Should I upgrade to EOS 1 DX ?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by nirvan_a, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. I am serious hobbyist/enthusiast and recently started doing wildlife and birding apart from the landscape and street photography which I have been doing. I presently use a 5D Mark III and bought a 600mm too but was just considering whether I should upgrade to 1DX and use my 5D Mark III for landscape and street photography.
    Please advise.
  2. No.
    Why do I say no? Because you needed to ask. If you need to ask you don't need a 1DX.
    That may sound a bit harsh but I have a feeling it's true. The 5D MkIII is an incredible camera and is just at home shooting sports and wildlife as it is shooting landscape and portraits. Unless you absolutely NEED 10fps, better weather sealing, more customisation and better high ISO performance you should forget it. Just 3 years ago many wildlife pros would have killed for a 1 series camera as good as the 5D MkIII. You already have it.
  3. Nirvan, only you can decide that. It certainly appears to be a great camera with some amazing features. It could be argued that many serious hobby/enthusiasts would be more than pleased with the 5D Mark III, but what is right for me and what is right you may be worlds apart based on your disposable income for a hobby, much the same as people that are hobby/enthusiasts with cars and motorcycles. I would love to own an EOS 1 DX, the features look great, the full frame sensor with larger pixels, would allow each sensor to gather more light, yes the image pixel count is lower than the 5D MKIII, but that is because the pixels are bigger and gathering more light, more light means better signal to noise. I would imagine the image quality and capabilities in low light, dynamic range, and build quality would be amazing.
    As is brought up here on PN when anyone asks if they should upgrade, what will you get from the new camera that you are not getting from the current camera you are using. Is the 5D Mark III holding you back in some way from achieving the images you want. If the answer is yes and you can afford the camera and getting it will make you happy then go for it. It is an expensive camera to me, but to some it is pocket money. As I said, if you really want it, and can afford it, go for it.
    Keep in mind, it does not guarantee you will take better pictures, most of that is your skill and talent. The 5D MK III is an excellent camera too. Still I would not argue that the 1 DX has some great features and build quality.
    I wish you the best in making your decision and have fun shooting with either camera you decide on. Your going to have a really good camera which ever way you decide.
  4. Yes, if you want the best possible
    equipment without any compromises.
    Clearly your budget is not limited, so
    go for the best you can get to drive that
    600mm lens to its limits. Get the 1Dx
    and know that your only limitation in
    image making is your skill and timing
    which can be perfected with lots of
  5. Definitely not, because you say the 5DIII + 600 is already too heavy for you for BIF work. A 6D would make sense as a lighter FF alternative. An APS-C of some sort, with a 400mm, would make even more sense in terms of smalling down. But adding a pound of mass to your rig makes absolutely no sense.
  6. Even though you needed to ask, it's a valid question, despite what some might say.
    I own the 7D and the 5D MkIII and I've used a 1D X extensively, on loan from CPS. You said the magic words, "bird" and "600mm". The 5D3 will be fine with your bare 600mm, but when you add either the 1.4 or the 2.0x TC-III, the AF will slow down very noticeably. With the 2.0x, it can take up to a second to grab focus on a moving bird. With the 1D X, the AF time is almost instantaneous, particularly if you've pre-focused accurately.
    As for BIF, please work on hand holding. You keeper rate will go through the roof. Use a default ISO of 800 to get your SS up over 1/1000-sec. and simply start hand holding. In a few weeks you'll build the arm strength such that you get more and more successful.
    I've got a friend that started hand holding about 8-weeks ago. He even has a palsy shake. This morning we reviewed his bald eagle shots from yesterday, all hand held, and they were stupendously sharp. The IS on you lens is so good, all you need to do is gain a little bit of strength. I'm not trying to insult you, but I know two women that started hand holding a couple of years ago and it only took them a few weeks to get really comfortable with Canon's big lenses.
    Can you get by with your 5D MkIII? Of course you can, it's a wonderful camera, but once you get used to shooting your 600mm with the 1.4x and 2.0x TC-III, you'll ache for the AF of the 1D X. (I'm buying one as soon as my bank account recovers from tax load).
    If you've never done any weight lifting or strength exercises, believe me, the human body can gain strength at a fast clip, particularly the male body. Still, I've seen retirement age women gain the strength needed to shoot hand held. All it takes is a little work.
  7. Most likely no. Unless you are encountered real problems that can be traced specifically to your use of the 5DIII, you run the risk of starting to chase gear instead of photographs. Your 5DIII can do a fine job with these moving subjects and a better job with your landscape subjects.
  8. Regarding moving subjects, if you use TCs (why wouldn't you?), then the 1D X will result in a lot more shots in focus, as compared to the 5D3. Tracking moving birds will be more than twice as easy, because the higher battery voltage makes the lens respond much more quickly. Without the TCs, there's not a lot of difference in the AF, but the 1D X is superior. Still, with a bare lens, most of us can overcome the 5D3's slightly slower response.
    I can't image shooting birds with Canon's superb 600mm and not availing myself of the additional reach possible by using Canon's excellent 1.4x and 2.0x TC-III teleconverters.
  9. Where did the original poster say his gear was too heavy? Was the post edited?
  10. Jamie said:
    Why do I say no? Because you needed to ask. If you need to ask you don't need a 1DX.​
    Jamie is correct. If you can't carefully articulate why you need it, you shouldn't buy it. You probably will however. You said that you just recently started doing birding. In another thread you said that you were having problems with the heavier camera. You need to let the dust settle and get comfortable with what you have.
    When you can honestly say that you have lost shots that the 1DX would have given you and why you believe that then consider it. You can't buy a game. As someone earlier said, you have a rig that would be the envy of just about anyone just a couple of years ago.
    Now if you just want one because it is the best that Canon has and you can afford it then go ahead and buy it. You can also buy a Rolex but it won't make you tell time better.
  11. That's pure BS about needing to know the answer or you shouldn't ask the question.
    You've invested heavily in your 600mm and it's understandable that you don't know for sure what the 1D X can do that your 5D MkIII cannot do. I'll guarantee that using your 600mm to shoot birds, you'll miss shots with a 5D MkIII that you would have gotten with the 1D X.
    You've invested enough that you qualify for Canon Professional Services. For $100 per year, you can get free cleanings, discounted and expedited repair and loaners. Sign up and borrow a 1D X if you want to see for yourself.
  12. I have to say, I too agree with those who say you probably don't, simply by the way you asked the question: mainly because you "recently started" birding and wildlife. This suggest a level of inexperience that would suggest to me that you don't know what you want. So, like the others, I suggest you stick with the 5DIII for now. Of course, if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, then you'll probably end up with a 1DX anyway.
  13. That's pure BS about needing to know the answer or you shouldn't ask the question.​
    Why? The question implies lack of experience, and I would bet a month's salary that the OP hasn't squeezed out all the capabilities of the 5D3 yet.
  14. "That's pure BS about needing to know the answer or you shouldn't ask the question."​
    Maybe. And maybe not.

