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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Canon 1DX II
Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 2:39 AM on 02.01.16
->> Slap me silly and call me stupid but .... what am I supposed to be overly impressed with on the Canon 1DX II as it compares to my 1DX cameras?

http://www.canonrumors.com/canon-eos-1d-x-mark-ii-full-specifications/


http://procam.com/canon-eos-1d-x-mark-ii-dslr-camera-body-only


Also, anyone notice the 1DX II is taller that the 1DX? My Think Tank Rollers barely zip closed now with the 1DX bodies. I think it's taller because of the built in GPS ... not certain about that.
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Garrett Hubbard, Photographer
Washington | D.C. | USA | Posted: 9:11 AM on 02.01.16
->> I'm pretty excited about the 4K with what appears to be 60P. That's all the overcrank I really need for slow mo. If it allows me to record a canon log file internally or externally I'm definitely in. It could be a great B-camera to my 4K video camera.

The low light capabilities will be fantastic I'm sure. I am hoping that there is a bit more DR than the 5DIII. But this is all speculation until we see some reviews.

Also, Thankfully it is $6K instead of the $6.5K MSRP for the 1DX. IDK if that is due to the strong dollar or not, but I'll take it.
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Peyton Williams, Photographer
Chapel Hill | NC | USA | Posted: 10:15 AM on 02.01.16
->> I was hoping for a camera that had an X-Sync of better than 1/250 (for using strobes for basketball), but sadly no luck in that regard. I've shot maybe 5 minutes of video on my camera, so better video is not compelling for me; that said I can see how it would be for others.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 11:42 AM on 02.01.16
->> I'm not a video guy either. Also, you'll need the extra cash to buy the CFast2.0 card and a reader. At the end of the day you'll still be pushing well over the 6K mark.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 12:05 PM on 02.01.16
->> "I was hoping for a camera that had an X-Sync of better than 1/250 ... "

Unfortunately, not doable using current CMOS sensors which produce lower noise and use less power than old CCD sensor design in the 1D classic.
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Peyton Williams, Photographer
Chapel Hill | NC | USA | Posted: 2:55 PM on 02.01.16
->> @Clark. I know, it was painful giving up my 1D. I recall shooting at 1/500 or faster on it with strobes. I wish that whatever technology PW uses in their MiniTT1-Canon radios to allow for faster syncs could be incorporated directly into the camera.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 5:01 PM on 02.01.16
->> Just got off the phone with Jody Grober at Roberts. The specs floating around the internet are not accurate. The official announcement by Canon isn't until tomorrow. Suggests that everyone hold their breath until then.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 5:05 PM on 02.01.16
->> Guess I should have said that nothing is official and he "thinks" we will have the official announcement tomorrow. Canon is Canon and they do what they want to ... when they want to.
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Mark J. Terrill, Photographer
Simi Valley | CA | USA | Posted: 8:39 PM on 02.01.16
->> Peyton, I think the reason that you were able to shoot at 500th with the 1D is because it was a cropped sensor.
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Michael Chen, Photographer, Assistant
Saratoga | CA | USA | Posted: 1:32 AM on 02.02.16
->> The original 1D used an "electronic shutter" that switched the sensor on-and-off at shutter speeds faster than 1/90". When making an exposure, the mechanical shutter we're all familiar with opens and the sensor is switched on and off to make the exposure.

The Nikon D1, D1H, D1X, D70/S, and D40 used this method of exposure as well.

These are the DSLRs that can do this that I can remember off the top of my head; I probably missed one or two.

With "dumb" flash or strobe, one could technically shoot at any shutter speed with a flash, provided the flash duration is still shorter than the shutter speed chosen. You can use electrical tape to cover the TTL contacts on the hot shoe to trick the OEM Speedlites and Speedlights into becoming "dumb" flashes.

This is not the same as using the "FP" flash features offered by OEM flash units which pulse the flash gun repeatedly and have significantly reduced working distance.

There's also another way of using faster shutter speeds with strobes which involves using a very slow flash duration and shooting a fast shutter speed which only uses a portion of the "pop" for your exposure, but I would probably digress on and on at that point if I started talking about it.

