A worthy upgrade for 1Dx, 1D C or 5D Mark III owners?
I have to admit that the latest announcement from Canon, the 1Dx Mark II, has some pretty impressive features and it looks like a superb camera but I am left wondering who they are for? Is it enough for existing 1D C ($8,000), 1Dx or 5D Mark III owners to upgrade or for videographers to switch to a DSLR?
Before I go into that, here is what is promised with Canon’s new monster, high end, professional DSLR. I think it is important to mention that this is a DSLR stills camera first and foremost with the addition of video almost being a “bonus item” (though what a nice bonus item)!
I say that because the Canon 1Dx Mark II has some incredibly powerful video features such as 4K video at 60fps and 1080p @120fps but it is lacking in some other areas for film-makers (audio, possible reduced record time, C-Log? Focus peaking?) including the bulky shape which is not best designed for hand-held video.
Canon EOS 1Dx Mark II – Features
The first noteworthy notable is the autofocus. Canon have introduced a dual-pixel CMOS AF sensor which features an advanced, lightning fast system of 61-point High Density Reticular AF II focusing whilst shooting stills OR recording video.
The 1Dx Mark II has a new dual DIGIC 6+ which allows the camera to shoot at 16 frames per second whilst in live view mode and 14 frames per second through the viewfinder.
With the right CF card, you can keep shooting JPEGs at these speeds until the card is full or up to 170 RAW images…nice.
The 1Dx Mark II now has a 3.2 inch LCD touch panel with 1.62 million dots but alas, it doesn’t appear to be articulated (a blow for videographers not using an external recorder no doubt).
The ISO on the 1Dx Mk II is 100-51,200 expandable to 409,600. Not quite the same as the new Nikon D5 but I am sure 400k is good enough for most people! Remember, even the best professional video cameras such as the Sony FS7 have a native ISO of 2000 and only go to around 8000ISO max.
It is all about lighting in photography/video so for most “real world” professional filming, you should never have to use high ISO’s such as 409,600 (famous last words). Perhaps super high ISO’s are becoming a bit gimmicky like the megapixel race.
If manufacturers can make sensors that produce highly usable footage and stills at super high ISO’s like the Sony A7S/II then fair enough, but raising the numbers for the sake of sales?
I am pleased to see that yet again, the big manufacturers have decided to keep the megapixel race at bay.
The 1Dx II’s sensor is coming in at 20.2 effective megapixels (which includes gapless micro lenses for enhanced low-light performance).
I always hoped that the manufacturers would concentrate more on image quality rather than pixel counting and it seems that is the way they have gone/are going.
I have heard so many people saying 36mp’s on the Nikon DSLR’s is way too much and the file sizes are huge (and take up a lot of disk space for each outing).
All we (I) need to see now is what the quality of stills coming from this camera are like. Pin sharp detail and great low-light shooting should be a no brainer.
The video features on the Canon 1Dx Mark II are second to none…well, they are second to a few dedicated video cameras perhaps but for a DSLR, they are pretty good!
Thanks to the new dual DIGIC 6+ processors and advanced sensor, the 1Dx II can shoot 4K video (800mbps recording) at 60fps and 1080p video (360mbps recording) at a whopping 120fps…both great for slow motion video.
Note: With those specs for 4K video (60fps/800mbps), you are going to need a POWERFUL computer to handle those files.
Using the new touch screen, you are able to adjust focussing whilst filming and you can now grab 8.8 megapixel frame grabs to check focus and perhaps even use online or for prints.
Along with all the usual wireless features, super-rugged magnesium alloy body etc, this release looks like a veritable beast of a camera. I just hope the stills quality match what one would expect from a camera due for release at around $6,000.
The video from the aging Canon EOS 5D Mark II was, and still is, superb and tack sharp unlike the Mark III which needed a bit of TLC in post to get the best from it. If the 1Dx II can better that with all the extras, this could be a serious upgrade for a lot of professionals and rich amateurs.
