2016-02-02

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II: Andy Rouse’s First Impressions

Good morning everyone, it has been a bleary eyed start for us all this morning as the embargo was finally lifted at 4am and the much awaited Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is here. For me, well I can finally breathe easy. As a trusted Canon Europe Explorer I have been privileged to have the EOS-1D X Mark II on test for almost two months, finally I can tell people how awesome it is. And this morning I have pleasure in sharing some more news, that I am delighted to be taking up a role as a Park Cameras Ambassador. More on that later, back to the camera as I am sure you want to know more.

This is a low resolution image taken with a Beta 1D X II @ ISO 10,000


The EOS-1D X Mark II is not just an upgrade to the EOS-1D X as the name would suggest. It is a completely new camera, redesigned to build on the great success of the Canon EOS-1D X. It delivers a stunning toolkit of features to satisfy the most demanding of professionals. I certainly fall into that bracket, my clients constantly want images of the utmost quality and increasingly need me to provide movie media too. As a professional wildlife and aviation photographer my needs have really diversified over the years and so I am delighted with the 1D X Mark II feature set. It has already helped me achieve images that I thought impossible, in conditions where I had no choice but to get images at all costs and that I could not have achieved with the 1D X.

Now I’m not gonna do a feature list - if you want to read a review of its top new features, take a look at the Park Cameras blog post. So here is my list of what 1D X Mark II features I have found the most useful in my testing so far, it’s not a definitive list as I’m finding new things to try every day, but these are the biggies for me:

Sensor - Top of the list must be the new sensor, completely redesigned, which delivers incredible noise performance (especially in shadow detail where there is NO noise) and the ability to shoot commercial quality images at very high ISO. Bottom line, images have much more dynamic range and have a much greater latitude for post processing. This has been very useful for me during testing as invariably it’s been in the rain and the light has been pants. The image quality is simply sensational, here is an image at an astounding ISO 32,000 yet still retaining publishable quality.

This is a low resolution image taken with a Beta 1D X II @ ISO 32,000

Video - Hot on the heels of the new sensor comes 4K video support plus, and this is a real bonus for me, the ability to shoot 100fps HD video. What is 100fps I hear you cry? Well it allows me to really sloooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww everything down, shooting ultra slow motion video in incredible quality. During my testing I got some beautiful footage of a kingfisher diving, you can see that on the Canon website. 

Buffer - Did I mention the new buffer? Supporting the new 500 MB/S Cfast cards (I bought mine from Park Cameras in London), the 1D X Mark II can shoot on and on and on in Raw before the buffer locks up. In fact I haven’t locked it up yet!

This is a low resolution image taken with a Beta 1D X II in very low light

Autofocus - It’s tough to follow the 1DX as that worked so brilliantly but the Mark II locks on quicker and more effectively. In fact I achieved something that I never thought possible, a Kingfisher coming out of the water with a fish tracked by autofocus. Impossible. Clearly not anymore.

Is there more? You betcha loads and I will cover them on my blogs and Facebook posts over the next few days, but two others I have used are LCD exposure simulation (great when using Lee ND / Stopper filters) and f8 Autofocus support (meaning that any f4 lens with a 2x converter, like a 500mm, can now use all AF points with said converter rather than the centre). Bonus.

This is a low resolution image taken with a Beta 1D X II using 500mm with 2x converter

Ok so that’s all on the 1D X Mark II for now (see my blog for even more). It works and it works great, simple as that. I have loved it from the first time I shot with it, the feel of it is much better in the hand too. Enuff said.

Now over the coming weeks Park Cameras will announce some events where you will be able to come and meet me to chat about this camera and hear about my experiences with it first hand. But that’s not all. 

Great Pre-Order Wildlife Competition


Fancy spending a couple of days with me in a hide photographing cool species such as Kingfishers, Badgers and Sparrowhawks? Well that’s the prize in the Park Cameras Pre-Order Competition. All you have to do is to pre-order the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and you will be eligible for the draw. The prize is two days with me photographing wildlife including two nights dinner, bed and breakfast stay too. You will get the full benefit of all my 20 years photographic experience, with composition, habitat, fieldcraft and creative knowledge all thrown in. I will make sure that you come away with great pictures, improved knowledge and have a laugh too. We’ve scheduled July 23/24 for it, a weekend to make it easier to get away! A great competition for a great camera and proof that Park Cameras really support your photography. My own rule is that Spurs fans need not apply, sorry (joke.....).

This is a low resolution image taken with a Beta 1D X II @ ISO 16,000

One last thing from me. Our FotoBuzz community is today getting a much more in-depth briefing on the camera, with lots more images. Plus an online Q&A with me this week on it. Why not come and join us, Park Cameras give our members amazing deals, we give them great educational content, a fun social environment and Meetups to take great images together. It’s a friendly educational online camera club for normal people who just like taking pictures and want to get good advice from pros.

Andy Rouse
Professional wildlife and aviation photographer

This is a low resolution image taken with a Beta 1D X II using Exposure Simulation

About Andy Rouse


Andy Rouse is a multi-award winning professional wildlife and aviation photographer. He loves to shoot edgy and atmospheric imagery and has always been known for pushing his photography to the next level. He runs workshops for photographers, leads expeditions across the globe and was co-founder of the online camera community FotoBuzz. He is proud to be an Ambassador for 21st Century Tiger and undertakes to support conservation initiatives wherever possible. 

On top of this, he is the author of numerous critically acclaimed books and has appeared on many television programmes worldwide. As well as appearing at industry trade shows and conferences, presenting his photography theatre show, he is a trusted Canon Europe Explorer and now also a Park Cameras Ambassador.


You can pre-order the Canon EOS-1DX Mark II from Park Cameras now. If you have any questions about it, you can call 01444 23 70 70 or email sales@parkcameras.com.

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