Unveiled: the New, Blazing-Fast, 4K-Capable Canon EOS-1D X Mark II


This year, 2016, is already shaping up to be an incredible year for the photo industry and now, as we just poke our heads into February, Canon is releasing an update to its flagship DSLR in the form of the blazing-fast, 4K-shooting EOS-1D X Mark II. The headline feature is obviously the ability to record DCI 4K video at an impressive 60p, something we have only seen in traditional camcorders and cinema cameras at this point. With video taking a side-by-side seat with stills, this addition will please any photographer looking to add filmmaking to their tool set. Of course, stills have not been forgotten, since this camera brings with it a new 20.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor, as well as dual DIGIC 6+ processors to boost performance in nearly every arena.

Running through the basic upgrades, we see the introduction of the relatively new, but extremely fast, CFast 2.0 card slot. This sits alongside a standard CF card slot, so users will still be able to make full use of their older media cards. Also, the camera’s sensitivity has been improved to a native ISO 51200 with expansion up to ISO 409600, and the 1D X Mark II is now equipped with a 3.2" 1.62m-dot touchscreen LCD for intuitive operation of select functions.

Leading off with the substantial video capabilities, the 1D X Mark II offers some of the best video capabilities possible in a DSLR form factor—namely, DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) recording at up to 60p. The Mark II also adds a true 24.00 fps shooting option in all modes and can shoot in Full HD at up to a speedy 120 fps. 4K recording uses a slight crop of the full-frame sensor to capture video with a perfect 1:1 pixel sampling rate (26.9 x 14.2mm sensor crop), which helps to nearly eliminate moiré and aliasing issues that crop up with some down-sampling processes. Shooters will even be able to grab 8.8MP frames in-camera for quickly creating still images from their video.

To lay out all the facts, this camera has 4:2:2 8-bit recording internally, though not externally, for 4K video and uses an MJPEG compression in an MOV container to create the files. Internally, the 4K video at 60p has an impressive 800 Mbps bit rate, while 24/30p have a 500 Mbps bit rate, ensuring sharp footage with minimal artifacting. Via a Mini HDMI connection, users can output an uncompressed Full HD (1920 x 1080) signal to an external recorder, the benefits of which include recording for longer than the internal restriction of 29 minutes 59 seconds, and capturing the maximum possible image quality.

Users who find themselves abroad and working for varying broadcast requirements will find NTSC/PAL switching in the menus. Autofocus has received a major bump in video with the first implementation of Dual Pixel CMOS AF for a full-frame sensor and Movie Servo AF. This provides exceptional speed and accuracy, which is benefitted majorly by the implementation of a touchscreen LCD, allowing shooters to simply tap to change focus area. Also, it is important to note that 4K shooting will be limited to a sensitivity range up to ISO 12800 while HD is available at up to ISO 25600. Along with all of this, HD recording will use the entire width of the full-frame sensor and advanced audio recording is possible, thanks to the inclusion of 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks.

An impressive list of specs for just video, but now—getting back to the stills portion of this DSLR—we can discuss the upgraded 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system with 41 cross-type points, which manages to expand coverage on the periphery and center areas. This system’s other major bump involves low-light shooting, which includes f/8 support with all 61 points and working at down to -3 EV with the center point. AF points are also now illuminated in red for added visibility in low light and low-contrast conditions. This AF system works in tandem with a 360,000-pixel metering sensor that enables the EOS Intelligent Tracking and Recognition AF system. This setup can then recognize faces and other moving objects with ease in the viewfinder. To ensure the best performance possible, these systems utilize an additional, dedicated DIGIC 6 processor to run operations, leaving the dual DIGIC 6+ processors to handle the rest of the camera’s functions.

Since it is a member of the 1D series, speed is also critical to stills, where full-resolution 20.2MP raw files can be captured with full-time AF and AE metering at a rate of 14 fps. Using capable CFast 2.0 cards, users will be able to capture up to 170 raw frames before filling the buffer in continuous shooting or record an unlimited number of JPEGs. Also, for even more speed, users can reach 16 fps when in live view, though at the expense of AF and AE. The shutter has been redesigned to properly handle this speed and it maintains an impressive 400,000-actuations lifetime. Users will also have access to an electronic first-curtain shutter for limiting shutter shake in certain situations.

Ensuring maximum resolution and detail from the 20.2MP CMOS sensor, Canon has implemented a Digital Lens Optimizer technology that stores lens aberration data in the camera and almost instantly corrects peripheral brightness and chromatic aberration, as well as distortion and diffraction. This is possible thanks to the integration of the dual DIGIC 6+ image processors.

