Nikon D600 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Winner
Nikon D600

89

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

82

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D600

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
2,980 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
94.0
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
14.2 EV
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
120 ms shutter lag
Cross type focus points
Many cross-type focus points
41
Thickness
Thin
3"
Fastest shutter speed
Fast shutter speed
1/8000 of a second

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 Nikon D600.

competitors

Nikon D600 Competitors

Nikon D610

Nikon D610

Pro DSLR

$1,266 - $1,497 body only

$1,897 with 24-85mm lens

Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster
Weight Lighter
Nikon D750

Nikon D750

Pro DSLR

$1,628 - $1,997 body only

$2,479 - $2,497 with 24-120mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
Color depth Worse color depth
Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200

Entry-level DSLR

$876 - $1,047 body only

$1,347 with 18-140mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Competitors

Nikon D750

Nikon D750

Pro DSLR

$1,628 - $1,997 body only

$2,479 - $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

discussion

Nikon D600
D600
Nikon

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

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Showing 10 comments

Avatar for Justin Justin (0:59 AM, February 01, 2016)
I own both the mark 2 and 3 5d.

At base iso both cameras produce a similar image, that's where the IQ similarities end. 5d3 has better DR and colors as ISO increases, The AF is immensely better in every way, faster, way more accurate, more points, MUCH improved night focus. 5d3 has dual card slots and better view finder. I love my mk2 but i rarely reach for it :(
 
Nick (9:22 PM, November 07, 2014)
Been shooting with the D600 for a couple years now. The image quality is above outstanding, the speed is just fine (I shoot off-road racing), dynamic range is great, and batteries last a LONG time. I am 6'5" and have big hands, this is not an issue with the D600 as I also have the Nikon battery grip for portrait ease and the spare power, though I almost never tap in to the second battery before recharging anyway even on days long shoots.
I have had the D600 in the rain at Miller Motorsports park in Utah, with my 70-200mm vrii... Was a bit worried at first, camera still works great, so does the lens (no fogging on either), it is weather sealed for sure. Because I shoot off-road I deal with dusty , muddy, dirty situations, and the camera gets a lot of abuse. Last weekend I was in a vehicle that left the ground for a moment... the camera hit the roof then the center console, before bouncing off the dash and hitting the floor, still works great. The D600 has been with me around the world, and to many racing events, in very hot temps, and very cold temps, it's been wet, it's been dry, dropped, bounced, kicked, and banged around... For these reasons I have always trusted the rubberized metal frame of the Nikon cameras.
All that being said, early on I was affected by the sensor oil issue. A very quick 1.5 week turnaround and new shutter mechanism install from Nikon (free recall service) and it's as good as new. The sensor spotting issue with the D600 is real, but Nikon does hold to their promise and fix it as long as you have a touch of patience to be without your beloved for a week or so.
I agree with other posters, that you got to go with what you like. In school all courses are geared for Canon, and all school equipment is Canon, they are great cameras with great capabilities as a result of them being so deeply embedded in the schools and industry they get a lot of customers. For all the reasons listed above though, I will not be switching from Nikon any time soon. D600 is fantastic, I hear the new D610 is the same but even better because of wifi and no spots when it's new. The advent of the D610 makes the price for the D600 very competitive though so if you can deal with the possibility of sending back for a quick shutter oil issue fix, you will have a fantastic full frame for just over a grand.
 
Avatar for Richard Servello Richard Servello (4:19 AM, December 16, 2013)
D600 video is amazingly vivid with excellent colors and fantastic range. Not sure what you're talking about here. I've worked with mark iii footage too and they are nearly identical with good prime glass.
 
utpal (11:40 AM, January 09, 2013)
I surely acknowledge with jim.He is more or less 95% correct.
Thanks Jim.
 
Avatar for Prevedovich Prevedovich (1:41 PM, November 25, 2012)
When you are 20 you need "sexy" camera for chicks and do not need safety.
When you are 30 you need camera that does the job and locks settings to be confident that they are not changed.
For you are enthusiast I do not see any reason to buy a full frame camera... except to pick up girls.
 
Jim (8:14 AM, October 23, 2012)
well, i believe, whatever system you invest, you should try their performances in real world situations rather than specs comparison. just from the camera store, played with both cameras for 2 days and here are few things i noticed :

1. the nikon d600 is noticeably small and light, which is a very good thing. BUT, the grip is too small to fit fingers(well, im 20 and i believe i've got standard hands) which can be very awful for a long shoot-out. I personally like the mark iii for its grip. its lot, i mean a LOT better than d600. it feels fantastic, fits very well in hands that you can just ignore the extra weight easily.
another thing is LOOK. yeah, it does matter. the SEXY look is important because you are investing a lot of money that you saved for years. so, you know, for satisfaction, at least.
the nikon d600 looks so much like a machine rather than a camera. the shooting lay-out on LCD screen is too complicated and messy. on the other hand mark iii has neat-colorful LCD layout, which is gorgeous. i like the mark iii for its look and sexy shutter sound. one thing you might notice using d600 for the first time, the shutter sound is loud and brutal. and for the first time i pressed the shutter, it actually jumped from my hands, but it was okay :O
one thing i absolutely hate is d600's plastic front plate. i really dont want to spend my savings on plastic. so should you. buy a tank

