Canon EOS 1Dx gets DxOMarked, almost as good as the Nikon D3s

DxOMark released their test results for the Canon EOS 1Dx full frame DSLR camera ($6,799.00). The numbers show that Canon's flagship model is almost as good as the Nikon D3s that was announced back in 2009:

The 1D X doesn’t match up to the Nikon D4 in most tests, and costs $800 more, with image quality that is more comparable to the D4’s predecessor (which can still be purchased for $1,600 less), but the reality on both fronts is that a professional photographer who already has invested in Canon lenses is unlikely to jump ship to either of the Nikons (especially since the D4’s feature set is so similar to the 1D X). But neither is a dedicated Nikon shooter going to run and buy the Canon 1D X.

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  • There are good things about DxO and there are bad things about DxO… sadly, most of its readers don’t know what to take and what to leave.

    I’m very cautious when it comes to reading reviews from sites that have “overall” scores and ratings for complex devices.

    • Bare

      It’s penalty which Canon pays for not implemented on chip ADC . Reason for that is outdated 500nm fabrication process. It’s also cause why Canon don’t have a 30+ MP FF sensors.

      • UseFilm

        Since 5+ old technology respect to Canon they are capable to get the results they have!

        • Bare

          It’s not problem noise wise but as you can see Canon is lacking in read noise department and also it’s weird that Canon didn’t score even higher in High-ISO category because they have ages to refine 500nm process while 250nm for D4 sensor with shared pixel architecture and on chip ADC were something new to Nikon and it’s most likely we will see what Nikon can do with D4s when Nikon got more experience with that technology.

    • El Aura

      “I’m very cautious when it comes to reading reviews from sites that have “overall” scores and ratings for complex devices.”

      That excludes an awful lot of sites: Dpreview, photozone, SLRgear, etc.

      Wouldn’t it be much smarter to just ignore the few characters used to report overall scores on those sites and just read the rest of what they have to report?

      • Wouldn’t it be much smarter to know that being “cautious” is not the same as ignoring entirely? ;D

        Btw, not all of the individual scores are valid either. Some of their tests are flawed (natural limitations aside).

        • El Aura

          Because ‘I am very cautious when it comes to …’ is just a euphemism for saying ‘I believe very little of what they are saying’. But since it is a euphemism, you get your get-free-out-of-jail card.

      • Forgot to add… who reads dpreview for the reviews? It’s a well maintained database of camera specs. Everything else they do (reviews, forums, galleries, etc.) is a joke and it’s a place for MWACs and soccerdads to call each other names.

        Photozone’s lens tests are flawed:

        They’re only good for center resolution values.

        slrgear’s not too bad though… but nothing compares to a proper visual comparison because these grossly simplified measurement numbers these sites show are not indicative of perceived resolution/quality when the images are inspected side by side.

  • I own a D4 and played around with the 1Dx – they’re both about equal in my opinion. Don’t take these DxO Mark scores too seriously. 7 point difference might seem like a lot, but it means next to nothing in the real world.

    Glad to hear that Nikon still has the upper hand, at least on paper.

    • Daf

      They’re funny to tease Canon users with though 😉

      • Lee Saxon

        Yup, that’s about all I use DxO Mark scores for.

        The actual charts, though, I find cool.

  • VR

    What about that bit about D7000: got better dynamic range than D4 and 1DX?

    • Yup

      D4 and D3S are Nikon-designed sensors, so they don’t have the low ISO DR of Sony’s sensors. The D7k is basically a cropped D800 chip and features very similar ISO 100 performance. At high ISO any of these blow it out of the water and the D800 keeps pace by way of noise reduction and downscaling.

      • AAron

        pretty obvious that you didnt shot both. Maybe it is only firmware bug or implenentation in raw converter but D7000 is far cry from D800 in dynamic range and especially in shadow recovery in both ACR and NX2

        • What

          Their pixels use identical technology – at 100% they look the same. The D800’s advantage is in sensor size and therefore pixel count.

        • MrBig

          Canon has nothing to counter Sony’s sensor with. This is why were seeing APS-C sensors beating Canon FF in dynamic range.

          Aside from that, if you can live with 3 stops less DR at nominal ISO, then these are fantastic machines in every sense of the word.