Canon EOS 1Dx Mark II – Full Video Specs
- Image Format: Video: MOV (4K Movie: Motion JPEG, Full HD Movie: MPEG4 AVC/H.264; Audio: Linear PCM), MP4 (Movie: MPEG4 AVC/H.264; Audio: AAC)
- Recording Media: CF Card (Type I; compatible with UDMA 7 CF cards) and CFast™ Card (CFast 2.0™ supported)
- Frame Rates: [4096 x 2160]: 59.94fps / 50.00fps / 29.97 fps/ 25.00fps / 24.00fps / 23.98fps
[1920 x 1080]: 119.9fps / 100.0fps / 59.94fps / 50.00fps / 29.97fps / 25.00fps / 24.00fps / 23.98fps
- Auto focus: Dual Pixel CMOS AF is possible with all EF lenses.
- Maximum ISO settings: In 4K up to 12800. In full HD up to 25600.
- LCD monitor: 3.2-inches, Approx. 1.62 million dots
- Video Out Terminal: HDMI mini OUT terminal is Type C. (Uncompressed HDMI output for Full HD videos).
- Price: $5999 USD or £5,199 GBP
The audio features of the 1Dx are not the best but that is only to be expected from a mirrored DSLR. There simply isn’t the space to have dual XLR output terminals so you get an internal monaural microphone or stereo audio recording via an external stereo microphone jack.
Of course, there are ways and means to add superior audio but that will obviously increase the bulk of this camera.
Perhaps the LAN connection space below could have been given up for a single XLR audio output? Or maybe a reduced battery size would allow dual XLR ports in that area?
Still, it is like I said, this is a stills camera first and foremost with very attractive video capabilities coming a very close second IMO.
So, back to my point of who this camera is for?
The usual professional photographers shooting weddings, sports events, commercial work (although the higher pixel count of the 5Dsr may suit more for commercial photographers) and so on will no doubt love this camera…I do, on paper.
In my opinion, videographers may be better off spending an extra $1,500 or so on a dedicated, high end video camera such as the Sony FS7. You get all of the above and then some including 1080p recording at 180fps, superior audio connections, built-in ND filters and you can even use your Canon lenses via a Metabones EF Lens To Sony NEX Smart Adapter.
1Dx Mark I owners may not bother upgrading or may even go for the EOS 5Dsr if they don’t need high speed shooting or 4K video but do need more megapixels.
For someone like me, if I had the money, I would love this camera for all my stills photography needs (weddings, commercial, stock etc) and shooting stock video where audio isn’t always important. I really like it but I don’t $6k like it.
As it is though, my handy (and much smaller) Panasonic GH4 is currently perfect for my 4K video and 1080p video at 60fps needs and I can use my Canon lenses with it. I can even have dual XLR output on the GH4 if I were to opt for the over-priced base unit.
What else will $6,000 get you?
Those with more money sense will realise that for a snip more than $6k, they could get the EOS 5Dsr for $3,900 (for stills), a Panasonic GH4 for $1,300 (for 4K video) and a Metabones Speedbooster for $1000.
A superb camera but out of my price range right now. Oh well, I will just have to wait and see what the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV comes up with (unless the 1Dx Mark II is the 5D Mark IV).
Canon EOS 1Dx Mark II Press Release
Immense power. Phenomenal speed. A remarkable combination of innovation and refinement.
The new EOS-1D X Mark II camera is nothing but legendary every step of the way. Building on a heritage of sophisticated innovation, the EOS-1D X Mark II is blazingly fast. Up to 14 fps*(up to 16 fps* in Live View mode) can be captured at a burst rate of up to 170 RAWs with a CFast™ card, and an improved 61-point AF system helps deliver clean, sharp images quickly, even in dim light. This remarkable speed means faster recording too: 4K video can be recorded at up to 60 fps with smooth AF and strikingly clear detail. Combined with superb low-light performance thanks to its powerful sensor and expandable ISO range, the EOS-1D X Mark II performs brilliantly, swiftly and stunningly no matter when or where the photographer is shooting. From the stadium, safari or studio to virtually everywhere in between, the EOS-1D X Mark II maintains and enhances all the hallmarks of what Canon has to offer, marking a new page in the legacy of the EOS series of cameras.
