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Canon reveals flagship EOS-1D X pro DSLR

Canon reveals flagship EOS-1D X pro DSLR

October 2011

Canon has revealed the EOS-1D X – an 18.1 Megapixel, full-frame DSLR that features a high-precision 61-point AF system, an ISO range that’s expandable up to ISO 204,800, and a top continuous shooting speed of 14 frames per second (fps).

The EOS-1D X sees the amalgamation of the two Canon EOS-1 series lines, and becomes the new flagship model in the Canon EOS DSLR range. Amongst the camera’s standout specifications are a high ISO sensitivity that’s the highest ISO yet available in any camera, Dual “DIGIC 5+” processors that offer two stops of noise processing benefit in comparison to the DIGIC 4 processors used in the EOS-1D Mark IV, better low light AF performance to EV -2, and a DIGIC 4 processor dedicated to the camera’s AE system.

The EOS-1D X’s impressive specifications include:

  • An 18.1 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor.
  • A newly developed high-precision AF system with 61 user selectable AF points, 41 of which are cross-type points, and five dual cross-type points for extra precision.
  • A standard ISO range of 100 to 51,200 with three expansion settings – for ISO 50, 102,400 and 204,800.
  • Dual “DIGIC 5+” processors for fast image processing to deliver 18.1 Megapixel images at up to 12fps as standard and up to 14fps with super High Speed continuous.
  • Zone, Spot and AF Expansion focusing modes, plus subject type AF presets.
  • A 100,000-pixel RGB AE sensor with 252-zone metering powered by a dedicated DIGIC 4 processor.
  • +/-5 stops of exposure compensation.
  • A high-magnification transparent LCD viewfinder with 100% coverage with intelligent viewfinder display.
  • Super short 36ms shutter lag option.
  • 30-1/8000sec shutter speed range.
  • An 8.11cm (3.2”), 1.04 million pixel Clear View II LCD screen.
  • Full HD EOS Movie shooting with Inter frame or Intra frame compression.
  • Auto creation of new movie file once 4GB file limit reached.
  • Timecode setting for HD movie shooting.
  • Manual audio level control with live level meters and adjustment during recording.
  • An improved EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS).
  • Dual CF card slots.
  • Touch-pad control area for silent setting adjustment during movie recording.

Full-frame CMOS sensor

The EOS-1D X’s new full-frame 18.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor is an evolution of Canon’s sensor technology – it offers increased light sensitivity, image noise reduction at higher ISO speeds, a wider dynamic range and a 16-channel readout to facilitate a high speed continuous shooting at up to 14 frames per second (fps). It is also the first time that Canon’s gapless microlens technology (which maximises the light gathering capability) has been used in a full-frame sensor.

The sensor has also been developed to aid shooting HD movie footage by reducing Moiré patterning and false colours for greater detail and improved image quality.

High-precision 61-point AF system

The EOS-1D X’s all-new high-precision 61-point Area AF system includes 41 cross-type sensors and five dual-cross type AF points. The benefits of the new AF system include finer precision and increased AF tracking speed, increased low light sensitivity down to EV -2, faster predictive focus measurements, and the ability to adjust for any potential chromatic aberrations within the AF optics particularly when shooting under artificial lighting.

Autofocus modes are One-shot AF and AI Servo AF whilst AF-related functions, previously set with Custom Functions, can now be set via a specific AF menu tab. There are also six AF point selection modes in the camera – Automatic, Single Point AF, Single Point Spot AF (available with all lenses), Zone AF, and two AF point expansion settings.

Increased ISO capabilities

The possibilities of low light shooting within the EOS system have been expanded even further thanks to the EOS-1D X’s ISO expansion settings. The standard ISO range of the camera is ISO 100 to 51,200 (two stops more than in any previous EOS camera) and this can be expanded up to ISO 102,400 or ISO 204,800 as well as down to ISO 50.

Image processing

The Dual “DIGIC 5+” processors inside the EOS-1D X perform image processing three times faster than normal DIGIC 5 processors, with 14fps shooting available at ISO speeds up to 25,600 (at ISO 32,000 or higher the shooting rate is 10fps).

The DIGIC 5+ processors also facilitate the ability to shoot multiple exposures (between two and nine shots) as well as allowing developments in in-camera lens correction with new Chromatic Aberration Correction being added to the Peripheral Illumination Correction capabilities seen in previous EOS DSLRs.

Metering system

The EOS-1D X deploys a 100,000-pixel RGB metering sensor and a new metering algorithm. The sensor is used to detect a subject’s brightness, colour and face and based on this evaluative metering or evaluative flash metering is executed. This data is also communicated to the AF system to assist with subject tracking. The metering modes available include evaluative, partial, spot and centre-weighted average.

