The Canon EOS 1 series, the flagship Canon DSLR camera, the most powerful and fastest Canon DSLR camera, a must have workhorse lens for journalists, sports and wildlife photographers. Once you used the EOS 1 series, that’s no turning back.
My love affair with the EOS 1 series started when I playing with my friends Canon EOS 1D Mark I and Mark IIN, I was totally awed by its high frames per second and the sound of the high speed shutter. In time to come, I found myself owning a used Canon EOS 1D Mark III that I faithfully used for a few years before I upgraded to another EOS 1 series, the Canon EOS 1DX, also a used camera when the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II was announced and the price of a used EOS 1DX started to drop.
During a media event in February 2016, I got my hands on experience with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and inside my heart said, “I know you want it, buy it!”. However, my brain said, “It’s out of your current budget at the moment, even though you have a use for it on a professional basis” Therefore, I opted for a used Canon EOS 1DX, that I still love it and it’s now my current workhorse DSLR camera, as much as I badly wanted the EOS 1DX Mark II.
I did have an opportunity to review the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II recently, I was very excited because I am a huge fan of the EOS 1 series, not just on and from a professional basis, also from a photography enthusiast perspective.
During the review period, I had the opportunities to test the EOS 1DX Mark II over different situations, themes and events, from Singapore Motorshow 2017, Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail CNY 2017, River Hongbao 2017, Battle for Singapore Tour media preview, Chinese New Year gathering, Jaybird Freedom Wireless earphones product theme shoot and walking around Marina Bay area in the blue hour and night sceneries walkabout shoot. The experiences were really good and I was secretly lusting for a Canon EOS 1DX Mark II for my professional photography work along with a Canon EOS 1DX as a back up / second camera setup!
Through the various types of photographs that I took with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, I have the following observations, views and opinions of this powerful and awesome Canon flagship DSLR camera, written down in this review article.
However, before I begin, first and foremost, let me highlight the key differences between the technical specifications between the Canon EOS 1DX and EOS 1DX Mark II, the information that I extracted from Canon Singapore website by comparing these two Canon DSLR cameras side by side –
|Canon EOS 1DX
|Canon EOS 1DX Mark II
|Continuous Shooting Speed (shots per sec) (Up to)
|Custom Functions (Total)
|Dimensions (Excl. Protrusions) (mm) (Approximately)
|158 x 163.6 x 82.7
|158 x 167.6 x 82.6
|50 to 20,4800 (expandable to L (ISO50), H1 (ISO 102,400), H2 (ISO 204,800)
|100 to 51,200 (expandable to L (ISO50), H1 (ISO 102,400), H2 (ISO 204,800), H3 (ISO 409,600)
|Effective Pixels (Megapixels) (Approximately)
|Consecutive numbering, Auto reset, Manual reset
|Continuous, Auto reset, Manual reset
|5184 x 3456 (L)
4608 x 3072 (M1)
3456 x 2304 (M2)
2592 x 1728 (S)
5184 x 3456 (RAW)
3888 x 2592 (M-RAW)
2592 x 1728 (S-RAW)
|5472 x 3648 (L)
4368 x 2912 (M1)
3648 x 2432 (M2)
2736 x 1824 (S)
5472 x 3648 (RAW)
4104 x 2736 (M-RAW)
2736 x 1824 (S-RAW)
|LCD Monitor Resolutions (dots)
|Max. Resolution (Pixel) (Still images)
|5184 x 3156
|5472 x 3648
|Memory Card Type
|CF Card (Type I or II)
|CF cards (Type 1, UDMA 7 supported)
Cfast card (Cfast 2.0 supported)
|252-zone TTL Evaluative, Partial Spot, Centre-weighted
|Approx. 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor and 216-zone TTL open-aperture metering, EOS iSA (Intelligent Subject Analysis) system, Evaluative metering, Partial metering, Spot metering, Center-weighted average metering
|Metering Range (Measured at at 23°C or 73°F with EF50mm f1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)
|EV 0 – 20
|EV 0 – 20
|Quick-return half mirror
|Hi-Speed USB, Video Output, HDMI, LAN
|SuperSpeed USB, Video Output, HDMI, LAN
|Playback Zoom (Approximately)
|1.5x – 10x
|1.5 – 10x
|Dual DIGIC 5+
|Dual Digic 6+
|Red Eye Reduction
|Standard Power Supply
|Battery Pack LP-E4N
|Battery Pack LP-E19 / LP-E4N / LP-E4
|Video Resolution (HD) (Pixel) (Approximately)
|1280 x 720
|Video Resolution (SD) (Pixel) (Approximately)
|640 x 480
|AF information, metering and exposure information, flash information, white balance correction, JPEG Type / RAW Type recording, maximum burst, number of shots remaining, battery check, recording media information, highlight tone priority (D+), composition information, grid, electronic level
|Image type: JPEG/RAW, Shooting mode, Metering mode, White balance, Drive mode, AF operation, Flicker detection, Warning ! indicator, AF operation indicator
|Auto, daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten light, white fluorescent light, flash, custom, colour temperature setting, personal white balance (Total 5 settings)
|Auto (Ambience priority), Auto (White priority), Preset (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten light, White fluorescent light, Flash), Custom (5 settings), Color temperature setting (approx. 2500-10000 K), Personal white balance (5 settings)
Based on the comparisons of technical specifications only, the key differences may not seem by many users as a big jump from the EOS 1DX to EOS 1DX Mark II. From my sharing of my Canon EOS 1DX Mark II review, I would share some of the key improvements that makes professional photographers to make their upgrade from EOS 1DX to EOS 1DX Mark II.
