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Canon 1D C vs 1DX

The Canon EOS-1D C and the Canon EOS-1D X are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2012 and October 2011. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 17.9 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1D C   Canon 1D X
Canon 1D C Canon 1D X
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
17.9 MP, Full Frame Sensor 17.9 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/24p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-51200 (50-204800) ISO 100-51200 (50-204800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.2" LCD, 1040k dots 3.2" LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
14 shutter flaps per second 14 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1120 shots per battery charge1120 shots per battery charge
158 x 164 x 83 mm, 1545 g 158 x 168 x 83 mm, 1551 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1D C and the Canon EOS-1D X? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 1D C vs 1DX

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D C and the Canon 1D X. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 1D C vs Canon 1D X
Compare 1DC versus 1DX top
Comparison 1DC or 1DX rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 1D X is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Canon 1D C. Moreover, the 1DX is slightly heavier (0 percent) than the 1DC. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

As can be seen in the images above, both cameras have a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1D C» 6.2 in 6.5 in 3.3 in 54.5 oz 1120 Y Apr 2012 14,999- i Canon 1D C
 
Canon 1D X« 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.7 oz 1120 Y Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark III« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 33.5 oz 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 6D« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« » 6.0 in 4.5 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III« » 5.9 in 6.3 in 3.1 in 48.9 oz 1800 Y Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 42.9 oz 1200 Y Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 44.6 oz 600 Y Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds
 
Nikon D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 1DX was launched at a markedly lower price (by 55 percent) than the 1DC, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 1D C vs 1DX

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1D C and Canon 1D X sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 17.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the 1DC and the 1DX have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the 1DC is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the 1DX, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon EOS-1D C has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800. The Canon EOS-1D X offers exactly the same ISO settings.

1DC versus 1DX MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1D C» Full Frame 17.9 5184 34564K/24p----Canon 1D C
 
Canon 1D X« Full Frame 17.9 5184 34561080/30p23.811.8278682Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark III« » Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 3744-24.012.0166380Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » Full Frame 16.6 4992 3328-23.311.3148074Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« » Full Frame 11.0 4064 2704-21.811.095463Canon 1Ds
 
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 1DC provides a higher video resolution than the 1DX. It can shoot video footage at 4K/24p, while the 1DX is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1D C vs 1DX

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1DC and the 1DX are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), as well as the same magnification (0.76x). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1D C and Canon 1D X along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1D C»optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n Canon 1D C
 
Canon 1D X«optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark III« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 n n Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n Canon 6D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 3.9 n n Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n n Canon 1Ds
 
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1DC and the 1DX write their files to Compact Flash cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1D C vs 1DX

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS-1D C and Canon EOS-1D X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1D C»YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 1D C
 
Canon 1D X«Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark III« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 6D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »Y-----FW---Canon 1Ds
 
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4

It is notable that the 1DC has a headphone jack, which is not present on the 1DX This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the 1DC and the 1DX have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1DX was replaced by the Canon 1DX Mark II, while the 1DC does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.


Review summary: Canon 1D C vs 1DX

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 1D C better than the Canon 1D X or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1D C:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/24p vs 1080/30p).
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the 1DX).


Advantages of the Canon EOS-1D X:

  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (55 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2011).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1DC comes out slightly ahead of the 1DX (3 : 2 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

1DC 03:02 1DX

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1D C and the Canon 1D X place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 1DC or the 1DX. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews: Canon 1D C vs 1DX

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1D C»----- Apr 2012 14,999- i Canon 1D C
 
Canon 1D X«--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« »+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark III« »+ +82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 6D« »+ +83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »-+ +4.5/5-- Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »-+ +--- Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »-+ +--- Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds
 
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 1D C:
Check Ebay offers
Canon 1D X:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 1D C vs Canon 1D X

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1D C Canon 1D X
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2012 October 2011
    Launch Price USD 14999 USD 6799
    Sensor Specs Canon 1D C Canon 1D X
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 17.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.95 μm 6.95 μm
    Pixel Density 2.07 MP/cm2 2.07 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/24p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-51200 ISO 100-51200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-204800 ISO 50-204800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5+ (Dual) DIGIC 5+ (Dual)
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 82
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 2786
    Screen Specs Canon 1D C Canon 1D X
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.76x 0.76x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1D C Canon 1D X
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 14 shutter flaps/s 14 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1D C Canon 1D X
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1D C Canon 1D X
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E4N power pack LP-E4N power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)1120 shots per charge1120 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 158 x 164 x 83 mm
    (6.2 x 6.5 x 3.3 in)
    158 x 168 x 83 mm
    (6.2 x 6.6 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 1545 g (54.5 oz) 1551 g (54.7 oz)

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