Canon EOS-1D X Mark II News/Now Available for Pre-order « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II News/Now Available for Pre-order

What’s Up?

Me. Early. With thoughts of the new camera racing through my head, I couldn’t sleep. I started this blog post at 3:02 am and published it at 4:18am.


Canon EOS 1D X Mark II

The much rumored Canon EOS-1D X Mark II as announced last night at 12:01am Eastern time. So what’s the big deal for bird photographers? The frame rate is 14 frames/second (with the ability to record up to 170 raw files in a single burst if using a CFast 2.0 memory card and up to 73 raw frames in a burst with a fast compact flash card) The High Density Reticular AF II and Dual Pixel CMOS AF systems benefit accurate focusing and fast AF tracking performance. A 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system is employed; this incorporates 41 cross-type points for increased precision as well as a center point that is sensitive to -3 EV. All 61 phase-detection points support metering at effective apertures of f/8 or larger, which benefits the use of teleconverters and telephoto lenses.

It’s the latter that is most impressive for me: my understanding is that we will no longer be restricted to the center AF point plus the four assist points (when Expand is set). We will be able to select any of the 61 AF points on the grid.

Notate Bene

While the above is clearly stated in the description of the new camera, I need to make sure that it is 100% accurate; I will get back to ya’ll either way. In addition, I will research the CFast 2.0 memory cards and let you know what I find out.

That Was Quick

Via e-mail this morning from Chuck Westfall

Good Morning, Artie! We’re glad to see you were right on top of the 1D X Mark II announcement. This camera looks like it’s going to be tailor-made for bird photography at the highest level of performance to date. It will be exciting to see what you come up with once you get a chance to use it!

Available for Pre-order

The new camera is currently available for pre-order here. B&H will receive more units with each shipment than any other dealer in the world so it only makes sense to order the camera now. The sooner you order, the sooner you will have your very own.

Though the 1D X and even the 1D IV batteries are backwards compatible with the new 1D X II, I would advise purchasing a single extra LP-E19 Battery Pack because you lose your 14 fps with the older batteries.

So What Will the Naysayers Be Naysaying?

Artie is just a Canon shill. With him, “Every new Canon camera is automatically the greatest. In January it was the Canon EOS 5DS R, and last year, it was the Canon EOS 7D Mark II.

The facts remain: the 7D II is the greatest-ever value in a dSLR; the files from the 5DS R are the sharpest that I have ever seen and contain more fine detail than any dSLR that I am aware of. And the 1D X II will offer improved AF and 14 fps as well as the ability to select any of the 61 AF points when working at f/8. The latter will include the times when you are using the 2X III with an f/4 super-telephoto lens like the Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II or, when you are using the 1.4X III TC with the 100-400mm L IS II.

As for my promoting every Canon camera ever released, I have never mentioned the 70D or the 6D, never have used either one.

Once I get my 1D X II from B&H I will travel with two Canon EOS 5DS R bodies and a single Canon EOS-1D X Mark II for flight and action and use with teleconverters. Who knows, that might flip flop in time…

The Full-on Hype

Bringing the shooting speed and video capabilities required by professional multimedia image-makers, the EOS-1D X Mark II is the flagship model within Canon’s DSLR lineup, and is characterized by its robust processing capabilities and ability to enable a high-end multimedia workflow. At the heart of the imaging system is a full-frame 20.2MP CMOS sensor and dual DIGIC 6+ image processors, which contribute to fast continuous shooting rates up to 16 fps in live view, 14 fps with full-time AF and AE, and an expanded sensitivity range from ISO 50-409600. The sensor and processor combination also avails DCI 4K video recording at 60 fps and Full HD 1080p recording at 120 fps, along with the ability to record on-board to a CFast 2.0 memory card or via HDMI to an optional external recorder. Benefitting stills shooting is an apt 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system, which includes 41 cross-type points for a high degree of precision in varying light conditions, and video shooting is enhanced by Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which makes its first appearance in a full-frame sensor for smooth, quick, and controllable AF in live view. With a versatile set of imaging traits, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II takes its place as a high-performance tool for professional photographers and videographers alike.

