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

by planetmitch96 Comments

TwitterFacebookRedditLinkedIn

One of the first things people start doing when a new camera like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is announced is compare it to other cameras in its class… so we knew you’d want that and we put together this table of detailed specs on these 3 cameras… the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and the Nikon D800.

We thought about throwing in the Canon EOS-1D X and the Nikon D4, but those are approximately $3,000 more so they’re in a different class.

For more on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III announcement, please see this planet5D coverage:


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

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px}
p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-align: center; font: 11.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’}
p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’}
p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 12.0px 0.0px; text-align: center; font: 11.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’}
p.p5 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 12.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’}
span.s1 {letter-spacing: 0.0px}
table.t1 {background-color: #cfd4d5; border-collapse: collapse}
td.td1 {width: 153.0px; height: 13.0px; background-color: #768185; border-style: solid; border-width: 0.0px 3.0px 3.0px 0.0px; border-color: transparent #ffffff #ffffff transparent; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td2 {width: 132.4px; height: 13.0px; background-color: #768185; border-style: solid; border-width: 0.0px 0.0px 3.0px 3.0px; border-color: transparent transparent #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td3 {width: 133.9px; height: 13.0px; background-color: #768185; border-style: solid; border-width: 0.0px 0.0px 3.0px 0.0px; border-color: transparent transparent #ffffff transparent; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td4 {width: 153.0px; height: 12.5px; border-style: solid; border-width: 3.0px 3.0px 0.0px 0.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff transparent transparent; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td5 {width: 131.9px; height: 12.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 3.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td6 {width: 132.9px; height: 12.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 3.0px 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td7 {width: 153.0px; height: 13.0px; background-color: #929292; border-style: solid; border-width: 0.0px 3.0px 0.0px 0.0px; border-color: transparent #ffffff transparent transparent; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td8 {width: 131.9px; height: 12.0px; background-color: #929292; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td9 {width: 132.9px; height: 12.0px; background-color: #929292; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td10 {width: 153.0px; height: 13.0px; background-color: #abb1b5; border-style: solid; border-width: 0.0px 3.0px 0.0px 0.0px; border-color: transparent #ffffff transparent transparent; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td11 {width: 131.9px; height: 12.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td12 {width: 132.9px; height: 12.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td13 {width: 131.9px; height: 12.0px; background-color: #dee2e4; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td14 {width: 132.9px; height: 12.0px; background-color: #dee2e4; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td15 {width: 153.0px; height: 37.0px; background-color: #abb1b5; border-style: solid; border-width: 0.0px 3.0px 0.0px 0.0px; border-color: transparent #ffffff transparent transparent; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td16 {width: 135.9px; height: 42.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 1.0px 2.0px 1.0px 2.0px}
td.td17 {width: 132.9px; height: 36.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td18 {width: 135.9px; height: 18.0px; background-color: #dee2e4; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 1.0px 2.0px 1.0px 2.0px}
td.td19 {width: 135.9px; height: 18.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 1.0px 2.0px 1.0px 2.0px}
td.td20 {width: 153.0px; height: 25.0px; background-color: #abb1b5; border-style: solid; border-width: 0.0px 3.0px 0.0px 0.0px; border-color: transparent #ffffff transparent transparent; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td21 {width: 135.9px; height: 30.0px; background-color: #dee2e4; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 1.0px 2.0px 1.0px 2.0px}
td.td22 {width: 132.9px; height: 24.0px; background-color: #dee2e4; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td23 {width: 131.9px; height: 24.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td24 {width: 132.9px; height: 24.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td25 {width: 136.9px; height: 42.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 1.0px 2.0px 1.0px 2.0px}
td.td26 {width: 131.9px; height: 24.0px; background-color: #dee2e4; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td27 {width: 153.0px; height: 49.0px; background-color: #abb1b5; border-style: solid; border-width: 0.0px 3.0px 0.0px 0.0px; border-color: transparent #ffffff transparent transparent; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td28 {width: 131.9px; height: 48.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td29 {width: 132.9px; height: 48.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td30 {width: 131.9px; height: 48.0px; background-color: #dee2e4; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td31 {width: 132.9px; height: 48.0px; background-color: #dee2e4; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}
td.td32 {width: 131.9px; height: 36.0px; border-style: solid; border-width: 1.0px 1.0px 1.0px 3.0px; border-color: #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff #ffffff; padding: 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px 4.0px}

CRITERIA

Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 5D Mark III

D 800

Price (body only US$)