2. image quality wise nikon d600 is a killer. for 1k less price, you will get the same image quality like mark iii. nikon d600 produces fantastic color, very good high iso performance and dynamic range(its got great dynamic range but ask yourself, if you really shoot at shallow DoF, do you really need that? what would you do with that extra dynamic range? dynamic range is an great option that works for landscapes shooters. for others, 11EV is huge, its more than enough for everyone) someway d600 is really, really better than the 5d mark iii, specially for the price point.
BUT, 5d mark iii produces slightly better skin tones, which is very pleasing to look at, to be honest.

3. 5d mark iii focus is the best i've ever used. nikon d600's focus is slower than canon but its fast enough and fantastic for me.
frame rates are quiet equal, but canon's better. just because canon can keep up the focus and i can take more photos in a row.
Resolution is also quiet close. but nikon's better.

3. nikon d600 video is not up to canon. cold skin tones, abnormal color cast at high iso, weird audio and exposure settings and the unchangeable aperture control option for video just kill the d600. if you zoom to check you focus in live view/video, the refresh rates drops badly, which is very frustrating.
5d mark iii video looks flat in dark situations but its lot better. manual audio option and high iso video quality is absolutely fan"freaking"tastic

4. I like nikon's eight way menu button. its really better than canons nipple thing. also the front and rear jog dials are very handy. the auto focus assist lamp is an usable option too. the pop us flash is "okay" but who use it?
on the other hand, the mark iii has lovely, very handy touch pad.
i dont understand why both of them put mode dial locks, the nikon lock is an absolutely pain. you'll need four hands to change it. canon's easier but but why you guys put the locks?




NOTE : i dont know how dxomark rates sensors but i just can't believe them.
just because they are not "TRANSPARENT" to us. and the results dont
match in real world. nikon d600 files are
more detailed and canon 5d mark iii files are smudged when you zoom in
100 percent. Nikon d600 may have lower noise at high ISO but at high iso
you'll see nikon produces washed out colors. they are hard
to fix in post edit because you'll start loosing details and the 24mps won't work then. yeah, canon starts producing grains at
6400 but the colors are "accurate" and you can use them all the way up to 25600
i personally print my photos a lot. most of them are wallet
size. grains don't matter but good resolution doesn't matter either.
color does matter.
ASK YOURSELF. if you are not a pro and don't print for billboards, go for good colors rather than resolution


Finally, im an enthusiast, want to buy an over all good full frame dslr
for both photography and shooting video. I will consider 5d mark iii for over all goodness. because, i don't have
to worry how the lighting situation is. i can soot in all possible
situations. but i can't justify the mark iii
for the high price tag and d600 for not being an overall good camera,
basically for not so good video.
Right now 5d mark iii sells
around 3200 for body only. if the price drops near 2400-2700, it'd be
one of the best selling cameras in history, i can tell you.
nikon d600, you are over priced baby. get down to 1200-1500, only then i might consider you.

if you are not an enthusiast/hobbyist. for only photography purpose you can use nikon d600 very nicely. but i'd say wait to drop its price. Nikon D600 doesn't deserve 2000 dollars
 
Chris (8:37 PM, September 22, 2012)
Uh, no. The low light is much better than the 5D MK III. The build quality is much better. The movie mode is better. The viewfinder is better. It isn't just a 5D MK II with a few upgrades. It's more like a 1DS MK IV and cheaper!
 
treepop (1:40 AM, September 20, 2012)
I agree. I am keeping my mark 2 for a while it seems.
 
treepop (1:39 AM, September 20, 2012)
D600:

Better low light (better color sensitivity at higher ISO's and NO BANDING!!!!!)

Higher Dynamic range from 50-1600(After 1600 both dynamic range and
Signal to Noise are Same. Color sensitivity is better throughout)

$1500 CHEAPER!





5D Mark 3:

Faster (by a lil bit)

Superior auto focus (not even close)

Lenses are better and cheaper and offer 1.2, which Nikon doesn't





If you're new to Full Frame and don't have a ton of lenses GO NIKON.
If you are crop guy./gal you can't use your lenses with Canon anyway so
go Nikon if you're a Canon crop shooter and Nikon if you're a Nikon crop
shooter. The only difference is the Nikon crop shooter gets to keep
his/her lenses.
 
bob S. T. (11:00 PM, September 16, 2012)
The Canon 5DmkIII is really just the old 5DmkII, with a new auto focus. The sensor quality of the 5DmkIII is NOT better than the sensor of the 5DmkII, But the sensor of Nikon D600 is a Sony sensor, a new sensor, a very good sensor. The D600 is BETTER than the 5dMKIII and better than the D700.