If you are a professional, semi-pro or a serious enthusiast photographer who is in the market for a reliable, robust, full-frame Canon camera, the two bodies most likely to be considered are the EOS-1D X Mark II
and EOS 5D Mark IV
. In this installment of "Which Should I Get?," we'll take a look at these two camera bodies to see which might be the better keystone for your kit.
First of all, let's look at a few of the primary specifications that these bodies have in common:
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and EOS 5D Mark IV Shared Primary Features
Primary advantages of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II over the EOS 5D Mark IV:
- Full-frame, Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor
- AF system: 61 Point / 41 cross-type AF point including 5 dual cross type at f/2.8 and 61 points / 21 cross-type AF points at f/8
- AF Working Range: EV -3 - 18
- Metering Range: EV 0 – 20
- Ambience & White Priority Auto White Balance
- 100% viewfinder coverage
- 3.2" (8.10cm) Clear View LCD II, approx. 1620K dots
- Up to 4K (Motion JPEG) video recording with 4K frame grab
- Built-in GPS
Primary advantages of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV over the EOS-1D X Mark II:
- Dual DIGIC 6+ processors vs. single DIGIC 6+
- ISO 100-51200, L 50, H1 102400, H2 204800, H3 409600 vs. ISO 100-32000, L 50, H1 51200, H2 102400
- Approx. 14fps with full AF / AE tracking, speed maintained for up to unlimited number of JPEGs or 170 RAW images (with CFast 2.0 card) vs. approx. 7fps with full AF / AE tracking, speed maintained for up to unlimited number of JPEGs or 21 RAW images
- Approx. 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, 216-zone metering vs. 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, 252-zone metering
- AF point-linked spot metering vs. center-point only spot metering
- 1/250 sec. max flash x-sync vs. 1/200 sec.
- 5 Custom White Balance settings can be registered vs. 1 setting
- 4K video recording max frame rate 59.94 fps vs. 4K video max 29.97 fps
- Interchangeable focusing screens vs. N/A
- 34 custom functions vs. 17
- Sound memos vs. N/A
- RJ-45 (gigabit Ethernet) port vs. N/A
- Approx. 1210 frame battery life vs. 900
- 400,000 shutter durability rating vs. 150,000
- Better weather sealing
Who should opt for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II?
- 30.4 MP vs. 20.2
- Smaller & Lighter: 5.93 x 4.58 x 2.99" (150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9mm), 31.4 oz (890g) vs. 6.22 x 6.6 x 3.25" (158.0 x 167.6 x 82.6mm), 53.97 oz (1530g)
- Full touch-screen LCD interface vs. limited touch-screen
- Built-in Wi-Fi & NFC vs. N/A (Wi-Fi requires Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E6A, WFT-E8A accessory)
- Lower price
If you are a photographer primarily interested in capturing fast-action sports, the EOS-1D X Mark II's blazingly fast 14 fps burst rate and huge 170 frames RAW buffer (in our tests, the buffer was actually only limited to the CFast memory card's capacity) will help you capture the optimal moment(s) when the action is at its peak. And if your sporting event is held in inclement weather, the 1D X II's extra weather sealing will certainly be appreciated.
If you're primarily a studio photographer who doesn't need more than roughly 20 MP of resolution, the 1D X II's gigabit Ethernet port is a great asset for tethered shooting.
Those using their DSLR to capture video will appreciate the 1D X II's 4K recording at 60 fps, although the larger body may prove cumbersome in some setups. A benefit for some filmmakers (and a drawback for others) is the 1D X II's approximate 1.3x focal length crop factor utilized in 4K video recording allowing for wider angles of view to be captured at the same focal length compared to the 5D Mark IV featuring a 1.74x crop factor.
Nearly every photographer can benefit from the 1D X II's higher resolution metering sensor, and AF point-linked Spot metering feature (very helpful) is only available on 1-series bodies. The ability to change focus screens is another benefit of the 1D X II that could prove important for some photographers.
Who should opt for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV?
If you need more resolution than the EOS-1D X Mark II offers, require built-in Wi-Fi/NFC, prefer a smaller and lighter camera body and/or your budget simply does not extend to the level of a 1-series body, the EOS 5D Mark IV will likely prove to be a great choice.
Sharing many important primary features with the EOS-1D X Mark II (with reasonable compromises on others), the EOS 5D Mark IV is the second-most versatile camera Canon has ever produced (the 1D X II being the most versatile). Considering that the 5D Mark IV costs over 40% less than the 1D X II (USA MSRP), those compromises will seem very reasonable for a great number of pro, semi-pro, enthusiast and hobbyist photographers alike.