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professional sports / journalistic dSLRs


  • the pro sports camera is a highly competitive race dominated by Canon and Nikon
  • the cameras are built-like tanks, weatherproofed and optimised for shooting fast moving subjects at fast burst rates.
  • in 2011, HD video has become a much higher priority, along with improved AF which had been problematic and complex to optomise in the previous models. The new models incorporate a vastly increased metering module which is now able to perform face recognition and assist in subject tracking during phase contrast AF.
  • interestingly, both Canon and Nikon have kept sensor megapixels counts down to allow improved burst rates and improved high ISO image quality.
  • Canon appear to have dropped its 1.3x crop sensors in favor of full frame sensors for its pro sports dSLRs and this will mean the pros will have less telephoto reach than previously, but perhaps the biggest contention with the Canon 1DX is the inability to autofocus with lenses at f/8 (ie. a f/4 lens with 2x teleconverter will no longer AF unlike on previous models).
  • Nikon's response to the Canon 1DX is their Nikon D4 which finally brings decent HD video to Nikon dSLRs, and almost matches the 1DX on most of the important features.
  • in late 2014, Canon revised their 7D to give much improved sports capabilities - see Canon 7D Mark II dSLR

comparison of the latest versions

  • they all have the following in common:
    • shutter speed range 30sec - 1/8000th sec plus BULB
    • optical pentaprisms with 100% viewfinder coverage
    • fixed LCD screens of ~3“ size and 920K dots (although 1DX is 1040K dots) but none are touch screens
    • live view mode
    • no built-in flash but hotshoe, remote TTL capability
    • wired remote control but no wireless remote control built-in
    • model-specific battery
    • model-specific WiFi optional module
    • weigh about 1.3kg
feature Canon 1D Mark III Canon 1D Mark IV Canon 1DX Nikon D3s Nikon D4
year 2007 2009 2011 2009 2012
price disc. $6800 $6200
crop factor 1.3x 1.3x 1.0x 1.0x 1.0x
mpixels 10.0mp 16.1mp 18.1mp 12.1mp 16.2mp
processor Digic 3 Digic 4 Dual Digic 5+ and Digic 4 metering Expeed Expeed 3
flash sync 1/300th 1/300th 1/250th 1/250th
ISO 100-6400 100-102,400 100-204,800 200-102,400 100-204,800
metering 100,000px, face recognition, subject tracking 1005px 91,000px, face recognition, subject tracking
AF points 45 45 61 51 51
Max f/ratio for AF f/8 f/8 f/8 (21cross) f/8 f/8 (1cross,10horiz)
burst rate 10fps 10fps 12-14fps (mirror lockup for 14fps) 9 (x43shots) -11fps 9-11fps (x105shots at 10fps if XQD card)
shutter rating 150K 300K 400K 400K
AE bracketing x3 at 1/3, 1/2EV x3 at 1/3, 1/2EV x2,3,5,7 at 1/3,1/2EV x2,3,5,7 at 1/3,1/2,2/3,1EV x2,3,5,7 at 1/3,1/2,2/3EV
exp. compensation ±3 EV ±5 EV ±5 EV ±5 EV
storage CF,SD CF,SD CFx2 CFx2 CF, XQD
timelapse wired wired wired yes yes
GPS no no opt opt opt
video formats none 1080p (30/25/24);720p (60/50) 1080p (30/25/24);720p (60/50) 720p (24) mjpeg 1080p (30/25/24) 24mbps;720p (60/50/30,25) uncompressed HDMI-out
video crop modes n/a 1.3x 1.0x 1.0x 1.1x, 1.5x, 2.7x
microphone none stereo stereo stereo mono
manual rec. volume n/a yes no yes
live video capture output n/a yes no yes
LANconnector no yes yes
features multi-exp. mode; timecode embedded video illuminated buttons
auto-split 4Gb movies, 2 video compression options
photo/dslrsprosports.txt · Last modified: 2014/09/17 22:56 by gary1

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