In the default Standard Picture Style, JPEG images look great straight from the camera, but their contrast is markedly higher than simultaneously captured raw files. In some cases, for example under coloured stage lights, we also noticed the odd shift in the colour of some areas.
However, the automatic white balance system generally does an extremely good job of maintaining the atmosphere of the scene and producing a natural-looking result. There is a tendency towards warmer tones, but this gives images a pleasing appearance.
When the iFCL metering system is used in evaluative mode it can generally be relied upon to deliver correctly exposed results, even coping with some quite extreme lighting conditions.
We only really found the need to use the exposure compensation control when the sun was shining on white areas of the scene that weren't under the AF point. Though the camera generally got the exposure of the main subject right, we often reduced the exposure in these situations to retain a bit more detail in the highlights.
As we mentioned earlier, the AF system is fairly complex, and it enables quite a bit of customisation in continuous AF mode. Getting the best arrangement requires a good understanding of the subject being photographed, as well as the conditions and the various settings.
However, we found the AF system extremely quick and accurate in a range of situations. It also manages to focus the lens in very low light.
Although it can't match the 36-million-pixel Nikon D800 for detail resolution, the Canon EOS-1DX is capable of capturing a lot of information, especially at the lower sensitivity settings. It out-performs Canon's APS-C format 18 million pixel cameras in this respect.
Image noise is also extremely well controlled, with ISO 6400 images being impressively clean. Usually raw files that are subjected to bespoke processing have the maximum amount of detail and appear sharper than their JPEG counterparts.
Though noise is visible in images captured at ISO 51,200, the results are still impressive, and perfectly usable at A3 (16.5 x 11.7 inches) size.