The magnesium-alloy body remains largely unchanged from its predecessor, just with slight tweaks and adjustments to make it more comfortable to work with. It is dust- and water resistant for working in some of the most difficult weather conditions and scenarios. The EOS-1D X Mark II also adds a GPS unit for geo-tag information, as well as time-syncing with Universal Time Code via satellites. Connectivity features include a PC sync port, a microUSB 3.0 transfer port, and an Ethernet port in addition to the Mini HDMI (Type C) and audio connections mentioned earlier. Users can add Wi-Fi connectivity with the use of the WFT-E8A Wireless File Transmitter, which leverages the speed of the 802.11ac standard to achieve transfer rates of up to 433 Mbps.

Original 1D X owners will be pleased to know that their older LP-E4 and LP-E4N batteries are compatible with the Mark II, though the camera will work at slightly reduced continuous shooting rates. The new LP-E19 Battery Pack, on the other hand, offers about 10% greater capacity and guarantees maximum speed, though it is not compatible with the original 1D X. The LC-E19 Battery Charger will work with both batteries. Other accessories being released with the camera include an EC-C6 Focusing Screen and the DR-E19 DC Coupler and AC-E19 AC Adapter, which combine to provide constant AC power. The EOS-1D Mark II will be available as a body only or in a Premium Kit that includes a SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 Memory Card and an Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 Card Reader/Writer.

  EOS-1D X Mark II EOS-1D X
Lens Mount Canon EF Canon EF
Image Sensor 35mm Full-Frame CMOS (24 x 36mm) 35mm Full-Frame CMOS (24 x 36mm)
Effective Pixels 20.2 MP 18.1 MP
Total Pixels 21.5 MP 19.3 MP
Maximum Resolution 20 MP: 5472 x 3648 18 MP: 5184 x 3456
Aspect Ratio 3:2 3:2
Still Image File Format RAW, JPEG, M-RAW, S-RAW RAW, JPEG, M-RAW, S-RAW
Storage Media CFast, CompactFlash CompactFlash
Card Slot 1 x CFast 2.0
1 x CF (Type I, UDMA 7)
2 x CF (Type I or II, UDMA 7)
Viewfinder Type Eye-level pentaprism Eye-level pentaprism
Frame Coverage 100% 100%
Magnification 0.76x 0.76x
Eyepoint 20mm 20mm
Diopter Adjustment -3 to +1 m-1 -3 to +1 m-1
Shutter Type Vertical-travel, mechanical, electronically controlled focal-plane shutter Vertical-travel, mechanical, electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speed 1/8000 to 30 sec., bulb 1/8000 to 30 sec., bulb
Flash Sync Speed 1/250 sec. 1/250 sec.
Drive Modes Single, High-speed, Low-speed, Silent single, Silent high-speed, Silent low-speed, self-timer Single, High-speed, Low-speed, Silent single, self-timer
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 16 fps in Live View
14 fps with viewfinder with AF and AE
14 fps with JPEG
12 fps with RAW
Self-Timer 10 or 2 sec. 10 or 2 sec.
Exposure Metering System 216-zone 360,000-pixel RGB-IR metering sensor 252-zone with 100,000-pixel RGB AE sensor
Metering Method Evaluative, partial, spot, center-weighted Evaluative, partial, spot, center-weighted
Metering Range 0-20 EV 0-20 EV
Exposure Modes Program, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority, Manual, Bulb Program, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority, Manual, Bulb
Exposure Compensation ±5 stops in 1/3 or 1 stop increments ±5 stops in 1/3 or 1 stop increments
Exposure Bracketing ±5 stops in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments ±5 stops in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments
ISO Sensitivity ISO 100-51200; Extended: 50-409600 ISO 100-25600; Extended: 50-204800
Autofocus System 61-Point High Density Reticular AF II 61-Point High Density Reticular AF
Number of Focus Points Phase Detection: 61 (41 cross-type) Phase Detection: 61 (41 cross-type)
Focus Modes One-Shot AF, Predictive AI Servo AF (AI Servo AF III+), Manual One-Shot AF, Predictive AI Servo AF AI Focus AF, Manual
Autofocus Sensitivity -3 EV -2 EV
Built-In Flash None None
Flash Control E-TTL II E-TTL II
Flash Compensation ±3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments ±3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments
External Flash Interface Hot shoe
PC sync terminal
Hot shoe
PC sync terminal
White Balance Modes Auto (Ambience priority, White priority), Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White Fluorescent, Custom 1-5, Color Temperature, PC 1-5 Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White Fluorescent, Flash, Custom, Color Temperature
Movie Recording DCI 4K (4096 x 2160): 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, True 24.00, 24p
Full HD (1920 x 1080): 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, True 24.00, 24p
Full HD (1920 x 1080): 30p, 25p, 24p
HD (1280 x 720): 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p
640 x 480: 30p, 25p
File Format MOV, MP4 MOV, MP4
Compression MJPEG, ALL-I, IPB ALL-I, IPB
Audio Recording Internal mono microphone or external microphone Internal mono microphone or external microphone
Audio File Format MJPEG, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264: Linear PCM
MOV, H.264: Linear PCM
External Microphone Input 1 x 3.5mm stereo audio in 1 x 3.5mm stereo audio in
Headphone Jack 1 x 3.5mm headphone out None
Maximum Recording Time 29 min. 59 sec. 29 min. 59 sec.
Monitor 3.2" / 8.1 cm 1.62m-dot touch panel TFT LCD 3.2" / 8.1 cm 1.04m-dot TFT LCD
Monitor Viewing Angle 170° 170°
Interface 1 x USB 3.0
1 x Mini HDMI (Type C)
1 x RJ45 Ethernet
1 x Extension System Terminal
1 x USB 2.0
1 x Mini HDMI (Type C)
1 x RJ45 Ethernet
1 x Extension System Terminal
Wi-Fi Optional, with WFT-E8A or WFT-E6A Wireless File Transmitter Optional, with WFT-E6A Wireless File Transmitter
GPS Yes, built-in Optional, with GP-E1 GPS Unit
Power Source 1 x LP-E19 Battery Pack (or LP-E4N or LP-E4) 1 x LP-E4N Battery Pack (or LP-E4)
Battery Life Viewfinder: 1210 shots at 73°F / 23°C
Live View: 260 shots at 73°F / 23°C
Viewfinder: 1120 shots at 73°F / 23°C
Live View: 290 shots at 73°F / 23°C
Operating Environment Temperature: 32 to 113°F / 0 to 45°C
Humidity: 85% or less
Temperature: 32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
Humidity: 85% or less
Dimensions 6.2 x 6.6 x 3.25" / 158 x 168 x 83mm 6.2 x 6.4 x 3.3" / 158 x 164 x 83mm
Weight 3.4 lb / 1530 g 3.4 lb / 1530 g


