I was looking forward to the release of the EOS-1D X because I’d heard about the new developments in the sensor, the exposure system and in the AF System. The fact that the EOS-1D X was going to replace the EOS-1D Mark IV and the EOS-1Ds Mark III which is the earlier full frame sensor camera makes it a much more practical tool for the work that I do. My plan was to start using two EOS-1D X cameras instead of one of each of the other models.
The EOS-1D X arrived literally a couple of hours before I was on a plane to Africa, where I was heading to shoot wildlife on the continent and great white sharks off the coast. I read the manual on my iPad during the flight over and custom set-up the camera to my preferences, so I was ready to shoot the next day. Obviously it can be a little nerve wrecking working with a camera you haven’t used before, especially when you’re shooting in an environment where things happen incredibly quickly and you get no second chances. But controlling the EOS-1D X proved to be very intuitive and it feels similar in your hands to the earlier 1-series cameras. Although it is slightly heavier, the ergonomic design makes it very easy to handle. It’s also loaded with a lot of extra features for customising the camera which gives you so much more flexibility in setting it up the way you want, because everyone shoots differently.
The African wilderness was a great environment to test the mettle and speed of the EOS-1D X. Its superior low light capabilities with the 18.1Mp CMOS sensor allowed me to shoot early mornings and late into the evenings using higher ISOs than previously. The results were incredible, allowing me to capture fast moving wildlife at a time of day when the animals were generally much more active. Also the focusing speed of the new AF system and the frame rate at up to 14fps are significantly better than previous models. I was shooting groups of cheetahs running at full speed at 14fps and every single image was pin-sharp and perfectly exposed. It was fantastic to get back and review the shots; the image quality from the EOS-1D X is definitely in a different league to previous models. I feel Canon has found the perfect balance between sensor size and low light capabilities giving an amazing all round camera.
Camera durability is absolutely critical to my work and the EOS-1D X, like all Canon 1-series cameras, is designed to meet the challenges of harsh environments. Shooting during Africa’s dry season meant a lot of dust on the land and then after that we were out in the ocean with the salt from sea spray. A well sealed body protects the camera from any contaminants, so I was confident no matter what conditions I faced. The EOS-1D X also has two slots for CF cards, which we previously haven’t had the option for. This allowed me to record images to both cards providing an instant backup, or alternatively gives you the option to double the capacity if you’re in an environment where you don’t want to be changing cards.
The EOS-1D X is leaps and bounds ahead of anything I’ve shot with before. It is significantly faster and exposures are bang on every time. In my mind this is a flawless camera and a dream to use.
Read the review on Canon’s website and see accompanying images here.