25 February 2017
Both cameras have full-frame sensors so you get the same framing with lenses and the same level of control over depth of field. But while the 1DX Mark II has a pixel count of 20.2 million, there are 30.4 million effective pixels on the 5D Mark IV’s sensor.
That means that at 300ppi you can make prints that measure 56.9 x 37.9 cm with the 5D Mark IV. This drops to 46.3 x 20.9cm at the same resolution with the 1DX II. So if your aim is big prints, the 5D Mark IV may be the best choice.
Of course, one benefit of keeping the pixel count down a little is that the photoreceptors are larger and this boosts image quality, especially in low-light conditions. Consequently, the 1DX Mark II has a sensitivity range of ISO 100-51,200 which can be expanded to ISO 50-409,600. Meanwhile the 5D Mark IV’s range is ISO 100-32,000 with expansion settings taking it to ISO 50-102,400. That gives the 1DX Mark II the edge for low light shooting.
There’s not much to choose between the two cameras for autofocusing as they have the same 61-point system with 41 cross-type points, including 5 that are dual cross type at f/8 and 21 that are cross-type at f/8. They’re also sensitive down to -3EV, which means you can focus automatically in near darkness with either camera.
While their focusing systems may be the same, the 1DX Mark II brings a major advantage with moving subjects as it has a maximum continuous shooting rate of 14fps (frame per second) with full AF tracking and exposure metering. The 5D Mark IV can only muster half that rate, and while 7fps is still a very respectable figure, you may appreciate 14fps if you’re shooting sport.
What’s more, the 1DX Mark II’s jpeg burst depth is only limited by the card capacity and it can shoot up to 170 raw files in a single blast. The 5D Mark IV can also record an unlimited number of jpegs but the buffer will fill after 21 raw files have been shot.
Also, if you don’t need continuous autofocusing, the 1DX Mark II is capable of shooting at 16fps in live view mode.
The 1DX Mark II has two card slots, one for CompactFlash (UDMA 7 compatible) media and the other for CFast media. We include a 64GB Extreme Pro UDMA7 160MB/s Compact Flash Card in our Pro Shooter’s rental package, but to get the 1DX Mark II’s full capability you’ll need to use a CFast card.
Like the 1DX Mark II, the 5D Mark IV has two card slots: one is a CompactFlash (UDMA 7 compatible) while the other accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC media and is UHS-I compatible.
One of the biggest differences between the 1DX Mark II and 5D Mark IV is that the 1DX Mark II has a dual grip design. This means that the camera is as comfortable to use when shooting in portrait format images as it is landscape format. However, it also means that the camera is much bigger and heavier.
As well as giving you issues with carrying the weight, you need a bag that’s big enough to fit its bigger dimensions. For comparison, the 1DX Mark II measures 158 x 167.6 x 82.6mm and weighs 1,340g (body only) while the 5D Mark IV measures 150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9mm and weighs ‘just’ 890g (body only).
One added benefit of the larger size of the 1DX Mark II is that it accepts a larger battery and as a result, you get greater battery life, 1210 shots at 23C or 1020 shots at 0C versus 900 shots and 850 shots with the 5D Mark IV.