$2,499

$3,499

$2,999

General/Photography Settings

Articulated LCD

no

no

no

LCD Size

3”

3.2” 1.04 million dots

3.2” 921,000 dots

Image Stabilization

Only on lenses

Only on lenses

Only on lenses

Max Resolution

7360 x 4912

Autofocus points

9 points

61

Cross points: 21@f6, 20@f4, 5@f2.8

51 AF points

Raw stills support

yes

yes

yes

AE Lock

yes

yes

yes

ISO Range

100-6400 (high ISO up to 25600) (low ISO – 50)

100-25,600 (expand to 50-102,400)

100 – 6400 (50 – 25600 with boost)

Maximum frames per sec

3.9

6

4 fps in FX format, max 6fps in DX

MicroAdjustment for lenses

yes

yes

yes

Metering

63 Zone Full Color 

Metering (same as 7D)

TTL exposure metering using 91k pixel RGB sensor

Sensor size

Full Frame

Full Frame

Full Frame

Sensor mp rating

21.1

22.3

36.8

Processor

Digic IV

DIGIC V +

Expeed 3

Lens mounts

Canon EOS EF only

Canon EOS EF

Nikon F

Weather Resistant

water and dust resistant

Better than 5D2, less than Canon EOS-1D X

water and dust resistant

Memory card

1 CF

One CF one SD 

one CF one SD

Popup Flash

no

no

yes

Weight (with battery)

810g (1.8lb)

900 g (1.98 lb / 31.75 oz)

Battery

LP-E6

LP-E6

MB-D12

Battery Grip

BG-E6

BG-E11

extra

Custom Functions

3 sets of memorized settings

yes

yes

Automatic sensor cleaning

yes

yes

yes

Viewfinder coverage

98%

100%

100%

Ethernet port

no

no

no

multi-exposure

no

yes (up to 9 exposures)

no

HDR in camera

no

yes (5 options)

yes

Horizon level

no

dual axis leveling

dual axis leveling

Face Detection

yes

yes

yes

GPS location

external

external device

external device

AE Bracket

3 frames

3, 5, 7 frames

(2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV steps)

Shutter life

150,000 actuations

150,000 actuations

200,000

Silent shooting

no

yes

yes

zoom in camera (not lens based)

no

no

no

Timelapse support

no

no

yes

Multifunction lock

no

yes

no

comparative playback 

no

yes

no

Video functions:

Video (1080)

29.97, 25 and 23.97

29.97, 25 and 23.97

29.97, 25 and 23.97

Video (720)

n/a

60, 50

60, 50, 30, 25 fps

Video (640)

30, 25

30, 25

24

Video (320)

n/a

n/a

n/a

Longest clip

approx 12 minutes

29 minutes 59 seconds

(split into 3 continuous clips)

29 minutes 59 seconds

NTSC / PAL

both

both

both

Microphone

internal mono only

internal mono only

internal mono only

Headphone Jack

no

yes

yes

Audio level control

yes – pre-recording only

yes + while recording

yes + while recording

Video autofocus

no

no

yes

Dedicated Video button

no

yes, programmable

yes

Video Recording format

H.264

H.264

H.264

Video compression

IPP

IPB or ALL-I

MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding

Uncompressed HDMI out

no

HDMI out but it is compressed

yes

Aperture control in video

no

yes

yes

Histogram in video

no

yes

no

Time code support

no

Rec Run and Free Run

no

Chromatic Aberration fix in video

no

yes

no

(cover photo credit: snap from Canon)

Comments

  1. Simon B

    How do you do a comparison and leave so many of the fields for the D800 black or wrong when the information has been there for weeks. Heres just a couple.

    An obvious one D800 HDMI out – Yes and confirmed.

    Aperture control in video – Yes

      1. Peter

        Yes, not a very good comparison. Let me help you:

        AE Lock: YES
        Micro adjustment for lens: Yes
        Metering: TTL exposure metering using 91K (91,000)-pixel RGB sensor
        Memory Cards: SD (Secure Digital) and ; Type I CompactFlash memory cards (UDMA compliant)
        Battery: Li-ion EN-EL15 battery
        Battery Grip: MB-D12
        Custom functions: Yes
        Auto sensor cleaning: Yes
        HDR in camera: Yes
        Horizon level: Dual axis levelling

        1. Bengt Nyman

          Peter,
          I find conflicting information about Nikon D800 AF micro adjustment. It is not covered in the D800 user’s manual. Do we know for sure that the Nikon D800 has AF micro adjustment ?

