Canon 5D Mark II vs. Canon 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800

Not that it took the actual release any verified information on either the Canon 5D Mark III or the Nikon D800 for internet goers to start drawing comparisons between the two, now that both cameras have been properly outed by their manufacturers, true comparisons can be drawn.

Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D800

Both cameras have their strengths and weaknesses relative to each other and, as a result, will no doubt appeal to different types of photographers and enthusiasts. The Nikon D800 may appeal to those seeking a high megapixel count or the absence of an anti-aliasing filter (D800E), while the Canon 5D Mark III may win the hearts of low-light shooters and those looking for more rapid-fire shooting.

This list of reasons to choose one camera or the other, however, certainly doesn't end there. In reality, though, the reasons to pick one or the other rests solely with the individual making the buying decision. To aid in that decision, we've pulled the following side-by-side comparison of the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D800 from our camera database, but have saved you the trouble of having to build the comparison yourself. We've also added the 5D Mark II to the mix, for those of you that want to compare the new 5D3 to its predecessor.

Canon 5D Mark II Nikon D800 Canon 5D Mark III
Device Image
Alternate Names Canon 5D Mk II Nikon D800 Canon 5D Mk III, Canon 5D3, Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Device Type DSLR DSLR DSLR
Aperture Priority (Av) Yes Yes Yes
Aperture Range
Audio Formats
Linear PCM
Linear PCM
Audio In / Mic Yes Yes Yes
Audio Out Yes Yes Yes
Auto Focus

9-point TTL-CT-SIR (1 Cross Type) + 6 AF Assist Points

  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View

51-point TTL phase detection via Nikon Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX (15 cross-type sensors; f/8 supported by 11 central sensors)

  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View

61-point high-density reticular AF (One to five cross-type AF points at f/2.8, 10 to 20 cross-type AF points at f/4, and 15 to 21 cross-type AF points at f/5.6.

  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Battery Power 7.2VDC, 1800mAh
Battery Standby
Battery Type Li-ion LP-E6 Li-ion EN-EL15 Battery Li-ion LP-E6
Compressed Formats JPEG
Continuous Drive Yes Yes Yes
Continuous Drive Rate 3.9 fps 4.6 fps 6.0 fps
Digital Viewfinder No No No
Digital Zoom No No No
Dimensions 152 x 114 x 75 mm (5.98 x 4.49 x 2.95 in) 146 x 123 x 81.5 mm (5.7 x 4.8 x 3.2 in.) 152 x 116 x 76 mm (5.98 x 4.57 x 2.99 in)
Display Colors
Display Resolution 920,000 pixels 921,000 pixels 1.04 million dot
Display Size 3.0 in 3.2 in. 3.2 inch
Display Type TFT TFT LCD Clear View II TFT LCD
Effective Megapixels 21.1 36.3 22.3
Exposure Comensation Manual, ±2 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments (can be combined with AEB) ±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps) ±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
Flash (Built-in) No Yes No
Flash (External) Yes (Hot-shoe, Wireless + sync connector) Yes (Hot-shoe, Wireless plus sync connector) Yes (Hot-shoe, Wireless plus sync connector)
Flash Modes Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain, High-speed sync
Flash Range 12 m
Focal Length (35mm equivalent)
Focal Length Multiplier 1.0 1.0 1.0
Focus Range
GPS No Yes No
HDMI Yes Yes Yes
ISO Settings Auto, ISO 100-6400 (in 1/3-stop or 1-stop increments), Extendable to 50, 12800, 25600 Auto, 100-6400 (expandable 50-25600) 100 - 25600 (Expandable to 50, 51200, 104200)
Image Stabilization No No No
Lens Thread/Mount Canon EF Nikon F mount EF
Live View Yes Yes Yes
Macro Focus Range
Manual Focus Yes No
Manufacturer Canon Nikon Canon
Max ISO 25600 6400 25600
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 1/8000 1/8000
Memory Formats CF1, CF2, UDMA, Microdrive CF1, SD, SDHC, SDXC CF Type I, SD, SDHC, SDXC
Memory Included None None None
Metering 35-zone TTL full-aperture metering Multi, Center-weighted, Average, Spot Center-weighted, Spot, Evaluative, Partial (iFCL metering w/ 63 zone dual-layer sensor)
Min ISO 50 100 100
Min Shutter Speed 30 30 30
Optical Viewfinder Yes Yes Yes
Pixel Density
Processor Digic 4 Expeed 3 DIGIC 5+
Release Date Sep 17, 2008 Mar 30, 2012 Late March 2012
Release Year 2008 2012 2012
Remote Control Yes, N3 / RC-1 / RC-5 Yes, Optional wired or wireless Wireless Controller LC-5, Remote Controller RC-6, Remote control with N3 type contact
Self Timer Yes Yes Yes
Sensor Manufacturer Canon Sony Canon
Sensor Size 36mm x 24mm 35.9 x 24 mm (1.70") 36 x 24 mm
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS CMOS
Shutter Priority (Tv) Yes Yes Yes
Startup Time 0.1 sec 0.1 seconds
Total Pixels 22.0 36.8
USB USB 2.0 USB 3.0 2.0
Uncompressed Formats RAW, sRAW1, sRAW2 RAW (NEF, 12 bit or 14 bit) RAW, sRAW1, SRAW2 (14 bit)
Video / Movie Mode Yes Yes Yes
Video Formats
H.264
MOV
MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, MOV
Video Frame Rate 1920x1080 (30 fps), 1920x1080 (25 fps), 1920x1080 (24 fps), 640x480 (30 fps), 640x480 (25 fps) 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps) 29.97, 25, 23.976 fps (1080 HD), 59.94, 50 fps (720 HD), 25, 30 fps (SD)
Video Out Yes Yes Yes
Video Resolutions 1920x1080 (30 fps), 1920x1080 (25 fps), 1920x1080 (24 fps), 640x480 (30 fps), 640x480 (25 fps) 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps) 1920 x 1080 (1080 HD), 1280 x 720 (720 HD), 640 x 480 (SD)
Viewfinder Accuracy 98% 100 % 100%
Viewfinder Type Eye-level pentaprism Eye-level pentaprism TTL "Intelligent" Viewfinder
Weight 850 g (1.87 lbs) 900 g (1 lbs) 950 g (33.5 oz)
Wi-Fi No No Optional
Wide Zoom

