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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Canon 1DX II (PART 2)
Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 7:18 AM on 05.22.16
->> Original thread maxed out at 50 posts so continuing the discussion ...

Greg Grenne said, " 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.


Greg - I don't think you'll be overly impressed with high ISO improvements. You will see noticeable improvements in the AF however. The RGB 100,000 pixel metering system that also assists AF in the 1DX is now a 360,000 RGB pixel metering system in the 1DXII so the AF has more information to work with. Bottom line, the AF is better in the 1DXII but the AF in the 1DX is also outstanding.

I would have to agree with you that there isn't $6,000 in improvements particularly for photographer only types that don't shoot video.
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Tim Gangloff, Photographer
Knoxville | Tn | USA | Posted: 9:39 AM on 05.22.16
->> "would have to agree with you that there isn't $6,000 in improvements particularly for photographer only types that don't shoot video."

This is the part that I don't understand. The cost of the 1dx is now $4600 at BHPhoto. The 1dx2 is $6k. That is a $1400 difference. Now, for some folks like me who will be selling a 1dx to help fund a 1dx2, I might get a little over $3k for my used 1dx, making the upgrade cost somewhere around $3k. Again, far less than $6k.

So, when you factor in better AF, GPS, Anti-Flicker, video improvements, buffer improvements, cfast speed of downloads, red af points, 2 more MP, and a few other nice features, I think the $1.4k is a pretty reasonable upgrade and for some, even reasonable at $3k. Also, for those buying a 1dx2 over the 1dx and planning on keeping it for a really long time, you are getting a newer body with a longer service date range

I probably wouldn't disagree if it was a $6k upgrade, but I do disagree with the math that gets you to $6k price difference/upgrade cost.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 2:54 PM on 05.22.16
->> Tim - There are a mix of 1DX owners out there that simply want to know if the cost to upgrade to the 1DX Mark II is worth their "Net" investment after trade or no trade. I think Greg was one of those that wasn't going to trade but rather keep his 1DX as a backup. In his case the cost to go to the 1DX II would be $6000. If he did trade, it would be $3000.

As I've said before, many photographers (who don't shoot video) measure the value on the upgrade based three things. High ISO performance, AF speed and accuracy, and overall image quality. As the owner of both the 1DX and the 1DX II I can now say that:

1. We didn't get usable higher ISO performance by 1 stop. If we did then a ISO 25,600 file in a 1DXII would like a 12,800 file. It does not.

2. Overall image quality is a little better but not a lot. I believe the diffraction correction which corrects the softness of the image due to the low pass filter on the sensor can be credited for that. Of course, you can also correct it in Lightroom as well.

3. Where the 1DX Mark II excels above the 1DX is in AF performance. As Rudy Winston from Canon acknowledged in the video I shared, Canon uses the RGB metering system to help refine the AF. In the 1DX you have 100,000 pixels and in the 1DX II you have 360,000 pixels.

Yes, there are other features but the acid test is in these three. My final thought is that both the 1DX and 1DX II are outstanding cameras. The best that Canon has ever produced. Neither will disappoint. I plan on using both.
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Gregory Greene, Photographer
Durham | NH | USA | Posted: 5:22 PM on 05.22.16
->> With no high ISO improvements it all comes down to AF now as the other improvements are negligible to me. I'll have to actually use it to make an AF assessment so that is why I'm hoping to get an evaluation copy from Canon at some point. It will have to raise the bar quite a bit for me to spend $6000.

There are also some caveats that I'm not sure I like as well. For one thing the new battery does not appear as good as the LP-e4n. There are some user experiences that seem to show it has quite a bit less capacity. Also, the 1DX2 seems to drain the battery if you keep it in the body. Never seen that before with a 1D body. I also do not like the overly yellowish color showing up in a lot of samples online. Makes skin tones look awful.