Complementing the robust set of imaging specs is an equally robust physical design based on a magnesium alloy body construction that is both dust- and weather-sealed for use in harsh environments. Integrated within the body is a large 3.2″ 1.62m-dot touchscreen LCD for bright, high-resolution live view monitoring and image review, and a large 0.76x Intelligent Viewfinder II is offered for clear eye-level shooting. For versatility in file handling, both CFast and CompactFlash memory card slots are available, and the 1D X Mark II also supports sharing imagery over Wi-Fi, as well as wireless remote camera control, via the optional WFT-E8A Wireless File Transmitter. Additionally, a built-in GPS module permits in-camera geotagging of photos and videos, and also allows for auto time syncing with the Universal Time Code for more efficient file sharing and organization.

20.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor and Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors

A redeveloped full-frame 20.2MP CMOS sensor pairs with dual DIGIC 6+ image processors to avail notable image quality and accuracy, as well as fast performance throughout the camera system. The sensor itself integrates a gapless structure with micro lenses to provide enhanced low-light performance and reduced noise levels, and when coupled with the processors an expanded sensitivity range of ISO 50-409600 is available.

The sensor and processors also work together to avail quick shooting performance, with continuous rates up to 16 fps when working in live view. When working with the viewfinder, shooting up to 14 fps is possible along with the ability to record up to 170 raw files in a single burst if using a CFast 2.0 memory card. If shooting JPEG files, an unlimited number of frames can be recorded in a burst, even at full-resolution. If working with a CompactFlash card, the buffer is rated at up to 73 raw frames in a burst, or infinite JPEGs.

In addition to the stills attributes afforded by the sensor, it is also used for recording DCI 4K video at up to 60 fps, and it is the first full-frame sensor to incorporate Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology for precise, controllable, and fast live view focusing performance.

High Density Reticular AF II and Dual Pixel CMOS AF Systems

Benefitting accurate focusing and fast tracking performance, a 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system is employed, which incorporates 41 cross-type points for increased precision as well as a center point that is sensitive to -3 EV. All 61 phase-detection points support metering at effective apertures of f/8 or larger, which benefits the use of teleconverters and telephoto lenses. Additionally, a separate, dedicated DIGIC 6 processor is used for the AF and metering systems in order to maintain quick performance while recording 4K video or shooting at fast continuous speeds. As a whole, the AF system has gained approximately 8.6% in coverage in the center, and 24% in the periphery, for enhanced subject tracking across the image frame, and an AI Servo AF III+ algorithm is used to intelligently and precisely acquire focus in single-point, Large Zone AF, or any other focusing mode.

When working with live view during stills shooting or video recording, a Dual Pixel CMOS AF system is employed that provides incredibly quick and accurate focusing performance in a similar manner to how a camcorder acquires focus. This system integrates two separate photodiodes within each pixel to provide a broad and dense network of phase-detection gathering elements across a majority of the image sensor to reduce focus hunting for faster, more direct control of focus placement. When working with still imagery, this focusing system works to acquire focus quickly and accurately, making it ideally suited to shooting and tracking moving subjects so that critical focus is attained with each shot. When shooting video, a Movie Servo AF mode offers smooth and natural focusing when changing from different subjects or different distances within the scene, as well as the ability to specify tracking sensitivity, AF speed, and Face Tracking priority. Benefited by the Touch AF system, rack focus is possible simply by touching elements within the scene on the touchscreen in order to change focus in an intuitive manner. Subject tracking in movies is also heightened due to the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system’s ability to recognize subjects and maintain focus when working within changing or cluttered scenery.

DCI 4K Video Recording

Designed for both professional stills shooting and video recording, the 1D X Mark II supports DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution recording at up to 60 fps at 800 Mbps, along with Full HD 1080p shooting at 120 fps at 360 Mbps for slow motion playback. When recording in-camera, or to an optional external recorder via HDMI for saving uncompressed footage, 4K video has 4:2:2 sampling and 8-bit color depth, while Full HD 1080p footage has 4:2:0 sampling. 4K video is recorded using a central 4096 x 2160 area of the sensor, while Full HD recording makes use of the entire full frame, and a top sensitivity of ISO 12800 is available with 4K or ISO 25600 with Full HD.

