Canon EOS-1D X pro dSLR replaces both 1Ds Mark III and 1D Mark IV

The newly announced Canon EOS-1D X promises to deliver the image quality goods of the 1Ds Mark III with all the sports-shooting speed of the 1D Mark IV.

Professional photographers around the world are getting ready to cough up $6,800 come March 2012. That's when the newly announced Canon EOS-1D X professional digital SLR is slated to start shipping.  The new full-frame dSLR not only replaces 2007's similarly priced full-frame 1Ds Mark III, but Canon has also ramped up performance so much that the camera will also replace the speedy 1D Mark IV aimed at sports photography that sells for a couple grand less and uses an APS-H sized sensor.

Besides packing the camera with dual Digic 5+ processors, Canon boosted speed by dropping the resolution to 18-megapixels (3 megapixels less than the 1Ds Mark III's 21.1 megapixels, but 2 megapixels more than the smaller sized 16-megapixel sensor on the 1D Mark IV). In doing so, Canon hopes to match the image quality of the 1Ds while shooting at even speedier rates than the 1D Mark IV, with a continuous shooting speed of 12 fps (vs. 10 fps in the Mark IV) or even 14 fps in JPEG-only mode. The lower resolution should provide not just faster continuous shooting and data processing, but it should also result in lower noise in images. The camera's standard ISO sensitivity range is already broad, from ISO 100 to 51,200, but can be set as low as ISO 50 or as high as 204,800 in enhanced modes.

In addition to the two Digic 5+ image processors, the 1D X also includes a third Digic 4 processor that's dedicated to just metering and autofocus control.  The brand new autoexposure system uses a new 100,000-pixel RGB metering sensor and the new autofocus system sports a whopping 61 AF points. The AF functions now have a dedicated menu tab for improved accessibility, and there's even a built-in guide to provide advice on which settings to use. By default, the camera uses phase detection AF information, but it also offers a new Intelligent Tracking and Recognition option that uses face-detection and tracks recognized faces. A new shutter design promises both durability and precision and helps reduce camera vibration.

Other key features include:

  • A multiple-exposure feature, which lets you combine up to nine separate images into a composite image, in-camera.
  • Enhanced 1080p HD video with new compressions and longer recording time
  • Automatic splitting of movie files that exceed 4GB; continuous recording up to 29 minutes 59 seconds
  • Manual audio level control and wind filter
  • External stereo mic input
  • Re-designed exterior and ergonomic button configuration (optimized for both horizontal and vertical grip)
  • Dual CF card slots
  • Built-in Ethernet (1000BaseT) port

The Canon EOS-1D X is scheduled to ship in March 2012 for an estimated $6,800 (body-only).

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