I have to say this is one of the toughest upgrade decisions I've had in a while. The 1D2 -> 1D4 upgrade was easy (skipped the AF fiasco of the 1D3), 1D4 -> 1DX was easy as well. The 1DX -> 1DX2 seems like a case of diminishing returns. I don't see as much value in it.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:46 AM on 05.23.16
->> Greg - Respect your thoughts and concerns. The 1DXII, unlike the 1DX, is not a "game changer" when it comes to upgrading. I haven't noticed any yellow casts but can confirm that the new battery does drain faster and does loose some juice just sitting in the camera. Put a fully charged battery the night before a shoot and when I got on location the following day in the afternoon the battery was at 93% according to the battery status in the camera.

You, and many other sports photographers (including myself), have been using the 1 series since the beginning and know which features "bring home the bacon" and noticeably change the performance and quality of your work.

We also don't like paying for expensive features that we don't need or want. I don't shoot video because the market I serve won't pay for it. I'm a regional photographer (within 7 miles of my house) and don't need a GPS system to tell me where the shot was taken. "Funky Features", like Anti-Flicker, sound good until you learn how Canon accomplished it (by only releasing the shutter when the light is at the top of the power cycle from the flickering light). The first time you discover that you have missed critical frames you'll be changing the setting for anti-flicker back to its default setting of OFF.

Regardless of all of that, I think you will find the AF system + buffering on the 1DX II to be much better than the 1DX. I think there is general agreement from all owners on this as I haven't read any reviews to the contrary. What does make it difficult, however, is that the 1DX also has a great AF system except in very low contrast shooting situations. The 1DXII is better because it uses 360% more RGB pixels for metering. Both the 1DX and the 1DXII AF systems use the metering system to refine focus. The improvements to the AF and buffering were enough for me to justify making the investment. I own one copy and will purchase a second next month. I'm lucky that my business and my clients will support that decision.

Finally, I know at least two photographers that use legacy bodies (1DMK II and Mark III)and will still kick my butt any day of the week. I wish I had their eyes, reflexes, knees, and back. They are proof that equipment alone doesn't cut it.
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Dylan Wilson, Photographer, Assistant
Savannah | GA | USA | Posted: 5:15 PM on 05.23.16
->> I shot 10,000 images with a 1DX MkII this weekend at several fashion shows with models coming straight at the camera and tracking left to right. The camera missed focus on two of them. To say that I was pleased is an understatement. Especially since the autofocus on my day-to-day camera, a 5d MkIII, is so bad.

Invest in the C Fast cards. The write speeds are incredible. Especially when hammering the shutter.

I never went above 2000 iso, so I can't comment on how well it handles higher isos, but it was definitely cleaner than the 5d Mkiii.

I haven't shot a 1DX, but the 1DX MkII was a really incredible camera.
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Daniel Malmberg, Photographer
Huskvarna | Sweden | Sweden | Posted: 6:49 PM on 05.23.16
->> @Kevin.
The major reason for the built in GPS are actually not the positioning itself. But the accuracy of the time signal. Since that accuracy are about milliseconds. The timestamp in the images will be really accurate.
This is really useful for some big agencies att the really big events.

When it comes to battery life. If you have your GPS enabled in "mode 1". It will try to achieve signals from the satellites. Even if the camera are shut off.

Other than that. I got my 1Dx mkII last Thursday. And used it att a soccer game in Sunday.
What i can say for now, is that I'm impressed with the auto focus.
Some images, and thought about the new AF-system here:
http://blogg.photo-it.net/2016/05/soccer-with-canon-1dx-mkii-elfsborg-j.htm...
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 5:33 AM on 05.24.16
->> @Dan - You're the MAN!! Thanks for the "practical" details on the GPS and it's impact to the battery as well. This makes perfect sense and I will check out my settings.

I can see where the GPS providing accurate time and location stamps would be critical for large agencies and big events. I will re-evaluate its value as it relates to my own business.

@Dylan - Sounds to me that you agree that the AF system (combined with speed of CFast and buffering in the 1DXII)should be the "headline" to the story. I have shot the 1DX for the past 4 years and the AF has definitely been improved in the 1DXII. Just don't want anyone to think that the AF system in the 1DX is inferior. It isn't...it's a great system as well .... 1DXII is just better.
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Steven Limentani, Photographer
Fletcher | NC | United States | Posted: 5:08 PM on 05.24.16
->> I have had the opportunity to shoot with my 1DX II a couple of times at soccer matches with a 200-400 f4. Two comments, the AF system is markedly better than the 1DX, not just a little. Speed of acquiring an in focus image is remarkable although I use custom settings and not a standard "case." Cfast cards great, but if you are shooting RAW, the write speeds are faster with 128 GB card.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 9:34 PM on 05.24.16
->> @Steven L - Care to share your custom setting that you use?
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:20 AM on 05.25.16
->> Had an interesting discovery today while processing images in Lightroom.

