Canon 6D vs 1D Mark IV
The Canon EOS 6D and the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and October 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (6D) and an APS-H (1D Mark IV) sensor. The 6D has a resolution of 20 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.
|Canon 6D||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|20 MP, Full Frame Sensor||16 MP, APS-H Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600 (50-102400)||ISO 100-12800 (50-102400)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 920k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|4.5 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|1090 shots per battery charge||1500 shots per battery charge|
|145 x 111 x 71 mm, 770 g||156 x 157 x 80 mm, 1230 g|
Body comparison: Canon 6D vs 1D Mark IV
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 6D and the Canon 1D Mark IV. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size 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 Mark IV is considerably larger (52 percent) than the Canon 6D. Moreover, the 1D Mark IV is substantially heavier (60 percent) than the 6D. 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 6D) 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 6D gets 1090 shots out of its LP-E6 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, the 1D Mark IV 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 6D, Canon provides the BG-E13 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. 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 6D»||5.7 in||4.4 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D Mark IV«||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||43.4 oz||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999||-||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|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 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 5DS« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 7D II« »||5.9 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||32.1 oz||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|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 1D X« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.7 oz||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799||-||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||-||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||-||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||54.1 oz||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499||-||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||42.9 oz||1200||Y||Sep 2004||7,999||-||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Nikon D610« »||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.2 in||30.0 oz||900||Y||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D600« »||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.2 in||30.0 oz||900||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Nikon D600|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 6D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 58 percent) than the 1D Mark IV, 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.
Sensor comparison: Canon 6D vs 1D Mark IV
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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 6D 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.
In terms of chip-set technology, the 6D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5+) than the 1D Mark IV (DIGIC IV), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 20MP, the 6D offers a higher resolution than the 1D Mark IV (16MP), but the 6D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.57μm versus 5.70μm for the 1D Mark IV) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 6D is a somewhat more recent model (by 2 years and 10 months) than the 1D Mark IV, 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 6D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. 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..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 6D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the 1D Mark IV (overall score 8 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon 6D»||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D Mark IV«||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85||Canon 6D 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 5DS« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.7||12.4||2381||87||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 7D II« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||22.5||11.6||926||68||Canon 70D|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 1D X« »||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82||Canon 1D X|
|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||-||22.7||11.7||1078||71||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||-||22.3||11.1||1003||66||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||-||23.3||11.3||1480||74||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Nikon D610« »||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.4||2925||94||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D600« »||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.2||2980||94||Nikon D600|
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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).
Feature comparison: Canon 6D vs 1D Mark IV
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 6D 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 6D and Canon 1D Mark IV along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 6D»||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||4.5||n||n||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D Mark IV«||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||10.0||n||n||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.5||n||n||Canon 6D 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 5DS« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 7D II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||8000||10.0||Y||n||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n||Canon 70D|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||6.0||n||n||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 1D X« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||14.0||n||n||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||3.9||n||n||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||10.0||n||n||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||8000||8.3||n||n||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||8000||4.0||n||n||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Nikon D610« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||4000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D600« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||5.5||Y||n||Nikon D600|
The 6D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the 1D Mark IV uses Compact Flash cards. The 1D Mark IV features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 6D only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 6D 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 6D and Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 6D»||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D Mark IV«||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 7D II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 1D X« »||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Nikon D610« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D600« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D600|
It is notable that the 6D offers wifi support, while the 1D Mark IV does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 1D Mark IV (unlike the 6D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 6D and the 1D Mark IV have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 6D was replaced by the Canon 6D Mark II, while the 1D Mark IV does not have a direct successor.
Review summary: Canon 6D vs 1D Mark IV
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 6D better than the Canon 1D Mark IV or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 6D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 16MP) with a 12% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5+ vs DIGIC IV).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
- More compact: Is smaller (145x111mm vs 156x157mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 460g or 37 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (58 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 10 months of technical progress since the 1D Mark IV launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV:
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1500 versus 1090) out of a single battery charge.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in October 2009).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 6D emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 7 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 says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 6D and the 1D Mark IV in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
Expert reviews: Canon 6D vs 1D Mark IV
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 6D»||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 1D Mark IV«||-||89/100||-||5/5||-||Oct 2009||4,999||-||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D 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 5DS« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 7D II« »||Rec||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2012||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 1D X« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||91/100||79/100||4/5||5/5||-||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||-||-||-||rev||-||Feb 2007||4,499||-||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Jan 2004||4,499||-||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||-||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2004||7,999||-||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Nikon D610« »||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D600« »||HiRec||87/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Nikon D600|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1300D vs Sony A7R III
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- Canon XC10 vs Contax N Digital
- Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs Panasonic S1R
- Fujifilm X-Pro2 vs Fujifilm X-A5
- Hasselblad X1D vs Canon G1 X Mark III
- Nikon D850 vs Nikon D750
- Olympus E-M10 vs Canon G7 X Mark II
- Olympus TG-5 vs Canon G7 X
- Pentax Q vs Olympus E-5
- Sony A7 III vs Canon 1D Mark II
Specifications: Canon 6D vs Canon 1D Mark IV
|Camera Model||Canon 6D||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 2012||October 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 2099||USD 4999|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-H Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||27.9 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||518.94 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||33.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||4896 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.57 μm||5.70 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.31 MP/cm2||3.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-102400 ISO||50-102400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5+||DIGIC IV|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||82||74|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.8||22.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.1||12.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||2340||1320|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||97%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4.5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||LP-E6 power pack||LP-E4 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1090 shots per charge||1500 shots per charge|
145 x 111 x 71 mm
(5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8 in)
156 x 157 x 80 mm
(6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||770 g (27.2 oz)||1230 g (43.4 oz)|
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