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Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« on: October 20, 2011, 10:43:06 PM »
The Canon EOS 1D X The following video is from Canon Japan with english subtitles. It’s a technical marketing piece for the new EOS 1D X. More of what you probably already know, but explains the new technologies in the new flagship well.

All is not great? There does seem to be some things left out of the EOS 1D X that photographers are worried about. The biggest one I have seen is the omission of f/8 AF sensors. This means that a 500 f/4L IS with a 2X teleconverter wouldn’t have AF at the center point, like the current 1D and 1Ds cameras. I am still waiting for official confirmation from Canon about this issue. Is it a hardware thing? or could it be addressed with software?

thanks Glen

High ISO Samples Unfortunately, they aren’t high resolution high ISO samples.

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20111020_484856.html

thanks Clark

cr

« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 11:04:25 PM by Canon Rumors »
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Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« on: October 20, 2011, 10:43:06 PM »

dilbert

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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2011, 01:38:29 AM »
The aperture requirement of 2.8, 4 and 5.6 cannot be patched with software. The AF sensors have been physically constructed to work with a minimum amount of light for proper operation.

To guess at why, maybe trying to allow for autofocus with an f-stop of 8 requires sacrifices in AF sensor accuracy?

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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2011, 02:26:11 AM »
The aperture requirement of 2.8, 4 and 5.6 cannot be patched with software. The AF sensors have been physically constructed to work with a minimum amount of light for proper operation.

To guess at why, maybe trying to allow for autofocus with an f-stop of 8 requires sacrifices in AF sensor accuracy?

I remember people have tried to tape some lens contacts to allow AF at smaller apertures, unfortunately the AF was almost unusable after that, so it's really more about hardware thing.

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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2011, 03:15:04 AM »
The aperture requirement of 2.8, 4 and 5.6 cannot be patched with software. The AF sensors have been physically constructed to work with a minimum amount of light for proper operation.

To guess at why, maybe trying to allow for autofocus with an f-stop of 8 requires sacrifices in AF sensor accuracy?
Accuracy and speed, yes.

The argument that certain f-stops are required to get the AF sensors working at all has been around before, and I don't think the evidence supports it.  Aside from the point that AF fails to detect contrast when there's too little light regardless of your aperture (which is why I've said before that I believe a lens that's faster than the AF limit can help AF accuracy, so long as the camera may still place the area of sharp focus correctly), there stands the fact that you can get AF working, albeit badly, with apertures less than the camera's designed AF limit of f/5.6 or f/8 still being able to provide AF.  I think instead that the AF sensors are designed to work well with the amount of light in an average lighting situation, and that in the same lighting situation a wider aperture will result in even better AF operation (up to the maximum potential of speed and accuracy for the given AF mode).

As a result, AF with apertures smaller than the designed ones are simply arbitrarily blocked without making the camera take a best shot at the lit scene.  The main reasoning for this probably that it simplifies an equipment (especially lens and camera) purchase decision, and simplifies camera use; even if you will not get AF working in a situation, that's probably a scene the camera is going to pull very little detail out of anyway.  You buy the camera for the assurance that AF should work in a situation, rather than have to think about whether to try to engage it and in what mode.  You might say they've dumbed-down the system but they've emphasized reliability and made it more predictable.

I did notice that I wasn't seeing f/8 (or rather, a familiar value) in the AF specs when I glanced at them but didn't think much of it.  That's probably because reading that AF sensors were horizontally sensitive at f/5.6 didn't register as a sign that is the basic mode of operation.

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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2011, 04:05:49 AM »
The users of the 1DX will spend the costs of an expensive 4.0 or 5.6 (400mm or more) lens too, if they want to use all the features of this camera.

But, as i read in other forums, many (hobby-)fotographers who work with the 5DII want an AF that is working at f=8 too.
In my opinion (as an hobbyfotographer), only 20 AF fields with one AF-field that is working at f=8 are better than 60 with only an AF working at f=4 or 5.6.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 04:11:37 AM by xps »

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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2011, 05:53:05 AM »
The F8 limitation is only on a lens whose maximum aperture is F8 or smaller.
As far as I'm aware Canon doesn't make any, at all.

Even with a x2 Extender which changes the aperture by 2 stops this is only when the picture is being taken.

