Test Review: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

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June 23, 2016 at 2:44 pm  •  Posted in Gear & Reviews, Review by  •  0 Comments

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

The new Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is a top of the line SLR. It offers a very fast AF system, professional handling, and a massive and robust body. It can be used as high-end action and news reporting/documentary camera, as well as high-end 4K film camera.

Colour reproduction by the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is nearly perfect. White-balance settings (auto-mode) and reproduction of skin tones look very good. The differentiation in the perfectly saturated red t-shirt is very high.

The reproduction of the standard test box reveals very well-balanced exposure settings; natural-looking colours; and a highly differentiated, crisp image with a lot of details.

Comments on Image Quality
Colour: When reproducing the colour test chart, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II showed a tendency toward cooler colour areas for the darker grey test pattern and a slight shift of the bright white into the yellow direction. Nevertheless the colour errors are on a really low level. The aberration of colour results to their given values is very small, so the camera creates images with a very natural look. In addition the nearly 99-percent saturation is nearly perfect. Skin tones are reproduced very precisely. The very smooth and natural-looking skin-tone reproduction can be seen in our portrait shot.

Colour reproduction by the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is nearly perfect. White-balance settings (auto-mode) and reproduction of skin tones look very good. The differentiation in the perfectly saturated red t-shirt is very high.

Colour reproduction by the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is nearly perfect. White-balance settings (auto-mode) and reproduction of skin tones look very good. The differentiation in the perfectly saturated red t-shirt is very high.

Sharpness: The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II offers very sharp and detail rich images. The ISO 12233 chart was reproduced with 3454 of 3648 lines per picture height. The camera showed an average level of sharpness filtering with exaggerated contrast lines but also has an extremely natural look and very clean reproduction of small details like fine lines in our test shots. For example, the reproduction of the hair in our model shot is excellent and doesn’t show any moiré effects.

Noise: The camera performed excellently in our noise and dynamic-range tests. The luminance-noise factor stays below the 1.0 percent line up to images taken with ISO 25,600. Colour noise becomes visible in images taken with ISO 6400 but remains on a discreet level. Only in ISO 51200 mode do the red, blue and green dots get annoying. The additional ISO modes up to ISO 409600 can be used for documentary shots when no additional light/flash system can be used. In these modes the combination of noise and anti-noise filtering decreases detail reproduction significantly and is clearly visible.

The dynamic range results are excellent. The camera achieves a maximum of 11.7 f-stops and maintains the level of about 11 f-stops up to ISO 1600 mode. In higher ISO speed settings, the dynamic range is still around 10 f-stops, which is very good.

A large and illuminated status display shows exposure and image-setting parameters. The camera has a lot of function buttons for direct access to ISO speed, image mode, AF settings and much more.

A large and illuminated status display shows exposure and image-setting parameters. The camera has a lot of function buttons for direct access to ISO speed, image mode, AF settings and much more.

Comments on Handling
The new Canon EOS-1D X Mark II follows the action and sport EOS-1D X SLR, which was launched in 2012. This camera has a lot of features including a new sensor, a new AF system, new video capabilities and much more. The resolution of the EOS-1D X Mark II’s new sensor is 20 MP, an increase of 2 MP compared to the 1D X M2. The new SLR has Canon’s most modern image-processor system, Dual Digic6+, which is one of the main reasons for its extremely high AF and continuous mode speeds.

Offering 61 AF sensors, including 21 cross-type sensors, the new AF system is extremely fast and highly configurable. The camera offers different Case settings, which are also configurable. Case 2, for example, is used to “continue to track subjects, ignoring possible obstacles,” while Case 4 is used “for subjects that accelerate or decelerate quickly.” They’re marked with an icon of a soccer player in the menu. All image sensors are very sensitive and, therefore, allow the AF system to focus fast and precisely, even when you use low-speed tele lenses or combinations of tele lenses with teleconverters.

The Canon 1D X M2 offers high-speed continuous modes. Using the AF and automatic exposure system you can shoot up to 14 frames per second. When using Live-Preview mode, including fixed focus and exposure settings, it will reach up to 16 frames per second. The rattle of the 14 frames per second mode is impressive, but still on a surprisingly low level (which may be important for nature and wild life photographers).

The interfaces on the left-hand side of the camera are covered by massive rubber caps so dust or humidity can’t harm the HDMI, USB 3.0 and Ethernet ports.

Because of its high-speed modes and 4K video modes, the camera features the most modern storage systems. It has a slot for UDMA-7 CompactFlash cards as well as a second slot for Cfast 2.0 cards, which are normally used in high-end camcorders.

