1DX or 1DMk IV for birding?

Started Apr 7, 2013 | Discussions
gnm72
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1DX or 1DMk IV for birding?
Apr 7, 2013

Hi all,

I am generally happy with my 1DMkIV which I use mainly for bird photography (small birds + bif) but nagging doubts that I would get more keepers with 1DX.

However cannot decide on paper re better AF and low light performance against loss of 1.3 crop, extra weight (and of course expense.)

Does anyone have any practical experience using one against the other specifically for birding?? Any comments appreciated.

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cyrano
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see Ari Hazeghi's detailed comparative review
In reply to gnm72, Apr 7, 2013

"... [the 1DX] is a solid improvement over the EOS 1D Mark IV in overall image quality, high ISO performance, dynamic range, speed of operation, buffer capacity, storage interface, controls and a surprisingly significant improvement in AI-servo performance for flight photography. In my opinion the advantages it brings to the table for experienced flight photographers far outweighs the slight disadvantage it may have in low ISO resolution compared to the EOS 1D Mark IV. "

http://arihazeghiphotography.com/blog/eos-1dx-field-review-and-impressions/

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pete zeugma
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Re: 1DX or 1DMk IV for birding?
In reply to gnm72, Apr 9, 2013

depends if you want less pixels "on-bird" and shoot in the dark

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Schwany
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Thanks for this link cyrano
In reply to cyrano, Apr 25, 2013

I really appreciate the link.

Ari echos a lot of my experience with the 1DMkIV. I also like his photography philosophy and post processing style. He knows what he's talking about, and that article answered all of the baseline questions I had about the new AF system in the 1DX, and it's performance with super telephoto lenses relative to moving objects. Very refreshing change after,... well never mind. Looking forward to using one.

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TimR32225
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I have both cameras....
In reply to gnm72, Apr 25, 2013

gnm72 wrote:

Hi all,

I am generally happy with my 1DMkIV which I use mainly for bird photography (small birds + bif) but nagging doubts that I would get more keepers with 1DX.

However cannot decide on paper re better AF and low light performance against loss of 1.3 crop, extra weight (and of course expense.)

Does anyone have any practical experience using one against the other specifically for birding?? Any comments appreciated.

I bought the 1D Mk4 about a year ago and it was a nice step up over my 1D Mk2N, plus it gave me a lot more pixels to work with.

I was planning a trip to Africa and decided I should have 2 top-end 1-series bodies with me, so I purchased a 1DX in December.  Like you, I was reluctant to give up the 1.3x crop and thought I'd miss it when shooting birds.  But I figured I could use the Mk4 at times when I really needed the reach.

I've been back from Africa about a month and I can tell you I used the 1DX on 80% of my photos.  The autofocus is amazing even compared to the 1D Mk4, and I feel like it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me.  You can shoot high iso with no worries and get blazing shutter speeds as a result.   It is far more responsive than the 1D Mk4 and is much more consistent for tracking moving subjects.  I am also spoiled by the ability to choose a variety of different groups of a/f sensors based on what I am shooting, not to mention the different "cases" you can choose from for Servo shooting.

With the 1DX, you can add an extender to help with the reach, and simply choose a higher iso to get back the shutter speed you would have normally lost by adding the extender.  So in effect, you have gotten some of the reach back at no cost in image quality.  You may notice a slight loss in responsiveness if you add a 2X, but you won't notice it with a 1.4x.

For birds in flight, the 1DX is the better camera, and it's not even close.  You'll be all giggly the first time you track a bird in flight and fire off some shots.  It's amazing, even compared to the 1D Mk4.

Simply put, I feel cheated now when I pick up the 1D Mk4. You probably WILL miss the reach a little at first, but so what?  As long as you are also keeping the 1D MK4, you can use IT in situations where you feel the extra reach of the Mk4 would suit you better.  Or you can add an extender to the 1DX.

I currently have the 1DX, 1D4, 7D, and my ancient 10d (my original DLSR I am keeping for sentimental reasons).   My 1D4 is my main backup camera, and I am keeping the 7D for times when I feel I may want a lot of extra reach, although I have to admit I haven't had it out of my bag for months.

I haven't shot enough in low light to give you a comparison opinion, but on paper, the 1DX wins there also.

The bottom line is once you shoot a 1DX, there is no turning back. You'll get more keepers so soon you will forget all about the reach you are sacrificing.

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Tareq Abdulla
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Re: 1DX or 1DMk IV for birding?
In reply to gnm72, Apr 25, 2013

I am a little bit different than you people, i don't shoot birds, but i do shoot sports, and you know in sports i also many times need a crop factor and fast AF.