Is it possible that Canon could have a future firmware update for the 1DX Mark II that would allow for 4k output via hdmi to an external recorder or is that not feasible?Thanks!

Hi Eric,

Without knowing the exact specifications of the HDMI output I can't say for sure that they can't do it. But this type of feature is hardware dependent, making it extremely unlikely since they didn't include it at launch.

Thanks for your response Shawn. I appreciate your input.

Hi there.

Does 4K video for the 1DX Mark 2 uses full-frame? Or does it crop when we switch to 4K settings?

Can you explain to me what is the difference between 24fps and True 24fps?

Thank you.

Hi Kyle,

In 4K mode, the 1D X Mark II uses a 26.9 x 14.2mm crop of the sensor. This allows it to capture a 4K image with a 1:1 sampling rate, without needing binning or downscaling. This is about a 1.3-1.4x crop, though it should result in increased image quality.

And yes! 24 fps, or 24p as it is commonly called usually refers to an NTSC standard of 23.976 which allows it to be converted and used on NTSC-based broadcast systems (where the common standard is 30p, or 29.97 fps). True 24 as it is referred to more and more is recording frames at 24.000 fps, which is the cinema standard and used for digital projection standards. One many consumer cameras, 24p settings will only do 23.976, so having True 24 is a notable setting in the 1D X Mark II.

In other words, if I want to have the same frame using the 35mm lens, I would need to back up or use a wider lens such as 24mm lens?

Exactly. I went and did the math on this and determine the crop factor to be about 1.42x, so you are completely accurate with a 24mm lens replicating a 35mm lens.


I'm more into filmmaking and I was intrigue what the 1DX Mark 2 offers for 4K. But knowing that it's 1.42x cropped while shooting it on 4K settings, it's a bit letdown for me. Does this crop factor also applies on the 1DC?

I'm currently using 6D.

