Updated (February, 2012): Compare the Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Nikon D4

Nikon D3S

Winner
Nikon D3S

93

vs

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

90

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3S

Low light performance
Low noise at high ISO
3,253 ISO
Sensor size
Large sensor
Full frame 36.0x23.9mm
Battery life
Great battery life
4200 shots
Focus points
Many focus points
51
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Screen size
Large screen
3.2"
Light sensitivity
High ISO
25,600 ISO
Sensor size
Large sensor
Full frame 36.0x24.0mm
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Canon 5D Mark III

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HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Screen size Significantly larger screen 3.2" vs 3.0"
Help
Around 10% larger screen
True resolution Much higher true resolution 22.1 MP vs 12.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 80% more detail in your photos
Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points 41 vs 15
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video at a higher frame rate
Screen resolution Higher resolution screen 1,040k dots vs 921k dots
Help
More than 10% higher resolution screen
Size Much smaller 152x116x76 mm vs 160x157x88 mm
Help
Around 40% smaller
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 120 ms vs 197 ms
Help
Around 40% less delay when taking photos
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 25,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
Help
The 5D Mark III's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Color depth Better color depth 24 bits vs 23.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.5 more bits of color
Focus points More focus points 61 vs 51
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Thickness Much thinner 3" vs 3.5"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Lowest price Cheaper $3,399.00 vs $6,799.99
Help
The best price we've seen is $3,401 cheaper (2x less)
Weight Lighter 950 g vs 1,240 g
Help
More than 20% lighter
Viewfinder size Slightly larger viewfinder 0.71x vs 0.70x
Help
Almost the same
Lens availability Slightly more lenses available 156 lenses vs 152 lenses
Help
Almost the same
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Learn more about
the Canon 5D Mark III

Advantages of the Nikon D3S

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Battery life Much longer battery life 4200 shots vs 950 shots
Help
Around 4.5x more shots per battery charge
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 3,253 ISO vs 2,293 ISO
Help
The D3S has a slight edge (0.5 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Dynamic range More dynamic range 12 EV vs 11.7 EV
Help
0.3 f-stops more dynamic range
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 9 fps vs 6 fps
Help
50% faster continuous shooting
Overall image quality Slightly better image quality 82.0 vs 81.0
Help
Almost the same
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 300 ms vs 500 ms
Help
40% less delay when turning on
Nikon D3S Learn more about
the Nikon D3S
vs

recommendations

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 90
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        vs

        93 Nikon D3S Nikon D3S
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Low light performance Relatively low noise at high ISO Help
              5D Mark III:2,293 ISO
              D3S:3,253 ISO
              Sensor size Large sensors Help
              5D Mark III:Full frame 36.0x24.0mm
              D3S:Full frame 36.0x23.9mm
              Viewfinder size Above average viewfinder size Help
              5D Mark III:0.71x
              D3S:0.70x
              Focus points Many focus points Help
              5D Mark III:61
              D3S:51
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Viewfinder Both have pentaprism viewfinders Help
              Pentaprism
              Storage slots Multiple storage slots Help
              2
              Viewfinder coverage Above average viewfinder coverage Help
              100%
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              1/8000 of a second
              Built-in flash No built-in flash Help
              Professional
              Weight Heavy Help
              5D Mark III:950 g
              D3S:1,240 g
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur

              Compared to recent pro DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses

              Snapsort is not aware of any interesting strengths shared by these two products.

              GPS No built-in GPS Help
              Missing geo-tagging

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 6D

              Canon EOS 6D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,663 - $1,899 body only

              $2,341 - $2,499 with 24-105mm lens

              GPS Has a built-in GPS
              Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Storage slots Has fewer storage slots
              Nikon D800

              Nikon D800

              Pro DSLR

              $2,797 body only

              $3,300 - $4,087 with 24-85mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              Thickness Is thicker
              Light sensitivity (boost) Slightly lower boost light sensitivity
              Canon EOS 5D Mark II

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II

              Pro DSLR

              $3,120 body only

              $3,519 with 24-105mm lens

              Storage slots Has fewer storage slots
              Light sensitivity (boost) Slightly lower boost light sensitivity
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,897 body only

              $2,797 with 28-300mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 1D X

              Canon EOS 1D X

              Pro DSLR

              $6,799 body only

              Viewfinder size Slightly larger viewfinder
              Light sensitivity Significantly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D4

              Nikon D4

              Pro DSLR

              $5,997 body only

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D600

              Nikon D600

              Pro DSLR

              $1,555 - $1,600 body only

              $1,999 - $2,150 with 24-85mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,698 body only

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Canon EOS 7D

              Canon EOS 7D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,299 body only

              $1,599 - $1,799 with 18-135mm lens

              Lens availability More lenses available
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster
              Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality

              Nikon D3S Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3

              Nikon D3

              Pro DSLR

              $7,995 body only

              Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO
              Movie format Does not take movies
              Nikon D3X

              Nikon D3X

              Pro DSLR

              $7,997 body only

              True resolution Much higher true resolution
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Nikon D4s

              Nikon D4s

              Pro DSLR

              $6,497 body only

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Battery life Much shorter battery life
              Low light performance Slightly more noise at high ISO

              appearance

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III Nikon D3S
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III Nikon D3S
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III Nikon D3S

              discussion

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

              Report a correction
              Nikon D3S
              D3S
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 2 comments

              Avatar for Lars A Grønningsæter Lars A Grønningsæter (8:42 PM, October 22, 2013)
              Mind-boggling
               
              Treepop (5:58 PM, July 03, 2012)
              This comparison is mind bottling. It bottles the mind. How can something with so many distinct advantages loose by such a large margin? I would say maybe a 90 to 95...or 92 to 88, but a 7 point advantage...I dunno about that. 80% more detail in shots, while only sacrificing 1/2 a stop. In addition to much MUCH better video. This is a tough choice. Sure the d3s is the low light king (however it might loose that title to the 1dx, we shall see), but Canon does have a lot to offer.