The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, announced today, is built to shoot 170 raw files at 14 frames per second before it starts to slow down – enough to cover a 100m sprint.

VIDEO (above): Watch the incredible frame rate of the new flagship Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Canon adds that the revamped EOS-1D X – due out in May, priced around £5,200 body only – can shoot at up to 16fps in live view mode.

Largely aimed at sports photographers, speed will be of the essence for the EOS-1D X Mark II when it pitches up against the recently announced Nikon D5 at major sporting events like the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Fitting then that a CFast 2.0 memory card will equip the camera to shoot 170 raw files at 14fps before it starts to flag, according to Canon UK product intelligence consultant David Parry.

‘That’s basically the equivalent of a highly trained athlete doing a 100 metres race. So, you could capture the start and the finish of the 100m race before this camera slows down,’ he told AP.

And like a rampant athlete crossing the finishing line in a Brazilian heatwave, the EOS-1D X Mark II will need to cool down. Cue the camera’s built-in ‘exhaust’ system.

‘Something that I really like – you can’t see it but you’ll have to take my word for it – apparently there’s a heat pipe… an exhaust inside the camera,’ added Parry.

‘The idea is that because of the amount of information that the sensor is moving it’s got to be able to disperse this heat, so they’ve had to design this kind of almost [an] exhaust built into the camera to move the heat around.’

‘Canon Meisters’

When the EOS-1D X Mark II emerges from Canon’s factory, it will not be travelling at such a breakneck speed, however.

Each unit will be carefully assembled by one person assigned to it – a process Canon has apparently employed for some time.

‘These cameras are made specifically by people called Canon Meisters,’ Parry explained.

‘They are made in a special part of the factory. And one person puts all the components together and builds it…

‘The analogy we are given is very similar to a Rolex watch… the way that it’s put together by one person, so they can put their name to that camera.’

In the past, the EOS 1-series was the only real choice of Canon DSLR for the high-end or professional user.

But the launch of the EOS 7D and EOS 5D cameras enabled the 1-series to target a more specialist market – including wildlife photographers and photojournalists, explained Parry.

Parry added that Canon decided to carry forward the core design and layout of the original 1D X following feedback from professional users.

It’s the inside that’s changed. ‘Every single feature on there has had a tweak, a change… there’s a few bits of technology on here that were not available in 2011/2012…’

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The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II also features a new 20.2-million-pixel imaging sensor, 4K video and Dual Pixel CMOS AF – the first full-frame DSLR to have this capability.

Canon’s Al servo AF III+ features a new AF algorithm which, along with the EOS Intelligent Tracking and Recognition system, is designed to boost tracking sensitivity in scenes where subject movement may occur suddenly.

Also on board is an improved 61-point AF system, with 41 cross-type points, designed to be enable the DSLR to focus in low light, to -3EV.

The new AF system joins forces with a new 360k RGB+IR metering sensor in a bid to provide accurate exposure and improved subject detection.

Firepower includes an ISO of 100-51,200, expandable to 50-409,600, plus built-in GPS.

David Parry, Canon UK