For a number of reasons, Canon and Nikon moved away from the electronic shutter; the main one I can think of off the top of my head is blooming. Look at a prominent light source in your frame when shooting faster than 1/90"... not pretty, right? Problem is solved with a more traditional mechanical shutter.

Phase One's Dalsa sensor-based digital backs (P40+, P65+, 40/60/80 MP IQ series) used with the DF/+ and XF systems use a combination of leaf shutter lenses firing at 1/800" and switching the sensor on-and-off similar to the electronic shutter method described above to achieve a flash sync speed of 1/1600" without any special tricks needed such as FP or other workarounds.

I believe the latest Sony sensor 50 and 100 MP backs use the same methodology for achieving 1/1600" flash sync speed but I haven't had this explicitly confirmed by Phase or someone who would know, unlike the Dalsa sensor backs mentioned above.
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Justin Edmonds, Photographer, Assistant
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 2:05 AM on 02.02.16
->> The N3 remote port is now gone and a headphone jack replaced it. Anyone heard/read how we'll be able to trigger this camera beyond some kind of wifi solution or the 600EX RT?
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Brad Tollefson, Photographer
Lubbock | TX | USA | Posted: 3:12 AM on 02.02.16
->> Justin, looking at the additional views of the camera you can see the N3 port has been moved next to the on/off switch for the vertical shutter buttons. I'm not sure how I feel about the new location, but I do appreciate having the headphone plug. https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/wcm/connect/us/9b2173ae-baf7-41fc-a851-1...
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 10:25 AM on 02.02.16
->> Anyone notice the height of the camera is taller at 6.60 inches vs 6.40 inches on the 1DX?

Wondering if my Think Tank Roller bags will zip shut. The are already tight as it is already.
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Simon Wheeler, Photographer, Photo Editor
Ithaca | NY | USA | Posted: 6:06 PM on 02.02.16
->> Vincent Lafort hands on with a prototype of the camera

bit.ly/1UHEj2u
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Kiel Maddox, Photographer
Fresno | CA | USA | Posted: 4:00 PM on 02.04.16
->> I've been shooting with a 5D Mark III for quite some time and have been waiting for the 1DX MKII to see if I should upgrade or go with a 1DX, but now I'm not so sure I should.

There are a few nice features, but over all I'm not sure it's worth paying what will probably become $3,000 more when the price drop hits for the 1DX.

I always feel Canon improves, but it's just baby steps, not a leap like I feel we should be expecting for the $$$.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 8:20 PM on 02.17.16
->> Anybody shooting the Super Bowl lucky enough to try out the new 1DX 2 (and not get paid for a positive review).

I'm still not seeing where the new features justify the cost of upgrading from the 1DX. Focus, high ISO (up to 12,800)performance, FPS, file size, buffering are still awesome with the 1DX.
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Doug Strickland, Photographer
Chattanooga | TN | USA | Posted: 10:19 PM on 02.17.16
->> My thinking is similar to Kevin's and some others. I've long been wondering since the release of the 1DX and 5D III "Where do we go from here?" What does Canon need to offer to make the 1DX II a guaranteed killer upgrade from the original 1DX? Sony seems to be chasing the shoot in the dark ISO performance thing pretty hard, but honestly, with Canon full-frame digital cameras where they are now with comfortable shooting up to 12,800 I keep asking myself why I would realistically need any more. With the exception of a few very rare circumstances that I ever encounter where being able to shoot over 100,000 ISO might possibly be necessary, I can't imagine that being such a big selling point anymore.

What *should* the 1DX II have to make it worth the upgrade? What would we like to see out of Canon's pro camera line that isn't already there?
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Ed Chan, Photographer
San Diego | CA | US | Posted: 11:36 AM on 02.25.16
->> It is seriously annoying that we pay $6000 for a camera, and still have to pay $600 for wifi capabilities that are built in to $300 cameras.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 2:56 PM on 02.25.16
->> Doug, remember that not everyone is upgrading from a 1D X. For example we'll be upgrading our remaining Mark IV's to compliment our existing 1D X's. So for us, the upgrade from IV to XII is well worth it.