I was using 1D MarkII N, was a bit happy until suddenly i planned to get 1D MarkIII to make it a main and 1D2n as backup, i blown away with MKIII quality over 1D2n, maybe the AF wasn't much big improvements, but i didn't complain much and put it on work for sports.

Lately, i bought 1DX to have a replacement of 1D2n to be a compliment with 1D MarkIII, too bad i did, now i don't touch MarkIII at all in sports, and i was planning and hoping to get MK4 to be main and MK3 as backup, but budget didn't help until last year at late 2012 so i went with 1DX, it blown me away in all aspects and i never miss the crop in sports also, in fact i crop 1DX shots heavier than 1D3 and i get better results than 1D3, so i will never look back.

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Blake Cook
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Re: I have both cameras....
In reply to TimR32225, Apr 25, 2013

TimR32225 wrote:

The bottom line is once you shoot a 1DX, there is no turning back. You'll get more keepers so soon you will forget all about the reach you are sacrificing.

+1

I have both bodies and had a 5D3 for 4 months. On the now rare occasions I shoot with the 1D4, I wish I'd kept the 5D3. The loss of 1.3 crop is no sacrifice.  Having said that, the 1Dx is a big step above the 5D3.

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Schwany
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I wanna be different
In reply to Tareq Abdulla, Apr 25, 2013

Tareq Abdulla wrote:

I am a little bit different than you people, i don't shoot birds, but i do shoot sports, and you know in sports i also many times need a crop factor and fast AF.

I photograph sports, can I be different too? No need to answer. I already know I'm different.

I currently use both formats (insert list of cameras here) for various sports and am now "after reading the article" looking forward to a faster FF replacement that has the potential to work better than the 1DMkIV. American LeMans two weeks away. Gonna put that 1DX through the wringer.

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Joerg Rockenberger
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Re: 1DX or 1DMk IV for birding?
In reply to gnm72, Apr 25, 2013

I own a 1D MkIV now for several years already but have rented a 5D MkIII and a 1D X last year repeatedly. Earlier this year I rented a 5D MkIII for a 12 day trip which had plenty of opportunities for action shots.

There is no doubt in my mind that the AF of the 5D MkIII and the 1D X is vastly superior to the 1D MkIV with the 1D X being better than the 5D MkIII. Yes, there will be occasions where the 1.3 crop factor would be beneficial but then one simply has to adjust to the gear.

Also, I find I can crop the images from the full frame cameras much more/better than from the 1D MkIV although that is certainly less desirable.

As always rent any gear before buying it to gain hands-on experience.

Joerg

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Schwany
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Loaners are available
In reply to Joerg Rockenberger, Apr 25, 2013

Joerg Rockenberger wrote:


As always rent any gear before buying it to gain hands-on experience.

You can get loaners from CPS as well.

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arbitrage
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Re: 1DX or 1DMk IV for birding?
In reply to gnm72, Apr 26, 2013

I don't have a 1DX but I do have a 1D4 and a 5D3.  I also find that I really prefer shooting the 5D3 over the 1D4 because of the AF.  I've mostly been shooting birds using the 600II and the mark III converters.  I was really only using the 1D4 to get f/8 autofocus at 1200mm with the 2.0TCIII.  Now that the 5D3 firmware has leaked out onto the inter webs, I think the 1D4 will become the permanent backup to the 5D3.  I really don't find the 1.3 crop and extra pixels to make any significant difference even in reach-limited situations.

The 1DX is claimed to be even better than the 5D3 at driving the big white lenses with its large battery.  The one thing I do prefer about the 1D4 is the 1series build quality and integrated grip.

With that all said, I would go for the 1DX over the 1D4 for birding.  I am seriously considering trying to sell my 1D4, 7D and 5D2 to go towards a 1DX and 5D3 combo.

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Paul B Jones
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Miss the Reach
In reply to gnm72, Apr 26, 2013

I am transitioning from my 1DIV to a 1DX and find myself missing the 1.3 crop factor quite a bit. I'm intrigued by the next 7D iteration and hoping it's a 1.6 crop - I guess I am a reach junkie.

No doubt the 1DX auto focus is amazing though. It glues on to flying birds.

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Pones
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Re: Miss the Reach
In reply to Paul B Jones, Apr 27, 2013

I think if the 7D mk II can at least match the Mark IV for noise and frame rate and a better focusing system there will be a number of semi pros that would consider it. Will look forward to the reviews. Oh to have an endless camera budget.

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Canonero
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Of course 1DMk IV
In reply to gnm72, Apr 28, 2013

1.3X crop factor.

