Canon has recently launched the EOS 1DX Mark II, a successor to the 1DX. They are now freely available and the price dropped a fair amount following the Rio Olympics, where the camera was used extensively.

There are a number of upgrades to the previous model. Frame rate is upped to 14 fps and 16fps in Live View. 4K video can be captured at 60fps and Full HD at 120fps. There is now a Dual Pixel AF which grabs focus faster than the 1DX and to record all this data quickly, the camera has a CFast card slot. (A great pity Canon did not put in two CFast slots – the other slot is for CF). The new camera sensor has been upgraded to 20,2 MP and has improved dynamic range and low light performance. I have certainly seen an improvement of detail in the shadows over previous models.

The set up is similar to the 1DX with a number of additional features and options. Video has a stack of options that are not covered in this blog.

I chose to save three sets of set ups under the Custom Controls C1,C2,C3 under Custom Function  6. I have set up for Landscape photography, General Nature which would include most wildlife in a relatively static mode and then a set up for “action” nature which is mainly centered on bird flight photography and any other fast action. To facilitate this further, I have set up a “MY MENU” #2 which contains all the AF settings (PURPLE in the Menu) so you can adjust the three elements making up the AF Case and also focus or speed priorities.

Custom Controls offer a number of possibilities for programming particular buttons for certain functions. This would be a very personal choice depending on your own likings.

