The 1DX Mark II is Canon’s flagship DSLR and an upgrade to the original 1DX. Key features include:
20.2MP CMOS sensor
Improved dual-pixel autofocus with 41 cross-type points
Up to 16 fps continuous shooting
Enhanced ISO performance
Mark II Fever. The Mark II is more about refinement than knock-your-socks-off features. Seeing as its target market is professional photographers, Canon has prioritized reliability over fancy features that may or may not work. With that said, the Mark II surpasses its predecessor in many ways: it boasts a higher-resolution full-frame sensor with improved, dual-pixel autofocus; a faster continuous frame rate; built-in GPS; and in-camera 4K capture.
20.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor. The modest increase in MP isn’t going to be noticeable to most, but the increase in performance that comes along with the higher-resolution sensor definitely will. Dual DIGIC 6+ processors help the new sensor to offer improved high performance throughout its normal ISO 100-51,200 range (expandable to 50-409,600), 14 fps (continuous focus)/16 fps (locked focus/exposure, live view), and generous unlimited-JPG/170-RAW buffer.
Improved AF. It’s not an entirely new autofocus system, but rather an overhauled version of its predecessors. What you get is a 61-point system (all user-selectable—no trickery) with 41 cross-type points. The difference comes in all 61 points supporting f/8 autofocus, the 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor for better exposure and tracking performance, and wider-spaced points for slightly larger frame coverage.
Dual-Pixel AF. The Mark II is the first full-frame sensor with Canon’s dual-pixel AF system. Limited to video shooting, this system uses phase-detection for continuous autofocus and tracking with user-adjustable sensitivity and speed settings. The camera also offers rack focusing via the touchscreen rear LCD when shooting video.
4K Video. While it’s not quite as feature-rich as the 1DC, the Mark II captures DCI 4K up to 60p (4:2:2/8-bit) and Full HD up to 120p (4:2:0/8-bit). 4K capture is limited to a central 1.3x crop of the sensor, while Full HD utilizes the full sensor frame. Clean HDMI output tops out at 1080p for external recording. Audio is handled by the in-camera stereo mic or externally using the 3.5mm input, with real-time monitoring possible thanks to the 3.5mm headphone jack. Please note that there’s no focus peaking or zebra warnings, so we recommend an external electronic viewfinder/video monitor with those features.
Professional Build. Just as you’d expect from a 1D-series camera, the Mark II is built like a tank. The magnesium-alloy body features built-in vertical grip, dust- and weather-sealing, multiple customizable buttons, bright 0.76x optical pentaprism with 100% viewfinder coverage, and a 3.2-inch, 1.62m-dot rear LCD with limited touch-sensitivity (video AF point selection only). The new higher-capacity LP-E19 battery offers up to 1210 shots per charge, but the Mark II offers backwards compatibility with the previous LP-E4N battery, albeit with a reduced top continuous shooting rate of 14 fps.
Dual CFast 2.0/CF Memory. To keep up with the increase in data flow, the Mark II takes advantage of the CFast 2.0 format. While Canon made the second slot CompactFlash, if you’re looking to get the most out of the Mark II, you’ll need to use CFast cards. 4K video recording for up to 30 minutes and 170-shot RAW buffer are based on using CFast. Try to use even the fastest of CF cards and that drops to a couple minutes of 4K video and a 73-shot RAW buffer. Long story short, use CFast as your primary card and CF as backup.