The EOS-1D X is Canon’s flagship professional DSLR and offers photographers a host of features including an 18.1 Megapixel full-frame sensor, a 61-point AF system, up to 14 frames per second shooting and ISO capabilities up to 204,800. This highly advanced EOS camera is the choice of many of the world’s top photographers who are seeking to benefit from its potent combination of speed, performance, customisable options and reliability. CPN spoke to a variety of photographers who have recently started shooting with the EOS-1D X to get their opinions on the camera - just click on their names in the black bar below to find out their stories.
Freelance sports and news photographer Russell Cheyne has been working with the Canon EOS-1D X DSLR and EF lenses since November 2013. Here he delivers his first thoughts on working with the EOS System and chooses his favourite image taken with the EOS-1D X.
What Canon cameras and EF lenses are in your kitbag?
“I have two Canon EOS-1D X DSLRs and one EOS 5D Mark III body. My lenses are the EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF500mm f/4L IS II USM and a 1.4x converter.”
Please tell us the story behind your favourite image taken with the EOS-1D X?
“This image shows Fago, ridden by Noel Fehily, falling at the open ditch at the 'Supporting The Everton In The Community Steeple Chase’ at the 2014 Grand National meeting at Aintree in Liverpool. I like this fence on the Grand National course, especially when the sun is out. It is decent stroll out to the fence and, as you are so far away from the grandstands, it has a different atmosphere; it’s silent at times but as the horses approach you ‘know’ all about it. Firstly, you get an idea of when they are coming as the helicopter that’s filming them from high above is following them round the course gets closer; then the ground shakes under the horses hooves; next you can hear them and, lastly, you can listen to the jockeys.
My view of the fall, which I also took on my remote camera positioned low down at the fence, was blocked from where I was standing but I was alerted to it by the sound of the jockeys; with great skill they all made adjustments to avoid the fallen horse and jockey; the resulting chaos made an interesting picture. It was nothing like the image I had planned for as I, and the camera, had to react to the rapidly changing scene.”
How have you found the EOS-1D X DSLR performs in terms of speed and frame rate, for example, up to 14fps?
“The EOS-1D X is a terrific all-round camera. It is particularly good at high ISO [speeds] and gives a very high rate of frames per second. These two factors combined mean it is terrific for covering floodlit sport, but you will have a lot of images to edit if you have a heavy right index finger!”
What is your opinion of the overall image quality performance of the EOS-1D X?
“I am pleased with the overall image quality, especially in low light with high ISO settings. In sports photography with high shutter speeds the norm and games often played at night under floodlights the EOS-1D X really comes into its own.”
What is your favourite EF lens to work with and why?
“My favourite lens is usually the one that is [fitted] on the camera at any given time! I like the lightweight EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM (pictured right) for [shooting] sport and I like the results [I can get from it] when shooting wide open [at f/2.8].
The Canon EF lens I that I would still like to add to my kitbag is the EF50mm f/1.2L USM.”
What is your opinion of the autofocus capabilities of the EOS-1D X?
“There is plenty of choice in the autofocus settings – in fact, almost too much – and it is very quick to respond.”
How does the EOS-1D X handle in terms of ease of use and camera settings?
“There are a lot of settings to choose from so, at the beginning, you are going to be tweaking as you go along in order to find what is best for you.”
What is your favourite feature of the EOS-1D X DSLR and what does it add to your photography?
“I like the My Menu settings function that allows you to [register and] switch from, in my case, sport to news/features set ups. I also like the orientation linked AF which allows you to seamlessly switch from horizontal view to upright and to switch the point of focus higher up in the frame as the subject gets closer to you.”
Do you have any other overall thoughts about working with the EOS-1D X and EF lenses?
“The results are great. The 500mm f/4 [lens] is so light that I have had to open the case to check the lens was in there on more than one occasion. The 400mm f/2.8 and 500mm f/4 can be used hand-held, which I find very useful for short period of times.”
What would be your best piece of advice for up and coming photographers in your genre (sports and news) of photography?
“Enjoy your work and read up about whatever story you are [working] on.”
Biography: Russell Cheyne
© Russell Cheyne
Freelance sports and news photographer Russell Cheyne currently works in Scotland and has done so since 2007. Previously he was based in London and has worked for the Allsport agency, The Daily Telegraph and The Times covering major sporting events worldwide from 1987 onwards, including football, rugby and cricket World Cup tournaments, summer and winter Olympic Games, world title boxing fights, World and European Athletics Championships, horse racing, Grand Prix motor racing, Golf Majors and Tennis Grand Slam tournaments. He was named Sports Photographer of the Year in 1998 and has won Sports Picture of the Year on two occasions: his work has also been exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in London.