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Canon 1DX II - Video Camera Perspective - Mini interview on the missing details


Guest Ebrahim Saadawi
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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

We already have a crowded topic for it so a listing of how the camera is in comparison to the market is essential. 

There are a few missing details in what's publicly announced but thankfully we have a dear Canon contact and as of last night the NDA has been lifted on the 1DX II information. 

 

-Camera shoots 4K video. 24p to 60p with full quality & sound. 

-It's only DCI 4096 x 2160. Canon reasoning is that users can crop to UHD but not vice versa.

-It's not a full sensor readout. It's like the 1DC in 4K mode crop wise. 

-All HD modes even 120p are a FF sensor readout.

-Up to HD 60P, is regular frame rate menu option. 120p is a dedicated slow-motion function activated in the menu, at which you get no sound recording and the conforming occurs internally.

-4K modes are used with CFast slot activated. 

-4k 24p is Motion JPEG at 4:2:2 500mbps 8bit

-4k 60p is Motion JPEG at 4:2:2 800mbps 8bit

 

-How does the camera downsample to HD?  

Non-disclosed information. You can expect remarkable FF HD quality at all modes. 

 

-Are there aliasing/moire artefacts in 4K/HD modes?

No.

 

-Why MJPEG?

Because while it requires large data pipeline it delivers class-leading compression quality. 

 

-Why not Canon's new XFAVC?

Because the 1Dx line is built or absolute reliability and the XFAVC codec caused occasional overheating without the use of active fan cooling, which is not an option for weather resistance

 

-Why not normal H.264 100mbps like the rivals?

Because it doesn't meet the 4K quality requirement for the camera's target user. H.264 4:2:0 All-i/IB-P only available in normal HD modes, as well as even lower bitrate options for instant sharing. 

Another reason why MJPEG was chosen is the identical image compression to Canon's normal JPEG engine, with the same quality for 8.8mp image extraction (available in-camera) to normal Jpegs in stills mode.

 

-Sensor quality/image improvements?

The sensor uses and entirely new on-chip ADC design, as well as micro-lens gapless design. The new chip offers marked improvement over the predecessor in high-iso performance and dynamic range that's applicable to still images and video mode. The sensor was designed for speed in-mind therefore allowed the 4k60/HD120 plus vastly improved rolling shutter performance on the video side.

I can definitely confirm the 4K video image off the new sensor is the highest quality video of any Canon DSLR camera, in terms of resolution, dynamic range, lack of compression artefacts, and striking lowlight ability. The image reproaches that of current highest-end cinema cameras in a DSLR body, with AF and phenomenal stills performance. And a major point is that the 1DXII quality allows it to go places even the Cx00 cameras simply cannot due to the environment insistent body. 

 

Does it output 4K HDMI?

No. HDMI output is HD 4:2:2 uncompressed. Exceptional quality is especially sen when the camera is set to shoot 4K with the corresponding cop. Capture of high quality HD back-ups during internal 4K recording is the achieved goal. 

 

-Dual-pixel AF same as 70D?

No. Dual-pixel AF here is vastly improved. Its our first FF size image sensor to incorporate the technology. Over the 70D, the 1DXII offers full control over auto-focus behavior in terms of shifting speed (10 increments, 1 being slowest and suitable for on-film use, while 10 is much faster ad suitable for acquiring focus prior to recording),

the speed of DPAF can be set separately for stills and video modes. In video-modes,

AF can be set to manual subject choice (using the newly developed touchscreen) or face-tracking and the system will accurately follow the subject smoothly with zero failure rate as the AF is using more than 16 million points in DPAF as opposed to a few on-chip points .

Dual-pixel auto-focus works in all video modes including 4K capture modes. 

 

What's the Canon view on the 1DC since the 1DXII has all these newer features at lower price? 

The EOS 1DC is still a part of the Canon EOS line-up. 

 

Why?

Because some users can find C-Log a necessary function for easier matching of footage to other EOS Cinema line cameras (XC10, C100, C300 and C500). The 1DC does not have the 30 minute limitation which can be essential for a number of users. 

The 1DC also offers a slight wider FOV in 4K mode (1.3x vs 1.4x) and a unique S35 HD crop mode that inter-cuts with HD images from the C100/C300 in C-log with no effort. 

 

 

-The live-view mode is vastly improved, and with DPAF and 16fps speed, with the mirror locked-up the camera is a fully functional mirrorless camera.

-Touch-screen functionality is only used in live-view mode to acquire focus points and not activated ANYWHERE else in the camera. 

-The LCD is markedly improved in quality with emphasis on easier manual focus and accurate exposure over the 1Dx/1Dc. No zebras/peaking.

-The camera receives a headphone jack for audio monitoring & clean HDMI over the 1DX. The audio quality has been improved.

-Canon is aiming the 1DXII at high-end cinema applications. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Ebrahim: This is quite an exciting camera, and Canon rarely excites. A 1DC with major additions at 2000$ less.

Please give the 5D a FF/APS-H 4K (MJPEG 500mbps 422 not a crappy h.264 100mbps 420 mode). Or will they keep the lovely 1DC/1DXII 4K to the +6000$ cameras? I sadly think so.

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The 1DC does not have the 30 minute limitation which can be essential for a number of users. 

Sure the 1DX II has? Because I've read...

The EOS-1D X Mark IIcamera can capture an incredible amount of images and movies with amazing speed. When recording to CFast 2.0* cards through its new CFast card slot, the EOS-1D X Mark II can record up to 170 full-size RAW files, and JPEGs up to full card capacity at 16 fps. 4K/60p and Full HD/120p video can also be recorded with virtually no restriction, and with exFAT format support, movie files of larger than 4GB can be recorded without the need to merge files.

