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Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Review : Verdict

Canon EOS 1DX MarkII (3)

Value For Money

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is available for £5199 body only, which makes it quite an investment, but a similar price to the Nikon D5. Alternatives to look at include the following full-frame cameras: 

Nikon D5, 20mp, 12-14fps, 4K video (UHD), £5199 body only (XQD version comes with 32GB XQD card)
Nikon D4s, 16mp, 11fps, £3499 body only if you can still find it for sale
Canon EOS 1D X, 18mp, 12-14fps (JPEG), £3999 body only (if you can find it)
Leica SL, 24mp, 11fps, 4K video (CINE), £5050 body only

Have a look at more DSLR options in our Top 10 Best FF DSLRs. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Verdict

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is the fastest shooting full-frame Digital SLR available, offering a rapid 14fps continuous shooting with AF/AE tracking, or an even quicker 16fps when shooting in live view mode with the mirror up and fixed AF. This would simply be a numbers game if the camera wasn't able to deliver excellent image quality to go with it and thankfully, the 1D X Mark II provides this in abundance. Canon has made improvements to white balance performance and noise performance is excellent, even at high ISO settings. With Canon's Picture Control you can set-up image quality options to your own liking and with excellent colour, it's possible to take some very high-quality images. 

The 1D X Mark II offers a wide range of 4K video recording options, as well as high-speed FullHD video, and the video capabilities of this Digital SLR are the best you will find in a consumer level interchangeable lens camera, better than most other cameras, with the ability to record full CINE resolution 4K video at 60/50fps, whilst others only offer 4K video at 30/25/24fps. The use of a built-in heat pipe allows recording up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds without the sensor over-heating. The only other full-frame camera with 4K CINE (DCI resolution) recording and high-speed continuous shooting, the Leica SL, offers 24fps 4K video and 11fps continuous shooting, making the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II the fastest shooting full-frame camera available, quicker even than the Nikon D5

If you have the finances available and want the best performing Canon EOS Digital SLR available, then the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II performs exceptionally well, delivering excellent image quality with excellent noise performance. The camera goes beyond what is expected in terms of a full-frame Digital SLR, giving the quickest continuing shooting speed available, as well as the highest frame rates available for 4K DCI video recording. 

Built-in GPS will be of interest to those shooting news, reportage or sports photography, where accurate time and location information will be particularly useful. There will be those that will have preferred to have Wi-Fi built-in and the inclusion of a mono microphone disappoints considering the high specification video recording abilities. However, for those serious about video, an external microphone will be preferable anyway.

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II sets a new standard in terms of what a top of the range professional Digital SLR should provide and this makes the high price quite justifiable, for those that need the best. For the rest of us, we've now got a new Digital SLR to lust after. 

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Pros

4K DCI resolution video at 60/50fps
High-speed FullHD video recording
Warm or White AWB options
Better battery life than expected
14fps continuous shooting with AF/AE
16fps continuous shooting with mirror up
Headphone / Microphone sockets
Excellent noise performance
Excellent image quality
Electronic level
GPS built-in

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Cons

Large, heavy, with a loud shutter
Touch-screen can't be used in playback
Mono microphone recording
Wi-Fi not built-in


The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II sets a new standard for top of the range Digital SLRs and is a camera to lust after.

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Photographs taken using the Canon EOS 1D X Mark II

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sasan 5 36 England
2 Feb 2016 8:32AM
WOWTongue King of Kings! 4K in 60 fps & full hd in 120fps !!

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AlanWillis 9 67 England
3 Feb 2016 12:23PM
I am impressed with 4K at 60fps not sure if it has S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3, though like the A7Smk2 ?
joshwa Plus
8 861 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2016 1:52PM
Hi Alan, this isn't mentioned in Canon's specifications, and unless it's added at a later date, then I assume it's not available.
AlanWillis 9 67 England
3 Feb 2016 2:28PM
Canon have done well to overcome the heat produced by 4K especially at 60FPS, Sony manage this at 25fps, but to disperse the heat in a very small body is an enormous challenge. The beauty of 60 FPS it enables you to film slow motion. Most still photo cameras would have to switch to HD, which means the whole sequence is not 4K.
mirror less in my opinion produces good results except for sports and wildlife which seems to be preferred by majority of DSLR users because of tracking and focus speeds. A 1DX mk2 would seem to be an overkill for say a wedding shoot. .
30 Mar 2016 3:22PM
The original 1DX was plagued by oil and dust complaints. Any word, yet, if these have surfaced on the new model?
27 Apr 2016 11:46AM
This sentence seems to contain a contradiction: "At ISO102400 noise gets quite ugly on the Canon, but colour saturation remains quite good, whereas it suffers on the D5, particularly the darker colours. ISO102400 may still be usable on the Canon but above this noise becomes quite ugly"

The way it now reads, the review is saying that either the noise is "quite ugly" at ISO 102400, or "quite ugly" above ISO 102400, implying that ISO 102400 is OK. Which is it?
joshwa Plus
8 861 United Kingdom
27 Apr 2016 11:57AM
Hi Chuckles, we've updated this bit, and it should now read as ISO102400 is OK - of course this depends on what you're shooting, and what your intended destination is for the images. Thanks, Josh
27 Apr 2016 2:34PM
Thanks, Josh. I apologize for being so picky, especially about something as subjective as ISO ugliness, or the lack thereof. Count me as yet another victim of the "our ISO usability is much higher than your ISO usability" wars.
joshwa Plus
8 861 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2016 8:34AM
Hi Chuckles, no worries, thanks for the feedback, regardless, the ISO performance is impressive!!

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