Not many will be able to enjoy the delights of the uber expensive Canon EOS-1D X, the £5299 super camera Canon just added to its lineup.
Those who do however will be treated to an unbelievable 14 fps on a full frame sensor, 61 point AF system and ISO going all the way up to 204800. This is the camera that the pros will be using to take those amazing pictures of wildlife,sports or catwalk models that fill the billboards, buses and magazines we come across everyday. Things like the 1D X are used to power the photography behind major news wires and services and are often responsible for taking shots in conflict areas and warzones. Whilst it might be beyond the reach of some of you, it is still damn exciting to get to play with such a professional piece of kit.
Due out in March next year, the 1D X is Canon's one flagship to unite them all, doing away with the usual two separate high megapixel and high shutter speed models.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the 1D X is its weight. Canon is yet to announce an official weight for the camera but we felt that lens free it was about the same as previous generation 1D models. That means heavy, neck crunchingly heavy. The 1D X is not a camera you want to be lugging about on street shooting wanders, it is a pro camera designed to be used and abused daily.
Naturally this pro-spec means magnesium alloy wherever Canon can stick it and proper weather sealing throughout the camera. On top of that is a large high-resolution 1,040k-dot 3.2 inch Clear View II LCD screen which is as tough as it is non reflective. Then there is all manner of customisable function buttons, a click wheel and two individual control joysticks on the back of the camera. What initially feels like an intimidating and hefty piece of kit very quickly turns into a fast and effective camera layout.
Inside the 1D X is where things get seriously hi-tech. You get Canon's usual menu layout, albeit with a few extra features to suit the pros. Then there is that 18.1 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor which from the very brief test shots we ran through it was as contrasty and sharp as what you would expect from a Canon flagship. We are however reluctant to say much else about the image quality from the 1D X yet as not only was it a non final firmware model we played with, we didn't spend long enough testing it to make any proper judgements.
A pair of DIGIC 5+ processors keep the camera ticking over and help allow for that super fast 14fps shooting of jpegs (12 when using RAW). It is quite a thing to snap off such a machine gun blast of shots as the Canon 1D X is capable of. We imagine it to be rapidly memory card filling as well as putting a smile on plentiful sports photographer faces the world over.
The finder, complete with 61 point AF system is as bright as anything and manages that crucial 100 per cent coverage you need to easily frame up shots.
Canon is getting quite a reputation now for its 1080p footage and the 1D X definitely helps contribute. You get smooth as anything 24, 25 and 30fps 1080p video from the camera as well as 50 and 60fps video at 720p. The other added benefit here is you are getting access to said video but with the sensors ISO capabilities. We can't wait to see what footage people produce in low light with this thing.
Which brings us on the the final part of our quick hands-on with the 1D X; how it coped with noise and poor lighting conditions. We fired off shots at just about every ISO step the camera offered and saw things stayed absurdly clean all the way beyond the 3600 mark. Of course using the 1D X at the top end of its capabilities turned things a bit grainy, but then not many cameras come even close to 204800 ISO. Unfortunately Canon wouldn't let us take any test shots home to show you but believe us it looks like it is going to be a performer.
Expect more on the 1D X when Pocket-lint has a lengthier play.
What do you think to the 1D X? Let us know in the comments below ...