Canon EOS-1D X Announced « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon EOS-1D X Announced

The new Canon EOS-1D X will feature a completely new 61-point autofocus system, fast shooting up to 12 fps, an 18-Megapixel full-frame CMOS Sensor, full HD video recording and much more.


While I am swamped getting ready to head to Homer, AK next Monday for the two now-sold-out IPTs and have not had time to study the announcement, I did want to share it with you here. Click here to see the official press release.


LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., October 18, 2011 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, is proud to introduce a completely revolutionized EOS-1D series camera, the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera.* As the new leader in Canon’s arsenal of professional DSLRs, the EOS-1D X will be a high-speed multimedia juggernaut replacing both the EOS-1Ds Mark III and EOS-1D Mark IV models in Canon’s lineup. Enhancing the revolutionary image quality of the EOS-1Ds and speed capabilities of the EOS-1D series, the EOS-1D X DSLR features an 18-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, Dual DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processors, 14-bit A/D data conversion and capable of shooting an incredible 12 frames-per-second (fps). Canon’s EOS DSLR cameras and accessories have a long-standing legacy of providing high-quality results to professionals in a wide range of markets, including sports, nature, cinematography, wedding and commercial studios. The addition of this new model will help take this tradition to a whole new level.

The EOS-1D X announcement comes on the heels of Canon’s recent manufacturing milestone with the production of the Company’s 50-millionth EOS-series SLR camera in September of 2011. Furthermore, Canon will achieve yet another milestone at the end of this month producing the 70-millionth EF lens.

“The EOS-1D X represents the re-invention of the EOS-1Ds and EOS-1D series, combining new proprietary Canon technologies with the culmination of customer feedback and requests from the field. We are proud to introduce this camera to the worldwide community of professional photographers and cinematographers with the features and capabilities they need to capture the great moments that display their talent,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

The Camera With Three Brains

The EOS-1D X features three DIGIC processors, including Dual DIGIC 5+ image processors capable of delivering approximately 17 times more processing speed than DIGIC 4, and a dedicated DIGIC 4 for metering and AF control. In conjunction with the newly developed high-performance 18-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS image sensor, the Dual DIGIC 5+ processors provide high-speed continuous shooting, lower noise, and a significant increase in data processing speed than previous EOS-1D models. This new level of data processing speed allows the EOS-1D X to perform many functions including chromatic aberration correction for various Canon EF lenses in-camera instead of through post-production software. The DIGIC 4 processor utilizes a new 100,000-pixel RGB Metering Sensor for enhanced exposure accuracy with color and face detection, and works together with the camera’s new EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF.

The EOS-1D X employs a completely new imaging sensor, producing the lowest noise of any EOS digital camera to date for stunning portraiture and studio work. The new 18-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor utilizes large pixels – 1.25 microns larger than those in the EOS-1D Mark IV sensor and .55 microns larger than those in the EOS 5D Mark II sensor – together with gapless microlenses to achieve enhanced light gathering efficiency, higher sensitivity and less noise at the pixel level. The new sensor has improved on the already very high signal-to-noise ratio of sensor output of earlier EOS models for outstanding image quality, even in extremely low light. When combined with the Dual DIGIC 5+ imaging processors the results are stunning. The images produced with the EOS-1D X camera’s new sensor are so clean that files can easily be up-sized if necessary for even the most demanding high-resolution commercial applications. The EOS-1D X will also feature new Ultrasonic Wave Motion Cleaning (UWMC), Canon’s second generation self-cleaning sensor unit, which utilizes carrier wave technology to remove smaller dust particles from the sensor and it includes a new fluorine coating on the infrared absorption glass to help repel dust.

The low-light capability of the EOS-1D X is evident in its incredible ISO range and ability to photograph in extremely low-light conditions. Adjustable from ISO 100 to 51,200 within its standard range, the new model offers a low ISO 50 setting for studio and landscape photography and two high settings of 102,400 at H1 and 204,800 at H2, ideal for law enforcement, government or forensic field applications.

