Canon EOS-1D X: New Top-Gun HDSLR


After months of speculation and an untold number of rumors, Canon has unveiled its new flagship camera—the Canon EOS-1D X. Most impressively, the new camera, which replaces both the EOS-1Ds Mk III and EOS-1D Mk IV, improves upon previous Canon EOS 1D-series HDSLRs in every which way.

Starting with the camera’s imaging sensor, the EOS -1D X contains a full-frame, 18.1MP CMOS sensor that features pixels that are 1.25 microns larger than the pixels found in Canon’s EOS-1D Mark IV, and 0.55 microns larger than the pixels found in Canon’s EOS-5D Mk II, which combined with gapless micro lenses, should translate into greater dynamic range, less noise and smoother shadow-to-highlight transitions than both of the aforementioned cameras. As with all EOS 1D-series cameras, the 1D X features 14-bit A/D conversion for optimal color and tonal range.

In the performance department, the new camera boasts a total of three image processors including a pair of Canon’s latest DIGIC 5+ image processors and a DIGIC 4 image processor, which has the sole duty of operating the EOS-1D X’s 100,000-pixel RGB Metering System and new EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking & Recognition) and 61-Point High Density Reticular AF system.

In addition to 12 frame-per-second continuous shooting speeds (or up to 14 fps in Super High Speed Mode), the new DIGIC 5+ imaging processors allow for lower noise levels, chromatic aberration correction for Canon EF optics (formerly a post-production chore), and a standard ISO range of 100 to 51,200, which is expandable to a lower ISO 50 and an expanded range of up to 102,400 (H1) and ISO 204,800 (H2).

Along with impressive still performance (JPEG/RAW/JPEG+RAW), Canon’s EOS-1D X offers HD video with full exposure control and a wide choice of frame rates, including 1080/30p (29.97), 24p (23.976), 25p, 720/60p (59.94), 50p, 480/60p (59.94), and all with 4GB of automatic file partitioning for continuous recording times of 29 minutes and 59 seconds.

Other features found on Canon’s new flagship camera include fully weatherproof magnesium-alloy construction, an intelligent viewfinder that features a superimposed LCD, a 3.2", 1,040,000-dot Clear View II LCD, a selection of customizable menu controls, dual CompactFlash (CF Type I & II) memory card slots, 36 ms shutter-lag times, in-camera RAW processing, a Gigabyte-Ethernet terminal and compatibility with Canon’s wireless transmitter and GPS receiver systems.

Canon’s EOS-1D X is expected to arrive on our shelves sometime around March, 2012.

Camera Type Digital SLR with Interchangeable lenses
Lens Mount Canon EF
Camera Format Full-Frame
Resolution Actual Pixels: 19.3 Megapixels 
Sensor Type / Size CMOS, 36 x 24 mm
File Formats Still Images: JPEG, RAW
Movies: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Audio: Linear PCM
Memory Card Type


Video Recording Yes
Audio Recording With Video
Focus Type Auto & Manual

Autofocus Points


Viewfinder Type Pentaprism
Viewfinder Coverage 100%
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.76x
Diopter Adjustment - 3.0 to +1.0 m
Display Screen 3.2" Rear Screen   
Screen Coverage 100%
Live View Yes
ISO Sensitivity 50-51200
Shutter 1/8000 - 30 seconds; bulb; X-sync at 1/250 second (stills) 
Metering mode Spot metering, Center-weighted average metering, Average metering, Partial metering, Multi-zone metering
Exposure Modes Modes: Aperture Priority, Manual, Shutter Priority
Compensation: -5EV to +5EV (in 1/3EV steps) 
White Balance Modes

Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent, Manual, Tungsten 

Dedicated Flash System eTTL Groups: Channels:
External Flash Connection Wireless
Self Timer 10 sec, 2 sec
Battery 1x LP-E4N  Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
Operating/Storage Temperature Operating
32 to 104° F (0 to 40° C)
Humidity: 0 - 85%
Dimensions (WxHxD) 6.2 x 6.4 x 3.3" / 157.48 x 162.56 x 83.82 mm

Discussion 57

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Will there be a second mem slot for the sd family card?  Will  there be high speed flash control from main unit to sync flash speeds over 1/250?  'will better in field sensor cleaning improve" Willpost processing allow you to keep of the raw +jpg the original jpg when the edited raw image is exported with the same name.  will i be able to set brackitting yo 3,5,7,9 for speed, exposure and tint? Will this camera have the ability to wireless send my images to my editing computer or to my wireless printer?

Mac MacKay  www. MrSpiff.Com


Just to first disclaim, this article is about 2 years old now, and the camera is regularly available. The camera has a dual CF memory card capability, but does not accept any SD cards.  The maximum flash sync speed in manual mode or in standard TTL modes is 1/250.  In Shutter preferred mode the camera will support high speed sync at any speed with a Canon e-TTL II type flash.

