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Canon 1D C vs Nikon D2X

The Canon EOS-1D C and the Nikon D2X are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2012 and September 2004. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (1DC) and an APS-C (D2X) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 1D C versus Nikon D2X
Canon 1D C Nikon D2X
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
17.9 MP, Full Frame Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/24p Video no Video
ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 204,800) ISO 100-800 (100 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.2 LCD, 1040k dots 2.5 LCD, 235k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
14 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1120 shots per battery charge3800 shots per battery charge
158 x 164 x 83 mm, 1545 g 158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1252 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1D C and the Nikon D2X? 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

The physical size and weight of the Canon 1D C and the Nikon D2X are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 1D C vs Nikon D2X
Compare 1DC versus D2X top
Comparison 1DC or D2X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D2X is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Canon 1D C. Moreover, the D2X is markedly lighter (19 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1DC) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D2X).

Concerning battery life, the 1DC gets 1120 shots out of its LP-E4N battery, while the D2X can take 3800 images on a single charge of its EN-EL4a power pack. 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 1D C 6.2 in 6.5 in 3.3 in 54.5 oz 1120 Y Apr 2012 14,999i
 
Nikon D2X 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999i
 
Canon 1D X Mark III 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 50.8 oz 2850 Y Jan 2020 6,499 i
 
Canon 1D X Mark II 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999i
 
Canon 5D Mark III 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 33.5 oz 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499i
 
Canon 6D 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Canon 1D X 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.7 oz 1120 Y Oct 2011 6,799i
 
Canon 5D Mark II 6.0 in 4.5 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499i
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III 5.9 in 6.3 in 3.1 in 48.9 oz 1800 Y Aug 2007 7,999i
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 42.9 oz 1200 Y Sep 2004 7,999i
 
Canon 1Ds 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 44.6 oz 600 Y Sep 2002 8,999i
 
Nikon D4 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999i
 
Nikon D2Xs 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699i
 
Nikon D200 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 32.5 oz 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699i
 
Nikon D2H 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 37.7 oz 2900 Y Jul 2003 3,499i
 
Nikon D1X 6.2 in 6.0 in 3.3 in 38.8 oz 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999i
 
Nikon D1 6.2 in 6.0 in 3.3 in 38.8 oz .. Y Jun 1999 5,499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The D2X was launched at a markedly lower price (by 67 percent) than the 1DC, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1D C features a full frame sensor and the Nikon D2X an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D2X is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1D C and Nikon D2X sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the 1DC offers a higher resolution than the D2X (12.2MP), but the 1DC nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.95μm versus 5.52μm for the D2X) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 1DC is a much more recent model (by 7 years and 6 months) than the D2X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 1D C implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 1DC for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D2X are 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.5 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.2 x 11.4 inches or 43.6 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.3 x 9.5 inches or 36.3 x 24.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

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 corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D2X are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

1DC versus D2X MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon 1D C Full Frame 17.9 5184 34564K/24p........
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659
 
Canon 1D X Mark III Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.214.5324891
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
 
Canon 5D Mark III Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381
 
Canon 6D Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
 
Canon 1D X Full Frame 17.9 5184 34561080/30p23.811.8278682
 
Canon 5D Mark II Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III Full Frame 21.0 5616 3744none24.012.0166380
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II Full Frame 16.6 4992 3328none23.311.3148074
 
Canon 1Ds Full Frame 11.0 4064 2704none21.811.095463
 
Nikon D4 Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364
 
Nikon D2H APS-C 4.0 2464 1632none18.910.035240
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none........
 
Nikon D1 APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 1DC indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D2X does not. The highest resolution format that the 1DC can use is 4K/24p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1DC and the D2X 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%), but the viewfinder of the 1DC has a higher magnification than the one of the D2X (0.76x vs 0.57x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1D C and Nikon D2X along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Canon 1D Coptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIIoptical Y 3.2 2100 fixed Y 1/8000s 20.0 n n
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n
 
Canon 5D Mark IIIoptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 n n
 
Canon 6Doptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n
 
Canon 1D Xoptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n
 
Canon 5D Mark IIoptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 3.9 n n
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIIoptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIoptical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 n n
 
Canon 1Dsoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n n
 
Nikon D4optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D2Hoptical Y 2.5 211 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 n n
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0 n n
 
Nikon D1optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 1.5 n n

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1DC and the D2X write their files to Compact Flash cards. The 1DC features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D2X only has one slot.

Connectivity comparison

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 Nikon D2X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon 1D CYmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D2XY-----2.0---
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIIYmonomonoYYmini3.1Y-Y
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Canon 5D Mark IIIYmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Canon 6DYmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Canon 1D XYmono-Y-mini2.0---
 
Canon 5D Mark IIYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIIY-----2.0---
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIY-----2.0---
 
Canon 1DsY-----FW---
 
Nikon D4YmonomonoYYmicro2.0---
 
Nikon D2XsY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D200Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D2HY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D1XY-----FW---
 
Nikon D1Y-----FW---

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

Both the 1DC and the D2X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D2X was replaced by the Nikon D2Xs, 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 and Nikon websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1D C or the Nikon D2X – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS-1D C:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12.2MP) with a 21% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 4K/24p movies.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.76x vs 0.57x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 235k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 6 months of technical progress since the D2X launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D2X:

  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 293g or 19 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (3800 versus 1120) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (67 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2004).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1DC is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

1DC 12:04 D2X

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1D C and the Nikon D2X 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1DC or the D2X perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 1D C.......... Apr 2012 14,999i
 
Nikon D2X..+ +..o.. Sep 2004 4,999i
 
Canon 1D X Mark III+ +........ Jan 2020 6,499 i
 
Canon 1D X Mark II..89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999i
 
Canon 5D Mark III+ +82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499i
 
Canon 6D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Canon 1D X....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2011 6,799i
 
Canon 5D Mark II91/10079/1004/55/5.. Sep 2008 3,499i
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III..+ +4.5/5.... Aug 2007 7,999i
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II..+ +...... Sep 2004 7,999i
 
Canon 1Ds..+ +...... Sep 2002 8,999i
 
Nikon D4....4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999i
 
Nikon D2Xs......o.. Jun 2006 4,699i
 
Nikon D200+ ++ +o5/5.. Nov 2005 1,699i
 
Nikon D2H..+ +..o.. Jul 2003 3,499i
 
Nikon D1X..+ +..o.. Feb 2001 5,999i
 
Nikon D1..+ +...... Jun 1999 5,499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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
Nikon D2X:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 1D C vs Nikon D2X

    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 Nikon D2X
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2012 September 2004
    Launch Price USD 14,999 USD 4,999
    Sensor Specs Canon 1D C Nikon D2X
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 23.7 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 372.09 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.95 μm 5.52 μm
    Pixel Density 2.07 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 51,200 ISO 100 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 204,800 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 59
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 476
    Screen Specs Canon 1D C Nikon D2X
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.76x 0.57x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 235k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1D C Nikon D2X
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 14 shutter flaps/s 5 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 Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1D C Nikon D2X
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1D C Nikon D2X
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E4N EN-EL4a
    Battery Life (CIPA)1120 shots per charge3800 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 158 x 164 x 83 mm
    (6.2 x 6.5 x 3.3 in)
    158 x 150 x 86 mm
    (6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 1545 g (54.5 oz) 1252 g (44.2 oz)

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