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Canon EOS 1D X Digital Camera Review$6,800.00
Speed and Timing
The Canon 1D X is obviously a camera that is geared to appeal to a wide variety of professional photographers. With features to benefit studio, wildlife, and news photographers, the 1D X is going to get a lot of love. Still, the camera's main base is still likely to be studio and event photographers, for which speed of capture is absolutely essential. The Canon 1D X features speed that is rivaled only by the Nikon D4, as both cameras capture upwards of 12 frames per second.
The Canon 1D X offers two continuous shooting settings—low and high—which can be adjusted from 1-12 frames per second. The camera also allows for capture of JPEG images at a listed rate of 14 frames per second, though you have to set it at that speed manually.
For our timing test, we capture a burst of shots and then figure out a frames per second rating using a five-shot average. In a five-shot burst, we found the Canon 1D X exceeded its listed FPS rate for both RAW and JPEG shooting. The RAW shooting speed came in as fast as 13.3 FPS over any five-shot burst, while the "14FPS" JPEG mode actually rang in at a max of around 15 frames per second.
These numbers put the 1D X just a hair ahead of the Nikon D4, which came in at just over 12 FPS for both RAW and JPEG. It should also be noted that if you bump the ISO up, shooting rate will begin to decline, capping at 10 FPS.
The 1D X offers just two self-timer settings, 10 seconds and 2 seconds. This doesn't give you a ton of options, and it's an area where the Nikon's customizable timer really comes in handy. The Canon also lacks any sort of built-in interval/timelapse shooting, which has become quite popular.
We found the Canon 1D X's 61-point AF system to be quite sensitive, even in low light. We test focus at two light levels—40 lux and 10 lux—and found the camera was able to easily lock onto the high contrast subject with great accuracy and generally quickly. When using the rear LCD to focus with contrast detection autofocus the system was much slower, but that was also true in bright light as well. We also found the contrast detection autofocus had trouble locking in at the 10 lux level, as a few times it would get close, but give a red box indicating focus wasn't achieved.
The Canon 1D X offers an incredible amount of focus options for sports and news photographers. The camera puts its 61-point AF to great use, with a veritable ton of options for achieving focus. One of the big areas of improvement is the ability to fine-tune focus tracking. The 1D X offers six built-in "cases" that offer adjustable settings for tracking sensitivity, accelleration/deceleration, and autofocus point auto-switching. You can adjust all these presets to you liking, letting you fine tune performance to whatever event or sport you're photographing.
Canon also has claimed that the system intelligently figures out focus distance across the frame to better track subjects. It does this by calculating subject distance at a variety of points, so that if you're tracking a subject and the AF point you're using moves onto an obstacle in the foreground (or off the subject and onto the background), the camera will ignore the change if the focus distance change is dramatic. Similarly, the camera can also detect panning using a built-in gyroscope, letting it better follow a moving subject as you pan the camera to follow it.