Will the Canon 1D X Mark II Offer the Best DSLR Sensor Ever Made?

May 3, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

Will the Canon 1D X Mark II Offer the Best DSLR Sensor Ever Made?

May 3, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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1D X Mark II Sensor

For a while now Canon users quietly disappear whenever dynamic range comparisons or sensor ratings come up.

The Canon sensors’ dynamic range is one of the main reasons why its flagship camera, and overall highest ranking sensor, is located in the not-so-impressive 35th place on DxoMark’s list. In fact, it shares that spot with Nikon’s $500 amateur D3300 camera.

All this could soon be dramatically changing if the recent rumors regarding the 1D X Mark II are correct, and Canon might actually dethrone the D810.

Canon Rumors reports that it’s been told the 1D X replacement will “see a massive improvement” in terms of dynamic range. The upgrade is said to be so significant that it might actually lead to the sensor offering more DR stops than any other DSLR currently available.

It is also mentioned that the new Sony sensors that could be released by the time the 1D X Mark II is announced might maintain Sony and Nikon’s advantage in the dynamic range department, but users will undoubtedly be satisfied with any upgrade that will bump their sensors to anywhere near the top of the list.

Obviously improved DR will not suffice to take over the DxOMark sensor rating list, but add to it improved ISO capabilities and you might be looking at a winner.

Now add to all that the previously reported “quantum leap” in frames per second, bump in resolution and advanced flash control capabilities and the 1D X Mark II might become the overall best DSLR for anything that doesn’t require the 50MP of the 5DS.

So many cutting edge features will require serious computing power and CR thinks Canon’s next flagship camera might boast a new DIGIC 7 processor, instead of the DIGIC 5 processors used in the current model or the DIGIC 6 processor that was introduced in 2013.

With the good comes the bad, though, and one must remember that even if all this does come true the flagship camera will carry a flagship price tag. On the other hand, it will only be a matter of time until these improvements trickle down to the cheaper cameras.

[via Canon Rumors]

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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22 responses to “Will the Canon 1D X Mark II Offer the Best DSLR Sensor Ever Made?”

  1. Grevin Cheung Avatar
    Grevin Cheung

    Clickbait so maybe not.

  2. Eric Jaakkola Avatar
    Eric Jaakkola

    In other news, new things are better than old things

  3. Scott Waltrip Avatar
    Scott Waltrip

    Too little too late Sony is already upping the ante of the A7’s that are pretty much already untouchable…

    1. flick Avatar

      I disagree Scott. To gain performance by cutting your mp count in half isn’t really a true improvement. Sony would do well to improve their 5 year old NR algorithm. I’ve shot a lot of Sony and got rid of it all because the high ISO for action shooting in low light (theater, ballet, bands) is horrible. To get rid of it or bring it to an acceptable level you have to be so heavy handed on the reduction slider it makes everyone look like plastic. Sonys are great in the proper setting but they are far from the work horse cameras that Nikon and Canon produce. The 5D Mk III is still one of the most well rounded bodies out there. As far as detail I like the D810 and for speed at any ISO the 1Dx is still king although the D4s is right there with it. AND the D3s is still a great bargain for low light shooting with speed and accuracy of focusing in the subject in less than ideal conditions. The A7s is great for low light stills but I’d never use it to try to shoot a ballet with.

    2. Ryan Villanueva Avatar
      Ryan Villanueva

      As an owner of several Canon and Sony cameras – Canon still has the advantage in build quaity, relaiability, after market service, lens and accessories eco system. Not to mention Canons native flash system is miles ahead any mirrorless. I love my Sony sensors but there are kinds of photography which I prefer my Canons.

  4. peter tea Avatar
    peter tea

    Dynamic range is only one of about 5 things that the Marketing Masters are in trouble with. The Company that in sales eyes ‘meant camera’ has been sleeping. 2 years now at least Canon offers little new in a market that thrives on genuine change?

