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December 27th 2013 5:15 pm

How would you change Canon's EOS-1D X?

This $7,000 camera is a beast, but Engadget's review felt that there were cheaper (and just as capable) options. If it were up to you, how would you change this camera?

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16 replies

I would make the mirror slap quieter. Everybody says I sound like a machine gun. Or at least add a continuous and silent drive mode. The silent mode is one shot.

move the gps add on, internal to the camera.

allow the continuous video recording to stop at 29:59 and then restart (and not turn off at that point due to auto power off setting)

the dust reduction doesn't seem to work as well as the 5d mark iii

automatic focus microadjustment using the live view and the phase detection, like originally promised

add another stored setting mode (c1,c2 and c3 isn't enough) that being said the mfn button allowing change of the mode setting is the most useful often ignored feature. with one click you can jump from mirror lock up bracketing to 1/1600 second auto everything grabshot mode

have a loupe view overlay in live view record mode for precise manual focus (a la the magic zoom box in magic lantern hack firmware for 5d)

built in intervalometer (work for video too)

and for the big items:

I would add 4k video. I know canon is trying to sell $15k and up cinema cameras but they are going to be quickly eclipsed by their competitiors who are releasing small cameras with 4k recording.

While I'm a wishlist, I'd add a lot more megapixels (with a slower frame rate) but let you drop down to 18 megapixels to achieve 14 fps.

more dynamic range
perhaps alternating pixel rows a la magic lantern dual iso feature

I would make it automatically start copying images off the cf card as soon as I walk in range of my computer, and record which ones it has copied so if I manually transfer I don't have to recopy

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along with intevalometer, max shutter open speed should be allowed to be set to 2 minutes or longer

also the ability to limit focus seeking in software (set a near and far point, so if you are shooting in a stadium it never tries for the crowd etc.)

a new iteration of the 100-400 lens (come on already!!!!)

auto metering the bracketing, so that the camera only takes as many bracketed pictures as are needed to cover the whole range of light in the scene

built in focus bracketing/stacking (can control this with camranger or magic lantern firmware but would sure be nice to use the 14fps to capture different focus variations)

better sealing on the top row menu/info/af-on buttons (sealing is not as good as 1d IV in my opinion)

ability to trickle charge the batteries through usb (the dual battery charger is massive, and a single point of failure if you only take on on say a trip to africa)

!!! ETTR -- a built in expose to the right, without clipping the highlights (or set a percentage of allowed clipping) pros don't care if the image comes off the camera looking overexposed because you can fix it in lightroom and get better tones, better shadow detail , less noise by exposing to the right.

!!!! FILE NUMBERING - use more than 4 digits for the file names!!!! I have wrapped around IMG_0000 to 9999 in one day before.

use DNG file format for RAW (has built in checksum, so can more quickly check for corruption)

and for canon as a company, at least try to pretend like you still care about still photos.
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I'm thinking the file numbering might be a limit of the proprietary OS canon uses? They could get around it, they probably should, but 10k shots in a day. I've covered a wedding from sunrise to nekkid oclock in the pool and only shot half that! :) Is that sports?

Intervalometer is a great suggestion. 7-9 shot auto bracketing for HDR would be nice as well.
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I shoot a bunch of gigapan panos, timelapse, action sports etc. more than 1.2 million photos in the lightroom catalog.

I think the file number is legacy from the days of FAT file system (originally came with DOS) only allowing 8 digits. The one series use the first 4 digits to identify the camera (which is much better than the IMG_ of the 5d and others) these days with cards bigger than 4gb they have to support file systems that allow more than 8 characters (although I'd settle for an option to just use 7 of the 8 characters for the number and let the use set the first so you could have "A" and "B" cameras)
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In no particular order :)
1- Make the body smaller and lighter with an optional grip. The 5d wins for travel as 2 5d bodies means an extra prime or two in carryon or extra speedlights.
2- Offer 2 or 3 sensor options.
A- 30-34MP (x3 if you use sigma math) foveon type sensor. Clean at 100-200 iso.
B- 20-24MP Bayer, no AA filter, possibly using a fuji esque color filter layout. Needs a bump in dynamic range and a true 16bit color depth, not 12 bit padded to 14.
C- A curveball, a 30-40MP b&w sensor. No bayer filter killing a chunk of light. No AA filter.
3- IBIS. This would completely slay when combined with fast primes. If I'm selling my glass it won't be to buy canon glass with IS added and a few extra K. Canon has been pushing me back to medium format for years. This would help address that.
4- Drown all their marketing department and about 50% of the boardroom. Canon has way too much infighting between divisions and marketing keep trying to sell a .437% better camera as revolutionary.
5- User replaceable IR glass.
6- A sealed mirror and sensor unit, should help reduce dust.
7- A hybrid viewfinder. I still like optical more, but a hybrid should help in low light.
8- AF points across a larger proportion of the frame. Probably not going to jive too well with wanting a smaller body but you did ask :)
9- 4k. I wasn't initially an advocate of video on dslrs, I was worried it would compromise their stills ability but this has been proven wrong and the ability to switch between video and stills has proven useful on a few shoots. 8k would be sweet as frankly I could just shoot video then pull 32MP stills from it. A boy can dream :)
10- Give up on the 500nm process for the sensors and jump to a newer process, something like the 18nm process they have for some compact sensors. Nikon (cough sony) and a few others have 18nm processes for sensors like the one in the d800. It makes a difference!
11- Eye controlled focus. Worked flawlessly for me, great fun and very useful.
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Change its price tag from $7,000 to $2,000.....lol

