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Gear Rumors

Canon’s EOS-1D X Mk II To Feature Vastly Improved Dynamic Range?

By Anthony Thurston on May 1st 2015

We have an update for you on the recent rumor that we shared regarding the EOS-1 D X Mk II. If this rumor is legit, Canon may soon get the Dynamic Range monkey off its back.


According to the new report over on Canon Rumors, in addition to the improved ISO capabilities of the new EOS-1 D X Mk II, the body will feature vastly improved Dynamic Range. CR speculates that it could have the most stops of dynamic range of any DSLR currently on the market (though that could change with new announcements from other companies).

If this is true, it would be a huge deal for Canon, as the company has received lots of flack over the last year or so over the Dynamic Range of their sensors compared to that of their competition. It would also make sense for Canon to debut such a technology leap in their flagship DSLR, so there could be something to this rumor.

That said, CR does give it a CR2 rating, so plenty of salt is required. If you are a Canon shooter/fan, this is something that has got to get you a little excited.

What are your thoughts about this Canon EOS-1 D X Mark II rumor? Do you think that Canon can close, and even surpass the Dynamic Range gap in one tech generation? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Canon Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dave Haynie

    There was a rumor about Sony having a new sensor technology, some multi-layer Foveon-like idea (no real details given) that peaked with a 21-stop dynamic range. That said, that’s only really interesting if the ADC on the sensor is 16, 18, or 20-bits wide, rather than the usual 14-bits.

    On the other hand, given that this is a Canon flagship, that would be kind of a crushing statement about their in-house sensor technology, if they had to launch a breakthrough in DR based on Sony’s sensor — which would obviously show up in Sony and Nikon cameras at some point. Or maybe they have something akin to Magic Lantern’s “Dual ISO” hack, which manages to read the same sensor data twice, with two different amplifier settings, to get more range out of the photodiodes (photodiodes generally have a crazy dynamic range — after all, the settings on those don’t change from full ISO 100 daylight to the darkest 200K+ ISO shots you can live with). That’s kind of the same idea you use on a pro camcorder for worry-free audio: you run the same mono mic to both mic inputs (lots of audio sections have this as a built-in option), but use different gain on each, so you have an effective 24+ bits with two 16-bit channels.

    Where Canon seems to lose is the older chip technology of their sensors. While not all that critical to modern sensors themselves (you are, after all, trying to build your photodiodes and charge wells as large as possible), they use an off-chip ADC. So that means the signal is amplified on the sensor, but invariably takes on additional noise going through the system. But if they went to parallel analog outputs using amplifiers at different levels, the noise added to each would be the same, but they would be sending over the image sample at different levels, so more of the image’s range would be free of post-amplifier noise. Of course, that would mean adding components, and probably using two for one ADCs and letting the crossover point between the two paths be controlled in software.

    Of course, there have been other approaches, like using variable pixels sizes, but that starts to make the chips more complex in ways that manufacturer’s don’t like, as well as delivering really weird raw files. And presumably, there are guys at Canon getting paid to think of solutions, assuming they really do believe they have a DR problem. The long inaction, though, does make one wonder, especially in a era in which Sony just keeps getting better every year or two.

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  2. Ralph Hightower

    With apologies to Janis Joplin:
    “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Canon 1Dx Mk II? My friends all shoot Nikons. I must make amends”

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  3. Rafael Steffen

    Very interesting news specially for nature photography. Could they be using another vendors sensor for their new flagship camera?

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  4. Lauchlan Toal

    I’ve heard this one before…

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    • Duy-Khang Hoang

      At least it was reported a month after April 1st :) The other alternative is that Canon is using someone else’s sensors (highly unlikely). Not because I doubt Canon’s ability, but more because I can’t see the logic in not making the 5Ds and 5Dsr the first to use this technology since they are the ones most likely to make use of the high dynamic range.

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    • adam sanford

      Duy-Khang, I’m keeping my feet on the ground re: the 5DS dynamic range — Maeda-san himself all but admitted the two new 5DS models would perform like a *7D2* at the pixel level. They will not be game-changing from a DR or high ISO perspective at all.

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  5. Ed Rhodes

    i’ll never be able to afford it, but hopefully the improvements will trickle down in a reasonable timeframe

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  6. adam sanford

    Hallelujah. As I’ll never own an integrally gripped rig, here’s hoping they drop that same sensor into the 5D4.

    …and give the 5D4 spot metering at any AF point. :-)

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    • Marlin Woodruff

      The stuff dreams are made of, Adam

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      You can’t spot meter at any AF point?

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    • adam sanford

      J Dennis — nope. All spot metering on all Canon bodies other than the 1D line is center AF point only. Even my 5D3 is locked out from off-center spot metering. It’s beyond ridiculous.

      I can go the Magic Lantern route to get that functionality, but I’m super leery about bricking my rig, so I’ve avoided it.

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    • Kevin Cucci

      I do believe the 7D mark II has spot metering linked to all AF points. Though I could of just made that up lol

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Dang! Nikon has been linking spot to AF-point on all DSLR’s from the get go. Such a simple thing to withhold from your consumers.

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    • adam sanford

      Kevin: no sir. Only 1D bodies or ML jailbroken bodies can spot meter off-center.

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