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

Nikon D4

Winner
Nikon D4

95

vs

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

82

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D4

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

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Sensor size
Large sensor
Full frame 36.0x24.0mm
Thickness
Thin
3"
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Canon 5D Mark II

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Size Much smaller 152x114x75 mm vs 160x157x91 mm
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More than 40% smaller
True resolution Higher true resolution 21 MP vs 16.2 MP
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Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
Thickness Much thinner 3" vs 3.6"
Help
Around 20% thinner
Weight Much lighter 850 g vs 1,340 g
Help
Around 40% lighter
Lowest price Significantly cheaper $2,299.99 vs $5,949.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $3,649 cheaper (2.6x 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
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The D4 has a slight edge (0.7 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Overall image quality Better image quality 89.0 vs 79.0
Help
More than 10% better image quality
Battery life Much longer battery life 2600 shots vs 850 shots
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More than 3x more shots per battery charge
Continuous shooting Shoots much faster 11 fps vs 3.9 fps
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Around 3x faster continuous shooting
Screen size Significantly larger screen 3.2" vs 3.0"
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Around 10% larger screen
HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Dynamic range More dynamic range 13.1 EV vs 11.9 EV
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1.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Autofocus Video autofocus Contrast detection vs None
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Automatically focuses shooting video
Focus points Many more focus points 51 vs 9
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Cross type focus points Significantly more cross-type focus points 15 vs 1
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Grab focus in difficult situations
Color depth Better color depth 24.7 bits vs 23.7 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1 more bits of color
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 204,800 ISO vs 25,600 ISO
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The D4's boost ISO is 3 f-stops better
Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor Yes vs No
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Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Storage slots Has more storage slots 2 vs 1
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More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
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The D4's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Viewfinder coverage Better viewfinder coverage 100% vs 98%
Help
Almost the same
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 300 ms vs 400 ms
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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 82
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        vs

        95 Nikon D4 Nikon D4
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Sensor size Large sensors Help
              Full frame 36.0x24.0mm
              Viewfinder size Above average viewfinder size Help
              5D Mark II:0.71x
              D4:0.70x
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              5D Mark II:400 ms
              D4:300 ms
              Viewfinder Both have pentaprism viewfinders Help
              Pentaprism
              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 II:850 g
              D4:1,340 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

              $1,899 body only

              $2,299 - $2,499 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 slightly more shutter lag
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $3,399 body only

              $3,990 - $3,999 with 24-105mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Dynamic range Has slightly narrower dynamic range
              Canon EOS 7D

              Canon EOS 7D

              Pro DSLR

              $915 - $1,299 body only

              $1,285 - $1,299 with 18-135mm lens

              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Lens availability Slightly more lenses available
              Sensor size Has a much smaller sensor
              Viewfinder size Slightly smaller viewfinder
              Nikon D800

              Nikon D800

              Pro DSLR

              $2,797 - $3,297 body only

              $4,097 - $4,697 with 70-200mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,097 - $1,147 body only

              $1,397 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Sensor size Has a significantly smaller sensor
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              $3,395 body only

              Built-in flash Has a built-in flash
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Viewfinder coverage Significantly less viewfinder coverage
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,897 body only

              $2,397 - $2,400 with 24-85mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,049 - $1,155 body only

              $200 - $1,249 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $699 - $870 body only

              $450 - $1,182 with 18-135mm lens

              Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality

              Nikon D4 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 1D X

              Canon EOS 1D X

              Pro DSLR

              $6,799 body only

              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Nikon D4s

              Nikon D4s

              Pro DSLR

              $6,497 body only

              Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO
              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Nikon D3S

              Nikon D3S

              Pro DSLR

              $6,250 body only

              Battery life Much longer battery life
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Screen size Significantly smaller screen
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              Nikon D810

              Nikon D810

              Pro DSLR

              $3,297 body only

              True resolution Much higher true resolution
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots much slower
              Battery life Much shorter battery life

              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

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              Nikon D4
              D4
              Nikon

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              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?