- Fastest shooting EOS-1D, capable of up to 14 fps* full-resolution RAW or JPEG, and up to 16 fps* in Live View mode with new Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors.
- Achieves a maximum burst rate of up to 170 RAWs in continuous shooting at up to 16 fps, and 4K movies using CFast™ cards in the new CFast 2.0™** slot.
- Experience less noise in higher ISO images via a new 20.2 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, with an ISO range of 100–51200; expansion to ISO 409600.
- Improved AF performance through 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system with 41 cross-type points, improved center point focusing sensitivity to -3 EV and compatibility down to f/8***.
- Accurate subject tracking for stills and video with new EOS Intelligent Tracking and Recognition AF with 360,000-pixel metering sensor.
- 4K video (4096 x 2160) up to 60 fps (59.94), with an 8.8-Megapixel still frame grab**** in camera. Full 1080p HD capture up to 120 fps for slow motion.
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF & Movie Servo AF for high speed, high frame rate and continuous autofocus during video shooting.
- View and control high quality stills and videos via the 3.2-inch touch panel LCD with 1.62 million dots.
- Increased resolution and fine detail, with lens aberration correction and diffraction correction via new in-camera Digital Lens Optimizer technology.
- Built-in GPS***** provides geotag information including auto time syncing with Universal Time Code via satellites.
- The new optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8A is compatible with IEEE 802.11ac/n/a/g/b, supporting both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi® bands.
- Durable and rugged magnesium alloy body with dust- and-weather resistance for demanding shooting situations.
* Continuous shooting speed may vary depending on the shutter speed, the aperture, the lens being used, the battery charge and various camera settings.
Fastest shooting EOS-1D, capable of up to 14 fps* full-resolution RAW or JPEG, and up to 16 fps* in Live View mode with new Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors.
Up to 14 fps* Full-resolution RAW or JPEG, Up to 16 fps* in Live View Mode
Delivering outstanding performance at speeds of up to 14 fps*, and up to 16 fps* in Live View, the EOS-1D X Mark II camera is loaded with technologies that help facilitate speedy operation at every step of image capture. The EOS-1D X Mark II features a new mirror mechanism designed for highly precise operation with reduced vibration even at incredibly fast speeds. The shutter unit is rated for 400,000 frames and captures at up to 16 fps*, while the CMOS sensor has high-speed signal reading that enables speedy image capture. A fast AF/AE system, Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors and high-speed recording with its new CFast™card slot helps ensure that camera operations are performed quickly and precisely.
Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors
Key to the performance benchmarks achieved by the EOS-1D X Mark II camera, Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors not only convert the light that passes through the camera’s sensor into high-quality photos and movies, but also enhance the camera’s overall performance. Improvements include high-speed processing, up to 16-fps* operation for stills and 4K/60p movies, lens distortion and diffraction correction during operation with virtually no effect on the camera’s speed, plus fast write times and much more.
* Continuous shooting speed may vary depending on the shutter speed, the aperture, the lens being used, the battery charge and various camera settings.
Achieves a maximum burst rate of up to 170 RAWs in continuous shooting at up to 16 fps, and 4K movies using CFast™ cards in the new CFast 2.0™** slot.
The EOS-1D X Mark II camera can capture an incredible amount of images and movies with amazing speed. When recording to CFast 2.0™* cards through its new CFast™ card slot, the EOS-1D X Mark II can record up to 170 full-size RAW files, and JPEGs up to full card capacity at 16 fps. 4K/60p and Full HD/120p video can also be recorded with virtually no restriction, and with exFAT format support, movie files of larger than 4GB can be recorded without the need to merge files. Performance with CF cards through the camera’s CF card slot is impressive as well: the EOS-1D X Mark II can capture up to 73 full-size RAW files and JPEGs up to full card capacity when recording to CF UDMA7 media.