          1. Bengt Nyman

            I talked to Nikon. They call it AF fine tuning. Armed with this information I found it in their web manual. So, I answered my own question: Yes, the Nikon D800(E) does have AF micro adjustment, called Focus Fine Tuning.

      2. Komalkumar

        If you are busy, please dont give wrong or incomplete information

      3. anamorphiclofi

        And don1t forget the crop factor on the D800……that is a great little feature to get more out of your lenses range!

    1. Komalkumar

      Not just that….
      Metering in D800 is the same as D4 Which also similar to 1Dx….no were does it say if 5D3 has it or not !

      Multi exposure is there in Nikon from a long time !!

      Silent shooting which is called quite mode in Nikon and sensor cleaning are there for a long time in Nikon and here it says some thing else !!

  2. Huey

    I think we have the winner, Nikon has better hand in the competition. I hope Canon would introduce 60p 1080 or uncompressed HDMI out ( or maybe just have to wait for Magic Lantern guys to crack it )

    1. Peter

      It’s not about winning so much as getting it right. Both cameras appear to be fantastic and we are all winners.

  3. Silvio

    D800 has multible exposures up to 9 and hdr mode, get your info right

    1. Author
      planetMitch

      I’m very sorry you’re disappointed, this comparison was one of the last things I was working on and I’ve missed a couple of things. My apologies. Thanks for helping fix it.

  4. Silvio

    Mitch the d800 also has horizon level, Aperture control in video , uncompressed hdmi out, also on timelalse it edits the images and outputs a final video. Also on the battery grip you right extra on the d800 and on the canons you wright the model names, or write extra on all or write model names on all. It leads people to wrong conclusions. Please fix this because your blog give out an inacurate image.

  5. Y

    www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Digital-SLR-Cameras/25480/D800.html#tab-ProductDetail-ProductTabs-TechSpecs

    Nikon D800
    HDMI output is uncompressed
    HDR in camera
    Memory Card CF & SD
    AE Lock – YES
    MicroAdjustment for lenses – YES
    Metering – TTL exposure metering using 91,000-pixel RGB sensor
    Battery – EN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery
    Custom Functions – Yes
    Automatic sensor cleaning – Yes

    When you compare some cameras maybe you want to give an extra 5 to 10 minutes to get the specs from the manufacturer.

  6. Frank suero

    Do not worry Mitch, I also blief that you are a Canon shutter so there is a chance you will look more for the canon information.

    Mitch not only HDMI out from the 800D but also uncompressed full 1080P from the HDMI. This alone help me to make a change, moving to Sony or Nikon, may be a FS100 that i can get a adapter or just sell all fo my canon lenses and move to kikon, Because of the size of the sensor i belief i am moving to nikon and just them after a FS100 replacement go back to video cameras.

    to me Canon did not did a greatjob on this edition, or may be, just may be we all thought wrong about the canon move into the HD-DSLR camera.

    Lets now wait to see teh 4K EOS camera. I will keep my 7D for now.

    Thanks Mitch for the great comparition

  7. Sofus Comer

    Would somebody please just help Mitch by finishing the comparison list. He needs to sleep for 12 hours. Thanks for your work so far Mitch.

    To all you canon folks. Congrats on what seems to be an awesome camera. Love the low light options, speed that it offers.

    To all us nikon folks. Congrats on what seems to be large megapixels opening up new super print option. And some thourough video tools.

    CAnt wait to see all of your pictures and videos out there in the next couple of months!!! Kick some ass folks!, no matter what camera you end up with.

  8. Lisa A

    Well this comparison was useless. Thanks to your readers I get the complete picture.

    Thanks to everyone for filling in the gaps!

    Shame on this website for blowing chunks though. Bummer.

    1. gibbygoo

      Your comment is useless. Read the thread, then decide if you have something worthwhile to add.

  9. Peter

    A few more

    – Autofocus points: 51 points, 9 at f/8
    – Video recording format: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
    – Battery grip: MB-D12 optional
    – Battery: EN-EL15

    Other factors that could be included is the:

    – Price
    – WB bracketing
    – Connectivity, i.e. USB

    and any thing else that could be added.

    Comparison is looking better now, keep up the good work

  10. Lubomir

    Except things already mentioned above, there is also an Ethernet port available on D800. For some people, this is more important than anything else.

    Nonetheless, BOTH cameras are excellent. I’m Canon shooter converting to Nikon, but that does NOT take away excellent quality of either. Absolutely no doubts 5dMk3 will take AMAZING pictures, just the same applies to D800 (maybe save for iso12800 which might be better on Canon due to pixel size but that doesn’t bother me at all as I rarely see ISO1600).