When the camera focuses it uses the whole width of a lens. So, even if you are in AV mode, set at F11, the lens will still be at F2.8 until you take the picture AFTER it's already focused. ( like with a 24-70 2.8 )

If anything the high accuracy 2.8 focus points in the centre are a concern as a lot of people use the 24-105L and cannot take advantage of those....but most people who buy this camera will have fast glass.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2011, 06:12:33 AM »
The biggest one I have seen is the omission of f/8 AF sensors. ... I am still waiting for official confirmation from Canon about this issue. Is it a hardware thing? or could it be addressed with software?

Chuck Westfall provided confirmation of the lack of AF at f/8 in a reply to Art Morris referenced on another forum.  Granted, that's not official.  Here's the link, and here's the quote from Art Morris: "...I would have to classify this info from Canon USA's top tech rep Chuck Westfall as bad news (just received via e-mail):

"AF is unavailable on the EOS-1D X if the maximum aperture reported to the camera through the electronic lens mount is smaller than f/5.6. This is a lower specification than previous EOS-1 series DSLRs. On the plus side, consider the fact that with most f/4 lenses including the 400 DO, 500/4L IS and IS II, and 600/4L IS and IS II, you now have 41 cross-type AF points plus color and face detection, whereas you had no cross-type points and no color or face detection during AF with previous EOS-1 series DSLRs using the same lenses, not to mention a significantly wider AF coverage area from left to right."


It's a hardware thing.  The 1D X is the first 1-series body to have a diagonal f/2.8 cross point.  That's the f/5.6 +-shaped sensor with an f/2.8 x-shaped sensor superimposed on it.  That's a pretty crowded arrangement already, and it may there was just no room for the additional f/8-sensitive line. Maybe the engineers at Canon can redesign it...but that's a pretty tight timeline for design, testing, and production to meet a March release.

I hope that Canon addresses it before release, but I have doubts - I don't think it was an oversight.  As stated, there seems to be a technical reason...but my cynical side wonders about marketing's role - take away the 1.3x, but some users can compensate by adding a TC; take away f/8 AF and that forces more people to buy longer lenses. 

As a side note, the AF system on the 1D X does have other quirks.  For example, those f/2.8-sensitive sensors?  There are five of them, but only with certain lenses.  Some f/2.8 lenses only activate the center f/2.8 point, and the other 4 f/2.8 points act as f/5.6 only - that's mostly the f/2.8 wide angle primes (28mm and wider), but also includes the 24-70mm f/2.8.  In fact, two f/2.8 lenses - the 100mm L and non-L Macro lenses - do not activate any of the f/2.8-sensitive AF points.  Full details on this Google-translated page.

This means that a 500 f/4L IS with 2X teleconverter wouldn’t have AF at the center point...

Or, more importantly, the 500mm f/4L IS II (and 600/4 II) + 2x will not AF.  The irony is that Canon announced new MkII 500mm f/4 and 600mm f/4 lenses and touted their impressive performance with MTF curves showing performance with the new 2x III extender that's nearly as good as the bare MkI lenses.  Those MTF curves with the 2x are on Canon's lens pages for the 500 II and 600 II, and are even placed before the bare lens MTF curve to highlight them.  Quite tantalizing.

Then they replace their professional bodies with the 1D X, which cannot AF with that combination.  Bait...and switch.  Oops.

To guess at why, maybe trying to allow for autofocus with an f-stop of 8 requires sacrifices in AF sensor accuracy?

Exactly.  The key there is 'proper' - yes, you can tape pins and make the AF system try to work with a lens slower than it's designed for, and sometimes it works...but many times it fails, which is why Canon limits it to the specified aperture.

The F8 limitation is only on a lens whose maximum aperture is F8 or smaller.
As far as I'm aware Canon doesn't make any, at all.

Even with a x2 Extender which changes the aperture by 2 stops this is only when the picture is being taken.

When the camera focuses it uses the whole width of a lens. So, even if you are in AV mode, set at F11, the lens will still be at F2.8 until you take the picture AFTER it's already focused. ( like with a 24-70 2.8 )

Sorry, but the first part of that is wrong.  With a 2x extender, you lose two stops of light - all the time.  It's not that adding the extender causes the camera to stop down the aperture of the lens 2 stops.  The addition of the extender results in an actual loss of light (because the light from the central portion of the image circle is being spread over a wider area, there's less of it).  Basic optical physics.  We use aperture to mean f/number, but the f/number is actually the ratio of focal length to iris diaphragm diameter.  That's why an f/2.8 lens with a 400mm focal length has to be so much bigger than an f/2.8 lens with a 100mm focal length - the former needs an iris diaphragm 4 times larger, and therefore bigger elements to fill that hole with light.  When you add a teleconverter, you 1.4x or 2x the effective focal length, but you don't make the iris diaphragm any bigger.  Therefore, you decrease the effective f/number. 