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Schwany
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Re: I have both cameras....
In reply to TimR32225, Apr 30, 2013

TimR32225 wrote:


I haven't shot enough in low light to give you a comparison opinion, but on paper, the 1DX wins there also.

I now have both cameras. It is about the same as the 1DMkIV in low light tests I've done so far. I found that a little surprising after all the praise I've read. It should not be an issue for me personally, but it could be for others.

The bottom line is once you shoot a 1DX, there is no turning back. You'll get more keepers so soon you will forget all about the reach you are sacrificing.

I'll be checking out the keepers tomorrow. I suspect it has to be better with the larger AF point array, AF tuning features, and the right lens.

The reach difference is significant for birds, but I knew that going in having tried birding with a 1DsMkII a couple of years ago. Birding is a secondary pursuit for me, so no biggie.

It is a nice camera.

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Schwany
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oopsie, user error
In reply to Schwany, Apr 30, 2013

Schwany wrote:

TimR32225 wrote:


I haven't shot enough in low light to give you a comparison opinion, but on paper, the 1DX wins there also.

I now have both cameras. It is about the same as the 1DMkIV in low light tests I've done so far. I found that a little surprising after all the praise I've read. It should not be an issue for me personally, but it could be for others.

User error. The 1DX is better than the 1DMkIV in low light. I had to select an appropriate AF area selection method. It's quicker and seems very accurate with AF expansion of upper and lower assist points. I actually thought I was already doing this when I did manual point selection, but it was in manual selection spot AF, which didn't work all that well in low light with the lens I was using. Works now though. Time for my nap.

The bottom line is once you shoot a 1DX, there is no turning back. You'll get more keepers so soon you will forget all about the reach you are sacrificing.

I'll be checking out the keepers tomorrow. I suspect it has to be better with the larger AF point array, AF tuning features, and the right lens.

The reach difference is significant for birds, but I knew that going in having tried birding with a 1DsMkII a couple of years ago. Birding is a secondary pursuit for me, so no biggie.

It is a nice camera.

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Mike Milton
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Re: 1DX or 1DMk IV for birding?
In reply to gnm72, May 1, 2013

gnm72 wrote:

Hi all,

I am generally happy with my 1DMkIV which I use mainly for bird photography (small birds + bif) but nagging doubts that I would get more keepers with 1DX.

However cannot decide on paper re better AF and low light performance against loss of 1.3 crop, extra weight (and of course expense.)

Does anyone have any practical experience using one against the other specifically for birding?? Any comments appreciated.

I have both. The 1Dx is my preference for BIF AF (hands down). It is also my generally preferred body.

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AlecThigpen
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Re: Loaners are available
In reply to Schwany, May 2, 2013

I just returned a 1 Dx and 300 2.8 II to CPS.  Other than the very expensive insurance and shipping, (one way, $180) it was a great way to become acquainted for a week or so with expensive equipment before you buy.  The 1 Dx will be my next camera!  I have the 1 Ds Mk II, 1 Ds Mk III, and the 5D Mk II.  This new camera is a dream to use, and the images are beautiful.  I can't justify a $7500.00 lens for the type work I do, but the camera, sure.  Send the CPS folks an email and try some new stuff, if you are a member of CPS.  For $100.00 a year, its a bargain just for the cleaning services.

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Mikael Risedal
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Re: I have both cameras....
In reply to Blake Cook, May 2, 2013

Blake Cook wrote:

TimR32225 wrote:

The bottom line is once you shoot a 1DX, there is no turning back. You'll get more keepers so soon you will forget all about the reach you are sacrificing.

+1

I have both bodies and had a 5D3 for 4 months. On the now rare occasions I shoot with the 1D4, I wish I'd kept the 5D3. The loss of 1.3 crop is no sacrifice.  Having said that, the 1Dx is a big step above the 5D3.

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in what? image quality?

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Schwany
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Re: I have both cameras....
In reply to Mikael Risedal, May 2, 2013

Mikael Risedal wrote:

Blake Cook wrote:

+1

I have both bodies and had a 5D3 for 4 months. On the now rare occasions I shoot with the 1D4, I wish I'd kept the 5D3. The loss of 1.3 crop is no sacrifice.  Having said that, the 1Dx is a big step above the 5D3.

in what? image quality?

Maybe he's talking about weight, and size. he he

You have made valid but unpopular points about the camera in the past. I've been using it for a few days. It may be the best from Canon to date, but there is definitely some hype surrounding the image quality across the board. Fortunately, I don't photograph much of anything that requires I put it through a DR recovery test very often, so it works well enough. It could be better though. Nuff said.

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