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

Winner
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

83

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

74

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Large screen
Screen size
3.2"
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
120 ms shutter lag
Many focus points
Focus points
61
Many cross-type focus points
Cross type focus points
41
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Thickness
Thin
3"
Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.71x

galleries

Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 5D Mark III.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

competitors

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Competitors

Nikon D750

Nikon D750

Pro DSLR

$1,628 - $1,997 body only

$2,449 - $2,497 with 24-120mm lens

Dynamic range More dynamic range
Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Cross type focus points Many fewer cross-type focus points
Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D

Pro DSLR

$1,255 - $1,499 body only

$1,800 - $1,899 with 24-105mm lens

Dynamic range More dynamic range
GPS Has a GPS
Screen size Significantly smaller screen
Nikon D810

Nikon D810

Pro DSLR

$2,399 - $2,797 body only

$3,497 with 24-120mm lens

Dynamic range More dynamic range
Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
Cross type focus points Many fewer cross-type focus points

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Competitors

Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D

Pro DSLR

$1,255 - $1,499 body only

$1,800 - $1,899 with 24-105mm lens

Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
HDR Has in-camera HDR
Fastest shutter speed Much slower max shutter speed
Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D

Pro DSLR

$830 - $999 body only

$975 - $1,099 with 18-55mm lens

Autofocus Video autofocus
Touch screen Has a touch screen
Low light performance More noise at high ISO
Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Pro DSLR

$1,266 - $1,499 body only

$1,594 - $1,849 with 18-135mm lens

Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points
Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Low light performance More noise at high ISO

discussion

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
EOS 5D Mark III
Canon

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II
EOS 5D Mark II
Canon

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Showing 23 comments

george mcfly (7:57 PM, June 28, 2015)
i own both. i love the jpg image quality of the mark II over the mark III
 
Redcrit (11:59 AM, June 18, 2015)
Why the hell don't you guys say the mark III can shoot videos at 60fps ? It's one of the main reason I bought one...
 
Avatar for Krishnamoorthy Sivaramakrishna Krishnamoorthy Sivaramakrishna (6:36 AM, October 31, 2014)
hello... i am a absolute beginner to wildlife photography. I have currently a canon 60 D camera body with a 24-105mm f/4 L lens and have recently acquired a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. i also understand that i need a full frame camera to get the best out of my lenses. Kindly advise the best camera body to acheive my ambition of being a good wildlife photographer.
 
jacks a moron (10:10 AM, November 29, 2013)
Regardless of what Jack above is saying about just using the centre focus point, you are better with the 5DIII for the 41 cross type focus points (out of the 61 total focus points). This allows you to shoot fast primes wide open without focus recompose and without using outer non cross type focus points for a bigger hit/keep rate on your shots. I currently shoot a 5Dii but will be upgrading to the 5diii as soon as funds allow for this reason alone. Any other benefit is a bonus. If you are not using fast primes wide open all the time then the 5Dii is an excellent camera and you should get that and spend the money you saved on some more glass.
 
Avatar for michael michael (5:31 AM, July 10, 2013)
The 6D is far superior to the 5D mkII. And just below the mkIII. It has almost the same rez as the mkIII, slightly less weather proofing, but it will AF in video mode. None of the previous 5s do that.. Add in the in-camera wifi function, another feature no mk camera has, and its a winner. Canon has an app for android and i-whatever that can remotely control the camera. I recently received mine, and am stoked to use it. It has crazy rez, and is easier to hold, especially with the grip.
 
KKennedy (1:27 AM, July 08, 2013)
OK everyone I need your help.....I am a new photographer, currently using a Canon T2i and occassionally use a 40D. I want to upgrade to the Canon 5D, but am undecided on the Mark ii or pay the difference and go all the way to the Mark iii. Convince me or stop me......HELP me decide, I need pro's and con's on both sides. Thanks much!
 
Avatar for Goutham Goutham (1:10 PM, July 06, 2013)
what you guys thnk about 6d ? Is that better , we can compare to m2 & m3 ?
 
Brandon (9:34 AM, July 01, 2013)
Her point was that it was a great upgrade... There's no debate about the difference between cropped frame and full frame. And assuming that she was happier about her upgrade from Mark 2 to Mark 3 more than from the 40D to Mark 2 is not entirely wrong in any case. It's like I had a 1998 Ford Mustang and I upgraded to an 2013 Ford Mustang. They're both Ford cars, they're both Mustangs, but one's obviously better than the other. See my point?
 
