The new Flagship full frame sensor Canon EOS 1D X DSLR camera with Dual DiG!C 5+ image processors and full High Definition movie recording should go on sale for around $6800 and be available sometime in March 2012. Unlike previous CMOS sensors found in other EOS DSLRs, the sensor in the EOS-1D X has been developed to excel not only at stills shooting but also when capturing Full 1080p HD Movie footage. Compared to the sensor found in the EOS 5D Mark II both the sensor in the EOS-1D X and the associated image processing have been developed to show reduced moiré patterning and false colour; offering greater detail and improved image quality.
18.1 Megapixel, Full-frame CMOS sensor
61-point AF with up to 41 cross-type AF points
Zone, Spot and AF Expansion Focusing modes
DUAL “DIGIC 5+” processors
12fps shooting with 14fps super High Speed continuous
ISO 100 to 51,200 as standard, ISO 50 to 204,800 with expansion
100,000-pixel RGB AE sensor
DIGIC 4 processor dedicated to AE functions
+/- 5 Stop Exposure Compensation
Full HD Movie shooting with ALL-I or IPB compression
29mins 59sec clip length in Full HD Movie
55ms shutter lag, 36ms via ‘Shortened Release Lag’ Custom Function
Timecode setting for HD Movie shooting
Transparent LCD viewfinder with new focusing screen
8.11cm (3.2”), 1.04 million pixel Clear View II LCD Screen
Improved EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS)
Dual CF Card slots
Silent control touch-pad area
The DIGIC 5+ processor has also brought the ability to make use of UDMA 7 memory cards enabling fast write speeds for both still images, where data is produced in bursts, and HD video, where continuous stream data is sent. This allows memory cards with a sustained write speed of up to 167MB/sec to be fully utilised, meaning the camera is future-proofed to be able to work with faster memory cards than are currently available in the market. With the addition of dual CF card slots you can make use of the most common memory card format designed for professional usage.
Canon has announced the new flagship model of the renowned EOS 1-series of digital SLR cameras for professional photographers: the Canon EOS-1D X. Superseding the EOS-1D Mark IV and the EOS-1Ds Mark III, the EOS-1D X is the ultimate tool for all professionals offering both exceptional image quality and unparalleled speed in one camera. Also announced today are the GP-E1 Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver for EOS, and the WFT-E6 Wireless File Transmitter unit, enabling functions such as time synchronization between cameras.
The EOS-1D X revolutionizes the professional camera category, combining the world’s fastest shutter release and AF continuous shooting of 12 frames per second (fps); benchmark image quality of a new 18.1-megapixel Full-Frame CMOS sensor, ISO range of 100-51200 (L:50; H2: 204800), and an innovative new AF system; and Full HD movie recording and compliance with video industry standards.
“The EOS-1D X is a truly ground-breaking camera developed in response to requests from professional photographers for an all-round camera that combines both speed and image quality,” said Cathy Hattersley, Brand Manager – EOS Professional, Canon Australia. “The EOS-1D X is the ultimate all-rounder for professionals from sport, photojournalism and nature photography through to studio, fashion and wedding/portrait work, also offering the ability to capture Full HD movies and comply with video industry standards.”
“Also the new GPS receiver for EOS and the Wireless File Transmitter unit will extend the appeal of this camera for news agencies, police and security organizations due to the ability to effectively catalogue images and synchronize units for purposes such as 3D image creation.”
Exceptional Image Quality, Ultra-low Noise
The EOS-1D X incorporates an all-new 35-mm Full-Frame CMOS sensor enabling both a large pixel size of 6.95 microns and 18.1-megapixel image resolution. Canon’s gapless microlens technology ensures that light is delivered more efficiently to the light diodes, while Dual DiG!C 5+ Imaging Processors ensure low noise and high-speed processing. Standard ISO settings of 100-51200 (expandable L: 50; H1: 102400; H2: 204800) contribute to achieving unparalleled low-light shooting possibilities – including near-dark situations – with low image noise.
