Rock Solid: Canon 1D X Mark II Review
The EOS-1D X Mark II is Canon’s newest flagship DSLR aimed at pro-level photographers. A quick glance reveals the camera’s 1D-series heritage, but under the hood there are some exciting upgrades going on. The 1D X II is built around a new 20.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor, now with Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus system, includes an expanded 61-point autofocus system with 24% more coverage and a 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, and is one of the first Canon DSLRs (other than the somewhat niche 1D C) that captures 4K video. Predictably, it’s also built like a brick and performs like a Formula 1 race car.
Canon 1D X Mark II Key Specifications
- New 20.2MP CMOS full-frame sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus
- 14 fps continuous shooting (16 fps in live view)
- 200+ shot buffer with Raw+JPEG (CFast 2.0)
- 61-point AF system with 41 cross-type sensors and 24% more coverage
- 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor
- Native ISO from 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-409,600)
- 4K/60p video in DCI format (4096 x 2160 pixels) using Motion JPEG
- 1.62 million dot LCD touch screen
- Flicker detection
- CFast 2.0 card support
- USB 3.0
The 1D X Mark II is a camera that anyone with previous 1D series experience can probably pick up, dial in their favorite settings, and start shooting right away — though as we'll see on the following pages, in doing so one might overlook advancements that Canon has made in this newest edition. There are a few minor tweaks to the body - all for the better in our opinion - and it takes very little effort to adapt. This conservative approach to design is a testament to the fact that the basic form factor works well. It’s no surprise that the designs of both the Canon 1D and Nixon Dx series are quite similar and haven’t seen many changes to the basic design over the years.
Conservative changes to the body notwithstanding, the 1D X II is full of new and updated technology designed to make the camera one of the top performing models in the world. The new AF system, although still utilizing 61 AF points, now covers 24% more of the frame and is, predictably, extremely fast. There’s also a new 360,000-pixel RGB+IR sensor for face recognition and subject tracking, which Canon refers to as iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition).
The jump to 20MP (vs. the 1D X’s 18MP) isn’t exactly Earth shattering, but this is a completely different sensor than any found in Canon's previous flagship models. The 1D X II is the first full frame EOS DSLR to include Canon's Dual Pixel autofocus system, a feature we've praised on other cameras. Additionally, Canon has moved to a design that uses on-chip analog to-digital-conversion, which should result in improved dynamic range of the sensor.
Compared to the Nikon D5
The obvious point of comparison to the 1D X II is the Nikon D5. A quick comparison reveals a lot of similarities and a few differences. On the surface it appears that Nikon takes the prize for high ISO and AF specs, while the 1D X II wins on continuous shooting speed and video. On the following pages we'll try to give you a sense of how they stack up in the real world.
|Canon EOS-1D X II||Canon EOS-1D X||Nikon D5|
|100 - 51,200
(50 - 409,600)
|100 - 51,200
(50 - 204,800)
|100 - 102,400
(50 - 3,280,000)
|Viewfinder spec||0.76x mag
|AF points||61 (41 cross-type)||61 (41 cross-type)||153 (99 cross-type)|
|Live view/video AF||'Dual Pixel'
|Contrast detection||Contrast detection|
|AF working range||-3 – 18 EV||-2 – 18 EV||-4 – 20 EV|
|RGB metering sensor resolution||360k pixels||100k pixels||180k pixels|
|LCD||3.2" 1.62M-dot touch-enabled||3.0" 1.04m dot||3.2" 2.36M-dot touch-enabled|
|Burst rate||14 fps
(16 with mirror up)
|12 fps||12 fps
(14 with mirror up)
JPEG / Raw / Raw+JPEG
|Video||DCI 4K/60p||1080/60p||UHD 4K/30p|
|HDMI Out||1080 8-bit 4:2:2||1080 8-bit 4:2:2||4K/30 8-bit 4:2:2|
|Card format||1x Compact Flash
|2x Compact Flash||2x Compact Flash or 2x XQD variants|
|Battery life (CIPA)||1210 shots||1120 shots||3780 shots|
|Dimensions||158 x 168 x 83mm||158 x 164 x 83mm||160 x 159 x 92mm|
|Weight||1530 g||1530 g||1405 g (XQD)|
We doubt that many people are going to seriously contemplate a switch between Canon and Nikon over a few specs on one model or the other unless it's something absolutely mission critical. Most shooters utilizing this type of camera are likely heavily invested into a system, including lenses, strobes, and even institutional support. At the same time, it's instructive to see just how advanced both flagship models are getting. We expect that most pros or advanced amateurs could produce great results with either one.
