Canon EOS 1D-C 4k DSLR Review

by on March 9, 2015

Ever since 4K really hit the scene, there has been much demand from the typical consumer to have a DSLR camera that is capable of it. There are some out on the market, and the Canon EOS-1D C is the first hybrid DSLR that offers onboard 4K motion imagine as well as Full HD motion imaging on CF cards.

Not only is it first of its kind, Canon redesigned its housing so it is extremely compact and is compatible with Canon’s compact EF-mount lenses. The EOS-1D C appears to be made for durability, making it the camera that you want in hazardous situations, and you won’t have to worry about breaking it. Did I mention that it is good in low-light situations? Well, it is, so you might not worry about getting the right light that you will need for the right shot.

In short, it is about as close to shooting a real movie or TV show on a consumer product. In fact the website DP review says that Canon developed the camera in discussions with Hollywood and television broadcasters just to ensure that it has what they need for top quality shooting.

The Good

Okay, we have 4K video within the housing of a DSLR body, so that is a huge plus in this product’s favor. You can have 4K (4096 x 2160) content at 24 frames per second to a CF memory card via 8-bit 4:2:2 high bit rate motion JPEG compression scheme.

The compact size is also another factor in its favor. While we are talking about the actual make of the camera itself, let’s bring up the Magnesium Alloy Body with Shutter Durability and Dust and Weather Resistance. This means that the camera can go in some seriously uncomfortable environments.

Another big plus is that the Canon EOS-1D C has a 18.1 Megapixel CMOS Sensor, that can capture a 5184 x 3456 image. The EOS-1D C has 14-bit signal processing for good image gradation, and has a standard range of ISO 100 to 51,200.

The Ultrasonic Wave Motion Cleaning (UWMC) has integrated cleaning dust removal cleaning that uses carrier wave type self-cleaning sensor unit. This allows the dust particles to roll off, and the EOS-1D C’s sensor is treated with anti-dust fluorine coating to remove any motes that will get on it.

As for the viewfinder on the Canon EOS-1D C, it has 100 percent field of view with a magnification of .76x, viewing angle of 35 degrees, and a 20 mm eye-point.

Check the Price of Canon EOS 1D-C 4k Camera on Amazon:

The Bad

According to BH Photo Video the 1D C can output a time code stamped and uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2 Full HD signal made for off-board recording, clean video via HDMI. This sounds good, but keep in mind that each minute of recorded content will take up 4 GB of storage space. This means that your 64 GB CF card can only have 16 minutes of 4K content. In other words, you have what you want, but at a price. In this case, you will need to store all that good 4K content somewhere, and this will undoubtedly run down the battery if you are film in 4K for too long.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to be liked when it comes to Canon’s EOS-1D C camera. Not only will it give you the 4K that you want, but the durability aspect is another plus in its favor. If you are really wanting to get some professional shots, then yes, this is probably the camera for you. I would highly suggest using it professionally to justify the expense, and if you really want decent 4K vids, then you should also set aside some money for some extra CF cards, not to mention batteries.


Canon EOS-1D C Camera Specs, according to B & H Photo Video
• Camera Type: Digital SLR with interchangeable lenses and cinematic quality video
• Video Resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160), Full HD (1920 x 1080)
• Photo Resolution: Effective: 18.1 Megapixels
• Sensor Type: CMOS, 24 x 36 mm
• File Formats: JPEG and RAW (Images), 4K, MPEG-4, AVC/H.264 (movies), Linear PCM (Audio)
• Memory Card: Compact Flash (CF)
• Lens Mount: Canon EF Lenes (excluding EF-S and EF-M lenses) and Canon EF Cinema (CN-E) lenses
• Image Stabilization: Yes
• Connectivity: Unknown
• Digital Zoom: 4K: approx. 1.3x; Super 35mm Crop: approx. 1.6x also indicated by lens
• Screen Size: 3.2" LCD Screen Eye-Level Pentaprism Viewfinder
• Max Frame Rate: 60 fps
• Focus Modes: Manual and Predictive Al Servo Autofocus with 61 Autofocus points


You’ll definitely want to take advantage of all the lenses that are available with EF and EF Cinema prime lenses. The Canon official site for the product states that within the box is the camera itself plus the Eyecup Eg, Battery Pack LP-E4N, Battery Charger LC-E4N, Cable protector and clamp, Stereo AV Cable AVC-DC400ST, USB Interface Cable IFC-200U, Wide Strap L7, and an EOS Digital Solution Disk as well as a software Instruction Manual.