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Thanks Abraham... Great info. There was obviously a reason for mJPEG, glad to see it confirmed. I really do think it is a great looking codec for 8 bit 4:2:2 .... Hard drive space and transcoding isn't a killer blow for my particular work flow.

Hope the guy is right about the DR... that puts it at least in the 12 stops range of the 1DC... 1080p sounds promising too.

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Yep... of all the compromises to make... filesize and transcoding has the least impact on the creative side of things (for my particular workflow, at least)... Far rather the option to have 4K/60p with the only codec they could get it working with, than 4K/30p with, say, H265.

The lack of C-Log is the only thing that is really frustrating me. If this thing is capable of 14 stops and some lines of code are potentially all that is stopping it happening... Now that is frustrating.

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Long time reader, first time poster.

I don't know about the site owner, Andrew Reid's opinion about the 1DX mark 2, but I think this is great.

Sure, no C-Log, but if you've never used it..... Like I have.... You're not missing anything.

On top of that.... If you're coming from Canon.... Waiting for the past 2 years for a proper 4K camera from Canon without costing over $6000.... I mean... Remember when the 1DC was announced at $12999???

Anyway, I'm one of those canon guys... And although I didn't care much for 4K, I sorely wanted a high frame rate camera and I wasn't blind to the fact that in the future, whether I like it or not.... 4K was part of it. I wanted high frame rate, cause I like slow-mo and I use twixtor.

For the longest time I wanted a 1DC, especially since Andrew was raving about a used one... Better than most in terms of IQ and color science up till the end of 2015. But only difference between it and the 7D mark ii and the 1DC is 4K, not worth the more than 2 times the price.

Up until now, I was going to invest in an a7s ii, especially after hearing that it does 120fps, but was afraid of the convoluted menu system, it's weird color and heating issues. 

Motion Jpeg and Cfast, both space intensive and costly, but I'm looking at something that will last over 5 to 10 years especially if I'm investing $6000 in it. So, Cfast will get cheaper over that time, and I'm going to upgrade computers, increasing drive space and so on to accommodate the 4K stuff too.

Sure, there are other cameras... I'm a creature of habit and comfort.... I don't want to invest in something that requires more learning... Still learning how to color grade and add FX.

 

 

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It’s fun reading your site but please be more technically precise.

“the crop is a little less severe than the 1.5x Super 35mm window on that camera (Nikon D5). The 1D C is a 1.3x crop or APS-H although I have heard it referred to as slightly wider than that or a 1.25x crop whereas the 1D X Mark II is a slightly narrower 1.4x crop due to the higher megapixel count of the 20MP sensor.”

For your information:

Canon 1Dc has 1,265x crop in DCI 4K and 1,35x crop in 4K (UHD).

Canon 1DX mk 2 has 1,335x crop DCI 4K and 1,425 crop in 4K (UHD).

Nikon D5 has 1,425 crop in 4K (UHD).

 

Things to consider:

A Nikon representative said they are working on a firmware update to remove the 3 minute recording limit in D5.

The Nikon D5 can use APSC lenses to get wide angle in 4K but 1Dx Mk2 will probably vignette on most APSC lenses at wide angles.

D1Dx mk2 clearly has an advantage in AF for video work.

D5 will probably have an advantage at high ISO and DR.

1Dx mk 2 will probably record 4K only on Cfast cards and those are expensive as hell  + the Mjpeg codec is very inefficient. In the end, the cards to film an event in 4K 60p will probably cost as much as the camera itself, not to mention the cost of added computer storage, the need of fast and large SSD’s for editing such high bit rates etc. This is very bad!

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It’s fun reading your site but please be more technically precise.

“the crop is a little less severe than the 1.5x Super 35mm window on that camera (Nikon D5). The 1D C is a 1.3x crop or APS-H although I have heard it referred to as slightly wider than that or a 1.25x crop whereas the 1D X Mark II is a slightly narrower 1.4x crop due to the higher megapixel count of the 20MP sensor.”

For your information:

Canon 1Dc has 1,265x crop in DCI 4K and 1,35x crop in 4K (UHD).

Canon 1DX mk 2 has 1,335x crop DCI 4K and 1,425 crop in 4K (UHD).

Nikon D5 has 1,425 crop in 4K (UHD).

 

Things to consider:

A Nikon representative said they are working on a firmware update to remove the 3 minute recording limit in D5.

The Nikon D5 can use APSC lenses to get wide angle in 4K but 1Dx Mk2 will probably vignette on most APSC lenses at wide angles.

D1Dx mk2 clearly has an advantage in AF for video work.

D5 will probably have an advantage at high ISO and DR.

1Dx mk 2 will probably record 4K only on Cfast cards and those are expensive as hell  + the Mjpeg codec is very inefficient. In the end, the cards to film an event in 4K 60p will probably cost as much as the camera itself, not to mention the cost of added computer storage, the need of fast and large SSD’s for editing such high bit rates etc. This is very bad!

 

4k 24/25fps probably can be recorded on fast CF card, they say 4k/50/60 requires Cfast. 100fps can be recorded with CF card.

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@Jimmy. There are no tests between the two cameras for the moment but in the past Nikon has a an advantage in those regards. I presume if Canon was confident about it's sensor improvements they wold have made a huge fuss about them. :)

@Andrew Reid. The simple 4K or UHD are term universally used to describe the 3840x2160 video resolution. I don't like it either, but let's not be more "Catholics then the Pope", we didn't invent those therms, we just use them.

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