Canon has just announced updates to the Canon EOS 1D C and the Canon EOS-1D X via firmware changes – bringing updates to existing features as well as adding new ones. This is all good! Canon says the Canon EOS-1D X updates bring:
more efficient automation that takes the task of changing settings away from the “heat of the moment” and enables photographers to concentrate on creativity and obtaining valuable shots.
I'm thrilled to see this – Canon updating “older” cameras with enhancements via firmware – a trend that they first started with the updates to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II so many moons ago… but at the same time, should we be concerned that these updates are only for the higher end pro cameras?
Canon Press Release
Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announces improvements in the functionality and convenient operation of the EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera and the EOS-1D C Digital SLR Cinema camera through new firmware scheduled to be available starting in January 2014 and November 2013, respectively. Firmware enhancements for the EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera are designed to provide photographers with greater creative freedom and speed, especially in sectors such as sports, wedding, nature/wildlife, and journalism, which often contain rapidly changing action, sometimes in low-light environments. Service enhancements for the EOS-1D C Digital SLR Cinema camera improve lens performance, lens status display, metadata storage, and audio recording.
“Canon constantly strives to provide our customers with advanced and innovative technology in our products,” noted Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “We understand the daily life of photographers, we listen closely to what they have to say, and we use their feedback in our constant efforts to improve existing products and develop new ones. The latest Canon firmware for the flagship EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera provides better automation to help photographers fine-tune how the camera operates moment-by-moment so users can concentrate on creativity and success. Filmmakers have also requested improved functionality for the EOS-1D C Digital SLR Cinema camera, and its new update delivers.”
Improved Operability for the EOS-1D X
Developed as the ultimate Canon EOS camera, the EOS-1D X Digital SLR is designed with foresight that enables its performance to be periodically improved with new firmware upgrades, helping to ensure maximum long-term value for owners and users of the camera. These improvements are engineered to support and advance the evolving creative needs and business imperatives of professional photographers and committed high-end amateurs. The features provided by firmware version 2 are designed for more efficient automation that takes the task of changing settings away from the “heat of the moment” and enables photographers to concentrate on creativity and obtaining valuable shots. Firmware version 2 upgrades and operability additions include a total of 10 features that are now new or improved:
AF Performance with Moving Subjects – For greater creative control, additional parameters have been added to AI Servo 2nd Image Priority, enabling users to adjust these settings for more accurate AF performance according to the situation at hand. Photographers can fine-tune the balance between prioritizing focus versus the framing rate for the second and subsequent shots in a burst.
Enhanced AI Servo AF Performance in Low Light Conditions – The AI Servo focusing algorithm has been improved to allow more time for light sampling during AF activation prior to shutter release, enhancing AF performance in low-light situations. Additionally, initial AF control is now based on the new “+2 focus priority” setting of AI Servo 2nd Image Priority, which has higher distance measurement capabilities under low-light conditions. Upon full depression of the shutter button, settings from AI Servo 1st Image Priority take over and then settings from AI Servo 2nd Image Priority are applied on any subsequent images in the burst. This increases the probability that the first image in a burst sequence will be as sharp as possible.
Improved Acceleration/Deceleration Tracking Parameters – To improve tracking performance of fast-moving subjects that fill the frame, additional parameters for acceleration/deceleration tracking in AI Servo AF have been added to provide photographers with more precise control when photographing rapidly moving subjects that accelerate or decelerate quickly or unexpectedly. In response to feedback from professional photographers, these new settings have been added to handle larger differences in speed (i.e., the rate of change in image magnification) compared to the previous firmware.
Selection of Initial AF Point While Shooting in 61-Point Auto Selection AF – This new option in the AF Menu provides more continuity when switching to 61-Point Auto Selection AF from any other AF Point Selection mode. The option maintains the AF point selected from the previous Selection mode as a starting point for 61-Point Auto Selection AF. It also maintains the ability to change to a pre-programmed AF point when changing the Selection mode. This time-saving option is designed to help eliminate the need to stop and think, and helps photographers to customize their individual shooting style.
