Philip Bloom Reviews the Canon 1D X, Big Brother of the Mark III. Is It Worth the Money Just for Video?
The Canon 1D X was announced all the way back in October of 2011, and only now is it starting to get in the hands of shooters. We reported on the increase in resolution between the 1D X and the 5D Mark III, but that increase comes at a price. Canon has decided to try to separate its Cinema EOS line with its DSLRs, but interestingly enough the new Canon 1D C DSLR (which is capable of 4K) is basically the same camera as the 1D X (sans 4K), yet it costs twice as much. Either way, it's looking like the 1D X is the DSLR that most people wanted the 5D Mark III to be (at least in terms of resolution).
Here is a music video that Philip Bloom shot partially with the 1D X (all of the narrative portions were shot with the DSLR, the rest was the C300). The 1D X was sharpened slightly according to his post:
This is what he had to say:
So getting back to the camera. Is it worth the extra money? Yes and no. As a stills camera, it is second to none. Video wise, the video is much better than the Mk3, it’s better than the D800. Is it that much better taking into account the price? Yes and no. The Mk3 is still great and much smaller, lighter and cheaper. I wish the Mk3 image looked as smashing as this…I really hope Canon bring out a 7D replacement and a 60D replacement with All-I and the video quality that this camera produces.
The 1D X seems to have a bit more clarity than the Mark III, and everything else in terms of functionality is about equal. The one interesting thing is that Philip just shot with the camera -- no external monitor or anything else connected to the camera. This is really the benefit of DSLRs -- exceptional image quality for their size and portable nature. It's looking like the 1D X is more like the Nikon D800 except it doesn't feature the same recordable 8-bit 4:2:2 HDMI.
So what does this really mean? For one thing, you could buy a lot more for $6,800 than what this camera is offering. If you're looking for that full frame look, and you want the resolution and clarity that you feel the Mark III is lacking, the Nikon D800 makes a lot more sense at half the price (and you could get an external recorder and get 8-bit 4:2:2). Obviously lenses matter, and if you've got tons of Canon lenses, moving to the Nikon system might be a little difficult. Even though the D800 isn't as good in lower light (the 1D X and Mark III are both exceptional), with a little post processing you can still shoot in lower light.
Of course, if you don't really care about the full frame look or what you can get out of lenses designed for that format, there are a couple interesting options that will be released at half the price of the 1D X and should actually be similar or better sharpness (and have far better recording formats): the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and the Digital Bolex. I personally am putting my money on the Cinema Camera, but it all depends on your personal workflow and whether you really need stills photography (something both Canon cameras and the Nikon excel at). Crop factor with full frame lenses will hurt those cameras a little bit, but if you want a bigger sensor and can spend a little more money, the Sony FS100 is still a great option.
What do you guys think? Is the 1D X worth the extra money just for a clean, decently sharp image without moire and aliasing?