Some months ago, a blog was written on bird-lens.com to review the Canon EOS 1DX and explain some aspects of dynamic range and noise in the Canon EOS 1DX performance.
As mentioned in the blog, some tests in photo laboratories show, that the dynamic range of the Canon EOS 1Dx benefits from having “only” 18 million pixels with a full frame sensor. For this you get a high dynamic range and a better signal / noise ratio. The Canon EOS 1Dx produces images with so little noise, that you can safely use high ISO values.
To give more examples, I show some images shot at dusk at the Laguna de Gallocanta. A Short-eared Owls (Asio flammeus) was hunting over a wet field of grass on the western part of the lake. Normally this lake is famous for the big aggregations of Common Crane (Grus grus) during migration periods in spring and fall. But this time, the Owls draw my attention. Unfortunately they started to hunt over the grass almost when the sun has disappeared behind the mountain chain far away. The owl has heavily hunting without showing fear of me standing at the car, the big lens mounted on a tripod in the middle of a road in between the fields. To get the whole experience of hunting, flying, fighting with other Short-eared Owls or with Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus), I had to shoot in very low light. In some pictures the lamps on the roads are clearly visible. In total I shot almost 900 (exactly 890) images in the time between 7:03 and 7:20 pm. Of these I trashed 413 – mainly because they were out of focus. The best of the remaining is the image of the blog, which was shot at 7:03 pm.
The above image shown in the blog is was shot a 100% image cropping of a 2000 ISO jpg file converted from RAW. Besides adjusting the white balance, no other corrections were made e.g. no sharpening in Photoshop. Of course, you see some noise in the background, but in general the image is crisp sharp and every feather is visible of the bird.
It was amazing how perfect the autofocus tracked the low-flying Owl (sometimes better than your eyes could follow) and how much detail you can work out of lights and shadowsThe 1 D X RAW files you can edit perfectly without having major compromises in terms of denoising.
As already mentioned: The perfect camera for extraordinary situations in nature photography.