Canon announces their new flagship pro dSLR – the full frame 12fps 18mp Canon 1D X

Written by Gary on October 18th, 2011 reports the announcement and as was expected by many, Canon has merged their 2 pro dSLR formats into 1 pro dSLR.

Up until now, Canon had their 1.3x crop APS-H sensor format sports dSLR with fast burst rates up to 10fps – the 1D series, and a full frame higher megapixel dSLR with average burst rates of 5fps – the 1Ds series.

With the improvement in computing speeds and technology, Canon have been able to combine these two approaches to give the best of both worlds albeit at a minor reduction in pixel count.

This will simplify their product line and perhaps please most professionals as one camera can do all, plus, potentially offer the most versatile video dSLR in the industry to boot. They may not be happy with Canon moving their controls around yet again, nor the fact that Sony dSLRs will sport significantly higher pixel counts, but then pixel counts are not really important any more.

Sports shooters may be upset that they will have less telephoto reach compared to the 1D Mark IV, and perhaps worse, it seems they lose an f/8 capable autofocus point which means they will no longer be able to AF with a 2x teleconverter on an f/4 lens.

The main headline features of the new Canon EOS 1D X include:

  • 18mp full frame sensor with larger photosites than in either the 1D Mark IV or the 5D Mark II
  • 12fps burst rate (14fps with mirror lock up in jpeg only mode)
  • Dual DIGIC 5+ image processors capable of delivering approximately 17 times more processing speed than DIGIC 4
  • dedicated DIGIC 4 processor for metering and AF
  • face detection for metering and phase detect AF (all previous face detect AF used contrast-detect AF in LiveView mode only)
  • 100,000 pixel metering sensor in 252 general zones or 35 low light zones
  • new EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF
  • new 61-Point High Density Reticular AF with centre 5 being diagonal cross type for lenses f/2.8 or wider, the others have horizontal only detection for lenses f/5.6 or wider
  • the complexities of AF settings is now assisted with an inbuilt Feature Guide which suggests which AF settings for each subject type
  • new generation sensor cleaning system
  • lower image noise and higher ISO capability (ISO 100-51,200 in standard and up to 204,800 in H2)
  • 1080 HD video in 24/25/30p and 720HD video in 50/60p, with options for either intraframe (ALL-i ) compression for an editing-friendly format and interframe (IPB) compression for superior data compression.
  • two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run
  • manual audio level control at last
  • internal mono mic or external stereo mic port
  • continuous video recording up to 29min 59sec with automatic creation of 4Gb files which can be later stitched.
  • dual CF card slots
  • 400,000 cycle shutter
  • electronic first curtain shutter to reduce vibrations – a new feature for the 1D cameras
  • built-in LAN connection
  • optional WiFi and GPS modules
  • RRP $US6800 body only expected to be available in March 2012

Of course, this does not mean we won’t see a 28+ mpixel 1Ds full frame in 2012 to replace the aging 1Ds Mark III.

Canon have detailed article on the new features – see here.


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