Canon 1D X vs Fujifilm X20
The Canon EOS-1D X and the Fujifilm X20 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in October 2011 and January 2013. The 1DX is a DSLR, while the X20 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a full frame (1DX) and a 2/3 (X20) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Fujifilm provides 12 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 1D X||Fujifilm X20|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Canon EF mount lenses||28-112mm f/2.0-2.8|
|17.9 MP, Full Frame Sensor||12 MP, Two Thirds Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 204,800)||ISO 100-12,800|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.2 LCD, 1040k dots||2.8 LCD, 460k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|14 shutter flaps per second||12 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|1120 shots per battery charge||270 shots per battery charge|
|158 x 168 x 83 mm, 1551 g||117 x 70 x 57 mm, 353 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1D X and the Fujifilm X20? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D X and the Fujifilm X20. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X20 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 1DX is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X20 is considerably smaller (69 percent) than the Canon 1D X. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1DX is splash and dust resistant, while the X20 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X20 has a lens built in, whereas the 1DX 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 1DX and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the 1DX gets 1120 shots out of its LP-E4N battery, while the X20 can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-50 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1DX 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, 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.
|Canon 1D X||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.7 oz||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799|
|Fujifilm X20||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.5 oz||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||50.8 oz||2850||Y||Jan 2020||6,499|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.0 oz||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999|
|Canon G16||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon 1D C||6.2 in||6.5 in||3.3 in||54.5 oz||1120||Y||Apr 2012||14,999|
|Canon 5D Mark III||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||33.5 oz||950||Y||Mar 2012||3,499|
|Canon 6D||5.7 in||4.4 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099|
|Canon 5D Mark II||6.0 in||4.5 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||5.9 in||6.3 in||3.1 in||48.9 oz||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||42.9 oz||1200||Y||Sep 2004||7,999|
|Fujifilm X30||4.7 in||2.8 in||2.4 in||14.9 oz||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|Fujifilm XQ1||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.3 in||7.3 oz||240||n||Oct 2013||499|
|Fujifilm X10||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.3 oz||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|Nikon D4S||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.6 in||47.6 oz||3020||Y||Feb 2014||6,499|
|Nikon D4||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.6 in||47.3 oz||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999|
|Panasonic LX7||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X20 was launched at a lower price than the 1DX, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 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 features a full frame sensor and the Fujifilm X20 a 2/3 sensor. The sensor area in the X20 is 93 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 3.9. The sensor in the 1DX has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the X20 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
With 17.9MP, the 1DX offers a higher resolution than the X20 (12MP), but the 1DX nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.95μm versus 2.20μm for the X20) due to its larger sensor. However, the X20 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the 1DX, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X20 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon 1D X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 1DX for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X20 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The X20 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS-1D X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Fujifilm X20 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 1D X||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.2||14.5||3248||91|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|Canon 1D C||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon 5D Mark III||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81|
|Canon 6D||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82|
|Canon 5D Mark II||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||none||24.0||12.0||1663||80|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||none||23.3||11.3||1480||74|
|Nikon D4S||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/60p||24.4||13.3||3074||89|
|Nikon D4||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X20 provides a faster frame rate than the 1DX. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1DX and the X20 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1D X, the Fujifilm X20, and comparable cameras.
|Canon 1D X||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||optical||Y||3.2||2100||fixed||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D C||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|Canon 5D Mark III||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||n||n|
|Canon 5D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9||n||n|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n|
One feature that is present on the 1DX, but is missing on the X20 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 1DX writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the X20 uses SDXC cards. The 1DX features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X20 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 X and Fujifilm X20 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon 1D X||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 1D C||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 5D Mark III||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 5D Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the 1DX has a microphone port, which is missing on the X20. 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 X (unlike the X20) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 1DX and the X20 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1DX was replaced by the Canon 1DX Mark II, while the X20 was followed by the Fujifilm X30. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Fujifilm websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1D X or the Fujifilm X20 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-1D X:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 460k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 12 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 (1120 versus 270) 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 on the market for longer (launched in October 2011).
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X20:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 1DX requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x70mm vs 158x168mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 1DX).
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 2 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1DX is the clear winner of the match-up (19 : 10 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 X and the Fujifilm X20 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 1DX or the X20. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|Canon 1D X||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799|
|Fujifilm X20||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||..||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||+ +||..||..||..||..||Jan 2020||6,499|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999|
|Canon G16||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon 1D C||..||..||..||..||..||Apr 2012||14,999|
|Canon 5D Mark III||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2012||3,499|
|Canon 6D||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099|
|Canon 5D Mark II||91/100||79/100||4/5||5/5||..||Sep 2008||3,499|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||..||+ +||4.5/5||..||..||Aug 2007||7,999|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II||..||+ +||..||..||..||Sep 2004||7,999|
|Fujifilm X30||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|Fujifilm XQ1||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Oct 2013||499|
|Fujifilm X10||..||76/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|Nikon D4S||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||6,499|
|Nikon D4||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2012||5,999|
|Panasonic LX7||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|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.
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- Fujifilm X100T vs Fujifilm X20
Specifications: Canon 1D X vs Fujifilm X20
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 X||Fujifilm X20|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||28-112mm f/2.0-2.8|
|Launch Date||October 2011||January 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 6,799||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1D X||Fujifilm X20|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Two Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||8.8 x 6.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||58.08 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||11 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.95 μm||2.20 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.07 MP/cm2||20.66 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 51,200 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 204,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5+ (Dual)||EXR Processor II|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||82||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.8||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.8||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||2786||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1D X||Fujifilm X20|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||85%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||2.8inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1D X||Fujifilm X20|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||14 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1D X||Fujifilm X20|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 1D X||Fujifilm X20|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1120 shots per charge||270 shots per charge|
158 x 168 x 83 mm
(6.2 x 6.6 x 3.3 in)
117 x 70 x 57 mm
(4.6 x 2.8 x 2.2 in)
|Camera Weight||1551 g (54.7 oz)||353 g (12.5 oz)|
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