Top 7 Video Features We Love on the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II represents the pinnacle of Canon's engineering and a revolutionary step forward to bridging the cap between professional stills and video acquisition. Here are the top 7 features that have a significant impact on how you shoot video with the Canon 1D X Mark II that we think you'll love.

Canon 1D X Mark II

The original Canon 1D X was in itself a marvel of modern engineering and one of the most popular cameras with professional photographers specialising in the world of events, sports, portraiture and weddings. The Mark II of course is no different. The innovations and new features that Canon was able to fit into relatively the same body is astounding.

  • New 20.2 Megapixel Full-Frame 36 x 24 CMOS sensor

The new full-frame sensor is powered by 2 x DiGIC 6+ processors - the fastest image processing units in a Canon DSLR to date. The combination of the new image processors and the larger 20.2 MP sensor area enable the camera to capture higher resolution images, and the blazing fast 14fps in stills mode, and enabling true 4K resolution recording in up to 60p.

  • 4K DCI (4096 x 2160) video recording for the first time ever in a DSLR!

The stills capabilities of the 1D X Mark II are more than impressive, but the breakthrough improvements on the video side of the camera even more so. The 1D X Mark II is not only the first Canon DSLR to shoot 4K up to 60p, but also the first DSLR in the world to do so. The codec is the well-known Motion JPEG, which is an 8bit 422 codec ensuring a high bit rate capture for ultimate image quality.

Motion JPEG in essence is a string of JPEG image for each frame of video. This ensures a very high quality file with bit rates reaching 800Mbps in 4K/60p.

canon 1dx movie menu

True cinema 24fps is also available in the menu as frame rate option for those who will produce content aimed at the Big Screen such as short film, commercials and even feature length films. An improvement from the MJPEG on the 1DC is that this time there no file length limitation - you are limited to the size of your card and the 30 minute limitation on DSLR video.

  • Super-Slow Motion of 120fps in Full HD

Thanks to its super-fast engine and new media format, the 1D X Mark II can record stunning slow motion video in Full HD up to 120 frame per second, which is perfect for sports and high impact action videos. The 120fps video length is limited to 7.30 minutes as to prevent reaching over the above mentioned 30 minute limit when played back in real time. The 120fps slow motion is also available only in the .MOV format. FullHD recording up to 50/60p is possible in both .MP4 and .MOV formats.

  • Dual-Pixel Autofocus (DPAF)

The dual-pixel Autofocus is a well known feature to all video users who've shot with Canon C300 and the C100 Mark II for example. The DPAF is a much improved system over the contrast based AF that was implemented in the previous generation EOS-1D X as this time around it employs split photodiodes to accomplish true phase difference detection AF.

According to Canon: "Phase difference detection AF surveys the scene, and can instantly detect not only whether a subject is in-focus or not, but if not, in which direction — and by how much — to drive the lens to achieve sharp focus. This excludes unwanted searching and accomplishes precise, natural focus acquisition with speed and reliability. And, perhaps more importantly, with user controls and adjustability."

The cool thing here is that Dual Pixel Autofocus works in both 4K and Full HD, as well as slow motion. Most EF lenses with Autofocus can benefit from this super helpful feature.

  • CFast 2.0 & Compact Flash card slots

There are 2 media card slots on the Cano EOS-1D X - one is for a CFast 2.0 card - reserved for 4K recording up to 60P, or Full HD at 100/120fps and one Compact Flash card slot. However, 4K video at the lower frame rates - such as 23.98, 24 and 25 and 1080p/60 is also supported on Compact Flash UMDA 7 compliant cards having write speeds of 100MB/sec or faster).

In addition, the CFast 2.0 media cards are specifically designed to handle high-data rate video codecs and are commonly features on high end cinema cameras like the ARRI Amira, and the more budget friendly Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4.6K and 4K versions.

  • Touch panel display

The touch display is a very useful tool to assist users with the Dual Pixel AF. The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II includes a high-resolution touch panel monitor display, which allows users to touch the screen to acquire focus on a precise area of the image, a face or an object in the frame.

Standard or Sensitive settings are available as to adapt to just about any situation or disable it all together to prevent an unwanted accidental change.

  • 4K Frame Grabs

One of the best applications of being able to acquire video in a 4K resolution is the ability to extract 4K stills from the footage, all in camera. This is a great time saver, and it is something we saw in the smaller Canon XC10 4K Hybrid camcorder earlier in 2015. The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II has the same functionality enabling users to pick 8.8 megapixel JPEGs right from their 4K footage on playback in camera.

To learn more about the video features of the new Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, check out the video below.