Another First Impression of Canon EOS 1D X

Canon has announced a new ‘Top-of-the-Line’ EOS camera called the 1D X. It is meant to merge/replace their two (2) current top cameras, the 1Ds III and 1D IV. In combining the best features of the two, Canon is providing an 18 MP sensor capable of shooting at 12 fps (14 if the mirror is locked up). Note: It will not actually be available for purchase until AT LEAST March of 2012.

Merging two top line cameras is surely a good thing from a manufacturing point of view and no doubt sports/journalist shooters are going to like the fps speed. However those leveraging the ‘zoom factor’ of a smaller sensor may now have to replace/modify some of their most expensive lenses because the full size sensor will reduce the effective top zoom length (500 mm lens with a 1.3 crop sensor means the lens acts like a 650 mm lens. With a full frame sensor, it is just a 500 mm lens). The additional AF points will be helpful but it was not really a weakness to begin with at this level of cameras.

Studio/wedding photographers may find there is even less to compel them from the new features set. While the overall pixel count is up (note that many experienced photographers say more than 12 MP is really not needed), the pixel pitch (spacing or size) is still 6.4 um, same as the current 5D Mark II (for a fraction of the price). By comparison, NIKON offers the D3S at 8.4 um and D700 at 8.5 um. No wonder NIKON users feel they have better low light performance!

Our take is for right now this is all hype and fear. New camera announcements have always come with a flood of reviews from independent sources that were given time with a prototype or sample. In this case, we have only the Canon press release to go by. There is no camera, no production line, or any test models. The only thing Canon has done is made a promise that should reassure its best camera customers that there is something coming fairly close to Nikon’s anticipated new camera (to be available by Christmas).

Art of Photography uses Canon EOS cameras because that is what we have lenses for. Nikon pictures do have a great quality to them but in the end, technique and post-processing gives the better results so we have never felt the cost of new lenses was justified.

Bottom line: To us the Canon 5D Mark II is still the one to beat and this camera does not at this time.

The list of current full size sensor cameras is:

Canon 5D Mark II (6.4 um) $2399.00
Canon 1Ds Mark III (6.4 um) $5200.00
Canon 1D X (6.4 um) *March2012 MSRP $6800.00?

Nikon D700 (8.5 um) $2699.99
Nikon D3 (8.4 um) $2800.00
Nikon D3S (8.4 um) $5200.00
Nikon D3X (5.6 um) $8795.00

To see a full list of camera compares try http://www.astropix.com/HTML/I_ASTROP/COMPARE.HTM

All prices from Amazon.com (US) on 19 Oct 2011 (10:52 am CDT).

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