Canon 1D Mark IV vs G1X Mark II
The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2009 and February 2014. The 1D Mark IV is a DSLR, while the G1X Mark II is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-H (1D Mark IV) and an 1.5-inch (G1X Mark II) sensor. The 1D Mark IV has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the G1X Mark II provides 13 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 PowerShot G1 X Mark II? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D Mark IV and the Canon G1 X Mark II is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 size 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 G1 X Mark II is considerably smaller (65 percent) than the Canon 1D Mark IV. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1D Mark IV is splash and dust resistant, while the G1X Mark II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G1X Mark II has a lens built in, whereas the 1D Mark IV is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 1D Mark IV and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the 1D Mark IV gets 1500 shots out of its LP-E4 battery, while the G1X Mark II can take 240 images on a single charge of its NB-12L 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.
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 G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999|
|4.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|5.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|7.||Canon 1D X||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1551 g||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799|
|8.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|9.||Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|10.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|11.||Canon 5D Mark II||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark III||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1155 g||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1535 g||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499|
|14.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1215 g||1200||Y||Sep 2004||7,999|
|15.||Nikon D4||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1340 g||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999|
|16.||Nikon D3S||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1240 g||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G1X Mark II was launched at a lower price than the 1D Mark IV, despite having a lens built in. 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.
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 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 G1 X Mark II an 1.5-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G1X Mark II is 50 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.3 and 1.85. The sensor in the 1D Mark IV has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G1X Mark II offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, the G1X Mark II uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the 1D Mark IV (DIGIC IV), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 16MP, the 1D Mark IV offers a higher resolution than the G1X Mark II (13MP), but the 1D Mark IV nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.70μm versus 4.49μm for the G1X Mark II) due to its larger sensor. However, the G1X Mark II is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 3 months) than the 1D Mark IV, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further 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 G1 X Mark II are 20.8 x 15.6 inches or 52.8 x 39.6 cm for good quality, 16.6 x 12.5 inches or 42.3 x 31.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.9 x 10.4 inches or 35.2 x 26.4 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 PowerShot G1 X Mark II are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
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. Of the two cameras under review, the 1D Mark IV provides substantially higher image quality than the G1X Mark II, with an overall score that is 16 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.2 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.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|2.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|6.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|7.||Canon 1D X||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82|
|11.||Canon 5D Mark II||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark III||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.7||11.7||1078||71|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.1||1003||66|
|14.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||none||23.3||11.3||1480||74|
|15.||Nikon D4||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89|
|16.||Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 1D Mark IV has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G1X Mark II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the G1X Mark II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1D Mark IV and Canon G1 X Mark II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|2.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0||n||n|
|6.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon 1D X||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|11.||Canon 5D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9||n||n|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark III||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||n|
|14.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n|
One feature that is present on the 1D Mark IV, but is missing on the G1X Mark II 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 G1X Mark II has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 1D Mark IV does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon G1 X Mark II 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 IV writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDHC cards, while the G1X Mark II uses SDXC cards. The 1D Mark IV features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the G1X Mark II only has one slot. The G1X Mark II supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the 1D Mark IV cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 PowerShot G1 X Mark II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon 1D X||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon 5D Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark III||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the 1D Mark IV has a microphone port, which is missing on the G1X Mark II. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 1D Mark IV (unlike the G1X Mark II) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 1D Mark IV and the G1X Mark II have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1X Mark II was replaced by the Canon G1 X Mark III, 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 is the bottom line? Is the Canon 1D Mark IV better than the Canon G1 X Mark II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (16 vs 13MP) with a 13% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (16 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 (1.2 stops ISO advantage).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- 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 (10 vs 5.2 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 (1500 versus 240) 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 October 2009).
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC IV).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k 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.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 1D Mark IV requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (116x74mm vs 156x157mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 1D Mark IV).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 3 months of technical progress since the 1D Mark IV launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1D Mark IV comes out slightly ahead of the G1X Mark II (17 : 16 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. 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 G1 X Mark II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
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 IV or the G1X Mark II 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], 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 G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||..||..||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999|
|4.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|5.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|7.||Canon 1D X||5/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799|
|8.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|9.||Canon 7D||5/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|10.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|11.||Canon 5D Mark II||4/5||91/100||79/100||4/5||..||Sep 2008||3,499|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark III||..||..||..||..||..||Feb 2007||4,499|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||4,499|
|14.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2004||7,999|
|15.||Nikon D4||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||5,999|
|16.||Nikon D3S||5/5||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||5/5||+ +||85/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon 1D Mark IV vs Canon G1 X Mark II
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 G1 X Mark II|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||24-120mm f/2.0-3.9|
|Launch Date||October 2009||February 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 4,999||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1D Mark IV||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Sensor Format||APS-H Sensor||1.5" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||27.9 x 18.6 mm||18.7 x 14.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||518.94 mm2||261.8 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||33.5 mm||23.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||13 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||4160 x 3120 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.70 μm||4.49 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.08 MP/cm2||4.96 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 102,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC IV||DIGIC 6|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||74||58|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.8||21.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.0||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1320||581|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1D Mark IV||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1D Mark IV||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||5.2 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1D Mark IV||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 1D Mark IV||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1500 shots per charge||240 shots per charge|
156 x 157 x 80 mm
(6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
116 x 74 x 66 mm
(4.6 x 2.9 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||1230 g (43.4 oz)||553 g (19.5 oz)|
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