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

Nikon D4 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Winner
Nikon D4

93

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

80

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D4

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
2,965 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
89.0
Great color depth
Color depth
24.7 bits
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
13.1 EV
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Thickness
Thin
3"

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D4.

differences

Advantages of the Canon 5D Mark II

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Size
Much smaller
152×114×75 mm vs 160×157×91 mm
Help
More than 40% smaller
Thickness
Much thinner
3" vs 3.6"
Help
Around 20% thinner
True resolution
Higher true resolution
21 MP vs 16.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
Weight
Much lighter
850 g vs 1,340 g
Help
Around 40% lighter
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$2,175.00 vs $4,772.38
Help
The best price we've seen is $2,597 cheaper (2.2x less)
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 II Learn more about
the Canon 5D Mark II

Advantages of the Nikon D4

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Low light performance
Significantly lower noise at high ISO
2,965 ISO vs 1,815 ISO
Help
The D4 has a slight edge (0.7 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
11 fps vs 3.9 fps
Help
Around 3x faster continuous shooting
Overall image quality
Better image quality
89.0 vs 79.0
Help
More than 10% better image quality
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Battery life
Much longer battery life
2600 shots vs 850 shots
Help
More than 3x more shots per battery charge
Screen size
Significantly larger screen
3.2" vs 3"
Help
Around 10% larger screen
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13.1 EV vs 11.9 EV
Help
0.6 f-stops more dynamic range
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
51 vs 9
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Color depth
Better color depth
24.7 bits vs 23.7 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1 more bits of color
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
15 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
204,800 ISO vs 25,600 ISO
Help
The D4's boost ISO is 6 f-stops better
Built-in focus motor
Has a built-in focus motor
Yes vs No
Help
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Storage slots
Has more storage slots
2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The D4's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Viewfinder coverage
Better viewfinder coverage
100% vs 98%
Help
Almost the same
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
300 ms vs 400 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when turning on
Nikon D4 Learn more about
the Nikon D4
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark II 80
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    Style
      Color
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        vs
        93 Nikon D4 Nikon D4
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          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Viewfinder size Above average viewfinder size Help
              5D Mark II0.71x
              D40.70x
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              5D Mark II400 ms
              D4300 ms
              Viewfinder Both have pentaprism viewfinders Help
              Pentaprism
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              1/8000 of a second
              Common Weaknesses
              Built-in flash No built-in flash Help
              Professional
              Weight Heavy Help
              5D Mark II850 g
              D41,340 g
              Lowest price Very expensive Help
              5D Mark II$2,175.00
              D4$4,772.38
              Size Large Help
              5D Mark II152×114×75 mm
              D4160×157×91 mm
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              5D Mark II6,400 ISO
              D412,800 ISO
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              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
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              5D Mark II21 MP
              D416.2 MP
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              5D Mark II1
              D415
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              920k dots

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 6D

              Canon EOS 6D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,269 - $1,399 body only

              $1,799 with 24-105mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $2,249 - $2,499 body only

              $2,800 - $3,099 with 24-105mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Nikon D750

              Nikon D750

              Pro DSLR

              $1,997 body only

              $2,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $759 - $897 body only

              $959 - $1,197 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Lens availability Significantly more lenses available
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Viewfinder size Significantly smaller viewfinder
              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              $3,897 body only

              Built-in flash Has a built-in flash
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D800

              Nikon D800

              Pro DSLR

              $1,799 body only

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,299 - $1,497 body only

              $1,997 with 24-85mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
              Built-in flash Has a built-in flash
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 7D

              Canon EOS 7D

              Pro DSLR

              $749 - $900 body only

              $849 with 28-135mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots significantly faster
              Cross type focus points Significantly more cross-type focus points
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $849 - $999 body only

              $929 - $1,099 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Canon EOS 7D Mark II

              Canon EOS 7D Mark II

              Pro DSLR

              $1,399 - $1,699 body only

              $1,699 - $1,849 with 18-135mm lens

              Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Canon EOS 5D

              Canon EOS 5D

              Pro DSLR

              $3,500 with 24-105mm lens

              Movie format Does not take movies
              Screen size Much smaller screen

              Nikon D4 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 1D X

              Canon EOS 1D X

              Pro DSLR

              $5,299 body only

              $7,460 with 70-200mm lens

              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Nikon D4s

              Nikon D4s

              Pro DSLR

              $5,997 body only

              Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO
              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Lowest price More expensive
              Nikon D810

              Nikon D810

              Pro DSLR

              $2,997 body only

              $3,300 - $3,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Continuous shooting Shoots much slower
              Battery life Much shorter battery life
              Nikon D3S

              Nikon D3S

              Pro DSLR

              $4,995 body only

              Battery life Much longer battery life
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR

              appearance

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D4
              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D4
              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D4

              discussion

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

              Report a correction
              Nikon D4
              D4
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 3 comments

              Pieropereira (2:38 AM, January 10, 2012)
              Thanks Parksed, I really work on studio and try to get the most of size and resolution from my photographs rather than high speed shooting or high ISO. Maybe I have to move to medium format to upgrade from my D300
               
              Parksed24 (0:35 AM, January 10, 2012)
              I believe that 16megs allows for a much better low noise/high ISO quality.  The D4 shoots very crisp photos in the higher ISO range compared to other cameras from what I've heard.

              Guess it depends on what you'd like to use your camera for, I'm particularly interested in live band shots and night time photography so (provided I could come up with THAT much extra money) I would go for the D4.  

              I shoot a D7000 now and that does pretty darn well in low light situations, so I'm imagining the D4 should blow it away.
               
              Pieropereira (9:05 PM, January 09, 2012)
              I use Nikons since 1972 but at these point why should i spend  US$6K on a 16Meg D4 if Canon 5DMII sells at US$2.5K and throws 21MEGS!!!
              Can somebody answer this question?