Canon EOS 1D-X mark II screen color balance

Note – The following information may no longer be relevant.  Canon has released firmware 1.1.2, which adds a menu item “LCD color tone.”  This menu allows you to choose the overall color tone of the screen for matching older camera bodies such as the 1D-X classic, or 5D mark III.  You can download the latest firmware for your 1D-X mark II here.

As of this post, I got my 1D-X mark II three days ago.  This thing is amazing.  I’m absolutely thrilled with the accuracy and consistency of the AF at large apertures (f/2.0 and faster) compared to my 1D-X original.

After receiving the new camera, I went into a two-day shoot, and I carried all three of my camera bodies – the 5D mark III, 1D-X original, and 1D-X mark II.  Immediately I noticed that the color balance of the screen in the 1D-X mark II is not the same as the other two cameras.  Forgive the cell phone photo, but here’s a sample of what I’m talking about:

Canon EOS 5D mark III screen vs 1D-X original screen vs 1D-X mark II screen. The 1DX mark II has a noticeably warmer color balance.

While slight variations from camera model to camera model are expected, notice that the 5D mark III and 1D-X original are still reasonably similar.  The 1D-X mark II, however, is significantly warmer in tone.

You’re looking at a photo of grey concrete.  This was shot near sunset, thus the slight magenta cast.  All three cameras were set to “cloudy” white balance.  All three versions were shot with the exact same lens.

I shoot RAW, so I wasn’t too concerned about being able to make everything match in post, but I was very curious to see whether that tone discrepancy was present in the files, or simple a function of the screen.  Here are slices of the same files from above.  These were output by Adobe Lightroom 6.  All files had all settings zero’d out, and the camera profile was set to Camera Neutral.  Again, allowing for slight changes in the different camera models, you can see that all files look pretty similar, which points pretty strongly to a simple difference in screens.

Difference in grey tones between Canon EOS 5Dmk3, 1D-X original, and 1D-X mark II.

One final way to test this, so to simply compare the screens while in a menu, not displaying image data.  This sample may be harder to judge from my cell phone photo, but in person the distinct warm-tone of the 1D-X mark II is quite clear.  (Sorry I changed the order of the cameras compared to the samples above.)

Canon EOS 5D mk III vs 1D-X original vs 1D-X mark II screen comparison in menus.

{Edit}
In addition to the above samples, I also used Adobe Lightroom to measure and level the three files.  I used the white balance tool to adjust the grey tone based on the exact same location in each photo.  The resulting output was:

  • 1D-X mark II: 5450k
  • 1D-X original: 5400k
  • 5D mark III: 5300K

Even further evidence that the files themselves are all reasonably close given completely different camera models and manufacturing years.

{End Edit}

Have you noticed this discrepancy in the screen of your own 1D-X mark II?  Does it impact your ability to shoot?  Would you not buy or choose to wait to buy because of this?  Comment below!

Does the new EOS 1D-X mark II battery charger also charge the older 1D-X (original) batteries?

Yes…

Photo of Canon's LC-E19 charger charging both LP-E19 and LP-E4N battery packs.

Yes it does.

To clarify, the battery new battery charger provided with the Canon EOS 1D-X mark II is the LC-E19.  The native battery for the same camera is now the LP-E19.  The camera can also be used with the previous batteries from the original 1D-X called the LP-E4N.  The new charger is backward compatible with the older battery packs, and will charge them.