Canon announces EOS-1D X Mark II 4K DSLR

4K DSLRs

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Canon's new EOS-1D X Mark II
4K performance: Canon's new EOS-1D X Mark II shoots up to 60fps

Canon's new EOS-1D X Mark II
4K performance: Canon’s new EOS-1D X Mark II shoots up to 60fps


Canon is set to update its video-capable DSLR range with a new flagship camera, the EOS-1D X Mark II. The new pro-spec camera will go on sale in May, and promises a range of improvements over the current model, especially in video capabilities.

Canon’s new camera uses a 20.2 megapixel, full-frame sensor and a new image processor to deliver up to 16fps stills shooting, and 4K video at up to 60fps. The sensor is a newly designed Canon model, and the processor is a dual Digic 6+ unit, geared for high-speed shooting.

The new camera offers improved autofocus in stills mode, with 61 AF points, and a native sensitivity of ISO 100 to 51,200, with an extended range from ISO 50 to ISO 409,600. The camera records to CFast 2.0 cards, and also comes with USB3 and Ethernet connections on board, as well as GPS. WiFi, however, is an optional extra.

The new sensor and processors are likely to please stills photographers, but much of the 1D X Mark II’s punch lies in its video capabilities. Although Canon have focused on their Cinema EOS dedicated video cameras in recent times, the new 1D gains some of the key features Canon has developed for its video camera range.

First among these is the company’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF, developed originally for the C100, and now also on the C300 Mark II. This autofocus technology allows the Canon to track subjects much more accurately than most stills cameras, with smooth moves in and out of focus. Videographers can also set AF points, in video mode, using the camera’s touch screen.

EOS-1D X: Cinema 4K ready

Canon has also added 4K, internal video recording to the EOS-1D X Mark II. This sets the camera ahead of both the C100 and the EOS 5D Mark III, which are limited to HD. In the new camera, video is up to Cinema 4K (4096×2160 pixels), at up to 60fps. In HD, the camera can record up to 120fps for slo-mo effects.

Recording time in all modes is up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds. This sets the Canon ahead of Nikon’s recently-announced D5, for 4K recording. However, the EOS can only record 4K video internally, although it can output uncompressed HD video — although not 4K — over HDMI. Internal recording is 8-bit, 4:2:2 for 4K, and HD recording is 4:2:0, also at 8 bit.

Video is recorded internally as QuickTime, in HD and 4K, with WAV audio, or as MP4, in HD. High frame rate video is limited to 7m29s. The camera’s internal recording bitrates range from 800 Mbps, for 60fps 4K, to 90mbps All-I for HD, or 30Mbps for IPB video.

Canon will sell the EOS-1D X Mark II for £5199.99 or €6,999.99 including tax.