As a working professional who relies on Canon gear to run my business, I get excited when I wake up to news that there’s a new flagship camera on the market. This morning, Canon dropped the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. While I am a self professed non-techie, I still felt obligated to check out the specs to see what they could mean for me:

Price Point: Gulp. Let’s face it. This camera is $6 grand ($5,999) and that’s a lot of money for most of us. That’s twice the price point of what (I would argue) are Canon’s most popular pro cameras in the 5D line. For me, a camera better measure up and add significant improvement to my workflow to look at adding at least one to my fleet (currently four 5D Mark III’s) with the possibility of moving my entire fleet over which would be a $24,000 investment.

Auto Focus: Auto focus is key for me. As a wedding photographer, I don’t often have time to worry about manually focusing, particularly in the fast paced times during the day. The EOS-1D X Mark II features an improved 61 point AF system that has 41 1dxmkii_feature_04b_Autofocus_Sensorcross points. This offers improved accuracy and quickness, which is always good! While notes important to wedding/portrait photographers, Canon has also added the ability to use all AF points on lenses as slow as f/8 – which will be a book to sports and wildlife photographers.

Canon has released a wonderful graphic describing the sensor (which helps non-techies like me,) visualize the auto focus sensor and which points do what. I encourage you to check it out.

Intelligent Viewfinder: I think I’m most excited about this feature. The Intelligent Viewfinder offers the photographer a ton more information right through the viewfinder. Without going into the menu or looking at the screen on top of the camera near the shutter, I can see an electronic level (perfect because I also can’t hold a camera straight to save my life sometimes!), shooting mode, metering mode, white balance, drive mode, and information on the AF system. I can also see my battery level, flash exposure level, and the number of remaining multiple exposures and burst mode left. I’m sure it will be a little bit of a shift to get used to viewing all this information all the time, but once I do, I can see never wanting to get rid of it.

Graphic of EOS-1D X Mark II’s new Intelligent Viewfinder.

Lens Corrections:
I’m super excited about the lens aberration and diffraction correction. Using Lens Optimizer technology it fixes image distortion. Not only will this increase the detailed captured in camera, it will also help eliminate several steps in post production dealing with vignetting, barrel/pincushion distortions, and chromatic aberration. It even will remember the data for each lens. Hooray!

EOS-1D X Mark II new added lens aberration and diffraction correction.
EOS-1D X Mark II new added lens aberration and diffraction correction.

Touchscreen: Having a touchscreen LCD is pretty cool, but where this really comes in handy is if you are using the camera for video or live view. When you’re in live view, the touchscreen lets you change AF points and image magnification. If you’ve ever shot video or live view before, you know that this can be a little cumbersome when you have to go through menus. Being able to reach out and touch it is going to make things much more intuitive.

The new touchscreen allows for a more intuitive Live View experience.
The new touchscreen allows for a more intuitive Live View experience.

GPS/WiFi: While I don’t have a need for GPS data and coordinates of all of my photos, the GPS technology built in does have one really cool feature: time syncing. The EOS-1D X Mark II’s GPS allows the camera to time sync with universal time codes via satellite. This means no more manual syncing before each shoot with my second shooters(or forgetting to sync and then having a hassle to fix in post production metadata adjustments). The EOS-1D X Mark II also adds a WiFi feature (through an accessory) which is becoming an increasingly popular option for those who need to work in a fast paced environment and see instant, shareable, results.

4K & HD Video: This is a big deal. Cameras with 4k capabilities have been coming on to the market for a while, but typically at higher price points. The EOS-1D X Mark II gets you not just incredible still ability, but incredible video ability. Coupled with the new Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors that improve low light capablity and the amount of shootable frames per second, this is one powerful video tool.

CF & CFast Cards: The EOS-1D X Mark II features one UDMA 7 CompactFlash Type 1 memory card slot and one CFast 2.0 memory card slot rather than dual memory card slots of the same type. I appreciate this because while shooting weddings on my 5D Mark III, I can ALWAYS tell when my card switches from my CF slot to SD slot because the burst mode & writing capabilities on even the fastest of SD cards is slower than the CF cards. The CFast 2.0 Card in 64GB & 128GB are supported & you can view their specs here. The CFast card support is a huge bonus for photographers, but a ridiculously huge bonus for videographers taking advantage of the 4k and high speed functions of this camera.

In summary, I’d love to get my hands on this camera and try it out for myself in a real life shooting situation. In my initial look at the features and specs, it seems to have a lot of robust features that the Canon line has been asking for and would be incredibly useful. When I get my hands on one, I’ll be sure to share how it goes. If you get your hands on one before me, please share your experience with your fellow Photofocus readers!