Canon 1D Mark IV vs 30D
The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and the Canon EOS 30D are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in October 2009 and February 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-H (1D Mark IV) and an APS-C (30D) sensor. The 1D Mark IV has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the 30D provides 8.2 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 IV and the Canon EOS 30D? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon 1D Mark IV and the Canon 30D are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 30D is considerably smaller (38 percent) than the Canon 1D Mark IV. Moreover, the 30D is substantially lighter (36 percent) than the 1D Mark IV. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1D Mark IV is splash and dust resistant, while the 30D 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 IV) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (30D). You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the 1D Mark IV gets 1500 shots out of its LP-E4 battery, while the 30D can take 750 images on a single charge of its BP-511A power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1D Mark IV 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 30D, Canon provides the BG-E2N 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark IV||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1230 g||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999|
|2.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999|
|4.||Canon 1D X||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1551 g||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799|
|5.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|6.||Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark III||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1155 g||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499|
|9.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|10.||Canon XTi||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|11.||Canon XT||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1535 g||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499|
|13.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1215 g||1200||Y||Sep 2004||7,999|
|14.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|15.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|16.||Nikon D4||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1340 g||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999|
|17.||Nikon D3S||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1240 g||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 30D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 72 percent) than the 1D Mark IV, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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 IV features an APS-H sensor and the Canon 30D an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the 30D is 35 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.
In terms of chip-set technology, the 1D Mark IV uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC IV) than the 30D (DIGIC 2), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 16MP, the 1D Mark IV offers a higher resolution than the 30D (8.2MP), but the 1D Mark IV has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.70μm versus 6.42μm for the 30D). However, the 1D Mark IV is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 7 months) than the 30D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Canon 1D Mark IV implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 1D Mark IV for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 16.3 inches or 62.2 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 13.1 inches or 49.7 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 10.9 inches or 41.5 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 30D 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 IV has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 30D are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the 1D Mark IV provides substantially higher image quality than the 30D, with an overall score that is 15 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|4.||Canon 1D X||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark III||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.7||11.7||1078||71|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark II||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.1||1003||66|
|13.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||none||23.3||11.3||1480||74|
|16.||Nikon D4||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89|
|17.||Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The 1D Mark IV indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the 30D does not. The highest resolution format that the 1D Mark IV can use is 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1D Mark IV and the 30D 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 IV offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 30D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the 1D Mark IV has a higher magnification (0.58x vs 0.56x), 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 IV, the Canon 30D, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|2.||Canon 30D||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2 / 1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0||n||n|
|4.||Canon 1D X||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|5.||Canon 60D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||n||1/8000s||5.3||Y||n|
|6.||Canon 7D||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9||n||n|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark III||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|9.||Canon 40D||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.5||Y||n|
|10.||Canon XTi||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|11.||Canon XT||optical||n||1.8 / 115||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark II||optical||Y||2.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||n|
|13.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||optical||Y||2.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n|
|14.||Canon 20D||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n|
|15.||Canon 10D||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|16.||Nikon D4||optical||Y||3.2 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n|
|17.||Nikon D3S||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 30D has one, while the 1D Mark IV does not. While the built-in flash of the 30D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The 1D Mark IV writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDHC cards, while the 30D uses Compact Flash cards. The 1D Mark IV features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 30D 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 IV and Canon EOS 30D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon 30D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Canon 1D X||Y||mono / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon 60D||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon 7D||Y||mono / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark III||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon 40D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon XTi||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon XT||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark II||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon 20D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon 10D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|16.||Nikon D4||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Nikon D3S||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the 1D Mark IV and the 30D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 30D was replaced by the Canon 40D, while the 1D Mark IV does not have a direct successor. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1D Mark IV and the Canon 30D? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (16 vs 8.2MP) with a 40% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC IV vs DIGIC 2).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
- 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 (0.58x vs 0.56x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 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 (1500 versus 750) 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 modern: Reflects 3 years and 7 months of technical progress since the 30D launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 30D:
- More compact: Is smaller (144x106mm vs 156x157mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 445g or 36 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (72 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2006).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 1D Mark IV is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 5 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 IV and the Canon 30D 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 IV or the 30D 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 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 (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 IV||5/5||..||..||89/100||..||..||Oct 2009||4,999|
|2.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||..||..||4.5/5||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999|
|4.||Canon 1D X||5/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799|
|5.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||..||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|6.||Canon 7D||5/5||+ +||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||4/5||91/100||..||79/100||4/5||..||Sep 2008||3,499|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark III||..||..||..||..||..||..||Feb 2007||4,499|
|9.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|10.||Canon XTi||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|11.||Canon XT||..||80/100||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark II||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||4,499|
|13.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2004||7,999|
|14.||Canon 20D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|15.||Canon 10D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|16.||Nikon D4||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||5,999|
|17.||Nikon D3S||5/5||..||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199|
|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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.
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 your choice using the following search menu. 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 IV vs Canon 5D
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Canon 70D
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Leica M9
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Leica S2
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Olympus E-P5
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Sony NEX-3N
- Canon 30D vs Fujifilm X30
- Canon 30D vs Nikon D90
- Canon 30D vs Nikon W150
- Canon 30D vs Olympus E-520
- Canon 30D vs Olympus E-PL7
- Canon 30D vs Sony NEX-5
Specifications: Canon 1D Mark IV vs Canon 30D
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 IV||Canon 30D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||October 2009||February 2006|
|Launch Price||USD 4,999||USD 1,399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1D Mark IV||Canon 30D|
|Sensor Format||APS-H Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||27.9 x 18.6 mm||22.5 x 15.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||518.94 mm2||337.5 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||33.5 mm||27 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||8.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||3504 x 2336 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.70 μm||6.42 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.08 MP/cm2||2.43 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 102,400 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC IV||DIGIC 2|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||74||59|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.8||21.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.0||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1320||736|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1D Mark IV||Canon 30D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1D Mark IV||Canon 30D|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||300 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or SDHC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1D Mark IV||Canon 30D|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 1D Mark IV||Canon 30D|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1500 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
156 x 157 x 80 mm
(6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
144 x 106 x 74 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)
|Camera Weight||1230 g (43.4 oz)||785 g (27.7 oz)|
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