The 1D C, since it has a slightly lower resolution sensor, does have a crop, but it is only 1.3x. If you are looking for a full-frame 4K camera I think the best bet would be the Sony a7S (requires external recorder for 4K) or a7S II (offers internal and external 4K). You can even use Canon glass with one of many available electronic adapters.

In another thought, this kind of crop factor isn't really that bad. Professional video cameras and film cinema cameras generally use a Super35 format, which has a 1.5x crop. It shouldn't stop you from picking up a camera if the quality of images are superb and it has a form factor you appreciate.

Best feedback. Thank you for your generous reply!

Does the camera output clean video through HDMI out for recording on an external device? will it carry sound as well? Thanks.


Hi Francesco,

The 1D X Mark II will output clean video over HDMI, though only in Full HD, and it will carry sound.

Please show.  Where the line TC-80N3 socket with 1DX II is.

Hello Fu Ming,

If you head to our product page here and go through the images, you will find the N3 connection (covered but with remote icon) on the right side of the camera below the card slots.

Myself and other pro photographers can't believe it is only a 20 mp camera, what is Canon thinking!!!  Canon gives you a high mp 5 series camera but when it comes to the pro body... this is what you get?  Well, I guess I don't need 35 any longer so I will sell my Canon gear and finish my Hasselblad system that gives you the quality 35 can't. 

Why not just go with the 5DS or 5DSR if you want more megapixels?   As a wildlife photographer who uses

long telephotos, like the 600 F4,  I'm more concerned about the improved fast focus capabilities,  FPS, and lower noise at higher ISO.

What is next announcement from Canon?  When is the next announcement for Canon 5D Mark IV?  Anybody knows the exact date for it?



We find out about Canon’s new cameras at the same time as everyone else: when they are announced.  So, unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to say if/when Canon might announce a 5D IV.  At this point, all ‘information’ would simply be rumor and conjecture. 

I do indoor sports photography, and videography, no lighting, bad lighting, and horrible lighting, have not, become my friends.

The increased sensitivity, video capabilities, frame rates, 4k option, and focus tracking of the 1dx MII, makes this ultimate camera to own.

I cant wait for the day I get one.

All these other opinions ARE FROM PEOPLE WHO DON'T NEED ONE.

Question for camera experts: The DSLRs that are also capable of capturing 4K video must do so while holding the mechanical shutter open. Since they can capture 4K video holding the shutter open, one would think this would also be an option when taking still photographs. However, several people have said this cannot be done.

For reasons of silence, elimination of mechanical vibration, and reduction of wear on the mechanical shutter, it would be nice if such an option existed (as is the case with cameras such as the GoPro). Does anyone know if a set of stills can be captured on a DSLR such as one of the Canon EOS series, all while holding the shutter open?

Hi Greg,

This is possible and something we have seen on Sony's latest a7 series mirrorless cameras. Users can choose a silent shooting mode that deactivates the mechanical shutter and switches to purely electronic during stills. However, while possible, there hasn't been a perfect implementation of this due to how CMOS sensors generally read information line-by-line, resulting in artifacts and rolling shutter. Canon likely sees these imperfections as not suitable for a professional quality body for stills and they do have a high durability rating at 400,000 shots before failure. Additionally, the 1D X Mark II does have a still frame grab mode that can take stills from the 4K video, though this still isn't quite what you are looking for.

Don't know why not. The Lumix GH4 has a silent mode where it does not use the mechanical shutter. Granted it is a mirrorless camera so that may have some impact but the Canon should be able to lock up the mirror since it basically does so in live view.

Why worry though, you are shooting 8.8mp stills at the rate of 60/sec with camera so if that is sufficient resolution just grab frames from the videl in post.

Difference is the Panasonic sensor is 1/4 the size of a FF sensor and it doesn't take as long to "reset" the pixels (before the shot when shutter is depressed)  line by line nor as long to acquire (line-by-line) when the image is acquired. Sony has shown it can be done on a FF but images captured in this manor are suspect to occasional artifacts or rolling shutter effects.

Besides holding the shutter open, video also involves keeping the mirror up and out of the way. The DSLRs and SLRs (of old) have optical viewfinders which don't consume any energy since the image through the lens is reflected with the mirror up to the pentaprism which make the image appear properly oriented. Bypassing the mirror to the viewfinder would require powering the LCD screen or the viewfinder for mirrorless cameras, which requires battery power

I haven't used Live View on my Canon 5D Mk III, but Canon's web site said that the use of Live View consumes more battery power.

