Nikon D2X vs Canon 5D
The Nikon D2X and the Canon EOS 5D are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2004 and August 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D2X) and a full frame (5D) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 12.7 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 D2X||Canon 5D|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor||12.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|no Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-800 (100-3200)||ISO 100-1600 (50-3200)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.5" LCD, 235k dots||2.5" LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|3800 shots per battery charge||400 shots per battery charge|
|158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1252 g||152 x 113 x 75 mm, 895 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D2X vs Canon 5D
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D2X and the Canon 5D. 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 measures 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 5D is notably smaller (28 percent) than the Nikon D2X. Moreover, the 5D is markedly lighter (29 percent) than the D2X. 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 compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D2X) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (5D).
Concerning battery life, the D2X gets 3800 shots out of its EN-EL4a battery, while the 5D can take 400 images on a single charge of its BP-511A power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D2X 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, Canon provides the BG-E4 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. 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.
|Nikon D2X»||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Sep 2004||4,999||-||Nikon D2X|
|Canon 5D«||6.0 in||4.4 in||3.0 in||31.6 oz||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299||-||Canon 5D|
|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 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 6D« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|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|
|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 D2H« »||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||37.7 oz||2900||Y||Jul 2003||3,499||-||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D1H« »||6.2 in||6.0 in||3.3 in||38.8 oz||1200||Y||Feb 2001||4,499||-||Nikon D1H|
|Nikon D1X« »||6.2 in||6.0 in||3.3 in||38.8 oz||1200||Y||Feb 2001||5,999||-||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D1« »||6.2 in||6.0 in||3.3 in||38.8 oz||..||Y||Jun 1999||5,499||-||Nikon D1|
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 5D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 34 percent) than the D2X, 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: Nikon D2X vs Canon 5D
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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D2X features an APS-C sensor and the Canon 5D a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the 5D 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.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
With 12.7MP, the 5D offers a higher resolution than the D2X (12.2MP), but the 5D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 8.25μm versus 5.52μm for the D2X) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 5D is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the D2X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Nikon D2X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 5D are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-3200..
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 5D offers substantially better image quality than the D2X (overall score 12 points higher). The advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.5 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.
|Nikon D2X»||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.1||10.9||476||59||Nikon D2X|
|Canon 5D«||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||-||22.9||11.1||1368||71||Canon 5D|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85||Canon 6D Mark II|
|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 6D« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82||Canon 6D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79||Canon 5D Mark II|
|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 D2H« »||APS-C||4.0||2464||1632||-||18.9||10.0||352||40||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D1H« »||APS-C||2.6||2000||1312||-||-||-||-||-||Nikon D1H|
|Nikon D1X« »||APS-C||5.9||3008||1960||-||-||-||-||-||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D1« »||APS-C||2.6||2000||1312||-||-||-||-||-||Nikon D1|
Feature comparison: Nikon D2X vs Canon 5D
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D2X and the 5D 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 D2X offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 5D (96%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the 5D has a higher magnification (0.71x vs 0.57x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D2X, the Canon 5D, and comparable cameras.
|Nikon D2X»||optical||Y||2.5||235||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Nikon D2X|
|Canon 5D«||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||n||n||Canon 5D|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.5||n||n||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 6D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.5||n||n||Canon 6D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9||n||n||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Nikon D3S« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D300S« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||n||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D3« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D300« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D300|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2H« »||optical||Y||2.5||211||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0||n||n||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D1H« »||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||1/16000s||5.0||n||n||Nikon D1H|
|Nikon D1X« »||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||1/16000s||3.0||n||n||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D1« »||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||1/16000s||1.5||n||n||Nikon D1|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D2X and the 5D write their files to Compact Flash cards. The D2X features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 5D only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Nikon D2X vs Canon 5D
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 D2X and Canon EOS 5D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D2X»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2X|
|Canon 5D«||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 6D Mark II|
|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 6D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|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 D2H« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D1H« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-||Nikon D1H|
|Nikon D1X« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D1« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-||Nikon D1|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the D2X and the 5D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D2X was replaced by the Nikon D2Xs, while the 5D was followed by the Canon 5D Mark II. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Canon websites.
Review summary: Nikon D2X vs Canon 5D
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D2X or the Canon 5D – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D2X:
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 96%).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (3800 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2004).
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 5D:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.71x vs 0.57x).
- More compact: Is smaller (152x113mm vs 158x150mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 357g or 29 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (34 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (10 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 5D comes out slightly ahead of the D2X (7 : 6 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.
Do the specifications of the Nikon D2X and the Canon 5D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing.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 D2X or the 5D perform in practice. 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: Nikon D2X vs Canon 5D
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Nikon D2X»||-||++||-||o||-||Sep 2004||4,999||-||Nikon D2X|
|Canon 5D«||88/100||++||o||o||-||Aug 2005||3,299||-||Canon 5D|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||+||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||+||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||+||83/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 6D« »||++||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||91/100||79/100||4/5||5/5||-||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Nikon D3S« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199||-||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D300S« »||++||82/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D3« »||-||++||5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||4,999||-||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D300« »||++||++||5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799||-||Nikon D300|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||-||-||-||o||-||Jun 2006||4,699||-||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||++||++||o||5/5||-||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2H« »||-||++||-||o||-||Jul 2003||3,499||-||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D1H« »||-||++||-||o||-||Feb 2001||4,499||-||Nikon D1H|
|Nikon D1X« »||-||++||-||o||-||Feb 2001||5,999||-||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D1« »||-||++||-||-||-||Jun 1999||5,499||-||Nikon D1|
|Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.|
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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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? 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.
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Specifications: Nikon D2X vs Canon 5D
|Camera Model||Nikon D2X||Canon 5D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2004||August 2005|
|Launch Price||USD 4999||USD 3299|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D2X||Canon 5D|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.7 mm||36.0 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||372.09 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels||12.7 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4288 x 2848 pixels||4368 x 2912 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.52 μm||8.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.28 MP/cm2||1.47 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-800 ISO||100-1600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-3200 ISO||50-3200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||59||71|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||22.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.9||11.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||476||1368|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D2X||Canon 5D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||96%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||2.5 inch|
|LCD Resolution||235k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D2X||Canon 5D|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||150 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D2X||Canon 5D|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon D2X||Canon 5D|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||EN-EL4a power pack||BP-511A power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||3800 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
158 x 150 x 86 mm
(6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
152 x 113 x 75 mm
(6.0 x 4.4 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||1252 g (44.2 oz)||895 g (31.6 oz)|
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