Nikon D1X vs D4
The Nikon D1X and the Nikon D4 are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2001 and January 2012. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D1X) and a full frame (D4) sensor. The D1X has a resolution of 5.9 megapixels, whereas the D4 provides 16.2 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.
|Nikon D1X||Nikon D4|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|5.9 MP, APS-C Sensor||16.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 125-800 (125-3200)||ISO 100-12800 (50-204800)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.0" LCD, 120k dots||3.2" LCD, 921k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||11 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|1200 shots per battery charge||2600 shots per battery charge|
|157 x 153 x 85 mm, 1100 g||160 x 157 x 91 mm, 1340 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D1X vs D4
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D1X and the Nikon D4. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the D1X – represents the basis for the calculations 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 D4 is somewhat larger (5 percent) than the Nikon D1X. Moreover, the D4 is markedly heavier (22 percent) than the D1X. 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 D4) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (D1X). You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the D1X gets 1200 shots out of its EN-4 battery, while the D4 can take 2600 images on a single charge of its EN-EL18 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. 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.
|Nikon D1X»||6.2 in||6.0 in||3.3 in||38.8 oz||1200||Y||Feb 2001||5,999||-||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D4«||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.6 in||47.3 oz||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999||-||Nikon D4|
|Nikon D5« »||6.3 in||6.3 in||3.6 in||49.9 oz||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D4S« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.6 in||47.6 oz||3020||Y||Feb 2014||6,499||-||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon Df« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.6 in||26.8 oz||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D3S« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||43.7 oz||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199||-||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D300S« »||5.8 in||4.5 in||3.2 in||33.1 oz||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D3« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||45.9 oz||4300||Y||Aug 2007||4,999||-||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D300« »||5.8 in||4.5 in||2.9 in||32.6 oz||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799||-||Nikon D300|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699||-||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||32.5 oz||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2X« »||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Sep 2004||4,999||-||Nikon D2X|
|Nikon D2H« »||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||37.7 oz||2900||Y||Jul 2003||3,499||-||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D100« »||5.7 in||4.6 in||3.2 in||27.5 oz||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999||-||Nikon D100|
|Nikon D1H« »||6.2 in||6.0 in||3.3 in||38.8 oz||1200||Y||Feb 2001||4,499||-||Nikon D1H|
|Nikon D1« »||6.2 in||6.0 in||3.3 in||38.8 oz||..||Y||Jun 1999||5,499||-||Nikon D1|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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.
Sensor comparison: Nikon D1X vs D4
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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D1X features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon D4 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D4 is 132 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 16.2MP, the D4 offers a higher resolution than the D1X (5.9MP), but the D4 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 7.29μm versus 7.92μm for the D1X). Yet, the D4 is a much more recent model (by 10 years and 11 months) than the D1X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Nikon D1X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 125-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D4 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-204800..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Nikon D1X»||APS-C||5.9||3008||1960||-||-||-||-||-||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D4«||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89||Nikon D4|
|Nikon D5« »||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D4S« »||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/60p||24.4||13.3||3074||89||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon Df« »||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||-||24.6||13.1||3279||89||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D3S« »||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D300S« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.5||12.2||787||70||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D3« »||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||-||23.5||12.2||2290||81||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D300« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.1||12.0||679||67||Nikon D300|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.2||10.9||489||59||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.5||583||64||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2X« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.1||10.9||476||59||Nikon D2X|
|Nikon D2H« »||APS-C||4.0||2464||1632||-||18.9||10.0||352||40||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D100« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||-||-||-||-||Nikon D100|
|Nikon D1H« »||APS-C||2.6||2000||1312||-||-||-||-||-||Nikon D1H|
|Nikon D1« »||APS-C||2.6||2000||1312||-||-||-||-||-||Nikon D1|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The D4 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D1X does not. The highest resolution format that the D4 can use is 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Nikon D1X vs D4
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D1X and the D4 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 Nikon D1X and Nikon D4 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Nikon D1X»||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||16000||3.0||n||n||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D4«||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||8000||11.0||n||n||Nikon D4|
|Nikon D5« »||optical||Y||3.2||2359||fixed||Y||8000||14.0||n||n||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D4S« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||8000||11.0||n||n||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon Df« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||4000||5.5||n||n||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D3S« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||8000||11.0||n||n||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D300S« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||7.0||Y||n||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D3« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||8000||11.0||n||n||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D300« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D300|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2X« »||optical||Y||2.5||235||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Nikon D2X|
|Nikon D2H« »||optical||Y||2.5||211||fixed||n||8000||8.0||n||n||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D100« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D100|
|Nikon D1H« »||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||16000||5.0||n||n||Nikon D1H|
|Nikon D1« »||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||16000||1.5||n||n||Nikon D1|
The D1X writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D4 uses Compact Flash or XQD cards. The D4 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D1X only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Nikon D1X vs D4
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 Nikon D1X and Nikon D4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D1X»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D4«||Y||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D4|
|Nikon D5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D4S« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon Df« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D3S« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D300S« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D3« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D300« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D300|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2X« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2X|
|Nikon D2H« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D100« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Nikon D100|
|Nikon D1H« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-||Nikon D1H|
|Nikon D1« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-||Nikon D1|
Both the D1X and the D4 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D1X was replaced by the Nikon D2X, while the D4 was followed by the Nikon D4S.