Landscape “General” Nature “Action” Nature
Shooting mode Av Av M
Metering Mode Evaluative Evaluative Evaluative
Aperture f/8 f/5.6 f/5.6
Shutter speed 1/2000
ISO Settings (RED #2)* 200 400 800
Range 50-25600 100-25600 100-25600
Auto ISO Range Note 1 n/a n/a n/a
Min. Shutter Speed Note 1 n/a n/a n/a
Set Custom WB
WB Shift/Bkt 0,0/±0 0.0/±0 0,0/±0
Color Space Adobe RGB Adobe RGB Adobe RGB
Picture Style Note 2 Standard Standard Standard
Lens Aberration Correction Note 3 Disabled Disabled Disabled
Multiple Exposure Disabled Disabled Disabled
JPEG Quality L(n/a) L(n/a) L(n/a)
Image type/size RAW RAW RAW
ISO Speed settings see above see above see above
Auto Lighting Optimiser OFF OFF OFF
Long Exp. Noise Reduction OFF OFF OFF
High ISO Noise Reduction OFF OFF OFF
Highlight Tone Priority* OFF OFF OFF
RED #3
Image Review 8 sec. 8 sec. 8 sec.
Beep Disabled Disabled Disabled
Release Shutter w/o Card OFF OFF OFF
Mirror Lockup* OFF OFF OFF
Dust Delete Data
External Speedlite Control
Flash Firing Enable Enable Enable
E-TTL II Metering Evaluative Evaluative Evaluative
Flash Sync . Speed in Av Mode Auto Auto Auto
Anti-flicker shooting Disabled Disabled Disabled
RED #4
Live View Shooting Enable Enable Enable
AF Method FlexiZoneAF☐ FlexiZoneAF☐ FlexiZoneAF☐
Grid Display OFF OFF OFF
Exposure Simulation Enable Enable Enable
Silent LV Shooting Mode 1 Mode 1 Mode 1
Metering Timer 8 sec. 8sec. 8 sec.
LV Touch Control Standard Standard Standard
AF Case Note 4 Case 1 (0,0,0) n/a Case 3 adj.(-2,1,0) Case 3 adj. (-2,1,0)
AI Servo 1st Image Priority Focus (+2) n/a Focus (+2) Equal Priority
AI Servo 2nd Image Priority Focus (+2) n/a Focus (+2) Equal Priority
USM Lens Electronic MF En. After 1 shot MF n/a n/a
AF Assist Beam Firing IR IR IR
Auto AF point Selection:EOS iTR AF OFF OFF OFF
Lens Drive When AF Impossible ON ON ON
Selectable AF Point 61 pt. 61 pt. 61 pt.
Select AF area selection mode excl. zones and auto excl. zones and auto excl. zones and auto
AF Area Selection Method M-Fn M-Fn M-Fn
Orientaion Linked AF point Separate:pt only Separate:pt only Separate:pt only
Initial AF pt, in AI servo Initial pt. selected Initial pt. selected Initial pt. selected
AF pt. Selection Movement Continuous Continuous Continuous
AF point Display During Focus All AF points All AF points All AF points
AF Point Brightness Normal Normal Normal
AF Status in Viewfinder Outside Outside Outside
AF Microadjustment ON ON ON
Image Jump with turn of wheel 1 1 1
Highlight Alert Enable Enable Enable
AF Point Display Enable Enable Enable
Playback Grid OFF OFF OFF
Histogram Display RGB RGB RGB
Movie Play Count Rec. Time Rec. Time Rec. Time
Magnification 1x 1x 1x
Control Over HDMI Disable Disable Disable
Record func. + card/folder Select Standard Standard Standard
File Numbering Continuous Continuous Continuous
File Name Preset Preset Preset
Auto Rotate Computer Only Computer Only Computer Only
Format Card*
Auto Power Off 30 mins 30 mins 30 mins
LCD Brightness 5 5 5
Viewfinder Display Show Electronic Level
INFO button display options Custom Quick Control Screen
Video System PAL PAL PAL
Sensor Cleaning*
Communication Settings Disable Disable Disable
GPS Settings Note 5 Disable Disable Disable
HDMI Frame Rate Auto Auto Auto
Custom Shooting Modes C1,C2,C3 set C1,C2,C3 set C1,C2,C3 set
Firmware Version 1.0.2 1.0.2 1.0.2
Exposure Level Increments 1/3 1/3 1/3
ISO Speed Setting Increments 1/3 1/3 1/3
Bracketing Auto Cancel ON ON ON
Bracketing Sequence 0-+ 0-+ 0-+
Number of Bracketed Shots 5 5 5
Spot Meter Linked to AF Point Active Point Active Point Active Point
Safety Shift OFF OFF ISO
Same exposure for New Aperture OFF OFF OFF
Restrict Shooting Modes Note 6 None None None
Restrict Metering Modes Evaluative only Evaluative only Evaluative Only
Metering used in Manual Exposure Evaluative Evaluative Evaluative
Set Shutter Speed Range Default Default Default
Set Aperture Range 1.4 to 32 1.4 to 22 1.4 to 22
AE Microadjustment OFF OFF OFF
FE Microadjustment OFF OFF OFF
Continuous Shooting Speed 14(16),10,5,3 14(16),10,5,3 14(16),10,5,3
Limit Continuous Shot Count
Restrict Drive Modes None None None
Focusing Screen Std Std Std
Viewfinder Info During Exposure OFF OFF OFF
LCD Panel illumination During Bulb OFF OFF OFF
Recording card, image size setting Rear LCD Panel Rear LCD Panel Rear LCD Panel
Warnings in Viewfinder
Dial Direction during Tv/Av Default Default Default
Av Setting without lens OFF OFF OFF
Multi Function Lock Quick Control Quick Control Quick Control
Custom Controls see below see below see below
key/microphone button function Rec Memo Rec Memo Rec Memo
Add Cropping Information OFF(3:2) OFF(3:2) OFF(3:2)
Timer Duration 6 sec 6 sec. 6 sec.
Shutter Release Time Lag Shortened Shortened Shortened
Memo Quality Audio 48kHz 48kHz 48kHz
Default Erase option [Cancel] Selected [Cancel] Selected [Cancel] Selected
Retract Lens on Power Off n/a n/a n/a
MY MENU #1 (*)
Mirror Lock Up
Format Card
Highlight Tone Priority
Sensor Cleaning
Custom Controls
ISO Speed Setting
MY MENU #2 (AF Functions)
Tracking Sensitivity
Accel/decel tracking
AF point auto switching
AI Servo 1st Image Priority
AI Servo 2nd Image Priority
AF Microadjustment
Shutter Button metering start only metering start only metering start only
AF-ON Button AE Lock Metering and AF Metering and AF
* Button Metering and AF Metering and AF Metering and AF
DOF Button AF Stop AF Stop AF Stop
Lens AF Stop Button One Shot=AI Servo One Shot=AI Servo One Shot=AI Servo
M-Fn Switch Custom Shoot Switch Custom Shoot Switch Custom Shoot
M -Fn 2 Switch Reg AF Fn Switch Reg AF Fn Switch Reg AF Fn
Main Dial Tv Tv Tv
Quick Control Dial Av Av Av
Toggle AF pt. Selection AF pt. Selection AF pt. Selection
Mn-F2 Note
Can Set up a different AF configuration and toggle between your normal set up that is saved in theCustom Shooting Mode (C1,C2,C3) and the different AF configuration.
Example you may quickly want to change just the AF area selection mode by merely pushing M-Fn 2 button and holding . Releasing it gets you back to your saved setting. Just another alternative rather than having to enter “My Menu” and changing the AF set up.
In this way, I have changed the area selection as follows:
C1: from single point to expand AF Area:surround
C2: from Expand AF Area:Expand AF surround to Expand AF area
C3: from Expand AF Area:Expand AF surround to Expand AF area
Note 1: If you set ISO to Auto, then you should configure your range and minimum shutter speed
Note 2: This is only for representation of the LCD image. If you use DPP for Raw conversion then these settings will appear when you open the RAW image in DPP. In this instance it is only the sharpening setting that will be transferred (setting 3) which is just fine
Note 3: You can do this in camera. Both Lightroom, ACR and DPP have adjustments for this.
Note 4: These settings assume that you using single point AF in C1 and expansion in C2 and C3
Note 5: You can enable GPS settings if you so wish. Will shorten battery operation
Note 6: Remember to enable C1,C2 and C3 shooting modes otherwise you will find you can’t save them.
General Note: The AF set up can be complex and there are various methods you can employ to more quickly make changes to individual settings to suit your particular needs.