Can you record 4K 60p Canon 1D X Mark II video on CF card?

This is a legitime question and Canon 1D X Mark II manual says no. But is that true? And if you can record 60p video, how long clips can be? You can record 25p or 30p 4K video on CF cards. That is no surprise, considering that Canon 5D Mark IV has CF slot and the same codec and bitrate for 4K video. You will need fast cards for 4K video, considering huge bitrate for 4K 25p or 30p video. And 50p and 60p need even faster cards. But Canon makes some limitation no matter how fast CF card is.

4K 60p video on Canon 1D X Mark II takes up to 105 MB/s and super fast CF cards are good enough. If you had record RAW video on 5D Mark III, you remember Lexar 1066x, Komputerbay 1000x, SanDisk Extreme Pro cards. In theory, these cards are fast enough for 4K 60p Canon 1D X Mark II video. And actually you can record 50p or 60p 4K video on fast CF card, contrary to the user manual, but only for limited time.

SanDisk CF 64GB Extreme Pro

CF 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro can write up to 120 MB/s. That is more than 4K 60p bitrate on Canon 1D X Mark II. But you will not get a continuous recording. In my tests, I get about 9-10 seconds for 4K 60p video and about 14-15 seconds for 50p video. And I am pretty sure that you are going to get same (or worse) results no matter how fast CF card you use. This is good to know and actually usable in many situations. Clearing buffer takes only a few seconds after stop of the recording.

canon 1d x mark ii 4k 60p cf card
4K 60p on CF card

If you have old and fast CF cards, from high action sports or 5D Mark III Raw video, for example, you can use them. Up to 4K 30p, you can record continuously and you can make short clips with 50p and 60p 4K settings. If you need to export video in 50p or 60p, that is going to be a problem. But you can still make a good video with 10-15 seconds clips. Depending on what you record. And if you need to export 24-30p video, thus you are planing 60p for slow motion, that means 20-25 seconds slowed 4K footage without quality loss. 120p Full HD slow-motion you can record continuously on fast CF Card because you need less bitrate than 4K 24p video.

canon 1d x mark ii 4k 50p cf card
4K 50p on CF card

That is not bad overall. But you shouldn’t buy CF cards for Canon 1D X Mark II if you need 60p video. Good if you already have them, but you should plan CFast 2.0 cards for many reasons. First of all, fast CF cards are mostly 32-128GB and you will fill them really fast with 60p video. No matter how many fast CF cards you have, swapping them often is not a good idea. Also, before or later you will need continuous 50p or 60p video. And finally, CFast 2.0 cards can actually be cheaper than fast CF cards. Not in every situation, but if you wait for enough, you can find solid CFast 2.0 cards for decent money. And you should know that you don’t need really fast CFast 2.0 cards for 1D X Mark II 60p video. Almost any CFast 2.0 card will be enough.

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