Brandon (9:30 AM, July 01, 2013)
That is true, but the point of these 61 AF cross type points is to help beginners find their way to professional photography or professional photographers to have better opportunities to find a specific spot of intrest/focus. Manual is always superior to automatic, but sometimes automatic makes thing easier. It's like the debate about automatic gear-shifting cars and manual gear-shifting cars.
 
Brandon (9:26 AM, July 01, 2013)
Everyone uses their camera to take photos. Cameras haven't been so futuristic to the point where we can shoot lasers at people we hate yet. The point Chris is trying to make here is that the improvements might not be major for owners of the 5D Mark II, but it is a great NEW camera for a person buying their first full frame/pro DSLR camera.
 
Jack (11:46 AM, May 30, 2013)
She was happy with it but she stated the upgrade to Mk III was the happiest experience. It means the upgrade from 40D (cropped frame) to 5D Mk II (full frame) gave her less happiness than the upgrade from 5D Mk II to Mk III (both full frame).
Btw. I upgraded from 40D to Mk II and I really know the difference between crop and full frame.
 
Avatar for Chris Chris (6:57 PM, May 29, 2013)
She never said she wasn't happy with it. She wanted the next best thing, and you upgrade. Don't know where you got that from!
 
Avatar for Jack Jack (10:57 AM, May 29, 2013)
It is the composer's responsibility to find the correct focus.

He/she is able to find it better than any highly priced camera.
 
Avatar for Jack Jack (10:55 AM, May 29, 2013)
Since I take photos i use one AF point, which can be found in the center of the view field.
 
Avatar for Jack Jack (10:52 AM, May 29, 2013)
First of all i use my camera to take photos.

* almost 2 stops improvement: 2 stops more blurry.
* Clean HDMI output: for what? i don't use HDMI to take photos.
* F/8 AF: i don't have F/8 lens.
* much nicer frame rate: for what? i take one photo per theme.
 
Avatar for Jack Jack (10:46 AM, May 29, 2013)
Hi Jen,
You were less happy with your upgrade from 40D to 5D2 than from 5D2 to 5D3. It sounds really unbelievable!
 
Avatar for Jennifer Grapentine Jennifer Grapentine (8:28 PM, May 16, 2013)
These are hardly "minor". Get your hands on one and take it for a spin... On paper they look small but they translate to a thing of beauty!
 
Avatar for Jennifer Grapentine Jennifer Grapentine (8:25 PM, May 16, 2013)
I just upgraded from the MK II to the MK III it was 100% worth it! I can't tell you the huge difference in words. The DIII handles low light/noise like a dream and all the extra focus points alone make it worth it! It also has a much more sturdy feel to it. Out of all my upgrades I'm happiest with this one! From the original rebel, 40D, 5D MKII to the 5D Mk III.
 
Avatar for Chris Chris (1:10 AM, January 06, 2013)
Minor improvements... I have read other sites, and the 5D MK III has almost 2 stops improvement. Plus, it will have Clean HDMI output, F/8 AF, a much nicer frame rate too. The 1Ds MK III was $7,000 when it first came out along with the 5D MK II, and the 5D MK III is better than the 1DS Mk III. The original 5D was $3200. Maybe it is not a camera to upgrade for some, but for someone who will be buying his first full frame, it does what I want it to.
 
Indy (2:51 AM, November 20, 2012)
$1500 for minor improvements and an extra card slot? Really, this camera was more like a minor update instead of a brand new camera that made major improvements. It kind of felt like Canon rolled out a new one just because the new camera gen is being rolled out with its competitors. The 5D MK ll will certainly last until "real" improvements need to be made.
 
Chris (9:22 AM, September 16, 2012)
I see the extra $1500 to be worth it. 61 freaking AF points... That's crazy! And the better low light capabilities, and the headphone jack! Considering the 1DS MK III cost $1,000 more than the 5D mk III, it's a good deaL. And you can find MK III's for as low as 2700' which is how much rhe mk II was.
 
Danileduard (0:23 AM, May 24, 2012)
200% agree on that :)
 
treepop (3:33 PM, April 20, 2012)
Meh...unless you need fps and you don't like using the center focus point there is no point spending $1500 more.  Buy better glass!