Canon EOS-1D X Mark II brings performance to pros working with photos and videos

Canon’s new flagship DSLR, the EOS-1D X Mark II, is designed for professionals who require a field camera that can handle photography and videography. The full-frame camera uses a new 20.2-megapixel 35mm CMOS sensor and two Digic 6+ image processors, giving this camera a level of performance unseen in previous pro Canon cameras.

The weather-resistant EOS-1D X II, made out of magnesium alloy, is fast and powerful (Canon says it’s more weatherproof and better built than previous EOS DSLRs). Thanks to the image processors, it has a continuous shooting speed of up to 14 frames per second (fps), up to 170 RAW continuously; in Live View mode, the camera can achieve up to 16 fps. When shooting JPEGs, the EOS-1D X II can keep shooting continuously until it maxes out the memory card.

With an ISO range of 100-51,200, this DSLR isn’t about low-light photography like, say, the A7S II from Sony. But it can expand to 50, 102,400, 204,800, and 409,600 if you need it. As we’ve mentioned in our reviews of cameras capable of super-high ISOs, the resulting pictures aren’t really practical at the nosebleed levels; for good-looking low-light shots, we usually stay in the low digits anyway.

“A first for the Canon EOS-1D series, this camera also features a 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor with enhanced precision and performance compared to its predecessor, improving facial recognition and tracking, as well as nature scenes,” Canon says. “Additionally, the advanced AE system can detect and compensate for flickering light sources such as sodium vapor lamps that are often used in gymnasiums and swimming pools. When enabled, this anti-flicker system automatically adjusts shutter release timing to help reduce disparities in exposure and color especially during continuous burst shooting.”

The autofocus system is Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF, but it has been enhanced with 61 points (up to 41 cross-type, depending on lens attached). Through the Intelligent Viewfinder II, the AF points light up red for improved visibility. Sensitivity has also been enhanced, down to -3 EV. All 61 points support lenses with apertures of up to f/8 – an EOS first. This is ideal for nature and wildlife photographers who utilize long-zoom lenses.

“Having f/8 capability on all 61 AF points is a tremendous benefit to wildlife photographers,” says Canon’s Explorer of Light photographer, Charles Glatzer, in a release. “In order to capture tight shots of animals without disturbing them, I frequently have to use very long lenses – sometimes with an extender attached, which further diminishes the aperture. The improved AF allows me to frame the shot exactly the way I envision it, without having to compromise.”

“The camera also features improved controls and more in-camera image quality enhancements than ever before, including a Digital Lens Optimizer function offering high quality aberration correction which can now be achieved without an external computer,” Canon says. “This feature makes it easier for professional photographers to deliver finished files to their clients, especially in situations when access to a personal computer is impractical or inconvenient.”

On the video side, the EOS-1D X II can capture video at 4K 60p or Full HD at up to 120p (for slo-mo). The 4K Frame Grab function lets you pull 8.8-megapixel still JPEGs from a 4K video frame (similar to the 4K Photo function touted by Panasonic). With the touchscreen LCD, the user can select any of the focus points simply by selecting the area on the screen. There are no built-in focus peaking or zebra functions, but that can be added via an external recorder, attached via clean HDMI signal.

There’s no Wi-Fi, but the camera supports USB 3.0 for high-speed tethered data transfers, and an optional wireless transmitter. The EOS-1D X II does have built-in GPS for geotagging purposes, which Canon says is useful for wildlife photographers (for tracking their locations) and sports photographers (for syncing multiple cameras with accuracy). The GPS can also sync with the atomic clock for accurate timing. To accommodate the demanding nature of the camera, the battery life has been increased, although actual numbers haven’t been released yet. The EOS-1D X II supports two memory cards, one for fast CFast 2.0 (ideal for video) and another for standard CompactFlash.

The camera is scheduled to go on sale in April, and will cost $5,999. A Premium Kit, at $6,299, gets you a 64GB CFast card. There’s no lens kit option, but this isn’t that type of entry-level camera; the user will most likely be an existing Canon professional user or well-heeled enthusiast who has a collection of lenses, and is trading up. While the 20.2-megapixel sensor isn’t as high as the 50-megapixel variant in the 5DS and 5DS R, those DSLRs are for studio photography, whereas the EOS-1D X II is about speed and performance for photo and video.

Photography

From 11K to just OK: The biggest photo gear announcements at CES 2019

From 11K cameras to 1 TB media cards, CES 2019 brought a peek at new gear for photographers and videographers. But what photography gear grabbed our attention the most? Here are the biggest photo gear announcements from CES 2019.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

What to look for and what to avoid when buying a camera

Looking to buy a new camera? Our comprehensive camera guide for 2016 has answers to any camera or photography questions you might ask, whether in regards to pricing, image quality, or weatherproofing.
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…
Photography

Olympus’ latest teaser shares glimpse of new OM-D camera geared toward sports

Is Olympus about to release a new mirrorless camera geared toward sports photographers? The latest teaser offers a glimpse of an upcoming OM-D camera set to launch on January 24, and by the looks of the teasers, it's geared toward sports.
Photography

Lexar’s latest SDXC card keeps you shooting with 1 TB of storage

Shoot large files at high capacity? Lexar's latest SDXC memory card will fit a terabyte of storage inside your camera. The Lexar SD card is part of the company's Professional 633x series. That higher capacity will come at a cost, however.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Photography

See ya, CFast: 1TB CFexpress card transfers photos at 1,400MB per second

The latest trend in professional removable storage media is fast approaching. At CES 2019, ProgradeDigital revealed its first CFexpress card, featuring a 1-terabyte capacity and bewildering 1,400 megabyte-per-second transfer rate.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Photography

Going somewhere? Capture more than your phone can with the best travel cams

Hitting the road or doing some globetrotting this year? Bring along the right camera to capture those once-in-a-lifetime vacation memories. Here's a list of some of our current favorites.
Photography

From 4K powerhouses to tiny action cams, here are the best video cameras

Although not as popular as they once were, dedicated video cameras still have their benefits. From travel vlogging to home movies to recording your kid's little league game, here are the best video cameras you can buy right now.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Photography

Authentic, holistic, retro photography is in: Here are 2019’s predicted trends

What types of imagery are we most drawn to? According to recent stock photography data from Adobe, StoryBlocks, and Shutterstock, authentic, holistic, and humanitarian content will be in high demand in 2019.