Ed, I agree totally. I would have much rather gotten WiFi built-in instead of built-in GPS. Make the GPS and add-on for those who want it.
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Doug Strickland, Photographer
Chattanooga | TN | USA | Posted: 6:36 PM on 02.25.16
->> Kevin, it's definitely a huge upgrade from older 1D series cameras, but it sounds more like you're saying that it's worth it because, once it's released and the 1DX is discontinued, it'll be the only true upgrade option. The original 1DX would've been a huge upgrade from a Mark IV that would've been worth it too, after all, and since it sounds like you already have 1D X cameras, I think my point is still an important one.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 8:23 PM on 02.25.16
->> My original post was comparing the upgrade from the 1DX to the 1DX II. However, if I were upgrading from older models of 1D series bodies the question is still valid but phrased differently. Why should you spend $1500 more to upgrade to the 1DX II? Are the differences significant enough to justify the additional cost?

Either way, the upgrade to either is going to be significant for anyone shooting 1D IV or earlier. In my opinion, the 1DX was a "game changer" and by far the best camera I have used in 10 years. Think I'll pass on the 1DX II and look for more features 3 years from now.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 7:57 PM on 02.26.16
->> I hear ya. For us it was just how the upgrade (budget) cycle hit. We had money for three new bodies last year and money for three more this year.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 1:05 AM on 02.28.16
->> Gaining a stop or two in low light makes it worth it for me form the 1dx
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 11:10 AM on 02.28.16
->> @ David - Isn't there only one extra stop of light (in the expanded ISO range only 204800 to 409,600). The native ISO range on the 1DX and 1DX II are both still 100-51200. My experience with the 1DX is that ISO 12,800 is about the highest you can get on the 1DX and still control noise in post production.

In either case, ISO 12,800 still allows me to get my shutter above 1/1250th and shoot f2.8-4.0 which locks up most action. I guess the key will be how well noise is controlled through the native ISO Range at 25,600 and 51,200 (2 stops). One would maybe guess that (technically) ISO 25,600 on the 1DX II would be equal to ISO 12,800 on the 1DX. If that's the case, it would allow you to increase your shutter by one stop to 1/2500th or leave everything the same and have image files equal to what you can get currently on the 1DX at ISO 6400.

Previously, the race was always to get a high enough ISO in order to use a respectable shutter speed over 1/1000th and be left with an image file that didn't look like 220 grit sand paper. Canon achieved that bench mark with the 1DX. In my crazy way of looking at things, increasing the ISO by 1 stop in the expanded range (only) and not the native range may be Canon's way of saying that it's not going to get any better than this.

Your thoughts?
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 7:55 PM on 02.28.16
->> Without seeing the files (no samples are out yet that I've seen) I think we're all assuming that noise will be reduced at the same ISO relative to the X.

If 6400 on the 1DX II looks like 3200 on the 1DX I'd still call that a win. Especially for folks like us who are ready to upgrade from something older anyways.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 5:35 AM on 02.29.16
->> I agree with you Kevin. That's been Canon's pattern throughout the 1 series. I would score it as a win if the quality of the files were 1 stop better even going from 1DX to 1DX II. There's a big difference between ISO 6400 and 12,800 on the 1DX.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 1:00 AM on 03.01.16
->> I was told 8000 on the new one is like 4000 on the old I hope too that 12600 looks like 6400 on the new one
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 10:01 AM on 03.01.16
->> Agree. The "proof will be in the pudding" as the old saying goes.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 4:57 AM on 04.22.16
->> I don't get it. How can a camera that isn't even officially available win awards? The 1DX II hasn't even passed the smell test yet.

