The Canon EOS-1D X is the latest in the company’s professional range of DSLRs. Its job is to replace both the sports-orientated 1D series and the high-resolution, studio-focused 1DS range of cameras. As is usual for upgrades in this class of camera, the changes are incremental and subtle but aim to raise the bar of what is possible.
The biggest specification change to the 1D X is its new sensor – an 18MP full-frame CMOS chip capable of shooting at 12 frames per second. This represents a big change over the 1D Mk IV (it represents a move away from the smaller APS-H format that Canon has previously used in its sports cameras), and a decrease in pixel count compared to the 1DS series. However, as Rick Berk, Technical Specialist in Canon USA’s Pro Engineering and Solutions Division says: ‘there’s more to image quality than just resolution.’
There’s a couple of things that we consider when we think about IQ: number one on this sensor is noise. It’s clear the noise level is better than in the 1D Mk IV or the 1DS III. The pixel size is larger than in the 1DS III or 5D Mark II (6.95 microns, versus 6.4) and the difference is even more striking compared to the 5.7 micron pixels in the 1D Mark IV. That helps us in terms of light capturing ability and increases the signal to noise ratio. In turn, that does nothing but help the dynamic range of the camera.