The Canon 1D x


One of the great benefits of working for a company that does sales and rentals of film and HD equipment is that I get my hands on new gear before most via vendor demos and when the product is finally released to the public.  The Canon 1D x was on the top of my test gear for DSLR’s but had seen several delays from its original March launch date.  Several months passed by and now the camera is finally available so I checked one out for rentals to do a demo and to get some stills with it.  First off I have to say the 1D x is a major milestone above all its predecessors in the 1D series. The low light capability of this camera is beyond all expectations I had in regards to high ISO noise levels. I was able to see things in the dark I could not even see with my eye with very limited amounts of light.  Another major upgrade is the high frame burst rate and 61 points of auto-focus.  There are other major stand outs about the camera that you do not see like the fact that it has a carbon fiber shutter which is rated at 400K actuations as well as tracking and recognition. There are a total of three processors in the camera.  Two Digic 5’s and one Digic 4.  An Ethernet port is built into the camera, so you no longer half to deal with firewire or modules attached to the camera to get camera / transfer.

Without reading any manuals or starter guides I was able to quickly navigate and adjust the camera fairly easily. If you have used a 5D or any of Canon’s professional DSLR’s you will have no trouble figuring out what each menu option and button does on the camera.  There are of course a lot more options to choose from.  I am fairly confident that this camera will take over in the photog world as well as for time-lapse.  Time-lapsers will love the dual compact flash slots make shooting a dream with 2 x 64 or 128GB cards. You can set up the slots to record simultaneous or use one as overflow for the second. The batteries for the camera are no Lithium so they are shorter and lighter than the other 1d cameras in the series.  Of course everything is weather sealed and the body and frame are built like a tank.  Of course the camera does output full HD 1920 x 1080 video via the mini HDMI port.

Point of interest:

18.1 effective megapixels full-frame CMOS sensor

Full HD video (1920×1080) at 24, 25 or 30 fps,720p (1280×720) at 50 or 60 fps, and SDTV (640×480) at 25 or 30 fps. h.264 video can be switched between inter frame and IPB to reduce file size.

ISO 100–51200 native. 50, 102400 and 204800 are simulated.

61 points of auto-focus  with 21 f/5.6 cross-type, 20 f/4 cross-type, 5 f/2.8 cross-type as well as diagonal sensitive.

Built-in 1000 Ethernet connection with RJ-45 port.

3.2 inch, 1,040,000-dot screen

Carbon fiber shutter rated at 400,000 actuations

Dual DIGIC 5 processors + DIGIC 4 processor for auto-focus and metering system.

Integrated Ultrasonic Cleaning System.

Duel CF slots that support UDMA 7.

Intelligent Subject Analysis EOS iSA and Intelligent Tracking & Recognition auto-focus EOS iTR AF

Multiple exposure modes.

2450mAh battery LP-E4N

14 fps continuous burst in JPEG (with mirror locked up and no auto) and 12 fps burst in RAW, JPEG, RAW+JPEG w/ full auto focus.

Note: The Canon 1D c will be out at the end of the year.  Basically they are the same camera with the exception that the 1D c will do 4K video recording to CF cards.  Everything else about the camera is the exact same.

Mike Sutton

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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.
  • Al

    What is that monster lens??