The rumours have been flying around, and only yesterday was it almost certain that Canon would be launching its followup to the 1D Mark IV today (18 October). Needless to say the new Canon EOS-1D X looks like a beast, and if specs are anything to go by it should be able to take a sizeable chunk out of the competition.

Leading the way is a full-frame 18.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with up to 12fps and 14fps high speed mode. The 100-51200 ISO looks none too shoddy and a high-precision 61 point AF system, featuring 41 high sensitivity cross type sensors, should deliver some fast and accurate focusing. 

And fast is exactly what the Canon EOS-1D X should be as it has not one, but two dual DIGIC 5 processors; expect this to be working hard to keep the noise levels down.

Your video shooting is taken care of by way of Full HD (1080p) capabilities, whilst a range of user selectable controls on the EOS-1D X such as exposure, frame rates, audio and compression control should give you plenty of flexibility. 

A 100,000 pixel RGB AE metering system with a dedicated DIGIC 4 processor will hopefully give some natural results to your photography and a high-resolution 1,040k-dot 3.2-inch Clear View II LCD screen allows for accurate review of images and video - it's also described a "superbly durable".

Rounding off the high-end Canon DSLR is a 1GB ethernet connection so you can stream all your lovely pics to a suitable PC or Mac.

The Canon EOS-1D X will set you back $6,800 and will be available in March 2012.

With the professional end of Canon's DSLR updated, it's not unreasonable to expect updates featuring the DIGIC 5 processor rolling down the semi-pro range in 2012. We'd put our bets on a Canon EOS Mk 5 vIII or a Canon EOS 8D.

UPDATE: We've added Canon's promo video below if you want a glossy talk through of the new pro camera.

Looking forward to the new Canon? Excited about the specs? Let us know what you think in the comments below...