So, yes, with a 2x TC on an f/4 lens, the lens will be set to f/4 during AF no matter what the chosen aperture for the shot is., stopping down only at the moment of the exposure.  But that f/4 setting with the TC is only letting an amount of light reach the sensors that's equivalent to f/8.  That's why Canon forces the AF to stop working when a teleconverter results in a maximum effective aperture that's not supported by the camera's AF sensor.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 01:41:30 PM by neuroanatomist »
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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2011, 06:12:33 AM »

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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2011, 08:49:25 AM »
Hi, CR,

There does [do] seem to be some things left out of the EOS 1D X that photographers are worried about. The biggest one I have seen is the omission of f/8 AF sensors. This means that a 500 f/4L IS with a 2X teleconverter wouldn’t have AF at the center point, like the current 1D and 1Ds cameras. I am still waiting for official confirmation from Canon about this issue. Is it a hardware thing? or could it be addressed with software?

The minimum aperture required for a particular AF sensor pair to function depends on the spacing of the "AF sub-exit pupils" for the two detectors.

At the smallest workable aperture for a particular detector pair, these are located (by design)  against the edges of the actual lens exit pupil (as it is during AF, at the lens' maximum available aperture). Their separation is in effect the "baseline" of a rangefinder, which is what a phase detection AF detector system actually is. Each detector of a pair works from light coming only through its own sub-exit pupil.

Thus, the spacing is different for the AF detector pairs with different "minimum aperture" requirements.

This siting is determined by the little optical system that feeds each AF detector pair, which among other things includes a pair of physical apertures. The sub-exit pupils are images of these.

The greater the spacing of the sub-exit pupils, the greater the "precision" of focus detection, which is why the detector pairs that require an f/2.8 minimum aperture are more precise, and are desirable to use (when they will work).

But if the sub-exit pupils are located outside the boundaries of the exit pupil of the lens proper (as when the lens aperture during AF is smaller than that which supports the sub-exit pupil spacing of the particular detector pair of interest), then the AF detectors get no light at all, and thus cannot function.

And, prudently, the camera body declines to include various classes of AF detectors from the AF scenario based on knowledge, reported by the lens, of its maximum aperture.

This is thus a hardware consideration, and cannot be overcome by any firmware fiddling.

Note finally that this is in no way a photometric issue; having "enough light" (in the exposure sense) is not the critical issue here. This is why AF detectors requiring a minimum aperture of, say, f/5.6 cannot be put into play merely by limiting ourselves to "brighter" scenes.

When a 2X extender is placed on a lens which, by itself, has a maximum aperture of f/4, the result is a new lens, with more elements, longer and weighing more, having a maximum aperture of f/8. It is popular to say that the "effective maximum aperture" is now f/8. But that is the real aperture of our "new lens". Thus it is the exit pupil produced by that actual new aperture which is the limiting factor on which AF detector pairs will work with that augmented lens in place.

Best regards,

Doug
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 08:51:54 AM by dougkerr »

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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2011, 10:27:01 AM »
I have been silently lurking on this site and now finally feel compelled to weigh in on this.  Let me say that I am not a techno guru, so please have mercy on any especially ignorant technical comments I might make.  I mostly do aviation and sports photography.  I have a 1Ds2, which I absolutely love.  I wanted to get a newer camera and patiently waited for the 1Ds4 up until last December, when it sounded like it was imminent then and then never showed up.  I had seen several other shooters at airshows with much higher frames/sec capability than the 1Ds2, so last December I gave up on the 1Ds4 and purchased a 1D4.  I was not thrilled about losing full frame, but was intrigued by the 10 fps capability.  Well, the 10fps capability made a huge difference in being able to capture fleeting moments such as vapor cones and crossing passes.  I also have come to appreciate the 1.3 crop factor of the APS-H sensor.  My "niche" is trying to capture moments when the aircraft are well away from the crowd line, and making formation changes etc that you don't see at show center.  Therefore, I typically shoot with the 500 f4 with the 1.4 teleconverter, effectively giving me 910mm reach.  With this combo, I get all of my focus points, which comes in very handy when the planes are in front of a complex background.  When I use the 2.0 teleconverter, I only have the center focus point, which is a major loss. 

