Canon EOS – 1D C Review


Should you buy the Canon 1DC? Read on in this Canon 1D C review to help you make your decision.

Bottom Line:

Are you looking for a compact professional grade, top of the line movie making HDSLR? Do you have a lot of money to spend? If you answered  yes to both of these questions then keep reading for the juicy details on this camera. But if you answered no to any of these two previous questions, then I suggest you check out the DSLR comparison chart to find another suitable DSLR.

The Specs:

  •  1. The Sensor
    • Resolution: Approx. 18.1 megapixels
    • Recording Pixels: 5208 x 3477 effective pixels
    • Sensor Type: Full-Frame CMOS sensor
    • Pixel Size: 6.95 microns square
  • 2. Compatible Lenses
    • Canon EF Lenses except for EF-S and EF-M lenses
    • Canon EF Cinema (CN-E) lenses
  • 3. Autofocus
    • 61 auto focus points
    • 1 to 5 cross-type AF points at f/2.8, 10 to 20 cross-type AF points at f/4,15 to 21 cross-type AF points at f/5.6, 1 cross-type AF point at f/8 (Number of cross type AF points depends on the lens used)
  • 4. Video Features
    • MOV Recording Format
    • 4K (4096×2160) Motion JPEG, Super 35mm Crop (1920×1080), Full HD (1920×1080), HD (1280×720), SD  (640×480)
    • MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), variable bit rate
    • NTSC and PAL
    • Up to 60 fps for Full HD
    • Maximum File Size per Video Clip: 4 GB
    • Maximum Length of Continuous Video Recording: 12 hours
    • Capable of HDMI output
    • Image can’t be magnified during video recording
    • Audio:
      • Internal monaural microphone
      • External stereo microphone jack
      • 3.5mm stereo mini jack external microphone input
      • 3.5mm stereo-mini jack headphone terminal
      • Sound recording level: auto, manual (64 levels), none
  • 5. Image Features
    • JPEG, RAW (14 bit, CR2), M-RAW, S-RAW, RAW + JPEG, M-RAW + JPEG, S-RAW + JPEG
    • Storage Media: 2 CF card slots (compatible with high speed UDMA CFA cards). Record to one card, record to both cards (same or different sizes), auto switch cards when one becomes full
    • Resolutions Options:
      • Large – 5184 x 3456 (Approx. 17.90 megapixels)
      • Medium 1 – 4608 x 3072 (Approx. 14.20 megapixels)
      • Medium 2 – 3456 x 2304 (Approx. 8.00 megapixels)
      • Small – 2592 x 1728 (Approx. 4.50 megapixels)
      • RAW – 5184 x 3456 (Approx. 17.90 megapixels)
      • M-RAW – 3888 x 2592 (Approx. 10.10 megapixels)
      • S-RAW – 2592 x 1728 (Approx. 4.50 megapixels)
  • 6. Performance
    • Dual DIGIC 5+ Image Processor
    • 12 fps High speed continuous shooting
    • 14 fps Super high speed continuous shooting
    • Up to 1/250 flash sync speed
    • Start up time of approx 0.1 sec based on CIPA testing standards
    • 400,000 shutter cycles
  • 7. Exposure Control
    • ISO: 100-51,200 in 1/3-stop or whole-stop increments
    • Shutter Speed: 1/8000 to 1/30 sec., bulb, X-sync at 1/250 sec.
    • Exposure modes: Program AE (shiftable), Shutter-priority AE (Safety shift possible), Aperture-priority AE (Safety shift possible), Manual exposure, Bulb, E-TTL II autoflash program AE
    • White Balance Modes: Auto, Preset (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Twilight, Sunset Tungsten, White fluorescent, Flash), Custom, Color Temperature (Approx. 2,500-10,000 Kelvin), 5 personal white balance settings
    • Amber-Blue, Magenta-Green white balance compensation and bracketing
    • Picture Styles:Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, 3 User Defined Styles
  • 8. Interface
    • 3.2 inch LCD screen, 1,040,000 dots, 100% coverage, 170 degree vertical and horizontal viewing angle
    • 7 levels of manual LCD brightness adjustments
    • HDMI mini OUT terminal
    • Audio OUT terminal
    • 3.5mm diameter stereo mini-jack microphone IN terminal
    • Can connect to GPS Receiver (not included)
  • 9. Power
    • AC Adapter kit available for AC power
    • Battery Life:
      • 4K: 1 hr. 25 min. at 73°F / 23°C
        1 hr. 15 min. at 32°F / 0°C
      • Photo shooting and Full HD (30 fps, ALL-I): 2 hr. 10 min. at 73°F / 23°C, 2 hr. at 32°F / 0°C
  • 10. Body
    • Magnesium alloy exterior
    • Weight: Approx 54.5 oz/1545g
    • Dust and water resistant
    • Dimensions, W x H x D: 6.2 x 6.4 x 3.3 in
    • No on camera flash. Compatible with Canon EX-Series Speedlites (Manual flash only with non EX-Speedlites)

Performance Review:

Who better to provide a performance review than world renowned filmmaker Philip Bloom:

In summary, Bloom emphasizes the fact that the 1DC provides incredible detail with 4K and especially when shot in Super 35mm crop. The 1DC is also small in size and weight compared to the other cameras capable of shooting 4K.

Bloom notes that the rolling shutter/jello effect is still an issue with the camera. But the camera performs well in low light/high ISO situations.

Bloom also notes that other DSLRs have a shorter maximum recording length time limit of 29 minutes while the 1DC can record up to 12 hours. However, filming with 4K will produce massive file sizes that would make it unlikely to be able to fit that length of time on your memory cards. You’d have to spend quite a bit on fast and big memory cards to shoot long video clips. The number of memory cards needed will dig a hole in your wallet.

The 1DC is the first Canon DSLR to have full HD 50/60 fps. However, Bloom was disappointed that it failed to produce detailed video, rather the image was quite soft.

The 1DC is definitely geared toward video (as evidence by the fact that it is a 1DC- C for cinema). The picture image quality is equivalent to the cheaper and lower 1DX model so you’re definitely supposed to be paying more for the video features. Though the 1DC is targeted towards video and includes a helpful clean HDMI out, it is still missing key video features such as peaking, zebras, and the ability to zoom in while recording so that you can better focus.

For more information and pricing details click here. Or  view other DSLR models with video capabilities.