Canon 1Ds vs 1D Mark IV
The Canon EOS-1Ds and the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2002 and October 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (1Ds) and an APS-H (1D Mark IV) sensor. The 1Ds has a resolution of 11 megapixels, whereas the 1D Mark IV provides 16 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 1Ds||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|11 MP, Full Frame Sensor||16 MP, APS-H Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-1250||ISO 100-12800 (50-102400)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.0" LCD, 120k dots||3.0" LCD, 920k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|600 shots per battery charge||1500 shots per battery charge|
|156 x 158 x 80 mm, 1265 g||156 x 157 x 80 mm, 1230 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1Ds and the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon 1Ds and the Canon 1D Mark IV are illustrated 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 1Ds and the Canon 1D Mark IV are of equal size. However, the 1D Mark IV is slightly lighter (3 percent) than the 1Ds. 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) 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 gets 600 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. 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 1Ds»||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1265 g||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999||Canon 1Ds|
|Canon 1D Mark IV«||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1230 g||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 1D C« »||158 mm||164 mm||83 mm||1545 g||1120||Y||Apr 2012||14,999||Canon 1D C|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1155 g||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||150 mm||160 mm||80 mm||1385 g||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1565 g||1200||Y||Aug 2005||3,999||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 5D« »||152 mm||113 mm||75 mm||895 g||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299||Canon 5D|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1535 g||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1215 g||1200||Y||Sep 2004||7,999||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Nikon D4« »||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1340 g||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999||Nikon D4|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699||Nikon D2Xs|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 1D Mark IV was launched at a markedly lower price (by 44 percent) than the 1Ds, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1Ds features a full frame sensor and the Canon 1D Mark IV an APS-H sensor. The sensor area in the 1D Mark IV is 39 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 (DIGIC), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the 1D Mark IV offers a higher resolution of 16 megapixels, compared with 11 MP of the 1Ds. 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 5.70μm versus 8.83μm for the 1Ds). However, it should be noted that the 1D Mark IV is much more recent (by 7 years) than the 1Ds, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Canon 1D Mark IV implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 1D Mark IV for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 16.3 inch or 62.2 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 13.1 inch or 49.7 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 10.9 inch or 41.5 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 1Ds are 20.3 x 13.5 inch or 51.6 x 34.3 cm for good quality, 16.3 x 10.8 inch or 41.3 x 27.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.5 x 9 inch or 34.4 x 22.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS-1Ds has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1250, which can be extended to ISO 50-1250. 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.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 1D Mark IV offers substantially better image quality than the 1Ds (overall score 11 points higher). The advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 1Ds||Full Frame||11.0||4064||2704||none||21.8||11.0||954||63||Canon 1Ds|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 1D C||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||4K/24p||..||..||..||..||Canon 1D C|
|Canon 5D Mark II||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D Mark III||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.7||11.7||1078||71||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||none||24.0||12.0||1663||80||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II N||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.2||975||66||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 5D||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||none||22.9||11.1||1368||71||Canon 5D|
|Canon 1D Mark II||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.1||1003||66||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||none||23.3||11.3||1480||74||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Nikon D4||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89||Nikon D4|
|Nikon D2Xs||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||none||22.2||10.9||489||59||Nikon D2Xs|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The 1D Mark IV indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1Ds does not. The highest resolution format that the 1D Mark IV can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 1Ds 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 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1Ds and Canon 1D Mark IV along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 1Ds||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||n||n||Canon 1Ds|
|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 1D C||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n||Canon 1D C|
|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 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 D2Xs||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Nikon D2Xs|
The 1Ds writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the 1D Mark IV uses Compact Flash or SDHC cards. The 1D Mark IV features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 1Ds 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-1Ds and Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 1Ds||Y||none||none||-||-||none||FW||-||-||-||Canon 1Ds|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo||none||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 1D C||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D C|
|Canon 5D Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D Mark III||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II N||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 5D||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D|
|Canon 1D Mark II||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Nikon D4||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D4|
|Nikon D2Xs||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2Xs|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the 1Ds and the 1D Mark IV have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1Ds was replaced by the Canon 1Ds Mark II, while the 1D Mark IV does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1Ds or the Canon 1D Mark IV – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon EOS-1Ds:
- 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 2002).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (16 vs 11MP), which boosts linear resolution by 21%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC IV vs DIGIC).
- 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 120k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1500 versus 600) out of a single battery charge.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 7 years of technical progress since the 1Ds 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 (13 : 2 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1Ds and the Canon 1D Mark IV place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing 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 1Ds 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.
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, 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.
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
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Specifications: Canon 1Ds vs Canon 1D Mark IV
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 1Ds||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 2002||October 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 8999||USD 4999|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1Ds||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-H Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 23.8 mm||27.9 x 18.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||856.8 mm2||518.94 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.2 mm||33.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||11 Megapixels||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4064 x 2704 pixels||4896 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||8.83 μm||5.70 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.28 MP/cm2||3.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1250 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-1250 ISO||50-102400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC||DIGIC IV|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||74|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.8||22.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.0||12.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||954||1320|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1Ds||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||120k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1Ds||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF or SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1Ds||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||Firewire||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||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||600 shots per charge||1500 shots per charge|
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||1265 g (44.6 oz)||1230 g (43.4 oz)|
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