Radical Departure: The New Canon Eos 1DX

Today Canon announced a highly anticipated replacement of the Eos 1ds mkIII.  What most people didn’t anticipate that Canon was replacing  the Eos 1dmkIV as well with this new generation camera the 1DX.  This camera really seems to indicate a radical change in thinking at Canon.

KEY FEATURES

  • Autofocus (AF) continuous shooting at 12 fps (14 fps with mirror lock-up)
  • Full-Frame 18.1MP CMOS sensor with large pixel size and gapless microlens technology
  • ISO range 100-51200 (L:50; H2: 204800) and low noise for high quality in all lighting conditions, including near-dark
  • FULL High Definition movie recording, video industry standards compliance (ALL-I, IPB)
  • Dual DiG!C 5+ image processors for high-speed processing and noise reduction
  • New AF system features 61 AF points (41 cross points) for precise focussing accuracy
  • Unique Auto Exposure (AE) metering uses RGB colour and face recognition for enhanced subject tracking

For all the technical information you need on the new camera go here http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/education/technical/eos_1d_x_explained.do .   I had heard some of the leaked specs the last few weeks and was quite skeptical especially in regards to the 18 megapixel sensor.  It just didn’t seem to be Canons M.O. to step backwards in resolution.   But they did and now I must evaluate it to see how this exciting new camera would fit into my world of nature and wildlife photography.

FOR WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY

Pros:

  1. Improvement in AF performance
  2. High frame rate up to 14fps could be quite useful
  3. Improved high ISO performance (could be the best available)
  4. Build Quality (As good as the current 1dmk4 which is excellent)
  5. New rear LCD with an even better and larger display
  6. Has 2 CF slots instead of one CF and 1 SD as in the 1d4.
  7. Improved metering

Cons:

  1. Going to full frame means less reach for your current lenses
  2. Somewhat lower resolution than the current APS-H sensor of the 1d4
  3. No AF at F8 which will limit teleconverter use (not certain of this)

For Landscape Photography

Pros:

  1. Electronic level as in the 7d and the Nikon bodies
  2. Multiple exposure mode (in camera HDR)
  3. Improved Dynamic Range (remains to be seen)
  4. Improved sensor cleaning up to f22 performance

Cons:

  1. Step backwards in resolution compared to the 1ds3 and 5dmkII
  2. PRICED at $6800 this will be a tough pill to swallow

This new flagship camera has many exciting new features which are definitely a step in the right direction.  But there are a number of things about the camera that bother me.   I’m really not sure the camera will be a good landscape tool.  Sounds like a killer sports camera. I’m assuming Canon will address the high-resolution needs of this segment in another upcoming body.  For me I think I’ll take a wait and see approach.    After the Eos-1dx has been out for a while and perhaps another new body (high resolution) is announced I’ll decide then  whether I want to jump in.  For now my camera lineup of the 1d4, 5d2 and the 7d will be just fine.

5 thoughts on “Radical Departure: The New Canon Eos 1DX”

  1. Appreciate the post. You helped me awhile back on making a decision on a second body to my 7d which ended up being the 5d mkII with the guidance that the pro body 1d Mk iv, the 5d mk Ii and the 7d all have their strengths and particular uses. So once I settled on having all 3, I held off on the 1d mk iv feeling that Canon would need to come out with a new model soon. in the meantime, i upgraded several lens and bought the new TCs….I was primed and ready to add the third jewel to my bag. Well, I waited and like you I am very disappointed with the no AF at f/8 on the 1dx. Less reach ? Wow… I will stay where I am with the 7d and 5d mk II. as one photog commented, “x” might mean e(x) canon in the wildlife sector ….I for one will stay tuned

  2. Hi Robert,
    Really like your posts on gear, especially Canon as that is what I am tied to since 2003 when I bought the farm with the Canon 500 F/4 L IS. I think that this camera was more of a upgrade to the Canon 1D IV as opposed to the successor/replacement of the IDs Mark III. I think that Canon would have called it the Canon 1D Mark 5 but for the full frame sensor in it. So looking at this camera as the upgrade/successor to the 1D Mark IV I think they hit a home run other than the price which I was hoping was stay south of $5K USD. I know that Canon was interested in buying Pentax several years ago to enter the medium format game. I have a feeling that they will be introducing a new high MP camera….north of 40MP that will challenge medium format such as the Pentax 645D..possibly even with a sensor not in the 3/2 aspect ration but possibly a square sensor, maybe even larger than 35mm with the ability to use EF lenses.
    I can’t wait to see what the ISO 6400 & 12,800 look like. I could gain a lot more keeper shots in this range and this intrigues me as to whether they can get acceptable and/or good images here.
    Not sure if I will sell my 1D IV to subsidize this camera though……14 frames per second does sound nice(JPG mode w/ mirror locked up) and I think that ISO 6400 and 12,800 will definitely be useable . I usually don’t go over ISO 3200 with my Mark IV.
    Dean Pearson

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