I have profiles (presets) set up for 1DX cameras for all the various locations that I shoot based on camera settings and lighting conditions. I shot a graduation ceremony last night in a high school gym that I regularly shoot. My profile was based on ISO 12,800 F4 1/1250 available light. Obviously, I really didn't need that fast a shutter but wanted to use this as a test as these are my settings when shooting basketball and volleyball in this gym. It was a Jr. High graduation so not a mission critical event.

I used a 1DX body and a 1DX Mark II body both with the same settings. When I opened my files in Lightroom and applied my preset I immediately noticed that the files shot with the 1DX Mark II were flat and soft and the 1DX files were perfect. I discovered the reason was because the 1DX Mark II had too much noise reduction applied to them. I turned off noise reduction on a 1DX Mark II file and BOOM the image was sharp, contrast restored, but too much noise was present. I began adjusting the luminance and color noise sliders to clean things up. The final result was that both adjustments were 1/3rd the values of my 1DX preset and the details in the image were very clean. I always look at hair and eyes to evaluate this.

Summary.... while I still see absolutely no difference in the noise of a 12,800 ISO file from either camera, less noise adjustment is required in post production which leaves the processed file very clean and sharp (much better than the 1DX file). So, while we didn't get the +1 stop high iso improvement we were hoping for within a usable range (ISO 24,600 in 1DX MKII = ISO 12,800 in 1DX)we did get files that require far less noise reduction in post production to clean them up.

In case you are wondering, I did shoot a few ISO 24,600 in the 1DX Mark II and did not achieve the same results. Guess this is good news and bad news. I give credit to the new sensor for this discovery.
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Tim Gangloff, Photographer
Knoxville | Tn | USA | Posted: 10:52 AM on 05.25.16
->> Yes, I found the same thing and am still experimenting with my LR recipies for the 1dx2. They clearly are two different animals that need different settings. I think once I get better at them, the differences will be a bit bigger. Not sure about 1 full stop, but I think it will be pretty close. I posted an image from the 1dx2 over here: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1427026/4 that is at iso 25.6K. It was taken at a poorly lit (typical) HS baseball field near the dugout where there was even less light than in the middle of the infield as it was partially shaded by the dugout. Also, Anti-Flicker was active, but I don't know of any way to know for sure if it kicked in for this image. The AF light in the viewfinder was active, showing it was picking up flicker, but I don't know of any way to know whether it was active for this image.
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 3:33 PM on 05.26.16
->> Not owning one yet, but for shooting a ton of High School Football in the fall, I'm looking forward to purchasing one. Reason being, I can't stand the 7DII and my 1Dx doesn't have anti-flicker which kills me at so many high schools that have lights wired on a 1 or 2 phase electrical system.

If Canon would be so nice as to add voice annotation to something like the 7DII I wouldn't be so against using it, but I also can't get the same focus results as I do with the 1Dx. That's worth the upgrade money for me right there... that's how many schools around here "flicker" :/
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Steven Limentani, Photographer
Fletcher | NC | United States | Posted: 5:28 PM on 05.26.16
->> Kevin--I used tracking sensitivity +2, accel/decel +1 and AF pt auto -2. Canon suggests case 4 for soccer which has tracking sensitivity at 0. I generally use the same setting for soccer and football.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:00 PM on 05.26.16
->> -2 on AF point auto switching? 0, 1, or 2 ar the only options on my cameras.
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Steven Limentani, Photographer
Fletcher | NC | United States | Posted: 11:02 PM on 05.26.16
->> Kevin, you are correct, should have said zero
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 9:42 AM on 05.27.16
->> Thanks, Steve.

