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DXOMark testing reveals EOS-1D X Mark II has the best Canon sensor ever

Canon’s new flagship DSLR, the EOS-1D X Mark II, is a beast. With a 20MP full frame sensor and the ability to shoot continuous bursts of RAW images at up to 16 frames per second, it packs enough power for virtually any assignment. But power isn’t everything. The image-quality analyzers extraordinaire over at DXOMark have finally put the new Mark II through their string of tests, and the results do not disappoint.

With a DXO score of 88, not only does the 1D X Mark II soundly defeat the original 1D X (which scored 82), but it also becomes the highest-scoring Canon camera ever, surpassing even the 50MP EOS-5DS. The new sensor performs better than its predecessor in every metric tested: color depth, dynamic range, and ISO noise performance. It’s the dynamic range that is most impressive, as this is an area where Canon has historically struggled. The Mark II boasts a respectable, if not class-leading, 13.5 stops of dynamic range. That’s an improvement of nearly two stops over the original 1D X.

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Related: Canon’s 1D X Mark II brings performance for both stills and video

Notably, Canon’s new flagship received the same overall score as Nikon’s new flagship, the D5. However, the Nikon received a boost thanks to its superior color depth — the Canon actually posted higher scores in both ISO noise and dynamic range. Somewhat oddly, Canon’s triumph here is as much a result of Nikon taking a step back as it is Canon taking a step forward. The D4s, Nikon’s predecessor to the D5, actually scored one point higher overall, with individual metric scores that were neck and neck with the 1D X Mark II.

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This is great news for Canon shooters, and appears indicative of a larger trend toward improved sensor design within the company. The EOS-80D recently took top marks among APS-C Canons, showing similar margins of improvement to the 1D X Mark II.