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Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D500

The Canon EOS-1D Mark II and the Nikon D500 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2004 and January 2016. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-H (1D Mark II) and an APS-C (D500) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 20.7 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 1D Mark II   Nikon D500
Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D500
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
8.2 MP, APS-H Sensor 20.7 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-1600 (50-3200) ISO 100-51200 (50-1640000)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.0" LCD, 230k dots 3.2" LCD, 2359k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
8.3 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1200 shots per battery charge1240 shots per battery charge
156 x 158 x 80 mm, 1535 g 147 x 115 x 81 mm, 860 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1D Mark II and the Nikon D500? 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: Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D500

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D Mark II and the Nikon D500. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D500
Compare 1D Mark II versus D500 top
Comparison 1D Mark II or D500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D500 is considerably smaller (31 percent) than the Canon 1D Mark II. Moreover, the D500 is substantially lighter (44 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 (D500).

Concerning battery life, the 1D Mark II gets 1200 shots out of its NP-E3 battery, while the D500 can take 1240 images on a single charge of its EN-EL15 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 D500, Nikon provides the MB-D17 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).

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 D500« 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
 
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 D7500« » 5.4 in 4.1 in 2.9 in 25.4 oz 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i i Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D3400« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499- i Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 14.8 oz 820 n Jan 2015 899- i Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D7200« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199- i Nikon D7200
 
Nikon D300S« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 D500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 56 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D500

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1D Mark II features an APS-H sensor and the Nikon D500 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D500 is 33 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.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon 1D Mark II and Nikon D500 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the D500 offers a higher resolution of 20.7 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 4.22μm versus 8.17μm for the 1D Mark II). However, it should be noted that the D500 is much more recent (by 11 years and 11 months) 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. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D500 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.8 x 18.6 inch or 70.7 x 47.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 22.3 x 14.8 inch or 56.6 x 37.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.6 x 12.4 inch or 47.1 x 31.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 1D Mark II are 17.5 x 11.7 inch or 44.5 x 29.7 cm for good quality, 14 x 9.3 inch or 35.6 x 23.7 cm for very good quality, and 11.7 x 7.8 inch 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 Nikon D500 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-1640000.

1D Mark II versus D500 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 consideration, the D500 offers substantially better image quality than the 1D Mark II (overall score 17 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 2.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 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» APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.1100366Canon 1D Mark II
 
Nikon D500« APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
 
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.612.4230886Canon 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 D7500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D3400« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D7200« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387Nikon D7200
 
Nikon D300S« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770Nikon D300S

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The D500 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1D Mark II does not. The highest resolution format that the D500 can use is 4K/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D500

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1D Mark II and the D500 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 D500 has a higher magnification than the one of the 1D Mark II (0.67x vs 0.55x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1D Mark II and Nikon D500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
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 1/8000s 8.3 n n Canon 1D Mark II
 
Nikon D500«optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n Nikon D500
 
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1D Mark II N« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 8.5 n n Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 5D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n n Canon 5D
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n n Canon 1Ds
 
Canon 1D« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 8.0 n n Canon 1D
 
Nikon D7500« »optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D3400« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D7200« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7200
 
Nikon D300S« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Nikon D300S

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The D500 has a touchscreen, while the 1D Mark II has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The Nikon D500 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The 1D Mark II writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SD cards, while the D500 uses SDHC or XQD cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. The D500 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the 1D Mark II cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D500

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 D500 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 D500«YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D500
 
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 D7500« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-YNikon D7500
 
Nikon D3400« »Ymonomono--mini2.0Y-YNikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D7200« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Nikon D7200
 
Nikon D300S« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D300S

It is notable that the D500 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 1D Mark II does not offer wifi capability.

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

The D500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the 1D Mark II has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 1D Mark II was succeeded by the Canon 1D Mark II N. 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: Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D500

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 1D Mark II better than the Nikon D500 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS-1D Mark II:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2004).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D500:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20.7 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 59%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (17 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.7 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.67x vs 0.55x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 8.3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (147x115mm vs 156x158mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 675g or 44 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 1.1).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-II standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (56 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 11 years and 11 months of technical progress since the 1D Mark II launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D500 is the clear winner of the contest (23 : 3 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

1D Mark II 03:23 D500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1D Mark II and the Nikon D500 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 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 D500 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 D500

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.

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 D500«+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
 
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 D7500« »+ +86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i i Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D3400« »+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499- i Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« »+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899- i Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D7200« »+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199- i Nikon D7200
 
Nikon D300S« »+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 1D Mark II:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D500:
Check Amazon price

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 vs Nikon D500

    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 Mark II Nikon D500
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2004 January 2016
    Launch Price USD 4499 USD 1999
    Sensor Specs Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D500
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-H Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 28.7 x 19.1 mm 23.5 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 548.17 mm2 368.95 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 34.5 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.3x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 8.2 Megapixels 20.7 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3504 x 2336 pixels 5568 x 3712 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 8.17 μm 4.22 μm
    Pixel Density 1.49 MP/cm2 5.60 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-51200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-3200 ISO 50-1640000 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC II EXPEED 5
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 83
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.3 24.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.1 14.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1003 1324
    Screen Specs Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D500
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x 0.67x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.0 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 2359k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D500
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 8.3 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SD cards SDXC or XQD cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    UHS card support no UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D500
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon 1D Mark II Nikon D500
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-E3 power pack EN-EL15 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)1200 shots per charge1240 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 156 x 158 x 80 mm
    (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
    147 x 115 x 81 mm
    (5.8 x 4.5 x 3.2 in)
    Camera Weight 1535 g (54.1 oz) 860 g (30.3 oz)

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