Canon EOS 1Dx Camera Review | As fast as a CF-18 Hornet

A McDonnell Douglas 4-Wing CF-18 Hornet caught cold with a Canon EOS 1Dx

Hi, if you’re reading this blog post than chances are you wondering how the new flagship Canon EOS 1Dx performs in real life situations. Well, after a full month of ownership I can categorically tell you that this is simply the best camera I have ever owned and operated!  I purchased the Canon 1Dx from Henry’s in September of 2012, and it now serves as the main camera in my photography business.  My former camera was the highly regarded Canon EOS 5D MarkII, but after placing the Canon 1Dx in my hands it’s hard to look back.  While my learning curve on the Canon 1Dx has been very steep I’ve now had enough time to form a few quick opinions.

Things I love about the Canon 1Dx:

 The Speed – as in sonic jet speed. Like most professional grade cameras, the fastest shutter speed on this camera is 1/8000th of a second. But, when that shutter speed potential is matched with a burst rate of 14 frames per second, this camera can crank out some serious fire power. While my personal photography style relies predominately on natural timing and patience, having the option to shutter burst a sonic jet right out of the sky makes this camera totally laugh-out-loud awesome!   The picture you see here was taken straight from the camera – no photoshop CS6 editing here.   I Love the thrust!  If you like this picture, then it and others will soon be available for sale in my Prints section.

The Memory capacity – With two Compact Flash card slots available on the 1Dx I never need to worry about running out of memory at a critical moment in time. This is an incredible feature, and speaking from experience, the extra confidence is liberating when you know you can’t miss a shot.

The Eye piece shutter – When performing product photography, or long exposures, I love the built in eye shutter thingamabob which is a much, much better design than the former rubberized piece found on the 5DMarkII strap. Again, just one less thing to worry about and fiddle with.


Things I’m learning to live with, but wish were better:

The placement of the exposure meter – The bulk of my photography has been performed with a Canon 5DMarkII, and on that camera body both the exposure meter and camera settings are shown on the bottom horizontal plane. With the Canon EOS 1Dx, the exposure meters are located vertically on the right hand side, while the camera settings (shutter speed, aperture value, ISO, card count, shooting mode) are located on the bottom, horizontal plane. When shooting in portrait mode (vertical alignment) I find it really difficult to scan my settings. Perhaps it’s just me and my personal preference, but having the exposure meter separated from the camera settings has gotten me in trouble on a few different occasions. Speaking from experience, nothing is worse than thinking you have just landed a perfectly balanced meter reading, yet only to learn that reading came with your camera settings shifted to with f/22 and 1/30th of a second – ouch.  I just need to learn how to get use to it, but my eye is protesting and spending more time on aspects than before.

Battery Charger – Holy smokes, it’s huge! Definitely not travel friendly. Be prepared; leave home with charged batteries.

The RAW file conversion – I needed to upgrade my Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop software so that it could read and convert the CR.2 Raw Files into something viewable.   I don’t mind having the latest-and-greatest upgrades from Adobe for my business, but it was an added and unwelcome expense.   While not scientific, I feel as if my 5D Mark II RAW photos were easier to process and convert into JPGs, but my workflow is quickly recovering as I learn more.

Things I need to learn  about the Canon 1Dx

There are a dizzying amount of options on this camera – seriously. I’d really like to learn the difference between the different AI Servo tracking modes, of which there are six options or cases.  My photography style has always placed a premium on:  ready, aim, fire, but with these options I think it would be totally possible to just go ready and fire! LOL Crazy, I know. But, I don’t believe any self-respecting professional would simply just fire and ask questions later.   If you want to continuously burst 14 frames per second all over the place, then maybe a video camera would be better…lol…but if you find yourself needing some suppressive fire here-and-there, then this camera certainly fills that niche.

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