Review summary: Nikon D1X vs D4
So how do things add up? Is the Nikon D1X better than the Nikon D4 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D1X:
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (16000/sec vs 8000/sec) to freeze action.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 240g or 18 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2001).
Advantages of the Nikon D4:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (16.2 vs 5.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 65%.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: Larger sensor generates images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 120k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (2600 versus 1200) 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 modern: Reflects 10 years and 11 months of technical progress since the D1X launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D4 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 3 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.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D1X or the D4 handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
Expert reviews: Nikon D1X vs D4
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). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Nikon D1X»||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Feb 2001||5,999||-||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D4«||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2012||5,999||-||Nikon D4|
|Nikon D5« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D4S« »||-||-||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||6,499||-||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon Df« »||-||81/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D3S« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199||-||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D300S« »||HiRec||82/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D3« »||-||HiRec||5/5||rev||4.5/5||Aug 2007||4,999||-||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D300« »||HiRec||HiRec||5/5||rev||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799||-||Nikon D300|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||-||-||-||rev||-||Jun 2006||4,699||-||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||5/5||-||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2X« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Sep 2004||4,999||-||Nikon D2X|
|Nikon D2H« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Jul 2003||3,499||-||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D100« »||-||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2002||1,999||-||Nikon D100|
|Nikon D1H« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Feb 2001||4,499||-||Nikon D1H|
|Nikon D1« »||-||HiRec||-||-||-||Jun 1999||5,499||-||Nikon D1|
The above review scores should be interpreted 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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 5D Mark III vs Fujifilm X-A5
- Canon 7D vs Sony HX400V
- Canon 80D vs Canon 600D
- Nikon D750 vs Sony A6300
- Panasonic FZ200 vs Sony A6300
- Panasonic FZ300 vs Sony RX10
- Panasonic GH1 vs Panasonic GX1
- Panasonic GX85 vs Sony A6300
- Panasonic GX9 vs Nikon D3S
- Sony A6300 vs Panasonic GX8
- Sony NEX-6 vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109
- Zeiss ZX1 vs Canon T7i
Specifications: Nikon D1X vs Nikon D4
|Camera Model||Nikon D1X||Nikon D4|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2001||January 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 5999||USD 5999|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||36.0 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||860.4 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||5.9 Megapixels||16.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3008 x 1960 pixels||4928 x 3280 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.92 μm||7.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.59 MP/cm2||1.88 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||125-800 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||125-3200 ISO||50-204800 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0 inch||3.2 inch|
|LCD Resolution||120k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/16000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF or XQD cards|
|USB Connector||Firewire||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||EN-4 power pack||EN-EL18 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1200 shots per charge||2600 shots per charge|
157 x 153 x 85 mm
(6.2 x 6.0 x 3.3 in)
160 x 157 x 91 mm
(6.3 x 6.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||1100 g (38.8 oz)||1340 g (47.3 oz)|
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