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Hands on with Canon's EOS-1D X full-frame DSLR

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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.

Canon EOS-1D X full-frame DSLR camera

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.

Canon EOS-1D X full-frame DSLR camera with EOS-1D Mark III

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.

Canon EOS-1D X full-frame DSLR camera

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.

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