Digital Cameras Guide

Canon EOS-1D X review

Canon EOS-1D X - Almost at the Apex

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Launch SRP S$9299

Overall rating 9/10
Performance:
9
Design:
10
Features:
9.5
User-Friendliness:
9
Value:
8
THE GOOD
Fastest full-frame camera at 12 fps
Vertical handling as good as horizontal
Dual CF memory card slots
Auto-focus fast and accurate in good light
Excellent image quality with little noise
THE BAD
Auto-focus inconsistent in low-light


Introduction

Introduction

As Canon's latest flagship DSLR, the EOS-1D X has an interesting distinction of succeeding not one, but two earlier cameras. One is the EOS-1Ds Mark III, a full-frame 21MP camera released in 2007 which shot at 5 fps, and the other is the EOS-1D Mark IV, an APS-H cropped sensor 16MP camera released in 2009, which shot at 10 fps. Instead of having to choose between a full-frame sensor or high frame-rates, Canon integrates the two features into the 1D X.

While resolution is no longer as high as 21MP, the 18MP full-frame 1D X manages to shoot at a maximum of 12 frames per second with continuous AF (14 fps if AF is locked on the first frame, at ISO 32,000 or higher, the 1D X's frame rate will be reduced to 10 fps), making it the fastest full-frame camera on the market. The Nikon D4, the 1D X's direct competitor, shoots at a maximum of 10 fps, 11 fps if AF is locked on the first frame.

At the heart of the 1D X is an improved full-frame sensor, which promises better ISO and dynamic range performance. The 1D X has dual DIGIC 5+ processors to help deliver 18MP full-frame images at the camera's high frame-rates. It also comes with a new auto-focus system which uses the AF sensor, as well as the auto-exposure sensors, an AF correction light-source detection sensor and, with certain lenses, a panning detection gyro sensor to better inform and fine-tune AF performance. In AI Servo AF mode, these sensors can identify a subject not just by contrast but also by color. The number of AF points have been increased from 45 on the 1D Mark IV to 61 on the 1D X, with 41 of them cross-type sensors that can detect contrast both horizontally and vertically.

The 1D X comes in strong as a movie shooting camera. It can shoot 1920 x 1080 at 24/25/30 fps, as well as 1280 x 720 at 50/60 fps. But the new key feature is the ability to choose from two different compression methods. IPB compression trims away repeating information in frames to reduce file sizes, but also degrades image quality. ALL-I compression captures each frame as a compressed but complete image, file sizes are about three times larger but are of higher quality. And the 1D X now comes with a timecode ability for professional users.

There's a lot to unpack, so join us in the next few pages for our full review.

The Evolution of the Canon 1D X
  1D X 1D Mark IV 1Ds Mark III
Image Sensor Size 36 x 24mm 27.9 x 18.6mm 36 x 24mm
Megapixels 18.1MP 16MP 21.1MP
Recording Media Dual CF card slots: Type I or II CF card, UDMA mode 7 compatible CF & SD card slots: Type I or II CF card, SD/SDHC memory card CF & SD card slots: Type I or II CF card, SD/SDHC memory card
Image Processor Dual DIGIC 5+ Dual DIGIC 4 Dual DIGIC 3
AF Points 61 points (41 cross-type) 45 points (39 cross-type) 45 points (19 cross-type)
Focusing Brightness Range EV -2–18 (with center f/2.8 AF point, at 23°C/73°F, ISO 100) EV -1–18 (with 50mm f/1.4 lens, at 23°C/73°F, ISO 100) EV -1–18 (at 23°C/73°F, ISO 100)
ISO Speeds ISO 100–51,200, expandable to ISO 50–204,800 ISO 100–12,800, expandable to ISO 50–102,400 ISO 100–1600, expandable to ISO 50–3200
Shutter Speeds 1/8000 sec. to 30 secs., bulb, X-sync at 1/250 sec. 1/8000 sec. to 30 secs., bulb, X-sync at 1/300 sec. 1/8000 sec. to 30 secs., bulb, X-sync at 1/250 sec.
Continuous Shooting Speeds
  • Super high-speed continuous shooting: Max. approx. 14 shots/sec.
  • High-speed continuous shooting: Max. approx. 12 shots/sec.
  • Low-speed continuous shooting: Max. approx. 3 shots/sec.
Max. approx. 10 shots/sec. Max. approx. 5 shots/sec.
Max. Movie Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (Full HD): 30p/25p/24p 1920 x 1080 (Full HD): 30p/25p/24p N.A.
LCD Monitor 3.2" 1.04 million dots TFT LCD 3" 920k dots TFT LCD 3" 230k dots TFT LCD
Interface USB, AV out, HDMI-mini out, 3.5mm stereo mini-jack in, remote control terminal, Ethernet terminal, system extension terminal USB, AV out, HDMI-mini out, 3.5mm stereo mini-jack in, remote control terminal, system extension terminal USB, Video out, extension system terminal
Battery
  • Viewfinder: 1120 shots
  • Live View: 290 shots
  • Viewfinder: 1500 shots
  • Live View: 270 shots
  • Viewfinder: 1800 shots
Dimensions 158 x 163.6 x 82.7mm 156 x 156.6 x 79.9mm 150 x 160 x 80mm
Weight 1340g 1180g 1210g