Still, at slightly faster than half cinema speed, your excuses for missing shots are going to start looking rather sparse. Like previous EOS-1D models, when it’s at full chat it sounds like a pack of cards flying uncontrollably out of a shuffling machine. The processing power is supplied by no fewer than three computers: a DiGIC 4 processor for exposure and autofocus evaluation, and two DiGIC 5+ processors for handling the incoming tidal wave of data.
The top right rubber cover protects an integrated gigabit Ethernet port
Naturally a video mode comes as standard, with the much-requested live audio monitoring included. Video specs are standard, although the full-frame sensor will allow greater depth of field, and the 1080p mode is superior to the best available in Nikon’s high-end DSLRs, with the D3s offering only Motion-JPEG and the D700 doesn't shoot video at all.
Usefully, the EOS-1D X is Canon’s first DSLR to skirt around Compact Flash’s 4GB maximum file size; hit the upper limit of the file and a new one is automatically created. The same goes for video files which run longer than 29 minutes, which will come in handy for time lapse recorders, albeit at the cost of annoying EU customs and excise pen pushers.
Back to back: EOS-1D Mark III (left), EOS-1D X (right)
So what’s it like to actually pick up? “Heavy” would be the first adjective to come to mind. The exact weight has yet to be announced, but it certainly felt a tad heavier than my battered EOS-1D MKIII. Its robustness emphasises this camera's positioning among a professional user base.
The buttons are weather-sealed, although, for my money, the ISO button now crowds slightly too close to the index finger dial. Otherwise, Canon has resisted annoying existing users by keeping the button layout largely the same, though the screen has grown by 0.2in to 3.2in. Indeed, there are no major departures from previous models of the 1D.
The top plate LCD delivers plenty of shooting info
There’s no perceptible lapse in time between flicking the switch to the On position and the camera flickering into life, and the same can, of course, be said of shutter lag. It’s a comfortable bit of kit to hold; the hand grip is enormous compared to the likes of the EOS-600D, and the integrated vertical grip make flipping to portrait orientation easy.
Next page: In the frame
Touch screen controls make no sense when the camera is held against your face. Unless you have a particularly agile tongue.
I'm not a pro, or am I? Anyway...
I'd say even before the lenses the thing that matters the most is the grissly sinuey hunk of meat behind the camera, i.e. the photographer themselves, and the only way they will get up to scratch is lots of practice. A cursory glance around Flickr will show amazing pictures created on the most humble of equipment.
I just wish these **full frame** digital SLRs weren't so huge, admittedly this is something from the film days too (the EOS 3 and EOS 1/n/v weren't exactly small either) -- and this is one reason I still use my Olympus OM2ns all the time, they're small and fit my small hands.
I know there's micro 4/3rds but there's trade off there too.
Note to self: Subscribe to the notion that a professional photographer hulks around massive man-cameras with paparazzi zoom lenses :)
That said, I still use a Minolta Autocord and that's not that small. But it is light!
Oh well whatever, the most important thing remains the photographer and their vision whether they use a little Canon Ixus or a Nikon D3x
looks nice but no longing here ... for once
I've owned a number of Canon DLSRs over the years (since the D30) and I've had my 1DsIII for about 3 1/2 years now and setting aside the absence of video - which is not my thing anyway - I am still very happy. Looking at the new 1DX I am impressed but that sense of longing and "how can I affford it?" isn't there this time. Phew. For professionals - as opposed to just keen amateurs like me - this will be a nice top of the line model and good luck to Canon...
PS For those who are not pros, remember its all about the lenses in the end.
I bought all my digital cameras because they look cool and not because they take good pictures or are good cameras.
re: cropped sensor DSLRs
They're very close to APS-C sized sensors. Canon and Nikon are slightly different to each other, nbut not very much. Nikon has a crop factor of 1.5, Canon's is 1.6. In both cases they can use the same lenses as their film bases ancestors (Nikon going right back to ancient manual lenses, Canon not so far back since they changed mounts when they introduced autofocus). The use of a lens designed for a larger sensor (or piece of film) has two main effects:
1) The image circle projected by the lens is bigger than it needs to be. This can be a positive since lenses which might have had slight vignetting problems are now bright across the whole i image. On the downside you're possibly carrying more glass than you need to be. Both Canon and Nikon have smaller lighter lenses designed specifically for the smaller sensors at those focal lengths where a saving can be made.
2) Framing is as if you were using a longer focal length than the real focal length. Multiply the focal length by the crop factor to get the equivalent. So a 50mm prime goes from being your 'normal' lens to a mild telephoto 80ish mm, which makes a nice portrait lens. A 35mm wide angle prime becomes a nice 'normal'. With zooms its not worth worrying so much, zoom till the framing is right, but you'll find lens changes being required at different times than you're used to.
Alternatively just get a full frame digital.