New 61-Point High Density Reticular AF

The EOS-1D X includes a brand new 61-Point High Density Reticular AF, the most sophisticated DSLR AF system Canon has ever released. The 21 focusing points in the central area are standard precision cross-type and effective with maximum apertures as small as f/5.6, depending on the lens in use. The center five points are also high-precision diagonal cross-type points for maximum apertures as small as f/2.8. All 61 points are sensitive to horizontal contrast with maximum apertures as small as f/5.6 and 20 of the outer focusing points function as cross-type points with maximum apertures as small as f/4.0. Other innovations of the new 61-point High Density Reticular AF include expanded AF coverage area, superior focusing precision and low light sensitivity, and greater low-contrast subject detection capability compared to earlier EOS AF systems.

This diagram shows the AF point configuration for the new Canon EOS-1D X.

All AF functions now have their own menu tab for quick and easy access (formerly AF custom functions in previous EOS models). A new AF Configuration Tool allows for customized setting of tracking sensitivity, the acceleration and deceleration of tracking subjects, and AF point auto switching, all of which are easily accessed and adjusted via the new AF menu tab. A built-in Feature Guide advises photographers on which settings to use according to subject matter.

Similar to the AF point selection options offered in the EOS 7D Digital SLR camera, the EOS-1D X offers six AF point selection modes: Spot, Single Point, Single Point with surrounding four points, Single Point with surrounding eight points, Zone selection and Automatic AF point selection.

This diagram shows the AF Area Selection Modes. (Note: these modes will be similar to those offered on the EOS-7D.)

EOS iTR AF: Intelligent Tracking and Recognition Enhances AF Performance

The Canon EOS-1D X features incredible new EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF options ideal for wedding and event photography as well as sports and photojournalism. The default AF mode for the EOS-1D X uses phase detection AF information, while a new second option uses Face Detection technology to track recognized faces in addition to color information, ideal when shooting events such as tennis or dancing where facial recognition of the original subject will help keep that person in focus throughout the scene.

Exposure Control

For the first time in a Canon DSLR camera, a DIGIC processor is used exclusively with the metering sensor for fast, accurate exposure control. The Canon DIGIC 4 processor takes advantage of the EOS-1D X’s 100,000-pixel RGB Metering Sensor and utilizes 252 zones for general metering or 35 zones for low-light metering to help ensure accurate evaluative ambient or flash exposure. The new subject recognition capabilities enhance nearly all of the camera’s automatic functions, helping to adjust exposure, autofocus, Auto Lighting Optimizer and Automatic Picture Style to the scene being captured for enhanced image quality.

Multiple Exposure Modes

The EOS-1D X is the first EOS Digital SLR to feature Multiple Exposure capability. The camera can combine up to nine individual images into a single composite image, with no need for post-processing in a computer. Four different compositing methods are provided for maximum creative control, including Additive, Average, Bright and Dark. Compositing results can be viewed in real time on the camera’s LCD monitor, and there is a one-step Undo command that allows photographers to delete an image and try again if desired. The EOS-1D X’s Multiple Exposure mode even allows photographers to specify a previously captured RAW image as the starting point for a new Multiple Exposure composite image.

Super High Speed Mode

The Canon EOS-1D X camera breaks new ground in the world of digital SLRs, offering a Super High Speed Mode which increases shooting speeds up to 14 fps at full 18-megapixel resolution in JPEG modei. The new camera is also capable of shooting RAW, JPEG, or RAW+JPEG at speeds up to 12 fps in One Shot AF or AI Servo AF for enhanced performance in sports photography and other applications requiring high-speed digital capture. This new level of performance is made possible by the combination of the EOS-1D X’s 16-channel readout CMOS sensor, Dual DIGIC 5+ image processors, and a completely new reflex mirror mechanism that has been engineered by Canon to combine high-performance with exceptional precision and reliability.

