Canon EOS 1D X Review

Since it was initially unveiled in October 2011, it has taken quite some time for the Canon 1D X to make it into production. The excitement around the debut of cameras for professionals throughout the world has finally begun to die off, however, thanks in large part to the early arrival of products such as the Nikon D4 on the market.

Canon has decided to phase out its full-frame 1Ds Mark III and APS-H 1D Mark IV cameras in favour of a single model, the 18-megapixel full-frame 1D X, which is equipped with the Digic V processors. This move was made in order to streamline the company’s product lineup.

Read More: Best Canon EOS 1D X Microphones | Best Canon EOS 1D X Lenses

There is no denying that this camera is a high-powered piece of photographic equipment designed for experienced photographers. If the absurdly high continuous frame rate doesn’t tip you off to that fact, the price tag most definitely will.

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Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Body

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Last update was on: May 28, 2023 3:52 am

Design and features

The Canon EOS-1D X comes equipped with a dust- and splash-proof body, as well as a tough fit and finish, in order to provide its users with a more satisfying and dependable experience overall. It is built of magnesium alloy, which is durable and can withstand the harsh circumstances that a sports and professional SLR is subjected to. Additionally, it has weatherproofing to ensure that it will not be damaged by the elements.

The camera features two primary grips; one is designed for typical landscape photography, while the other is a close reproduction designed for taking portraits. Grips guarantee that the body may be held securely in the hand, and they place buttons and dials in an easily accessible location. Both shooting setups provide users access to the shutter button, as well as the AF-ON and exposure lock buttons. The Canon EOS-1D X is a monster of a camera, but thanks to its excellent ergonomic design, holding it doesn’t feel all that burdensome.

The LCD screen on the back of the camera has a resolution of 1.04 million dots and is 3.2 inches diagonally. It has a wide viewing angle of 170 degrees, making it simple to see even in bright outside lighting. In the centre of the control wheel, just like on other high-end Canon models, you’ll find a Set button that gives you access to the various menu options and shooting controls.

Two CompactFlash card slots are concealed behind a door in the back that can be locked. When shooting, the slots provide the photographer with four distinct functionalities: single card recording, overflow control, independent recording of photographs of varying sizes onto each card, and redundancy recording (or RAW and JPEG on either card).

The 1D X features a very wide native ISO range, going all the way up to 51,200, which promises a lot in terms of how well it will operate in low light. When shooting in low-light conditions, you will now have much better visibility of the autofocus points thanks to an upgrade to the camera’s firmware that came out in October 2012. If the firmware is not kept up to date, the points will be black (rather than the regular glowing red).

Because the menu systems and settings are virtually identical, users who are already comfortable with the 5D Mark III will have no trouble transitioning to the 1D X. Dual joysticks, when operated, create a tactile feel that is both firm and responsive. The fact that you need to use two hands to switch between PASM shooting modes is one of the usability quirks that the camera has. You need one hand to click the mode button, and the other hand to turn a dial. The viewfinder is quite large, very bright, and very effective, and it provides complete coverage.

Displaying and modifying shooting choices is possible through both the top and back LED panels of a Canon camera. In addition, Canon has included an actuation (shutter) counter inside the menus, which means that you do not need to take the camera in for servicing in order to obtain this information.

Even though the 1D X is designed to work with a wireless transmitter and a GPS unit, we did not get any of these accessories in order to conduct this evaluation. In addition, the connectivity options should include a socket for a 3.5mm microphone, HDMI, a port for the remote control, and an Ethernet jack. It is true that there is no headphone jack on the 1D X, which makes it impossible to monitor audio while or after recording.


  • Metrics typical of shooting in general (in FPS)
    From the beginning till the first shot
  • JPEG shot-to-shot time
  • RAW shot-to-shot time
  • Shutter lag

The 61-point autofocus system delivers outstanding results in a wide variety of shooting conditions. All of the focusing adjustments can be found on a single page inside the menu system of the camera, and they are quite comparable to the choices that are available on the 5D Mark III. Users have the option to select one of six different instances for automatic focus circumstances, ranging from a multi-purpose scenario to particular settings for things that are moving quickly. The Canon 1D X is in a league of its own when it comes to keeping up with subjects who are always on the go, such as children and skateboarders.

When set to One Shot mode, the Canon 1D X automatically locks onto targets and achieves near-perfect focus virtually every time. There were very few instances in which the camera was unable to locate the right focus on solitary images, and in those instances in which it was unable to do so, it was primarily due to the fact that the user had made a mistake. The performance of the AI Servo was a little bit different; it was accurate around 95 percent of the time on our moving objects. You will surely obtain the photo you want because to the extremely high burst rate of the 1D X, even if not every single frame is focused precisely sharply on the exact same spot.

