Canon Announces The New 1DX Full Frame Camera. Is This The End For Nikon?

Cameras

Canon just announced the brand spanking new 1DX. The new “flagship” camera from Canon has a ton of great features for both still and video shooters. Most noteably are 12fps continuous, dual Digic 5+ sensors, ISO 100-51,200, 30 minute video clips, timecode and improved audio. Canon has also added a new and improved “All-I and IPB compression. This looks to be one bad ass HDSLR.  The folks over at Canon are obviously listening, while our friends at Nikon seem to be half asleep or drunk!

Here are the video specifications. To read more click here.

Source: (Canon Europe Website)

HD Movie

Following the introduction, in 2008, of Full HD Movie shooting with the EOS 5D Mark II, this feature has now been incorporated across the EOS camera range. The EOS-1D X takes all of the current features and puts them into one camera as well as improving various aspects of the movie shooting for both better usability and better incorporation into professional workflows. This means there is the ability to shoot 1920×1080 at 24, 25 and 30fps, as well as 1280×720 at 50 and 60fps. Audio levels can be controlled manually, as found on the EOS 60D and EOS 5D Mark II, and the ISO range for movie shooting runs from ISO 100 to 51,200.

Compression

The biggest change to the movie shooting is the ability to choose from two different compression methods — IPB or ALL-I — depending on your needs. The EOS-1D X still records movies using the H.264 codec but it is the compression type within this codec that has been changed.

When shooting movies, the frames that are captured are usually split into key frames or Intra-Frames and predicted frames. These Intra-frames are used as reference frames to help with compression.

The first type of compression available is IPB. The B in IPB stands for Bi-directional compression. With IPB differential compression is carried out by predicting the content of future frames, with reference to both previously captured frames and subsequent frames. Like the IPP compression method used in previous EOS DSLRs, some data is stored in a Group Of Pictures (GOP), meaning that frame-by-frame editing will result in lower image quality. When using IPB editing video in-camera to trim clips can only be done in one-second increments.

The second method of compression is designed for users working in high-end editing systems or those looking for the very highest quality. This compression is called ALL-I. ALL-I stands for ‘Intra-coded Frame’ and it differs from IPB and IPP because all frames captured are treated as Intra-frames or key frames. Although each frame is still compressed, there is no further compression as each frame is seen as an individual image.

When filming with ALL-I, file sizes will be around three times larger than with IPB, and it is easier to edit to an individual frame without degrading the image quality. Despite the extra file size, ALL-I compressed footage actually requires less computer processing power than IPB or IPP and consequently will playback more smoothly on lower specification computers. This is because there is no rendering needed to extrapolate data from the GOPs used in IPP and IPB.

Movie clip size and lengths

The next big change in HD movie shooting is the ability to record files longer than 4GB and hence the removal of the 12 minute HD Movie clip limit. For legal reasons the maximum total clip length when shooting HD is now 29 minutes and 59 seconds. This change has been brought about by the EOS-1D X’s ability to automatically start new files. Once the 4GB limit is reached, the camera simply starts creating a new file without the movie recording being stopped. On the memory card you will then find several 4GB files that when played back consecutively will give a complete run of up to the 29 minute 59 seconds limit. Playing back the individual files on the camera cannot be completed as one complete run either. Each 4GB file has to be played back individually. So that you know when a new 4GB file is going to be created, the recording time or the timecode displayed on the movie-shooting screen will flash for around 30 seconds before the file size reaches 4GB.

The EICS unit in the EOS-1D X has been improved over previous units – it now includes Ultrasonic Wave Motion Cleaning to roll dust particles down the filters in front of the CMOS sensor.

Timecode

Much requested by professional users, the EOS-1D X now features a timecode ability following the standard of Hour:Minute:Second:Frame as defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). The frame count runs from 00 to 29 frames, so if, for example, you are filming at 30fps frames are counted to 29 and 1 second is added to the 30th frame to return the counter to 00.

The timecode can be set in one of four ways. The default setting is Count Up. Within Count Up, there is the option of either Rec. Run or Free Run. With Rec. Run, the timecode will only advance while a movie is being recorded. It is useful when filming with a single camera as it helps to organise the clips into chronological order. In Rec. Run, the timecode will continue even if the memory card is replaced with a new one. Since the total shooting time is recorded, the count will not be reset even if a movie file is deleted or the memory card is formatted.

In Free Run, the timecode will continue to count even when no movie file is being recorded. This is useful when filming with several cameras. By using the time synchronisation feature of the EOS-1D X, several cameras can be set to the same time so that all the files captured have the same starting point in the timecode. When editing footage together, the clips can then be arranged chronologically.

Option 2 within the timecode settings is ‘Start time setting’. Here you have the option of defining the starting timecode in HH:MM:SS:FF using the manual input setting option. You can also reset the timecode to 00:00:00:00 using reset, or you can set the timecode to the current camera time using the HH:MM:SS fields.

The third option is Movie Rec. Count with the options of Rec. Time and Time Code. In Rec. Time, the elapsed time after the start of movie shooting will be displayed on the rear LCD panel as the movie is being recorded. With Time Code, the timecode will be displayed while the movie is recorded.

The final option is ‘Movie play count’. The two options within this setting are Play Time and Time Code and they determine what is displayed while the movie is played back on the camera. In Play Time, the elapsed time after the start of shooting will be shown on the rear LCD panel during playback. With the Time Code setting, the associated timecode will be shown during playback.

Audio control

The next advance for movie recording concerns the EOS-1D X’s audio recording features. The camera still features an internal microphone that captures 16bit mono sound at 48KHz as well as a 3.5mm stereo input jack that also records at 48KHz. However, the EOS-1D X also features manual audio level control. While this is also found on the EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 60D, the EOS-1D X takes the control a step further by displaying a live audio level meter on the rear screen during filming and the ability to adjust the audio recording level during filming.

To avoid the potential issue of introducing click sounds to the audio recording by adjusting the audio level, the adjustments are made using the Silent Control Function located inside the Quick Control Dial. This capacitive touch-pad can also be used to adjust other settings silently during film recording, including shutter speed, aperture, ISO and exposure compensation.

 

Key specifications

  • 18.1 Megapixel, Full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 61-point AF with up to 41 cross-type AF points
  • Zone, Spot and AF Expansion Focusing modes
  • DUAL “DIGIC 5+” processors
  • 12fps shooting with 14fps super High Speed continuous
  • ISO 100 to 51,200 as standard, ISO 50 to 204,800 with expansion
  • 100,000-pixel RGB AE sensor
  • DIGIC 4 processor dedicated to AE functions
  • +/- 5 Stop Exposure Compensation
  • Full HD Movie shooting with ALL-I or IPB compression
  • 29mins 59sec clip length in Full HD Movie
  • 55ms shutter lag, 36ms via ‘Shortened Release Lag’ Custom Function
  • Timecode setting for HD Movie shooting
  • Transparent LCD viewfinder with new focusing screen
  • 8.11cm (3.2”), 1.04 million pixel Clear View II LCD Screen
  • Improved EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS)
  • Dual CF Card slots
  • Silent control touch-pad area

 

Jared Abrams
Jared Abrams is a cinematographer based in Hollywood, California. After many years as a professional camera assistant he switched over to still photography. About two years ago a new Canon camera changed the way the world sees both motion and still photography. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
  • Jwawro

    Any word on line skipping?