Canon 1Ds versus Nikon D2Xs
The Canon EOS-1Ds and the Nikon D2Xs are two professional cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2002 and June 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (1Ds) and an APS-C (D2Xs) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 11 megapixel, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Canon 1Ds vs Nikon D2Xs
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1Ds and the Nikon D2Xs is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button 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 1Ds – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D2Xs is somewhat smaller (4 percent) than the Canon 1Ds. Moreover, the D2Xs is slightly lighter (1 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 will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1Ds) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D2Xs).
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, 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|
|Canon 1Ds»||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||44.6 oz||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999||-|
|Nikon D2Xs«||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699||-|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.0 oz||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999|
|Canon 1D C« »||6.2 in||6.5 in||3.3 in||54.5 oz||1120||Y||Apr 2012||14,999||-|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||43.4 oz||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999||-|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||5.9 in||6.3 in||3.1 in||48.9 oz||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999||-|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||40.7 oz||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499||-|
|Canon 5D« »||6.0 in||4.4 in||3.0 in||31.6 oz||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299||-|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||55.2 oz||1200||Y||Aug 2005||3,999||-|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||42.9 oz||1200||Y||Sep 2004||7,999||-|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||54.1 oz||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499||-|
|Nikon D3« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||45.9 oz||4300||Y||Aug 2007||4,999||-|
|Nikon D300« »||5.8 in||4.5 in||2.9 in||32.6 oz||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799||-|
|Nikon D200« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||32.5 oz||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699||-|
|Nikon D2X« »||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Sep 2004||4,999||-|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D2Xs was launched at a markedly lower price (by 48 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Canon 1Ds vs Nikon D2Xs
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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units 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 features a full frame sensor and the Nikon D2Xs an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D2Xs is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the D2Xs offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixel, compared with 11 MP of the 1Ds. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.52μm versus 8.83μm for the 1Ds). However, it should be noted that the D2Xs is much more recent (by 3 years and 8 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.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the 1Ds has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D2Xs (overall score 4 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.4 bits lower color depth, 0.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1 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||-||21.8||11.0||954||63|
|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 1D Mark IV« »||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||-||24.0||12.0||1663||80|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.7||11.7||1078||71|
|Canon 5D« »||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||-||22.9||11.1||1368||71|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||-||22.3||11.2||975||66|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||-||23.3||11.3||1480||74|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||-||22.3||11.1||1003||66|
|Nikon D3« »||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||-||23.5||12.2||2290||81|
|Nikon D300« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.1||12.0||679||67|
|Nikon D200« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.5||583||64|
|Nikon D2X« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.1||10.9||476||59|
Feature comparison: Canon 1Ds vs Nikon D2Xs
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1Ds and the D2Xs 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1Ds and Nikon D2Xs in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||16.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D C« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||14.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||10.0||n||n|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||10.0||n||n|
|Canon 5D« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||3.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||8.5||n||n|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||8000||4.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||8000||8.3||n||n|
|Nikon D3« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||8000||11.0||n||n|
|Nikon D300« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n|
|Nikon D200« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n|
|Nikon D2X« »||optical||Y||2.5||235||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n|
Both the 1Ds and the D2Xs have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1Ds was replaced by the Canon 1Ds Mark II, while the D2Xs was followed by the Nikon D3X.
Review summary: Canon 1Ds vs Nikon D2Xs
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 1Ds better than the Nikon D2Xs or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS-1Ds:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1 stops ISO advantage).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2002).
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D2Xs:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 11MP), which boosts linear resolution by 5%.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 120k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (3800 versus 600) out of a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (48 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 8 months of technical progress since the 1Ds launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D2Xs is the clear winner of the contest (7 : 3 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.
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 1Ds or the D2Xs. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 1Ds»||-||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2002||8,999||-|
|Nikon D2Xs«||-||-||-||rev||-||Jun 2006||4,699||-|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999|
|Canon 1D C« »||-||-||-||-||-||Apr 2012||14,999||-|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||-||89/100||-||5/5||-||Oct 2009||4,999||-|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||-||HiRec||4.5/5||-||-||Aug 2007||7,999||-|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||-||-||-||rev||-||Feb 2007||4,499||-|
|Canon 5D« »||88/100||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Aug 2005||3,299||-|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||-||-||-||-||-||Aug 2005||3,999||-|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||-||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2004||7,999||-|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Jan 2004||4,499||-|
|Nikon D3« »||-||HiRec||5/5||rev||4.5/5||Aug 2007||4,999||-|
|Nikon D300« »||HiRec||HiRec||5/5||rev||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799||-|
|Nikon D200« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||5/5||-||Nov 2005||1,699||-|
|Nikon D2X« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Sep 2004||4,999||-|
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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. 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? 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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.
- Canon 1D X vs Nikon D5600
- Canon 60D vs Fujifilm X70
- Canon 750D vs Canon XC10
- Canon 77D vs Canon SX60
- Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Panasonic LX100
- Leica M9 vs Canon M10
- Nikon D2X vs Nikon D60
- Nikon D7200 vs Panasonic FZ300
- Panasonic GM1 vs Panasonic G6
- Panasonic TZ100 vs Leica S2
- Panasonic TZ90 vs Sony A6000
- Sony RX100 vs Nikon D3300