Home Camera Nikon D5 vs Canon 1D X Mark II: Specs and Features Comparison

Nikon D5 vs Canon 1D X Mark II: Specs and Features Comparison

Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are two professional grade full frame DSLR cameras. These cameras were announced on the nearly the same time. Nikon announced D5 on January 2016 while Canon 1D X Mark II was announced by Canon on February on the same year. Both Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are flagship full frame DSLRs. Since these cameras are designed for professionals, they are available in a high enough price.

Nikon D5 is projected to be the successor of D4S, a professional full frame DSLR that has been around since February 2014. While Canon 1D X Mark II is the successor of Canon 1D X, a full frame DSLR released by Canon on 2012.

Be it Nikon or Canon have added some new improvements to these cameras to deliver a better photography experience for professional photographers. When noticing the detail specs of these cameras you will find some massive numbers on some sections like ISO range and autofocus point number. Both Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are capable of handling nearly all sorts of photography needs thanks to the large sensor they have.

Speaking of sensor, the sensor of Canon 1D X Mark II is slightly larger than Nikon D5. Both Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II have the same score on DxOMark. Indicating that these cameras are indeed involved in a serious competition on the market. Let’s start this comparison by taking a look at the table we have created below.

Specs comparison: Nikon D5 vs Canon 1D X Mark II

 Nikon D5Canon 1D X Mark II
AnnouncedJanuary 2016 February 2016
Sensor20.8-Mpix full-frame CMOS20.17-Mpix full-frame CMOS
DxOMark score8888
Color filter arrayRGBRGB
Resolution5584 x 37285496 x 3670
ISO50 - 3280000100 - 409600
Fastest - Slowest speed (s)1/8000 - 30.01/8000 - 30.0
Frame rate (fps)1416.0
Mount typeNikon F FXCanon EF
Weight1415 g1539 g
Battery typeLi-Ion, EN-EL18a, 10.8V, 2500mAh, 27WhLi-ion, LP-E19
Number of autofocus points15361
Autofocus modesAutofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); Continuous-servo AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A)Autofocus, One-Shot AF, Predicitve Al Servo AF (Al Servo AF III+)
StorageCF (Type I, compliant with UDMA), XQD Type MemoryCF Card (Type I; compatible with UDMA 7 CF cards) and CFas Card (CFast 2.0 supported)
Image formatJPEG, RAW (NEF)JPEG, RAW (CR2)
Other featuresLive view, dust cleaning, tropicalization, mirror lockup, touch screen, exposure bracketing, WB bracketing, USB, ethernet, sound recording, external micro, histogram, GPS, live autofocusLive view, dust cleaning, mirror lockup, touch screen, exposure bracketing, USB 3.0, sound recording, external micro, histogram, GPS, live autofocus
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Nikon D5 comes with some new improvements. Some of those new improvements are new image sensor, new image processor and improved ergonomics. It also offers higher ISO range than its predecessor D4S. Canon 1D X Mark II also comes with some new improvements. Let’s cover the features of these cameras one by one.

Let’s start from the ISO range. As just mentioned above, one of the new improvement offered by Nikon D5 is the ISO range. Nikon D5 offers the ISO range of 50 – 3280000 from previously 50 – 409600. Canon 1D X Mark II, meanwhile, offers the ISO range of 100 – 409600. Since these cameras already have a large sensor, higher ISO range might is not too crucial. But still, higher ISO range can be useful on certain occasions. On the shutter speed section both Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II offer the same range, 1/8000 – 30.0.

Both Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are great for any sort of photography needs, including sport photography. For this sort of photography (sport), Nikon D5 might is a bit better. The reason is because it offers more autofocus points. Doing a sport photography means that you will be photographing athletes who have a dynamic movement. A camera with more autofocus points will make it easy for you to get the focus point of the object you are taking the pictures of. Nikon D5 offers the autofocus points of 153 while Canon 1D X Mark II offers only 61. However, Canon 1D X Mark II is capable of capturing more pictures per shutter pressing since it has more frame rates, 16.0 compared to 14.0 belong to Nikon D5.

Nikon D5

 

Canon 1D X Mark II

 

 

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Both Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II offer a 3.2-inch touch screen LCD (not articulated). Speaking of display, Nikon D5 offers a sharper image preview since its screen has a tighter pixel density. The screen of Nikon D5 offers the pixel density of 2359000 dots while the screen of Canon 1D X Mark II is only 1620000 dots. For a digital camera, a screen with 1620000 dots is actually not bad at all. But still, what offered by Nikon in terms of display is a bit better.

You will find no wireless feature on Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II. Neither Bluetooth nor Wi-Fi. What about video recording capability?

Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are a professional full frame DSLR with a high price so expecting more on recording video capability is make sense. Both Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are capable of recording 4K videos, but Canon is slightly better on this section than Nikon D5. The maximum video resolution Canon 1D X Mark II can record is 4096 x 2160 with the frame rates of 60 while Nikon D5 is 3840 x 2160 with the frame rates of 30. Be it Nikon D5 or Canon 1D X Mark II doesn’t offer a video stabilisation.

Another aspect worth-noticing is battery life. If you choose Nikon D5, you will be able to use your camera for longer on a single charge. The battery of Nikon D5 is capable of firing up your camera to take about 3780 photos per charging while the battery of Canon 1D X Mark II is only capable of taking about 1210 photos per charging.

Sensor comparison: Nikon D5 vs Canon 1D X Mark II

Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are professional DSLR cameras that use full frame sensor so the sensor size of these two cameras are large enough. Nikon D5 offers a redesigned 20.8 MP image sensor with less noise than is predecessor Nikon D4S, but the matter of size Canon 1D X Mark II is slightly larger. You can take a look at the image below to compare the sensor size of Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II. The sensor of these two cameras themselves have the same crop factor of 1.0.

Body comparison: Nikon D5 vs Canon 1D X Mark II

Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are professional full frame DSLR cameras with a large body size. If you have ever noticed deeply, the vast majority of camera bodies have a horizontal rectangle dimension. Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are different. Nikon D5 has a square body dimension while Canon 1D X Mark II has a vertical rectangle body dimension. The body of Canon 1D X Mark II is slightly heavier than D5.

Photo results comparison: Nikon D5 vs Canon 1D X Mark II

We have selected some examples of photos taken using Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II to allow you to compare the end results of the photos taken using them. As usual, all examples below were taken from Pixabay, our favorite resource for free images. Since the photo quality is determined by some factors, including lens, we have also added the EXIF data of each photo so you can identify the lens used on each photo.

  • Nikon D5

  • Canon 1D X Mark II

Conclusion

Both Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are full frame DSLR cameras that are aimed at professionals. No wonder if they are available in a high price. With their high specs and large sensor, these cameras can handle nearly all sorts of photography needs. Both cameras earned the same score during the DxOMark test, meaning that they have an equivalent quality. And indeed, these cameras are competing on the professional DSLR market.

Nikon D5 is slightly better at photographing moving objects since it has more autofocus points. Especially if the objects you are photographing have an extremely fast movement (race for instance). Conversely, Canon 1D X Mark II is a better suited option if you plan to use your camera to mainly record videos. This camera is capable of recording videos in a higher resolution, also offers better frame rates.

Other sections where Nikon D5 is better than Canon 1D X Mark II is screen and batter. But overall, both Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are great professional cameras. As we said a couple times, they are capable of handling nearly all sorts of photography needs.

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