Canon 1DX iii or Canon R5 for wildlife photography?

Jan 4, 2020
2
1
I currently have a Canon R5 on pre-order but i feel like i could be making a very expensive mistake.

Firstly i want to say that i own the canon 1DX ii and that i am a wildlife photographer. I am interested in the R5 due to its animal AF capabilities and the 45MP. I feel that it will be beneficial to me.
But i also feel as i am used to the 1DX then maybe the R5 isn't for me, Smaller form, not as rugged, the battery life does concern me a little also.

I have thought about getting the 1DX iii but it doesn't have the feature i am most looking forward too (animal AF)

Do you think that a R5 would be a good purchase if you owned a 1DX ii? would you consider it a downgrade even if it would be an additional camera (still keep the 1dx ii)

If you owned the 1DX II and was looking at getting a new camera what would be the deciding factors against the 1DX iii & R5

Do you think the R5 animal AF is not a big deal against the 1DX iii AF?

I would love to hear peoples opinions, i feel it could make me look at things in a new light.

I have worked out that it will only be around £1500 in difference between the R5 & 1DX iii after i have brought the grip, another battery and a card for the R5
 

Kit.

EOS 5D Mark IV
Apr 25, 2011
1,919
1,262
As a wildlife photographer, you should probably consider that with R5's 45 Mpixel sensor you will have up to 1.5 times longer reach using the same lens than with 1DX ii or iii.
 
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padam

EOS R
Aug 26, 2015
1,017
648
Canon places the 1DX III highest in their product hierarchy, the R5 is a mirrorless 5D, so one level lower.

So yes, the 1DX III is their TOL model and it should have the edge for shooting fast action.
But the R5 DPAF does have a few tricks up its sleeve that should make it more accurate to focus in some situations and it is just easy to left it to its own devices and do its job.
I don't think professionals need to rely on these automated methods, they can get by with using back button focusing and tracking from the center of the frame.

For getting more reach the R5 has the edge with the extra resolution, if you need it.
 

AlanF

Stay alert, control the camera, save photos
Aug 16, 2012
6,838
5,875
It's all hypothetical as we don't know the capabilities of the R5 and whether you are more interested in action, like birds in flight, or more static shots. If the Sony A7RIII/IV and Sony A9/II are good reference comparisons for the R5 and 1DXIII, respectively, then judging by all the extensive discussions in the Sony forums, the A7R series are better for static shots because of their better resolution but they are no match for BIF.
 

ERHP

EOS RP
May 9, 2013
391
341
San Diego
erhp.smugmug.com
Compared with the 1DX MK II, the III does a much better job of tracking and in zone modes, will pick out bird/animal heads when moving. That's as a DSLR. Put it in live view and it will capture small BIF provided you are pointed the right direction. Some of the original release videos showed this and now I've done it myself. Of course I bought(preorder) the R5 as well, mainly as a replacement for my 5DSR for macro and landscape but definitely plan to try it out on the 600 and 200-400. Until we actually get to bang on it, field use is really the unknown.

I'm honestly interested in seeing how the R6 compares, especially if it has the same sensor/DIGIC as the MK III.
 

Czardoom

EOS M6 Mark II
Jan 27, 2020
82
215
I'm not a wildlife photographer, but if I was, I think the biggest deciding factor would be OVF or EVF. And the only way I would be able to make a decision was to try out the R5 when it comes out (since you already have the 1DX II).

What I would not do is base my decision on forum comments.:p
 

AlanF

Stay alert, control the camera, save photos
Aug 16, 2012
6,838
5,875
I'm not a wildlife photographer, but if I was, I think the biggest deciding factor would be OVF or EVF. And the only way I would be able to make a decision was to try out the R5 when it comes out (since you already have the 1DX II).

What I would not do is base my decision on forum comments.:p
Especially from those who are not wildlife photographers.
 

Joules

EOS R
Jul 16, 2017
910
1,007
Hamburg, Germany
I have no experience with the 1 series. But from videos and the official specs I get the impression that on the 1DX III the LiveView offers better AF performance than the OVF. And from the same sources the R5 AF (regardless of EVF / LiveView) is better yet again. I expect a firmware update may come to the 1DX III to add the animal eye AF to the LiveView. Or not.

