Marc Aspland on the EOS-1D X Mark II and shooting sports

Canon Eos-1d X Mark Ii

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA

EOS-1D X Mark II at a glance:

  • Fastest shooting EOS-1D, capable of up to 14 fps full-resolution RAW or JPEG, and up to 16 fps in Live View mode with new Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors.
  • Achieves a maximum burst rate of up to 170 RAWs in continuous shooting at up to 16 fps, and 4K movies using CFast cards in the new CFast 2.0 slot.
  • Experience less noise in higher ISO images via a new 20.2 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, with an ISO range of 100 51200; expansion to ISO 409600.
  • Improved AF performance through 61-point, wide area AF system with 41 cross-type points, improved center point focusing sensitivity to -3 EV and compatibility down to f/8
  • Accurate subject tracking for stills and video with new EOS Intelligent Tracking and Recognition AF with 360,000-pixel metering sensor.
  • 4K video (4096 x 2160) up to 60 fps (59.94), with an 8.8-Megapixel still frame grab in camera. Full 1080p HD capture up to 120 fps for slow motion.
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF & Movie Servo AF for high speed, high frame rate and continuous autofocus during video shooting.
  • View and control high quality stills and videos via the 3.2-inch touch panel LCD with 1.62 million dots.
  • Increased resolution and fine detail, with lens aberration correction and diffraction correction via new in-camera Digital Lens Optimizer technology.
  • Built-in GPS provides geotag information including auto time syncing with Universal Time Code via satellites.
  • The new optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8A is compatible with IEEE 802.11ac/n/a/g/b, supporting both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands.
  • Durable and rugged magnesium alloy body with dust- and-weather resistance for demanding shooting situations.

Canon Professional Network posted a technical article about Marc Aspland, Chief Sports Photographer at The Times newspaper in London, UK, and how he uses the new Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. Aspland was testing (and working with) the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II since early 2016. Quoting from the interview:

Having an EOS-1D X Mark II is the only major change in Marc Aspland’s kitbag this year as he currently uses: “…all of the same EF lenses that I used with the 1D X – ranging from my 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye all the way through to the 70-200mm f/2.8L and the 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x. In fact, at the [English] FA Cup Final I used a 2x Extender on it so I had an 800mm [focal length]. So, it’s anything from 15mm all the way up to 800mm, which is probably the stock choice of any sports photographer.”

Marc has been a lifelong user of Canon cameras but his style of sports photography is usually more about capturing the essence of an event, often in a creative way, rather than the key single ‘action moment’. He explains: “I don’t need to be constantly pressing that ‘send’ button on the back of my camera to send everything – as the agency guys might do because their market is so vast. I know what my sports editor is after and I know what players the writers in the press tribune are specifically writing about – a manager or a player – so I can be a great deal more selective about the pictures I send. I don’t need to plug my camera into the ethernet… obviously I can but it’s not a difference in speed to me – it’s a quality rather than quantity issue with my photography.”

Read the article at CPN…

eos-1d x mark ii

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II vs Nikon D5 (video)

Eos-1d X Mark Ii

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II at a glance:

  • 20.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors
  • 14 fps Shooting, 16 fps in Live View
  • DCI 4K Video at 60 fps, 8.8MP Still Grab
  • 61-Point High Density Reticular AF II
  • 3.2 inch (1.62m) Touchscreen LCD Monitor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Movie Servo AF
  • ISO 100-51200 (Expanded to 409600)
  • Built-In GPS
  • CFast & CF Card Slots

11 minutes video by Tony & Chelsea Northrup, Canon EOS-1D X Mark II vs Nikon D5. Two flagships for sport and wildlife photography (and obviously much more).

Guest Post: Canon User Experience Road-Show in Hong Kong (80D, G7X II, 1D X Mark II)


I received and am happy to post this report about Canon’s User Experience Road-Show, held in Hong Kong in April 2016. Thanks to the reader who sent his report in (and who wants to stay anonymous).

If you want to sent me your contributions or guest posts, please contact me at this address.

