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Technical

June 2014

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.

Award-winning sports photographer Dave Shopland has been working with the Canon EOS-1D X DSLR and EF lenses since November 2013. Here he delivers his 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 three EOS-1D X bodies and one EOS 5D Mark III. My lenses are the EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM, the EF20mm f/2.8 USM, the EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, the EF35mm f/2 IS USM, the EF85mm f/1.2L II USM, the EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, the EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM, the EF600mm f/4L IS II USM and the EF1.4x III and EF2x III extenders. I also use two Speedlite flashguns and the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 wireless flash trigger unit.”

Please tell us the story behind your favourite image taken with the EOS-1D X?

© Dave Shopland

A Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleader pictured at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, USA, during the Dallas Cowboys v Oakland Raiders Thanksgiving Day Game on 28 November 2013. Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X with an EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens; the exposure was 1/4000sec at f/4, ISO 400.

“One of my first assignments with the new EOS-1D X was the Thanksgiving Day NFL game in Dallas. They [the Dallas Cowboys] were playing against the Oakland Raiders at the state-of-the-art AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas. I captured one of the famous Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders backlit in a pocket of light, which was shining through the glass apex in the end zone. I was on a 300mm lens and I was very pleased I managed to capture this image as you only have approximately two minutes of the light shining in this position. NFL.com used the image and the cheerleader in question used social media to tweet it to her many fans.”

How have you found the EOS-1D X DSLR performs in terms of speed and frame rate, for example, up to 14fps?

“It is excellent. Everything on the camera is geared to shooting the best sports images. 14fps is superb for producing at least two images, sometimes three, from a burst of sports action, i.e. a goal in a football match. With a slower motordrive you may only get one useable frame.”

What is your opinion of the overall image quality performance of the EOS-1D X?

“For me, low-light photography has been taken to a new level. It’s a real game-changer!”

What is your favourite EF lens to work with and why?

“I think the EF300mm f/2.8 Mark II (pictured right) is my favourite lens as it is fantastic to use for a large number of sports. I find the ultra-lightweight so useful as I can hand-hold [it] on many assignments. The obvious choice of long telephoto lens for a sports photographer is the 400mm f/2.8. However, by adding the extender to the 300mm f/2.8 it allows me to be more flexible and working at f/4 with such a high quality lens in low-light is no problem.”

What is your opinion of the autofocus capabilities of the EOS-1D X?

“Once you’ve mastered the various menus and adapted the type of focus you need for the sport you are photographing, it performs to the exact requirements needed. I’ve found watching various online tutorials, just on the subject of EOS-1D X autofocus set-up, most useful as sometimes when reading the manual it can take longer to assimilate the information.”

How does the EOS-1D X handle in terms of ease of use and camera settings?

“I definitely have no complaints in this department. I love using the camera and being familiar with Canon menus made it very simple [to use].”

What is your favourite feature of the EOS-1D X DSLR and what does it add to your photography?

“I really like the fact that both the [Canon] 1.4x and 2x extenders work between the camera and the lens at an unbelievable level of sharpness. This is the first camera I have ever used with this degree of quality. I find using the extenders in sport is extremely useful and they can really get you closer to the action.”

What would be your best piece of advice for up and coming photographers in your genre (sports) of photography?

“Probably the most straightforward piece of advice I can offer is to vary the number of different lenses for every job and don’t be lazy; you have to work hard for a good picture. A general rule of thumb is: the bigger the event, or match, the wider the lens, i.e. Andy Murray winning Wimbledon last year needed to show that he won it on Centre Court so I used a 70-200mm f/2.8 [lens] on match point.”

If you have worked with the EOS-1 series cameras in the past, before the EOS-1D X, which cameras did you use and what are your memories of working with them?

“I used the EOS-1D, EOS-1D Mark II and EOS-1D Mark II N until 2007 – they were very good cameras to use, especially for sport. I came back to Canon, with the EOS-1D X, in November 2013. Having used a number of different cameras I have to say that the EOS autofocus system is superior.”

Biography: Dave Shopland

Dave  Shopland

Freelance sports photographer Dave Shopland was originally a printer for the Press Association and then the Associated Press, where he printed the work of the world’s best sports photographers. He got his big break by filling in for an AP colleague who was injured just before the 1986 FIFA World Cup Finals in Mexico. He then became a full-time freelance photographer, mainly for the Daily Telegraph, covering a diverse array of sports. In 1992 he joined the Daily Mail as a freelance contributor, where he has worked ever since. Dave is the official photographer for the NFL in the UK, and has, to date, covered 22 Super Bowls. He won Sports Photographer of the Year in 2002 and 2007 and was Barclays Football Photographer of the Season 2012-13.



Showcase

British tennis player Andy Murray in action during the French Open in Paris, France, on 29 May 2014. Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X with an EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM zoom lens.