http://www.canonrumors.com/canon-wins-more-tipa-awards-for-the-22nd-straigh.../
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Daniel Malmberg, Photographer
Huskvarna | Sweden | Sweden | Posted: 1:14 PM on 04.28.16
->> @Kevin.
Tipa have also awarded some other cameras that have not "passed the smell test" yet. Tipa awards seems to be all about specs.
That said, here in Sweden there was some 1Dx mkII:s delivered to photographers yesterday.
I´ve preordered one myself. if all goes well, i will get one in May.
I will for sure write some kind off review and post it here.
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Steven Limentani, Photographer
Fletcher | NC | United States | Posted: 9:21 PM on 05.05.16
->> I received my Canon 1DX II and was excited about 14 fps with the cfast card and a buffer that can accommodate 170 frames. Bit of a surprise that the frame rate slowed after a little over 90 shots not the 170 they said. Still, for shooting most sports, unlikely that will not be enough.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 9:37 AM on 05.06.16
->> So Steven --- the question that begs an answer is:

How does the 1DXII compare in overall performance compared to the 1DX? Not sure that the fps/buffering with CFast technology is a game changer.

1. How does the new AF system compare?

2. They increased the ISO by a stop put ONLY on the expanded ISO. Standard ISO range is the same so how does a ISO 12,800 file (1DX) compare to a 25,800 file (1DXII). If they are the same, then they haven't given us a full stop of useable ISO.

3. They only increased the size of the sensor by 11%. By comparison, the increase was 60% from the 1DIII to 1DV and 13% from the 1DV to the 1DX (however ... they also switched to a full frame sensor which also increased the quality of the file). Is there a significant quality improvement in the files from a 1DXII vs 1DX?

Be interested in your observations!
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 10:13 AM on 05.06.16
->> Definitely looking forward to hearing some thoughts as Krows has outlined.

One thing to note, not all CFast is equal. For example, Sandisk's 64GB card has a write speed of 240 MB/s while the 128GB card can write at 440 MB/s. Both can read at 515 MB/s which is what is printed on the front of the card.
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Steven Limentani, Photographer
Fletcher | NC | United States | Posted: 11:04 AM on 05.06.16
->> Kevin K, don't have any info yet, will be playing this weekend to try to get a better idea and will post after that.

Kevin C, great point! I need to track that down and figure it out. I d have the sandisk 64 GB card. Having said that, 90+ RAW shots (no JPEG)at 14 fps is over 6 seconds. Few sports settings where we are shooting for longer than 6 seconds, but would still like the extra buffer.

In regards to the 128 GB cards, the users manual notes that the partitions for 128 GB and above are different. So if you use the cards in more than one camera, there may be compatibility issues.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 9:04 AM on 05.09.16
->> First production model 1DXII CR files available for download here http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/canon-1dx-ii/canon-1dx-iiA7.HTM

ISO12800 and above seem to be no better than the 1DX files out of my cameras. A ISO 12800 from a 1DX is not the same as a ISO25600 from a 1DX II. Not even close. I'm marking "useable +1 stop" off my list of benefits.

All comments thus far on the new AF system have been from pre-production cameras and professionals being compensated to say nice things :( I still have nightmares when I upgraded to the 1D Mark III. Don't think I will make that mistake again. New AF announcements scare the heck out of me.

I'm not taking sides....just struggling a bit to find any reason for upgrading to the 1DXII from the 1DX.
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Tim Gangloff, Photographer
Knoxville | Tn | USA | Posted: 2:50 PM on 05.09.16
->> My quick thoughts after only a few shoots with the 1dx2.

1. 4k is killer cool. Massive files and I'll have to learn how to deal with the video. 4K screen grabs will work well.
2. AF is better - quicker aquisition and better tracking. Not sure how much better yet, but better.
3. ISO Noise is better. My LR processing needs to be tweaked to accomodate the new files, but I can see that ISO 16K will be very usable. I've not gone above that yet, but will try soon. Just need to tune my processing.
4. Anti-flicker is nice.
5. CFast downloads are crazy fast. You'll be downloading a disk of RAWS faster than someone downloading JPGs on compact flash.
6. Extra buffer is nice. Occasionally shooting through the play and into the jubilation is pretty nice. Downside is weeding out the extra images. But, when you need it, you got it.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 8:09 AM on 05.10.16
->> I downloaded some more CR files posted by users of the 1DX II users. (CanonRumors)

I just don't see any IQ improvements from the 1DX and 1DXII at high ISO between 3200-51200

Anti-flicker alters the performance of the camera in continuous shooting modes and advises that it be turned off unless needed.

