Canon 1DX Mark II Performance


Timing and Performance

Excellent performance, with noticeable improvements over the 1DX.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

0.8 second

Time it takes for camera to turn on.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.1 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup including taking a shot was oddly a touch slower than the 1DX's 0.5 second time. Play to Record and taking a shot was very fast, but our senior lab tech noted it varied a lot.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time),
Optical Viewfinder

Full Autofocus
Single Point
(Center) AF

0.085 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture using optical viewfinder. All timing performed with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM lens.

Manual focus

0.072 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

0.053 second

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

Live View

Prefocused

0.054 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button in Live View mode.

In terms of the Canon 1DX II's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times (with no change of focus setting between iterations, to remove the impact of lens AF speed), its speed was excellent. The 1DX II's AF shutter lag measured only 85 milliseconds using single-area (center) AF mode with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM lens. The 1DX took 0.129 second so a noticeable improvement here, though it was tested with a different lens.

Manual focus lag was 72 milliseconds, a bit faster than the 1DX's 95 ms. When prefocused, shutter lag was 53 milliseconds and once again slightly improved over the 1DX's 56 ms. Like the 1DX, the 1DX Mark II also has a "Shortened" shutter release lag option which is rated at 36 milliseconds by Canon, however we did not test that in the lab.

When prefocused in Live View mode shutter lag was 54 milliseconds, compared to 64 milliseconds for its predecessor. We no longer test autofocus speeds during Live View mode for DSLRs, since it's very lens dependent.

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.

 

Cycle Time (shot-to-shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG
(Best quality)

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

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 High
Large Fine JPEG
(Best quality)

0.07 second
(13.99 frames/sec);
unlimited frames;
1 second to clear*

Time per shot with no apparent buffer limit other than available space on card.

Continuous High
14-bit RAW

0.07 second
(14.08 frames/sec);
unlimited frames;
1 second to clear*

Time per shot with no apparent buffer limit other than available space on card.

Continuous High
14-bit RAW + L/F JPEG

0.07 second
(13.99 frames/sec);
73 frames total;
4 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 73 shot buffer, then slowed to an average of 0.13s or 8.00 fps with a full buffer.

Continuous High
Live View
Large Fine JPEG
(Best quality)

0.07 second
(14.29 frames/sec);
unlimited frames;
1 second to clear*

Time per shot with no apparent buffer limit other than available space on card.

Continuous High
Live View
14-bit RAW

0.07 second
(14.29 frames/sec);
unlimited frames;
1 second to clear*

Time per shot with no apparent buffer limit other than available space on card.

Continuous High
Live View
14-bit RAW + L/F JPEG

0.07 second
(14.39 frames/sec);
63 frames total;
4 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 63 shot buffer, then slowed to an average of 0.12s or 8.51 fps with a full buffer.

Flash recycling

N/A

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Lexar 64GB Pro 3500x CFast 2.0 flash 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.

Single-shot cycle times were so fast that they were difficult to accurately measure as they depend on the tester's dexterity and ability to maintain an optimum rhythm, so your results may vary. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG.)

Continuous High burst mode performance was outstanding, and improved over the 1DX. We measured the 1DX II's burst speed when using the optical viewfinder at approximately 14 frames per second, compared to 12 fps for the 1DX, despite the modest increase in resolution. With the mirror locked-up in Live View mode, the Canon 1DX II managed just a bit faster at about 14.3 frames per second, however that's short of its 16 fps spec. (Note: we re-tested this with a freshly charged battery and reformatted memory card, but were still not able to achieve the rated 16 fps. However, maximum burst rate may be limited by a number of factors so we're not really concerned that the 1DX II didn't seem to meet Canon's 16 fps spec in the lab.)

Buffer depths have also improved over its predecessor especially when using a very fast CFast 2.0 card. The 1DX II captured best quality JPEGs or RAW files with no apparent limit, though when shooting RAW+JPEG files it slowed after 73 frames, however the buffer full-rate was still a very respectable 8 fps. Buffer depths in the faster Live View mode were similar with no apparent limit for JPEG or RAW files, and 63 frames for RAW+JPEG with a buffer-full rate of 8.5 fps.

Buffer clearing was incredibly fast with our Lexar CFast 2.0 card. When shooting best quality JPEGs or RAW files, the buffer cleared in only 1 second. When shooting RAW+JPEG files, it took noticeably longer at 4 seconds, but the camera was fully functional while clearing including changing settings and viewing just captured images.

(For those of you wondering about buffer performance with your older CompactFlash cards, we also tested the 1DX II with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 100MB/s UDMA7 card. Buffer depths were 196 JPEGs, 57 RAW files and 42 RAW+JPEG files, with clearing times of 14, 15 and 16 seconds respectively. As you can see, the 1DX II makes good use of much faster CFast 2.0 cards in terms of buffer performance, especially clearing times.)

Bottom line, as you'd expect from a flagship pro model, the Canon 1DX Mark II is incredibly fast overall, with very fast AF, very low shutter lag, fast shot-to-shot times, and amazing burst mode speeds and buffer performance.

Battery

Battery Life

Good battery life for a pro DSLR when using the optical viewfinder.

Test Conditions Number of Shots
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery,
(CIPA standard, Optical Viewfinder)
1,210
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery,
(CIPA standard, Live View LCD)
260

The Canon 1DX II uses a custom LP-E19 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and a dedicated dual battery charger. The CIPA-rated 1,210 shots per charge using the optical viewfinder is pretty good for a pro DSLR, but it's only about a third of its closest rival, the Nikon D5 with its outstanding 3,780 shots per charge. However in Live View mode, battery life drops to only 260 shots, so you may want to pickup a spare battery or two if you use Live View a lot.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of on fully-charged 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))

 



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