Updated (February, 2012): Compare the Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Nikon D800

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Winner
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

87

vs

Nikon D700

84

Nikon D700

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Large screen
Screen size
3.2"
High ISO
Light sensitivity
25,600 ISO
Large sensor
Sensor size
Full frame 36.0x24.0mm
In-camera HDR
HDR
Combines multiple exposures
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D700

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.72x
Sensor size
Large sensor
Full frame 36.0x23.9mm
Badge
Built-in focus motor
Autofocuses with more lenses
Fastest shutter speed
Fast shutter speed
1/8000 of a second
 

differences

Advantages of the Canon 5D Mark III

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Movie format
Shoots movies
1080p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
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
22.3 MP vs 12.1 MP
Help
Capture around 90% more detail in your photos
Cross type focus points
Many more cross-type focus points
41 vs 15
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
25,600 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The 5D Mark III's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Viewfinder coverage
Much better viewfinder coverage
100% vs 95%
Help
Around 10% better viewfinder coverage
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
120 ms vs 197 ms
Help
Around 40% less delay when taking photos
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
1,040k dots vs 922k dots
Help
More than 10% higher resolution screen
Color depth
Better color depth
24 bits vs 23.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.5 more bits of color
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
6 fps vs 5 fps
Help
20% faster continuous shooting
Storage slots
Has more storage slots
2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Focus points
More focus points
61 vs 51
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
102,400 ISO vs 25,600 ISO
Help
The 5D Mark III's boost ISO is 2 f-stops better
Lowest price
Cheaper
$2,954.00 vs $4,337.04
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,383 cheaper (more than 30% less)
Weight
Lighter
950 g vs 1,074 g
Help
More than 10% lighter
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
156 lenses vs 152 lenses
Help
Almost the same
Size
Slightly smaller
152x116x76 mm vs 147x123x77 mm
Help
Almost the same
Thickness
Slightly thinner
3" vs 3"
Help
Almost the same
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Learn more about
the Canon 5D Mark III

Advantages of the Nikon D700

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Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.2 EV vs 11.7 EV
Help
0.5 f-stops more dynamic range
Built-in focus motor
Has a built-in focus motor
Yes vs No
Help
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
400 ms vs 500 ms
Help
20% less delay when turning on
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Viewfinder size
Slightly larger viewfinder
0.72x vs 0.71x
Help
Almost the same
Nikon D700 Learn more about
the Nikon D700
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 87
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        84 Nikon D700 Nikon D700
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Low light performance Relatively low noise at high ISO Help
              5D Mark III:2,293 ISO
              D700:2,303 ISO
              Viewfinder size Above average viewfinder size Help
              5D Mark III:0.71x
              D700:0.72x
              Sensor size Very large sensors Help
              5D Mark III:Full frame 36.0x24.0mm
              D700:Full frame 36.0x23.9mm
              Focus points Many focus points Help
              5D Mark III:61
              D700:51
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Viewfinder Both have pentaprism viewfinders Help
              Pentaprism
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              1/8000 of a second
              Common Weaknesses
              Lowest price Very expensive Help
              5D Mark III:$2,954.00
              D700:$4,337.04
              Weight Heavy Help
              5D Mark III:950 g
              D700:1,074 g
              Size Large Help
              5D Mark III:152x116x76 mm
              D700:147x123x77 mm
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur

              Compared to recent pro DSLRs

              Common Strengths

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

              Common Weaknesses
              GPS No built-in GPS Help
              Missing geo-tagging
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              5D Mark III:6 fps
              D700:5 fps
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              5D Mark III:81.0
              D700:80.0

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 6D

              Canon EOS 6D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,519 - $1,899 body only

              $2,299 - $2,499 with 24-105mm lens

              Size Is slightly smaller
              GPS Has a built-in GPS
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Nikon D750

              Nikon D750

              Pro DSLR

              $2,297 body only

              $2,997 with 24-120mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Nikon D810

              Nikon D810

              Pro DSLR

              $2,997 - $3,297 body only

              $4,590 - $4,890 with 24-70mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 5D Mark II

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II

              Pro DSLR

              $2,495 body only

              Weight Is slightly lighter
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Focus points Has significantly fewer focus points
              Nikon D800

              Nikon D800

              Pro DSLR

              $4,210 with 28-300mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,497 - $1,597 body only

              $1,897 - $2,040 with 24-85mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $897 - $1,097 body only

              $1,197 with 18-140mm lens

              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Sensor size Has a significantly smaller sensor
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 7D Mark II

              Canon EOS 7D Mark II

              Pro DSLR

              $1,799 body only

              $2,149 with 18-135mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots much faster
              Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points
              Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Worse image quality

              Nikon D700 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $625 body only

              $679 - $1,025 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO
              Viewfinder size Significantly smaller viewfinder

              appearance

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III Nikon D700
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III Nikon D700
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III Nikon D700

              discussion

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

              Report a correction
              Nikon D700
              D700
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 5 comments

              vitalishe (8:14 AM, November 25, 2013)
              Ok, if we were to ignore the video (which is a big thing for many) the true advantages of Mark III would be only in resolution. The advantages of D700 would be the price and the frame rate with the battery grip (8fps). This is the only assumption under which these two cameras are tired.
              If you are doing only still photography this could be write reasonable, but there are too many people for whom this is a huge difference. So, Canon should have an advantage here.
               
              Ky (9:38 AM, April 17, 2013)
              I agree. How is it possible as-well that a 5D MK III with SO MANY EXTRA FEATURES, including most of all VIDEO CAPABILITIES BETTER IMAGE QUALITY and BETTER COLOR QUALITY is tied at 85 with a camera which its only advantages are its lighter and cheaper ?
               
              Stefano (7:42 AM, March 28, 2013)
              It's impossible that canon 5d mark iII is tie Nikon d700. I don't understand what's the criterion.I begin to think that your reviews are unreliable......
               
              NiKoN RuLeS!! (1:35 AM, March 28, 2013)
              It's awesome than a 2008 Nikon ties a 2013 Canon!! just Outstanding!!! The Nikon D700 is a Magnificent Camera!!
               
              Avatar for Joe_Bob Joe_Bob (5:18 PM, April 04, 2012)
              I just got my Canon 5D III yesterday and was so excited I just had to take some pictures to try it out and give a little review of what I have found so far!  I have to say… compared to the Canon 5D II I am very impressed with the camera so far.  The AF is unbelievable and far exceeds the MK II and MK I!  The Canon 5D III is super accurate, fast and will focus in the dark – literally…. The AF is definitely on level and may even exceed the 1D series. I have some images that were shot at ISO 102,000 and 51,000, but I haven’t had a chance to process them yet.  I wanted to put something up for others to see, so I am posting images from ISO 12,800 to begin with and ISO 6,400 to follow.  I will be adding more images and expanding my hands on review in the coming days