Enhanced EOS HD Video – New Compressions, Longer Recording

Centered around an all-new full-frame CMOS sensor with larger pixels than those found on the EOS 5D Mark II image sensor, the EOS-1D X utilizes new HD video formats to simplify and speed up post-production work. The two new compression formats offered on the EOS-1D X include intraframe (ALL-i ) compression for an editing-friendly format and interframe (IPB) compression for superior data compression, giving professionals the options they need for their ideal workflow. Answering the requests of cinematographers and filmmakers, the EOS-1D X includes two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, allowing multiple cameras or separate sound recording to be synced together in post production.

Canon’s all new full-frame CMOS sensor ensures that video footage captured on the EOS-1D X will exhibit less moiré than any previous Canon model, resulting in a significant improvement in HD video quality. A desired feature for many documentary filmmakers using Canon DSLRs was to enable recording beyond the four gigabyte (GB) file capacity and the EOS-1D X is the answer. The new camera features automatic splitting of movie files when a single file exceeds 4GB. The new file splitting function allows for continuous video recording up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files; no frames are dropped and the multiple files can be seamlessly connected in post production, providing filmmakers the recording time they want in the same convenient DSLR form factor. The camera records Full HD at 1920 x 1080 in selectable frame rates of 24p (23.976), 25p, or 30p (29.97); and 720p HD or SD video recording at either 50p or 60p (59.94). SD video can be recorded in either NTSC or PAL standards.

The Canon EOS-1D X also includes manual audio level control, adjustable both before and during movie recording, an automatic setting, or it can be turned off entirely. A wind filter is also included. Sound can be recorded either through the internal monaural microphone or via an optional external microphone through the stereo mic input.

Enhanced Ergonomics & Optimized Design

Photographers familiar with Canon’s EOS 1D-series of cameras will notice the control configuration of the EOS-1D X takes a different approach to button placement. The re-designed exterior and ergonomic button configuration feels comfortable in your right hand, allowing seamless navigation through menu options.The Live View Button has been conveniently placed near the user’s thumb for one-touch switching between Live View and Viewfinder shooting. The Quick Control Button and menu navigation controls will allow users to change camera settings using only their right hand, for fast, simple one-handed control using their thumb on the scroll wheel. The new multi-controller is positioned by the right hand thumb when the camera is held for vertical shooting and enables the same level of control to camera operators when shooting vertically as they have when shooting horizontally. On the front of the camera are four user assignable function buttons, two for vertical shooting and two for horizontal shooting, allowing customizable button control when shooting in either position. The camera also features a level of weather resistance equivalent to earlier professional models such as the EOS-1D Mark IV.

Canon has answered the request of many professional EOS photographers and incorporated Dual Card Slots into the new EOS-1D X DSLR camera. The dual CF card slots will allow photographers to carry only one memory card format and still achieve instant image back-ups and enhanced storage capacity.

This camera also features a new shutter design with even greater durability and precision. Rated to 400,000 cycles, the new carbon fiber shutter blades are more lightweight and durable, allowing the EOS-1D X to achieve over 100,000 cycles more than the shutter of the EOS-1D Mark IV. A new shutter motion and new motor help further reduce vibration in the camera. The EOS-1D X also features an electronic first curtain, new to the EOS-1D series DSLRs, for minimal in-camera vibration during image capture.


For professional photographers who prefer a wired workflow and transfer system, Canon has included a built-in LAN connection in the EOS-1D X DSLR. The built-in LAN connection features a gigabit Ethernet Jack capable of 1000BASE-T transmission speeds, offering photographers a stable wired connection for ultra-fast data transmission. If the network were to go down, the camera will attempt to resend images until the files are sent. The EOS-1D X also features a direct image transfer function whereby images can be selected for transfer, and only sent once a LAN or USB connection is established.


Designed exclusively for the EOS-1D X, the new Canon WFT-E6A Wireless File Transmitter* features wireless LAN support for 802.11n network transfer rates providing users with increased communication speed when compared to previous models. With this new dust and weather resistant model, professionals can synchronize clocks on multiple cameras and use the unit to support linked shooting when utilizing multiple cameras. In addition, Bluetooth-compatible equipment can be easily linked to the device as well.

