The Empire Strikes Back!
Following Nikon’s announcement last month of their flagship camera, the D5, Canon today hit back hard with the announcement of the 1D X Mark II, its latest flagship DSLR. Canon calls the camera the “ultimate combination of image quality, resolution and speed”.
At its heart is a newly designed 20.2-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 100 to 51200 (expandable to 409600). The sensor has been improved to have less noise at higher ISOs.
The autofocus system is a huge 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system that boasts 41 cross-type points and a coverage that’s 8.6% larger in the top and bottom of the central CF area (and 24% larger in the top and bottom of the peripheral frame). The sensitivity of the center point has been improved to -3 EV with compatibility down to f/8.
The real weapon this camera poses is it’s Dual DIGIC 6+ image sensors giving it blazing performance. You can shoot at up to 16 frames per second when in Live View mode, or 14fps for standard continuous shooting (the same rate as the original 1D X), storing 170 RAW photos in just moments via the camera’s CFast 2.0 card slot. There’s also CompactFlash compatibility.
The shutter unit is rated for 400,000 frames, and the mirror mechanism has been improved to reduce vibration while moving up and down at high speeds.
Video wise, Canon has pulled out all the stops. The 1D X Mark II can shoot 4K video at 60fps, pounding the Nikon D5 and it’s 4K at 30fps. There are “virtually no restrictions” to video recording, Canon says. exFAT support allows videos larger than 4GB to be recorded without having to merge files.
One of the interesting new features in the 1D X is built-in image optimization. Canon’s new Digital Lens Optimizer technology stores information about the optical flaws of lenses and then digitally fixes those things on the fly with virtually zero decrease in camera speed. For the first time in a Canon EOS DSLR, the camera can automatically correct for peripheral brightness, chromatic aberration, distortion (barrel and pincushion), and diffraction (blurring at small apertures) — things that were previously corrected in post-production.
Another great new feature is a 3.2-inch 1.62-million-dot touchscreen LCD that allows you to touch to focus. A first for a EOS-1 camera.
There’s also a new Intelligent Viewfinder II that lets you make settings changes without taking your eye off your subject: it presents AF points in red (better for dark environments) and shows much more info in the LCD display than before. The viewfinder’s info/features include electronic level, a grid, flicker detection, white balance, metering mode, and AF details.
Other specs and features in the 1D X Mark II include a 360,000-pixel metering sensor with accurate subject tracking for stills and video, 8.8MP still frame grabbing while shooting 4K video, 1080p video (with uncompressed HDMI out) at up to 120fps for slow motion, and GPS.
Here’s a video introduction to the new Canon 1D X Mark II:
The Canon 1D X will cost £5199 and will be with us in May 2016. Pre-order yours now.