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Canon EOS-1D X

One and a half year field experience

I managed to get a Canon EOS 1DX camera at the end of September 2012 and I had the chance to test it, primarily in contemporary dance and fine-art nude photography.
Photo: © Tamás Imre

Canon EOS-1 DX, EF600mm f/4L IS USM f/4.5 1/1250 sec ISO 1600
From October to December 2012, I mainly „hit” the camera in studios and dress-rehearsals in theatres. At these situations I mostly shot at higher ISO sensitivity and used a Canon EF 70 mm f/2,8 L USM lens. When I could, I used a Manfrotto monopod but I mostly photographed handheld. I gained lots of experiences through these photo opportunities, since shooting in little light at high ISO sensitivity, while exploiting AF options, can be called the photographers’ nightmare. However, if you are experienced enough and you do it with a good camera, you cannot be surprised.
My settings were as follows: When shooting motion, I chose an ISO sensitivity which reflected the atmosphere of the dance, it was ISO 1600, and – if needed - even ISO 3200 gave a good result. I describe the auto focus setting after an explanation. But first let’s review the AF menu system to find out what setting to be used and when. Users encounter with a completely redesigned AF system and menu. Before going out to photograph with the camera, it is advisable to check out the new system thoroughly. If you have any previous experience with the menu of Canon EOS 5D Mark III, then you will find no significant change as the AF system works by the same principle. I had already seen such cameras, so it was not that strange. The menu differs from EOS 5D Mark only to a limited extent, but the user functions can be customized in much more detail. Just for your information let’s look through the camera’s new, 61-point cross-type AF sensor which radically differs from the previous models of the EOS1 series. AF settings received a direct menu within the menu system, which is completely new in the EOS1 series. We have the following setting options.
Photo: © Tamás Imre

Canon EOS-1 DX, EF 24-70 mm f/2,8 f/11 1 sec ISO 100
Spot AF: here we can obtain a spot auto focus, in which an AF point can be selected out of 61. The system is focused on this area, but it adjusts focus with the help of the surrounding points.
Single-point AF: here literally a single AF point works which does not take into account the surrounding points, we can select it manually.
Automatic AF point expansion: here we can extend the AF points, making up a total of nine AF points; it below, takes into account the points besides, above and below as well and the focus is adjusted in accordance with them. The selection can be done in any direction, even according to the trisection rules. Zone AF: Twelve focal points can be selected in the immediate vicinity of each other in any zone within the 61 selectable focus areas.
61-point AF: here any of the 61 AF points can be sharpened and it can even be transferred in tracking AF mode through the cross-type system.
We have already seen similar options in cameras, the system debuted by EOS 7D. One thing to decide whether it should be at One Shot or Al Servo mode. This is the same with EOS1 DX, apart from its speciality that we receive an extra graphic menu for Al Servo mode in which we can choose from different preset and finely adjustable options.
Photo: © Tamás Imre

Canon EOS-1 DX, EF 600 mm f/4 IS USM f/5 1/4000 sec ISO 1600


The first pictogram shows a running figure: This is a general, versatile setting. In my experience it is a good option for irregular movements, but moving out of the scanned image plane it can jump off the theme, so it is worth narrowing the number of focus points a little to increase its precision.
The second one shows a tennis player figure: Tracking themes continuously the way when any contrasted obstacles get into the foreground or background it does not jump off the theme but follows it primarily. It is worth using when we photograph a certain person for example in contemporary dance photography or animal photography and we do not want the focus point to jump to another moving theme which might appear between the theme and the camera.
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