Search Nature Photography Blog

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format



Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds


Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in Canon EOS 1DX (4)


Jobu Designs Canon 1DX L-Bracket announced

Great Grey Owl TWO STEP (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Gatineau, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 500mm F4 L IS, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 2,500s, f/4 @ 1/2,500s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Well, I've lost track of time and think I'm about to leave for week number six or seven of my winter Snowy Owl photographic workshop safaris. Here's one from last week during an epic shoot in a field of fresh snow. Do note the exposure used reflects that is was cloudy and almost dark - Read more about Sunny 16 Rule from a prior blog enty.

New Jobu Designs 1DX L-Bracket

Jobu Designs has come up with a unique way of solving the mounting problems with the Pro size Canon camera bodies. The LB-C1DX is a two-piece L bracket with unique side-plate that only contours to the back of the camera, leaving lots of room out front for access to the battery and rubber covers. They have also integrated a unique magnetically captured hex wrench in the base plate. The tiny magnet will hold several pounds of steel, so the hex wrench is securely attached without rattling, yet it is still easy to remove. Shoot in portrait or landscape, or remove the side-arm easily and use just the base-plate if you want to save weight and space in your backpack. Proudly made of solid aircraft grade aluminum in Canada, it is compatible with most Arca-Swiss type clamps.

SAVE 15% OFF your purchase at the JOBU store and support this site just by using the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE.

Le Nichoir Photo Geek Christmas Party Fundraiser


Join me, Canadian nature photographer Christopher Dodds, on March 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM at the Casgrain Theatre (CEGEP John Abbot College 21275 Lakeshore Road, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec H9X 3L9, Canada) for an hour and a half long slideshow presentation to benefit Le Nichoir. The show is designed to be entertaining and informative to all; nature lovers and photographers alike. Stories of adventure, natural history facts and information are all on the menu and this show is designed to offer helpful tips & techniques sure to improve your photography efforts with everything from a camera phone, point & shoot camera or professional SLR camera system. Over one hundred of his images will be projected, many unseen.  Everyone is welcome!
Hurry! Only 280 seats. Tickets are only $18.00 each and are available for advance purchase only - every penny is collected by, and goes to Le Nichoir. Please call or email Le Nichoir ( 450-458-2809) to secure your tickets, or make a donation if you can't make it (be sure to tell them it's on behalf of Chris' Photo Geek Christmas Party) Major credit cards and cheques accepted. There will be ample time to mingle, meet my friends and contacts and share some of your images with others, so feel free to bring prints, iPads or laptops with your favourite images to share. I hope to see you there and PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!

The door prizes were over the top last year, and thanks to my good friends and sponsors, we have secured an even better stash for this year.

If you would like to contribute door prizes for, or sponsor, this worthy cause, please email me ( to discuss. It's a great way to have your product or brand mentioned in every blog post until the main event while helping an awesome cause!

Last year we raised over $2,500.00 and I am asking for your help to at least double that!


Canon EOS 1DX Firmware update announced

Least Auklet Flight (Aethia pusilla, Starique minuscule, LEAU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS , 2X Teleconverter III, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 (with Deluxe Swing-arm upgrade) ISO 1,600 f/8 @ 1/1250s Manual Mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Getting a full frame, eye-level flight shot of a 5" long bullet traveling at 55mph with the deep blue Bering Sea in the background might have been my biggest challenge during my recent Saint Paul Island Photographic Expedition. By pre-focusing my camera on the rocks where they were landing, using my 500mm lens with a 2X extender, I was able to get several images; with this being among my favorites because of the head-turn towards the viewer. Do have a look at, and consider joining me for my Saint Paul Island Workshop next year HERE; it is an awesome adventure!

EOS-1D X Firmware Update Version 1.0.6

Firmware Version 1.0.6 incorporates the following fixes.

  • Fixes a phenomenon in which the AF Micro-adjustment cannot be correctly carried out.
  • Fixes a phenomenon such that when using the camera with combinations of certain lens and extenders, the images captured become back-focused.(EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM or EF200mm f/2L IS USM When used with the Extender EF 1.4x III or Extender EF 2x III).
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which, when the camera is powered on in very dark environments (including instances when the lens cap or the body cap is attached), Error 80 appears on the camera.
  • Fixes the following phenomenon: if two CF cards are inserted into the camera and the "standard" or "Auto switch card" setting is selected for the recording method for [Record func+card/folder sel.], and then one of the CF cards is removed and then reinserted into the card slot, the card selected for recording and playing back images may be switched to the other CF Card.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which the AF micro-adjustment value is not correctly displayed in the EXIF information of the images captured.
  • Displays a "O" or "X" result to indicate whether images have been successfully transferred through the FTP protocol when using the WFT-E6 Wireless File Transmitter.

