« on: February 18, 2013, 10:41:01 AM »
I just completed my two week eval of the Canon 1DX shooting wildlife exclusively. I shoot regularly with a 5DIII and was curious to see what the 1DX might offer over the 5DIII. I paired it up with a 600 f/4 and shot with and without a 1.4X III converter. I tried the 2XIII but at AFMA -20 it was still not focusing...tried a few manual focus shots and LV but gave up. I spent the first few days getting the 600 and 600+1.4x focus adjusted using AFMA. Tried the dot method and Focal and just gave up and did it by hand shooting ducks on a lake. All of my testing was done in RAW mode and images were compared/processed using PS CS5.
Here are my comments after using the 1DX for two weeks shooting various waterfowl and bald eagles:
• 12 fps does not really offer much. Sounds nice in theory but for wildlife I think it’s excessive. 6 to 8 gives you enough to work with.
• 1DX shutter is LOUD!!!! So loud that it scares away anything in earshot. The 5DIII even in high speed drive mode is much much quieter. Drop the 5D3 into silent mode and ducks within 20ft still cant hear it.
• Shooting up to ISO 1000 I did not see any improvement in noise levels. I’m sure it’s better but not enough to notice in real world situations.
• 1DX is 18MP full frame. Compared to my 5DIII at 22MP full frame, I believe the noise patterns on the 5D3 are actually smaller and less noticeable. Probobly due to the slightly higher pixel density.
• I did not see any improvement in image sharpness
• I did not see any improvement in dynamic range…though I’m sure it’s better…just cant see it in real world wildlife use.
• The thing soaks battery like no tomorrow. Had to charge the battery at 50% after two shoots. Compared to two weeks with the 5DIII and dual batteries in the grip. 1DX you can only have one battery at a time.
• Some of the added firmware features are nice and there are more programmable buttons but I didn’t find them useful or necessary over what I already have on the 5DIII. None of the extra features on the 1DX offered anything useful for wildlife photography over the 5DIII.
• 1DX costs twice as much.
The 1DX is clearly geared up for action sports photography and is a bit more rugged and water sealed than the 5DIII. As much as I wanted to qualify it as a BETTER wildlife camera, I just could not. Pixel peepers will have their say but for those of us that live in the real world, the 5DIII is just as good as the 1DX and due to the higher pixel density I would put it slightly ahead of the 1DX for this kind of work.
These comments are based on my opinion shooting wildlife for 30 years. Others will have their opinions and I welcome them for the sake of open discussion.