Canon 5D Mark II vs 1DX Mark II
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2008 and February 2016. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The 5D Mark II has a resolution of 21 megapixels, whereas the 1DX Mark II provides 20 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.
|Canon 5D Mark II||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|21 MP, Full Frame Sensor||20 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||4K/60p Video|
|ISO 100-6400 (50-25600)||ISO 100-51200 (50-409600)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 920k dots||3.2" LCD, 1620k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed touchscreen|
|3.9 shutter flaps per second||16 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|850 shots per battery charge||1210 shots per battery charge|
|152 x 114 x 75 mm, 850 g||158 x 168 x 83 mm, 1530 g|
Body comparison: Canon 5D Mark II vs 1DX Mark II
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon 1D X Mark II is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side 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 1D X Mark II is considerably larger (53 percent) than the Canon 5D Mark II. Moreover, the 1DX Mark II is substantially heavier (80 percent) than the 5D 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the 5D Mark II gets 850 shots out of its LP-E6 battery, while the 1DX Mark II can take 1210 images on a single charge of its LP-E19 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1DX Mark II 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 5D Mark II, Canon provides the BG-E6 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).
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.
|Canon 5D Mark II»||6.0 in||4.5 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|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 X Mark II|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||5.9 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||31.4 oz||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||33.5 oz||950||Y||Mar 2012||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D X« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.7 oz||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 7D« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||30.3 oz||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|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 III|
|Canon 5D« »||6.0 in||4.4 in||3.0 in||31.6 oz||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299||-||Canon 5D|
|Nikon D5« »||6.3 in||6.3 in||3.6 in||49.9 oz||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499||Nikon D5|
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 5D Mark II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 42 percent) than the 1DX 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 5D Mark II vs 1DX Mark II
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the 5D Mark II offers a slightly higher resolution of 21 megapixels, compared with 20 MP of the 1DX Mark II. This megapixels advantage translates into a 3 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the 5D Mark II has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 6.41μm versus 6.57μm for the 1DX Mark II). Moreover, it should be noted that the 1DX Mark II is much more recent (by 7 years and 4 months) than the 5D Mark II, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels.
The 1DX Mark II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 50-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II are ISO 100 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-409600..
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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the 1DX Mark II has a markedly higher DXO score than the 5D Mark II (overall score 9 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.4 bits higher color depth, 1.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon 5D Mark II»||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79||Canon 5D Mark II|
|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 6D Mark II« »||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.7||12.4||2381||87||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.6||12.4||2308||86||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D X« »||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 7D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.0||11.7||854||66||Canon 7D|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||-||24.0||12.0||1663||80||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 5D« »||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||-||22.9||11.1||1368||71||Canon 5D|
|Nikon D5« »||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88||Nikon D5|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the 1DX Mark II provides a better video resolution than the 5D Mark II. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/60p, while the 5D Mark II is limited to 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Canon 5D Mark II vs 1DX Mark II
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 5D Mark II and the 1DX Mark II 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 1D X Mark II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 5D Mark II»||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||3.9||n||n||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D X Mark II«||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||16.0||n||n||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.5||n||n||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||7.0||n||n||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||6.0||n||n||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||4.5||n||n||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D X« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||14.0||n||n||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 7D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||8.0||Y||n||Canon 7D|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 5D« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||3.0||n||n||Canon 5D|
|Nikon D5« »||optical||Y||3.2||2359||fixed||Y||8000||14.0||n||n||Nikon D5|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 1DX Mark II has a touchscreen, while the 5D Mark II has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The 5D Mark II writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the 1DX Mark II uses Compact Flash or CFast cards. The 1DX Mark II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 5D Mark II only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 5D Mark II vs 1DX Mark II
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 5D Mark II and Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 5D Mark II»||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D X Mark II«||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D X« »||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 7D« »||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 5D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D|
|Nikon D5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5|
It is notable that the 1DX Mark II has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The 5D Mark II lacks such a headphone port.
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
The 1DX Mark II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the 5D Mark II has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 5D Mark II was succeeded by the Canon 5D Mark III.
Review summary: Canon 5D Mark II vs 1DX Mark II
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 5D Mark II or the Canon 1D X Mark II – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II:
- More compact: Is smaller (152x114mm vs 158x168mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 680g or 44 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (42 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2008).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.6 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/60p vs 1080/30p).
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 920k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (16 vs 3.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1210 versus 850) out of a single battery charge.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 4 months of technical progress since the 5D Mark II launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 1DX Mark II is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 4 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 5D Mark II or the 1DX Mark II handle or perform in practice. 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.
Expert reviews: Canon 5D Mark II vs 1DX Mark II
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). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 5D Mark II»||91/100||79/100||4/5||5/5||-||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D X Mark II«||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Rec||83/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2012||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D X« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 7D« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||-||HiRec||4.5/5||-||-||Aug 2007||7,999||-||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 5D« »||88/100||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Aug 2005||3,299||-||Canon 5D|
|Nikon D5« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499||Nikon D5|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1Ds vs Canon 60D
- Canon 80D vs Sony RX100 V
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Canon T7
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Olympus E-M1 II
- Canon T5 vs Sony A7 II
- Leica D-LUX 7 vs Canon 7D
- Nikon D200 vs Panasonic G7
- Olympus E-PL9 vs Pentax K-1
- Panasonic GX800 vs Sony RX10
- Panasonic TZ100 vs Canon G7 X
- Sony A6000 vs Canon T7i
- Sony NEX-6 vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Specifications: Canon 5D Mark II vs Canon 1D X Mark II
|Camera Model||Canon 5D Mark II||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2008||February 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 3499||USD 5999|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||36.0 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||21 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5616 x 3744 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.41 μm||6.57 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.43 MP/cm2||2.31 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||100-51200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-25600 ISO||50-409600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||DIGIC 6+ (Dual)|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||79||88|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.7||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.9||13.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1815||3207|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||98%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.2 inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1620k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.9 shutter flaps/s||16 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF or CFAST cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||LP-E6 power pack||LP-E19 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||850 shots per charge||1210 shots per charge|
152 x 114 x 75 mm
(6.0 x 4.5 x 3.0 in)
158 x 168 x 83 mm
(6.2 x 6.6 x 3.3 in)
|Camera Weight||850 g (30.0 oz)||1530 g (54.0 oz)|
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