The EOS-1D X also offers an optional Canon GP-E1 GPS Receiver*, which can be easily integrated into the camera’s body. Powered by the camera, this GPS receiver provides the same weatherproof resistance as the EOS-1D X, even at the connector. With an electronic compass on-board, the GP-E1 will log movement – latitude, longitude, elevation, and the Universal Time Code – and allow viewing of camera movement on a PC after shooting. The receiver will also record camera direction when shooting, even when shooting vertically.

Pricing and Availability

The Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera is scheduled for March 2012 availability and will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $6,800.00. The compact, lightweight WFT-E6A Wireless File Transmitter is scheduled to be available in March 2012 and have an estimated retail price of $600. Availability for the GP-E1 GPS receiver is expected in April 2012 with an estimated retail price of $300.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), a top patent holder of technology, ranked fourth overall in the U.S. in 2010†, with global revenues of more than US $45 billion and is listed as number five in the computer industry on Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies 2011 list. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. At Canon, we care because caring is essential to living together in harmony. Founded upon a corporate philosophy of Kyosei – “all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future” – Canon U.S.A. supports a number of social, youth, educational and other programs, including environmental and recycling initiatives. Additional information about these programs can be found at To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting


* This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.

† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Specifications, price and availability are subject to change without notice.

All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.

i Super High Speed Continuous shooting at 14 fps requires mirror lock and JPEG mode at ISO speeds less than 32000.

18 comments to Canon EOS-1D X Announced

  • […] details and price is made available on these Canon EOS-1D X accessories we will update this page. There are a number of accessories that have been developed exclusively for the Canon EOS-1D X which…or the Canon EOS-1D X which are not compatible with other Canon DSLR bodies. Canon GP-E1 GPS […]

  • Ted Willcox

    Just one last word on the EOS-1DX. Canon states that the EOS-1DX replaces the 1Ds Mark111 and the 1D Mark 1V as their Flagship camera which it certainly does, but it does’t say that they won’t be doing a 1.3X crop factor of the EOS-1DX. I believe they will do such a thing. The 1.3X crop factor is to popular to discontinue and the price is right.

  • Yves Jacques Rey-Millet

    For Bird Photographers this body is a BIG disapointment when compared to the MK IV:
    1)loss of the 1.3 crop factor
    2)loss of the 1/300 Sync Speed
    3)loss of AF at f8

    I will stay away of it for these reasons and share totally Peter Macdonald’s opinion

  • Ted Willcox

    Thanks Artie,I know what you say is correct. I believe I would also love the Mark 1V, and it would be all that I would need in a camera. I am getting a little long in the tooth and I promised someone that this would be my last pro camera[guess who] and if I waited for the Mark V, I might be able to keep that promise, who knows?

    Ah, your comment helped me remember #2: we only live once :). Get yourself a MIV now! artie

  • Ted Willcox

    Can anybody say for sure that there will be no more 1.3x crop factor pro bodies. I don’t believe Canon will go with just one pro body. I also believe it is an unwise decision.I will pay 5,000 for a pro body but not 7,000.I see one camera store here in Canada already has the EOS1-DX advertised for 7,000 for March. I have a Mark3 and wanted to replace it with a Mark5. Should I buy the Mark4 believing there will be no Mark5,s or something comparable to it. Canon has thrown me a curve ball. What do I do?

    Hey Ted, No clue. I was totally in the dark on the new camera till the day before…. I love my Mark IV bodies. I will purchase a single 1D X and see how I like the camera and the files and go from there. Two things to consider: 1-there are lots of folks who spend more time worrying about getting the latest greatest camera than they do about improving their skills through study and practice. 2-I forgot the second one :). artie

  • I’m trying to figure out camera replacements, and if this means no more 1.3x’s [which I happen to think is perfect], then I am soooooo glad I bought the MK IV this month!! It’s so excellent, I can’t imagine having an upgrade camera, especially for $2000 more, and shortening my lenses.