There are a lot of other factors at play though. We haven't had much independent opinions in the EVF performance for tracking action. Nor in the real world battery performance. As for the ruggedness, that's obviously a very subjective matter. Canon claims the R5 to be similar to a 5D IV. Until we get a teardown, we don't know, what that really means.

On Paper, 45 MP, IBIS and animal AF don't sound like a mistake to me though.
 

Codebunny

EOS RP
Sep 5, 2018
467
415
Rather than just pure technical aspects there is the build to take into consideration and what kind of wildlife you are doing. If you are on known paths and well built up areas and hides, I thing the R5 is solid. But when you fall over and roll down a hill or get caught up in a proper storm in the middle of a hostile area such as the Scottish highlands, which body will keep shooting?

I am not convinced there is one right or best answer, but some cameras will stop shooting in environments a 1D body will keep on running. It isn't just AF and MP's. If you are used to a 1D body you might want to hold off for a R1 body.

Maybe rent both and try them out, your 1dII hasn't suddenly stopped being a AAA camera with top notch AF.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,609
1,967
Alberta, Canada
Cancel the preorder, be patient and in a few weeks you'll know much better.

I shoot primarily wildlife and consider 20 MPs inadequate possibly 20 to 40 percent of the time because of being FL limited with my most used 400 X2 choice. Virtually all my shots, unless I happen to be in a blind, get cropped enough that when I'm at ISO 3200 or above, which is often, the grain begins to show, so on paper the R5 appears to offer what I need, with the caveats that come with it being mirrorless and possibly suffering from those things that cause optical VF users to complain. The size, unless you have huge hands, will not be an issue although it will feel too small based on what we're most used to.

Also, I think it also comes down to this; can a 1 series lover be satisfied with a 5 series camera in every respect? Those who regularly shoot 5 and 1 would be able to offer their thoughts. For me, at this moment, I don't think I'd be any less conflicted regarding the R5 if I had bought the 5D4 instead of the 1DX2. I've grown to love some of the 1 series only, features such as the two buttons on the front below the shutter and the focusing modes available for both BB focusing options. In other words I presently have 3 regularly used "shutter button" choices based on my programming.

When reviews start showing up after serious photographers use it, we'll have a much better idea. And no matter how good it is, another product is going to show up sooner or later that is "on the other side and greener".;)

Jack
 

RiceCanon

EOS M50
Dec 7, 2012
47
24
I can't speak to the 1DXiii choice, but what I'm wondering is if shooting wildlife with the R5 8K RAW video capability in conjunction with its apparently fantastic focus tracking and animal eye detection and then choosing stills from the video frames might be something to consider. I'm no expert on video but this possibility has me intrigued. I would love to hear from someone who knows much more about video than I do.
 
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privatebydesign

I don't preorder, I'm not a paid beta tester!
Jan 29, 2011
8,824
2,752
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I own the 1DX II and will end up getting an R5, I wouldn’t sell the first to get the second because I see them very much as complimenting each other rather than one replacing the other.

For the MILC use I have had to date I can’t stand looking though an EVF for hours though the OLED 120Htz version in the R5 is supposed to be a big improvement. Many of the users I have seen are using the back screen to shoot and that is fine for many shorter focal lengths but when you get to longer lenses I don’t find that a productive method and have to use the viewfinder.

Now what id like, but Canon won’t give me, is a 1DX with the R5 sensor in it, why not Canon? You have the thing sitting there!
 

Kit.

EOS 5D Mark IV
Apr 25, 2011
1,919
1,262
Canon could be unwilling to release a 1-series body that would be prone to overheating.
 

yungfat

EOS 90D
Feb 16, 2013
125
47
I personally think the biggest problem that Canon still do not announced any of 1 series mirrorless is probably because of the EVF refresh rate is still not up to sports and wildlife shooter expectations. Perhaps it may take another year or 2 for the EVF technology to catch the higher refresh rate that is really need for the 1 series mirrorless.

Canon is a professional camera builder, not home entertainment appliances maker, they know very well what photographer needs and wants, thus their different product line are well explained.

If I were you, since 1DXII is still working fine, then I would probably hold on the purchase decision until the successor of the 1 series come out.

There is no mean that R5 is a bad camera, but it is build as secondary class camera on mind (in Canon 1 series is always highest). We may see it obviously from the touch af, buffer rate, westhersealed level and price.