The quiet shooting mode on the 1D X still makes a noticeable amount of noise, in contrast to the nearly silent shooting mode on the 5D Mark III.

The 1D X has a continuous shooting mode that is ideal for photographers who capture action and sports. Its burst rate of 12 frames per second is simply unrivalled, and when shooting in full resolution JPEG, the camera doesn’t miss a beat; rather, it continues to take as many pictures as your memory card can store. According to Canon, a maximum of 38 frames may be captured in a RAW burst before the camera begins to slow down. Even when autofocus is off and the mirror is locked, the 1D X is capable of reaching 14 frames per second.

We were using a CF card with a speed of 600x, and we came up just short of this goal, reaching 30 frames before the camera paused to clean the buffer. After then, it will take around fifteen seconds to clear this burst, during which time you are free to shoot further shots if you so want. We have no doubt that if we had used a CF card that was even faster, we would have been able to easily meet Canon’s requirements.

According to Canon, the battery can support 1120 shots, while the shutter can withstand 400,000 cycles.

Image quality

The image quality is outstanding, which is to be expected from Canon’s top-tier SLR. The Canon 1D X creates photographs that have a gorgeous, smooth appearance at its lower ISO settings, with the results being clean (as predicted) up to and including the ISO 800 setting.

When taking JPEG photographs at an ISO setting of 3200, you will begin to notice the very first signs of any kind of noise produced by the 1D X. The Canon EOS-1D X gave great results in the vast majority of shooting conditions when used in conjunction with the two lenses that were supplied to us for the purposes of review. These lenses were the 50mm f/1.4 and the 85mm f/1.2 L.

Do you enjoy taking pictures in dim light? The 1D X devours it in no time. Exposure: 1/1000, f/1.4, ISO 6400.

The colours are vivid without being too saturated, and the results look to be commensurate with those produced by other Canon cameras like the 5D Mark III. The dynamic range is excellent, but the Nikon D4 managed to edge out the competition in our testing to take first place overall. However, when it comes to shooting in low light or at a high ISO, the 1D X holds its own with its JPEG files as well. RAW files generate a large amount of useful detail, which helps photographers get the most out of each exposure. The 1D X has very outstanding noise suppression capabilities. Even at its natively maximum ISO setting of 51,200, the camera produces shots that are quite useable and, with a little bit of noise reduction applied in post-processing, amazingly good.

The images captured at the maximum possible native ISO setting of 51,200 look fantastic. Even the noise seems like it was captured on film, with just very little colour alterations (100 per cent crop inset).

The white balance is excellent both inside and outdoors, with just a very tiny orange colour cast under fluorescent lighting conditions. The colour cast is quite minimal. We discovered that it was quite unusual that we needed to modify the temperature or the white balance in post-processing. Casts, on the other hand, are easy to rectify in post-processing. Due to the fact that we were unable to test the Canon 1D Mark IV, we were unable to compare the image quality of the two cameras in order to offer a more accurate comparison.

Video quality

In the same vein as the 5D Mark III, the 1D X allows users to choose from a variety of various resolutions and formats while recording video. You can record in 1080p at 24 or 25 frames per second (All-I or IPB), 720p at 50 frames per second (All-I or IPB), or VGA resolution at 25 frames per second (IPB).

When compared to other Canon SLRs, the 1D X’s video recording capabilities are noticeably distinct. To begin, the movie shooting mode must be enabled from inside the menu system before it can be utilised in Live View. Then, expanded focus operates in a manner that is comparable to that of the 5D Mark III. The zoom button is positioned beneath the screen, and magnification is accomplished through the use of the control dial. The usual Set button has been replaced with the M-Fn button directly next to the shutter button. This allows you to start and stop recording using the M-Fn button.

When shooting video, you have access to the complete ISO range, and you can even manually adjust the exposure settings. Using the quiet control pad that is housed within the back dial, you are able to make adjustments to the audio and exposure settings while the recording is in progress.

The 1D X is able to create video that has a very high quality appearance to it, which is to be anticipated considering its heritage and the fact that it is descended from the 5D series. The images are sharp (though to some extent, this will also depend on the quality of the glass in front of the sensor), and there is only a small degree of rolling shutter visible. The images are sharp (though to some extent, this will also depend on the quality of the glass in front of the sensor).


The Canon EOS-1D X is a fantastic single-lens reflex camera that will not let down consumers who seek the very best from the gear they use since it was designed specifically for professional photographers who shoot sports and other demanding subjects. This digital single-lens reflex camera does not include a headphone monitoring feature, which is a huge letdown for anyone who wants to use it to record high-quality video for professional use. This was included on the 5D Mark III.

Canon EOS 1D X Price


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