Canon 1DX Mark II "Real World Review"
This is a “Real World Review” of the Canon 1DX Mark II. This body is currently the top of the line offering from Canon and clocks in at a cool $6,000. Keep in mind the Nikon D5 clocks in at $500 more at $6,500. Purchase the Canon 1DX Mark II on Amazon, B and H or call Allen’s Camera at 215.547.2841
I want to thank Canon for supplying the 1DX Mark II for review along with sending the Canon 400mm F2.8 IS and Canon 8-15 F4. I personally rented the Canon 24-70 2.8 II and Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II from LensRentals.
Click the links below to download sample RAW DNG Files from the Canon 1DX Mark II. Click Here to access all the full res exported JPEGS.
Sample Canon 1DX Mark II RAW Files 01 (175 megs)
Sample Canon 1DX Mark II RAW Files 02 (115 megs)
Being that the Summer Olympics are happening later this summer I thought the best test of this camera would be out at a track and field event. Lucky for us there so happened to be one going on at Princeton University. I am sure some people will say but Jared you didn’t shoot it in an extreme situation where you would push the ISO and some of the other features.
My honest opinion on that statement is not everything needs to be pushed, when you do so you start looking for issues. This track and field event is a true Real World situation where this camera has the ability to shine.
This event was the first time I shot this camera. Generally it’s a good idea to live with a camera for a while before you take it out to do a real shoot. Honestly, this body is so similar to the 1DX Mark I that the Mark II felt at home in my hands. There was really no learning curve to setting up the menu or using the camera in the field. As many of you know I am a Nikon shooter but using this Canon felt awesome and was easy to figure out.
Shooting at the track gave me the ability to test out the 14 frames per second, continuous focus tracking speed and accuracy as well as 4k video quality.
This is an action packed camera with top of the line features that you would expect for it’s price tag. It’s shooting speed is unmatched by pretty much anything out there. It’s focus tracking is top notch and I ran into very few problems when using it in the Real World. Like I say in the video, on occasions I missed but a lot of that is due to how shallow the depth of field is when you’re using a 400mm F2.8.
The 1DX Mark II feels substantial in your hands, it’s bigger and heavier then the Nikon D5 but like I said before, it feels at home like it belongs. If you’re looking for a light camera this isn’t going to be the one for you. Honestly very few people will ever own or need this caliber of camera. But for those who do, they’re going to love using it.
Be sure to watch the full review above as that goes into a lot more detail than I am going to go into with the writeup.
One of the cons of the camera is that you do not have the ability to swipe or pinch and zoom your images on the LCD. I know it’s not a huge deal but there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to simply swipe through your images or pinch to zoom.
Where the Canon’s shine over the Nikon’s is Video. The 1DX Mark II shoots full 4k video at 60 FPS internally which is a big deal. Beyond that there is a mode to let you shoot 1080 at 120 FPS internally. Keep in mind that the camera will automatically save that file down to a 30 FPS slow motion clip for you.
One thing to keep in mind about this cameras video is it’s not meant to be your go to camera for filming. Something like the Canon 1D Mark IV in the future should have slightly better video options going forward especially for the price. But the 1DX Mark II is no slouch and packs Dual Pixel AF which is one of my favorite features in any camera.
If you’re not familiar with how Dual Pixel AF works let me sum it up. You have the ability to touch the 3.2 inch LCD where you want the focus to be. This means you can pull the focus and get a cinematic look. Beyond that it has the ability to continuously track a moving subject and keep them in focus. There are really no other DSLR’s on the market that can come close to the video focusing capabilities of the Canon 1DX Mark II.
I thoroughly enjoyed shooting with this camera. It enabled me to capture some amazing photos as well as video. I would have no problem grabbing this camera and taking it out to shoot. As you know I did not push the limits of the ISO on this shoot but from other sample images I took it handles fairly well at higher ISOs. I personally think the Nikon D5 has better hi-iso capability but the Canon is not too far behind.
If you’re someone looking to drop $6,000 on their first body you have to ask yourself if you need a camera like this. Keep in mind you will need to spend even more money getting top of the line glass to put in front of the body. You also have to decide if you’re going to go with the 1DX Mark II or the Nikon D5, it’s not an easy decision.
One way to make the decision easier is to ask if you’re going to shoot video. If a major portion of your focus is video than the Canon should be the way you go. If you’re looking to capture mostly stills I could almost say flip a coin and decide that way. Either system you go with you cant go wrong but one thing you could do is rent both to help you decide which is for you.
I am sticking with my Nikon gear since I have 10 pro lenses and feel the D5 handles better in low light situations. But, if I had to switch to Canon right now I would have no issues making the 1DX Mark II my main workhorse as long as I had all the glass to support it.