Both the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D800/E are available for pre-ordering, with high demand and long wait lists expected for both cameras. Check the table below for a list of retailers still accepting pre-orders for the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D800.

Feel free to share your opinions on how these cameras stack up against each other in the comments below.

Tag: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 5D Mark III, News, Nikon D800

Comments

Useless review

Useless review

Uh, where does it say it is a review??? It's a specs comparison.

Uh, where does it say it is a review???

It's a specs comparison.

The D800 has USB 3.0 per Nikon's web site not USB 2

The D800 has USB 3.0 per Nikon's web site not USB 2

For low light shooting you buy fast lenses. Not camera's with extreme high ISO combined with crappy lenses.

For low light shooting you buy fast lenses.
Not camera's with extreme high ISO combined with crappy lenses.

That's the dumbest thing I've ever read. Take it from someone who makes their living with their cameras: If

That's the dumbest thing I've ever read.

Take it from someone who makes their living with their cameras:

If the high ISOs are clean, which early samples show the 5D Mark III's to be (VERY clean, in fact), ANY photographer will happily take advantage of the aperture versatility offered in low light. Sure, fast lenses are great. However, even a f/1.2 lens won't solve very low light problems -- and who wants to be forced to shoot everything with paper thin DOF?

Don't mislead people with statements you're not qualified to make.

Photos??

Photos??

The worst is when people are publically condescending to others over, in all things, a camera. It is simply horri

The worst is when people are publically condescending to others over, in all things, a camera. It is simply horrible and a sad indication of savage decline in a world of wonderful technologies. My generation remembers and misses kodachrome 25, when now the expected ASA is in six digits! I suppose I will not find here a coherent advice regarding pertinent issues in choosing a digital camera. Good luck to all of you.

under the Nikon spec, the weight is shown as 900 grams, which is 1.98 lbs. not 1.

under the Nikon spec, the weight is shown as 900 grams, which is 1.98 lbs. not 1.

5Dmk3: face detection AF only in live-view mode D800: face detection AF available through optical view finder

5Dmk3: face detection AF only in live-view mode
D800: face detection AF available through optical view finder

D800: 91k pixel RGB metering sensor. can detect faces and helps autofocus system to focus on faces. also ensures face is properly exposed.

