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Canon 1DX Mark II In Low Light At 6400 ISO – Straight Out Of Camera


Canon 1DX Mark II - 24mm F1.4 - 6400 ISO - Straight Out Of Camera

The image above is exactly how I shot it with no post manipulation. It's actually the JPG file from the camera (shot RAW also) that I simply resized to 950 width as you see above. Trust me, the larger image file doesn't enhance the noise when viewed full screen.

The image above was shot with the Canon 1DX Mark II at 6400 ISO using the Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens set at f/1.4 handheld. I had a single focal point on the right eye of the subject. I wanted to see how the camera performed in low light at 6400 ISO (it was pretty dark outside at night) and I must say that I was impressed.

Yes, if you zoom in and look hard, you can likely nit pick the image to death and say "blah, blah, blah" which I personally get tired of the know it alls (think they do) on social media (mostly in the comments section). However, for an image that has ZERO post editing or noise reduction, I think it's pretty solid.

Since I shoot on a very regular basis in low light, I typically use a speedlight to compensate. However, there are times that a speedlight is not appropriate. It's for these times that I really need the extra ISO boost without the extra noise. It is very rare that I would need to go beyond 6400 ISO which is a key reason that I chose 6400 for this shot.

Yes, there are other cameras on the market that will do a great job at 6400 ISO and for less than $5,995. But this is not about the other cameras. It is meant to show those that are curious about how the Canon 1DX Mark II will perform in low light. There are numerous other features to the Canon 1DX Mark II beyond just the low light performance. You'll have to decide for yourself if the $5,995 price tag along with the specifications of Canon's flagship camera makes it a fit for you. If you are a full time sports photographer that makes your living shooting action, this camera could be a good fit for you if the price is within your budget.

Nikon's D5 flagship is about $500 more. So anyone seriously looking at one of these two cameras likely already has an investment into Canon or Nikon.

As a Platinum Canon Professional Services Member, I used the Canon 1DX Mark II through the evaluation program which means Canon sent it to me for FREE to test out. I must say that I really liked the camera, but for what I shoot, the $5,995 price just doesn't make good business sense. However, I am seriously considering the Canon 5D Mark IV to replace my workhorse 5D Mark III. That's another blog post.

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David Williams

About The Author: David Williams is a professional still photographer and videographer focusing on corporate and commercial work. His love for still photography began in 1982 while still in High School. David started making money at photography in 1982. David and his wife Brenda started working together in photography in 1988 when they met and were married in 1989. Brenda is the photo editor for the business. David and Brenda have two daughters in their 20's. Please be sure to get a quote for services if needed: our goal is to respond as promptly as possible. You may also call David direct at 919.628.2902. You may share this content using the larger social icons above this bio section. You may find David on various social platforms by clicking the smaller icons to the left of this paragraph under David's headshot. Please visit our home page as well.