  5. David Liang Avatar
    David Liang

    Because they have a history of delivering the best sensors? What an asinine question to ask

  6. newworld666 Avatar

    No real photograph really cares about dynamic range at 100 iso !!! 1Dx
    is far better as soon as you reach 500 iso .. which is really more
    important in real life for people who shots anything else then
    flowerpots on tripod in indoor situations .. as soon as you want also
    landscape in windy weather with sharp leaves, handhold macro shooting at
    F11 or more, alive subjects moving in real life environments without
    ghosts in the frames, and of course any sports => 1Dx is probably the
    most efficient sensor with more available MP than real competitors like
    A7S,DF or D4S..
    We can easily understand why Canon doesn’t care at
    all for years that the funny boys of DXO marks compares a 1Dx with a
    Nikon D3300, you just need to go to dpreview to compare 2 pictures
    before laughing loud when you see the ridiculous dxomarks classification

    But if 1Dx can bring more dynamic range between 3200 to 12800 that would be a really good thing..

    1. A Avatar

      Well, I do actually care for dynamic ranges in Iso 64-100, up to maximum 800 Iso.
      And I would consider myself a real photographer. Because of my style of Advertising photography i manly work in studio, with lights. I want to have as much dynamic range and tonal depth as possible at low ISO, and this is why i shoot the D810.

      But on another note, i think we all can agree on that a Canon 1Dx is a lot better than a Nikon D3300 image quality wise. And to be honest, most camera sensors made in the past years to today (apart from D810’s) has roughly the same dynamic range anyways.

      1. newworld666 Avatar

        Dxomarks are just ridiculous, 1Dx and D3300 is like a joke and a proof of such heresy.
        I don’t think there is a way to distinguish dynamic in real life pictures between major brands (including D800/D810) at 100 iso..
        If we have a look at last years worldpress or reuters popular cameras http://petapixel.com/2015/02/17/breakdown-cameras-captured-winning-images-world-press-photo-2015/
        and https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1A9U6JVLnh0cCeWzabq03buSY26MA0CvYYJ68WquT7YM … It doesn’t seem there is any impact to shoot with a Canon than any other brands .. or it would prove that we can get better pictures with a limited sensor like Canon’s one than exmors ..

        1. A Avatar

          Well, those links doesn’t prove anything in dynamic range/best image quality/best camera, it only proves the most popular cameras for photojournalists is the (cannon brand) i.e.. Canon 5D Mk 2-3 and the 1Dx.

          If one would do the same research type for most advertising and fashion photographers today one would yield instead cameras like (Nikon brand) D800/D810 etc.

          The camera is not more than just a tool for creating an image, the photographer who use the camera is the one creating the picture.

          In my experience, Canon or Nikon doesn’t matter, I’ve shot Canon 5D mk 1-2-3, 1Dx aswell as Nikon D3s, D4, D800/810, D90 etc.

          Put a Canon 1200D in my hand and i probably will shoot bettar than a amateur with a Nikon D810.

          Put a Nikon D3300 in your hand and you probably will shoot better than an amateur with a Canon 5D mk III or 1Dx.

          1. newworld666 Avatar

            I don’t make any critics on D810 or any brands … I just pointed the ridiculous dxomarks which doesn’t prove anything about sensors quality!!
            99% of other brands than Canon have more dynamic at 100 iso .. but Canon has more dynamic between 800 et 12800 iso than 99% of other brands… what is better ? why dxo decided that dynamic at 100 iso makes better pictures ??? for what ?

      2. Ryan Villanueva Avatar
        Ryan Villanueva

        Although I agree that low iso is important, the 1DX is designed as an action stills camera which means in most cases users will be shooting with fast shutterspeeds that will require bumped up ISO. Of course thats not always the case but in my photography I rarely shoot below 800 on mine.

    2. Scott Avatar

      As someone who’s done a lot of landscape work – with friends who use the Nikon D810, I can authoritatively disagree that Dynamic Range isn’t important -even at ISO 100 (where I spend most of my time). The dynamic range of the D810 far exceeds my 5DMkIII, and it shows, especially in high ranges of lighting (direct sunlight to deep shadows).

      I’ve seen first-hand one to one comparisons of the data captured by the D810 and the 5DMkIII, and the Nikon simply beats the crap out of the MkIII. The Canon sensors have been well behind Nikon in the DR respect and I’m excited, really damn excited, to see if this 1Dx MkII will put us ahead of the pack.