I don't think we will really know how great the new AF system is or is not until more people have used the camera in the field when they are trying to make a living. If it doesn't work we are likely to hear everyone scream. If it does work, we are likely to hear very little (as was the case with the 1DX).

I get that 4K is killer cool to those who shoot video. Those that don't shoot video, it's killer useless.

For those of you that have purchased the new 1DXII with your hard earned money and are simply trying to share your thoughts .... please don't be offended by my comments. What's really eating me is that Canon keeps pushing features into their flagship camera that keeps it at a price level that is way beyond the reach of many. Why not make the 5D the video/camera (which most prefer), skip the features that will have limited use (GPS for example), and keep the nomenclature the same for at least 2 generations (batteries/card slots). FPS?? Really.. a camera you can jam the shutter down until the card fills up? I shoot short bursts through the action...recompose/focus....more short bursts....and so on. If you just jam the shutter, how in the heck will you know if what you are trying to shoot is actually in focus?

Personally, the foundation of my purchasing decision with the 1D Series has always been based on:

1. Large files
2. High ISO IQ
3. AF "real world" performance

At the end of the day, those are the tools that are of most value to my work and what I'm willing to invest in.

At some point in the next few months I will get my hands on a 1DX II and take it for a test drive personally. For now, I'm having too much fun being a "Negative Nancy".
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Tim Gangloff, Photographer
Knoxville | Tn | USA | Posted: 11:49 AM on 05.10.16
->> So, basically, your real grip is Canon makes a "flagship camera ... at a price level that is way beyond the reach of many" and has features that you won't or don't need.

I get that, but Ford makes cars that are beyond my reach. I dont' criticize them for that. I just buy a car that meets my needs and ability to pay.

Personally, I love the GPS feature. I also will use anti-flicker at crappy lit HS venues. Sure, I hate having to buy into the latest technology like CFast, but damn, it will be worth it down the road in time savings.

The difference in price between a newly announced 1dx and newly announced 1dx2 was what? I think the 1dx2 actually costs a lot less than the 1dx did, nearly $1000 I think. So, you are getting a bunch of new technology for less money. What's to hate?
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 1:08 PM on 05.10.16
->> 1DX cost $6700 each when first released and I own 3 of them. $700 more.

Auto dealers make each car in various models. Base, deluxe, luxury. The Ford Mustang comes Ecoboost, V6, and GT. From there, you can add the options you want as well. Not a good comparison as they don't make the 1D series with and without video. If you want the photographic features you have to pay the extra money for features that don't meet your needs.

Yes, for the value of what a photographer uses the 1DX / 1DXII the price is overpriced. I don't like paying a big price for anything because it has things I would never use. I'm very sure you feel the same way? No? "I just buy a car that meets my needs and ability to pay."
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 5:00 PM on 05.10.16
->> @Tim --

Keep in mind that I did say in my post, "For those of you that have purchased the new 1DXII with your hard earned money and are simply trying to share your thoughts .... please don't be offended by my comments."

I did this in order express a perspective that many people share about having to pay for very expensive features that they will never use. 1D series prior to the 1DX went for about $4,000 at the open and $3,200 towards the end of life. Some of us had no choice than to pay $6,700 when the 1DX came on the market after a long battle of performance issues with the Mark III and to a degree... Mark IV. I think I have earned the right (time and money) to be skeptical and sarcastic towards Canon.

