Nikon D600 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Nikon D600


Canon EOS 5D Mark III



Reasons to buy the Nikon D600

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
2,980 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
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

Light sensitivity
High ISO
25,600 ISO
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
120 ms shutter lag
Focus points
Many focus points
Cross type focus points
Many cross-type focus points


Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 5D Mark III.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D600.


Nikon D600 Competitors

Nikon D610

Nikon D610


$1,268 - $1,497 body only

$1,649 - $1,997 with 24-85mm lens

Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster
Weight Lighter
Nikon D750

Nikon D750


$1,545 - $1,997 body only

$2,128 - $2,697 with 24-120mm lens

Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200

Entry-level DSLR

$949 - $1,097 body only

$1,397 with 18-140mm lens

Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Competitors

Nikon D750

Nikon D750


$1,545 - $1,997 body only

$2,128 - $2,697 with 24-120mm lens

Dynamic range More dynamic range
Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
Cross type focus points Significantly fewer cross-type focus points
Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D


$1,230 - $1,399 body only

$1,799 with 24-105mm lens

Dynamic range More dynamic range
Screen size Significantly smaller screen
Nikon D810

Nikon D810


$2,419 - $2,997 body only

$3,497 - $3,697 with 24-120mm lens

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


Advantages of the Canon 5D Mark III

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Cross type focus points
Many more cross-type focus points
41 vs 9
Grab focus in difficult situations
Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
120 ms vs 260 ms
2.2x less delay when taking photos
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
25,600 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
The 5D Mark III's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
1,040k dots vs 921k dots
More than 10% higher resolution screen
Focus points
More focus points
61 vs 39
Set focus accurately within the frame
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
102,400 ISO vs 25,600 ISO
The 5D Mark III's boost ISO is 4 f-stops better
Viewfinder size
Slightly larger viewfinder
0.71x vs 0.70x
Almost the same
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
6 fps vs 5.5 fps
Around 10% faster continuous shooting
Significantly thinner
3" vs 3.2"
Around 10% thinner
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/8000s vs 1/4000s
2x faster max shutter speed
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Learn more about
the Canon 5D Mark III

Advantages of the Nikon D600

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Dynamic range
More dynamic range
14.2 EV vs 11.7 EV
1.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
94.0 vs 81.0
Around 20% better image quality
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
2,980 ISO vs 2,293 ISO
The D600 has a slight edge (0.4 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Color depth
Better color depth
25.1 bits vs 24 bits
Distinguishes 1.1 more bits of color
Startup delay
Less startup delay
300 ms vs 500 ms
40% less delay when turning on
Built-in focus motor
Has a built-in focus motor
Yes vs No
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
True resolution
Slightly higher true resolution
24.2 MP vs 22.3 MP
Capture around 10% more detail in your photos
Lowest price
$1,349.00 vs $2,249.00
The best price we've seen is $900 cheaper (more than 40% less)
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
171 lenses vs 165 lenses
Almost the same
850 g vs 950 g
More than 10% lighter
Slightly smaller
141×113×82 mm vs 152×116×76 mm
Almost the same
Nikon D600 Learn more about
the Nikon D600


Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent pro DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 5D Mark III 83
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        89 Nikon D600 Nikon D600
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              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Low light performance Relatively low noise at high ISO Help
              5D Mark III2,293 ISO
              D6002,980 ISO
              Screen size Larger than average screens Help
              Viewfinder size Above average viewfinder size Help
              5D Mark III0.71x
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Viewfinder Both have pentaprism viewfinders Help
              Storage slots Multiple storage slots Help
              Viewfinder coverage Above average viewfinder coverage Help
              Common Weaknesses
              Weight Heavy Help
              5D Mark III950 g
              D600850 g
              Size Large Help
              5D Mark III152×116×76 mm
              D600141×113×82 mm
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons

              Compared to recent pro DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Movie format Both shoot high resolution HD movies Help
              1080p @ 30fps
              Common Weaknesses
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              5D Mark III6 fps
              D6005.5 fps




              Nikon D600 Canon EOS 5D Mark III
              Nikon D600 Canon EOS 5D Mark III
              Nikon D600 Canon EOS 5D Mark III


              Nikon D600

              Report a correction
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III
              EOS 5D Mark III

              Report a correction

              Showing 9 comments

              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)

              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.