I'm with you on this. At first glance it seems to have the same specs as my T2i Rebel, albeit with more dynamic range and less noise which I could care less about. And for $6800? Does any 1D user need full frame? This is insulting to Canon 1Ds users who depend on our cameras for landscapes and architectural work. What are they thinking?
I had an extensive press briefing about the EOS 1D X last week. It is indeed a replacement for both the 1Ds MArk III and 1D Mark IV. The thinking behind going to an 18mp CMOS instead of upping the pixel count above 21.x Mp of the 5D MArk II and 1Ds Mark III is that by lowering the total number of pixels the individual photo sites are "1.25 microns larger... 6.95 microns in the 1Dx" vs 5.7 microns in the 1Ds Mark III" the image quality will be improved -even at low ISO settings. At some point physics sticks its nose in and creates limitations as to how small the individual photosites can be before image quality suffers beyond the ability of the in camera signal processors to rectify to Canon's satisfaction.
The improvements will be seen, according to Chuck Westfall of Canon who briefed me (and I suspect Rob Galbraith as well but he was not in on the briefing that I was) , in the signal to noise ratio, and in a larger dynamic range.
As someone who photographs architecture for clients (as well as industrial, corporate and advertising work) I am surprised to see someone else who shoots architecture complain about a camera which in theory will provide cleaner shadows and greater separation in bright highlights. According to Canon, if you are shooting JPEGs or movies the improvement is a full two stops. As to "raw" s/n differences they did not have specs for yet.
If you shoot portraits or fashion the 33% decrease in mirror black out time between frames (from 90 to 60 milliseconds ) will be welcome.
Auto-focus micro adjustment tool improvements: If you use zoom lenses you'll be able to register adjustments for both the long and wide ends of the zoom range and register individual adjustment settings for different lenses of the same design ( i.e. if your studio has multiple 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II lenses you can fine tune AF lens performance for each lens).
Something not many people are picking up on yet is that for tethered shooting - the choices are USB 2.0 or gigabyte LAN - no Firewire 800, USB 3.0 or even Thunderbolt. The idea behind going with gigabyte Ethernet is faster throughput, it is more ubiquitous, and if you are shootign with multiple cameras makes it far easier (Apparently) to sync all of the cameras via .
As someone who regularly schlepps around hundreds of pounds of lighting and grip gear If I can also get "ISO 100 image quality" at ISO 400, 640 or 800 with lighter weight lighting gear - so much the better.
My take on it is that most of the features are indeed geared toward sports photographers and that wedding ( white dress next to black tux is horrible lighting) and event photographers will also benefit.
In a follow up email I asked about bottom of the camera dimensions which would be of interest to those of us who use body fitting quick release plates. As much as I like Really Right Stuff gear, I'd raqther not have to purchase a new set of plates. The answer from Canon is that some will fit and some will not. Given that the 1Dx body dimesions are slightly taller and the main part of the body slightly thicker (the battery appears to be the same physical size as the one used in the 1Ds MArk III and 1D Mark III & IV) I suspect that if use L shaped plates the ports on the left side of the 1D X body will not line up with the cut outs on an L plate designed for the 1D III/IV and 1DsMkIII.
If you have more questions, I'll try to answer them as I have several pages of notes.