Canon announced the company’s newest flagship professional DSLR today, the 18 megapixel full-frame Canon 1Dx. The 1Dx will sit atop Canon’s model line as an update to both the Canon 1Ds and the 1D Mark IV, and is expected to debut for $6800 body-only in March 2012.
The 1Dx will feature dual DIGIC 5 processors, which Canon claims offer approximately 17 times more processing power than the previous generation DIGIC 4s.
Those looking for an upgrade to the 5D Mark II for video capture may find a friend in the 1Dx, as it is capable of 1080/30p/25p/24p HD video capture, with options for 720/60p/50p as well. The image sensor has been designed with video in mind, meaning that downsampling errors and the resultant moire effect should be significantly reduced. The file system’s 4GB limit has also been worked around, with an automatic file splitting functionality enabling up to 29 minute and 59 seconds of continuous video capture.
The camera also supports two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, to ease syncing up multiple cameras in post. The 1Dx will also support both intraframe (ALL-i) and interframe (IPB) compression, to aid post-production and editing workflows, depending on need. The camera also offers manual audio level control both before and during video capture with the internal monaural mic or an external stereo microphone.
Canon's all new full-frame CMOS sensor ensures that video footage captured on the EOS-1D X will exhibit less moiré than any previous Canon model, resulting in a significant improvement in HD video quality. A desired feature for many documentary filmmakers using Canon DSLRs was to enable recording beyond the four gigabyte (GB) file capacity and the EOS-1D X is the answer. The new camera features automatic splitting of movie files when a single file exceeds 4GB. The new file splitting function allows for continuous video recording up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files; no frames are dropped and the multiple files can be seamlessly connected in post production, providing filmmakers the recording time they want in the same convenient DSLR form factor. The camera records Full HD at 1920 x 1080 in selectable frame rates of 24p (23.976), 25p, or 30p (29.97); and 720p HD or SD video recording at either 50p or 60p (59.94). SD video can be recorded in either NTSC or PAL standards.
The Canon EOS-1D X also includes manual audio level control, adjustable both before and during movie recording, an automatic setting, or it can be turned off entirely. A wind filter is also included. Sound can be recorded either through the internal monaural microphone or via an optional external microphone through the stereo mic input.
The Canon 1Dx offers USB transfer, but will also sport a wired gigabit Ethernet port for stable wired transmission of video and still images at up to 1000BASE-T transmission speeds. That should allow not only faster transmission of files, but longer, more practical connection solutions for professionals. For on-camera storage, the 1Dx will eschew SD storage in favor of dual Compact Flash cards.
The low-light capability of the EOS-1D X is evident in its incredible ISO range and ability to photograph in extremely low-light conditions. Adjustable from ISO 100 to 51,200 within its standard range, the new model offers a low ISO 50 setting for studio and landscape photography and two high settings of 102,400 at H1 and 204,800 at H2, ideal for law enforcement, government or forensic field applications.