As of February 2016, compatibility has been verified for the following CFast™ memory cards:
Proper operation cannot be guaranteed for all recording media. Long-term usage may reduce a CFast™ card’s write speed. We recommend users regularly fully format and refresh their card using the “Full Format and Refresh Tool.”
* Canon is an authorized licensee of the CFast 2.0™ trademark, which may be registered in various jurisdictions.
Experience less noise in higher ISO images via a new 20.2 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, with an ISO range of 100–51200; expansion to ISO 409600.
20.2 Megapixel Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
The EOS-1D X Mark II camera features a Canon-developed 20.2 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor that not only helps it record more pixels, but also includes gapless micro lenses for enhanced low-light performance. This results in noise reduction in dark portions of the image even at high ISO speeds, and increased sensitivity that contributes to the EOS-1D X Mark II’s high-speed image capture rate, accelerating frame-to-frame performance as well as enabling 4K movies (60p/30p) and improved playback. The new sensor is also Canon’s first full-frame sensor to include Dual Pixel CMOS AF for high-speed, precise AF during Live View still and movie recording.
ISO Range of 100–51200; Expansion to ISO 409600
The EOS-1D X Mark II camera delivers high standard and expanded ISO’s, and a score of options to enhance shooting in varied and fast-changing lighting situations. With a standard range of ISO 100–51200, the EOS-1D X Mark II is incredibly sensitive, and thanks to a high signal-to-noise ratio as well as powerful noise reduction, the EOS-1D X Mark II can shoot at expanded sensitivities down to ISO 50 (L) and up to 102400 (H1), 204800 (H2) and even 409600 (H3)! Beyond the obvious advantages of its wide ISO range, the EOS-1D X Mark II has automatic ISO settings, found on the dedicated ISO menu. Minimum and maximum ISO settings can be specified, as can a user-defined range, plus full auto and manual.
Improved AF performance through 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system with 41 cross-type points, improved center point focusing sensitivity to -3 EV and compatibility down to f/8***.
Improved AF Performance
The EOS-1D X Mark II camera incorporates a number of significant improvements to help deliver highly precise, reliable AF and AF tracking, both faster and available in more situations. It features a new 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system with 41 cross-type points that expands the AF area approximately 8.6% in the top and bottom of the central AF area, and approximately 24% at the top and bottom of the peripheral frame. A wider subject tracking area improves the AF system so that challenging focus tracking in scenes with sudden changes of speed and subject position is easier than ever. The AF system’s low-intensity limit has been improved to EV-3 and all 61 AF points are compatible down to f/8* for excellent low-light performance. The EOS-1D X Mark II’s AF algorithm has also been improved: it’s equipped with AI Servo AF III+, which remembers the AF path and helps refine precision. Whether choosing individual AF points manually, using the Large Zone AF area or any of the camera’s automatic AF selection modes, the EOS-1D X Mark II is designed to exceed users’ expectations for high-precision AF.
Improved Intelligent Viewfinder with Enhanced Visibility for AF Point Display
The EOS-1D X Mark II camera features a new Intelligent Viewfinder II for convenient composition and setting changes without taking an eye off the subject at hand. The camera’s viewfinder can show significantly more information in the LCD display and presents AF points in red, increasing visibility in dark locations where AF is typically difficult and in situations where the ambient light makes the AF frame difficult to see. Features like the electronic level, a grid, flicker detection, white balance, metering mode, AF information and more can be glanced at easily without drawing attention away from the subject.
* Except when using the Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Macro, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM and EF 28-80mm f/2.8-4L USM lenses.
Accurate subject tracking for stills and video with new EOS Intelligent Tracking and Recognition AF with 360,000-pixel metering sensor.