Seems to me that Canon is more interested in building a true Hybrid (still and video) camera, rather than improving the infamous Dynamic Range of their sensor.  Is this camera sensor equal or better in terms of the dynamic range than the D810? or even the D750?  4k video yada yada is really nice, but I would rather have a sensor equal or better than the Nikon counterparts.

planned obsolecence. 

btw, RCA developed the dynamic shutter cmos in the late 70's.       ...................  sofisticated form of price fixing with competitors? 

I'm glad I got my 1DX when I did last November, not too much has changed for $1000 more on the list price.  I had two 1Ds mark II's that lasted me over 10 years and netted me over 2 million in sales.  These are pricey cameras no doubt, the bottom line is they are worth every penny, workhorses that produce.  In a couple years I might pick up the Mark II version when they are a little cheaper.  I still have my 1Ds bodies as backups which are still working perfectly.

A 100k camera is still very cheap for a 2M net sell it produced. How much is 1DS to say it's pricey, 500k?

When will Canon create a video camera for those that want them? As a long time Canon user, I am tired of seeing continued improves to the video side of cameras with little improvements to the camera side. The price goes up and the still camera user gets very little for the extra money.

Uh take a look at Canon's site, duh. They have a plethora of video cameras where have you been, under a rock?

Congratulations Cannon!!  As a Nikon shooter D800/D4s, I have come to realize that each of these companies need each other to continulally develop the technology of photography.  The new D5 does not have all of these bells and whistles.  The reality is that we photographers have to continue to grow into these new developments.  But, Alas, the mirrorless technology is rapidly advancing and these "boat anchors" will eventually go the way of the dinosaur.  Sony is rapidly advancing as well as FujiiFilm.  Stay tuned.


if you are not interested then why look at them? i don't look at things i don't like just to complain about them.....get a life.

Wow!.   It never changes.   People will never stop complaining about what a camera doesn't have.  If you like it, buy it.  Or else, forget it.  As for Nikon, that's a group obsessed with bad mouthing Canon.  The way I see it, Nikon users have an inferiority complex.  If you like Nikon, then stay on their forums.  I'm a Canon user.  I have no interest in Nikon and don't troll their forums looking to draw distinctions.  As for the video aspect on a camera, those only interested in stills should get over it.  Its a growing component of a camera's capabilites.  If you don't like it then find a camera that only shoots stills. There's plenty of names out there. Finally, I see great photos taken by cameras far less expensive than this one.  Creative talent cannot be bought or engineered. 


It ain't the fiddle, it's the fiddler.

You shouldn't make assumptions about "Nikon users". I shoot Nikons and don't ever say "Canon users this and that, blah blah blah". As far as I'm concerned Canons are excellent and if I could start over again I very well could have gone with them. I do agree with what you said about if you're not interested in video find a camera that only shoots stills which was why I bought a D700. But all this name-bashing crap is ridiculous, GROW UP.

And what a hateful, discriminatory thing to say, for Nikon users to stay on Nikon forums....you could learn a lot from being on BOTH. That's the exact same mentality as people who say "XXX people, stay over in your XXX neighborhood where you belong".

Looks like a great camera! Out of my price range(and skill level)

THere is a port on the side which looks like an RJ-45 ethernet port. What is that?

Hello Roger,

It is actually an RJ45 Ethernet port, you are 100% correct. The Mark II and previous models have had this solution for fast tethering. We have updated the spec sheet to reflect this.

I think i will keep my current 1DX!  Boo Canon!

I'm not a videographer.. I'm a Photographer.. If you want to do video  BUY A DANG VIDEO CAMERA!!!!  I want still photography...

@Foto Cowboy, I'm not a videographer either, I'm a professional photographer who makes good use out of video in a profesisonal still camera body.  Just because you don't have a use for the feature, doens't mean that many professional photographers who DO provide video clips to their clients don't want it.  We do, and in fact I wouldn't buy a professional FF dslr today without video.  How am I supposed to make video clips and shoot clients at the same time using two cameras?  I like being able to take a few short video clips while simultaneously  photograph my clients.   Since I, and many like me actually buy these cameras, we're more of the target market.  That said, this new Canon doesn't exactly sweep me off my feet; they should've just called it a 1Dxs.   The bottom line is that If *you* just want great still photos, invest $15,000 into a great 4x5 system and lenses and be happy...  Too many of us make use of video in our still camera bodies.



Foto Cowboy:  I agree 100 percent!

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