The EOS-1D X's integrated cleaning dust removal cleaning uses a carrier wave type self-cleaning sensor unit. While previous dust removal systems removed dust adhered to the surface of the infrared absorbing/ultraviolet-blocking glass in a frontward direction by vibrating the glass with ultrasound, the new system effectively rolls rather than shakes the dust particles off, removing an even greater amount of dust, especially smaller particles. As with previous cameras, the IR/UV absorbing glass in front of the EOS-1D X's sensor is treated with an anti-dust fluorine coating making it easier to remove damp or sticky dust particles. As part of Canon's Integrated Cleaning System dust missed by the camera can be identified and removed using the Dust Delete Data feature of Canon's Digital Professional Pro software, bundled with every EOS digital SLR.

Regarding your question about the Raw+jpeg transfer, I was not able to find that detail in their literature or the cameras instruction manual.  You may wish to address that inquiry directly to Canon.

Auto Exposure Bracketing mode will allow up to +/-3 stops in 1/3rd stop increments for up to 3 successive shots.  The same goes for White Balance Bracketing. 

The Canon WFT-E6a Wireless File Transmitter is an optional accessory that will allow the transfer of images from the camera to a computer or LAN network or other network configurations.  See the link below for details on the unit.

Directly below is a copy to the camera’s instruction manual in PDF format on our website for you to regard:

And below is the link for the Canon WFT-E6a transmitter:

I am very impressed that Canon which already had a slight advantage seems to be listening. The C300 is amazing for video (if you can't afford it then RENT it for your projects). The X look amazing. Unfortunatly to own would cost a lot. I just ordered the canon g1x stealthy 799$ digic 5 point and shoot with 1080hd 24p (which i can use for youtube videos, stealth shots-docu-commercial inserts). Now i need to decide if the 5DM3 is worth the $ over the 5DM2? But agree there is no need to complain. If you can't afford, then rent and charge the rental off to your projects. If you have no projects (gigs) then why on earth would you want a 6500$ cam with another 7000$ in accessories and lenses? These new cameras are amazing. I went to the Canon private show at Paramount a few months ago. Even the 3000$ canon xf100 video camera was impressive. (looked like an episode of FRIENDS) lol. and the C300 was superb. Saw the 1dX but wasnt avail to play with. Congrats Canon for continuing to push the envelope and make such amazing SLR's with insane low light video.

I have used Canon Cameras for years, but after the fiasco of my 7D, and never being resolved my canon after 5 trips to them in 7 months, i will never trust a canon digital camera or trust their warranty again, going Sony, my son has never had a problem, my images always looked fuzzy focused, my son called my L series lenses White elephants, but i am very dissapointed with the warranty and service. Lost me forever

Check out this marketing link.

The X specs look impressive.

The comments are entertaining and informative.

When I look at my Canon F1, I really appreciate what Canon is offering in the X.  My MkII n and MkIII are exceptional performers, but the features of the X look very nice. I really hope the manufacturing and design hit a home run.

Looking forward for the early reviews and tests from owners. Please keep us posted.

Everywhere I've looked, it says just as above "1/8000 - 30 seconds," NOT "1/8000 - 1/30 second." How can any of you POSSIBLY be misunderstanding this to mean it only goes down to 1/30th of a second? It quite clearly says 30 seconds. Which, by the way, is the standard range for most (or all) DSLR's.

Holy Crap at some of these questions and remarks.  Excuse me while I rant.  If you know this little about photography and digital sensors in general then you need to be looking at not only cheaper cameras but ones with no manual settings.  And some of guys call yourselves "professional", you guys are the ones ruining the industry & driving prices in the ground with your uneducated "soccer moms with camera" studios.  You keep saying it needs more mega pixels, really?  If you do not understand or too lazy to educate yourself on digital sensors then keep your stupid comments to yourself. Our studio does video productions and photography, and yes, we use HDSLRs in some productions.  But putting ND filters, XLR inputs, etc... in a HDSLR?  where are you going to put all that stuff?  This camera is a still camera that happens to do some great video, not a video only camera.  If you want all that then go buy a proper video camera, FS-100, F-3, C300.  The internet is full of information on how cameras work, go learn some stuff before you charge people money for your services!

Does anyone know if Canon has included a proper video autofocus system in this camera?  Or have they left it handicapped as in the Mark IV?

Hi to everyone, I think someone made a mistake, in the UK page of Canon, and several other languages, it say that the camera shutter speed is 30-1/8000 and bulb. I think that the 1/30 is mearly a type mistake. It is impossible to have a pro camera with 1/30 sec as the limit shooting speed.