Canon User Experience Road- Show in Hong Kong, April 2016

Lately Canon HK has not held any of such consumer-oriented roadshows, let alone any Canon Expo, except a professional printing solutions seminar/roadshow about a month ago which I’ve never been informed of until too late.  In fact the Saturday fare was something I didn’t wish to be involved in, but since I’ve missed out on the press launch session on the 1DX-II and G7X-II a few days prior, I was left with little choice.

Unfortunately for me, getting included in the local press list is an uphill battle, and already I’ve gone thru some hurdles, especially with the Nikon side of matters where I’ve yet to get my chance to speak with the appropriate persons at Nikon HK, which has resulted in the missing out of last week’s D500 local press launch event.  As such, a big apology again — thought I could patch things up a bit after the D5 fiasco back in early March, but that didn’t work out.

Anyway back to the Canon matters.  Last Saturday’s roadshow’s timing is appropriate given that both aforementioned cameras — also the main subjects at the roadshow, with multiple units available for try-out — are officially market-launched on 4-28, although I’ve been repeatedly told initial batches of the 1DX-II have long been sold out (same fate as Nikon’s D5 and D500).

The Saturday roadshow at a certain hotel required pre-registration for admission, and ran from 11am to 8:30pm.  Visitors could sign up for seminars which means there’s actually little time to thoroughly try out the cameras in full detail.  For me, I only managed to examine both cameras in just two hours (cumulative) and that’s just not enough, especially with the 1DX-II.  Which is why, getting invited and admitted to press-oriented sessions are important as there’s always enough time to scrutinize the products in full capacity without much intervention.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Just couldn’t spend enough time on this pro press-grade shooter, nor could I get any original image samples due to lack of CF/CFast cards.  Unfortunately, throughout the entire program, Canon HK only supplied ONE single CFast (64GB) card for the pro speakers presentation seminars (more on below) but not in the main showcase venue, so customers
hoping to witness the power of CFast were all out of luck.

One of the booths inside the main venue involved the 1DX-II’s 4k video demonstration, but I didn’t pay much attention to it.  In other booths, some 1DX-II were attached with premium “white” (long telephoto) lenses in various flavors, which kept some visitors happy as this kind of  experience is not always possible (even at the showroom, where the 1DX-II has not made its appearance yet as we speak).

For the local media who sampled the camera earlier, their focus was on the trivial matters: overall build quality and differences from predecessors; 4k recording capability (and perhaps quality, if they ever have the real “beef” to critique that); continuous shooting speed; and high sensitivity performance.  All these do require huge amounts of time with the camera, which I obviously did not during the roadshow program.  Nevertheless I’m impressed by its overall build quality, durability, and performance, albeit with a few small criticisms.  For instance, unlike Nikon’s D4/4S/5/500 the 1DX series do not feature back buttons illumination for effective low light usage.  Then there’s the amber-colored LCD backlighting carried over from the previous 1DX.  While the blue backlighting feels much better, the same can’t be said on the amber one in that the display lacks quite some contrast in viewing.  Canon staff later told me the change in illumination color was for those who are into astrophotography where the blue EL might cause some trouble to the shooters.  Meanwhile, the AF selection button next to the vertical shutter release is not properly secured within the indented crescent, and is a bit too close to the sloped edge.  The touchscreen feature is quite a waste on the pro models, as touch operation is limited to image selection, magnification, and perhaps touch focus selection.  But although that’s understandable, there’s one more thing to worry about during maintenance, ie. the touch panel.  Other bodily improvements include the redesigned joystick buttons which come with more checkered areas which yield less thumb pinching (unlike the previous 1DX).  There’s also a secondary remote terminal on the vertical grip area, something Nikon has never implemented on its own pro models (correct me if I’m wrong).