    I’m absolutely convinced in both, just D800 fits better for me and seems to be better value for the money. I have invested “a coin or two” in Canon glass, but that is no issue at all – I’m going to sell them all with basically no loss and buy equivalent Nikon alternatives.

    PS: nobody is really locked in platform.

    1. Peter

      Correct me if I am wrong but I believe the D4 has the ethernet port but the D800 doesn’t.

  11. Matthew Dwyer

    I have been a pro canon user since the F1n and loved the gear as del as the CPS support. As this became limited in availability through the classing of the 5Dmk2 as an enthusiast not ‘pro’ camera, I started to have my doubts. I love using the 5D mk2, but this comparison makes me question what advantages there are to stick with Canon. I really like the sound of the pixel based metering of D800, time-lapse support, higher pixel count, built-in flash (for fill) water-resistance, and potential to use an f4 lens with 2x and still get AF. USB 3 also seems like a great idea, shame my Mac doesn’t offer it too. The 14-24mm lens and 24-120 cover most options for me as a photo-journalist.
    Am I missing something, or is the Nikon just better in a whole heap of ways?

  12. Rien

    Hey Mitch,

    Excellent job. No need to apologize to lazy a55 jerks who cannot do anything other then crib like little 8itches and pick on some small errors. Both 5D MK III & D800 are fantastic cameras, they both excel at some features and lack at others – thus providing specific needs of specific market segments.Well done to both Canon & Nikon, we now have great options to choose from.

    1. stve

      I didn’t think Canon could deliver a camera to equal the D800, I much prefer the looks & ergonomics of Nikon cameras but if this sensor was in a Nikon body & I had to chose 36 MP or native ISO of 25,600 that’s a tough call to make.
      First Canon would have to deliver on the high ISO & be a couple of stops better than the D800, Canon’s been in the habit of giving cameras really high iso specifications & failing to deliver.
      cpn.canon-europe.com/content/education/technical/brent_stirton_shooting_eos_5d_mark_iii.do

      Brent Stirton is claiming the 5DMK3 high iso 25,600 is equivalent to iso 1600 on a 5DMK2 incredible claim but I very much doubt he would risk his reputation making bogus claims.
      So long as the D800 can deliver clean iso 6400 which is all I need I would rather have the 36 MP but I know many would pick the Canon.

      1. ptmac

        The high ISO is misleading if you shoot RAW stills! The raw files do not benefit from the awesome noise reduction that Canon has implemented. Video and jpegs will be awesome but pro still photographers shooting RAW will not want to give up the range of post adjustments we have. There may be times that clean jpegs at high ISO will be great and a better route to go. Reportage/ some Wedding photo guys will be jumping for joy.

  13. Athos

    As an indie film maker and mk2 owner, colour me disappointed with the mk3, there is only marginal improvements all round. The mk2 was revolutionary, mk3 is evolutionary, and not even very evolutionary.

    If I am going to lay down 3000 pounds for a new body, I’d want rolling shutter totally gone, a swivel screen, uncompressed hdmi out and some sort of image stabilisation. The mk3, whilst having some nice tweaks here or there, lacks any killer features.

    1. gibbygoo

      “If I am going to lay down 3000 pounds for a new body, I’d want rolling shutter totally gone.”

      You’re funny. The EX1r and it’s 1/2″ chip has rolling shutter. The Reds have rolling shutter.

      You make it sound like $3K is a lot of money for a digital cinema camera. That comment makes one thing clear. You’re not a professional.

  14. Rich

    I hate those “technical comparisons” (the discussions about them)… When do people learn that lenses are as important as Bodies.

    I love the “softer” (awesome OOF) images the canon L lenses deliever. And i don’t like the edged OOF Nikon delievers. I cannot even say it that technically, i just look at images and like the canon ones better. That’s why i switched systems three years ago.

    I would go for the D800 with Canon L-Lenses. ;-)

    1. xa

      there is no way that you can look at a photo and accurately decipher from it what camera or lens is used.

  15. peter

    Same stupid comments you see everywhere, Canon vs Nikon, Ford vs Chevy, if you like Canon buy one, prefer Nikon then get it. We just don’t care what you like, in reality nobody cares. All we care is the specs of a particular model to make a wise decision. Great post.

