There are lots of rumors going around the mill at the moment that a Canon 1D X Mark II will be announced as early as January 2016. The question in my mind is if this will prove to be fact or fiction. In my opinion I say nay because the rumor is based upon an announcement occurring at the upcoming CES (Consumer Electronics Show) that will be taking place in Las Vegas in early January 2016.

For those of you unfamiliar with the CES, it is the world’s largest annual trade show gathering of consumer electronics, geared towards both enthusiasts and businesses. This year it will run from January 6th through January 9th and in Las Vegas, Nevada as usual.

Since the 1D series DSLR is Canon’s flagship professional level camera body, I believe it is fairly unlikely that Canon would announce a new top of the range camera like this at a consumer electronics fair. If they did it would certainly be a first for Canon. So in my opinion, Canon is more likely to announce something like a new 1D X body at Photokina in September 2016, the world’s biggest and most respected camera fair (which takes place once every 2 years) in Cologne Germany. But we shall see…


But why am I even excited about this possible announcement at all when the 5D series camera bodies have already become the mainstay in the Canon DSLR lineup for most commercial photographers like myself? 

Well, let’s trace things back 5 years first. When I bought my Canon 5D Mark II around 5 years ago, I had decided two things at that time. First, I would probably never need to buy a 1D series body again because of the fact all the top DSLR technology was being put into the 5D series bodies anyway, and for half the price with more resolution than the current 1D X, which is only 18MP. I also had decided I would skip the next generation of the 5D Mark series, the 5D Mark III and wait for a 5D Mark IV for my next camera upgrade in about 5-6 years time.

So what has now changed in terms of my game plan? Well, for one thing, after going from a 1DS Mark II down to a 5D Mark II five years ago, I realized the best built DSLR body, and the one I liked most of all the cameras I have ever owned, was my previous 1DS Mark II. The build and feel of a 5D series body in your hands just can’t compare to a 1D series body and, over the last 5 years, I realized just how much I miss my old 1DS.

Also, when the 1D X was released with only 18MP, and a very high frame rate, it seemed evident to me that Canon was no longer interested in making 1D series bodies geared towards the commercial photography market, but instead they were now aiming the 1D series towards journalists, event and sports photographers with their lower resolution but higher frame rate requirements. This may now all be changing again though on the forthcoming 1D X Mark II as it is expected it will have a resolution of at least 24MP, making it more interesting to a broader range of commercial photographers again. And it will appeal to photographers like myself who shoot a variety of subjects and want a rugged and versatile body to shoot with both in and out of the studio.

It was also expected that Canon would first be releasing an update to their 5D Mark III, rather than an update to the 1D X. So I didn’t want to wait much longer to get a new body when I reached the 5 year point with my current body. For me, 3-5 years is usually the limit for shooting with the same body. But if the 1D X Mark II is going to be announced in January, then it will surely become available before any future updates to be released on the 5D series lineup and thus, one more reason to get a 1D X now instead.

Some of the other features hoped for on the 1D X Mark II will be at least 10-15 frames per second RAW file shooting in burst mode (combined with the new, higher resolution), 4K video perhaps, 1080p video at 60fps at least (or even 120fps for slow motion if we are really lucky), a bigger buffer, low to no noise at high ISOs of at least ISO 1250 by employing a newer processor than the current DIGIC 6. Wi-Fi perhaps and hopefully a USB 3.0 port for faster tethered shooting with a laptop. Other rumors include more focus points, greater dynamic range, and a larger LCD preview screen. They will also quite likely employ support for the newer and faster write speed capable CFast Compact Flash cards to help cope with the high frame rates at higher file resolutions.

So what is my actual game plan now? If the 5D Mark IV is announced first I will probably buy that one still as originally planned 5 years ago, but if the 1D X Mark II comes out first then I will surely buy that body as long as it has at least 24 megapixel resolution.

Then, if the 5D Mark IV is announced later in the year at Photokina, after I have already picked up a 1D X Mark II, then I plan to buy a new 5D4 too. The objective being to have a body for backup purposes, as well as a lighter weight body for use for travel and street shooting, and the times when I may not want to bring my more valuable 1D X to certain locations. I also believe each body will have its own set of advantages and disadvantages in terms of technology. So by getting both bodies I figure I will be covered on all bases.

I really do hope though the 1D X Mark II comes out first before the 5D Mark IV as I am more interested in shooting with a 1D series body again than just a newer incarnation of my existing 5D. And if Canon does put out a 1D X Mark II body with most, or all of the specifications I am hoping for, then I can see them recapturing a lot of the commercial photographer market of shooters like me who are shooting with a 5D Mark II or Mark III at present. So keep your eyes peeled for what announcements come out of the CES starting on January 6th. Hopefully there will be some exciting news forthcoming for us Canon folk, but I’m not holding my breath. 😉