Canon 1D X Comparison Review
The Canon EOS-1D X is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was officially introduced in October 2011 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 17.9 megapixel.
Is the Canon 1D X a good camera? The 1DX has a Camera Elo of 1944. This rating puts the 1DX among the top 40 percent of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the 1DX ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.
|Canon 1D X|
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses|
|17.9 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 51 200 (50 - 204 800)|
|3.2 LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|14 shutter flaps per second|
|1120 shots per battery charge|
|158 x 168 x 83 mm, 1 551 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Canon 1D X vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon 1D X alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Canon 1D X||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1551 g||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799|
|2.||Canon 1D X Mark III||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1440 g||2850||Y||Jan 2020||6,499|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999|
|4.||Canon 1D C||158 mm||164 mm||83 mm||1545 g||1120||Y||Apr 2012||14,999|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark III||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||950 g||950||Y||Mar 2012||3,499|
|6.||Canon 6D||145 mm||111 mm||71 mm||770 g||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499|
|8.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||150 mm||160 mm||80 mm||1385 g||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999|
|9.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1215 g||1200||Y||Sep 2004||7,999|
|10.||Nikon D5||160 mm||159 mm||92 mm||1415 g||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499|
|11.||Nikon D4||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1340 g||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon 1D X was launched in the US market at a price of $6,799. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
The Canon 1D X features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon 1D X among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of alternatives.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon 1D X||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82|
|2.||Canon 1D X Mark III||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.2||14.5||3248||91|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|4.||Canon 1D C||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark III||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81|
|6.||Canon 6D||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79|
|8.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||none||24.0||12.0||1663||80|
|9.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||none||23.3||11.3||1480||74|
|10.||Nikon D5||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88|
|11.||Nikon D4||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 1DX indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the 1DX can use is 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 1DX has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.76x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1D X in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon 1D X||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|2.||Canon 1D X Mark III||optical||Y||3.2||2100||fixed||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||n|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0||n||n|
|4.||Canon 1D C||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark III||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||n||n|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9||n||n|
|8.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|9.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n|
One useful feature of the 1DX is a presence of a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS-1D X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Canon 1D X||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon 1D X Mark III||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Canon 1D C||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark III||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Y||mono||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the 1DX has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 1DX in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Canon 1D X||5/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799|
|2.||Canon 1D X Mark III||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2020||6,499|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||..||..||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999|
|4.||Canon 1D C||..||..||..||..||..||Apr 2012||14,999|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark III||..||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2012||3,499|
|6.||Canon 6D||5/5||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||4/5||91/100||79/100||4/5||..||Sep 2008||3,499|
|8.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||..||..||+ +||4.5/5||..||Aug 2007||7,999|
|9.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2004||7,999|
|10.||Nikon D5||..||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499|
|11.||Nikon D4||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||5,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Canon 1D X FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the 1DX.
What type of imaging sensor is used in the 1DX?
The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Canon equipped the 1DX with the DIGIC 5+ (Dual) image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the 1DX?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Canon EOS-1D X?
Canon mentions a shutter rating of 400 000 actuations for the 1DX. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the 1DX over, say, three years, one would have to take about 400 pictures each and every day.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The 1DX's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.
Which battery does the 1DX use?
The camera gets its power from the LP-E4N (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
|Camera Model||Canon 1D X|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||October 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 6 799|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5 184 x 3 456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.95 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.07 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 51 200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 204 800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5+ (Dual)|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||82|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||2786|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||14 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||400 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||LP-E4N power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1120 shots per charge|
158 x 168 x 83 mm
(6.2 x 6.6 x 3.3 in)
|Camera Weight||1 551 g (54.7 oz)|
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