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Canon 1Dx Mark II - Underwater High ISO Test - Wreck of MV Tibbetts

This test sequence was shot during the 2016 Digital Shootout hosted by Backscatter in Little Cayman. After all these years, I still don’t know if I’m a photographer or a videographer. I’m inspired that a single photo can tell the story better than a 30-minute documentary, yet some stories can only be told through motion. Ultimately, I want the smallest camera package that offers the best of both worlds and nothing competes with the pro level duality of the Canon 1Dx Mark II. From 4K 60p video, with Canon underwater white balance, to 20MP stills at a blazing 14fps, this camera inspires both sides of my brain. As luck would have it, my first few days of testing were plagued with lighting issues and unsatisfactory lens tests so I eventually focused my attention on the ambient light performance of the Canon 1Dx Mark II with my trusty Canon 8-15mm lens. The majority of this wreck video was shot on one dive with only two clips including artificial light. ISO’s ranged from 320-6400. This rough edit video is straight out of the camera with no color or sharpness corrections in post. There’s evidently new secret sauce in the Mark II’s capabilities at higher ISO’s. I’ve primarily shot the Canon 1Dc since it’s launch and found it’s limits were ISO 1250 for blue water scenes and ISO 2500 for high contrast shots such as wrecks, caves, or macro that include artificial light. I was very surprised to find the 1Dx Mark II produces acceptable blacks and low noise on high contrast shots up to ISO 6400 even after executing a white balance in the deep water. For additional results, please stay tuned to the Canon 1Dx Mark II Review Article on Backscatter.

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