Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Exclusive 25% off Affinity Photo: Professional photo editing with no subscription!

Canon 5 D Mk II or Canon 1D Mk IV

MW8195 9 2
3 Feb 2012 4:01PM
I have a bit of a dilemma. I am upgrading my camera equipment and my choice is either the Canon 5D Mk II or the Canon 1D Mk IV. Apart from the obvious cost difference between the two I am really at a loss to decide which one to get. While I would like to get the flagship of the Canon fleet (1D) I am not sure whether the additional cost is worth it. My photography is quite varied but I really enjoy natural history, sport and pictures of the grandkids. Can someone give me some advice or recommendations please.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2012 4:08PM
I have a 1D Mk III and have used a friend's MkIV. I also have a 5D MkII.

The advantage of the 1 series camera is the incredible battery life, the extra weather sealing, dual card slots, built-in portrait grip.

The 5D II has the advantage of full frame shooting, excellent video (can be handy to have available even if you don't plan to use), better picture quality (IMO).

If I was you I'd not hesitate to go for the 5D II
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2012 5:03PM
For fast moving nature (birds in flight) and sports then 1D would be at the top for performance. Having said that the 5DII is still has good autofocus it is just not as powerful as the 1D - heck, I got some pretty good shots with my 30D and I have seen some excellent shots with 20D and even the Rebel series. So it all depends on how important the fast stuff is to you and how much of your photography it takes up.

I would say 5DII unless you can make a strong case for the 1D.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
3 Feb 2012 5:34PM
There is 2000 quids worth of difference, Will you miss the 2 grands worth of difference when using the camera in a non pro capacity, A question only you can answer.....!!!

2000 Quid would also go a long way on some quality lens options, Camera bodies depreciate like cheap cars, But a decent lens retains its value, Whilst giving you superb image quality, No matter what body it strapped to.....Wink

A few images in your PF might help us evaluate the pros & cons further though.....Grin
sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2012 5:39PM
Personally I disagree about the 5D's autofocus - its great for most situations but I've never had any particular luck with it for tracking fast moving objects. The autofocus system is the same as the 5D Mk1 and quite old in terms of technology.

To me the 2 cameras are geared towards quite different users. As you go up in the range I believe you find the cameras become more targeted to particular specialist uses. The 5D Mk11 is fab for portraits and landscape - the full frame sensor and its high resolution are great for these genres. The 1D MkIV is 1 of several 1D models - all of which have are targeted to a specific professional market. The 1DsMkIII is more like the 1D range equivalent of the 5D MkII - it offers all the 1D advantages, but has a full frame sensor and other added features. The MkIV has a phenomenal frame rate, a super fast AF, and a cropped sensor - giving extra reach on telephoto lenses - its therefore brilliant for sports and wildlife. Thats not to say that either camera can not function in alternative environments - rather that the each model is designed with a specialist (and professional) use in mind. Personally I find the 5D Mk11 does everything (and more) than I need. Of course at the end of the day this is all relative...
mattw 14 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2012 6:15PM
The 5D2 AF is fine for slow moving and static subjects ... but it can be a bit hit or miss with fast moving subjects.

If you are really into sports and wildlife - then have a good look at the 7D ... and spend the change on lenses or a good holiday.
Big Bri 17 16.4k United Kingdom
3 Feb 2012 6:18PM

Quote:I have a 1D Mk III and have used a friend's MkIV. I also have a 5D MkII.

You jammy sod. Smile
lawbert 11 1.8k 15 England
3 Feb 2012 7:43PM

Quote:I have a 1D Mk III and have used a friend's MkIV. I also have a 5D MkII.

You jammy sod. Smile

But with only 2 pics in the portfolio money may have been better spent in upgrading the 64mb cardTongue
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2012 7:59PM
I put my pictures on my website lawbert apart from some portraits, some baby pics and commercial stuff.

I made a mistake in post, my 1D is a Mk II not a III as stated but stand by what I said that I'd choose the 5D II over any of the current 1 series.

One point that I wish I'd made, but which others have, is the money you save is better spent on glass. Glass is what makes the most difference.

lawbert 11 1.8k 15 England
3 Feb 2012 8:26PM


I made a mistake in post, my 1D is a Mk II not a III as stated

Ho HumTongueWink
Steve_S Plus
12 181 3 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2012 9:45PM
I have got the 1D mk iv. Its a fantastic camera for sports and wildlife but would suggest that you need a really good lens attached to it to make the most of it. What are you using at the moment (body and lenses)?
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2012 11:47PM
has no one hit on the speed difference between the 5d mark ii and the 1d iv.
I would be asking the question of what are you using the camera for ie, wildlife, sport and action or portraits weddings and still life, if it were sport and fast action i would take the 1d iv rather than the 5d mark ii.

I have a 7d and it is so much better in speed than the 5d is but then the 5d has better iso ranges for low light situations as does the 1d iv with its 1.3x crop sensor it has 45 focal points compared to the 9 the 5d has it also has 10 frames a sec burst rate compared to the 5d's 3.9.

So depending on what you want to do is dependant on what camera to choose.
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2012 12:01AM
Sorry just read your post properly and you say your photography is varied and you state sport and portraiture, in that case i would be inclined to be going for the 1d as you will get the speed for sport, and lots more focal points and the 1.3x crop sensor and low light capabilities plus lots more for your portraits, got to be honest i am selling my 7d to buy the id iv myself soon as it seems a great choice for both my wildlife and portraits.

Good luck with your choice.
Steve_S Plus
12 181 3 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2012 12:34AM
My point is that there is no point of having 10fps if they are all going to be soft or if the lens itself is not capable of extremely fast focusing especially for moving targets. A good lens on a 20D will produce better results than a jamjar on a 1D Wink That is why I ask the question about current kit...and maybe total budget
MW8195 9 2
4 Feb 2012 7:13AM
Thank you all for your comments. My current equipment is a 50D with the following L Series lenses: EF 24-105mm, EF 180mm Macro and EF 100-400mm. With regard to my budget, I would say that both are affordable but I would have to sacrifice this years golf for the 1D which I am quite willing to do.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.