Canon 1Ds vs T2i
The Canon EOS-1Ds and the Canon EOS Rebel T2i (labelled Canon 550D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2002 and February 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (1Ds) and an APS-C (T2i) sensor. The 1Ds has a resolution of 11 megapixels, whereas the T2i provides 17.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1Ds and the Canon EOS Rebel T2i? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1Ds and the Canon T2i 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 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 T2i is considerably smaller (49 percent) than the Canon 1Ds. Moreover, the T2i is substantially lighter (58 percent) than the 1Ds. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1Ds is splash and dust resistant, while the T2i does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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 (T2i). 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 T2i can take 440 images on a single charge of its LP-E8 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1Ds 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 T2i, Canon provides the BG-E8 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon 1Ds||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1265 g||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999|
|2.||Canon T2i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1440 g||2850||Y||Jan 2020||6,499|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999|
|5.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|6.||Canon T5i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|7.||Canon 1D C||158 mm||164 mm||83 mm||1545 g||1120||Y||Apr 2012||14,999|
|8.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|9.||Canon T3i||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|10.||Canon 1D Mark IV||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1230 g||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999|
|11.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark III||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1155 g||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499|
|13.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||150 mm||160 mm||80 mm||1385 g||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999|
|14.||Canon 1D Mark II N||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1565 g||1200||Y||Aug 2005||3,999|
|15.||Canon 5D||152 mm||113 mm||75 mm||895 g||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299|
|16.||Canon 1D Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1535 g||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499|
|17.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1215 g||1200||Y||Sep 2004||7,999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 T2i was launched at a markedly lower price (by 92 percent) than the 1Ds, 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.
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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1Ds features a full frame sensor and the Canon T2i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T2i is 61 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, the T2i uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the 1Ds (DIGIC), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the T2i offers a higher resolution of 17.9 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 4.31μm versus 8.83μm for the 1Ds). However, it should be noted that the T2i is much more recent (by 7 years and 4 months) 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 T2i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T2i 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 Canon 1Ds are 20.3 x 13.5 inches or 51.6 x 34.3 cm for good quality, 16.3 x 10.8 inches or 41.3 x 27.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.5 x 9 inches 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 Rebel T2i are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon 1Ds||Full Frame||11.0||4064||2704||none||21.8||11.0||954||63|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.2||14.5||3248||91|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|7.||Canon 1D C||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|10.||Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark III||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.7||11.7||1078||71|
|13.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||none||24.0||12.0||1663||80|
|14.||Canon 1D Mark II N||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.2||975||66|
|15.||Canon 5D||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||none||22.9||11.1||1368||71|
|16.||Canon 1D Mark II||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.1||1003||66|
|17.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||none||23.3||11.3||1480||74|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The T2i indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1Ds does not. The highest resolution format that the T2i can use is 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1Ds and the T2i 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 viewfinder in the 1Ds offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the T2i (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the 1Ds has a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.54x), 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 T2i along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||optical||Y||3.2||2100||fixed||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||n|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0||n||n|
|7.||Canon 1D C||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|10.||Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark III||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|13.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|14.||Canon 1D Mark II N||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.5||n||n|
|16.||Canon 1D Mark II||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||n|
|17.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n|
One feature that is present on the 1Ds, but is missing on the T2i 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 1Ds writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the T2i uses SDXC cards.
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 Rebel T2i and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon 1D C||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark III||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Y||mono||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon 1D Mark II N||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|16.||Canon 1D Mark II||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|17.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 1Ds (unlike the T2i) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 1Ds and the T2i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1Ds was replaced by the Canon 1Ds Mark II, while the T2i was followed by the Canon T3i. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 1Ds better than the Canon T2i or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS-1Ds:
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.54x).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 440) 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.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2002).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T2i:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 11MP), which boosts linear resolution by 28%.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 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 (1040k vs 120k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (129x98mm vs 156x158mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 735g or 58 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (92 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 4 months of technical progress since the 1Ds launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T2i emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 9 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1Ds and the Canon T2i 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 1Ds and the T2i 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.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Canon 1Ds||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2002||8,999|
|2.||Canon T2i||..||+ +||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2020||6,499|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||..||..||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999|
|5.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|6.||Canon T5i||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|7.||Canon 1D C||..||..||..||..||..||Apr 2012||14,999|
|8.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|9.||Canon T3i||3/5||o||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|10.||Canon 1D Mark IV||5/5||..||89/100||..||..||Oct 2009||4,999|
|11.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark III||..||..||..||..||..||Feb 2007||4,499|
|13.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||..||..||+ +||4.5/5||..||Aug 2007||7,999|
|14.||Canon 1D Mark II N||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2005||3,999|
|15.||Canon 5D||..||88/100||+ +||o||..||Aug 2005||3,299|
|16.||Canon 1D Mark II||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||4,499|
|17.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2004||7,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon 1Ds vs Canon T2i
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 T2i|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2002||February 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 8,999||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1Ds||Canon T2i|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 23.8 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||856.8 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.2 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||11 Megapixels||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4064 x 2704 pixels||5184 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||8.83 μm||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.28 MP/cm2||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,250 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 1,250 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||66|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.8||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.0||11.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||954||784|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1Ds||Canon T2i|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||120k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1Ds||Canon T2i|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3.7 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1Ds||Canon T2i|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|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 T2i|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||600 shots per charge||440 shots per charge|
156 x 158 x 80 mm
(6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||1265 g (44.6 oz)||530 g (18.7 oz)|
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