My Camera of Choice Tested in the Extremes
Text & images by William Tan
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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