… Like the EOS 80D there’s a big improvement in the camera’s dynamic range. Canon’s move to a design using on-chip analog-to-digital conversion ensures less noise is added before the signal is converted into digital values, meaning it’s easier to distinguish between captured information and background noise. In turn, this means more malleable Raw files with more useful information available when you try to process them. …
… The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II shows very similar amounts of noise to the excellent sensor in the Sony a7R II up until a 3EV push, with the Canon dropping behind after a 4EV push. It’s a similar story against the likes of the Nikon D750 or D810. This means that the darker shadows in a processed image would be slightly cleaner in images from these cameras, after contrast adjustments or a less extreme push.
However, this performance is noticeably better than the Canon EOS 5DS R and, significantly, better than the 1D X II’s most direct rival: the Nikon D5. …
… While the EOS-1D X II shows big improvements in base ISO dynamic range relative to previous Canons, high ISO performance remains stagnant, falling behind the Nikon D5, and showing no benefit over the higher resolution Sony a7R II at common viewing size. JPEG colors are muted relative to predecessors, while sharpening is a bit heavy-handed, sacrificing fine detail for punch. Noise reduction is well-controlled, but the lack of context-sensitivity and smudging of low contrast detail mean that high ISO JPEGs are neither the cleanest, nor retain the most detail, when compared to peers.
It’s important to keep these findings in context: the 1D X II produces very pleasing, nearly class-leading Raw and JPEG images for the most part, but it falls slightly behind in certain respects when compared to its best-performing peers.
Canon catching up? Canon EOS-1D X II tested in our studio
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