    OK, so it was thought that having a ID MK5 would confuse consumers with canon already having the 5D’s. So that explains the X. I’m wondering why they just didn’t turn out a IDMark IVs, and plan the new FF to take over for the 5D series? It just seems that way works.

    I better take good care of my new baby. It sounds like it might hold ground well.

  • Charles Scheffold

    Artie – I’ve been trying to get confirmation on that. Based on the specs, it certainly sounds like it will not AF at f/8. If so that’s a shame for those us using the 800+1.4x or 500/600+2x 🙁

    Charles, Chuck Westfall confirmed that for me via e-mail. Right now I am hoping that a software fix may solve the problem. You gotta love backwards engineering…. artie

    ps: you and the rest of the world can read, learn, and see lots more on the 1D X here and here.

  • Charles Scheffold

    Lots of cool features and of course I WANT IT 🙂

    I think for most bird photographers who already have a 1D4 this isn’t a compelling upgrade, but I can see where the higher ISO will come in useful (owls at dusk come to mind). Canon probably had to compromise on resolution a bit in order to keep the speed up. Still, 12fps full frame 18MP sounds pretty damn cool to me! The 7D-like AF modes are also a great addition that should have been there on the 1D4. thanks, Charles

    Charles, How does this sound?: right now, the 1DX AFs only to f/5.6?artie

  • Ciao, Fabrizio,

    Who needs all those sophisticated autofocusing systems?

    Got to tell you – I do!


    I use a Canon 7D – which has AF modes which are broadly equivalent to the ones in the 1Dx – and I can honestly say that pretty much every time I’m out with my camera, I’ll use the majority of those modes at some point.

    I use Single point (all over the viewfinder – one of the real benefits of multiple AF points is the compositional freedom they afford) as a starting point; I’ll drop into Spot mode at the drop of a hat if I’m shooting a bird that’s partly obscured by foliage; I use Zone mode all the time when shooting Birds In Flight (BIFs) against the sky or other uncluttered background; Single point plus expansion for birds against a busy background.

    In fact the only mode I don’t use a lot (unless I’m bored and playing!) is All AF Points: it works perfectly well, but I feel that it doesn’t do anything better than any of the other modes.

    Now then:

    Those fancy modes probably guarantee that the focus will be on any part of the bird body, but if the eye is not in focus, it’s a shot to throw into the garbage…

    I’m not a BIF specialist, but I do it often enough to know one thing for sure: the photographer that can keep a single AF point reliably and routinely on the eye of a bird in flight, doesn’t exist! Shooting BIFs is something of a compromise, but – as long as you have sufficient DOF – the eye will be sharp enough even if the AF mode you were using actually grabbed, say, the bird’s wing.

    But – to be clear about this – it’s just as likely that your single AF point will lock onto the wing, because as I suggest, nobody is good enough to keep it on a flying bird’s eye.

    This pigeon was shot with my 7D (and Canon 100-400mm lens) in Zone mode, and it didn’t focus on the eye – but it’s still good enough for my humble needs. In fact I’m quite pleased with it, really!

    I know for an absolute certainty that I’d have done no better – and most likely would have done a lot worse – in a single AF point mode.

  • David Pastern

    This is exactly what I wanted from Canon. Very happy.


    PS I don’t do a lot of bird imaging or sports, so the crop factor isn’t an issue for me.

  • Let me make a general point, not specifically focused on this new model. Who needs all those sophisticated autofocusing systems? Until a few months ago my primary body was a Nikon D200. I was blaming it for the performance with flying birds, even though I knew that I was really a rookie in that field (I feel I still am). But, honestly, when you measure your AF performance in a optimal performance and you see that it’s slow, that’s a limiting factor. Thus I was eager to buy my D7000, which delivered a small quantum leap in Nikon AF (in prosumer bodies). But indeed the only important point is that the internal CPU is faster in doing maths and I have many more, smaller (thus allowing to more precisely put the focus) AF sensors. For the rest, there are a lot of fancy modes, many automatically guessing which sensor to give the tracking, which are totally useless for a bird photographer. After all, it’s just a matter of putting the AF track on the bird’s eye/head/neck, right? Those fancy modes probably guarantee that the focus will be on any part of the bird body, but if the eye is not in focus, it’s a shot to throw into the garbage…

  • Nick Sharp

    The new 1DX seems to be a great camera. Full frame with 18mp at 12 fps is awesome. However, I still love my 5DII (for landscapes) and 1DIV (for birds) combo. They are a great dynamic duo. No desire to get the 1DX.

