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Canon 1Ds Mark II vs 1D Mark IV

The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II and the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2004 and October 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (1Ds Mark II) and an APS-H (1D Mark IV) sensor. The 1Ds Mark II has a resolution of 16.6 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 1Ds Mark II   Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1Ds Mark II Canon 1D Mark IV
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
16.6 MP, Full Frame Sensor 16 MP, APS-H Sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-1600 (50-3200) ISO 100-12800 (50-102400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.0" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1200 shots per battery charge1500 shots per battery charge
156 x 158 x 80 mm, 1215 g 156 x 157 x 80 mm, 1230 g

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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1Ds Mark II and the Canon 1D Mark IV is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Canon 1Ds Mark II and Canon 1D Mark IV
Compare 1Ds Mark II versus 1D Mark IV top
Compare 1Ds 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 1Ds Mark II and the Canon 1D Mark IV are of equal size. However, the 1D Mark IV is slightly heavier (1 percent) than the 1Ds 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 1Ds 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 1Ds Mark II gets 1200 shots out of its NP-E3 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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 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
 
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 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 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 N« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 55.2 oz 1200 Y Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 5D« » 6.0 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 31.6 oz 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
 
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« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 44.6 oz 600 Y Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 1D Mark IV was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the 1Ds Mark II, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 1Ds 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 1Ds 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.

Technology-wise, the 1D Mark IV uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC IV) than the 1Ds Mark II (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

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

With 16.6MP, the 1Ds Mark II offers a slightly higher resolution than the 1D Mark IV (16MP), but the 1Ds Mark II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 7.21μm versus 5.70μm for the 1D Mark IV) due to its larger sensor. However, the 1D Mark IV is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 years) than the 1Ds Mark II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 50-3200. 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..

1Ds Mark II versus 1D Mark IV MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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 1Ds Mark II» Full Frame 16.6 4992 3328-23.311.3148074Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« APS-H 16.0 4896 32641080/30p22.812.0132074Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
 
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 N« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.297566Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 5D« » Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912-22.911.1136871Canon 5D
 
Canon 1D Mark II« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.1100366Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« » Full Frame 11.0 4064 2704-21.811.095463Canon 1Ds

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 1D Mark IV indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1Ds Mark II does not. The highest resolution format that the 1D Mark IV can use is 1080/30p.

 

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

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1Ds 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the 1Ds Mark II has a higher magnification than the one of the 1D Mark IV (0.70x vs 0.58x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1Ds Mark II and Canon 1D Mark IV in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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 1Ds Mark II»optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1D Mark IV«optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n Canon 6D
 
Canon 1D X« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n Canon 1D X
 
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 1Ds Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1D Mark II N« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 8.5 n n Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 5D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n n Canon 5D
 
Canon 1D Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3 n n Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n n Canon 1Ds

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1Ds Mark II and the 1D Mark IV write their files to Compact Flash cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1Ds 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-1Ds 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 1Ds Mark II»Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1D Mark IV«Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
 
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 N« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 5D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 5D
 
Canon 1D Mark II« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »Y-----FW---Canon 1Ds

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the 1Ds Mark II and the 1D Mark IV have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1Ds Mark II was replaced by the Canon 1Ds Mark III, while the 1D Mark IV does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.


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

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1Ds Mark II and the Canon 1D Mark IV? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.58x).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2004).


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

  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC IV vs DIGIC II).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1500 versus 1200) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years of technical progress since the 1Ds Mark II launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 1D Mark IV is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 2 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

1Ds Mark II 02:09 1D Mark IV

Do the specifications of the Canon 1Ds Mark II and the Canon 1D Mark IV place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 1Ds Mark II and the 1D Mark IV in practical situations. 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 1Ds Mark II vs 1D Mark IV

This is where reviews by experts come in. 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, photographyblog).

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 1Ds Mark II»-++--- Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
 
Canon 1D Mark IV«-89/100-5/5- Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 6D« »++83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 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« »---o- Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »-++4.5/5-- Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
 
Canon 1D Mark II N« »----- Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
 
Canon 5D« »88/100++oo- Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
 
Canon 1D Mark II« »-++-o- Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
 
Canon 1Ds« »-++--- Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

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.

Canon 1Ds Mark II:
Check Ebay offers
Canon 1D Mark IV:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1Ds 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 September 2004 October 2009
    Launch Price USD 7999 USD 4999
    Sensor Specs Canon 1Ds Mark II Canon 1D Mark IV
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-H Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 27.9 x 18.6 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 518.94 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 33.5 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.3x
    Sensor Resolution 16.6 Megapixels 16 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4992 x 3328 pixels 4896 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.21 μm 5.70 μm
    Pixel Density 1.92 MP/cm2 3.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-3200 ISO 50-102400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC II DIGIC IV
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 74 74
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.3 22.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 12.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1480 1320
    Screen Specs Canon 1Ds Mark II Canon 1D Mark IV
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.58x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1Ds Mark II Canon 1D Mark IV
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 4 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations300 000 actuations
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1Ds Mark II Canon 1D Mark IV
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1Ds Mark II Canon 1D Mark IV
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-E3 power pack LP-E4 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)1200 shots per charge1500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 156 x 158 x 80 mm
    (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
    156 x 157 x 80 mm
    (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 1215 g (42.9 oz) 1230 g (43.4 oz)

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