I not sure what lens you used for the wildlife, but if you are alway out of range, then the R5 45MP might come in handy.

All in all, if you want the best mirrorless in the market, R5 is here for you.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,609
1,967
Alberta, Canada
Regarding the capture of stills from the video. This has been discussed elsewhere quite a lot and generally it was depreciated. There are a good number of valid reasons why it's not a great idea with action situations the prime one being the lower shutter speed that is traditionally used for video. Some say the video is awful if higher speeds are used but the samples that I saw posted didn't convince me of this. However, I'm not a Hollywood movie watcher.

I did use this technique when in Costa Rica attempting to photograph a pair of Quetzals coming and going from a distant nest. I did get shots ... disappointing shots with two factors that I couldn't control - rain forest so far too high an ISO and the speed of the birds demonstrated that 1DX2 DPAF was 100% inadequate. You can't prefocus on a tree and expect the flight path to align or cross with any predictability, just luck. However, with the R5 they say faster AF AND the bird would be passing active AF points all the way across the viewfinder. Did I mention batteries going dead while trying to stay ready every second for the eventful event! At 4K60 I managed to get one sequence that would have been fantastic but it was OOF slightly. Being reach limited I was using 2X which is good on the 1DX2 but still must degrade AF.

Anyway, here is a random sample (not the best)
JDW38585.JPG
JDW38586.JPG
JDW38587.JPG
JDW38588.JPG
JDW38589.JPG
JDW38590.JPG
JDW38591.JPG
JDW38592.JPG
. BTW I was standing for hours for the 2 second moments. :confused:

Jack
 

sanj

EOS R5
Jan 22, 2012
3,586
439
Regarding the capture of stills from the video. This has been discussed elsewhere quite a lot and generally it was depreciated. There are a good number of valid reasons why it's not a great idea with action situations the prime one being the lower shutter speed that is traditionally used for video. Some say the video is awful if higher speeds are used but the samples that I saw posted didn't convince me of this. However, I'm not a Hollywood movie watcher.

I did use this technique when in Costa Rica attempting to photograph a pair of Quetzals coming and going from a distant nest. I did get shots ... disappointing shots with two factors that I couldn't control - rain forest so far too high an ISO and the speed of the birds demonstrated that 1DX2 DPAF was 100% inadequate. You can't prefocus on a tree and expect the flight path to align or cross with any predictability, just luck. However, with the R5 they say faster AF AND the bird would be passing active AF points all the way across the viewfinder. Did I mention batteries going dead while trying to stay ready every second for the eventful event! At 4K60 I managed to get one sequence that would have been fantastic but it was OOF slightly. Being reach limited I was using 2X which is good on the 1DX2 but still must degrade AF.

Anyway, here is a random sample (not the best)View attachment 191294View attachment 191295View attachment 191296View attachment 191297View attachment 191298View attachment 191299View attachment 191300View attachment 191301. BTW I was standing for hours for the 2 second moments. :confused:

Jack
Those hours help in finding God.
 
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expatinasia

EOS 5D Mark IV
Aug 18, 2011
1,713
8
Asia Pacific
The 1DX ii is an amazing camera. If I were you I would cancel the pre-order and wait for six months or so. I fully expect Canon to introduce a R1 (1DX equivalent in the R series) perhaps in 2021 (?) and that would most likely have a larger body, perhaps better weather sealing, battery etc. If they don't, you can still go and buy a R5 and one of those monster 800mm lenses - wow. That is what I am doing, I will look at the R series when the R1 comes out and they have the lenses I need for my work - whether I upgrade or not, will depend on my age, the cost and whether it is worth the hassle.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,609
1,967
Alberta, Canada
The 1DX ii is an amazing camera. If I were you I would cancel the pre-order and wait for six months or so. I fully expect Canon to introduce a R1 (1DX equivalent in the R series) perhaps in 2021 (?) and that would most likely have a larger body, perhaps better weather sealing, battery etc. If they don't, you can still go and buy a R5 and one of those monster 800mm lenses - wow. That is what I am doing, I will look at the R series when the R1 comes out and they have the lenses I need for my work - whether I upgrade or not, will depend on my age, the cost and whether it is worth the hassle.
That's my thought as well. The single sticking point is Canon's apparent definition of flagship and what MPs flagship shooters want/need and it's clear to me that 20 is not ideal for my level of cropping. I certainly benefited significantly in going from 300 X2 to 400 X2, partly because the 1DX2 handles 2X AF so well compared to my former 6D (it was so hard to accept that I got no boost in MPs). However I suspect that something like 45 MPs with X1.4 would be better and if X2 still worked really well that would be helpful too. Finding subjects in the bushes at 800 is sometimes a negative so in that respect 600 is better, not to mention BIF where 800 can be tricky.

