My Cam­era of Choice Tested in the Ex­tremes

Text & im­ages by Wil­liam Tan

Asian Diver (English) - - Editor’s Note -

It was an hon­our when Canon placed an EOS-1D X Mark II in my hands and gave me the op­por­tu­nity to shoot im­ages to pro­mote its launch in April 2016. I tested the cam­era un­der ex­treme con­di­tions at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions: In Hokkaido’s freez­ing wa­ters (around mi­nus 1.8 de­grees) dur­ing the win­ter sea­son; shoot­ing thresher sharks un­der dim morn­ing light at Mala­pas­cua; balanc­ing con­trasts of man­tas against bright sun­bursts at Han­i­faru Bay; and stack­ing on macro diopters to test the aut­o­fo­cus on bal­loon­fish hatch­lings in Takeno that were no longer than 2mm. In ev­ery as­pect, the EOS-1D X Mark II out­per­formed its pre­de­ces­sor. It is now my cam­era of choice.

Im­age 1: Sperm Whales (Phy­seter macro­cephalus)

Shot at: Trin­co­ma­lee, Sri Lanka

In a sit­u­a­tion where you have a pho­tog­ra­pher and three large sperm whales all swim­ming at the sur­face, wa­ter move­ments can make get­ting a per­fect re­flec­tion of your sub­jects rather chal­leng­ing. For­tu­nately, the EOS-1D X Mark II is ca­pa­ble of burst shoot­ing at 14 frames per sec­ond (with AF/AE track­ing) in high-speed con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing mode. As you can see from the re­sult­ing im­age, I was able to choose frames show­ing per­fectly still wa­ters just be­fore the re­flec­tions break into ab­stract art forms.

Im­age 2: Shrimp Larva (Aris­tei­dae) Shot at: Kent­ing, Tai­wan

The su­per fast aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem in the EOS-1D X Mark II is able to ac­cu­rately track tiny and mo­bile plank­tonic sub­jects through a 100mm macro lens. The amount of de­tail the new sen­sor cap­tures al­lows you to see del­i­cate tex­tures in the al­most trans­par­ent ex­oskele­ton of this shrimp larva. The EOS-1D X Mark II’s op­ti­cal (pen­taprism) viewfinder pro­vides a big­ger and brighter view that is es­pe­cially use­ful when film­ing these fast 3mm-sized crea­tures.

Im­age 1: Taken on Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with EF 8-15mm f/4L Fish­eye USM lens Set­tings: Shut­ter Speed: 1/320, Aper­ture: f/8, ISO: 500, White Bal­ance: Auto

Im­age 2: Taken on Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens Set­tings: Shut­ter Speed: 1/250, Aper­ture: f/22, ISO: 100, White Bal­ance: Auto

• 20.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sen­sor • Dual DIGIC 6+ im­age pro­ces­sors • ISO speeds of up to 409,600 • 4K 60p/50p with 4K frame grab • Dual Pixel CMOS AF • 14 fps shoot­ing and AF sen­sor with 61 AF points

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