Finally, I humbled myself and confessed to being a "Negative Nancy" and will be purchasing at least one 1DX II so I can have first hand experience with the camera. At the end of the day, that will be where my final thoughts will evolve.
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Garrett Hubbard, Photographer
Washington | D.C. | USA | Posted: 11:04 AM on 05.11.16
->> I also saw the dpreview article and I'm pretty disappointed to read that they are claiming that high ISO is slightly worse than the 1DX. However, I am heartened by the increased DR in the lower ISO's. I'd love to hear more from the people like Tim who own the II.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 7:41 AM on 05.12.16
->> I got a call from Roberts yesterday. My new 1DX MKII will arrive tomorrow. I plan to give it a good workout over the next week as I want to see for myself if we are really getting

1. A vastly improved AF system.
2. One stop improvement in "useable" high ISO. Will be testing ISO 12,800 files from 1DX with ISO 25,600 files from the 1DX II and will be expecting them to be at least the same.
3. Overall improvement in image quality at all ISO levels.

As I have been disappointed in the specs, initial reviews, and the fact that the 1DX series is full of expensive features that many sports photographers don't care about and don't use, I never said that I wouldn't invest to find out first hand what benefits the 1DX II has over the 1DX.

I own three 1DX bodies and can say, without any hesitation or reservation, that they are the best cameras that I have used in my 10 year career as a full time sports photographer. When I upgraded from the 1D Mark IV it was very clear that the investment ($6700 per camera) was worth it to get:

1. A dead on AF system (after 6 years of screwing around with the 1DIII and 1DIV).
2. Usable high ISO up to 12,800 (2 stops higher than 1D IV at ISO 3200).
3. IQ from the full-frame sensor just blew my mind.

I'll post my thoughts once I have formed some firm conclusions on how the two cameras compare in these three areas.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 8:31 AM on 05.14.16
->> I have spent the past two days putting my new 1DX Mark II through the paces. In summary, here are my thoughts regarding the camera as it compares to my 3+ years using the 1DX and 10 years using the 1D series starting with the 1D Mark II.

1. Setting up the 1DX II with your personal settings is identical to the 1DX. There are a few additional menu items but nothing significant. Once you have dialed in your favorite settings then your 1DX II is no different than your 1DX. For me, that's a good thing.

2. Ergonomically, the 1DX II is noticeably taller due to the placement of the GPS. If your camera bag is a tight fit height wise with the 1DX then you may need to refigure your bag or work a little hard getting the zipper closed. I did not need to reconfigure any of my Think Tank Bags but it's certainly a tighter fit.

3. The illuminated focus points are back in the 1DX II. You may recall that they were removed in the 1DX. 1D series owners launched a big stink over this but it didn't get too much traction as most were overwhelmed with all of the other significant improvements in the 1DX. Cannon did push out a firmware upgrade that gave is "blinky" red focus points but that was useless. It wasn't the same
https://www.learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2012/eos_1dx_firmware_up...

4. Canon has added a new toggle switch that makes switching from stills, Live View, and movie mode a snap. I can definitely see this as a plus even for those who don't shoot video as a part of their business. Being able to quickly toggle back and forth from video to stills will help photojournalists who might be required to produce both highlight video and stills, or a wedding photographer working on their own and needs to deliver both video clips and stills. Canon has simply made the switching process very easy for those who have an occasional need to shoot video. I'm going to invest a little time in money learning to shoot short highlight clips over the next couple of months and then see if any of my clients would be willing to pay additional money for this service. I doubt they will with all the videographers on the sidelines. But, who knows?? If I can convert this into a little income .... I'm all in. If I can't, then at least I'll know enough to say that I have the capability of shooting and delivery short (unedited) video clips.

5. Cfast technology, while still very expensive, is blazing fast both in the camera and when ingesting images onto your computer. I understand why Canon just put one Cfast slot into the 1DX II. However, as prices drop, I would expect that Canon will move to dual Cfast slots and move away from CF cards completely. Just keep this in mind as you are investing your money in storage media.

6. Anti-Flicker Mode does work. We all shoot in indoor and outdoor environments where aging mercury vapor lights destroy our images to the extent that you can't correct them in post production. The shots you can keep are only those where the light pulse is at it's peak. The Anti-Flicker technology in the Canon 1DX II actually works off the same theoretical principle but automates the process. Think of it as "P" mode for ambient light flickering. The shutter only releases when the light is at its peak. As the light cycles (pulses) the shutter will not release. The camera isn't correcting anything!!! Now, let's think about this long and hard folks!!!! Do you really want your camera determining when the right time to release the shutter is? In a real world situation .... no you do not. You would rather get all of the frames and then choose the images to use based on both quality and CONTENT. The default setting for Anti-Flicker is OFF.