Here's my setup for everything I shoot:

Selectable AF Points = Only Cross Type
AF Points in Viewfinder = Ring of Fire (center and 4 points around.

AF Case = Case 1

In my custom menu I have the three adjustments listed:
Tracking Sensitivity 0
Accl./Decel. 0
AF Point Switching 0

I make adjustments to these settings based upon my actual experience shooting all sports. Here's how I make my decisions when shooting:

1. I never change AF Point Switching. It's always 0. I don't want the camera determining which AF points to use when tracking. I can see where this would be handy for people shooting birds of flight however.

2. If I notice that the camera is struggling to acquire initial focus, I will increase the tracking sensitivity. +1 typically takes care of things.

3. If I drop focus due to a subject moving erratically, I will increase Accl./Decl. to +1. The only time I can recall moving to +2 was shooting ice hockey.

4. If I drop focus due to subjects in front of or back of the subject I am tracking then I move the tracking sensitivity to a -1 or -2. In all honesty, this rarely happens as 0 is very good.

What any new user of a 1DX or 1DXII needs to understand is that the default setting of Case 1 is pretty dam good for most sports. I suggest that rather than memorize all the cases, you learn to fine tune Case 1 using Acc/Del and Tracking Sensitivity based on the actual shooting situation. One soccer match isn't the same as the other. One might be more an offensive attack with break-outs and the other defensive protect (steal the ball). Yet another may be and hornets nest at mid-field the entire game. Learning these two adjustments will allow you quickly resolve issues on the fly particularly when accessed from your custom menu. When I hit my Menu button, that's the screen that pops up first.

On my custom menu, I also have Format Card, Battery Level, and File Numbering.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 5:40 PM on 05.27.16
->> Canon and Sandisk both recommend periodic sanitizing CFast 2.0 cards using Sandisk's utility found here:

http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/17370/~/cfast-2.0-full-format...
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 11:17 AM on 05.28.16
->> The Sandisk application is a bit funky.

1. After installation on a Windows PC, right click the application>> properties >>compatibility tab and then check the box that says Run as Administrator. Save and close.

2. Place the card in the reader before launching the application. The application won't read the card if you put it in after the launch.

3. Once you have sanitized your card and placed it back into your camera. You will get a very brief "Cannot Read Card in Slot 2". This will disappear in a few seconds.

4. Format all cards in the camera before using.

The application works fine thereafter. I just wish the genius who work the application wasn't smoking dope when he wrote it.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:32 PM on 08.27.16
->> Last night I shot a football game at a high school that has horrible lighting. I've been looking forward to this game for several months because I wanted to give the anti-flicker feature a good workout. Prior to last night, I hade only done some testing.

I've already discussed the technical aspects of this feature in my original post on the 1DXII
http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=43288

Here's my final thoughts after using the feature for an entire game. Yes, it works but you will miss shots as the performance of the camera will be degraded significantly. If eliminating anti-flicker in camera is more important than correcting it in post production is more than getting critical shots then more power to you. Otherwise, leave the feature set to its default setting which is OFF (Disabled).
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:38 PM on 08.27.16
->> High ISO Performance -

Is there noticeable differences between a 12,800 files produced by the 1DX and the IDXII

My answer: NO

Do you really get an extra stop in the 1DXII over 1DX? In other words, does the ISO 25,600 file from a 1DXII appear to be as good as a ISO 12,800 file from the 1DX?

My answer: Absolutely NO
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:51 PM on 08.27.16
->> What are the compelling reasons to upgrade from the 1DX to the 1DXII?

My Answer:

1. Noticeable improvement in AI Servo
2. Speed (FPS)
3. Buffering improvements as a result of Cfast technology.

Don't care about AI Servo, FPS, or Buffering then the 1DX is your camera. I'm keeping my two 1DX bodies and will be using them with my two 1DXII bodies. Both work great together.

Hopefully both of my threads have helped others and taken them to the next step in the decision making process ...

1. Take a pass on the 1DXII, or...
2. Buy one and do your own testing.

My thoughts are my thoughts ... not the gospel.
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Thread Title: Canon 1DX II (PART 2)
Thread Started By: Kevin Krows
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