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Canon EOS-1D X coming March 2012, packs dual DIGIC 5+ chips and 51,200 ISO

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Canon EOS-1D X
Canon EOS-1D X

Canon's just announced a new flagship DSLR — the EOS-1D X, a full-frame 18-megapixel camera with three processors and greatly expanded low-light sensitivity. It's not up on Canon's website yet, and the details are all in Japanese, but Canon Rumors spotted a tiny mention in a press release celebrating the company's 50 millionth EOS camera and 70 millionth lens... and another release at Japan's Nikkei Shimbun is filling in the rest of the details. It's primarily billed as a successor to the EOS-1D Mark IV, featuring a grand total of 61 autofocus points (including more cross-type sensors than you can shake a stick at) and a dedicated DIGIC 4 processor for AF/AE control to help you get those stellar shots, but also appeals to the video crowd with — get this — dual DIGIC 5+ processors and a Gigabit Ethernet connection for streaming your live footage.

It's got two CompactFlash card slots, captures 1080p30 and 720p60 video, and has a 14 frame per second continuous shooting mode, plus an incredible 51,200 native ISO — expandable to 204,800, which sounds poised to leapfrog the Nikon D3s. Apparently, there's also a new RGB metering system, facial recognition and tracking thanks to that DIGIC 4 chip. Meanwhile, 41 of those autofocus sensors are cross-types, including five dual-cross points at f/2.8. Did we mention Canon's cut the shutter lag to 0.036 seconds? It sounds like a new king of cameras based on the spec sheet, but we've got no idea how much it costs. We're sure to get a lot more information out of Canon at its November 3rd event, though, and you can expect limited quantities to start rolling out of Japan in March. By the by, Canon's also announced a pair of lightweight GPS and Wi-Fi / Bluetooth wireless file transmitter modules, the GP-E1 and WFT-E6B, to arrive around the same time.

Update: The US press release is out showing an estimated March body-only retail price of $6,800.