|Kilchurn Castle, Scotland by johanmieke|
from Ancient Castles, Forts, and Defensive Structures - EXTERIOR
|Incoming by Scott Vail|
from Your Duck shot
|Lake Louise by MIRANDA1|
from blue challenge
A group of friends traversed around California in an attempt to recreate the stock wallpapers Apple has included with macOS.
With iOS 13 the iPhones XS and XR as well as the latest iPad Pro models will be capable of simultaneously recording video streams from multiple cameras.
The paid firmware update doubles the range for remote cameras/flash units and brings a number of additional features.
The two ‘MicroPrime’ lenses add additional options to SLR Magic's current MFT cine lens lineup, which includes the 12mm T2.8 and 18mm T2.8.
It's not every day that we get to shoot with a system like the medium-format IQ4. We took it into the studio for some portraiture as well as a more casual spin around the block because, well, why not?
Our friends over at Cinema5D have gone hands-on with Sony's new full-frame cinema camera, the FX9, and shared their thoughts on what the camera has to offer.
The Google Pixel 4 will likely launch with an astrophotography feature, HDR in the preview image and a range of other new imaging functions.
In the first part of his series, landscape photographer Erez Marom starts with the very basics of drone photography – namely, what a drone is and how it works.
Blackmagic has announced an update to Blackmagic RAW that adds support, via plugins, to Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer. Blackmagic also announced a pair of Video Assist 12G monitor-recorders with brighter HDR displays, USB-C recording and more.
This week Chris and Jordan review the new Canon EOS M6 II mirrorless camera. Even if you're not interested in the camera, you should probably watch just to see Jordan sing a Dire Straits cover.
A new gallery from the Canon EOS M6 II, shot by Chris and Jordan while filming this week's episode of DPReview TV. As usual, it comes complete with reflected images in puddles.
STC Optics announced new filters for Panasonic Lumix M43 camera systems, Z Cam E2 4K Cinema Cameras and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K units.
Atomos continues its partnership with camera manufacturers to get the best image possible from the sensors inside the latest camera systems.
Sony has announced the impending arrival of its next-generation video camera system, the FX9. The full-frame E-mount system is set to be released later this year with a 16-35mm E-mount lens to follow in spring 2020.
Slow-mo videos are awesome on their own, but have you ever wondered what 72 slow-mo cameras are capable of producing? Well, wonder no more.
Google uses machine learning to pick your best photos from previous years and pins them to the top of your gallery.
The new tool uses AI and machine learning to automatically reframe video sequences to fit different aspects ratios so a single video can easily be edited for publishing on multiple platforms.
The Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM is one of the most impressive lenses released for the nascent RF system, and we've just updated our gallery of sample images.
The new calibration systems are designed to work with bright HDR monitors and OLED screens of every shape and size.
The XEEN CF lenses will be offered in 16mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm options for Canon EF, Sony E and PL mounts.
It's an extremely minor firmware update, but it's better to be safe than sorry. The last thing you want is to have to stop mid-shot in the field to address a little software glitch.
After a string of so-so entry-level ILCs, Fujifilm appears to have pulled out all the stops with its new X-A7.
The Fujifilm X-A7 is the newest addition to the company's X-series lineup. Despite its relatively low price of $700 (with lens), Fujifilm didn't skimp on features. Click through to find out what you need to know about the X-A7.
The entry-level Fujifilm X-A7 improves upon many of its predecessor's weak points, including a zippier processor, an upgraded user experience and 4K/30p video capture. It goes on sale October 24th for $700 with a 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens.
LaCie has announced a trio of SSDs with ruggedized protection for the harshest of environments.
Irix says the new lens is designed for 8K recording and features a cinema-specific optical construction.
The update brings hundreds of bug fixes, a new Film Negative tool and support for rating images.
The a7R IV represents our first chance to analyze Sony's new 61MP backside-illuminated sensor. Take a look at what it's capable of.
The delays will only affect shipments to Japan, according to a Venus Optics spokesperson.