Just before Halloween in 2009, Canon announced its most powerful DSLR to date. The $ 5,000 full-frame EOS-1D Mark IV was the company’s answer to Nikon’s market-leading D3S, which rang in just shy of $ 5,200. On the basis of price alone, Canon won that round. Then, after two years of silence, the company launched its new flagship, the 1D X. The date was October 18th, 2011 — roughly 10 (or “X”) years after the very first model in the series was announced, way back in 2001. A decade ago, Canon priced that introductory 1D at $ 5,500 — a princely sum considering the 4.15-megapixel CCD on board. Now, the 1D X, which is arguably the most powerful sub-five-figure camera available, commands 6,799 of your hard-earned dollars, or $ 800 more than the D4, Nikon’s $ 6,000 equivalent. All this talk of price may seem to skirt the camera’s long list of lust-worthy features, but when the cost of any piece of hardware approaches a year’s tuition at a public university, a purchase decision deserves thorough consideration.
A camera in this league is absolutely to be used as a professional tool. And while deep-pocketed amateurs may pick one up — in the way folks with cash to burn may build a collection of overpowered two-seaters — the vast majority will live in $ 30,000-plus kits, where they’ll reach six-figure shutter counts, and will likely change hands several times before their eventual retirement. Right now, you’re probably researching the 1D X as exhaustively as you would a new car — in fact, you may have even lined up a test drive, through the company’s Canon Professional Services group. Many months after it was first announced, we’ve had an opportunity to take the new eXtreme model for a spin ourselves, and it’s every bit as impressive as its price tag suggests. Canon’s top model isn’t any smaller or lighter than its predecessors, the 1D Mark IV or 1Ds Mark III — but is all that bulk justified, despite strong contenders like the workhorse 5D? Buckle up and join us in the field (ahem, after the break) to find out.
Gallery: Canon EOS-1D X review
Filed under: Cameras