  16. Nekojiru

    5Dm3 – HDMI out but it is compressed – WTF !!!!!!!!! WHY ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

      1. gibbygoo

        I hope you’re right, Mitch. It really is unbelievable the 5DIII can’t do 4:2:2 and the Nikon CAN. Wow. Could be a deal breaker for me and anyone who does a fair amount of grading in post. My hunch is that Canon had now clue that Nikon would come out with a 4:2:2 camera.

  17. BJ

    For me the only thing that mathers is de picture quality and sharpness. Not any -10k$ DSLR had the picture quality of the 5d2. Now we have a new winner..the 5D3.
    Canon on top of the image quality for some more years to come. So if you need a DSLR less than 10k$ and your main concern is image quality at all iso settings switch from nikon,sony to a Canon 5D3 + the mk2 lences. If you need all the fance video-camera options..buy a video camera.
    Again a winner for Canon for photo. 5D2 owns D700. 5D3 owns D800.

    1. preston

      That’s brand loyalty (aka fanboyism) is I ever saw it! Neither the 5D3 nor the D800 have been released to the public yet and you already know that 5D3 has better image quality at all iso settings? Pretty ridiculous jump to conclusions based on, let’s see, oh yea, nothing.

      Many claimed 5DII beat D700 in image quality due to the higher resolution sensor, but now that the tables have turned we’re seeing the argument that resolution is less important than picture quality “at all iso settings”. Funny how that didn’t matter for the 5DII vs D700 argument. .

    2. stve

      For image quality the Nikon D3X was the best.
      The Nikon D700 had better image quality than the 5D2 from iso 3200 & higher & better weatherproofing better build quality much better Autofocus.
      I would bet on the D800 having the better image quality at low iso’s .It’s much to early to jump to any conclusions until the reviews are in.

      1. Flavio Carnevale

        When I choose a photo assistant I usually prefer Nikon-assistants since I have Canon. This because there’s not an absolute best.
        I can tell you – and will invite you to demonstrate it, here, if you’ll ever pass in Italy – that, for examples, D3x is excellent and I love to use it… but in many situations I prefer to use 5dMK2, since D3x or many other cameras (both Nikon or Canon) don’t balance correctly colors.
        I know, you can say: ok, use manual balance. Right.
        But, as I told you, it depends on situations. Sometimes you can’t…
        I hate supporting one or another brand, especially when it is not just to say: ok, lets use this or that, but just to say: I have a Nikon, I am better.
        I am sorry that, using a bran and having 10 lenses, 3-4 flashes, batteries, a couple body at least, it’s not possible to switch easily to the other… maybe to come back next year.
        I read comparisons but just because it’s a help to buy or not new equipment… so I prefer Canon vs canon or Nikon vs nikon comparisons.
        canon vs nikon can be just good for a new photographer or a less equiped one… to choose which brand fits better his needs (and his pockets)

    3. xa

      That just sounds crazy. As far as image quality goes, the d700 and the 5d mk2 are very close. I own both and I use them for very different reasons but unless you are a videographer, there really is no “clear” winner. It comes down to preference and practicality.

    4. Nut

      I agree with BJ. The image quality-sharpness-colors of the 5DII is the best around better than the D3X-D700-1dIV … . Also the opinion of many photography magazines who gave a 100% for image quality. Now with the5d3 I guess the image quality will not be less. But what you need to tell is that the body is only 10% of the image qualiy, more important is the light/lense/photographer. As a travel photographer the new 5d3 wants me to buy this one. The MP overkill of the D800 is a big disadvantage in my case.

  18. nikonshooter

    gratz, canonusers, looks like a really good camera! is it now confirmed, that it has the 1D-X AF-system? i dont understand, why canon does not include a flash for wireless strobist-fun…

  19. Angara

    what is the difference between BG-E6 vs BG-E11? I have BG- E6……does this work on 5D3?

  20. Christopher Dinnan

    After looking forward to this update from Canon I now find myself disappointed and will be switching to the Nikon D800. the competition is just so much better, can’t believe Canon thought this ‘bump’ would constitute a revision. Would have stayed if this new camera featured a swivel screen. I only use this type of gear for video.

  21. Mike

    Wow some of you guys ar jerks, this guy took his time to create a chart among other things like big events going on and what ever other personal duties he may have in his life that we don’t know about.

    I would like to add , I’m not sure if the D800 has external GPS support, I was reading rumors that they decide to get rid of the connection since it’s not an outdoor but more a studio camera.

    And I’m shocked as hell that the 5DM3 has compressed HDMI out.. is this for 100% confirmed ?

