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Canon 1D X digital camera image
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Canon 1D X

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Canon EOS-1D X Performance


Timing and Performance

Excellent all-around performance.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.5 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~0.3 second

How long it takes camera to turn off with empty buffer.

Buffer clearing time
8 seconds
after 56 Large/Fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
8 seconds
after 31 RAW files*
8 seconds
after 16 RAW+LF JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UDMA7 (100MB/s) CompactFlash card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

The Canon 1D X turned in fast startup and shut-down times, fast enough that they're difficult to measure. The Canon 1D X's buffer clearing times were fast and consistent. (We used a very fast UDMA7-compatible card for our tests here.)

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

0.18 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

~0.7 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.2 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

The Canon 1D X's mode switching times were very good.

Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Optical Viewfinder

Full Autofocus
Single Point (center) AF

0.129 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. All AF timing measured with Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro lens.

Full Autofocus
61-point Auto Selection AF

0.221 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Continuous AF
0.108 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
0.095 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.056 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Prefocused
("Shortened" shutter release)

0.038 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Live View
Full Autofocus
"Quick Mode"
(Phase Detect)
0.897 second
This is phase-detect autofocus, the camera drops the mirror to focus, then raises it to grab the shot.
Full Autofocus
"Live Mode"
(Contrast Detect)
0.746 second
This is contrast-detect autofocus, the camera reads Live View data from the image sensor to determine focus.

Prefocused

0.064 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Canon 1D X's full autofocus shutter response was excellent at 0.129 second using our standard single-point AF test. Full 61-point auto selection AF slowed to 0.221 second, which is still good. Continuous AF lag was also fast, at 0.108 second. Shutter lag in manual focus mode was a swift 0.095 second, and "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure resulted in a lag time of only 0.056 second, also quite fast. Prefocused lag time was reduced to only 0.038s using the "Shortened" shutter release time lag custom setting. (Lag time can vary depending on the lens and aperture with this setting enabled.)

The Canon 1D X's AF lag time in Live View mode was longer, as expected. We measured 0.897 second using "Quick Mode" (phase-detect AF), and ironically contrast-detect mode was a bit faster, at 0.746 second. Prefocused shutter lag in Live View mode was a fast 0.064 second.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance. We also use the same Sigma 70mm f/2.8 macro with every camera (on all platforms except Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds and Nikon consumer models lacking an in-body focus motor), to further reduce variation, and because our tests showed that focus-determination time with this lens was close to the fastest, across multiple camera bodies from different manufacturers. Being an older design with a non-ultrasonic motor, it wouldn't be the fastest at slewing from one focus setting to another, but that's exactly the reason we measure focus determination speed, which is primarily a function of the camera body, vs focus adjustment speed, which is primarily a function of the lens.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.24 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 1 second to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.23 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 4 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW + Large/Fine JPEG
0.25 second

Time per shot, averaged over 25 shots, 8 seconds to clear.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous Super High mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.07 second (14.16 frames per second);
46 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 46 shots.

Continuous High
Large Fine JPEG

0.08 second (11.98 frames per second);
56 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 56 shots.

Continuous High
RAW

0.08 second (11.98 frames per second);
31 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 31 shots.

Continuous High
RAW + Large Fine
JPEG

0.08 second 12.00 frames per second);
16 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 16 frames, then slows to 0.49s or 2.04 fps with a lot of variation.

Flash recycling

N/A

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UDMA7 (100MB/s) CompactFlash card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times in the Canon 1D X's single-shot mode were excellent, ranging between 0.23 and 0.25 second, depending on the file type. Buffer depth was more than 20 shots for JPEGs and RAW files with no signs of slowing (though we didn't test until buffer full here). Buffer depth in RAW+JPEG mode was 25 frames.

Continuous Super High mode speed was outstanding, at just over 14 frames/second for 46 frames. Only JPEGs are supported in this mode, though. Also, the mirror is locked up, so focused is fixed during the burst.

Continuous High mode was also very fast, at about 12 frames/second for all file types.

Measured buffer depths were quite good at 56 frames for Large Fine JPEG, 31 frames for RAW, and 16 frames for RAW + LF JPEG frames. (Note that in our cycle time testing we shoot a target consisting of a fine-grained digital noise pattern, designed to be very hard to compress. This gives us worst-case buffer capacity numbers: You're likely to see greater JPEG buffer capacity when shooting more normal subjects.)

Buffer clearing was fast and consistent with a fast card.

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

12,993 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Very fast USB 2.0 download times.

Bottom line: The Canon EOS-1D X's performance is excellent, and sets a new benchmark for professional full-frame DSLRs.

Battery

Battery Life
Good battery life for a professional DSLR.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Optical Viewfinder)
1,120
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Live View LCD)
290

The Canon 1D X uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Keep in mind the 1D X doesn't have a built-in flash, so CIPA battery life numbers here aren't directly comparable to models that do. Although the Canon 1D X's battery life is good when using the optical viewfinder, we recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand if you plan on using Live View or wish to shoot movies.

The table above shows the number of shots the Canon 1D X is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))