    Thanks for the Canon update and have a great trip to Homer.

  • Peter Macdonald


    Sorry. Forgot to wish you a successful and safe trip to Homer. Too busy expressing my frustration with the specs for the new camera.

  • Bill Richardson

    I have been waiting for this camera to upgrade my much loved 1Ds3. It is pretty much as I anticipated but for the resolution–I expected at least 24 megapixels. Seems like Canon is expecting pixel disappointment since they are already touting the improved IQ being ready for upsizing. A bit concerned about a totally new AF system—another Mk3 fiasco pending? Hope not!!! Can’t wait to see another Galbraith hatchet job on this AF system. ;-( The price is about $2000 more than I expected for a Mk4 replacement. The in camera HDR capability sounds amazing. Wonder how noisy 200,000 ISO will be? Probably too noisy to be useful except in surveilance work. Wonder when it will be ACTUALLY available to the general public. Probably mid summer or later. I am still waiting for my new 600! Would not be surprised to see a 30 megapixel 1Ds version despite Canon’s claim that this replaces both the Mk4 and 1Ds3.

  • Zack

    Hi, I’m not related to Ellen or Jack. Just a fan of your writing, blog, and site guides. BTW, I would love to see a site guide on Morro Bay, eventually.

  • Peter Macdonald

    What a shame. Canon seem to have produced something which is not very attractive to us bird photographers.

    Full frame is OK, provided that the pixel count allows cropping to the size of a ID Mark IV with at least as many pixels. This does not. It is way short on that front. There is only just over 1 megapixel more resolution in total. When one takes away the 1.3x crop of the earlier 1D models, this is a backwards step. The resolution is only slightly more than my geriatric 1Ds II, although I apreciate that the 1D X offers much that it does not.

    The electronic first curtain will be good for macro and microscope work. We will have to see if it works properly with a flash unlike Canon’s other models with this feature. The new video does not seem to offer much more than is already in the 1D Mark IV, apart from better low light capability. We shall have to await side by side takes before we can tell if there is any significant improvement in the video quality.

    The press releases are not at all clear about whether the new body will work with an F8.0 aperture, e.g. when using a 600 mm F 4.0 with a 2x extender. Some of what they say does make you doubt whether this combo will AF.

    I had intended to sit out the Mark IV and then upgrade my 1D III and 1Ds II to a Mark V, but it looks like I will have to rethink that. The Mark IV looks a whole lot better as a bird camera than the 1D X. It will hurt the bank rather less as well. Shame, as I had been looking forward to today’s anouncement. As I am in the UK, the news from the far east press conference was already available on the web when I was having my breakfast. Whilst I did not choke on it, it did not go down as well as I was expecting!

  • Artie – First of all, have an awesome trip (I know you will!) Second…do you already have dibs on serial #1 and 2? Loren

    Thanks Loren. I actually have several awesome trips lined up including Antarctica and Japan both in the next five months! Life is tough :). Just for the record: I have not seen or held this camera. In fact, I did not hear of even a rumor until last night. I will likely get one through the Canon Explorer’s of Light Program (in order to save my 10% off low dealer’s net price, aka B&H Photo; if that is how it works out hundreds of consumers will have the camera in their hands before I do :). You gotta love it.

  • Zack

    The press release states this camera replaces the Mark IV. It sounds like the 1.3x sensor is going the way of the dodo bird. Thoughts?

    Agree. The 1.3X crop factor pro bodies are on the way out at least for the foreseeable future. Are you related to Ellen and Jack? artie