The Good, Bad, and Ugly of the new Canon EOS-1D X Mark II for Filmmakers!

by planetMitch10 Comments

Yesterday, I found this video from Canon that explains a lot of the details of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II that are missing from the press release (see our article on the launch)

So, there were a lot of “meh!” comments I read around the web about the new Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and win many ways, they're right.

But there are also some good and bad things that we've learned that you should know about the video side of this new beast.

Dual-pixel AF:

this is updated from what the other Dual-Pixel AF cams – this looks awesome! They've added software that enhances the AF and reduces many of the complaints I've heard from filmmakers (Barry)

There's a “servo af” function (see 4:00 in the clip) with two modes – Face + Tracking and FlexiZone AF (which is available in 80% of the screen). And you can adjust the speed of the AF with ‘Movie Servo AF speed'… do you want it to zip or move more slowly (or anywhere in between). This is awesome to be able to set!

Plus there's ‘Movie Servo AF Tracking Sensitivity' which will alleviate many complaints I heard… “what if someone walks in front of the subject and ‘grabs' the focus?” – this setting will let you decide whether that can happen or not!

They've enhanced face tracking as well to include human bodies when faces aren't recognized… so sports for example the camera ‘should' recognize and focus on people before it would focus on objects. Sounds like fun testing. Oh, and they've improved tracking of objects by recognizing its color.

Canon EOS 1D X Mark II Movie Servo Settings

Canon EOS 1D X Mark II Movie Servo Settings

I note that at 5:40, Brent mentions that “one shot” AF is available during shooting! That will be nice. I don't recall that being on other cameras before (or am I getting lost in so many cameras with different features?).

Note too at 6:26 there's mention of assigning the turning on and off of Movie Servo AF to a button on the camera. This would let you use a button somewhat like a touch of the LCD to change focus if you want… best seen in the video.

Touch Screen:

It seems the only thing that is “touch” on this camera is focussing… according to imaging-resource, it is ONLY active in Live View! why oh why did they completely ignore the touch menus? Gosh, I can hear the Canon reps saying “professionals don't want touch access to menus” – but geez… so many cameras have it now, why would pros NOT want it? Give me the option to turn it on! I have to say to me, this is stupid. It would only make the camera better to have optional touch access to drive menus! [bctt tweet=”Have you seen the AF tests for the new Canon EOS-1D X Mark II? Filmmakers don't AF?”]

[bctt tweet=”The new Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is the ultimate 4k video machine… right?”]

Motion JPEG and formats:

Motion JPEG 4k is not people's favorite. But the bitrates are high… “up to a whopping 800Mbps at 60 fps (500Mbps at regular frame rates)” according to NewsShooter.

HD AVCHD/H.264 – .mov (ALLI or IPB) or .mp4 (only as IPB) (which gives easier to share video)

But also note, the 4k is shot at a 1.3 crop factor (but doesn't do pixel binning like the 5D3):

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II 4k crop


One thing that surprised me: Tho there is HDMI out, it is only 1080HD (10:50 in the video) – the 4k is ONLY recordable internally! Huh? Maybe it is an HDMI restriction? Well we know that's not true, other cameras do it.

This is a real shame. Many other cameras have this capability but they've left it out?

No wifi?

I bashed Canon for no wifi in the quick video Barry and I did on the night of the announcement, but I talked with a friend who says that Canon engineers told him that getting wifi out of a body like this is very difficult and most photographers don't need it… and that pros want accurate wifi and are willing to have the dongle.

So, that's what I've learned about the new Canon EOS-1D X Mark II… i'd love to have one… and my birthday comes up in May… hint hint.

Canon video:

Here's Canon's video about video:


So, is it worth it?

Time for you to let me know what you think… is this the best 4k video camera on the market? (Well, I saw it in youtube comments so it must be true! HAHA)

I know that when I held the Canon EOS-1D X (thanks again to B&H for the loaner years ago), it felt to me like the camera I'd always wanted. The photos were amazing and it just feels like what a DSLR should feel like. Not one of these tiny ass little mirrorless things. A real camera.

And oh, the photos were just stunning (well, the photographer had something to do with it right?)

So I expect there are a lot of photographers who are chomping at the bit to get this.

But will filmmakers?

Abraham Joffee certainly showed excitement for the low light video he shot in the video above!

Will you?

Tell me why or why not below!

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. I think this camera will have a lot of competition vs The new sony A6300 which is marked at only $1,000 which is roughly little over $4,000 cheaper. And if I’m not mistaken the Sony A6300 has a higher ISO? I’ll have to read the specs on both cameras again to see. But I think Sony may win this one due to the price.

  2. People in that are in charge of Canon’s EOS line need to be fired. Another big fail from Canon especially in light of the Nikon announcement. I just don’t understand their business model especially when so many people have jumped ship and they are getting killed by other companies. Didn’t they learn from the 7D MK II and their joke of a C300 MKII? They have forgotten what made them popular and successful in the first place and that was giving consumers something of great quality for an amazing price. When the 5D MK2 came out cinema looking quality HD video was made available and was put in reach of many people. That was a long time ago, now other companies has done this and more, and a lot of companies do it better now and give you more. They aren’t offering up anything special here. And their stupid codec. Sony got it right with XAVC 600mb 4K. Its clean and the log is very gradeable good enough for almost anything you would need it for. It’s pretty damn clean, edits well and file size is reasonable.  in the grand scale of things you really don’t need much more. IDK I just don’t get it.

  3. The A6300 isn’t a “professional” camera. You can’t directly compare or contrast it with the EOS X-1D mark II.

  4. William Sommerwerck What is a “professional” camera? I could argue that the EOS-1D X Mark II is not a professional camera since it lacks zebras, no log, no 4K out on HDMI. But that would not be a fair assessment either. Any tool I use that I end up making money with is a professional tool. Some tools are more capable and durable than others no doubt. And by the way, I did in fact compare the EOS-1D X Mark II with the Sony a6300 in my podcast. So, sorry I didn’t get your memo that I couldn’t do that 🙂

  5. Carl Olson William Sommerwerck  You have it now.
    Having reviewed audio equipment for more than 20 years, I have a pretty good understanding of how difficult it is to write an intelligent, useful review — and especially of the problems trying to maintain any degree of objectivity.
    Almost 50 years ago, a writer at Popular Photography remarked that any equipment used by a professional photographer was, be definition, “professional”. No argument.
    But… The EOS-1D X Mark II is a professional camera — or at least, a camera aimed at professionals. It has an all-metal body, and is a “system” camera with a huge variety of lenses and accessories. And — if you want to emphasize features important to a film maker — it’s full frame, which offers (potentially) lower noise and better control over depth of field.
    Just because the A6300 offers attractive features at a low price does not automatically make it the preferable product.

  6. Pingback: Para que despotriquéis a gusto del factor de recorte de la 5D Mark IV cuando graba video en 4K: artículo percha. |

  7. 1dx mark ii > FS7 > any sony product > rest of canon dslrs

    Just used this camera for a week filming in Cuba. First Canon product I love in last 3-4 years. image is better than a C300 mark ii (which we used on the trip as well). Only having touch screen on the focusing is ok with me. I would rather change the settings with the buttons on the camera anyway. Comparing this camera to the Sony a7s ii – It blows it away in the image and menu system. I love the functionality, battery life is amazing. I just haven’t found a camera in the same price range that can shoot 4k 60fps that looks as good as the 1dx mark ii.

  8. Matt Dillman I agree and I think it’s an amazing camera, even if it’s just for the 4k/1080 frame rate or the focus tracking makes it a bang for the buck!

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