Canon EOS 1D X review

June 7, 2012

Overall Rating:


Canon EOS 1D X

  • Features:
  • AWB Colour:
  • LCD viewfinder:
  • Dynamic Range:
  • Build/Handling:
  • Autofocus:
  • Noise/resolution:
  • Metering:



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.

WB, metering and dynamic range

White Balance and Colour

Colours from the EOS-1D X appear very natural, while maintaining a certain bite – almost like Fuji Provia slide film. This was perhaps aided by the quality of the lenses. As with everything else on this camera, however, colours can be adjusted to preference, either using one of the preset picture styles or customising one of the user-defined modes.

The auto white balance is faithful to the scene, leaving plenty of warmth under evening light and not neutralising the natural colour of indoor scenes. The additional six presets cover more specific needs, while the manual temperature and reading settings will still be favoured for studio use.


Out of habit I found myself underexposing scenes on the 1D X by around 2⁄3EV, but in processing I found I needed to dial this back in to achieve the right exposure, and often slightly more. The evaluative metering seems more adept at maintaining all the highlights in scenes without pushing too much into the shadows. The auto lighting optimiser, with its three levels of intensity, helps lift shadows too. The temptation to switch to partial or centreweighted metering is lost for most scenes, as there’s simply no need to. For critical subjects the spot metering is still very handy, especially when linked to the AF.

Dynamic Range

Although full dynamic range measurements are not yet available for the EOS-1D X, I expect it to top any of Canon’s previous models. The results from the EOS 5D Mark III reveal an 11.74EV range at ISO 100, and the larger photosites of the 1D X’s sensor should ensure that it at least reaches 12EV, although it is unlikely to hit the 13EV of the Nikon D4. Dynamic range can be effectively extended by using the multiple exposure functionality, which can combine up to eight shots, or by processing, using the auto lighting optimiser.

  • 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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