As for memory card selection, IMO the use of CFast is more than appropriate and, despite being a Nikonian, I hope Canon would continue to implement it on other pro-grade models (eg. 5DIII successors).  Personally I’m convinced by its performance, and that there’s really no point to jump from the IDE-based CF directly to the PCIe-based XQD; SATA3 is just fast enough.  And then there’s always the familiar form of the usual CF card, except for the SATA terminals.
Except one thing: heat generation, as the warning label on the memory card door cautions against the card’s excessive heat during usage.  (That said, I’m not sure if XQD suffers from any overheating issue during coarse usage esp. with video recording.)

There’s no on-site offers/discounts on the 1DX-II, although a web store offer is available, at HK$45,280 (body only)
($5835) bundled with one Sandisk Extreme 128GB (not the 64GB elsewhere) CFast card and Sandisk’s dedicated card reader.  An LP-E19 spare battery costs $1242.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA

Canon Powershot G7 X II

Overall a fine but not perfect update to the previous G7X in various disciplines, in that certain weaknesses from the
predecessors do get carried over.  That includes the dual-deck mode/EV dials which are still sticky.  Turning the EV counterclockwise may feel a tad smoother, but that’s due to the aid of the wrapped, molded frontal grip.  When turning the dial clockwise the left hand must brace the camera to complete operation, which is not the case with the G5X where the standalone EV dial’s operation feels more fluid and less “sticky” during operation, and can turn both clockwise/counterclockwise without aid by the left hand.  Meanwhile, turning the G7X-II’s mode dial definitely requires the left hand to complete, unlike on the G9X/S110/S120 etc. which requires moderate right thumb action only.

The G7X-II’s direct tilt screen mechanism, while more convenient than the the G7X’s tilt-up-only type, is obviously based on G1X-II’s design, with all design weaknesses carried over as well.  That includes the partially-exposed flex cable, and the inability for the tilt-down mechanism to lock close (there’s no click lock when zeroing back the screen).  With the tilt-up mechanism there’s some kind of click-locking, which unfortunately is week and is thus as good as none, IMHO.

The G7XII’s improvements are not to be undermined.  That includes the newer type GUI menu in line with the G5X’s and G9X’s, which splits each menu column into pages.  Touch operation to this regard has not been improved though, as eliminating the swipe up/down action is offset by the not-so-easy left/right swiping for switching menu column
pages, even though it is easier done via the rear four-way scroll wheel.  Also lauded is the redesigned pop-up flash mechanism, which now allows for manual flash head tilting for bounce flash effect.  The lens ring clutch lever feels a bit light (or weak) but does its job as expected, although personally I would simply leave ring operation in default stepped mode, just like on the G5X/G9X/S110/S120 etc.  And of course there’s the newer DIGIC7 chipset as opposed to the G5X’s DIGIC6, although whether it can perform better than the predecessor — and to how much — remains to be seen.

I would probably dismiss that and still fall for the G5X due to better ergonomics and certain operational advantages, such as the side-articulating screen, as well as a sharper rear screen display (as compared to the G7X-II).

Meanwhile it took me another showroom visit to truly test the G7X-II’s AF performance.  Of course not as fast as traditional SLRs, but still an improvement over older models IMO.  However, care has to be taken as to which AF mode and selection methods are being used, especially since all Powershot G*X cameras lack the “AI Focus” mode.  Under “One Shot” the FaceAiAF w/Tracking mode performs great and the AF points can lock onto near-stationary subjects — but not moving subjects — accurately.  When tracking moving subjects “AI Servo” must be used, which also limits focus selection point to the center.  The “AI Focus” mode is definitely an asset which could’ve been implemented into these compacts, so it’s not known why Canon didn’t implement this mode onto its G compacts.

The G7X-II had a on-site offer, at $4980 ($641.75) bundled with one spare battery and one Sandisk Ultra 32GB card, the latter nothing to be desired due to its overall reliability.  An Extreme Pro 32GB could’ve been bundled given its reduced pricing.

