61 point high-density reticular AF (41 cross-type points)
Pros
  • Very fast and powerful DSLR
  • Full Frame
  • The ability to shoot at 14fps will be most welcome by sports and fast action photography (e.g Formula One, football matches)
  • 61 point high-density reticular AF (41 cross-type points)
  • Autofocus is very fast and responsive
  • Selection of AF Area to suit your needs – Single-point Spot AF (Manual Selection), Single-point AF (Manual Selection), AF Point Expansion (Manual Selection), AF Point Expansion (Manual Selection, Surrounding Points), Zone AF (Manual Selection of Zone) and 61-point Automatic Selection AF
  • Grid and Electronic Level display is very useful and handy
  • Advanced EOS Movie capabilities
  • The ISO Speed range up to 51200 will be very handy if you ever need to use it (e.g. inside an arts performance theatre)
  • In fast action photography especially in sports, I will prefer to use high speed CF cards over high speed SD cards (this is my personal opinion).  Therefore 2 x CF card slots will be more ideal and suitable for fast action photography.
  • Monochrome Picture Style can be activated if you decide to shoot black-and-white photographs straight out from the Canon EOS-1D X (it’s pretty awesome!)
  • AI Servo AF Characteristics – latest state of the art technology, very smart, powerful and useful. There are 6 cases and you can fine tune to suit your shooting needs.
  • A robust magnesium alloy body, the EOS-1D X features a dust-proof and drip-proof design to meet the high demands presented by the most grueling of shooting conditions.
  • New shutter unit featuring carbon fibre shutter blades that are lightweight and more rigid.
  • Shutter lifespan of 400,000 cycles !
  • Canon EOS-1D X is a very ideal DSLR (A MUST HAVE!) for the semi-professional and full time professional, events, photojournalists and sports photographers.
Cons
  • You can only use 2 x CF cards and not like the previous 1D series models whereby you can use SD and CF storage cards.
  • The ISO speed at 51,200 is grainy. Sometimes it might work for you, sometimes it might not. Another factor is a photographer’s tolerance of grain.
  • With the number of controls, dials, buttons, complexity, it might be a huge and steep learning curve for the beginners.
  • The Canon EOS-1D X is a very intelligent, state of the art, fast action and powerful DSLR, sometimes it’s just too good and intelligent that the user (like myself) took a while to get used to it.
  • No more crop-factor and you might be hindered by it (if you are too used to 1.6x or 1.3x crop factor)
  • The price is high and for many people, it’s out of their budget. Therefore, the Canon EOS-1D X suits a niche group of photographers.

There is a key characteristics of the Canon EOS-1D X that I really like it a lot during my one week stint. I didn’t really have the time to learn more of the AI Servo AF Characteristics that have 6 cases that you can fine tune. This marvelous capability will help sports and fast action events photography to capture their images faster and sharper without missing out on the first one or two photos that might be blurred due to the AI Servo focusing the object in action. Canon USA has a pocket guide on the Canon EOS-1D X AF Setting Guide, do download the pocket guide, read it and tune the 6 cases of the AI Servo AF Characteristics.

Do check out my photographs taken with the Canon EOS-1D X here –

Flickr ~ EOS-1D X Review 

500px ~ EOS-1D X Review

The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 pan cake lens is a value for money lens, lightweight, very portable. It’s sharp at full open f/2.8 and the bokeh is pretty smooth and silky for aperture size at f/2.8. The pan cake lens is an ideal walkabout lens, it will suit the entry level Canon DSLRs e.g. 650D, 1100D and semi-pro level DSLRs e.g. 60D, 5D, 7D. When the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 lens is mounted on the Canon EOS-1D X, it just look a bit different since it’s a small lens on a big DSLR body! However, it’s really handy and useful lens! I believe that (in my personal humble opinion) the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 lens will soon become a MUST HAVE lens (along with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8) among Canon photographers.

From my sharing above, I will not hide away that I am a very big fan of the Canon EOS-1D X and I will love to own it someday, hopefully in the next one to two years. My photography evolves around events and fast action sports photography, the Canon EOS-1D X definitely suits my needs and usage. Since I am not a full time professional photographer, it’s not easy to set aside the amount of investment into the Canon EOS-1D X, with that amount of investment can also be put into Canon EF L prime telephoto lenses investment.

The Canon EOS-1D X is such a beautiful and powerful DSLR, if you are into events, photojournalism and sports action photography, you will go and invest into the Canon EOS-1D X without any distractions and hesitations. If you own a Canon EOS-1D X, you make a most awesome decision in such an investment! Happy shooting and share your photographs!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.