    One common thread we see in photographic discussions involves an (often) new photographer who has read so much about gear that he/she begins to think that the gear makes the photographer and that the focus of photography is having great gear.

    This is a particularly acute issue with the new photographer who doesn't yet have the experience to make the right decisions for himself or herself based on the link between photography and gear. It is as if new violinists believed that the first priority in becoming good was to get a Stradivarius. Eventually in might turn out that you become such a violinist that you really would benefit from such a thing, but as a new player it is just as likely that you might find yourself playing country fiddle or mariachi or jazz... and this won't be right for you.

    Here we have a photographers who is just starting out in bird photography and who apparently has the resources to throw enough money into the hobby to purchase some extremely high end and expensive gear that in the hands of any competent wildlife photographer can produce excellent work. Rather than heading off to buy more gear (which will, no doubt, seem to be surpassed by something else in a year or two) it makes a ton more sense to focus on making photographs with the gear in hand.
    And here is a very important truth about wildlife photography. Success, once you have decent gear (a threshold which our OP has clearly passed) is far, far less about what gear you use and far, far more about how you use it, training yourself to spot and respond effectively to opportunities, learning to see photographically, and a ton of practice.
  15. It's not a question with a 1bit (yes or no) answer. My advice is to rent a 1D X. I use a 1D X on a daily basis for a very wide
    range of subjects.

    The autofocus speed and accuracy is second to none, not just just in reliability but also in the depth
    you can customize it's responsiveness in different situations. Here is a link to Canon's guide to the 1D X AF system.

    As with all cameras and lenses you improve auto focus quality by using a target + software to fine tune the camera's AF
    system TO THE INDIVIDUAL LENSES YOU USE. For this purpose I prefer the Lens Align Mark II target coupled with
    FocusTune software which you can read a review of here:

    While other cameras, like the Nikon D800 have a greater dynamic range (and are great when you need the highest possible image quality short of a 50mp+medium format Hassy or PhaseOne) , and the Nikon D4 has better signal to noise
    ratio at ultra high sensitivity settings above 3200, I've shot with those cameras reasonably extensively and while I very much like both,
    for me the 1D X is the better all round package .

    I also like that the 1D X can take two CF cards, not a CF + SD combination. That is useful in many ways. You can use the second as in camera back up, which is how I usually work; or as an overflow so when the first CF fills the second one takes over, or even but JPEGs or .mov files on one card and .cr2 files on the other. That's all true of any dual media slotted camera, but using the same media form in both slots makes life less complicated.