The EOS-1D X Mark II camera has an amazingly advanced 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor and processor that greatly contribute to the camera’s impressive AF performance for both stills and video. Thanks to a high resolution and infrared sensitivity combined with a refined detection algorithm, this new sensor improves the color and shape recognition of the EOS-1D X Mark II’s iSA (Intelligent Subject Analysis) system, increasing the camera’s ability to recognize subjects for faster, more precise AF, metering and exposure compensation. This additional exposure and subject information also helps the EOS-1D X Mark II’s iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF system maintain focus on a moving subject with a greater level of consistency.
4K video (4096 x 2160) up to 60 fps (59.94), with an 8.8-Megapixel still frame grab**** in camera. Full 1080p HD capture up to 120 fps for slow motion.
The EOS-1D X Mark II is an incredibly capable camera for moviemaking. Thanks to its Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors and its advanced sensor, it can capture huge 4K (Motion JPEG)video at up to 60 fps, recording smoothly to CFast™ cards. It’s the first EOS camera able to record Full HD video at 120 fps, easily displaying minute details imperceptible to the human eye and ideal for slow-motion video capture. With the camera’s new touch panel display, AF points can be easily selected while the camera’s rolling, and focus can be quickly confirmed with the EOS-1D X Mark II’s 4K still frame grab feature*, wherein an 8.8-Megapixel still image can be selected for review and saved. Low-light performance is improved as well, with video recording at ISO’s of up to 12800 in 4K and 25600 in Full HD.The EOS-1D X Mark II also features uncompressed HDMI output for Full HD videos, helping to facilitate video editing with minimal image degradation. Not to mention, it can also save videos as MP4s for easy playback on mobile devices.
* Saving a still image from a single movie frame does not result in the same image quality as a normal still image.
Dual Pixel CMOS AF & Movie Servo AF for high speed, high frame rate and continuous autofocus during video shooting.
With significant improvements in AF operation, the EOS-1D X Mark II camera can be an indispensable and remarkably portable moviemaking tool. Continuous AF, even during 4K recording, is made easy thanks to the EOS-1D X Mark II’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which is compatible with all Canon EF lenses. Focus points can be selected automatically, or specified on the camera’s new touch panel LCD screen. Critical focus throughout the frame can be easily confirmed by enlarging stills grabbed from video recordings. The EOS-1D X Mark II’s Movie Servo AF is compatible with all frame rates and resolutions, and can be customized to set tracking sensitivity, AF speed and even Face Tracking priority. These advanced features help make the EOS-1D X Mark II a truly versatile and convenient camera for 4K and Full HD moviemaking.
View and control high quality stills and videos via the 3.2-inch touch panel LCD with 1.62 million dots.
The EOS-1D X Mark II camera’s 3.2-inchtouch panel TFT LCD monitor has approximately 1.62 million dots, anti-reflective construction and features Canon’s Clear View LCD II technology for bright, sharp display in any number of shooting situations. Its new touchscreen function allows AF point switching and image magnification during Live View shooting and movie shooting, providing convenient operation. The LCD monitor can be ideal for reviewing settings and images, as well as for shooting in Live View mode. In Live View, grid lines can be displayed in 9 sections, 24 sections or 9 sections with diagonals, as well as the dual-axis electronic level, which helps ensure accurate level by displaying both roll and pitch in 1-degree increments. For image review, the EOS-1D X Mark II has a dedicated Magnify/Reduce button. While pressing the button, zooming in or out (up to 10x) is achieved simply by turning the Main Dial. Images can be protected or erased quickly, individually or in batches, and slideshows can be created with some or all images and can be sequenced by date, folders, movies, stills,protection or rating. A feature guide can be accessed for the selected menu, providing detailed reference information when needed.
Increased resolution and fine detail, with lens aberration correction and diffraction correction via new in-camera Digital Lens Optimizer technology.