      1. newworld666 Avatar

        I think there is no situation when a well exposed picture needs to compress dynamic to get really better. And even if it does, compressing the 11EV dynamic of any of Canon model is nearly too much to be compressed in a limited 8EV jpg format without making washed results at the end .. even in a 10EV best and out of price monitor watched with a RAW to Tiff conversion in photoshop you don’t need to compress dynamic more than 1EV… For the 1DxII Canon is telling in the marketing brochure clearly that shadows can be corrected in case of missing exposure, (surely not to be compressed)…
        At least for landscape, we can see that last December results of 2015 National Geographic photo contest => Canon with 5DII, 1Dx and 7DII and 5DIII (all with a limited to 11EV sensors) is trusting almost 70% of the categories..

        Basically, it’s a good rule to keep in mind, there is no need to compress dynamic unless, you missed the exposure and you need to move it .. but compressing it, will never make natural results.
        Here is the link to National geographic 2015 contest results with nearly all exif included in pictures.
        If you miss your landscapes, don’t expect anything from 1DxII, you should look somewhere else to understand why your friend is getting better results with a D810.

        1. Scott Avatar

          First, I’m not “missing” landscapes. I want them to be better. I’ve been shooting Canon for 30 years and know my way around an SLR.

          That said, I know exactly why *I* have gotten better results with a friends D810. If you’re shooting jpeg, sure, that DR compression will be lost, but I don’t. I shoot raw which can handle a higher range, as well as Lightroom where I post process.

          I’m primarily talking about a scene with everything from bright, direct sunlight, to dark shadows. More dynamic range than any modern camera sensor can capture.

          A correctly exposed frame (without bracketing) slimply contains more data in the Nikon image, specifically the shadow details.

          The compression you speak of is not a consideration if you apply any range extending techniques in post processing. Bringing up shadows in such a scene, in Lightroom shows obvious differences between the two. Blatant, in your face differences. Canon’s shadoe detail will simply not have the same amount of info, less detail, more noise, and if shooting at higher ISO settings a tendency to lean towards magenta.

          This is not an issue with the D810 I’ve used.

          These things aren’t important with an studio shoot or almost any other shot, where the Canon excels. But there are certain circumstances where that higher dynamic range does make a difference and does provide more usable data when you shoot RAW and apply any sort of HDR techniques in post processing.

  7. Wayne Hanner Avatar
    Wayne Hanner

    ever?……probably not.

  8. arkhunter Avatar

    Sony may have good sensors, but their UI (physical and menus) suck. I tried out an a7R and am selling it.

  9. John Cavan Avatar
    John Cavan

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say “no” to that.

  10. Oliver Leon Avatar
    Oliver Leon

    Photography is done by the photographer and not by the cam.
    To shoot a good picture just proves that the cam couldn’t prevent the photographer to make the good picture – that’s it. I’ve seen amazing pictures taken with a cell phone.
    Additionally we remember the times when Nikon was stuck with 12MP, now Canon is stuck with DR and in a way sensor issues. There’s an easy reason for that: Nikon is in the middle of an product innovation circle – canon just is / will be starting the next circle in the (probably) next 6 month. There’s also the question: Should canon just follow or try to lead. If they decide just to follow, the average public will state: “They are now there, where Nikon was 2 years ago”. If they try to lead (and are successful) they just need 2 years longer to reach that point.
    Conclusion: The photographer who developed his skills that much, so that the technology limits his work / art can consider to change, all the other folks who didn’t reach that highest point of development can easily stay on their brand, because those cams like D810 and 5D are all amazing cams – also when we see (in those times) advantages on the Nikon side. But who cares: Once it’s canon then nikon – I can shoot with every cam, because it’s not the cam, it’s me creating the pictures.

  11. Michel Avatar

    Happy owner of a 1DX this extraordinary case still enough for me for most of the pictures.


  12. Kevin Allen Avatar
    Kevin Allen

    I’ve used a D800, would I pick that to do a job over my 1D X, no. The DR isn’t bad, its not like using fujicrome for goodness sake. Anyone daft enough to judge a camera on what DXO says, needs a large boot up the backside. The 1D X is a superb machine, it gives nothing away to anything else in real life practical terms.