Unrivaled High-Speed Shooting
The new flagship professional EOS enables image capture never before possible, delivering 12-fps continuous AF shooting. Super High Speed mode enables continuous shooting 14-fps with the mirror locked up, ideal for fixed-focus shooting and capturing motion trails. The EOS-1D X has also achieved the world’s fastest*1 shutter release lag – as short as just 36 milliseconds – to ensure instantaneous first response.
An all-new AF system delivers better subject tracking and precise focus accuracy than conventional systems. The new system features a 61 point AF sensor for wide, high-density coverage to enable photographers greater freedom to compose their shots as well as enhanced subject tracking. Up to 41 cross-type points (depending on lens used) means enhanced focus in situations such as subjects with stripes or in low-contrast situations.
In addition, Canon has developed a unique ‘intelligent’ AE system that employs an RGB AE sensor and a DiG!C 4 image processor dedicated to AE, which work together to allow subject recognition based on brightness, colour and facial features. Ensuring accurate tracking, this feature is ideal for sports such as tennis, speed skating, or soccer where subjects move erratically.
High precision is further enhanced by Smart AF Adjustment – a new semi-automatic feature that accurately adjusts camera and lens focus, and records the settings, to ensure that the setup is optimized for every combination of camera and lens. The feature will be ideal for situations, such as newspapers, where multiple camera and lens combinations are possible.
In response to user feedback, the new camera features a range of enhancements to operation buttons, controls and menu structures. These include consolidation of function-setting operations into the Menu for consistent location, with most-commonly used settings (centered on AF) elevated to higher hierarchical positions in the Menu for easy access. A new Camera Guidance feature provides a clear and concise explanation of individual settings when the Info button is pressed.
New buttons for direct touch control include a Live View/Viewfinder button, a Quick Control button to change settings using just the right hand and a Multi-Controller for easy AF point selection when shooting in the vertical position. Moreover, the front of the camera features Multi-Function buttons enabling users to assign customized functions such as Electronic Level Display or Registered AF for intuitive access without needing to take your eyes of the subject.
Full HD EOS Movie – Enhanced
Only Canon EOS offers Full HD (1920×1080: 24/25 fps) movie-making in a professional-grade DSLR camera, and the new EOS-1D X features refinements to enhance the quality and utility for professional purposes. Processing and CMOS sensor upgrades have enabled enhanced movie recording performance, including a reduction in moiré and false colour. Moreover, the camera achieves an expanded movie ISO range of 100-25600 (H:51200; H1:102400; H2:204800) for high sensitivity and exceptional low-light performance. Assisting continuity of shooting, the camera automatically segments files every 4GB of recorded content.
Enabling best quality editing results, the camera supports the ALL-I compression format, as well as high-quality, high-compression IPB format. Audio recording is manually adjustable both before and during shooting.
The biggest change to the movie shooting is the ability to choose from two different compression methods — IPB or ALL-I — depending on your needs. The EOS-1D X still records movies using the H.264 codec but it is the compression type within this codec that has been changed.
When shooting movies, the frames that are captured are usually split into key frames or Intra-Frames and predicted frames. These Intra-frames are used as reference frames to help with compression.
The first type of compression available is IPB. The B in IPB stands for Bi-directional compression. With IPB differential compression is carried out by predicting the content of future frames, with reference to both previously captured frames and subsequent frames. Like the IPP compression method used in previous EOS DSLRs, some data is stored in a Group Of Pictures (GOP), meaning that frame-by-frame editing will result in lower image quality. When using IPB editing video in-camera to trim clips can only be done in one-second increments.
The second method of compression is designed for users working in high-end editing systems or those looking for the very highest quality. This compression is called ALL-I. ALL-I stands for ‘Intra-coded Frame’ and it differs from IPB and IPP because all frames captured are treated as Intra-frames or key frames. Although each frame is still compressed, there is no further compression as each frame is seen as an individual image.
When filming with ALL-I, file sizes will be around three times larger than with IPB, and it is easier to edit to an individual frame without degrading the image quality. Despite the extra file size, ALL-I compressed footage actually requires less computer processing power than IPB or IPP and consequently will playback more smoothly on lower specification computers. This is because there is no rendering needed to extrapolate data from the GOPs used in IPP and IPB.