Audio can be recorded using the on-board stereo microphone or an optional external mic can also be used via the 3.5mm mic jack. Real time audio monitoring is possible, too, via the 3.5mm headphone jack. The 4K video recording also avails the ability to take 8.8MP still frame grabs during playback and save them as single images.

Body Design

A large 3.2″ 1.62m-dot Clear View II LCD monitor is available and features an anti-reflective design for bright, vivid image playback and live view shooting, and its touchscreen interface can be used for intuitive touch-to-focus control.
Dual CFast and CompactFlash memory card slots allow you to extend your file saving capabilities by permitting overflow recording or in-camera file type separation while shooting. The CFast card slot is compatible with CFast 2.0 memory cards.
An Intelligent Viewfinder II uses a pentaprism design and offers a bright means for viewing, along with a 0.76x magnification and 100% frame coverage. When using the viewfinder, AF points are highlighted in red for greater visibility in low-light conditions, and the finder can also be configured to display a range of other shooting aids, such as an electronic level, grid, flicker detection, white balance, metering mode, AF information, and other settings.

A robust magnesium alloy body design is both dust- and weather-sealed to permit working in harsh environments.An integrated vertical grip allows for comfortable, intuitive, and efficient handling when working in either vertical or horizontal shooting orientations. The included LP-E19 rechargeable lithium-ion battery is rated to provide up to 1210 shots per charge when shooting with the optical viewfinder. The 1D X Mark II is also compatible with LP-E4N and LP-E4 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, however the top continuous shooting rate will be slightly reduced to 14 fps in live view and 12 fps with AE and AF. A redesigned mirror mechanism helps to minimize mechanical vibrations in order to better ensure sharpness during long exposures or fast continuous shooting bursts.

The high-performance shutter utilizes lightweight carbon fiber blades for quick shooting speeds and is tested for up to 400,000 cycles.
Extensive connectivity ports allow for the attachment of various accessories, including the optional WFT-E8A Wireless File Transmitter for remotely controlling the camera from a smartphone or sharing files over Wi-Fi with support for the 5 GHz 802.11ac standard.

EOS Intelligent Tracking and Recognition AF

An advanced 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor works in tandem with the EOS Intelligent Tracking and Recognition AF system in order to maintain accurate and consistent metering results from subject to subject. High resolution, infrared sensitivity, and a refined detection algorithm all contribute to precise color and shape recognition, using the iSA (Intelligent Scene Analysis) system that quickens both exposure metering and autofocus performance. iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF also uses this exposure and subject recognition technology for improved moving subject tracking.

Other Camera Features

A built-in GPS module allows you to geotag imagery in-camera as well as auto time sync with the Universal Time Code via satellites. This module is compatible with American GPS, Russian GLONASS, and Japanese quasi-zenith Michibiki satellites for a wide coverage of support.
Digital Lens Optimizer technology compensates for a range of optical defects from various lenses, including chromatic aberration, distortion, peripheral brightness, and diffraction, and the camera can store lens data in order to avoid having to re-register lenses prior to each use.
In addition to full-resolution recording, files can also be recorded at reduced resolutions, including M-RAW and S-RAW sizes to save file size and memory card capacity.

Picture Style settings: Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Fine Detail, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, and User Defined 1-3.
Language support: English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Ukraine, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right πŸ™‚

20 comments to Canon EOS-1D X Mark II News/Now Available for Pre-order

  • avatar Alan McBride

    NB, easier to just write NB πŸ˜‰

  • avatar Charles Scheffold

    So glad they finally found a way around the center-point-only AF at f/8! This thing is going to be killer for big lenses with extenders.

  • avatar Kylie Jones

    Artie, do you have thoughts on why Canon chose a 20.2MP Sensor, rather than incorporating some of the new technology they seem to have with the 5DS with higher MP to allow for higher quality crops like you’ve been finding with 5DS R?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Kylie,

      No I don’t other than to say that there are lots of other great features that led to the 20.2mp sensor… This may help; from an interview with Chuck Westfall: AH is Arash Hazegi. CW is Canon’s Chuck Westfall.

      AH: What is the main feature/highlight of the new EOS-1D X Mark II compared to the original EOS-1D X?