  22. Flavio Carnevale

    Its so stupid to fight as canon vs nikon supporters. It seems that people looks much more at cameras than at photography. Maybe supporting one or the other and believing that they have the best, makes them feeling better photographers? that’s the most stupid approach on photography I’ve ever seen. I knew awful photographers using the D4 and they do awful photography… and less equiped guys achieving excellence.
    All of us should be happy that the competition between Canon and Nikon forces them to do better, that means, for us, better equipment to use, or just a wider variety of options.
    What we should suffer is that when you get into a system, you stay in it, and, since on both sides you can find here and there better or worse characteristics (on lenses, AF, on cameras etc) it should be looked just as a limit… and not denied saying “no no, canon is better” or “no no, it’s Nikon”.
    If I had infinite possibilities, I would have had both Canon and Nikon using one or another according to my needs.
    Maybe supporters are not so well skilled to understand that differences between cameras are not just MP and that there’s not an absolute winner for ALL photography situations?

  23. John

    I’d be real surprised if the D700 didn’t support multiple exposures given that Nikon DSLRs have had that feature for years, and Canon never have.

    As far as Timecode support, given that the D800 offers clean HDMI output, if you’re recording to something like the Atomos Ninja straight to ProRes 4:2:2, you can get your timecoding feature. :)

  24. guru

    There is no “Line skipping” column for video, Nikon still does video like that, so It is very important info, not to compare, but to be aware what “clean HDMI” is not that clean after all, someone will jump ship just for that option, and realize that 6 or 7 thousand dollars later :) Cannons ALL-I compression in conjuction with much more sensitive sensor will trump Nikons crippled HDMI out.

    1. John

      Clean HDMI has nothing to do with how the images are captured from the sensor, but the fact that it’s uncompressed video output that you can record straight to 4:2:2 (which you can’t do with Canon).

      1. Joel K.

        Clean often refers to the absence of any text overlays on the HDMI output. Some cameras output a good signal but contain camera information and are therefore not clean.

        In the D800’s case it is both uncompressed 8 bit and clean AFAIK.

        The 5D III will be clean but compressed. $#!%!!! – lol.

        1. Author
          planetMitch

          Thanks for the comment Joel, but in fact the 5D3 is not clean – it has the graphic overlays unfortunately. I expect the Cinema EOS HDSLR to be clean and uncompressed but we don’t know when that is coming.

          1. Joel K.

            Mitch was cool enough to email me the info that the 5D III video output is NOT CLEAN. Thanks!

            Given what Nikon is doing I’m pretty blown away that Canon has chosen this. I guess we’ll have to see how their codec holds up, but I’m sure not pre-ordering now.

            Nikon went with a mega pixel density and lost some low light capability. Canon cripples the output. It’s like Chinese water torture!!

            Can’t wait to hear details on the Canon Cinema DSLR! I hope it’s uncompressed and clean with a flipout LCD. A mini C300.

  25. Andrew

    At the end of the day get the Camera brand you feel most comfortable with and try before you buy and spend as much money as you can afford and if you follow these simple rules you will have a camera to be proud of.
    Remember photography is about the photographs not the camera !! This said i am a Canon man but i do like the look of the Nikon’s, Sony and the Fuji’s. Everyone need to chill getting so hot and bothered about who has the better spec is a gross misuse of time and resources, just be happy with the camera you have.

    1. gibbygoo

      “Photography is about the photographs not the camera.”

      Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind when I try to shoot the next cover of our magazine with an iphone.

      Look, you’re half right–it’s about the photographs. But when you earn a living as a visual content producer, technology matters. Just the ability to crop an image can turn a good photo into a great one. It can create multiple layout options. It MATTERS.

      It matters MORE when the technology is in skilled hands, because skilled hands are the best way to exploit the advances of technology.

  26. Athos

    Someone sent me this, but it sums up the reaction to the 5Dmk3:

    The Zacuto team is bummed.
    Vincent LaForet is bummed
    Phillip Bloom is bummed
    Atomos is really *
    Sound Devices is devastated
    Lucasfilm are totally bummed
    Cinedeck is depressed
    KiPro asks why?
    So far a total letdown.

    My favorite tweet from Shane Hurbut’s gang:
    Vision Wrangler ‏ @VisionWrangler
    Breaking #5D3 News. 5D MKII owners can now upgrade to the 5D MKIII for under $1,000 : Just add a small silver stripe with a permanent marker

  27. Matt

    Woah… put down your pitchforks and torches everyone.

    If you already knew this info, don’t complain about not hearing about it. Thanks for posting this Mitch. No matter what’s going on in life you didn’t HAVE to take the time to do this. It is greatly appreciated.