New shutter and mirror arrangement

The shutter and mirror arrangement within the EOS-1D X has been redesigned with the camera using a two-motor system with dedicated motors to drive the mirror and shutter at high speed. To ensure high-precision AF, the mirror and sub-mirror are arrested by an absorption mechanism with four stoppers to reduce rebound and vibration during operation. This system also helps ensure a stable viewfinder image, and accurate mirror position for AF, even when shooting at 12fps. Shutter lag can be reduced from a standard 55ms, via Custom Functions, to a ‘Shortened Release Lag’ of only 36ms.

100% viewfinder & 3.2” LCD monitor

The camera has a 100% transparent LCD viewfinder, with 0.76x magnification, that displays single-point AF, 61-point automatic selection AF, single-point spot AF, AF point expansion, Zone AF and grid display.

The 8.11cm (3.2”) Clear View II LCD monitor has 1.04 million dots and a viewing angle of approximately 170 degrees vertically and horizontally and features a toughened glass cover to protect the screen in the toughest conditions.

EOS Movie functions

For movie shooting the EOS-1D X offers the ability to choose from two different compression methods – Inter frame (IPB) and Intra frame (ALL-I). The Full HD movie clip length shooting time is now 29 minutes and 59 seconds as the EOS-1D X is capable of automatically creating a new file once the 4GB single file limit is reached (although the clip may be split across three different files).

Custom Functions

The EOS-1D X has 31 Custom Functions in six groups to control aspects of the camera’s exposure, drive, autofocus, displays, operation and ‘Others’. Amongst the new Custom Functions are restricting the available drive modes, setting the card and image size, a multi-function lock for controls, sampling frequency switching for audio memos and an option to select the default function when the erase button is pressed.

Improved EICS

The EOS-1D X features an improved EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS) for the sensor that more efficiently reduces, repels and removes dust from your images. In previous versions of the system, the filters in front of the CMOS sensor (where dust settles) vibrated using ultrasound to shake off the dust particles. The EOS-1D X makes use of a carrier wave vibration that rolls dust particles down the filters - the advantage is that instead of the risk of scattering dust particles around, they are transported to the capture surface under control, and smaller dust particles can be removed more easily.

Built-in wired LAN function, WiFi & GPS units

The EOS-1D X also has a built-in wired RJ-45 LAN Ethernet port that provides Gigabit ethernet connection and a dedicated slot for receiving two new accessories – the compatible WFT-E6 Wireless File Transmitter or the GP-E1 GPS unit.

With the EOS-1D X the new WFT-E6 wireless unit offers advantages such as 802.11a/b/g and n compatibility, DLNA compliance, FTP, EOS Utility and WFT Server shooting as well as Linked Shooting for remote shutter triggering of other WiFi enabled EOS-1D X cameras. The WFT-E6 has an internal antenna with a range of approximately 150 metres, a built-in Bluetooth transceiver, Wireless Time Synching, and the ability to trigger up to 10 slave EOS-1D X cameras fitted with WFT-E6 units from up to 100 metres away.

The GP-E1 GPS unit mounts to the EOS-1D X in the same way as the WFT-E6 unit and is the same size and shape, so both cannot be used at the same time. The GP-E1 features an electronic compass and GPS signal receiver and will allow you to geotag your images with location data. This data will be stored in the location field within the EXIF data of each image.

Handling & controls

In response to detailed feedback from professional photographers the design and operation of the EOS-1D X has been improved and includes new and improved custom controls. New buttons include a White Balance selection button, a Live View shooting/Movie shooting button, Quick Control button, and an Image size selection button. There is also touch-pad operation within the camera’s Quick Control Dial, as well as dual Multi-controller buttons, dual Multi-function buttons, dual Depth-of-field preview buttons, dual AF start buttons, dual AE lock buttons and dual AF point selection buttons so that photographers have those same button options when shooting holding the camera either horizontally or vertically.

Accessory compatibility

The EOS-1D X is compatible with the full range of Canon EF lenses, the Canon Speedlite EX flashgun range and many other existing EOS system accessories.

EOS-1D X - key features

  • 18.1 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Dual “DIGIC 5+” processors
  • Continuous high speed shooting at up to 12fps
  • A super High Speed shooting mode offering 14fps
  • ISO range of 100 to 51,200 – expandable up to 204,800, and down to 50
  • 100% transparent LCD viewfinder, 0.76x magnification
  • New 61-point AF system, 41 cross-type points
  • Live View Mode shooting
  • Full HD movie shooting with two compression options
  • 8.11cm (3.2”), 1.04 million pixel Clear View II LCD screen
  • Environmentally protected magnesium alloy body
  • Optional WFT-E6 Wireless File Transmitter & GP-E1 GPS unit
  • More ergonomic camera controls for easy operation
  • Built-in RJ-45 Gigabit LAN ethernet port