      CW: The EOS-1D X Mark II delivers significant improvements in overall image quality, features and performance while maintaining a classic look and feel that makes it easy for current EOS-1D X owners to use. At its core, the EOS-1D X Mark II honors the original EOS-1 system concept of a high-performance camera designed for professional imaging creators, seamlessly integrating Canon’s latest technological advancements including DIGIC 6+ image processors and Dual Pixel CMOS AF.

      AH: In addition to the very modest increase in resolution from 18 to 20 Mega-pixels, what improvements have Canon made to the CMOS image sensor that would translate to a higher image quality when shooting in RAW (CR2) format?

      CW: In addition to the first implementation of Dual Pixel CMOS AF in a full frame image sensor, the EOS-1D X Mark II showcases the latest Canon image sensor technologies such as new photodiode construction, new color filters, and greater photo-electric conversion efficiency. In plain English, the new image sensor delivers higher image quality at all ISO speeds for both RAW image data and JPEG files.

      AH: We can imagine that Canon could have opted for a higher resolution sensor while keeping the camera at 12 fps. What guided Canon’s product development to specify an even higher frame rate instead? Did the hardware requirement associated with 4K video recording influence this decision at all?

      CW: We carefully evaluated the anticipated needs and priorities of current and future image makers in a variety of specialties including sports, photojournalism, commercial, nature, wildlife, wedding and portraits, etc., and did our best to produce a professional tool that would exceed all of their expectations. The integration of DCI-4K/60P video in this camera is a clear acknowledgment of the growing importance of high-quality video for professional applications, but at the same time we were able to significantly upgrade the performance of this camera for many still photography assignments.

      best, artie

      • avatar Kylie Jones

        Thanks Artie, that’s interesting. It’ll be good to hear how it performs when people get their hands on them.

  • avatar Glen Graham

    Take notes? Um…no.

  • avatar Graham hedrick


  • avatar Wtlloyd

    What a lovely camera to have in Namibia! Unfortunately the ship date is expected to be April 15.
    I used the BAA link to order, Artie!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Yup, I was thinking the same thing. Here’s a tip: cancel your order and re-order the kit with the CFast card. You get a $300 rebate so in effect you get the card free . Unless you already did that πŸ™‚

      IAC, huge thanks.

      later and much love,


      ps: the huge one for me is all 61 AF points with the big lenses and the 2X not to mention the same with the 100-400 II and the 1.4X. Compositional freedom at last!

  • avatar David Policansky

    Artie: Do you ever use video on your DSLRs?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I have done a bit and have some really, really good clips. I will try to learn to edit at least one from the Galapagos: Waved Albatross courtship dance and post it here. It is hilarious.


  • avatar graham hedrick

    I forgot the price of a sparkle-ly, spangle-ly, brand new 1D series is. I think I will buy a used 1D mkIV. Any idea where I can get one πŸ˜‰

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      None listed right now but we have sold ten in the past year. And there will be more, along with some 1D X bodies as well πŸ™‚ a

  • Hello, Arthur! I’ve been noticing your not infrequent usage of “notate bene”, which is the plural form of “nota bene” – why do we pluralize? It seems the wrong move, but then again I am on most days wrong at least twice before breakfast. Please illuminate us! Good beans to you otherwise…

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hey Jack,
      I am thinking that since there are two things to note that I should use the plural. Do feel free to educate me πŸ™‚

      later and love, artie

      • With thanks to you, I’ve been researching this all morning, and it’s quite interesting. First: the number of items on your list should not enter the equation. The plural form may be used when you are addressing an audience, but such practice is deemed “unnecessary”. Look at this juicy tidbit I found: “nota bene is regarded as correct usage irrespective of number by all but the most pedantic language users.” Ha! Do you rank yourself among the most pedantic? If so, please continue to use “notate bene” without a second thought. As for my accusing you of making the wrong move – mea maxima culpa and then some…

      • avatar David Policansky

        I assumed you used the plural form because there are many of us students.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Thanks, Artie. Looks interesting. By the way, I find the 6D, which you point out you’ve never mentioned, to be as great a value as the 7D2 (and it focuses down to -3 EV!).

  • Come On Tax Refund!