538_canon_eos1dxm2_card

The new Canon offers two card slots for CF and CFast 2.0 cards. Fast storage media is necessary for the high-speed modes and the 4K video modes with extremely high bit rates.

The Canon 1D X M2 has a lot of function elements for easy and professional handling. A large dial on the back, a second dial near the shutter-release button, a joystick that can be reached comfortably by the right-hand thumb, a second joystick for when the camera is in portrait mode, a second shutter-release button for portrait shots and more for fast set-up of functions and individual settings. Two status displays (top and back) let you check and easily adjust basic settings like exposure modes.

The camera has a large (0.76x), brilliant optical SLR viewfinder (100 percent field of view), and you can use the LCD screen on the back as electronic viewfinder. This large display (3.2 in.) has a very high resolution of 1,620,000 RGB dots and is touch-sensitive. To toggle between the optical viewfinder and the LCD, there’s a button right beside the viewfinder ocular. This button is also used as a start/stop button for video recording.

The body of the Canon 1D X M2 is massive. It’s for “heavy-duty” outdoor photography, sporta photography and more. The robust body is heavy, but also comfortable to handle. The large grip on the right-hand side allows for perfect handling and stable operation in all situations. The interfaces on the left-hand side of the camera are covered by massive rubber caps so dust or humidity can’t harm the HDMI, USB 3.0 and Ethernet (!) ports. The two card slots on the back are also covered by an interlocked cap.

The new Canon uses a fixed LCD screen that is touch-sensitive. While using the Live Preview on the screen, the user can define the AF area with a touch of a finger.

The new Canon uses a fixed LCD screen that is touch-sensitive. While using the Live Preview on the screen, the user can define the AF area with a touch of a finger.

Pros
+ very fast full-frame-sensor camera
+ professional handling
+ weatherproof body
+ very fast AF system; high speed burst image modes in full resolution and raw mode
+ integrated GPS system
+ high-end video capabilities (including real 4K resolution and high band width)

Cons
– very bulky, large body
– no swivel monitor
– no integrated pop-up flash
– expensive

 

This review is based on precise lab tests conducted by BetterNet GmbH and provided by the Technical Imaging Press Association (TIPA). TIPA is the largest family of independent photo and imaging magazines worldwide. Photo Life is an active member of TIPA.

SPEC SHEET: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
BASIC TECHNICAL DATA:
Resolution 5472 x 3648
Resolution sensor 21.5
Size of sensor (in inches) 0/0.00
Size of sensor (in mm) 35.9 x 23.9
TAKING PICTURES:
Start-up time (in sec) 0.01
Shutter delay without pre-focusing (in sec) 0.03
Shutter delay with pre-focussing (in sec) 0.01
Continuous shooting speed (frames per second) 16.0
Max. burst during continuous shooting speed 999.0
Fastest shutter speed (in sec) 1/8000
Long-time exposure/shutter speed (in sec) 30
Self-timer yes
Exposure Settings:
Aperture pre-setting, shutter speed pre-setting, manual exposure settings,
automatic bracketing
Exposure programs 0
White balance:
Auto yes
White-balance settings 6
Individual white balance yes
ISO:
ISO min 100
ISO max 51200
ISO steps 28
Manual ISO control yes
FLASH:
Integrated flash no
Flash mode:
On, off, automatic flash, slow-sync, anti-red-eye, rear-curtain sync
External Flash:
X-sync yes
Accessory shoe yes
FILE FORMATS:
Standard file formats JPEG, RAW, DCF
JPEG compression grades 3
LCD AND PREVIEW:
Size (in inches) 3.2
Resolution of LCD (in pixels) 1620000
Zoom mode during preview yes
Index during preview yes
Slideshow during preview yes
VIDEO:
Video available yes
Max. width 4096
Max. height 2160
Picture frequency 60
Real 4K video with high bit rates
POWER SOURCE:
Rechargeable battery yes
Battery type Li-Ion
Battery charger included yes
Power connector no
Power supply unit no
STORAGE SYSTEM:
Supported memory cards CF-I
PC CONNECTION:
PC connection USB 3.0, HDMI, Ethernet
TV out PAL/NTSC HDMI
DIMENSIONS:
Dimensions (width x height x depth; in mm) 158 x 167 x 82
Weight (body without battery and memory card; in g) 1340
ACCESSORIES:
Docking station no
Printed manual yes
Manual on CD yes
Bag no
Remote control no
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