The Dual Digic 6+ processors inside the EOS 1DX Mark II make a key difference and impact to the quality and output of the photographs. They were richer and more accurate in colours, making it even easier and faster for jpeg photographs straight out from the EOS 1DX Mark II to be used quickly for your work requirements.
From my observations of the photographs shot with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II review camera, on various subjects and themes during the review period, the dynamic range of the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II has improved. Therefore, the EOS 1DX Mark II is able to capture and retain more details and information. With this significant improvement, the shadows/dark tone areas of the photograph are lifted.
The Anti-Flicker technology that was first introduced to the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is now available inside the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II. The flickering of the indoor lights always pose an issue to photographers and they can give some photographers many problems/challenges to handle when shooting indoors. With the Anti-Flicker technology, indoor sports or events photography with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is so much more easier and pleasant, without the hassles of the flickering lights.
The Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is the current flagship DSLR camera, it’s a monster machine as I always love (and usually) call it. Their Auto Focus system has improved significantly over the past few models since I started off (still owning it at this current juncture) with the EOS 1D Mark III and I am currrently using the EOS 1DX.
What make this Canon flagship DSLR camera so powerful, highly trusted and widely adopted by professionals around the world, from photojournalists, sports and wildlife photographers, are the AF technology packed inside this camera.
The technical specifications on paper shows how good and powerful this Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is. I recommend photographers who are keen in this camera to try it out and have a go at this flagship DSLR camera, you will then know why it is so highly trusted and widely adopted by the professioanls in photojournalism, sports and wildlife.
Here are the key improvements that are built inside the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II
- 170 RAW images with CFast 2.0 card
- Live View RAW – 16fps
- New AF algorithm and AI Servo AF III+
- EOS iTR
- Large Zone AF
- Newly developed 61-point AF sensor
- AF shooting is possible on most lenses using all AF points with a maximum aperture value of f/8
- Intelligent viewfinder II
During my review and research that I done previously for the Canon EOS 1DX, I discovered Canon USA produced a guide book on Canon EOS 1DX AF Setting Guidebook for users to fully utilise and customise the full AF capabilites. This book is now helping me to fine tune my AF settings in my EOS 1DX.
For this review article, I went back to Canon USA website and discovered that they have produced a new book titled Canon EOS 1DX Mark II AF Setting Guidebook. I strongly encourage photographers (whether professionals or serious enthusiasts) to download this handy guide book for their Canon EOS 1DX Mark II DSLR camera. This is a very handy and useful guide book to have for the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II.
Thoughts and views
The Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is the flagship Canon DSLR camera, this camera is highly regarded and used by professional photographers in the fields of journalism, sports and wildlife.
Owning a EOS 1DX is a huge upfront investment, the cost is pretty substantial. Therefore, this camera model is not something that all photographers would choose to purchase, considering their shooting requirements and budget. Moreover, Canon has a series of different professional DSLR camera models for professional as well as photography enthusiasts to choose from, such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R and not to forget the semi-professional camera models such as the EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 6D, EOS 80D etc.
Key factors that make photographers upgrade from EOS 1DX to 1DX Mark II
While the differences between the EOS 1DX and EOS 1DX Mark II may not be that big of a difference on paper, professional photographers who view the photos and read about the key differences in performances, they would choose to let go of their EOS 1DX and go for the EOS 1DX Mark II.
During the period when I reviewed the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, these key factors (in my personal opinion) are why some photographers are letting go of their Canon EOS 1DX for the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II
- Improved dynamic range
- Shadows/Dark tone areas improvements
- Anti-flickr shooting capabilities
- Smarter and faster auto focusing with the new AF algorithm and AI Servo AF III+
- 170 RAW images with CFast 2.0 card
On a personal note, I would really love to own the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II when my budget and finances allow. The Canon EOS 1DX is still a very capable camera, that is still doing its job well for me. Therefore when the opportunity arises, I hope that I can upgrade to the EOS 1DX Mark II in the near future.
I would like to thank Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations for the opportunity to review the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II.
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