There was a long delay but the Canon EOS-1D X has finally arrived. Has it been worth the wait? Find out in our Canon 1D X review
Canon EOS 1D X – Image Quality
Tone and Exposure
Subjecting the EOS 1D X to a variety of different lighting situations would give the metering system a real test. In low-light scenes we experienced no issues at all and even under floodlights the exposures were spot on and there was no need to adjust exposure compensation. Backlit scenes can often fool a metering system but in the case of the 1D X they didn’t. With the metering set to Evaluative for most of our shots, it managed to produce pleasing levels of detail in the brightest highlights.
White Balance and Colour
Testing the 1D X through its ISO range in front of our colour chart is an excellent test of White Balance and helps to identify how well the sensor resolves different colour tones. Set to Auto White Balance and photographed using a continuous daylight balanced light source revealed that the CMOS sensor resolves faithful colour even at super high ISOs.
Sharpness and Detail
To find out precisely how well the 1D X’s sensor resolves detail we took several exposures throughout the ISO range in front of our resolution chart using Sigma’s 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens. The results from this test were very impressive indeed. Inspecting our ISO 100 results at 100% revealed that we could still distinguish incredibly close horizontal lines at number 14 on our scale. Just as impressive is the way the 1D X’s sensor manages to resolve detail at high ISOs, particularly up to ISO 25,600.
Colour was consistent throughout the range right up to ISO 51,200 and only beyond this point did the saturation of colour decrease ever so slightly. Working our way through the range from ISO 100 through to ISO 204,800 revealed a jaw-dropping ISO performance and it’s only really when you push beyond ISO 6400 and 12,800 that a fine grain structure of noise starts to become apparent. Results at ISO 25,600 and 51,200 are by all means usable and the noise that’s produced isn’t too dissimilar to a very fine film grain. It’s only when we pushed to the expanded settings that higher frequency noise and a slight reduction in saturation was evident.