Or add the 1Dc video capability into it.
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They should change their strategy with the pro cameras. As mentioned, they didn't make the features compelling enough to persuade people to upgrade. Perhaps get rid of one of the lines.
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Higher resolution and smaller pricetag, not really much compelling to be the most expensive 18MP camera, when the main competitor has higher resolutions and lower pricetags
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If you think of the 1DX as a full-frame upgrade to the 1D Mk IV, it does exactly what it needed to do as a full-frame sports camera. Like your reviewer found, it doens't offer much to tempt 1Ds Mk III owners. I bought the 5D Mk III and love it. That being said, it doesn't offer the same level of build quality and weather sealing as a 1-series body.

I'd like to see more resolution and modern software features like focus-peaking, intervalometer, touch screen with pinch zoom & swipe navigation of captured images.
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as the long as the touch is disableable (unlike others where cheek presses change the settings!)
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I don't think you would have your cheek to the screen while reviewing captured images...

I don't want complete touchscreen functionality...just a better interface for reviewing images.
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apparently they have some bugs on the touchscreen enable/disable (at least in the EOS-M my father has) his settings keep getting changed or the focus point moved while using the viewfinder
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brynf has some good stuff. I don't need/want all of that but I'll add a couple...

More efficient battery - chimping on this camera dramatically reduces battery life.

Definitely more resolution, 24 MP minimum. Would like something that competes with D800 this way. If I'm going to pay the weight penalty carrying this rig, make it worth my while. I feel like I need an a7r to go hiking with - not this boat anchor... I'd take it even at 5 fps, with a lower res mode for speed.

Built-in WiFi for sure.

I want the "one body to rule them all" camera that Canon originally alluded to - I feel like I need three cameras (with backups for each) right now, to fill all the roles I need to fill. Even cutting that down to two cameras (plus backups) would help me out substantially. Being that this thing isn't getting any smaller (and, for one, don't really want it to get smaller - I don't mind this not being my hiking camera), I'd prefer to push more toward the MF side of things...
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Eye-controlled focus. I sure miss that from the film days.
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Crop shooting mode for extra reach and maybe something better than the dark focus points which are difficult to see in some conditions.
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for crop shooting mode, you can apply a crop on lightroom import (as an on import develop setting), and you'll get the same effect
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Do you really have the time to express all your thoughts on something like a camera? - Get out and shoot! (S. Vettel would take your Volkswagen and win every round against you in a Ferrari.)
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I shoot a lot, sometimes I have to rest. I'm not a shooter that prefers the tech to the image, however I do wish somethings were easier. f8 and be there is definitely better than any of the things I asked for, but sometimes one gets frustrated with existing equipment and sees ways the equipment can be improved, and canon doesn't listen so you find another way to put the requests out to the world and hope they get back to canon some day. But you are right, being out and shooting is still the best upgrade for a camera ever.
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and somewhere a bridge has been abandoned. Seriously though, we thought about taking pictures today but we are so depressed we aren't as awesome as you.

In reality professional photographers do not spend all day every day taking pictures. Sometimes we like to bitch online about how canon swallows donkey schlong. And what have you brought to the conversation today?
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First, I really appreciate the image quality of my 1DX, and the autofocus has been spot-on. I would love more resolution (kind of weird to go from 21 MP on my 1DsIII to 18 on the 1DX), but

I love the build quality, the weather proofing, and sports-oriented features. I'd agree with others here who say that the resolution isn't high enough for this to be the 'one camera to rule them all' that Canon was expected to release. The 1DX is a solid upgrade to the 1D Mk III, but it's not a camera that will compel every 1Ds Mk III shooter.

Oh yeah, and I'd like a battery charger that's not the size of the state of New Jersey!

GPS should be built in. I find I shoot with the dongle a lot.

I'll second the built-in intervalometer. It's just frickin' software, Canon. Could it really be that hard?
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