  28. Todd

    Can’t wait until the popularity of it drives the price of the 5d2 down further… otherwise why pay for the 5d3 when you can use the same $3500 to buy both a 5d2 and a 7d, and have the best of both worlds?

    1. Nut

      Now you have to choose: image quality 5d2 or good autofucus 7d.
      With the 5d3 you will (porbably) have the 2. So with the 5d3 you will have the “best of both worlds”.

  29. Jkon

    Even the big bro D4 is offering native ISO at 100-12800, yet 5DM3 have 25600, doubt its IQ at that high ISO

  30. Pingback: 5D mark III - Pagina 3 - Belgiumdigital forum - Digitale fotografie

  31. gibbygoo

    I’m bummed about a few aspects, but for video productions, the BIGGEST issue is moire. Has it been exorcised down to Sony XDCAM levels? Is it still an “issue” like it seems to be with the D800?

    If you’re buying the 5d3 for video, you’d be crazy to throw down $ without seeing solid evidence that this issue has been dealt with.

    Vimeo uploaders (who think they are filmmakers because they are shooting at f1.8 handheld) may not have to deal with moire so much, but video professionals know better. This is by far the biggest issue. If it’s under control, the 5D3 could be a winner.

  32. Craig

    Mitch,

    Thanks for your efforts in pulling together the table. It will be great if you have a chance to update based on feedback received here.

    I’m a amateur Nikon owner myself, and was looking at the D800. I wanted to wait for the mk3 to come out to see if there was going to be any major reason to consider switching platforms. I’m glad to see now that I don’t need to lose any sleep stressing over it.

    Thanks for the continued good work.

  33. Pingback: Canon 5DmkIII sin sorpresas pero una gran cámara! « Ignacio Walker – Director de Fotografía y Documentalista de Vida Silvestre

  34. matt

    Pretty sure compressed HDMI does not exist, therefore I don’t think the 5d III has it. The real question is color space, and cleanliness of the HDMI out, which does not appear to have been specified in any news I’ve seen so far this morning

  35. scooter

    Go to “lens mounts”. For the 5DmkII it says “Canon EOS EF only” which we all know. But for the 5DmkIII it says “Canon EOS EF” but omits the “only”. What does that mean?

  36. Lubomir

    neither 5dmk3 nor D800 nor ANY OTHER DSLR can be considered as professional video platform.

    They have too many limitations. They just can’t cope with PROFESSIONAL cameras from Red, Arri, Panasonic, Sony and the likes despite DSLRs having larger sensor and “more megapixels”.

    Yes, DSLR can be used to take some very nice “moving images” but they are not comparable to professional level and requirements.

    We have to accept one simple thing : DSLR can not replace, will not replace and is not intended to replace $20.000+ movie cameras with $20.000+ lens.

    1. Mike

      Lubomir , I’ll have to say your right and wrong.. The Canon 5D Mark II was used in two professional settings to replace cameras on set. One that everyone knows am sure. Is House not sure why they wanted to go Canon 5D MII they said the director liked the look which is bullshit and that it fit into the small size areas again bullshit since they film the show all the time with full size cams.. Another not so known is the newest Captain America movie. They used the 5DMII for a few secs mixed in with the footage to help get the shots that would have cost much much more had they needed to get the full sized cams rigged.. rather they just ducked taped 5D MarkII’s and called it a day.

      All thats going on is back and forth nit picking because at this point these cameras are amazing and in the right hands you would never be able to tell if your watching footage shot on a red or a 5D Mark III/II. I know of a tv show filming right now with a few Canon D800’s mind you they are using HDMI to capture in the format and settings they want but the camera is still a DSLR being used in place of a full size…

      I know i can’t end the fan boy war but damn it at this point we are the ones who win. We can choose any camera that fits our needs and since they are so neck and neck and trying to out due each other we always have the best to pick from.

  37. Simon B

    This is an article on a new piece of equipment and this is the place to discuss the pros and cons while making comparisons.

    Theres nothing wrong with a spirited debate on the subject. We all learn from it and come out better informed and assuming the manufactures read these debates also they learn too.

    And for the hippies out there, that one that always turns up and says “Its not the camera but what you do with it” Barf!

    A pro hones his/her craft with the best tools they can giving them the confidence to get on with it.

  38. Pingback: Michael M. Frankel - Video Editor

  39. Daniel

    I can’t help imagining Canon and Nikon CEOs playing golf and laughing together while you all fight for, well, megapixels? Dynamic range? FPS? I’d rather go shoot.