I think the APS-H sensor is a perfect compromise for what I like to shoot.  It gives me a modest zoom "boost", and yet it still has alot of pixels on the sensor to form an image.  I also have a 40D and a 50D, and I am convinced that the image quality coming off the APS-H is better than these.  Now with the announcement of the 1Dx, I am really perplexed.  The noise and auto focus capabilities sound outstanding, but I can't seem to get past the 18 mp number not from a printing point of view, but from a getting the most pixels of airplane on the sensor point of view.  To reach the same zoom level, I will now have to use the 2.0 TC to achieve the same level of magnification.  I had assumed this would limit me to only having one focus point, which I am not thrilled about, but now if I read this thread correctly it will not autofocus at all with the 2.0 TC?

I was hoping that the 1D5 would have more mpix with the same 10fps rate on the APS-H, or that the 1Ds4 would have significantly more mpix with at least a modest improvement in fps (6-8?).  Forgive my longwindedness, but I have not seen any other photographers from a similar niche chime in yet.

seanmcr6

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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2011, 11:49:10 AM »
LOL...anyone else think it's ridiculous that this promo video for their "flagship" product is only available in 360p?

Seriously, no HD? Not even 720?

Especially since the camera shoots 1080....

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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2011, 12:16:56 PM »
LOL...anyone else think it's ridiculous that this promo video for their "flagship" product is only available in 360p?

Seriously, no HD? Not even 720?

Especially since the camera shoots 1080....

i get what you mean, but the video linked here was not uploaded by Canon, that's why it's not HD :)
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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2011, 12:53:53 PM »
First of all - Doug is correct about this.

Second, this is really stupid.  One of the main reasons I've never upgraded my 20D is that none of the newer bodies (30D, 40D, 50D, 60D, 7D) have f/8 AF sensors.  And now the 1-series flagship doesn't either?  Ridiculous.

My wish - 7D Mark II with fast, accurate f/8 AF sensors (and 18-24MP) and a 100-400L Mark II designed to be sharp with the 7D Mark II and a 1.4x TC II or TC III attached.  That would be the ultimate bright-light hand-held "reach" system, and I'm quite inclined to keep my money instead of giving it to Canon until they can provide me with something that will actually help in the situations where I need the help, such as the system I mentioned above.

I'm wondering if the Nikon 1 with the on-sensor phase-detection sensors can autofocus at f/8.

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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2011, 12:53:53 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2011, 01:04:29 PM »
I had assumed this would limit me to only having one focus point, which I am not thrilled about, but now if I read this thread correctly it will not autofocus at all with the 2.0 TC?

You do, indeed, read this thread correctly.  Unless Canon changes the physical design of the AF sensor before the 1D X enters production, it will not AF at f/8 (except in Live View).

I was hoping that the 1D5 would have more mpix with the same 10fps rate on the APS-H, or that the 1Ds4 would have significantly more mpix with at least a modest improvement in fps (6-8?).  Forgive my longwindedness, but I have not seen any other photographers from a similar niche chime in yet.

I'm not certain, but I suspect your application - air show photography - is a pretty narrow niche.  But your hopes are certainly shared by what is likely a much larger group - those who photograph birds/wildlife.  Like your chosen subject matter, they are often 'focal length-limited'.   While the 12 fps is certainly nice, the loss of APS-H (more pixels on a small subject) and the loss of AF at f/8 (500/4 + 2x TC is a common bird/wildlife use) mean the 1D X is not an ideal camera for those applications, and the 1D IV remains a better choice in many ways. 
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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2011, 01:05:27 PM »
But if the sub-exit pupils are located outside the boundaries of the exit pupil of the lens proper (as when the lens aperture during AF is smaller than that which supports the sub-exit pupil spacing of the particular detector pair of interest), then the AF detectors get no light at all, and thus cannot function.

And, prudently, the camera body declines to include various classes of AF detectors from the AF scenario based on knowledge, reported by the lens, of its maximum aperture.

Thanks, Doug! 

A follow-up question occurs to me.  How is it that when a subset of the electrical contacts on the teleconverter are covered with tape, so the aperture is not reported to the camera, the phase detect AF system wil attempt to achieve a lock, and in some cases it can do so (given sufficient contrast)?  Similarly, how do some 3rd party lenses, such as the Tamron and Sigma zoom lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/6.3 at the long end, manage to retain normal AF?
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Re: Canon Japan EOS-1D X The Birth of Entirely new Flagship
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2011, 01:05:27 PM »