Personally, my smaller hands would prefer a slightly reduced size R1 (1D4 was plenty big) but weight is more my complaint. With the R5 Canon claims they listened to their users. I hope that's the case with the R1 and if they are listening they will either have more MPs or have two versions, IMHO.

Jack
 
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H. Jones

Photojournalist
Aug 1, 2014
348
292
I've been evaluating a 1DX Mark III this past week from Canon Professional Services alongside my 1DX Mark II. I love it--it definitely feels like the most natural evolution of the Mark II-- but I don't see myself ever buying one.

My favorite features so far are the new AF system, which feels about as good as it can possibly get, the AF joystick(which is taking some time to get used to, I can't find the sweet spot between it being too sensitive and not sensitive enough), wi-fi, and then finally something as simple as the light-up buttons, which are just such a nice finishing touch on an already perfect camera body. I've memorized the controls forever but... Honestly it just looks cool and removes any doubt in the dark.

But in the end, I have an EOS R5 on pre-order, and looking at the long game, I feel like the future is definitely in RF glass and the extended capabilities of the RF mount. Tough to justify spending another $6500 on a camera that won't be able to use whatever crazy lens comes next from the RF mount. For the wildlife photography I do on the side of my paid work, I'm looking forward to having a 1.6x crop mode(in the viewfinder too) that still leaves you with 17 megapixels, and the DPAF mark II in live view on the 1DX Mark III has me pretty sold on the autofocus/shooting of the R5. There's no delay with the silent shutter 20 fps, and even in mechanical shutter the delay is very minor while shooting--it doesn't lag at all after a burst like it always does in live view on the 1DX Mark II.

I wasn't a huge fan of the way the EOS R we use at my full-time job shoots and the EVF slideshow effect it has is too slow for wildlife, but I really think the R5 is going to change how I feel about this. At worst, if it somehow doesn't fit the bill, I highly doubt it'll be any slower than my secondary camera 5D mark III, and I'll continue using the 1DX Mark II for the high-speed uses and then replace it with the eventual R1.
 
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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,609
1,967
Alberta, Canada
I've been evaluating a 1DX Mark III this past week from Canon Professional Services alongside my 1DX Mark II. I love it--it definitely feels like the most natural evolution of the Mark II-- but I don't see myself ever buying one.

My favorite features so far are the new AF system, which feels about as good as it can possibly get, the AF joystick(which is taking some time to get used to, I can't find the sweet spot between it being too sensitive and not sensitive enough), wi-fi, and then finally something as simple as the light-up buttons, which are just such a nice finishing touch on an already perfect camera body. I've memorized the controls forever but... Honestly it just looks cool and removes any doubt in the dark.

But in the end, I have an EOS R5 on pre-order, and looking at the long game, I feel like the future is definitely in RF glass and the extended capabilities of the RF mount. Tough to justify spending another $6500 on a camera that won't be able to use whatever crazy lens comes next from the RF mount. For the wildlife photography I do on the side of my paid work, I'm looking forward to having a 1.6x crop mode(in the viewfinder too) that still leaves you with 17 megapixels, and the DPAF mark II in live view on the 1DX Mark III has me pretty sold on the autofocus/shooting of the R5. There's no delay with the silent shutter 20 fps, and even in mechanical shutter the delay is very minor while shooting--it doesn't lag at all after a burst like it always does in live view on the 1DX Mark II.

I wasn't a huge fan of the way the EOS R we use at my full-time job shoots and the EVF slideshow effect it has is too slow for wildlife, but I really think the R5 is going to change how I feel about this. At worst, if it somehow doesn't fit the bill, I highly doubt it'll be any slower than my secondary camera 5D mark III, and I'll continue using the 1DX Mark II for the high-speed uses and then replace it with the eventual R1.
Makes perfect sense to me.

Jack
 
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