January 2012


The EOS flagship camera

Photo 1: EOS-1D X

Photo 1: EOS-1D X

Development objectives

The EOS-1D X (Photo 1) is our flagship professional model and was designed and developed to provide the highest performance level by integrating the superlative full-frame image quality of the 1Ds series and the outstanding speed performance of the 1D series. The new camera's development objectives are listed below.

Ultra-fine detail, top image quality, and wide ISO range
  • Full-frame approx. 18.10-megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Dual DIGIC 5+ imaging processors
  • Full-time ISO 100 – 51200 range (L: 50, H1: 102400, H2: 204800)
Leading-edge camera performance
  • New 61-point AF system
  • New exposure control system with a 100,000-pixel RGB metering sensor
  • Intelligent viewfinder with approximately 100 percent coverage
  • Approx. 12 fps continuous shooting in AI Servo AF mode
Advanced creative imaging features
  • Multiple exposures
  • In-camera RAW image processing
Operability meeting the demands of pros
  • Large-scale overhaul of controls
  • Flexible customization
More durable, better reliability, tougher body
  • Shutter durability of more than 400,000 cycles*
  • Dustproof and drip-proof magnesium-alloy body

*Reference value based on results from Canon's standard operational tests.

Below is a general overview of the model's features, highlighting the advances from the EOS-1D Mark IV.

Advances in image quality, resolution, and digital functions

Photo 2: CMOS sensor

Photo 2: CMOS sensor

(1) Full-frame 18.10-megapixel CMOS sensor

At the heart of the EOS-1D X is a high-sensitivity CMOS sensor (Photo 2) with approximately 18.10 effective megapixels and an effective sensor size of about 36 × 24mm.

(2) Dual DIGIC 5+ imaging processors provide fast, high-quality image processing

The new DIGIC 5+ imaging processor is essential to low-noise image processing and makes multiple exposures and other digital image processing functions possible. Having dual processors enables super high-speed continuous shooting as fast as approximately 14 fps.

(3) Wide, ISO 100 – 51200 range expands creative shooting possibilities

We were able to extend the ISO range to 100 – 51200, two stops wider than the EOS-1D Mark IV's ISO range, thanks to the CMOS architecture, which incorporates the latest technology, and the DIGIC 5+ imaging processor's low-noise processing capability.

(4) Dual card slots for CF memory cards

The EOS-1D X comes with two card slots that support CF Type I and Type II cards as well as UDMA Mode 7.

New 61-point AF system

Photo 3: AF sensor

Photo 3: AF sensor

Figure 1: AF frame layout

Figure 1: AF frame layout

Figure 2: AI Servo AF III menu screen

Figure 2: AI Servo AF III menu screen

Figure 3: AF area selection modes I menu screen

Figure 3: AF area selection modes
I menu screen

Photo 4: RGB metering sensor

Photo 4: RGB metering sensor

Professional photographers need an AF system that works in all kinds of conditions, so we developed a new 61-point Area AF sensor (Photo 3) that does just that.

(1) 61 high-density reticle AF points

The 61 AF points are laid out in a high-density pattern and provide excellent AF performance (Figure 1). At f/2.8 and f/5.6, five dual cross-type AF points are active, and 41 cross-type AF points are active when an f/4 lens is attached.

(2) AI Servo AF III

In response to feedback from professional photographers, we created a more precise and consistent AI Servo AF. And with AI Servo AF III, the EOS-1D X can track with much greater stability tennis, soccer, and other moving subjects that had been difficult to lock on to in the past (Figure 2).

(3) AF frame selection

We incorporated various innovations to make effective use of the 61 AF points.

AF area selection modes

Users can select which AF area selection modes are active from Spot AF, Single-point AF, AF point expansion (four adjacent points left, right, up, and down), AF point expansion (eight adjacent points), Zone AF, and 61-point automatic selection (Figure 3).

Manually selectable AF points

Users can select which AF points are available for manual selection from "Only cross-type AF points," "15 points," or "9 points."

(4) EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF

Subject-tracking accuracy is greatly improved because the autofocusing algorithm uses face detection information and color information from the 100,000-pixel RGB metering sensor (Photo 4). EOS iTR, when enabled, functions while either Zone AF or 61-point automatic selection is active.

New exposure control system

Figure 4: Metering area relative to the viewfinder's field of view

Figure 4: Metering area relative
to the viewfinder's field of view

(1) EOS iSA (Intelligent Subject Analysis) System

This system, which combines the 100,000-pixel RGB metering sensor and a DIGIC 4 imaging processor, calculates the brightness of the main subject more appropriately because it evaluates the exposure and the flash strength based not only on the brightness but also on the subject's color and on face detection information*. This system also works in conjunction with autofocusing and the Auto Lighting Optimizer function. The actual metering divides the sensor area into 21 x 12 blocks (252 zones) (Figure 4). In low-light conditions, metering relies on 7 x 5 blocks (35 zones) to permit higher ISO speeds.