Firmware Version 1.0.6 is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.0.3. If the camera's firmware is already Version 1.0.6, it is not necessary to update the firmware.

Download firmware V1.0.6 HERE


Canon 1DX First impressions Mini Review

Atlantic Puffin FLYBY (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 70-300mm & Canon 580 EX II (ETTL - 1) f/4-f/5.6 @300mm. ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @1/3,200s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Canon EOS 1DX First Impressions

As I mentioned in my last post, Canon Canada Loaned me one of the very first production models of their new flagship camera that they received; the Canon EOS 1DX. What a camera! In the hand, the camera is slightly heavier than previous 1D camera bodies, but the fit and feel is great. I took the camera to my Puffins Galore photo safari to L'Île aux Perroquets in the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada. The great sunlight we had during our first morning gave way to foggy and heavy overcast skies; the kind of light that is very flat with low contrast for the remaining two and a half days. It was the kind of light that wreaks havoc with a camera's ability to auto-focus.

There are, and will be, a ton of well written and lengthy reviews of the camera out there; some will be written by folks who may have never touched the camera, others by people who may have popped-off just a couple of frames in the studio. There is a growing number of camera enthusiasts writing reviews based on hearsay and technical bulletins - I find them best avoided and instead like to put the cameras through their paces in the field in difficult conditions. This is just meant to be this man's take after using the camera for three days; in somewhat foggy and dark conditions while photographing very difficult, fast and very small birds.

Atlantic Puffin HEAD-ON (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 500mm f/4 L IS, 1.4X III Extender, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. ISO 3,200, f/6.3 @1/2500s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.


There are some new goodies tucked into the camera's Auto-focus menu; I spent a lot of time trying the new scenarios, and loved the ability to tweak minute details within them. I found myself using Scenario 5 most when birds were flying towards me and scenario 1 for most other birds in flight - I did adjust the parameters for both almost constantly; the distraction sometimes causing me to miss a shot, or two, early on.

I made images from ISO 400 throughout 6,400 and found virtually no noise up to ISO 1,600. Images made using ISO 1,600 to 6,400 are surprisingly good and require only a little effort if properly exposed. I used Adobe Camera Raw algorithms to remove any noise and am quite pleased with the high ISO results. I would expect the Canon software to do an even better job this early, and will keep you posted in future posts.

I have been using my Canon 1D Mark IV for most nature photography and my Canon 1Ds Mark III for landscapes, head shots and slow moving subject. This has the potential to replace both cameras, but the deal breaker is no autofocus with lenses or lens and extender combinations with a maximum aperture of f/8 or smaller. I had heard rumours that Canon may release a firmware update that would allow this, but it seems to be just a rumour at the moment; I'll let you know if I hear of a work around.

Atlantic Puffin LANDING (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 500mm f/4 L IS, 1.4X III Extender, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. ISO 4,000, f/5.6 @1/2500s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.


In conclusion, I did love the narrow depth-of-field from the full frame sensor; it's awesome to obliterate close and distracting backgrounds. 12fps while shooting in RAW format is ridiculously awesome for action photography. Files from the 18MP sensor are rich and full of details. The auto-focus system proved to be totally amazing when trying, so deperatly, to place my moving subjects against anything other than the bright white sky as the background; something that other auto-focus systems had much difficulty with before the 1DX.

Will it replace my 1D Mark IV? No, not unless Canon releases a firmware version that allows autofocus at f/8 so I can continue to shoot birds in flight with my 500 f/4 and 2X extender. This camera will, however, replace my Canon 1Ds Mark III

Expect more about the 1Dx in future posts.



Crested Auklet Profile (Aethia cristatella, CRAU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsCanon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS , 2X Teleconverter III & Canon Extension Tube EF 25 II, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 1,600 f/14 @ 1/160s Manual Mode. Fill flash Canon Speedlite 580EX II with Better Beamer @ -3. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's another Crested Auklet from my recent Saint Paul Island Photo Safari. I really do love these dark, out-of-focus wet rocks as backgrounds that we got by pointing straight down from the top of the cliff edge. 

The X Factor

Canon Canada has loaned me a Canon EOS 1DX from their VIP loaner pool. I've just taken it ouf the box and set it up for birds in flight photography and will be "putting the boots to it" during my Puffins Galore Workshop; Stay tuned for my mini review after my return home. I am quite excited to try out the latest and greatest offering from Canon - Thank you CPS services Canada!