Photographing with the Canon 1DX and Why Megapixels Don’t Matter

Photographing with the Canon 1DX and Why Megapixels Don’t Matter

These days it’s almost impossible to be interested in photography and equipment and not end up down the rabbit hole that is the camera forum. Talk of DxO scores, sharpness, aberration and, of course, megapixels, dominate the subject matter.

None of that matters.

Traverse City, Michigan

My first internship after graduating with a degree in photojournalism was at the Monroe Evening News. At that time, it was a newspaper that cared deeply about capturing the best images to tell the story.

The camera gear I was issued was a Nikon D1, and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and a 16-35mm f/2.8 lens, and a flash.

It was perfect.

One day, upon noticing the camera I was using, someone asked,” How many megapixels is that?” I had no idea. I was so busy navigating the nuances that are required to visually document a story, day in and day out, that I never cared to look at the specs.

Immediately after receiving that question, I went back to the newspaper and looked up “How many megapixels does the Nikon D1 have?”

The answer? It has 2.74 megapixels.

Traverse City, Michigan

So, fast forward to recently. My Canon 6D has been a faithful companion and tool for many years. Seriously, this is one incredible photographic tool. I’ve photographed numerous assignments and personal work using this camera and it has never let me down.

However, when working as a freelance photographer, it’s important to have an adequate backup camera. While looking for one, I knew I needed to buy a Canon (this is only because I have a lot of great Canon lenses. There are lots of fantastic camera brands out there).

Canon 1-series cameras are built like tanks so that’s the direction I headed. After doing a lot of research, I landed on the Canon 1DX. It’s full frame and weather sealed, which is really important. But, one of the most important specifications of this camera, to me at least, is that it’s shutter is rated for 400,000 cycles. This is incredible.

Traverse City, Michigan

This number tells me that some serious research has been done on making this a tough camera. The next most important thing to me is autofocus. After using other Canon 1-series digital cameras, I was confident that the autofocus of the Canon 1DX would be just fine.

Recently, I was commissioned by downtown Traverse City to make some images of downtown Traverse City. I’m really looking forward to this since I’m usually walking the streets of downtown Traverse City anyway, as it’s one of my favorite areas for street photography.

Walking downtown with the Canon 1DX recently has proven to me that this camera is a more-than-capable camera. It’s autofocus locks on blazingly fast and the files have been wonderful.

Since, Michigan has all kinds of crazy weather, I’m confident this camera will hold up to whatever weather it encounters since it’s weather sealed.

So, I’ve brought up weather sealing a couple of times now. Why? Here’s why. One day while on assignment for the Traverse City Record-Eagle, I was supposed to make winter photos of downtown scenes. It wasn’t just winter weather that day though. It was rain, quickly turning to ice.

Traverse City, Michigan

While walking downtown and making photos, there was a layer of ice on my camera and lens. It was so much ice that I said to myself, “If this camera still works after this day, I’ll commit myself to Canon cameras.” The camera worked flawlessly, so I stand by them to this day.

Just because the Canon 1-series cameras work great for me, obviously doesn’t mean that they’re right for you. The purpose of this post is to explain why this camera can be amazing and why it’s the right one for me.

When I’m looking for a camera that I know won’t impede my ability to get a photo, I’m reaching for this one.

And, it has 18 megapixels. But, that doesn’t matter.

2 thoughts on “Photographing with the Canon 1DX and Why Megapixels Don’t Matter”

  • I enjoyed this read. I do not believe that it is the equipment that makes or tells a good story .. it is the creativity of the picture taker. Every picture tells a story. have a good day, thanks for the read.

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