Now, on to the Acid Tests. How does the 1DX II compare to the 1DX in the following areas which I believe are most important to sports photographers. "Useable" High ISO performance, overall image quality, and AF performance.

High ISO Performance - Over the history of the 1D Series, Canon has increased the high ISO capabilities AND digital noise at the same rate. For example, if they increased the useable ISO range by 1 full stop you also got the same stop improvement in noise control. That is not the case with the 1DX Mark II. A ISO 24,600 in from the 1DX Mark II is not the same as a ISO 12,800 from a 1DX. There are plenty of sample RAW files for you to download and compare for yourself. There are also plenty of user that are posting reviews that are essentially saying the same thing.

Overall Image Quality - Canon has included Diffraction Correction in the camera which helps eliminate the soft edges we sometimes get from the low-pass filter than covers the sensor. By default, diffraction correction is turned on.

For those of you who upgraded to the 1DX from a previous 1 series camera noticed a HUGH improvement in metering. You no longer had to add exposure compensation even to front lit subjects. The 100,000 pixel RGB color metering system in the 1DX cured many of those exposure problems we had and I'm sure the full frame sensor had a lot to do with that as well. Canon now uses 360,000 pixels in its color metering system and increased the size of the full-frame sensor by 11%.

IMO, the combination of diffraction correction, the addition of 260,000 more pixels being used for metering, and the modest increase in the size of the sensor that improve over-all image quality.

AF Performance - When I purchased my 1DX cameras I was very pleased to discover how vastly improved the AF system was right out of the box. In fact, my AF setting is left at the default "Case 1" setting 90% of the time. The only time I use a different setting or make adjustments is when the sport I am covering almost demands it. Swimming and tennis are two sports I switch my settings on.

Three years ago, I asked CPS how they were able to overcome previous AF issues and they told me that in addition to overhauling the AF from the ground up, the 100,000 RGB metering system played a major role in AI Servo mode allowing the camera to better define contrast which is the heart of all AF systems. The faster the AF system can distinguish subject to background looking for edges of contrast, the faster it will acquire and hold focus on a moving subject. Remember I told you that Canon increased the RGB metering system from 100,000 pixels to 360,000 pixels? All you need to do is play "connect the dots" to understand why the AF system is better (or improved) in the 1DX II vs the IDX. This video produced by Canon USA with Rudy Winston (Canon Learning Center) also supports many of the points I am referring to.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVZbOWXJQnY


Here's my bottom line. Both the 1DX and the 1DX Mark II are OUTSTANDING camera bodies. If you are using a 1D mark IV(or earlier model) and are considering upgrading .... your head will spin off your shoulders if you purchase either of them. The real decision for you is if you want to save $1500 and use that money on a future upgrade (1DX III ??)

If you are on a tight budget, I wouldn't hesitate a nanosecond to purchase a well taken care of 1DX from an original owner with 200,000 or less shutter clicks on it. I would insist that you ask the seller to provide a Canon Clean and Check report that's current (30-60 days) as well as a copy of their original purchase invoice verifying them as the only owner of the camera. Going price currently for a good used 1DX under these conditions is $3000-$3200. The higher end typically will include some freebees like a spare battery and older CF cards that the seller no longer will be using.

If you are like me, the IQ and AF alone make the 1DX Mark II worthy of your investment dollars. If you are just looking for improved usable high ISO performance then save your money. Also, other than batteries and storage media, the 1DX and the 1DXII work very well together so don't be too quick or feel like you have to upgrade all of your 1DX cameras to the 1DX II. For me, I will be very happy using both of these models over the next three years.

