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Canon 1D Mark IV vs Olympus E-M1 II

The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2009 and September 2016. The 1D Mark IV is a DSLR, while the E-M1 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-H (1D Mark IV) and a Four Thirds (E-M1 II) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 20.2 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 IV   Olympus E-M1 II
Canon 1D Mark IV Olympus E-M1 II
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
16 MP, APS-H Sensor 20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-12800 (50-102400) ISO 200-25600
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0" LCD, 920k dots 3.0" LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel touchscreen
10 shutter flaps per second 18 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1500 shots per battery charge440 shots per battery charge
156 x 157 x 80 mm, 1230 g 134 x 91 x 67 mm, 574 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 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.

Body comparison: Canon 1D Mark IV vs Olympus E-M1 II

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D Mark IV and the Olympus E-M1 II is provided 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 1D Mark IV vs Olympus E-M1 II
Compare 1D Mark IV versus E-M1 II top
Comparison 1D Mark IV or E-M1 II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M1 II is considerably smaller (50 percent) than the Canon 1D Mark IV. Moreover, the E-M1 II is substantially lighter (53 percent) than the 1D Mark IV. 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 IV) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-M1 II). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-M1 II, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the 1D Mark IV gets 1500 shots out of its LP-E4 battery, while the E-M1 II can take 440 images on a single charge of its BLH-1 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 E-M1 II, Olympus provides the HLD-9 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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 IV» 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 43.4 oz 1500 Y Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Olympus E-M1 II« 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 20.2 oz 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.7 oz 1120 Y Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
Canon 60D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« » 6.0 in 4.5 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
 
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 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
 
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
 
Nikon D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 43.7 oz 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic G9« » 5.4 in 3.8 in 3.6 in 23.2 oz 400 Y Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 25.6 oz 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Panasonic GX8« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 2.5 in 17.2 oz 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 E-M1 II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 60 percent) than the 1D Mark IV, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 IV vs Olympus E-M1 II

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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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 Olympus E-M1 II a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M1 II is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.3 and 2.0. The sensor in the 1D Mark IV has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M1 II offers a 4:3 aspect.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon 1D Mark IV and Olympus E-M1 II sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-M1 II offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the 1D Mark IV. 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 3.34μm versus 5.70μm for the 1D Mark IV). However, it should be noted that the E-M1 II is much more recent (by 6 years and 11 months) than the 1D Mark IV, 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 E-M1 II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Olympus E-M1 II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-M1 II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inch or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inch or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inch or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 1D Mark IV are 24.5 x 16.3 inch or 62.2 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 13.1 inch or 49.7 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.3 x 10.9 inch or 41.5 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

The E-M1 II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

Unlike the 1D Mark IV, the E-M1 II has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (50MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

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 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 64-25600.

1D Mark IV versus E-M1 II 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 consideration, the E-M1 II has a markedly higher DXO score than the 1D Mark IV (overall score 6 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0 stops of reduced 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 IV» APS-H 16.0 4896 32641080/30p22.812.0132074Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Olympus E-M1 II« Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« » Full Frame 17.9 5184 34561080/30p23.811.8278682Canon 1D X
 
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466Canon 7D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1D Mark III« » APS-H 10.1 3888 2592-22.711.7107871Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1D Mark II« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.1100366Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » Full Frame 16.6 4992 3328-23.311.3148074Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3S« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382Nikon D3S
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic G9« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p----Panasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
 
Panasonic GX8« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675Panasonic GX8

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the E-M1 II provides a better video resolution than the 1D Mark IV. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1D Mark IV vs Olympus E-M1 II

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-M1 II has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the 1D Mark IV has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the E-M1 II has a higher magnification than the one of the 1D Mark IV (0.74x vs 0.58x), 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 Olympus E-M1 II, 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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1D Mark IV»optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Olympus E-M1 II«2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n Canon 1D X
 
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Canon 7D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 3.9 n n Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1D Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1D Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3 n n Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3S« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D3S
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« »2360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic G9« »3680 Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y Panasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
 
Panasonic GX8« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Panasonic GX8

One feature that is present on the 1D Mark IV, but is missing on the E-M1 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 E-M1 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 reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the E-M1 II is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Olympus E-M1 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 E-M1 II uses SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. The E-M1 II supports UHS-II cards on its first slot and UHS-I on its second one, while the 1D Mark IV cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1D Mark IV vs Olympus E-M1 II

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 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II 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 IV»Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Olympus E-M1 II«YstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--Olympus E-M1 II
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D X
 
Canon 60D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 7D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1D Mark III« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1D Mark II« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3S« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Nikon D3S
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic G9« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y-YPanasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
 
Panasonic GX8« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX8

It is notable that the E-M1 II offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 1D Mark IV 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 E-M1 II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. In contrast, the 1D Mark IV has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the 1D Mark IV from Canon. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.


Review summary: Canon 1D Mark IV vs Olympus E-M1 II

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 1D Mark IV better than the Olympus E-M1 II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1500 versus 440) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in October 2009).

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for quicker and more confident autofocus.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.58x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 920k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (18 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (134x91mm vs 156x157mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 656g or 53 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II and UHS-I) SDXC cards.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (60 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 11 months of technical progress since the 1D Mark IV launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-M1 II is the clear winner of the contest (26 : 6 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 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 IV 06:26 E-M1 II

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1D Mark IV and the Olympus E-M1 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 1D Mark IV or the E-M1 II. 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 IV vs Olympus E-M1 II

This is why expert reviews 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 IV»-89/100-5/5- Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Olympus E-M1 II«+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
Canon 60D« »+79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« »+ +84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 1D Mark III« »---o- Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1D Mark II« »-+ +-o- Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »-+ +--- Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3S« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »+ +81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« »+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic G9« »+ +85/1005/55/55/5 Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« »+ +85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Panasonic GX8« »+82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 1D Mark IV:
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    Specifications: Canon 1D Mark IV vs Olympus E-M1 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1D Mark IV Olympus E-M1 II
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date October 2009 September 2016
    Launch Price USD 4999 USD 1999
    Sensor Specs Canon 1D Mark IV Olympus E-M1 II
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-H Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 27.9 x 18.6 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 518.94 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 33.5 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.3x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 16 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4896 x 3264 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.70 μm 3.34 μm
    Pixel Density 3.08 MP/cm2 8.96 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-12800 ISO 200-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-102400 ISO 64-25600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC IV TruePic VIII
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 74 80
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.8 23.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.0 12.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1320 1312
    Screen Specs Canon 1D Mark IV Olympus E-M1 II
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.58x 0.74x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1D Mark IV Olympus E-M1 II
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000/s 1/8000/s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 18 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy300 000 actuations200 000 actuations
    Electronic Shutterno E-Shutterup to 1/32000s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    UHS card support no Single UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1D Mark IV Olympus E-M1 II
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon 1D Mark IV Olympus E-M1 II
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E4 power pack BLH-1 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)1500 shots per charge440 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 156 x 157 x 80 mm
    (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
    134 x 91 x 67 mm
    (5.3 x 3.6 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 1230 g (43.4 oz) 574 g (20.2 oz)

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