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Canon 1D Mark II versus Panasonic LX5

The Canon EOS-1D Mark II and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2004 and July 2010. The 1D Mark II is a DSLR, while the LX5 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-H (1D Mark II) and a 1/1.7-inch (LX5) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8.2 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 10 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 1D Mark II vs Panasonic LX5

The physical size and weight of the Canon 1D Mark II and the Panasonic LX5 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the 1D Mark II – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 1D Mark II vs Panasonic LX5
Compare 1D Mark II versus LX5 top
Compare 1D Mark II and LX5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX5 is considerably smaller (71 percent) than the Canon 1D Mark II. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1D Mark II is splash and dust resistant, while the LX5 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX5 has a lens build in, whereas the 1D Mark II is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the 1D Mark II and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 1D Mark II gets 1200 shots out of its NP-E3 battery, while the LX5 can take 400 images on a single charge of its DMW-BCJ13 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1D Mark II has a battery grip build 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. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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
Panasonic LX5« 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5
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
Fujifilm X10« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599- i Fujifilm X10
Panasonic FZ200« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic LX7« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic GF3« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 300 n Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3

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 LX5 was launched at a lower price than the 1D Mark II, despite having a lens build in. 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 Panasonic LX5

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 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. 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 Panasonic LX5 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the LX5 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.3 and 4.4. The sensor in the 1D Mark II has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the LX5 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 1D Mark II and Panasonic LX5 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the LX5 offers a higher resolution of 10 megapixel, compared with 8.2 MP of the 1D Mark II. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.14μm versus 8.17μm for the 1D Mark II). However, it should be noted that the LX5 is much more recent (by 6 years and 5 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.

1D Mark II versus LX5 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the 1D Mark II provides substantially higher image quality than the LX5, with an overall score that is 25 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.7 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.9 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
Panasonic LX5« 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241Panasonic LX5
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
Fujifilm X10« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550Fujifilm X10
Panasonic FZ200« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750Panasonic LX7
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic GF3« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849Panasonic GF3

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The LX5 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1D Mark II does not. The highest resolution format that the LX5 can use is 720/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1D Mark II vs Panasonic LX5

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 1D Mark II has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the LX5 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1D Mark II, the Panasonic LX5, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-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
Panasonic LX5«- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y Y Panasonic LX5
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
Fujifilm X10« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 10.0 Y Y Fujifilm X10
Panasonic FZ200« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y Panasonic LX7
Panasonic FZ150« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic GF3« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 3.2 Y n Panasonic GF3

One feature that is present on the 1D Mark II, but is missing on the LX5 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 LX5 uses SDXC cards. The 1D Mark II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the LX5 only has one slot.

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
Panasonic LX5«Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX5
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
Fujifilm X10« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Fujifilm X10
Panasonic FZ200« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic LX7« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX7
Panasonic FZ150« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic GF3« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF3

Both the 1D Mark II and the LX5 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 LX5 was followed by the Panasonic LX7.

Review summary: Canon 1D Mark II vs Panasonic LX5

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1D Mark II or the Panasonic LX5 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (25 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.7 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • 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.
  • 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).

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (10 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 8%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/60p 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 (460k vs 230k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 1D Mark II requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x65mm vs 156x158mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens build in (unlike the 1D Mark II).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • 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 at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 5 months 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 LX5 (13 : 12 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.

1D Mark II 13:12 LX5

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1D Mark II or the LX5 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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»-HiRec-rev- Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
Panasonic LX5«Rec73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5
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 1D Mark IV« »-89/100-5/5- Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
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 1D Mark II N« »----- Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
Canon 5D« »88/100HiRecrevrev- Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »-HiRec--- Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
Canon 1Ds« »-HiRec--- Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds
Canon 1D« »-HiRec--- Sep 2001 6,499- i Canon 1D
Fujifilm X10« »-76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599- i Fujifilm X10
Panasonic FZ200« »HiRec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic LX7« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
Panasonic FZ150« »HiRec76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic GF3« »82/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3

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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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