PowerShot G7X II B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA

Canon EOS 80D

Something Canon HK has press-launched a while ago but was still featured during the roadshow presentation.  This was also the first time the PZ-E1 power zoom coupler is available for public hands-on.  To me however it feels just another toy gadget that may not survive for years, but the idea is good and I only hope more STM (or even micro-USM) lenses would be supported in the near future.  But nothing much about the camera though, nor did I put additional time on it, as I already had my showroom hands-on already.  Overall, a freaking fast camera with a lot of noise (yes, quite noisy during continuous shooting), and for those intermediate users looking for a new SLR, this will be the one.  My only gripe is that despite having enough space on the LHS Canon didn’t manage to add back some pro terminals, eg. a PC sync socket.

Canon EOS 80D:  B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA

The speakers:

There were three speakers, one from local and two from UK.  However, not being proficient in DSLR video acquisition and loathing the new up-and-coming local pros, I only attended those from the UK guys.  Overall I’d say, 85% real-life experience and perhaps 15% PR-oriented, but at least one denied that, since he’s totally convinced by manufacturer’s claims on the equipment’s capabilities based on his own experiences.  Official video recaps below:

Simon Bruty

A less approachable guy.  Didn’t get much chance to chat with this US-based Brit also due to his tight schedule.  AFAIK he only landed in town the day before the roadshow event and had to leave for the next destination soon after his final lecture session was over (at around 1800).  He did give some useful tips on real-life shooting, although I doubt many other audiences would face similar challenges.

Andy Rouse
A more approachable guy, also knows how to post for pics.  Calls himself a “Canon Explorer” and refuses to be an “Ambassador” due to the additional responsibilities with the brand (I presume).  Proficient in testing all Canon gear, including various beta units.

For both photogs I tried to ask them for their views on CFast card usage and the challenges to adapt to both CFast and XQD formats in the real-life work place (ie. should they be given cameras of other brands exp. Nikon to work on), but to no avail since I didn’t present my questions properly and clearly.

The remaining talk’s highlights is here (sorry no subs)

General event highlights is here

Canon Road-Show image gallery after the break…

Click here to open the rest of the article

Canon celebrates 22nd straight year of Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) awards


Canon press release:

TOKYO, April 18, 2016—Four Canon cameras and one Canon printer were recognized with “Best Photo and Imaging Product” awards by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), representing 30 photo and imaging magazines from 15 countries across five continents. The five award winners are: the EOS 5DS R digital SLR (DSLR) camera, the EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR camera, the PowerShot G5 X digital compact camera, the IXUS 285 HS (PowerShot ELPH 360 HS in the Americas) compact digital camera, and the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 professional inkjet printer.

Best DLSR Professional / High Res: EOS 5Ds R

Named “Best DSLR Professional / High Res,” the Canon EOS-5DS R features an “impressive” approximately 50.6 megapixel full-frame sensor that the TIPA jury noted rivals those of larger medium-format digital cameras. The judges also highlighted the camera’s 5 frame-per-second (fps) continuous shooting of full-resolution still images and Full HD video capture at 30 fps. The EOS-5DS R is equipped with Dual DIGIC 6 image processors, a newly developed mirror vibration control system and time-release lag settings to further suppress camera shake and allow the camera to realize the full potential of its sensor.  It has a 100% coverage 3.2-inch 1.04 million dot Intelligent ClearView II LCD viewfinder that can display a variety of shooting information. The jury also pointed out that the camera sports a 150,000 pixel RGB-IR metering sensor that utilizes EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF and that AF performance is enhanced by the 61-point high-density reticular sensor.

Best Photo / Video Professional Camera: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Selected for this year’s “Best Photo / Video Professional Camera” award, Canon’s EOS-1D X Mark II flagship-model DSLR offers impressive specifications. The camera is equipped with an approximately 20.2 megapixel 35 mm full-frame Canon CMOS sensor and achieves high-speed continuous shooting of approximately 14 fps, and up to 16 fps in Live View mode. The TIPA judges noted that the Dual DIGIC 6+ image processors enable high-speed writing of up to 170 RAW images and 81 RAW+JPEG images per burst. Thanks to Dual Pixel CMOS AF, in which all of the CMOS sensor’s pixels include both imaging and the phase-difference detection AF functions, the EOS-1D X Mark II is capable of high-speed AF tracking. The camera features an improved 61-point viewfinder AF and an improved AI Servo III+ predictive AF algorithm, and also achieves 4K 60p video shooting, and Full HD 120 fps high frame rate image capture suitable for slow motion video capture. With the optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8B, compatible with the new IEEE802.11ac wireless LAN standard, data can be sent wirelessly at high speeds across the 5 GHz band.

