Canon 1D Mark II vs T1i
The Canon EOS-1D Mark II and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i (labelled Canon 500D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2004 and March 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-H (1D Mark II) and an APS-C (T1i) sensor. The 1D Mark II has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the T1i provides 15.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1D Mark II and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D Mark II and the Canon T1i. 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T1i is considerably smaller (49 percent) than the Canon 1D Mark II. Moreover, the T1i is substantially lighter (66 percent) than the 1D Mark II. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1D Mark II is splash and dust resistant, while the T1i does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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 (as in the 1D Mark II) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (T1i). You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the 1D Mark II gets 1200 shots out of its NP-E3 battery, while the T1i can take 400 images on a single charge of its LP-E5 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1D Mark II has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the T1i, Canon provides the BG-E5 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1535 g||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499|
|2.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|3.||Canon 5DS||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|5.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|6.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|7.||Canon T3i||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|8.||Canon T2i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|9.||Canon 1D Mark IV||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1230 g||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999|
|10.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark III||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1155 g||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499|
|12.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||150 mm||160 mm||80 mm||1385 g||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II N||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1565 g||1200||Y||Aug 2005||3,999|
|14.||Canon 5D||152 mm||113 mm||75 mm||895 g||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299|
|15.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1215 g||1200||Y||Sep 2004||7,999|
|16.||Canon 1Ds||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1265 g||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999|
|17.||Canon 1D||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1585 g||500||Y||Sep 2001||6,499|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 T1i was launched at a markedly lower price (by 82 percent) than the 1D Mark II, 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 features an APS-H sensor and the Canon T1i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T1i is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.3 and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, the T1i uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the 1D Mark II (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the T1i offers a higher resolution of 15.1 megapixels, compared with 8.2 MP of the 1D Mark II. 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 4.69μm versus 8.17μm for the 1D Mark II). However, it should be noted that the T1i is much more recent (by 5 years and 1 month) than the 1D Mark II, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Canon T1i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T1i for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23.8 x 15.8 inches or 60.4 x 40.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19 x 12.7 inches or 48.3 x 32.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.8 x 10.6 inches or 40.2 x 26.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 1D Mark II are 17.5 x 11.7 inches or 44.5 x 29.7 cm for good quality, 14 x 9.3 inches or 35.6 x 23.7 cm for very good quality, and 11.7 x 7.8 inches or 29.7 x 19.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS-1D Mark II 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 Canon EOS Rebel T1i are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.
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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark II||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.1||1003||66|
|3.||Canon 5DS||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|9.||Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark III||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.7||11.7||1078||71|
|12.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||none||24.0||12.0||1663||80|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II N||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.2||975||66|
|14.||Canon 5D||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||none||22.9||11.1||1368||71|
|15.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||none||23.3||11.3||1480||74|
|16.||Canon 1Ds||Full Frame||11.0||4064||2704||none||21.8||11.0||954||63|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The T1i indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1D Mark II does not. The highest resolution format that the T1i can use is 1080/20p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1D Mark II and the T1i 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 viewfinder in the 1D Mark II offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the T1i (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the 1D Mark II has a higher magnification (0.55x vs 0.54x), 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 Mark II and Canon T1i along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark II||optical||Y||2.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3/s||n||n|
|2.||Canon T1i||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon 5DS||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|5.||Canon T5||optical||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Canon T4i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Canon T3i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.7/s||Y||n|
|8.||Canon T2i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7/s||Y||n|
|9.||Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|10.||Canon XSi||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark III||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|12.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II N||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.5/s||n||n|
|14.||Canon 5D||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|15.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||optical||Y||2.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0/s||n||n|
|16.||Canon 1Ds||optical||Y||2.0 / 120||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|17.||Canon 1D||optical||Y||2.0 / 120||fixed||n||1/16000s||8.0/s||n||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One feature that is present on the 1D Mark II, but is missing on the T1i is 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.
The 1D Mark II writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SD cards, while the T1i uses SDHC cards. The 1D Mark II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the T1i only has one slot.
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 Canon EOS Rebel T1i and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon 1D Mark II||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon T1i||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 5DS||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon T5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon T4i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon T3i||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon T2i||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon XSi||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark III||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Y||mono / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II N||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon 5D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Canon 1Ds||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
|17.||Canon 1D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 1D Mark II (unlike the T1i) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 1D Mark II and the T1i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1D Mark II was replaced by the Canon 1D Mark II N, while the T1i was followed by the Canon T2i. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1D Mark II or the Canon T1i – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon EOS-1D Mark II:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.55x vs 0.54x).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.3 vs 3.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1200 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2004).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T1i:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.1 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 36%.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC II).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/20p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
- More compact: Is smaller (129x98mm vs 156x158mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 1015g or 66 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (82 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 1 month of technical progress since the 1D Mark II launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 1D Mark II comes out slightly ahead of the T1i (12 : 11 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1D Mark II and the Canon T1i 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1D Mark II or the T1i 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark II||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||4,499|
|2.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|3.||Canon 5DS||..||+||..||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||5/5||+||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|5.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|6.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|7.||Canon T3i||3/5||o||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|8.||Canon T2i||..||+ +||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|9.||Canon 1D Mark IV||5/5||..||..||89/100||..||..||Oct 2009||4,999|
|10.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark III||..||..||..||..||..||..||Feb 2007||4,499|
|12.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||..||..||..||+ +||4.5/5||..||Aug 2007||7,999|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II N||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2005||3,999|
|14.||Canon 5D||..||88/100||..||+ +||o||..||Aug 2005||3,299|
|15.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2004||7,999|
|16.||Canon 1Ds||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2002||8,999|
|17.||Canon 1D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2001||6,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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.
- Canon 1D Mark II vs Canon G7 X Mark III
- Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D7000
- Canon 1D Mark II vs Olympus E-PL5
- Canon 1D Mark II vs Panasonic G95
- Canon 1D Mark II vs Panasonic LX15
- Canon 1D Mark II vs Sony RX1R II
- Canon 6D vs Canon T1i
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Canon T1i
- Canon T1i vs Nikon D1
- Canon T1i vs Panasonic G1
- Canon T1i vs Ricoh GR III
- Canon T1i vs Sony H400
Specifications: Canon 1D Mark II vs Canon T1i
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 Model||Canon 1D Mark II||Canon T1i|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2004||March 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 4,499||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1D Mark II||Canon T1i|
|Sensor Format||APS-H Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||28.7 x 19.1 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||548.17 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||34.5 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||8.2 Megapixels||15.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3504 x 2336 pixels||4752 x 3168 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||8.17 μm||4.69 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.49 MP/cm2||4.53 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/20p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC II||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||66||63|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.3||21.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.1||11.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1003||663|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1D Mark II||Canon T1i|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1D Mark II||Canon T1i|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||8.3 shutter flaps/s||3.4 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or SD cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1D Mark II||Canon T1i|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 1D Mark II||Canon T1i|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1200 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
156 x 158 x 80 mm
(6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||1535 g (54.1 oz)||520 g (18.3 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.