Movie clip size and lengths
The next big change in HD movie shooting is the ability to record files longer than 4GB and hence the removal of the 12 minute HD Movie clip limit. For legal reasons the maximum total clip length when shooting HD is now 29 minutes and 59 seconds. This change has been brought about by the EOS-1D X’s ability to automatically start new files. Once the 4GB limit is reached, the camera simply starts creating a new file without the movie recording being stopped. On the memory card you will then find several 4GB files that when played back consecutively will give a complete run of up to the 29 minute 59 seconds limit. Playing back the individual files on the camera cannot be completed as one complete run either. Each 4GB file has to be played back individually. So that you know when a new 4GB file is going to be created, the recording time or the timecode displayed on the movie-shooting screen will flash for around 30 seconds before the file size reaches 4GB.
The EICS unit in the EOS-1D X has been improved over previous units – it now includes Ultrasonic Wave Motion Cleaning to roll dust particles down the filters in front of the CMOS sensor.
Much requested by professional users, the EOS-1D X now features a timecode ability following the standard of Hour:Minute:Second:Frame as defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). The frame count runs from 00 to 29 frames, so if, for example, you are filming at 30fps frames are counted to 29 and 1 second is added to the 30th frame to return the counter to 00.
The timecode can be set in one of four ways. The default setting is Count Up. Within Count Up, there is the option of either Rec. Run or Free Run. With Rec. Run, the timecode will only advance while a movie is being recorded. It is useful when filming with a single camera as it helps to organise the clips into chronological order. In Rec. Run, the timecode will continue even if the memory card is replaced with a new one. Since the total shooting time is recorded, the count will not be reset even if a movie file is deleted or the memory card is formatted.
In Free Run, the timecode will continue to count even when no movie file is being recorded. This is useful when filming with several cameras. By using the time synchronisation feature of the EOS-1D X, several cameras can be set to the same time so that all the files captured have the same starting point in the timecode. When editing footage together, the clips can then be arranged chronologically.
Option 2 within the timecode settings is ‘Start time setting’. Here you have the option of defining the starting timecode in HH:MM:SS:FF using the manual input setting option. You can also reset the timecode to 00:00:00:00 using reset, or you can set the timecode to the current camera time using the HH:MM:SS fields.
The third option is Movie Rec. Count with the options of Rec. Time and Time Code. In Rec. Time, the elapsed time after the start of movie shooting will be displayed on the rear LCD panel as the movie is being recorded. With Time Code, the timecode will be displayed while the movie is recorded.
The final option is ‘Movie play count’. The two options within this setting are Play Time and Time Code and they determine what is displayed while the movie is played back on the camera. In Play Time, the elapsed time after the start of shooting will be shown on the rear LCD panel during playback. With the Time Code setting, the associated timecode will be shown during playback.
EOS Pro Build Quality
The EOS-1D X takes the renowned build quality of the EOS 1-series to the next level for even greater reliability under heavy shooting or extreme environmental conditions. To meet professional field requirements, shutter durability of 400,000 cycles combines with the lightweight, heavy-duty magnesium-alloy chassis and superior dust and moisture seals at 76 locations.
Internally, the camera features a new “carrier wave” type self-cleaning sensor unit, which effectively removes extremely light weight dust particles that may be visible near the minimum aperture (f/22 or higher). A new System Status Display also keeps users up to date with performance and service-related information such as shutter count.
Expansion of the EOS System
Aa new compact Wireless File Transmitter unit WFT-E6 offers extended functionality for the EOS-1D X, including synchronized shooting with multiple camera units, remote control shooting, image review and download using an Internet browser, and high-speed Wi-Fi or Bluetooth file transfer.
Also launched is the GPS receiver GP-E1 adds location and direction information to images during shooting for such uses organizing news coverage and research. Bundled software enables tracking of shooting locations on a map.
See Canon for more details.