To combat any possible image degradation from lens aberration and diffraction, the EOS-1D X Mark II camera is equipped with a number of in-camera optical correction functions for clear and high-quality images. The EOS-1D X Mark II even stores lens aberration data, helping to eliminate the need to register lens data on previously released lenses, and correcting images with virtually no delay in-camera. The EOS-1D X Mark II not only corrects peripheral brightness and chromatic aberration, but also features distortion correction plus diffraction correction, which has been included for the first time in an EOS camera. Distortion correction helps resolve barrel and pincushion distortions,while diffraction correction virtually eliminates the blurring effects from diffraction that can be created when capturing an image at a small aperture. The camera’s Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors help ensure these corrections can be made with virtually no effect on operational speed. In-camera RAW processing is also made fast and convenient with Canon’s Digital Lens Optimizer, helping to improve image quality and giving photographers the ability to work confidently in more complex environments.
Built-in GPS***** provides geotag information including auto time syncing with Universal Time Code via satellites.
Providing crucial location and time data, GPS has become an indispensable aspect of the professional workflow, especially for professionals who work on location and capture thousands of images each day. The EOS-1D X Mark II camera has GPS* built in, helping photographers and filmmakers not only tag their images with critical location data, but also adjust the time and time stamp on the camera automatically. Thanks to built-in GPS*, and Wi-Fi® connectivity through the optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8A accessory, the EOS-1D X Mark II can use both GPS and WFT (Wireless File Transfer)together, making it easy to upload a great amount of images both quickly and from increasingly far-flung locales. Offering compatibility with American GPS satellites, Russian GLONASS satellites and Japanese quasi-zenith satellites Michibiki, the EOS-1D X Mark II’s GPS information is reliably accurate virtually anywhere you go.
* In certain countries and regions, the use of GPS may be restricted. Therefore be sure to use GPS in accordance with the laws and regulations of your country or region. Be particularly careful when traveling outside your home country. As a signal is received from GPS satellites, take sufficient measures when using in locations where the use of electronics is regulated.
The new optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8A is compatible with IEEE 802.11ac/n/a/g/b, supporting both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi® bands.
The Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8A, the EOS-1D X Mark II camera’s new optional accessory, provides both a fast throughput for image uploading and several new features that make dynamic wireless photography simple and fast. It has 5GHz 802.11ac support for high-speed image transfer, a revamped user interface that enables speedy set-up and configuration of wireless networks and even compatible smartphone connection.Accommodating both iOS* and Android** devices, the Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8A makes it simple to use a smartphone as a remote control for still and video capture. It can even transfer recorded images back for viewing on the device’s screen. The Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8A is both compact and durable, with excellent dust- and water- resistance for unfettered operation in difficult environments.
* Compatible with iOS versions 7.1/8.4/9.0, Android smartphone and tablet versions 4.0/4.1/4.2/4.3/4.4/5.0/5.1. Data charges may apply with the download of the free Canon Camera Connect app. This app helps enable you to upload images to social media services. Please note that image files may contain personally identifiable information that may implicate privacy laws. Canon disclaims and has no responsibility for your use of such images. Canon does not obtain, collect or use such images or any information included in such images through this app.
** Compatible with Android smartphone and tablet versions 4.0/4.1/4.2/4.3/4.4/5.0/5.1.
Durable and rugged magnesium alloy body with dust- and-weather resistance for demanding shooting situations.
For professionals who demand nothing less than the best, the EOS-1D X Mark II camera is designed to perform superbly even in the most treacherous environments, every time. The body is constructed of rigid, high-strength magnesium alloy for rugged performance and features a grip design for easy finger placement and reduced hand fatigue. Its shutter has lightweight, carbon-fiber blades, and is rated to maintain up to 16 fps performance without compromise, for up to 400,000 cycles. The EOS-1D X Mark II and accessories like the new Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8A have extensive gasketing for improved dust and water resistance, even at their connection points.