Canon 1D-X Mark II and 5DS R Test and Comparison

by | Jun 21, 2016 | Video Equipment Review | 0 comments

I recently had the pleasure of snagging both the Canon 1DX MK II and 5D SR for a weekend trip thanks to Magnanimous. These are two totally different cameras intended for totally different styles of photography but they are both all around great cameras. The 5D SR boast a 50.2 megapixel sensor making it great for large print and heavy retouching. The 1DX Mk II has a 20.2 megapixel sensor but I wouldn’t hold that against it, 20.2 megapixels is more than enough for 90% of my still work. The 1DX really shines in its processing power though, at 14fps it can almost guarantee that you capture the moment you want to capture.

I’ve been shooting landscapes for the past 10 years so I was naturally pulled towards the 5D SR. The amount of detail is amazing! Walking around with this camera makes you feel as if you can take a beautiful picture of anything. Working with the raw images in photoshop makes it quite easy to push and pull images multiple stops without visible degradation. On the video end, the 5D SR can’t really compete with other Canon DSLRs.


5D SR Original

Canon 5DSR cropped in on the image above:

5D SR Zoomed

The 1DX MK II was a new and enlightening experience for me. Being able to shoot 14fps while shooting camera raw gave me the speed to snap some great photos with very little effort. When I wasn’t using the 5D SR I had the 1DX in hand. The 1DX line has always catered to speed and performance over resolution but the MK II seems to have heavily improved every aspect of the camera. With the combination of the new digic6 + processor and imaging sensor the camera resolves some great images. I hardly ever shoot above ISO 3200 but I took the 1DX to ISO 51,200 and it surprised me. For documentary, the image is still useable. I’ve included a version straight out of the camera and then one with a little noise reduction applied.

With out noise reduction:

1DX Skyline

With noise reduction:

1DX Skyline Noise Reduction

The 1DX MK II also doubles as an excellent tool for video. It shoots 4K internally up to 60fps. It will do 120fps in 1080p. This combined with the new autofocus system makes it a great option for lightweight documentary or single operator gimbal use. The autofocus face detection is pretty spot on. I was amazed at how fast and smooth the camera was able to shift focus while filming friends, even in full profile.

Still from the 1DX MKII:

1DX Still

The Canon 5D SR and 1DX MK II are both solid cameras that I would be happy to put to work. While they serve different purposes and are at way different price points, I see a range of uses for each system. The 5D SR will handle my controlled setups, things I shoot in the studio or landscapes at that perfect time of day. The 1DX MK II will gracefully handle those challenging shooting situations. A lack of light or fast moving objects won’t deter you from capturing the moment in a well exposed and composed frame.

Still from the 5DSR:


Written by Corey Lillard.

Download the images here.


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