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Canon 1D X Mark II vs 1D Mark IV

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2016 and October 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (1DX Mark II) and an APS-H (1D Mark IV) sensor. The 1DX Mark II has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the 1D Mark IV provides 16 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.


Headline Specifications
Canon 1D X Mark II   Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D X Mark II Canon 1D Mark IV
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
20 MP, Full Frame Sensor 16 MP, APS-H Sensor
4K/60p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-51200 (50-409600) ISO 100-12800 (50-102400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.2" LCD, 1620k dots 3.0" LCD, 920k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
16 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1210 shots per battery charge1500 shots per battery charge
158 x 168 x 83 mm, 1530 g 156 x 157 x 80 mm, 1230 g

Body comparison: Canon 1D X Mark II vs 1D Mark IV

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D X Mark II and the Canon 1D Mark IV. 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 1DX Mark II – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 1D X Mark II and Canon 1D Mark IV
Compare 1DX Mark II versus 1D Mark IV top
Compare 1DX Mark II or 1D Mark IV rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 1D Mark IV is notably smaller (8 percent) than the Canon 1D X Mark II. Moreover, the 1D Mark IV is markedly lighter (20 percent) than the 1DX Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor (as in the 1DX Mark II) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (1D Mark IV). You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 1DX Mark II gets 1210 shots out of its LP-E19 battery, while the 1D Mark IV can take 1500 images on a single charge of its LP-E4 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, both cameras have a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 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 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 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
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 1D C« » 6.2 in 6.5 in 3.3 in 54.5 oz 1120 Y Apr 2012 14,999- i Canon 1D C
Canon 5D Mark III« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 33.5 oz 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 6D« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
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 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 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« » 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 D5« » 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 1D Mark IV was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the 1DX Mark II, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 1D X Mark II vs 1D Mark IV

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1D X Mark II features a full frame sensor and the Canon 1D Mark IV an APS-H sensor. The sensor area in the 1D Mark IV is 40 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.3. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1D X Mark II and Canon 1D Mark IV sensor measures

With 20MP, the 1DX Mark II offers a higher resolution than the 1D Mark IV (16MP), but the 1DX Mark II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.57μm versus 5.70μm for the 1D Mark IV) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 1DX Mark II is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 years and 3 months) than the 1D Mark IV, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The 1DX Mark II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-409600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400..

1DX Mark II versus 1D Mark IV MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the 1DX Mark II provides substantially higher image quality than the 1D Mark IV, with an overall score that is 14 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 1.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.3 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.

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 X Mark II» Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1D Mark IV« APS-H 16.0 4896 32641080/30p22.812.0132074Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
Canon 1D C« » Full Frame 17.9 5184 34564K/24p----Canon 1D C
Canon 5D Mark III« » Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
Canon 1D X« » Full Frame 17.9 5184 34561080/30p23.811.8278682Canon 1D X
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 1Ds Mark III« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 3744-24.012.0166380Canon 1Ds 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 D5« » Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388Nikon D5

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 1DX Mark II provides a higher video resolution than the 1D Mark IV. It can shoot video footage at 4K/60p, while the 1D Mark IV is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1D X Mark II vs 1D Mark IV

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1DX Mark II and the 1D Mark IV 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1D X Mark II and Canon 1D Mark IV along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 1D X Mark II»optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1D Mark IV«optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
Canon 1D C« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 14.0 n n Canon 1D C
Canon 5D Mark III« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 6.0 n n Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 4.5 n n Canon 6D
Canon 1D X« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 14.0 n n Canon 1D X
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 3.9 n n Canon 5D Mark II
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« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 8000 8.3 n n Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 8000 4.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark II
Nikon D5« »optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 8000 14.0 n n Nikon D5

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

The 1DX Mark II writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or CFast cards, while the 1D Mark IV uses Compact Flash cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1D X Mark II vs 1D Mark IV

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 X Mark II and Canon EOS-1D Mark IV 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 X Mark II»YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1D Mark IV«Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 6D Mark II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 6D Mark II
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
Canon 1D C« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 1D C
Canon 5D Mark III« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 6D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
Canon 1D X« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D X
Canon 5D Mark II« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 5D Mark II
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« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark II
Nikon D5« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D5

It is notable that the 1DX Mark II has a headphone jack, which is not present on the 1D Mark IV This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.

The 1DX Mark II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. 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.


Review summary: Canon 1D X Mark II vs 1D Mark IV

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 1D X Mark II better than the Canon 1D Mark IV or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


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

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 16MP) with a 12% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (14 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 (1.5 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/60p vs 1080/30p).
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 920k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (16 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 3 months of technical progress since the 1D Mark IV launch.


Advantages of the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV:

  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 300g or 20 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1500 versus 1210) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in October 2009).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1DX Mark II is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 4 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.

1DX Mark II 14:04 1D Mark IV

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 1DX Mark II or the 1D Mark IV. 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 X Mark II vs 1D Mark IV

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known 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 X Mark II»-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1D Mark IV«-89/100-5/5- Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 5DS« »Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Canon 1D C« »----- Apr 2012 14,999- i Canon 1D C
Canon 5D Mark III« »HiRec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 6D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
Canon 1D X« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
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« »-HiRec-rev- Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »-HiRec--- Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
Nikon D5« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 1D X Mark II vs Canon 1D Mark IV

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1D X Mark II Canon 1D Mark IV
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2016 October 2009
    Launch Price USD 5999 USD 4999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-H Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 27.9 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 518.94 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 33.5 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0 1.3
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 16 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 4896 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.57 μm 5.70 μm
    Pixel Density 2.31 MP/cm2 3.08 MP/cm2
    Movie Capability 4K/60p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-51200 ISO 100-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-409600 ISO 50-102400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6+ (Dual) DIGIC IV
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1620k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 16 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or CFAST cards CF cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E19 power pack LP-E4 power pack
    Battery Life1210 shots per charge1500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 158 x 168 x 83 mm
    (6.2 x 6.6 x 3.3 in)
    156 x 157 x 80 mm
    (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 1530 g (54.0 oz) 1230 g (43.4 oz)

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