      • Bare

        How you explain that sensor in D3200 which is Nikon one have similar DR to sensor in NEX-7 which is Sony while both have same size and pixel count?

      • The “poor” performance of the D3, D3s, and D4 sensors at low ISO values all has to do with read noise. The on-board ADC of the Sony sensors has very low read noise.

        But a good thing to remember is that the D3s has basically the same dynamic range from base ISO to ISO 800 because it is “read noise impared” up to that point. The Sony ADC is going down in dynamic range with each ISO boost from base.

      • LOL! D800 downscales in high iso? Anything else? 😀

        • Yes – it’s really a 100 MP chip! It always downsizes! 😉

    • Sportshooter

      You seem to have missed much of the point of these cameras …

      The 1D X and D4 are designed to be top performers at high iso, not low iso. Look at DR at higher iso and you will see how the different priorities play out.

    • MrBig

      Or the K-5
      But from what I understood, no one is suppose to talk about that. 🙂

  • wublili

    It’s a good thing Canon finally managed to create sensor that can compete with Sony and Nikon sensors. It will push them both to develop the sensors even more.

  • Pablo Ricasso

    One point down from this is the 5D3 and one point from that is the 1DS3. One point from that is the 5D2.
    I gather several things from that. One is that this isn’t a major breakthrough. The dynamic range is still a lot lower than other cameras. Second is that the only cameras that have got a score of 80 or more are expensive. Below the 5D2, at 79 are the 1DS2 and the 1D4, scoring 74, a point above the D90. Their best APS cameras, the 60D and the 7D score 66 points. You can get a bargain with Nikon sometimes but with Canon you really pay for what you get. If the new APS camera bucks the trend it will be remarkable. 66 points is a long way from 81, the score of the D3200 and the 5D3.

  • Rob

    What I find weird is that Canon rumors posted the scores sent to them a week or so ago and they are significantly higher?

    “I was sent an email claiming the results of DXOMark’s testing of the Canon EOS-1D X. I have not yet seen it on their site, so don’t take these numbers as official until they’re up.

    DxO score: 90
    DR: 12.8
    Color depth: 24.9 bits
    ISO: 3296

    Do what you will with these numbers. They do show that the 1D X has the “best” technical numbers as far as sensor testing goes. This puts the 1D X above the Nikon D4, but below the D600 & D800. I know people love to debate the numbers from DXOMark.”

    Now Im a Nikon guy (I shoot D4 and D7000) but I have to give it up to canon on the 5dmkIII and the 1DX they look like killer cameras they are just not for me. Im more comfortable with Nikon controls and how the raw files react.

    I just think its weird that this was posted and the results changed?

    • Pablo Ricasso

      Rumors. Somebody sent somebody an e mail. Someone else sent a chain mail. Yet another person sent a mail bomb…

      • Fablo Pitasso

        Yet you still don’t know what are you talking about, Pablito…

        • Pablo Ricasso

          Ho! Good thing I don’t know computers. Or I’d send you a virus…

    • Remedy

      And ROTFL at that Canon Rumors admin hypocrite idiot who after the results of 5DmkIII were out said “I will never ever quote, link or mention DxO AGAIN!!!”.

      What a fking joke that guy is.

  • Steve-o

    I like this post..

    because i took a d3s a while ago and the 3200 iso pictures looked horrible..

    and before i’ve been able to use the 1dx and i shot with 3200 iso aswell and there was significantly less noise in those pictures.

    so keep the lab to your self and just go out and enjoy taking pics.

    its like comparing lamborghini to ferrari.. they are designed to give the same experience but both do it differently.

    • Troll Prozac

      When I used D3s the 3200 shots looked fine.

      All depends on how much you pixel peep and how much you can stand noise. Personally I don’t mind a little.

    • Fablo Pitasso

      D3S is produces a fine detail at 3200 ISO.

      It’s your technique you need to work on a little more.

      • Pablo Ricasso

        Canon shooters don’t look for detail. They look for dust spots.

  • MB

    That must be painful 🙂
    Bad Admin, so obvious that your origin is at Nikon rumors.

  • aj

    You can see photo by 1Dx and D4, and you’ll see. it’s simply.

    • Richard

      Yes I did. That’s why I invested in D4.

  • Bryan

    Canon has to revise their sensor department and technologies promptly. Their DSLR product lines cannot compete with Nikon at all. Both technical test result and Amazon’s sale ranking confirm this.