Finally, these are just my thoughts and are based on my testing and my experience. I could care less if you agree or disagree with them so I'm not looking for a mud slinging debate. I invested $6,100 to find out for myself how the 1DX II compared to the 1DX. For me, I have my questions answered.
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Steven Limentani, Photographer
Fletcher | NC | United States | Posted: 8:02 AM on 05.15.16
->> Kevin, great information! I previously posted a question about the buffer which based on prior information should not fill and slow until 170 RAW images. My experience with the Sandisk 64 GB cfast 2.0 extreme pro was that the frame rate slowed after a little over 90 frames, not what I expected. Comments here and research suggested that the write speed for the 64 GB card is slower than the 128 GB card. O bought the 128 GB card and in fact, although there were minor changes audibly in frame rate I got out to 400 frames before quitting the experiment without a major change in speed. I then put in a Lexar pro 1066x 32 GB UDMA 7 CF card in bay 1. Clear slowing at about 100 frames. I haven't checked the data, but if you only shoot jpegs at a high frame rate, I would submit that the card or bay you use is irrelevant. I also tried RAW plus JPEG and slowing was after 80 frames.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 9:26 AM on 05.15.16
->> Steve said -- "I haven't checked the data, but if you only shoot jpegs at a high frame rate, I would submit that the card or bay you use is irrelevant."

If you only shoot JPEGS with the 1DX, it's also pretty much irrelevant as well.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 9:35 AM on 05.15.16
->> I have encountered my first issue with my 1DX II. Twice, I have had the camera not work in Av or Tv modes. The metering system won't work and product a shutter speed (Av) or an aperture (Tv). Switch to P mode and neither shutter or aperture display. In all cases, the shutter won't release. To resolve, I've had to remove the lens and pull the battery. It's not the lens as I have had this happen on two different lenses (both of them are the most current versions of the 2.8L 70-200 IS and 2.8L 24-70. Likely a problem with the lens mount on the camera body.

Off to CPS is goes on Monday.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 11:26 AM on 05.15.16
->> Check that .....returning it to Roberts for replacement.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 2:40 PM on 05.16.16
->> Here's a video I took on my iPhone showing the camera malfunctioning. The camera is set to factory defaults, Av Mode 2.8, and auto ISO.

http://www.kevinkrows.com/p399391825/h70112e5e#h70112e5e


Note that the press of the shutter button will not produce a shutter value nor does the camera release the shutter. The lens is focused on an object.

Pull the battery .... same problem.

Pull the battery and remove lens .....same problem.

Pull the battery again ... shutter value is produced and camera fires the shutter. However, leave the camera alone for two minutes or turn it off and let it sit two minutes and the problem comes right back.

I have 6 Canon L lenses (all current versions) and have replicated this on all of them in every camera mode setting including Manual Mode.

It's not like I haven't had issues with brand new 1 series cameras in the past (shortly after purchase). I've had a shutter and mirror box motor fail within 24 hours, a system board fail within 2 hours, and a hot shoe not work at all. Par for the course I guess. Another reason I buy all my gear from a reputable dealer like Roberts in Indy. Jody and Nick were "on-it" and issued a return label and will ship a replacement tomorrow after they receive the defective unit.

I'm sure there are just as many stories like this from Nikon users as well. Just another day in the photo biz.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 8:32 AM on 05.19.16
->> Replacement camera arrived from Roberts yesterday afternoon. Seems to work as it should but will break it in a bit more today.

Funny ... I took some test shots for about an hour yesterday and noticed that the image files at higher ISO's appeared different. I'm wondering if the new RGB 360,000 pixel metering system on the first camera also malfunctioned. I'm going to retest the ISO 24,600 again and compare them with ISO 12,800 from the 1DX under outdoor lights (baseball field) and indoors (basketball gym).
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Gregory Greene, Photographer
Durham | NH | USA | Posted: 8:58 PM on 05.21.16
->> I'm holding off on buying one as I was mostly interested in high ISO performance. Current 1DX is still producing very fine output that the university has little complaint about. I will try to get an evaluation copy from Canon and see if the AF is all it's cracked up to be. I am especially interested if Canon has improved the ability of the AF tracking to ignore foreground objects. The 1DX is still kind of inconsistent with that to a certain extent no matter how you set it.

Ultimately I think this is a refurb purchase down the line as I don't see $6000 in improvements.
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