Canon EOS-1D X Mark II vs. Nikon D5: Clash of the Titans

By Marcus Wong - 5 Dec 2016

Clash of the Titans: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II vs Nikon D5

It's a face-off between two heavy weight cameras!

Canon vs. Nikon full-frame DSLR showdown!

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and Nikon D5 are undoubtedly the flagship cameras for both companies, and both are cameras that many professionals have been waiting for. The EOS-1D X Mark II replaces the EOS-1D X from 2011, while the Nikon D5 replaces the D4 from 2012.

That’s a lifetime in progression for today’s consumer electronics, and both of the previous models have arguably been overtaken on some points by competitors’ flagship models like the Sony’s A7S II and A7R II and even by some of the prosumer models of their own like the 5D and D800 series from both companies respectively. So, to say anticipation was high is nothing short of an understatement.

Unlike what some might expect, both companies haven’t attempted to max out the resolution count on their flagship cameras, instead sticking with a more sensible balance of resolution versus ISO sensitivity and dynamic range. The 1D X Mark II has a resolution of 20.2MP, while the D5 has a resolution of 20.8MP.

Both are able to hit ISO levels of up to 51,200 on a base setting (the D5 actually has ISO 102,400 as the top base setting), and both can expand their range by at least three stops, with the EOS-1D X Mark II going up to ISO 409,600 and the D5 going up to an incredible ISO 3,280,000. In fairness, these aren’t values that you will use normally, so any advantage there is debatable, but they do give you a fair idea of what to expect from the base settings.

Before we move on further, here’s a quick table showing how the two cameras stack up:

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II vs. Nikon D5
  Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Nikon D5
Effective pixels 20.2 MP 20.8 MP
Sensor  35.9 x23.9 mm full-frame CMOS sensor FX format 35.9 x23.9 mm full-frame CMOS sensor
ISO rating ISO 100 -51,200
(50 - 409,600 available as boost)

ISO 100 - 102,400 
(50 - 3,280,000 available as boost)

Shutter speed 1/8000 - 30s,  bulb, X-sync at 1/250. (available range varies by shooting mode) 1/8000 - 30s, in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV, bulb, X-sync at 1/250
Focus Points

61 points
(Cross-type AF point: Max. 41 points)

*Number of available AF points, Dual cross-type AF points, and cross-type AF points vary depending on the lens used.

153 points
(99 cross-type AF points, of which 55 are available for selection)

Storage type

1 CF card, 1 CFast card

Either 2 XQD cards or 2 CF cards depending on the variant purchased.

Battery life

(Room temperature)

Approx. 1210 shots (Viewfinder)

Approx. 260 shots (Live View)

Approx 3,780 shots (Viewfinder)
Dimensions 158.0 x 167.6 x 82.6mm  160.0 x 158.5 x 92.0mm
(body only, no battery)

1,235g (XQD version)

1,240g  (CF version)

Price S$8,199 S$8,639
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