A Bit of a Surprise

As with anything that involves ‘boys toys’, there are fashions and fads in many hobbies and pursuits, photography is no different. I have commented before on the camera ‘musts’ according to the fashion queens of photography particularly with regard to how many pictures per second it will shoot at and a camera having to have dual memory card slots.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are ‘use cases’ where both these features are important but in all truth, these mainly apply to the needs of professional, working photographers rather than amateur ones. I have often questioned whether the fan boys that clamour for both have experienced dealing with the number of images produced by high speed bursts (fps or frames per second) that result or, have ever considered that buying branded high capacity/speed memory cards is all they have to do to meet their needs when confronted with a single card slot.

My Experiences

I have had two cameras since 2016 which have dual memory card slots and one of them the 7D MkII could capture at 10 frames per second. On top of this since 2021 I have had a M6 MkII, a small mirrorless camera that can manage 14 fps and even in short bursts 30 fps. In this latter case I haven’t bothered too much because I had learned from using the 7D MkII that whilst burst shooting can be fun, loading 20/30 identical images on your PC to edit or just delete the majority of them isn’t.

So overall, how many frames per second is not something that excites me overmuch though it can be useful from time to time. Additionally and this may well because I don’t own an expensive mirrorless camera with a super high resolution viewfinder, I don’t find the viewfinders on my mirrorless cameras sharp enough, the optical viewfinder on a DSLR is far superior and more involving for action photography.

However it is true to say that I was surprised over the burst rate though on reflection I’m not sure why. My 7D MkII and 1D MkIV could both shoot 10 fps so this 1DX MkII being able to shoot 14 fps would hardly seem that significant but it is a 40% uplift and it showed when I spotted a group of Canada Geese taking off, it generated a huge number of frames in just a few seconds !

Using My 1DX MkII

As an experienced Canon DSLR user, coming to grips with the 1DX hasn’t been quite as seamless as I had expected, there have been a number of new things to learn which on reflection are now obvious to me because they represent an evolving technology as a DSLR design starts to merge (a bit) towards mirrorless.

As with any new to me camera, I just take it out, fumble and stumble around making copious mistakes and eventually come to terms with it, for me this is the best way to approach things, I seem to learn most from my mistakes. As a method it can throw up lots of issues and problems which you can then investigate back at home with the help of the User Manual and the Internet. However it can also throw up lots of very pleasant surprises too.

The cameras ability to deal with noise and higher ISO settings than my current/previous cameras is frankly impressive, the output is very ‘clean’ in terms of image noise. Given the time of year coming out of Winter but with pretty poor conditions for the first half of March where I am wearing gloves, I look forward to slightly higher temperatures where I don’t need the gloves and can better judge and enjoy the handling.

Am I Happy ?

In terms of am I happy that I bought this particular camera, the answer is a big yes in the sense of having a camera body that has ‘more’ potential than my existing or previous ones in key areas. This doesn’t mean that it will replace all my other cameras, each of those have their own specialities but in terms of the two 10fps bodies, the 1D MkIV and 7D MkII that I traded in for it, it is a big upgrade from both of them.

However one should always acknowledge that such judgements are based upon where you are as a photographer plus what kit you can afford to buy into at any particular moment in time. The camera hardware can give you an ‘edge’ under certain circumstances but it cannot make you into a photographer or even a better photographer, you have to apply yourself to do that.

A Gallery

Anyway here a little gallery of some images I’ve managed thus far, I would hope to do considerably better later in the year when my familiarity with the camera has evolved plus having some better weather and light to play with. I have included some cropped images of Canada Geese taking off , these are not great photographs however, I love them for the energy they display. Although I have deleted about half of that burst, I still have over 40 images left, 14fps is really quite different.