*waits impatiently for 5dm3*

i shot lots of photos of paint drying....will this suffice?

I was hoping for a 24M pix camera. The max shutter 1/30s must be a typo. I'd love to see the noise levels though.

Does this camera have the capacity to set multiple bracketing options (more than three) per shot? Mentioned to Canon techs in Virginia based on the current limitations of my 5D MkII...would be especially useful for HDR work.

How much does it weigh? Closer to the Mark III or D series?

I have always used Canon cameras. I used them because they fit my hand perfectly and perform well under any conditions. However they (Canon) loves to play with our wallets. Every time I turn around there is a new camera that is better than the last one and a year hasn't even gone by. You ask why only 18.1 pxls. It's obvious...They'll introduce this new camera and a year later they will come out with a 20 pxl camera etc etc. Its all about the money now. I can remember when the A1 was all the rave and it stayed around for years before they replaced it. And it's not just Canon, they are all doing it. And it isn't fair.. Thank you for allowing me soap box..

Does it have an articulated LCD like the 60D.  Sure enjoy this feature. I am always wishing my 5DM2's had this feature.

For those who still think the number of pixels is the only image quality factor, pixel size might be more. Larger is better.  Of course larger and more is even better.

and they call this thier TOP-GUN camera? maybe they should rethink shutter speed and 18.1 mp !!!

Has Canon finally addressed its hokey auto level for Audio when using Video mode?  as they already did in the 60D?  Manual over-ride of the auto level is essential for proper levels when video'ing.  I am shocked they never put out a firmware upgrade for this in the Mk IV, but now I see why; its all about the $$.

I wonder when NIKON Corp will produce a D4X that will emulate/equal the EOS 1DX?

CANON, with the new flagship 1DX has once again shown its mastery of the latest technology, particularly with respect to Full HD Video and stereo sound recording.  I am awed beyond words.

A Nikon photographer/user

Do you know if the announced GPS accessory for this camera - the GP-E1 - will work with older cameras such as the 1-D Mark IV?

About time... can't wait

720/60p frame rate is impressive, but I'm still waiting on engineers to give me 1080/60p on this full frame baby... then I'll be really impressed. lol

nice camera though. can't wait to order mine

Why dosen't somone like myself just write a new script for CF cards to overwrite the FAT system files so you can record more then 4gb sections. It would be a very simple process to do and every camera could run in seeing is if Canon would allow the publication of there data to the community to edit it.   Anyways this looks like a nice intresting camera, price is a bit high for the normal consumer but i bet the images will look great. 

What are the audio inputs?

I like the camera spec's on this new Canon Camera......The $6,800.00 price tag is reasonable for the camera. 

I like the Full Frame sensor.

I would like to Demo the camera taking a few shots in a store that carries the camera using my own CF card so I could download the images at home and really see where the rubber meets the road with this model. I hope Canon lets the camera stores near me demo one of these camera's....


Unbelievable min 1/30 sec

18 MP on FF with extremely low noise should be much better than higher pixels.  With DSLR it is mostly about getting rid of noise or not making it in the first place.  Too many pixels cause increased noise.

I trust that the great increase capability of the ISO will help to makeup for what appears to be a stupid or rediculous min 1/30 sec shutter speed.

I would like to see a new 5D Mark III with 18 MP and this ISO range or at least a true DXO tested clean ISO of 12,800 would meet my needs.  An ISO of 50 with the dynamic lighting compensation would help to make up for a low syc speed of only 1/250.  I would have expected 1/500 by now but something might be limiting this number.  This is to help fight those bright sunny days.

Should be completely water proof for those rainy days.

2 CF's finally.  I was also expecting to see a good jump in DR.

Will this camera be good for wildlife photography.


Please stop combining video with still cameras. I hate paying for something that I am not going to use. This feature inflates the price for those of us who aren't onto video.

At least offer two models, with and with out video. You would be able to lower the prices and sell more high end cameras.

If Nikon makes this seperation first I am scrapping my Canon stuff.

Does the autofocus work in video mode and is it silent?

The camera shutter doesn't go below 1/30 (except Bulb)?  That'll be annoying for long-exposure shots you want at a very specific time (trying to hit the shutter release button on the remote at the exact time in Bulb mode)!

I wonder why Canon made it only 18.1 MP?  I was hoping their next one would be over 21 MP.

Otherwise, this looks like a great camera!

My god I hope you're joking...

I guess he wasn't!

Why would you hope I'm joking?  These are very valid questions!  Not everybody only prints small photos - some of us own large-format printers - and 1/30th of a second is just wrong to be the last speed before "Bulb" (hopefully it is indeed a typo like others said it must be).  Maybe you only take portraits so don't need low, exact speeds, but in other types of photography, longer shutter times are important (and using a timer to press the button yourself isn't an exact science).