    For a big-bodied camera the 1D X also has terrific handling characteristics. And that leads me to the primary reason I
    prefer the 1D X. Because I review cameras for a national magazine I've had the chance to shoot with virtually every
    Non-Rebel level model Canon DSLR produced over the last decade and thie 1D X is the first one I've used which not just felt immediately natural second nature to me. I realize camera feel is a personal matter but this is one
    area where Nikon's offerings have just beaten similar Canon cameras up until now.
  16. "As with all cameras and lenses you improve auto focus quality by using a target + software to fine tune the camera's AF system TO THE INDIVIDUAL LENSES YOU USE."​
    This is a perfect example (or at least it could be) of the syndrome I was speaking about above. Yes, indeed, you can apply all sorts of sophisticated technology and techniques to optimizing the adjustments of your gear.

    Yet, it turns out that the difference between super adjusted and regular copies of the same lens are almost always very, very small. And the differences in sharpness (or almost any other factor) in the photographs of a person who is a beginner at this and a person who has practiced for quite some time are much, much larger.

    Elsewhere today I wrote in a discussion about the sharpness of a particular lens (where the OP had expressed concern that his lens wasn't sharp enough) that "my [lens] somehow seemed to become sharper the more I learned to use it!"

    In particular when photographing birds with long lenses, there are many factors that play into achieving successful images. I'm not going to say that an incremental improvement for Thing A to Thing B has no value, but I will say that it often has a very, very small effect by comparison to other things that are more about technique and experience. For example, when I first started photographing birds in flight, I rarely got images of the quality I was looking for. Yet, over time, with a ton of shooting and practice I developed the ability to do things like
    • track moving birds while keeping my primary target under the AF point.
    • track smoothly while shooting - not as easy as you might think, and critically important.
    • predict the behaviors of the birds so that I could anticipate what they might do and where they might do it.
    • figure out how to position myself to get the best angles on the critters and...
    • ... to place good backgrounds behind them and...
    • ... take advantage of lighting positions and quality.
    • operate the camera very quickly and with little conscious thought.
    • understand almost intuitively when and how to alter camera settings for a particular situation.
    These sorts of things make a huge difference in your results - a far bigger and more important difference that upgrading from a very good body to an arguably somewhat better body.
  17. To Dan's point, I check my lenses for gross adjustment errors, simply by siting on a static subject through the viewfinder, using your tripod, then I go to 10x live view and refocus. Did the focus change? If so, then you should consider micro alignment.
    In such testing of my super-telephoto Canon lens and a couple of Canon's, on three different bodies, I haven't found a need to micro-adjust any of them.
    I think that too many people resort to micro-adjustment too soon after they receive their first super-tele lens. It's unlikely to need adjustment. Shoot a few thousand shots to see if sharpness doesn't improve with experience.
  18. Jamie asked:
    Why? The question implies lack of experience, and I would bet a month's salary that the OP hasn't squeezed out all the capabilities of the 5D3 yet.​
    The OP invested $12,000 in a lens already. His question only implies a lack of experience with the 1D X. He clearly wants a good rig for shooting birds and no one can argue that the combination of his 600mm lens and the 1D X will be superior to his current combination, unless he's shooting stuffed birds.
  19. "Yet, it turns out that the difference between super adjusted and regular copies of the same lens are almost always very,
    very small. "

    No matter what you are considering, The differences between just okay and good are large and the differences between
    good and terrific are tiny but significant.

    My argument for tuning AF performance and also for shooting in a raw format is the same: no matter how much money
    you've spent on cameras and lenses, its a lot of money and why not strive to wring every drop of technics. performance
    out of theses tools? It might not make me or you a better photographer - only practice, learning to see in something other
    than cliches, opening your eyes, emotions and mind, can do that - but it gives me more confidence in my tools and in
  20. I borrowed a 600mm to photograph the Indianapolis 500. CPS said that to get the most out of the lens to use it with a 1Dx. That for me is key. If you're going to invest in that lens you want to get the maximum out of it. Otherwise it's like a Porsche 911 with a VW engine. Good luck with your photography!
  21. accidental double post - sorry!
  22. "The OP invested $12,000 in a lens already. His question only implies a lack of experience with the 1D X."​
    Spending a lot of money is not a reliable measure of experience. (And he is explicit about his newness to the types of shooting targeted by this gear question.)

    I once sold a print of a person engaged in an adventure sports activity to the person in the photograph. When I delivered the print we had a pleasant conversation about the photograph and about the sport in which he was so involved. I also figured out, from his willingness to purchase a large print (thanks! ;-), from his stories of international travel to engage in this sport, and from the location where we met, that he had plenty of disposable income.