* EOS-1D X comes equipped with three imaging processors: a DIGIC 4 for metering and dual DIGIC 5+ for image processing.

High-speed continuous shooting and silent shooting

(1) High-speed continuous shooting

The EOS-1D X can shoot continuously at about 12 fps in the One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF modes. The camera can reach 14 fps super high-speed continuous shooting under the following conditions: One-Shot AF and mirror lockup modes are active, AF and AE are fixed during the burst, and only JPEG images are recorded.

(2) Silent shooting

The Silent shooting mode makes the reflex mirror goes down slower and also shutter cocking slower to lessen the collision noise when mirror going down and mechanical driving noise.

Advanced creative imaging functions

(1) Multiple exposures

The EOS-1D X allows the user to make a multiple-exposure image from two to nine exposures, with a single setting. In RAW + JPEG mode, the camera will create both a RAW and JPEG multiple-exposure image. There are four modes to choose from that govern how the multiple exposures are combined: Additive, Average, (Comparative) Bright, and (Comparative) Dark.

(2) In-camera RAW image processing

The EOS-1D X can internally process its own RAW images. The camera applies the following processes to the RAW image and saves the result as a JPEG image: brightness adjustment → white balance → Picture Style → Auto Lighting Optimizer → noise reduction at high ISO speeds → JPEG image recording quality → color space → lens peripheral illumination correction → distortion correction → chromatic aberration correction.

(3) Chromatic aberration correction

Previously, the only lens optical correction that could be applied while shooting was peripheral illumination correction. To this, the EOS-1D X adds the new chromatic aberration correction function.

(4) Picture Style Auto

Taking advantage of the EOS Scene Detection System, Picture Style Auto is now able to achieve more impressive color tones for nature and outdoor scenes as well as evening scenes.

Advanced movie shooting functions

Figure 5: Movie recording size menu screen

Figure 5: Movie recording size menu screen

Figure 6: Time code menu screen

Figure 6: Time code menu screen

(1) Improved movie recording functionality

The movie recording size menu allows users to choose between the ALL-I compression format, which is ideal for movie editing, and the IPB compression format, which is better for longer recordings (Figure 5). The EOS-1D X also provides various time code settings (Figure 6), which are essential to professional video editing.

(2) Elimination of the 4 GB file size limit

On previous models, movie recording ended once the file size for one continuous shot reached 4 GB. This restriction has been removed on the EOS-1D X, so users can record a continuous clip up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds long, regardless of the file size.

(3) Reduced moiré and color artifacts

Improvements to the CMOS sensor and the image processing applied to movies have dramatically reduced the occurrence of moiré and color artifacts.

(4) Exposure control and ISO speeds

Movies can be recorded with Program AE for movies, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, and manual exposure. The highest ISO speed setting for movie recording is now equivalent to ISO 204800.

Pursuit of shooting convenience

Figure 7: Viewfinder information

Figure 7: Viewfinder information

Figure 8: Electronic level display

Figure 8: Electronic level display

Figure 9: Quick Control during image playback

Figure 9: Quick Control during
image playback

(1) Enhanced viewfinder information display

By incorporating a transparent LCD into the viewfinder, the EOS-1D X can display the 61 AF points, a grid, an electronic level, and an AF status indicator while providing approximately 100% coverage. The shooting mode is now indicated at the bottom of the viewfinder (Figure 7).

The EOS-1D X supports the Ec-A, B, D, H, I, and L focusing screens.

(2) Electronic level

Users can display an electronic level on the LCD monitor. The level indicates 360 degrees of horizontal rotation and ±10 degrees of vertical tilt in one-degree increments (Figure 8).

(3) Clear View LCD II monitor

The EOS-1D X has a 3.2-inch high-resolution LCD monitor with approximately 1.04 million dots. The monitor uses a solid construction that eliminates the gap (air layer) between the protective glass cover and the liquid crystals to prevent reflections. The monitor's glass surface is also finished with an anti-reflective coating.

(4) Enhanced image playback functions
Image magnification functions

The EOS-1D X has a dedicated Magnify / Reduce button, which can be used in conjunction with the Main Dial to quickly magnify or reduce the displayed image. Users can also set the initial magnification ratio used during image playback.

