King Canon: New Canon 1D X Mark II brings Dual Pixel AF, 4K 60p video & lower price to flagship DSLR


posted Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 12:01 AM EDT


It's 2016. A Summer Olympics year. First, Nikon introduced their flagship, professional DSLR back at CES this year, and now it's Canon's turn to debut their top-of-the-line DSLR: The Canon 1D X Mark II. The original 1D X debuted ahead of the 2012 Olympics, and now it's time again for Canon to showcase the latest and greatest in EOS technology and performance.

Building upon the high-powered 1D X, the new "Mark II" continues Canon's trend of a unilateral flagship EOS camera -- no more 1D-series and 1Ds-series models, it seems. The Canon 5DS and 5DS R are squarely the models intended for those needing superior resolution power, while the new 1D X Mark II, on the other hand, is clearly the speed demon of the EOS family.

Sporting an all new 20.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and a pair of brand-new DIGIC 6+ image processors, the 1D X Mark II offers some stunning performance numbers. Continuous burst rates now hit 14fps for thru-the-viewfinder shooting (up from 12fps), though you can squeeze out a few more with the 16fps high-speed continuous mode when using Live View (up from 14fps). And buffer capacity limitations are practically a thing of the past!

For the sports shooter on assignment capturing only JPEGs, the buffer capacity is limited only by the space left on your memory card. For RAW or RAW+JPEG, things get a little more interesting, as it depends on what kind of memory card you use, CF cards or the newer (and faster) CFast cards -- the 1D X Mark II now comes with a slot apiece for either memory card type.


Dynamic range is said to be improved over the 1D X, as is color noise characteristics in the shadows throughout the native ISO range -- though if you need to boost the ISO, the "Mark II" takes it a step further over the predecessor, going up to a whopping ISO 409,600. AF specs look fantastic, too, with f/8-capable AF points spanning the entire 61-point array. An all-new 360K-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor and improved AI-Servo AF III+ predictive algorithms should help provide fantastic subject tracking capabilities.

24-70mm f/2.8L II USM: 24mm, f/11, 1/160s, ISO 200
Note: Image was shot with a pre-production sample.

Still photographers don't get all the fun, however, as the 1D X Mark II gains lots of improvements to video recording as well. The Canon 1D X Mark II is the first full-frame EOS camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which provides smooth, cinematic autofocus for movies -- as well as quick and snappy Live View AF for stills, too. Canon's new flagship EOS also gain some great video specs that have traditionally been reserved for their higher-end Cinema EOS cameras, namely 4K video at up to 60fps and Full HD at up to 120fps. You also gain a headphone jack for monitoring audio -- a feature lacking on the earlier 1D X.

Offered in a standard body-only configuration, the new Canon 1D X Mark II is set to go on sale in April for an estimated retail price of $5,999, which is a noticeable price drop compared to its predecessor's $6,799 launch price. A "Premium Kit" will also be sold that includes a 64GB CFast card and card reader for an estimated price of $6,299.

For all the details on this high-performance, professional, flagship DSLR, check out our in-depth Canon 1D X Mark II Hands-On Preview. We recently had a brief hands-on shooting experience with a pre-production sample model, and we have a handful of real-world gallery images ready for your perusal. However, given the prototype status of the camera we used, we've been asked not to post full-resolution image downloads; we do have larger images available for download at half-resolution sizes, though.

400mm f/2.8L IS II USM: 400mm, f/2.8, 1/2000s, ISO 200
Note: Image was shot with a pre-production sample.
400mm f/2.8L IS II USM: 400mm, f/5, 1/160s, ISO 200
Note: Image was shot with a pre-production sample.

Stay tuned for more on the Canon 1D X II!

Canon 1D X Mark II Hands-On PreviewGallery