    At the end of our conversation he asked how it was that I had made the photograph that he had purchased - what equipment did I use? He had tried similar photographs without much success. I had not realized that he was a photographer, so this piqued my interest. I explained that I used some good by not astonishingly expensive gear (nothing on the order of what our OP writes about here), but that there were ways I thought about how to make the photographs and techniques and ways of seeing that I employed. Still, thinking that I might offer some ideas about equipment to him if that would improve things, I asked what he used.

    He used gear that was probably 2-3 times as expensive as what I used - essentially the equivalent at that time to the gear proposed by our OP.

    Again, I am not suggesting that one should use just any old gear for all photography - though I do advise beginners to start slowly with less expensive stuff and get some experience before deciding what else to invest in. But I am illustrating several related points:
    • you cannot judge the experience or talent of the photographer, much less the quality of the work, by the amount of money spent on gear.
    • differences in gear, while measurable, are almost always far less significant that other differences that can be addressed in ways that don't involve spending more money on stuff - and this is especially true among people new to photography or to particular genres of photography.
    • if you already have really fine equipment, as our OP does, looking to more expensive gear to transform your photography is unlikely to be successful - while shooting and gaining a lot more experience with the actual photography is far more likely to lead to significant improvement in your work.
    Take care,
  23. Steven asked:
    Where did the original poster say his gear was too heavy? Was the post edited?​
    It was in his original post to another thread, here:
  24. Rich people's problem.
  25. Dan, so what? He said that he recently started "doing" wildlife and birding and owns a 600mm lens. In that context, he was asking about the 1D X vs. his 5D MkIII. For birding and wildlife, the 1D X will be far superior and will give him an opportunity to get great results more quickly.
    Could he spend all this money and not get the results that he hopes for? Of course, but that's up to him. In the field, shooting birds and wildlife, I run into photographers all the time with better equipment than me and yet I'm often able to help them improve their results with a bit of advice, such as how to hand hold, or raising their ISO, etc. Some people start slow and grow into a top line kit over a number of years and others dive in and are all-in from the very start.
    Instead of over analyzing, I think the best advice he's received is to rent a 1D X or borrow one from CPS to see for himself. Whether he goes with the 1D X or stays with his 5D3, it's going to take tens of thousands of shots before he's routinely taking high quality bird images. Either the bug will bite him, or not.
  26. Nirvan, You don't need to upgrade to 1DX, but it is already itching at your finger tips. You probably will not be happy until you do it. Seems quite likely you can swing funding by the sound of it. I know from personal experience, that just not having the equipment you desire, not that you need, can stymie your desire to shoot. Just go for it!
  27. Yes. The 5diii is nothing but the iphone of dslrs these days, dime a dozen, ho-hum images. The good news is I will take it off your hands for $500 and I will pay for shipping.
    Or you can print out Jamie Robertson's response and tape it to your fridge. Take your pic(k). ;=)
  28. That's pure BS about needing to know the answer or you shouldn't ask the question.​
    No, it is not - because it clearly indicates that whatever "issues" the OP believes he has, he doesn't know what they are or whether the 1D x will address them.
    Unless we're talking purely about buying for the sake of buying, you upgrade when you know that you're banging up against the limitations of the existing kit and you've done the research to prove that the proposed upgrade will address those limitations.
    To encourage anyone to "upgrade" when we don't even know what the issues are, is arrogant, irresponsible and deeply unhelpful.
    In the field, shooting birds and wildlife, I run into photographers all the time with better equipment than me and yet I'm often able to help them improve their results​
    Yeah - me too. And I can do things with my relatively humble kit that people who have far better cameras struggle to achieve. I'm also frequently able to demonstrate that supposed failings in their existing kit don't actually exist, either...
    Still doesn't mean I feel I'm qualified to spend other people's money for them - especially, as here, on the basis of a complete lack of knowledge of what the OP's "issues" with his current kit are.
    So in short; no, it is not a "valid question".
  29. Keith, someone new to super telephoto photography, isn't going to know the answer to the questions they ask. Maybe if he'd asked, "I own the 5D MkIII, but I've heard that the 1D X is a better body for using with my 600mm. What differences might I see if I buy a 1D X to use with my 600mm?" then you wouldn't get your panties in such a wad.
    I suspect that the OP has considered his budget or is weighing whether the potential value to him, but he has every right to ask any question he likes and we have no business criticizing his question. When I used to train professional auditors, one of the first things I'd say is, "There's no stupid question" because I didn't want people making mistakes by not being sure what they were doing. We owe similar respect to our noobs here.

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