AF Point Switching According to Camera Orientation – In addition to programming the EOS-1D X camera to automatically switch to a different AF point and area selection mode based on camera orientation, firmware version 2 adds the option of programming only the AF point according to camera orientation (horizontal, grip up and grip down). This new ability to select up to three different AF points according to camera orientation allows for greater customization of the camera to specific shooting styles.
Expanded Minimum Shutter Speed in Auto ISO – In response to user feedback, this improved functionality in Auto ISO enables photographers to select a minimum shutter speed as high as 1/8000th of a second to freeze moving subjects.
Exposure Compensation in Auto ISO with Manual Mode Set – This new function enables photographers to manually set a desired shutter speed and aperture, use Auto ISO to control the exposure, and use Exposure Compensation to adjust the exposure for challenging lighting conditions (e.g., a very dark or very bright background). This new function can be activated through the Quick Control Dial or by using the Main Dial while pressing the SET button.
Toggling Between Alternate Camera Settings – EOS-1D X camera users can now toggle between three groups of camera settings instantly by pressing the shutter button, AE Lock button [*] or the AF-ON button. Selectable settings that can now be assigned to the AE Lock and AF-ON buttons via Custom Controls include:
* Currently selected AF point vs. pre-registered AF point
* AI Servo AF configuration sets (Case 1 through Case 6)
* One-Shot AF vs. AI Servo AF
* Currently selected drive mode vs. 14 fps Super High Speed drive mode
With these new options, photographers can reconfigure their EOS-1D X camera on the fly, while keeping their eye on the viewfinder to maintain concentration on the shot they are trying to get. For example, the camera could be set up for One-Shot AF and single shot drive mode on the shutter button, AI Servo AF in Case 1 with high-speed continuous drive mode on the AE Lock button, and AI Servo AF in Case 4 with super-high-speed 14 fps continuous drive mode on the AF-ON button.
Same Exposure for New Aperture in Manual Mode – This new firmware feature provides users with the ability to maintain consistent exposure levels in Manual mode when the aperture changes, for example when a photographer shoots at maximum aperture with a variable-aperture lens (such as the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM telephoto zoom) or when using a lens equipped with built-in extender (such as the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4X). The feature gives users the option to have the camera adjust the shutter speed or the ISO to compensate for the aperture change.
Display Protected Images Only – Users can now page through protected images only via an option on the main dial. This feature already exists with rated images, and is an expansion of that capability.
Enhancements for the EOS-1D C
A versatile, self-contained 4K cinema camera as well as a robust still photography camera, the Canon EOS-1D C will also benefit from a new service update that further enhances the performance of this unique imaging device.
EF Lens Communication – The new service update for the EOS-1D C Digital SLR Cinema camera will enable Canon EF-mount Cinema lenses to store lens metadata in the video recorded by the camera. Furthermore, Canon EF-mount Cinema lenses will be supported by Peripheral Illumination and Chromatic Aberration Correction functions, helping to improve overall image quality.
Audio Recording – In response to user requests, audio on the EOS-1D C camera has also been enhanced. Currently audio recording is limited to a MIC input, but the forthcoming service update will permit selection of LINE or MIC input, allowing use of a wider variety of external audio sources.
New Firmware Release Schedules and Installation Procedures
Firmware version 2 for the EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera is scheduled to be posted on the Canon U.S.A. website in January 2014. Users will be able to download and install the new firmware on their own, or have it installed by an authorized Canon Factory Service Center. For more information please visit: www.usa.canon.com/eos1dxfirmware.
The update for the Canon EOS-1D C Digital SLR Cinema camera is scheduled to be available November 2013, and will be installed at no charge as a service upgrade that requires the camera to be sent to an authorized Canon Factory Service Center. For more information please visit: www.usa.canon.com/CinemaEOSFirmwareUpdate.
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With approximately $40 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents registered in 2012† and is one of Fortune Magazine's World’s Most Admired Companies in 2013. In 2013, Canon U.S.A. has received the PCMag.com Readers’ Choice Award for Service and Reliability in the digital camera and printer categories for the tenth consecutive year, and for camcorders for the past three years. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA. [ Via Canon's Press Release ]
(cover photo credit: snap from Canon)