When it comes to camera announcements and camera rumors I default to Canonrumors.com. I only have so many hours in the day and don’t spend much time on Canon’s press release page.  I found out about the 1D X release this morning from Canon Rumors, then hit up the Canon’s site to read the full press release.

The Canon 1D X was announced this morning with a March 2012 release date. The upgrade list looks very promising:

  • 3 Processors, Two DIGIC 5 Imaging Processors, and an extra DIGIC 4 Processor just for auto focus
  • 61-Point High Density Reticular auto focus
  • Dual CF card support
  • Improved video codec
  • 18-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
  • up to ISO 51,200 in video mode
  • SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding
  • Continuous video recording up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds
  • Full manual audio control
  • RAW+JPEG at speeds up to 12 fps

The price tag for all these interesting features will be somewhere in the range of $6,800.

It’s nice to see that Canon didn’t try to raise the megapixel count any higher and instead focused in on low light performance. They’re finally trying to catch up with the Nikon D3s which has, arguably the best low light performance on the market. If Nikon had only decided to offer 1080p and use a codec other then Motion JPEG, Canon would have been crushed a few years ago.

I can only speculate on the hdmi output of the 1D X but with 3 processors, I would hope that we will finally see a clean 1080p output. The Dual CF card slot is a nice touch, and the ability to record video for 29min will make a lot of documentary film makers happy, but with all those processors, I wonder if you’ll be able to go 29min without over heating the sensor.

61 point auto focus sounds nice, but will it be available in video mode?  All that processor power under the hood and no 1080 60p also seems like a mistake, if Sony can offer 1080 60p in the $600 NEX-5n it seems like a camera 10 times that price would also have the option.

At $6,800 the Canon 1D X probably wont take over the DSLR video market. The biggest draw to DSLR film making is value, once you start to get above the $4000 mark it usually makes a lot more sense to go with a traditional video camera, and with new models like the Sony FS100 around, $6,800 is a hard pill to swallow.

I’m guessing the Canon 5d mark III will end up being a crippled version of these specks. Hopefully the price will be somewhere around $2,000 and the low light performance will be in the same ball park. But I don’t think we’ll be hearing about the 5d mark III until sometime next year.

I would still love to see some test video footage of the 1D X in action. If I find any I’ll be sure to post it.