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Canon 1D Mark II N vs Nikon D2X

The Canon EOS-1D Mark II N and the Nikon D2X are two professional cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2005 and September 2004. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-H (1D Mark II N) and an APS-C (D2X) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1D Mark II N   Nikon D2X
Canon 1D Mark II N Nikon D2X
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
8.2 MP, APS-H Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 (50-3200) ISO 100-800 (100-3200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5" LCD, 230k dots 2.5" LCD, 235k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
8.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1200 shots per battery charge3800 shots per battery charge
156 x 158 x 80 mm, 1565 g 158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1252 g

Body comparison: Canon 1D Mark II N vs Nikon D2X

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D Mark II N and the Nikon D2X is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Canon 1D Mark II N and Nikon D2X
Compare 1D Mark II N versus D2X top
Compare 1D Mark II N 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 somewhat smaller (4 percent) than the Canon 1D Mark II N. Moreover, the D2X is markedly lighter (20 percent) than the 1D Mark II N. 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 (1D Mark II N) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D2X).

Concerning battery life, the 1D Mark II N gets 1200 shots out of its NP-E3 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 Mark II N» 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1565 g 1200 Y Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
Nikon D2X« 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999- i Nikon D2X
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« » 151 mm 116 mm 76 mm 890 g 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« » 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 930 g 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« » 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 930 g 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
Canon 5D Mark II« » 152 mm 114 mm 75 mm 850 g 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 1D Mark III« » 156 mm 157 mm 80 mm 1155 g 2200 Y Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« » 150 mm 160 mm 80 mm 1385 g 1800 Y Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 5D« » 152 mm 113 mm 75 mm 895 g 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« » 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1535 g 1200 Y Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1215 g 1200 Y Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
Nikon D3S« » 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1240 g 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
Nikon D3« » 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1300 g 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999- i Nikon D3
Nikon D2Xs« » 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
Nikon D200« » 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699- i Nikon D200
Nikon D1X« » 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999- i Nikon D1X

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 1D Mark II N was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the D2X, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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: Canon 1D Mark II N vs Nikon D2X

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1D Mark II N features an APS-H sensor and the Nikon D2X an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D2X is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.3 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1D Mark II N and Nikon D2X sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the D2X offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 8.2 MP of the 1D Mark II N. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.52μm versus 8.17μm for the 1D Mark II N). Moreover, it should be noted that the 1D Mark II N is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the D2X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark II N has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 50-3200. 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..

1D Mark II N versus D2X MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. Of the two cameras under review, the 1D Mark II N has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D2X (overall score 7 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.2 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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 Mark II N» APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.297566Canon 1D Mark II N
Nikon D2X« APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.110.947659Nikon D2X
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
Canon 5D Mark II« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 1D Mark III« » APS-H 10.1 3888 2592-22.711.7107871Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 3744-24.012.0166380Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 5D« » Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912-22.911.1136871Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.1100366Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » Full Frame 16.6 4992 3328-23.311.3148074Canon 1Ds Mark II
Nikon D3S« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382Nikon D3S
Nikon D3« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832-23.512.2229081Nikon D3
Nikon D2Xs« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.210.948959Nikon D2Xs
Nikon D200« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.558364Nikon D200
Nikon D1X« » APS-C 5.9 3008 1960-----Nikon D1X
Neither the 1D Mark II N nor the D2X offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Canon 1D Mark II N vs Nikon D2X

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1D Mark II N 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1D Mark II N, the Nikon D2X, and comparable cameras.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 1D Mark II N»optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 8.5 n n Canon 1D Mark II N
Nikon D2X«optical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Nikon D2X
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 7.0 n n Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 3.9 n n Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 1D Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 5D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 3.0 n n Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 8000 8.3 n n Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 8000 4.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark II
Nikon D3S« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n Nikon D3S
Nikon D3« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n Nikon D3
Nikon D2Xs« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Nikon D2Xs
Nikon D200« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Nikon D200
Nikon D1X« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 16000 3.0 n n Nikon D1X

The 1D Mark II N writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SD cards, while the D2X uses Compact Flash cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1D Mark II N vs Nikon D2X

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 Mark II N and Nikon D2X 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 Mark II N»Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II N
Nikon D2X«Y-----2.0---Nikon D2X
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
Canon 5D Mark II« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 1D Mark III« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 5D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark II
Nikon D3S« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Nikon D3S
Nikon D3« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D3
Nikon D2Xs« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2Xs
Nikon D200« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D200
Nikon D1X« »Y-----FW---Nikon D1X

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

Both the 1D Mark II N and the D2X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D2X was replaced by the Nikon D2Xs, while the 1D Mark II N was followed by the Canon 1D Mark III.


Review summary: Canon 1D Mark II N vs Nikon D2X

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1D Mark II N or the Nikon D2X – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1D Mark II N:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.5 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the D2X).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D2X:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 313g or 20 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (3800 versus 1200) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2004).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (5 points each). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

1D Mark II N 05:05 D2X

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 1D Mark II N and the D2X in practical situations. 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: Canon 1D Mark II N vs Nikon D2X

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

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 Mark II N»----- Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
Nikon D2X«-HiRec-rev- Sep 2004 4,999- i Nikon D2X
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« »HiRec87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5DS« »Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »Rec83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 1D Mark III« »---rev- Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »-HiRec4.5/5-- Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 5D« »88/100HiRecrevrev- Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« »-HiRec-rev- Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »-HiRec--- Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
Nikon D3S« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
Nikon D3« »-HiRec5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999- i Nikon D3
Nikon D2Xs« »---rev- Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
Nikon D200« »HiRecHiRecrev5/5- Nov 2005 1,699- i Nikon D200
Nikon D1X« »-HiRec-rev- Feb 2001 5,999- i Nikon D1X

The review scores listed above should be treated 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 1D Mark II N:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D2X:
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 use the search menu 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 Mark II N vs Nikon D2X

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1D Mark II N Nikon D2X
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2005 September 2004
    Launch Price USD 3999 USD 4999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-H Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 28.7 x 19.1 mm 23.7 x 19.1 mm
    Sensor Area 548.17 mm2 372.09 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 34.5 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.3x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 8.2 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3504 x 2336 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 8.17 μm 5.52 μm
    Pixel Density 1.49 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-800 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-3200 ISO 100-3200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 59
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.3 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 10.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 975 476
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x 0.57x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 2.5 inch 2.5 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 235k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 8.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SD cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-E3 power pack EN-EL4a power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)1200 shots per charge3800 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 156 x 158 x 80 mm
    (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
    158 x 150 x 86 mm
    (6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 1565 g (55.2 oz) 1252 g (44.2 oz)

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