There is an optional Wi-Fi transmitter unit WFT-E6A to allow for complete control over the camera from a laptop, smartphone, or tablet.


I think I have said everything worth saying about the Canon EOS-1D C in some of “The Good” and “Features” section, but there seems to be a whole lot more when it comes to this DSLR camera. For example, it has a headphone terminal.

There is a dedicated AF menu tab, so AF is controlled without having to go through custom function menus, and 6 AF point selection methods that include Spot, Single Point, Single + Adjacent 4 Points, Single + Adjacent 8 Points, Zone Selection, and Automatic AF Point Selection.

Also, if you have a moving subject, then you are in luck with the Canon EOS-1D C. It has EOS iTR, which stands for Intelligent Tracking and Recognition, which allows the camera to follow the subject based on color and face detection.

Overall Performance

I’m going to recommend the Canon EOS-1D C for serious photographers. This doesn’t mean that an amateur should not have it, assuming that he or she could afford it, but with 4K video, durability, and so many other great features, this makes the EOS-1D C 4k camera a real gem.

Canon EOS-1D C


In addition to the 4K capability, the user has the option for Full HD (1920 x 1080) content with frame rates of 24, 25, 30, 50, or 60 frames per second, in two fields of view, Full-Frame HD and Super 35mm Crop. It captures the 4K video via croppsed-sesnor configuration at 24 fps in VCbCr color space with a sampling ratio of 4:2:2 and 8-bit depth. The EOS-1D C also has the latest generation of Canon’s Full-Frame CMOS sensor at 18.1 Megapixels.

Within the Canon EOS-1D C are two HD Compression Modes: IPB and ALL-I, and it also has Canon Log Gamma in order to maximize dynamic range to provide a wide exposure latitude. The user has the option for manually controlling sound levels over a 64-step, user-adjusted range thanks to a touch-sensitive Quick Control dial.

Adding to the performance of the EOS-1D C are Dual DIGIC 5 + Image Processors which include four 4-channel A/D converter front-end processing circuits and deliver speeds of up to 12 fps and 14 fps.

Then there is the 61-Point High Density Reticular AF featuring an Offset Array Sensor for better accuracy. If you need any further explanation on that, BH Photo Video states that “It offers multi-zone wide-area AF for better tracking, has 5 central dual cross-type points (f/2.8 diagonal), 21 central cross-type points (f/5.6 horizontal and vertical) and 20 outer cross-type points (f/4.0 horizontal), and is sensitive in extremely low-light situations (EV-2 for a central point with a f/2.8 lens)”.

Canon EOS 1D-C 4k DSLR Camera with Cinematic Lens at CES 2015

Image Quality and Resolution

We’ve already talked about the wonders of 4K on this, and the fact that it can capture 24, 25, 30, 50, or 60 fps is also terrific, along with its ability to get your basic 1920 x 1080 content as well. Then there are the photos with a CMOS sensor with 18.1 Megapixels.


I wasn’t able to find a price for the EOS-1D C on Canon’s site, so it is possible that the company just doesn’t have a store there. On B and H Photo and Video, which is “the professional’s source”, I was able to find it there for about $7,999.00. The cheapest that I could find it was on Amazon for about $6,200.00.

Check the Price of Canon EOS 1D-C 4k Camera on Amazon:

The Not So Great

For this section, I’m going to have to go with two things: the price and the storage space that you’ll need for 4K video. There’s probably nothing that Canon could have done to improve the EOS-1D C as far as those two things are concerned.


4K video in the body of a compact DSLR
18.1 Megapixel CMOS Sensor
Ultrasonic Wave Motion Cleaning (UWMC)
Excellent viewfinder
Dedicated AF menu tab
Two HD Compression modes


Need to fill a lot of CF cards for 4K video footage
Drains the battery
Price is too high for average consumer

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