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Canon 1D Mark II Comparison Review

The Canon EOS-1D Mark II is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was announced in January 2004 and is equipped with an APS-H sensor. It offers a resolution of 8.2 megapixel.

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Is the Canon 1D Mark II a good camera? The 1D Mark II has a Camera Elo of 1474. This rating puts the 1D Mark II below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the 1D Mark II also ranks below average. – Well, the Canon 1D Mark II is more than 16 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2004.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1D Mark II
Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses
8.2 MP, APS-H Sensor
no Video
ISO 100 - 1 600 (50 - 3 200)
Optical viewfinder
2.0 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
8.3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed body
1200 shots per battery charge
156 x 158 x 80 mm, 1 535 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Canon 1D Mark II vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon 1D Mark II vs credit card front
1D Mark II versus credit card top view
1D Mark II and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon 1D Mark II alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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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 Mark II 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 54.1 oz 1200 Y Jan 2004 4,499i
 
Canon 5DS 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
Canon 5DS R 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
Canon 1D Mark IV 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 43.4 oz 1500 Y Oct 2009 4,999i
 
Canon 1D Mark III 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 40.7 oz 2200 Y Feb 2007 4,499i
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III 5.9 in 6.3 in 3.1 in 48.9 oz 1800 Y Aug 2007 7,999i
 
Canon 1D Mark II N 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 55.2 oz 1200 Y Aug 2005 3,999i
 
Canon 5D 6.0 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 31.6 oz 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299i
 
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
 
Canon 1D 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 55.9 oz 500 Y Sep 2001 6,499i
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.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon 1D Mark II was launched in the US market at a price of $4,499. 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.

Canon 1D Mark II:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Canon 1D Mark II features an APS-H sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.3. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon 1D Mark II among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Canon 1D Mark II sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). 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 Mark II APS-H 8.2 3504 2336none22.311.1100366
 
Canon 5DS Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.712.4238187
 
Canon 5DS R Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.612.4230886
 
Canon 1D Mark IV APS-H 16.0 4896 32641080/30p22.812.0132074
 
Canon 1D Mark III APS-H 10.1 3888 2592none22.711.7107871
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III Full Frame 21.0 5616 3744none24.012.0166380
 
Canon 1D Mark II N APS-H 8.2 3504 2336none22.311.297566
 
Canon 5D Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912none22.911.1136871
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II Full Frame 16.6 4992 3328none23.311.3148074
 
Canon 1Ds Full Frame 11.0 4064 2704none21.811.095463
 
Canon 1D APS-H 4.1 2496 1662none........

It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the 1D Mark II does not provide the possibility to capture videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 1D Mark II has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.55x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1D Mark II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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 Mark IIoptical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3 n n
 
Canon 5DSoptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon 5DS Roptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon 1D Mark IVoptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Canon 1D Mark IIIoptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIIoptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon 1D Mark II Noptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 8.5 n n
 
Canon 5Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 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
 
Canon 1Doptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 8.0 n n

One useful feature of the 1D Mark II is a presence of a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

Connection 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 Mark II 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 Mark IIY-----1.1---
 
Canon 5DSYmonomonoY-mini3.0---
 
Canon 5DS RYmonomonoY-mini3.0---
 
Canon 1D Mark IVYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Canon 1D Mark IIIY-----2.0---
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIIY-----2.0---
 
Canon 1D Mark II NY-----1.1---
 
Canon 5DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIY-----2.0---
 
Canon 1DsY-----FW---
 
Canon 1DY-----FW---

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1D Mark II handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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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 Mark II..+ +..o.. Jan 2004 4,499i
 
Canon 5DS+83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
Canon 5DS R+83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
Canon 1D Mark IV..89/100..5/5.. Oct 2009 4,999i
 
Canon 1D Mark III......o.. Feb 2007 4,499i
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III..+ +4.5/5.... Aug 2007 7,999i
 
Canon 1D Mark II N.......... Aug 2005 3,999i
 
Canon 5D88/100+ +oo.. Aug 2005 3,299i
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II..+ +...... Sep 2004 7,999i
 
Canon 1Ds..+ +...... Sep 2002 8,999i
 
Canon 1D..+ +...... Sep 2001 6,499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 Mark II FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the 1D Mark II.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the 1D Mark II based on?

The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the 1D Mark II with the DIGIC II image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the 1D Mark II?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 50-3200.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Canon EOS-1D Mark II?

Canon does not publish a shutter rating for the 1D Mark II. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 200 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 200 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 200 pictures each and every day.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The 1D Mark II's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Which battery does the 1D Mark II use?

The camera gets its power from the NP-E3 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Canon 1D Mark II
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2004
    Launch Price USD 4 499
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-H Sensor
    Sensor Size 28.7 x 19.1 mm
    Sensor Area 548 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 34.5 mm
    Crop Factor 1.3x
    Sensor Resolution 8.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3 504 x 2 336 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 8.17 μm
    Pixel Density 1.49 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1 600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 3 200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1003
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel
    LCD Size 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 8.3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SD cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 1.1
    HDMI Port no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-E3 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)1200 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 156 x 158 x 80 mm
    (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 1 535 g (54.1 oz)

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