So Canon have announced their new flagship camera, the EOS 1D X. It’s designed to replace both the EOS 1D IIIs and the EOS 1D IV. Taking the best of both camera’s, giving them an injection of steroids and moulding them in to a new super camera. You will no longer have to choice between a full frame body and 12 frames a second, you will have them both in one. The new EOS 1D X has a full frame 18.1 megapixel sensor, can knock out 14 frames a second when utilising a new super high speed continuous mode, even the 12fps as standard is mind boggling fast. And it can shoot in the dark!
- 18.1 Megapixel, Full-frame CMOS sensor
- 61-point AF with up to 41 cross-type AF points
- Zone, Spot and AF Expansion Focusing modes
- DUAL “DIGIC 5+” processors
- 12fps shooting with 14fps super High Speed continuous
- ISO 100 to 51,200 as standard, ISO 50 to 204,800 with expansion
- 100,000-pixel RGB AE sensor
- DIGIC 4 processor dedicated to AE functions
- +/- 5 Stop Exposure Compensation
- Full HD Movie shooting with ALL-I or IPB compression
- 29mins 59sec clip length in Full HD Movie
- 55ms shutter lag, 36ms via ‘Shortened Release Lag’ Custom Function
- Timecode setting for HD Movie shooting
- Transparent LCD viewfinder with new focusing screen
- 8.11cm (3.2”), 1.04 million pixel Clear View II LCD Screen
- Improved EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS)
- Dual CF Card slots
- Silent control touch-pad area
Here are the things that have grabbed my attention today, whilst reading through the various press realises and internet chatter. The stand out features if you like for those of us shooting sports day in, day it…
Stupid High ISO
It’s ISO capabilities exceed all expectations ranging from ISO 100 – 51,200 but maxing out at 204800 in the High Expansion setting, this really is going to be a game changer for those of us who work in dark and dingy stadiums, under poor quality floodlights.
The full frame sensor is a mixed blessing for those of us who shoot sport, on the one hand it means our wide lenses will become even wider. I’m a big user of wide lenses and I often miss the full frame field of view you get from the 5D, especially when shooting cycling. But at the other end, it’s going to mean our long lenses have less reach. A 300mm on a 1.3x crop like on the current EOS 1D IV is the equivalent of a 390mm lens on a full frame sensor. For cricket and surfing when you might be shooting at 600mm the equivalent full frame lens will be a 800mm. Whilst for many this might not be a bad thing, as sure you can crop in to an image and pull it up, however shooting sport to tight deadlines, you can’t always do this, and many magazines ask for RAW untouched/cropped files.
Twin CF Slots
Finally Canon have decided to switch to twin CF card slots, something our Nikon cousins have had for ages, and it’s always bugged me that if I want to shoot to two cards I have to have a pocket full of SD cards as well as CF’s. And when you consider the speed we are going to be filling these cards at with 12fps at 18 megapixels, I don’t want to be shopping for two types of cards!
Two Joy Sticks
Something small, but essential like a joy stick makes all the difference to a camera, on the 1 series it’s one of those essential multi use buttons that your thumb is never off, when shooting landscape, and can’t find when you are in portrait mode… until now… The 1D X has a second joy stick in the corresponding position, so it doesn’t matter which way round the camera is, it’s going to be in the same spot. Talking of improved ergonomics, four customisable buttons have been added to the front.
Supped up Metering
To go with the ridiculous ISO, the 1D X sports three processors, one of which is just there for metering. It uses a DIGIC 4 processor, which is currently found in the mk IV for the metering, which gives me even more hope for shooting in dark venues. The duel DIGIC 5+ processors are left for image processing and Auto Focusing…
Improved self cleaning
A camera that cleans itself is genius, pure and simple. No matter how many times I do it, I still cringe anytime I have to use an air rocket, never mind when I have to use swobs and other sensor cleaning kit. Yet I often have to change lenses several times a day, and inevitably dust and muck get’s where it shouldn’t. The 1D X will use a new type of “wave motion” to work muck off the sensor.
For high speed tethering, or shooting direct on to wire networks at live events, an onboard, built in ethernet port is going to speed up the work flow, especially for the big agency shooters using shoot live. I’m seeing all sorts of possibilities for those tricky remote shots…
Full 1080p HD video mode for those that like things that move, with a wide range of user selectable controls.
Do you like panning shoots? I do, I also pan focus a lot, especially when shooting show jumping and the like, sometimes the camera’s AF gets confused by flags, lamp posts and other obstructions. The new 1D X features a built-in 2-axis gyro sensor which detects camera motion both horizontally and vertically. If panning motion is detected, it will stop the AF point switching to a new subject should you pan across an obstacle within the frame during shooting.
As the sensors improve, so does the need for the lens to be perfectly calibrated. AF Micro adjustment has been around for some time now, which allows you to make tiny adjustments to the focus position in the camera for each lens. But in the passed it has been for model of lens, so if you set it up for a 70-200 f2.8 every 70-200 you put on would default to that setting. For most that might not be a problem, but if you are using more than one of the same model lens it is. Now however the micro adjustment will be registered against the serial number of the lens, so you can have multiplies of the same model lens all perfectly tuned for pin sharp focus. For zoom lenses, in the passed you could only have one micro adjustment set per lens, so had to choose which end you wanted sharpest, now there will be two settings for each lens, so you can have both the wide and long end dialled in.
Beefed up Battery
In comparison to older models, I have been mighty impressed with the battery’s on both the MK III and MK IV, however I never complain when battery life is improved, and it will be on the 1D X. The old LP-E4 (2300 mAh) has been replaced with a beefed up version, the LP-E4N (2450 mAh) which is backward compatible, so will work in both the MK III & IV’s, also the older LP-E4 will work in the 1D X, so that bag full of batteries hasn’t got any heavier.
I’m sure there are lots of things I have missed, but all in all this is looking like a camera which has been designed to fill the dreams of sports photographers. The improved ISO, AF and metering are all things we ask for constantly in our kit, it looks like here we have been answered. Of course, these things don’t come in affordable units, with an expected retail price of $6,800 we can’t have everything. However the designers can’t sleep yet, I’m sure by this time next year, we will have discovered new problems that we want answers too…