It has been fixed since the article first came out.  It did used to say 1/30.

That's the lowest video shutter speed available. I agree they wrote it here in a confusing way. For regular photography it will likely go down to 30sec. and then you can use the Bulb for longer exposures than that. 

Why do we buy 1DX  18MP,12FPS at $6,800.00  . Please take a look of Sony NEX-7  24PM, 12FPS, only $1,199.00 (Body only)

This should make the sports people pleased.  I could care less about speed and video.   I hope their next offering will blow the medium format digital cameras out of the water.

Yes, it's 30 seconds.

Ah, I hope that's what it is!  Thanks!

I think the 1/30th is a typo on CanonUSA's part.

CPN, Canon UK, and Canon Japan list the shutter speed as 30s - 1/8000th.

i.e. see

Could you not just set it to bulb and use a timer to get your desired "specific time" long exposure? That's what I thought most people do...or maybe I am crazy, and only I do that...

Speed30-1/8000 sec (1/2 or 1/3 stop increments) + Bulb (Shutter speed range available varies according to shooting mode)

Think it is 30 to 1/8000 so 30 seconds. not 1/30th

what camera have you seen has a exposure time longer then 30 seconds?? Every camera I've seen has 30 seconds and then goes to bulb.  Is it really that much of a hassle for you to stop it at a certain time after 30 seconds?

Just use the TC-80N3 remote for those ultra long exposures.  It's worked great for me for several years.

As for the 18 MP question, they appear to be looking for less noise with larger pixels and better low light performance.  I shoot with a 1Ds mk II now and regularly print to 16x20 with great sharpness.  My problem would be to find lenses that truly handle resolutions higher than this.  I currently use Canon 85 1.2L Canon 24-70 2.8L Canon 70-200 2.8L lenses. Some of my other lenses cannot handle the current 16.7 MP resolution.

The 18 mp sensor with the larger pixel size may well be to optimize the glasses ability to resolve.
when pixels get to small they hit a wall, that wall is the lenses ability to match the resolving capability of the sensor.
Hence Hasselblads 200 mp rig uses a 50 mp sensor.

There is a fundamental limit to the signal/noise ratio for photon detectors: if the number of photons collected is N, the best possible signal/noise ratio is the square root of N. So if an individual detector collects ten thousand photons, the best possible signal/noise ratio is 100. Larger detector collect more photons than smaller ones.  But that "best possible" is never achieved. There is an additional limit set by the capacitance of the capacitors that collect the charges generated by photon detection: an inherent noise mechanism that prevents a capacitor from being preset to an exact voltage, so there is an uncertainty (i.e., noise) in the voltage at which the capacitor starts to collect charges from photon detection. At the end of the integration time (exposrue time), that noise is superimposed on the signal voltage. Careful circuit design can mitigate this effect somewhat. But larger detectors have a larger capacitance and hence lower reset noise. When all of that is taken into account, all other things being equal, a lower resolution imager with larger detectors will have better signal/noise ratio and hence better low light performance. That is why recent Nikon DSLRs that have very good low light performance have relatively low resolution. Canon is just doing the smart thing by limiting the resolution to "only" 18.1 MP.

Before I retired this year, I worked for some 15 years designing imagers for military systems. They were for infrared imaging, not visible, but the principles are the same.

Perhaps you should be looking in the Canon Rebel section.

18.1 MP on a full frame senor should make for a very resolute photograph.

best regards.

"I wonder why Canon made it only 18.1 MP?"

The larger pixels are probably a major factor in the wider ISO range. It may also be a factor in the faster drive rate--12 frames/sec, up to 14 frames/sec in "super high speed" mode. More pixels = proportionately larger files, especially in RAW. I'm not really sure what the utility of 21 MP vs 18 MP, but, if you need/want 21 MP, you can get the 5D Mk II, but you'll give up the fast drive rate and super-high ISO.

The listing of the shutter speeds is likely a typographical error on Canon USA's part.  The Canon UK site lists the shutter specifications as "30-1/8000 sec (1/2 or 1/3 stop increments) + Bulb (Shutter speed range available varies according to shooting mode)" which would offer you the 30 second time frame.  Hopefully Canon USA will clarify this in the near future.

Larger pixels with a smaller pixel count lends to better low light and High ISO capabilities, which Canon traded in favor of a higher pixel count.  Higher quailty pixels are better than a larger quantity of pixels.  The smaller pixel count also allows for smaller overall file sizes, which means the buffer can allow for faster burst rates, which is another main feature of this camera.

The 18mp limitation exists also in the 1DMarkIV (which I have been using for 2 years) because Canon could not get a larger sensor magnetically cleared fast enough when shooting 10 frames per second.  The 1D-X shoots 12 frames per second--I suspect the same reason for this frame size.

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