Quick Control settings during image playback

The Quick Set button can now be used during image playback to perform various operations while viewing the image (Figure 9). (The Quick Set button operations are protect image, rotate image, set ratings, RAW image processing, resize, highlight alert, AF point display, and image jump (in combination with the Main Dial).)

Design and ease of operation

(1) Design concepts

The EOS-1D X was designed based on the ultra-fluid form and the following three concepts: carry forward the look and feel of Canon and the EOS-1 series, seek an original and leading presence suitable for a flagship model, and seek a solid, compact feel infused with high-grade treatments and meticulous craftsmanship.

(2) Improved operability and new controls

We received exhaustive feedback from professional photographers on the operability of our cameras. In response, we have made detailed improvements, such as arranging a depth-of-field preview button, Multi-function button 2, and Multi-controller for both horizontal and vertical shooting so that more operations can be completed while holding the camera.

(3) Flexible customization

Custom shooting modes, Custom Controls, and other features allow the user to fully customize EOS-1D X to suit any kind of shooting style.

Further reliability and durability

Figure 10: Camera system information menu screen

Figure 10: Camera system information
menu screen

(1) Shutter durability of more than 400,000 cycles

In shutter durability tests, the EOS-1D X passed 400,000 cycles, compared with the 300,000-cycle performance of the EOS-1D Mark IV. We have also added a camera system information screen where the user can see the number of shutter releases and a log of past errors and cautions (Figure 10).

(2) Dustproof and drip-proof performance

The EOS-1D X is thoroughly protected against dust and moisture at 76 locations, including around control buttons and along outer cover seams.

Further system enhancements

Photo 5: GP-E1

Photo 5: GP-E1

(1) Built-in Gigabit wired LAN function

With the new wired LAN connector, users can transfer images to an FTP server at high speeds or use EOS Utility to capture images remotely.

(2) Wireless LAN and GPS support

The optional WFT-E6 wireless file transmitter can be used to transfer images over wireless LAN connections. The optional GP-E1 GPS receiver (Photo 5) can append the location, orientation, and time of the shot to photos. Both units feature compact designs that match the camera and both can be used without impeding shooting in any way.

  EOS-1D X EOS-1D Mark IV
Sensor size (pixels) 18.10 megapixels 16.10 megapixels
Imaging processor Dual DIGIC 5+ Dual DIGIC 4
One-touch image quality setting Yes No
Image creation functions Picture Style Auto Yes No
Chromatic aberration
Yes No
Post-processing RAW image processing Yes No
Resizing Yes No
Image recording Recording media CF (Type I, II) x 2 slots CF (Type I, II), SD
External recording media No Yes
Intelligent viewfinder Yes No
Autofocus No. of AF points 61 45
AI Servo AF AI Servo AF III AI Servo AF II
AF Configuration Tool Yes No
Exposure control Metering sensor 100,000-pixel RGB sensor 63-zone metering sensor
Metering sensor zones 252 63
EOS iSA System Yes No
ISO speed range (L: 50) 100 – 51200
(H1: 102400, H2: 204800)
(L: 50) 100 – 12800
(H1: 25600, H2: 51200, H3: 102400)
Custom shooting modes Yes No
Exposure setting range [stops] ±5 ±3
Flash sync speed 1/250 1/300
Multiple exposures Yes No
(max. fps)
Continuous shooting speed 12* 10
Super high speed continuous shooting 14 n/a
Maximum burst: RAW / Large file (UDMA card) 35/100 (38/180) 26/85 (28/121)
Electronic level (LCD monitor and viewfinder) Yes No
Shutter durability 400,000 cycles 300,000 cycles
Movie shooting Support for ALL-I /
IPB compression formats
Yes No
Time code support Yes No
No 4 GB limit Yes No
Image playback Ratings Yes No
Quick Control Yes No
Image transfer Direct image transfer Yes No
Wired LAN image transfer Yes No
Custom Controls Yes No
LCD monitor 3.2 inches, 1.04 million dots 3.0 inches, 920,000 dots
Feature guide Yes No
World time Yes No
Time sync between cameras Yes No
Camera system information Yes No
No. of possible shots (at room temperature)
With viewfinder shooting
1120 1500
Approx. dimensions (width x height x depth in mm)
based on CIPA standards
158 x 163.6 x 82.7 156.4 x 156.6 x 85.9
Approx. weight (in grams)
based on CIPA standards
1530 1370

Table 1: Comparison of the main specifications of the EOS-1D X and the EOS-1D Mark IV

*When the ISO speed is set to ISO 32000 or higher (if the camera’s internal temperature is low, ISO 20000 or higher), the maximum continuous shooting speed will be approx. 10 fps