Canon EOS 1D X review

June 7, 2012

Overall Rating:


Canon EOS 1D X

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Price as Reviewed:


The long-awaited flagship DSLR arrives just in time for the 2012 Olympic games. In our Canon EOS 1D X review we put the Canon EOS 1DX through its paces to see if it is an award-winning contender.

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s a professional camera body, the availability of the Canon EOS 1D X time for a sporting event as significant as the Olympics will be key to its success.

The camera was announced back in October 2011, even though it was not due to be ready for use until March 2012 at the earliest. This early warning, we were told, was to ensure photo agencies could be made aware of the product in plenty of time to include it in their purchasing plans for the year ahead.

It was perhaps also an opportunity to secure an audience before the announcement of its potential rival, the Nikon D4, which came in January.

Both cameras have since experienced delays in their releases, with the Canon EOS 1D X now looking like it will be in the shops by mid-June. This review is based on a model with pre-release firmware, though Canon Europe has assured us that the camera is performing to ‘release standard’.

The Canon EOS 1D X follows a line of 1D cameras that previously included 1Ds variations for higher resolution studio, portrait or landscape users. However, the Canon EOS 1D X – the 10th Canon pro body – replaces both the 1D Mark IV and the 1Ds Mark III models, despite the resolution being lower than the 21MP 1Ds Mark III.

The only other variation of the 1D is now the 1D C, which also features an 18MP full-frame sensor but is designed for videographers too, having the ability to shoot 4K video. The Canon EOS 1D X then, is a camera designed for a wide range of professional photographers from landscape and nature photographers, through to portrait and press photographers. Sport, however, remains its number one focus, as appears evident from the autofocus case studies in the menu, and is where the camera will be put to the greatest test. Here the onus is on speed and accuracy, to capture often fast-moving subjects in difficult lighting conditions.

The previous 1D Mark IV was no slacker in this regard but the Canon EOS 1D X offers a new faster processor, a more advanced metering system and a more extensive AF system. This should not only cope with the higher resolution full-frame sensor but offer greater performance too.

Canon EOS 1D X sample imageSee sample images here

  • Video: 1080P HD (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps), 720P (59.94, 50 fps) MOV (H.264)
  • External mic: Yes
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 preset, 6 Custom, and Manual, with fine tuning
  • Dioptre Adjustment: Yes
  • Built-in Flash: No
  • Shutter Type: focal plane shutter
  • Memory Card: CompactFlash
  • Viewfinder Type: Optical Pentaprism
  • Output Size: 5184x3456pixel
  • LCD: 3.2in 1040k dot Clear View II LCD
  • Field of View: 100% coverage 0.76x magnification
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes
  • AF Points: 61 point (41 cross-type f/4, 5 dual cross-type f/2.8), Single point, single point spot, AF point expansion (4 or 8), zone AF, 61-point auto
  • Sensor: 18.1-million-effective pixel full frame (36x24mm) CMOS
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/250sec
  • Focal Length Mag: 1x
  • Exposure Modes: PASM, 3 custom modes
  • Weight: 1340g (without battery or card)
  • Power: Rechargeable LP-E4N Li-ion (LP-E4 compatible)
  • File Format: JPEG, CR2 (raw), MOV
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/8000sec + Bulb
  • Drive Mode: 12fps, 14fps super high speed mode
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Exposure Comp: +/-5EV
  • RRP: £5,299
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF (not EF-S)
  • ISO: 100-51,200 (50-204,800 extended)
  • Focusing Modes: Single, Continuous (servo), Manual
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Dimensions: 158x163.6x82.7mm
  • Metering System: 100,000-pixel RGB sensor, 252-zone evaluative metering, with partial, Centre weighted and Spot
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB, HDMI, 1GB Ethernet LAN
  • Compression: 10-stage JPEG, 1 stage raw

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