I am getting my camera (5d3) replaced and have the opportunity to sell the replacement and get factory refurbed 1d x for $3900 or spend $1600 more to have 2 5d3's so I will have a backup. Just not sure if I should jump on the 1d x since I have lived this long with 1 body or get the 2 5d3's. My main want is stop better iso performance, customizable ae adjustments, more accurate metering. Just looking for people who have both to give some insight. I do like the smaller size, silent shutter, lower weight but want a tool thats best for the job. So far events and portraits are all I have done. Also landscapes and macro.
There are lots of threads here and elsewhere on this.
What I have found, of importance to me, is this:
At/below 1600 ISO, 5D3 = 1DX. Above 1600 ISO, 1DX > 5D3
Metering: 1DX > 5D3
f/2.8 AF Points: 1DX > 5D3
Viewfinder face detection: 1DX
Numerous comments about the superior quality of 1DX files and the ability to manipulate them in post.
At low ISO's, given a properly executed image, the 5D3 seems to have more detail due to more MP.
The quieter shutter (not even in silent mode) of the 5D3 should not be underestimated for things like weddings. This comes up again and again.
Not an easy choice. It isn't just build quality.
The 1Dx sure is THE flag ship at the moment. But your high ISO assessment shows improvement potential.
It depends on your idea of a clean image and it depends on your photographical preferencies as well.
So the ISO 1600 criteria seems a bit far fetched.
In an article earlier this year http://www.uncagethesoul.com/night-photography/best-canon-night-camera/
Ben Canales stated:
"Between the 1Dx and 5D3, it’s again difficult to find a winner here. In this scenario we’re not cranking the shadows to their breaking point, so at the “safe” level of ISO 3200 both seem to perform equally well. I think the 1Dx image catches the eye simply because of the Aurora colors in it. At this usage level, there’s not a big difference between the 1Dx and 5D3."
"The 5D3 was NOT usable at 8000, but I’ve heard 6400 is manageable and I believe it. But unfortunately, I didn’t have one shot at that ISO for testing, so it stopped at 5000. ... Amazingly, the 1Dx was controllable all the way up to 12,800! By controllable, I mean a night shot at this ISO- I felt confident in how I edited it that I would post it online as one of my professional portfolio night shots. That doesn’t mean I’d make a print out of it (digital display vs professional print are leap years apart in regards to ISO’s) but I am confident to show it online. To me, this is a big difference and another reason the 1Dx champions out front of the others."
"As I mentioned in the beginning, the price difference between the 1Dx and 5D3 is very large with the 1Dx costing TWICE as much as the 5D3. In regards to Night Photography alone, I don’t think the 1Dx’s abilities justifies that size price jump. In fact, bang for buck, I think the 5D2 is still the best “entry level choice” since used 5D2′s can be found on Craigslist for under $2k, as opposed to new 5D3′s at $3,500. However, if you want to be on the “front lines” of night shooting, an upgrade to the newer bodies is a must as it is evident their abilities to handle higher ISO’s has expanded considerably and is very exciting. If you have an older 5d2 and are considering a new camera- I think the 5D3 is a fantastic purchase if you are or want to be in Night Shooting. Get the 5D3 and save that other $3k for one or two L series lenses. However, if you do have the budget, and want the best, the 1Dx represents the cutting edge of Night Photography with a Canon camera."
"f you allow me to rant further on- I do not think the 1Dx or 5D3 represent a “game changing” jump in night shooting. Years ago the 5D2 and Nikon D90 were literal game changers in their ability to controllably shoot much higher ISO’s than previously possible. Those cameras literally changed what was thought possible. The 1Dx and 5D3 provide substantial, exciting progress, but they won’t turn the world upside down. Looking to the future, if I could get my hands on the next camera advancement- having that NOW would probably blow my mind compared to the 5D2 and 1D4. Saying this, I realize how spoiled we have become with the rate of progress in our cameras. As mentioned, I discovered how to shoot stars on the very old Canon 30D body. With that camera, ISO 1600 was usually my limit and now the 1Dx is making ISO 12,800 possible?!? Our expanding ability to go out into the dark and bring back images is incredibly exciting and I have no doubt in 1-3 years I’ll enthusiastically be doing another test up on a mountain with new cameras and higher ISO’s."
BTW, this is my late cat, taken early this year at ISO 51k. ;-)
Shooting my Cat at ISO 51k by Peter Hauri, on Flickr