D800: 200,000 shutter actuations
5Dmk3: 150,000 shutter actuations

D800: uncompressed HDMI output for external recording
5Dmk3: no uncompressed HDMI out

Which one do you think its worth to buy? Nikon D800 or Canon 5D mark ii since the price of mark ii dropped drastic

Which one do you think its worth to buy? Nikon D800 or Canon 5D mark ii since the price of mark ii dropped drastically. Even though Nikon is newer, but if compared to canon mark ii doesnt have that much different. Need suggestion please! Thanks :)

..and there are possibilities to put up lens mark iii to mark ii as well right..?

Go for Nikon D800, the specs say it all and the price itself. Nikkor lens are also better than Canon's.

Go for Nikon D800, the specs say it all and the price itself. Nikkor lens are also better than Canon's.

That's absolutely erroneous. Even the staunchest Nikon fans will admit that Canon lenses are considerably superior

That's absolutely erroneous. Even the staunchest Nikon fans will admit that Canon lenses are considerably superior to Nikon. Nikon is, however, working hard to bring their lens offerings in line with Canon's.

To me, the 5D3 is clearly the more well rounded camera. Unless you know you need 36MP, the 5D3 is the clear choice.

Sorry buddy, "Even the staunchest Nikon fans will admit that Canon lenses are considerably superior to Nikon"

Sorry buddy,
"Even the staunchest Nikon fans will admit that Canon lenses are considerably superior to Nikon"

There are quite a few Nikon lenses that Cannon has no answer to, and there are some Cannon lenses that are better than their Nikon counterpart. All things said, just as many people will insist that NIKON has a better group of lenses and most of the new high end Nikons still work with the great old nikon lenses, while Canons mostly do not. I personally beleive I would be generous to say that it is a wash between the two.

so back to which camera is better... well we wont know for sure for a month or less. But based on the specs, Can

so back to which camera is better...
well we wont know for sure for a month or less.
But based on the specs, Cannon mostly fixed what should have been in the 5d mk 2, weather sealing and high end af. D700 killed the 5dmk2 in those, And Nikon upped the game with higher mp because of the low 12mp on the d700. Between the two, I think there has been more of an improvment of the d700 to d800 than the 5dmk2 to mk3. I thinks Cannon may have won the last round (just because of the video alone), this round may go to the d800. Cannon fans will point out the higher iso capabilities of the mk3, but I have seen test images of the d800 beating the d700 in high iso!! plus the D800 can just be down sampled to make up the difference of the supposed better high iso performance of the mk3. my 2 cents

That's the most idiotic generalization I've ever heard!

That's the most idiotic generalization I've ever heard!

that's a funny comment...both makes have lens groups that better than their counterparts. The clear choice betwee

that's a funny comment...both makes have lens groups that better than their counterparts. The clear choice between these two cameras boils down to video capabilities. And continuous focus wins out...if you're looking for video capability, not to mention uncompressed HDMI out storage. That's evident in the blogosphere and in many reviews and almost not even debated. It's also only one attribute. Both Canon and Nikon fans are not happy with the newest releases from their respective hero maker. But it's those same enthusiasts who jump on each new release, chest thumping and bragging about who's is the biggest...I mean best.

it's always funny to see comments on "what's better" and "who's better" between canon and nikon. It all depends o

it's always funny to see comments on "what's better" and "who's better" between canon and nikon. It all depends on your personal tastes, abilities, shooting requirements, and who you want to invest with long term. The cameras don't make the pictures, the talent behind the camera who knows it's capabilities makes the picture. If you're looking at a first time purchase, look at the camera make as a system, and not just a model. I happened to lean towards Nikon, but Canon would have been a fine choice at the time. I'm now invested in Nikon lenses, so, naturally I look at Nikon bodies. I don't however have to throw insults out to feel better about my choice. FPS, pixel count, ISO range....they're fun to debate, but in today's technology, they only make it easier to take pictures. The winners are still those that know how to use a camera, not the best camera used to make the shot.

Well i have both canon mk ii and nikon D700 for me the importand issue is the price and in Greece canon mk

Well i have both
canon mk ii and nikon D700
for me the importand issue is the price
and in Greece
canon mk iii is 3200 Euros
Nikon D800 is 2650 Euros

Wich one you think i will get ?

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