PW

Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D1X

The Canon EOS-1D Mark II and the Nikon D1X are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2004 and February 2001. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-H (1D Mark II) and an APS-C (D1X) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 5.9 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   Nikon D1X
Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D1X
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
8.2 MP, APS-H Sensor 5.9 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 (50-3200) ISO 125-800 (125-3200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.0" LCD, 230k dots 2.0" LCD, 120k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
8.3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1200 shots per battery charge1200 shots per battery charge
156 x 158 x 80 mm, 1535 g 157 x 153 x 85 mm, 1100 g

Body comparison: Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D1X

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D Mark II and the Nikon D1X. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Canon 1D Mark II and Nikon D1X
Compare 1D Mark II versus D1X top
Compare 1D Mark II or D1X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D1X is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Canon 1D Mark II. Moreover, the D1X is markedly lighter (28 percent) than the 1D Mark II. 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) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D1X).

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. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left 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 camera comparisons there.

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» 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 54.1 oz 1200 Y Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
 
Nikon D1X« 6.2 in 6.0 in 3.3 in 38.8 oz 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999- i Nikon D1X
 
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 43.4 oz 1500 Y Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D Mark III« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 40.7 oz 2200 Y Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
 
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 1D Mark II N« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 55.2 oz 1200 Y Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 5D« » 6.0 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 31.6 oz 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
 
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
 
Canon 1D« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 55.9 oz 500 Y Sep 2001 6,499- i Canon 1D
 
Nikon D300S« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D300« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 2.9 in 32.6 oz 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799- i Nikon D300
 
Nikon D200« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 32.5 oz 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699- i Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999- i Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D1« » 6.2 in 6.0 in 3.3 in 38.8 oz .. Y Jun 1999 5,499- i Nikon D1

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 1D Mark II was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the D1X, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 Mark II vs Nikon D1X

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. 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 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 Nikon D1X an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D1X 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 and Nikon D1X sensor measures

With 8.2MP, the 1D Mark II offers a higher resolution than the D1X (5.9MP), but the 1D Mark II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 8.17μm versus 7.92μm for the D1X) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 1D Mark II is a somewhat more recent model (by 2 years and 11 months) than the D1X, 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 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 D1X are ISO 125 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 125-3200..

1D Mark II versus D1X MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 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» APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.1100366Canon 1D Mark II
 
Nikon D1X« APS-C 5.9 3008 1960-----Nikon D1X
 
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 1D Mark IV« » APS-H 16.0 4896 32641080/30p22.812.0132074Canon 1D Mark IV
 
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 1D Mark II N« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.297566Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 5D« » Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912-22.911.1136871Canon 5D
 
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
 
Canon 1D« » APS-H 4.1 2496 1662-----Canon 1D
 
Nikon D300S« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D300« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.112.067967Nikon D300
 
Nikon D200« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.558364Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.110.947659Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D1« » APS-C 2.6 2000 1312-----Nikon D1
Neither the 1D Mark II nor the D1X 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 vs Nikon D1X

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1D Mark II and the D1X 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 D1X (96%), 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 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1D Mark II, the Nikon D1X, 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»optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 8000 8.3 n n Canon 1D Mark II
 
Nikon D1X«optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 16000 3.0 n n Nikon D1X
 
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 1D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark IV
 
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 1D Mark II N« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 8.5 n n Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 5D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 3.0 n n Canon 5D
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 8000 4.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 8000 3.0 n n Canon 1Ds
 
Canon 1D« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 16000 8.0 n n Canon 1D
 
Nikon D300S« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 7.0 Y n Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D300« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n Nikon D300
 
Nikon D200« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« »optical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D1« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 16000 1.5 n n Nikon D1

The 1D Mark II writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SD cards, while the D1X uses Compact Flash cards. The 1D Mark II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D1X only has one slot.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D1X

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 Nikon D1X 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»Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II
 
Nikon D1X«Y-----FW---Nikon D1X
 
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D Mark III« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1D Mark II N« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 5D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 5D
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »Y-----FW---Canon 1Ds
 
Canon 1D« »Y-----FW---Canon 1D
 
Nikon D300S« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D300« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D300
 
Nikon D200« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D1« »Y-----FW---Nikon D1

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

Both the 1D Mark II and the D1X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D1X was replaced by the Nikon D2X, while the 1D Mark II was followed by the Canon 1D Mark II N.


Review summary: Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D1X

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1D Mark II and the Nikon D1X? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

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

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (8.2 vs 5.9MP) with a 17% higher linear resolution.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 96%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.55x vs 0.53x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 120k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.3 vs 3 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 affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 11 months of technical progress since the D1X launch.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Nikon D1X:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (16000/sec vs 8000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 435g or 28 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2001).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1D Mark II is the clear winner of the match-up (8 : 3 points). 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 08:03 D1X

In any case, 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 or the D1X 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: Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D1X

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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»-++-o- Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
 
Nikon D1X«-++-o- Feb 2001 5,999- i Nikon D1X
 
Canon 5DS« »+83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »+83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« »-89/100-5/5- Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D Mark III« »---o- Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »-++4.5/5-- Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1D Mark II N« »----- Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 5D« »88/100++oo- Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »-++--- Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »-++--- Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds
 
Canon 1D« »-++--- Sep 2001 6,499- i Canon 1D
 
Nikon D300S« »++82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D300« »++++5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799- i Nikon D300
 
Nikon D200« »++++o5/5- Nov 2005 1,699- i Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« »-++-o- Sep 2004 4,999- i Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D1« »-++--- Jun 1999 5,499- i Nikon D1
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

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. 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 Mark II:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D1X:
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.

~

    Specifications: Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D1X

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D1X
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2004 February 2001
    Launch Price USD 4499 USD 5999
    Sensor Specs Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D1X
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    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 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 34.5 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.3x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 8.2 Megapixels 5.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3504 x 2336 pixels 3008 x 1960 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 8.17 μm 7.92 μm
    Pixel Density 1.49 MP/cm2 1.59 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 125-800 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-3200 ISO 125-3200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.3 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.1 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1003 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D1X
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x 0.53x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 2.0 inch 2.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 120k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D1X
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/16000s
    Continuous Shooting 8.3 shutter flaps/s 3 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 Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D1X
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 1.1 Firewire
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D1X
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-E3 power pack EN-4 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)1200 shots per charge1200 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 156 x 158 x 80 mm
    (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
    157 x 153 x 85 mm
    (6.2 x 6.0 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 1535 g (54.1 oz) 1100 g (38.8 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here  »   »