Best Easy Compact Camera: IXUS 285 HS

Crowning the IXUS 285 HS “Best Easy Compact Camera,” the TIPA judges declared, “Canon continues to offer pocketable yet full-featured compacts that offer many more options and higher photo quality than camera phones.” The camera sports a 12x optical zoom lens with built-in image stabilizer, a dedicated Wi-Fi button and NFC for enhanced connectivity, and a 3-inch LCD screen. It boasts an approximately 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4+ image processor that achieves high image quality even in low-light environments. What’s more, it can capture 1080p Full HD video and, using Canon’s proprietary algorithm, can produce a “highlight reel” in camera from selected albums.

Best Expert Compact Camera: Canon PowerShot G5 X

Crowned “Best Expert Compact Camera,” Canon’s PowerShot G5 X features a 1-inch approximately 20.2 megapixel High Sensitivity CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6 processor that achieves an approximately 6 fps continuous shooting speed and Full HD video. The camera features a 24–100 mm (35 mm film equivalent) 4.2x optical zoom lens with a nine-blade iris and an aperture of f/1.8 at the wide-angle end and f/2.8 at the telephoto end that achieves rich tonal gradations and exceptional blur characteristics across the entire zoom range. The G5 X features an EVF (electronic viewfinder) with approximately 2.36 million dots and approximately 100% coverage that employs an organic EL (electroluminescent) panel and has a refresh rate of up to 120 fps. A built-in eye sensor, which has a range of approximately 22 mm, can even detect users wearing glasses and switches display from the EVF to the 3-inch vari-angle LCD touchscreen. Additionally, the camera’s hot shoe is compatible with all Speedlite flashes in the EOS system.

Best Photo Printer: imagePROGRAF PRO-1000

“Combining the ease of desktop use and a 17-inch wide cut sheet printer with many features from Canon’s higher-end pro printer models,” the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 earned the title of TIPA’s “Best Photo Printer.” It incorporates a new twelve-color LUCIA PRO ink system, with eleven pigment inks, including the newly formulated Photo Black, and Chroma Optimizer. What’s more, Photo and Matte Black have their own nozzles, so no switching is needed between print jobs.

Equipped with the air feeding system found in Canon’s large-format imagePROGRAF inkjet printers, the PRO-1000 virtually eliminates paper skewing, regardless of paper weight and type, while also achieving more accurate ink placement. A new print head expels more ink droplets per second for more stable print performance, and print head-mounted sensors can detect clogs and automatically delegate printing responsibilities to other nozzles to prevent discoloration.

About the TIPA Awards

Held every year since 1991, the TIPA Awards recognize the best photo and imaging products announced during the previous 12 months based on such criteria as innovativeness, use of leading-edge technologies, design and ease-of-use. In 1992, Canon took home its first TIPA accolade for the EOS 100 SLR camera and, over 24 separate occasions since then, has been honored with TIPA awards for a total of 78 products and technologies.*

Includes the EOS D2000, jointly developed with Eastman Kodak, winner of the 1998-1999 TIPA Best Pro Digital Camera award.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II to be announced in 2016?


After a lot of rumors suggesting the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II would be announced before end of 2015, now an announcement in 2016 is murmured.

Latest EOS-1D X rumor has it that we will see the Canon EOS-1D X not before April 2016. Until now April 2016 has always been traded as the announcement date for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Will the EOS 5D Mark IV announcement be postponed to Photokina 2016 (that’s in September 2016)? The EOS-1D X Mark II is still rumored to feature 4K video.

Take everything with a grain of salt, there are no really reliable Canon rumors around for the time being.

[via Canon Rumors]