      1. Daniel

        Funny lots of folks here are kinda aggressive… Sorry, man, it was not my intention to offend you. I just can’t find all this clash to be important. It’s pretty much nonsense to me. Childish, maybe. Sort of “my dad has a bigger penis than yours” kinda thing.
        I kept reading all the posts and, to be honest, learned nothing. You’re damn right, I really should be out there shooting! (I went shooting before I wrote that and will shoot today, but it was pretty late at night then and I was almost sleeping on my keyboard…)
        Well, sorry if that offended you anyway. Hope you can enjoy more that criticize. Life’s much better that way.
        Don’t bother answering or cursing; I won’t be back here to read. I’ll be out there shooting! :)
        Good luck to you all with your cameras!

        1. Daniel

          (BTW, one of the thumbs up you got was from me! Totally agreed. Thanks for showing me all this gets me nowhere.)

        1. Daniel

          Hey, Mitch,
          Just received some “your post has been replied to” warning by email…
          Sorry, man! It’s not that I want to keep people from reading, and also not that I don’t care about gear. (I’d love to own any of these cameras people are comparing/complaining about…) It’s just that fighting about something you never shot with, comparing numbers, is a little too much for me. It’s more like people are rooting for a specific brand than any other thing. (And I root for myself; couldn’t care less about Canon or Nikon or any other brand; they can take care of themselves and their billion-dollar companies, and I can barely take care of myself and my hard-earned money…) Many folks here are trying to win the discussion, not learn from each other. Honestly, what have you learned from all the posts here? For me it’s about listening, not talking. (I learn nothing by talking.)
          I sure read a lot before buying, compare specs and all that stuff (I don’t have money to spare, so I try my best choosing), but I’ve found that FOR MYSELF I’d rather look at results and photographer’s work and opinions than to compare numbers. Plus, I’ve learned that, like computers or phones, the best camera today is not that good anymore next year. If folks here are about numbers, whoa, ok, fine. I’m not one of you, that’s all.
          Bottom line, huge sorry for all of you who took offense; absolutely no offense was intended. My first post was intended to be a joke, nothing more. No place for (bad?) humor here, though… LOL
          Sorry again! Hope people keep on reading… :)

    1. Nut

      Canon and Nikon CEOs playing golf ? You mean Canon CEO playing golf and nikon and Sony Ceo holding his bag? Market share 2010: 45% canon 30%nikon 15%sony.
      Now for 2011 it looks like sony is stealing a lot of market share from nikon.

      1. Peter

        2010 was a great year for Canon, however as of the last quarter of 2011, Nikon was outselling Canon in the DSLR market.

  40. Pingback: Canon 5D mark III

  41. Simon B

    Youve missed the point. This is a technical article with technical comments for the most part, except for the odd cliche that it’s about the photos and not the camera. That’s obvious. But this link is about cameras.

    We might buy a camera once every few years so if it’s alright with you we’d like to discuss their merits?

  42. Chrispy

    It’s disappointing that the 5D MkIII does not autofocus during video. Is that just too hard to achieve or what?

    1. Lakh420

      Is it true D800 does autofocus during video? How well it’s video autofocus work? If true, a definite plus over 5d MkIII.

    2. Nut

      Why do you need autofucus on a dslr that uses DOF? Sounds like you better of making movies with your phone. A dslr will make very good movies. But it will never top a +20k$ videocamera with +20k* lenses. A photocamera is for taking photos..making movies with it is nice extra for family time or students.

  43. April Fose

    Did anyone see if the 5DMKIII can start/stop video recording with a remote trigger? The D800/D4 can have record start/stop put on the shutter release in video live view. So any thing plugged to Nikon’s 10pin connector to trigger stills can also start/stop video recording. Useful for jibs, out of reach and POV cameras in weird places.

  44. Pingback: Official Canon EOS 5D Mark 3 - User Thread - Page 7

  45. Dimitris

    Dxomark labs rates the Nikon D800 in there top list with rate 95 , it must be a hell of a DSLR

  46. Mak

    Hi and thanks for this article.

    I’m between getting a 5D III and D800 with a Samyang and Tokina Lens kit for film purposes.
    I’m concerned about Nikon codecs and their compatiability with FCP Pro 7.0, Premiere Pro and even Avid.
    Canon is the industry trend but recently many TV stations like London Live in the UK have gone to Nikon D800’s. Any opinions about codecs and issues with editing? File conversion? I notice both record H.264 files (youtube compatible).

Leave a Comment