    • Ken Y.

      Agree. I jumped out from Canon’s camp mainly because their DLSR product lineup nowadays is not impressive like few year s ago. The more the products are released, the more we see the gap between both of them.

    • jake

      not completely agreed but I also sold Canon but I also selling my Nikon for Sony, I think both Canon Nikon all boring, do the same boring highISO /resolution game forever when they really need is some kind of real gamechanging innovation such as flip-out screen of the Sony or the EVF of the Sony.

      and personally I test sensors my self I never trust DXO ,which is easy to fooled by a paticular company.

      basically, Nikon is designing sensor for this particular test by using DXO’s testing program for a decade and so they always get higher scores than others in this particular test.

      who do you think seriously believe that Nikon D800e is better than Phase One IQ180 or Hassy H4 ,H5 ,etc?

      • Tayler

        “who do you think seriously believe that Nikon D800e is better than Phase One IQ180 or Hassy H4 ,H5 ,etc?”

        Why not? As far as I know, several photo studios changed from their medium format to D800/D800e.

        • Sky

          it’s mostly because of lens choice and portability, not image quality.

          • Tayler

            No. Actually one of the reasons are about IQ too.

          • MuttonPuncher

            If that was the case they would have switched long before now.

          • Sky

            Before recent days IQ was simply below their lowest standards, so they even haven’t considered it.

        • Blad user

          I own a H4d-50 and a D800E.. the Blad gives far better image quality,the main reason people are abandoning MF for the D800E is money.. it’s cheaper…

      • Pablo Ricasso

        Nobody is designing a sensor to just to achieve a test score. They design the best possible sensor to take the best possible picture and the test score cant help but reflect that.
        There’s a lot of things that DXO doesn’t measure. If it did, their estimation of the difference between Nikon and Canon would be greater.
        That which they don’t measure is much of the reason people had stuck with medium format. Hell, a bat could see that.

  • PolaroidJockey

    When it comes to ISO performance, Nikon has the upper hand, and no sensible person will argue. So i simply want Canon to do some research, make the best sensor till date, so that Nikon delivers something even better within months. Both Nikon and Canon users will be happy, and the world would be a better place.(Really?)

    • jake

      at base ISO till maybe ISO800, Nikon sensors are always better but from about ISO1600 actually the 5D3 outperforms the D800, the D600 and the A99v in most of tests, only the DXO claims otherwise.

      this is because DXO always shows us print result , even at DXO mark , the 5D3 is better at high ISO than the D800 in screen mode.

      to me , print score is useless because I do not buy a high MP camera for 8mp equivalent print(A4 size).
      also important to note : in screen mode the D3s is still the best.

  • Who cares with the dxo mark score, as long I can take decent picture is ok for me.

  • PVS

    Epic trolling post from the OP

  • sean sebastian

    Finally a Canon camera in the top ten on DXOmark. Good for you Canon! How many of the top ten are Nikon?

  • Lee Saxon

    Their scores are such worthless bullshit. It’s really infuriating.

    I just looked at the actual charts. The 1Dx is neck-and-neck with the D3s, and except for low-ISO dynamic range neck-and-neck with the D4.

    Always ignore their scores, which I think they just absolutely make up on a whim.

  • MB

    I am Nikon user but I have some reservations regarding DxOMark methodology in theirs so called scientific measurements. For something to be scientific it is not enough for a submitter (DxOMark in this case) just to announce it as such, it must be well documented and validated by scientific community and neither is true.
    No scientific or any other body has ever validated their methodology, and as for documentation found on their site it kind of look serious with couple of formulas thrown here and there but one could also find that they “use filters that can test dynamic range of 4 density steps = 13.3 f-stops —” and claim that this is “a dynamic range much greater than today’s digital cameras” but in test results we actually see that Nikon D800E has surpassed this value by far (14.3EV).
    I will continue to believe what I see and there is no way that D3200 is better than any full frame camera, Nikon or Canon, in dynamic range at any ISO level.

  • Ash

    Picutres from 2009 look great. Why would there need to be an IQ improvement at all?

    The important thing here is the increase in features and useability.

  • hm..


  • Fred

    I have both 1Dx & D4…. The 1Dx is the best so far…

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