Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Nikon D5200

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Winner
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

83

vs

Nikon D5100

68

Nikon D5100

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Large viewfinder
Viewfinder size
0.71x
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Large sensor
Sensor size
Full frame 36.0x24.0mm
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
206 ms shutter lag
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed
 

differences

Advantages of the Canon 5D Mark II

Report a correction
Viewfinder size
Much larger viewfinder
0.71x vs 0.51x
Help
More than 90% larger viewfinder
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
1,815 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
Help
The 5D Mark II has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Sensor size
Much larger sensor
Full frame 36.0x24.0mm vs APS-C 23.6x15.6mm
Help
Around 2.5x larger sensor
True resolution
Higher true resolution
21 MP vs 16.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
206 ms vs 273 ms
Help
More than 20% less delay when taking photos
Viewfinder
Has a pentaprism viewfinder
Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
Help
Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Viewfinder coverage
Significantly better viewfinder coverage
98% vs 95%
Help
Almost the same
Battery life
Longer battery life
850 shots vs 660 shots
Help
Around 30% more shots per battery charge
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
400 ms vs 500 ms
Help
20% less delay when turning on
Color depth
Better color depth
23.7 bits vs 23.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.2 more bits of color
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Thickness
Thinner
3" vs 3.1"
Help
Almost the same
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Learn more about
the Canon 5D Mark II

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13 EV vs 11.9 EV
Help
1.1 f-stops more dynamic range
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
205 lenses vs 156 lenses
Help
More than 30% more lenses available
Size
Smaller
127x96x78 mm vs 152x114x75 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$359.95 vs $2,494.73
Help
The best price we've seen is $2,135 cheaper (6.9x less)
Weight
Significantly lighter
560 g vs 850 g
Help
More than 30% lighter
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
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark II 83
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        68 Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths

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

              Common Weaknesses
              Storage slots Fewer storage slots Help
              1
              Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
              Won't autofocus with all lenses
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              5D Mark II:3.9 fps
              D5100:4 fps
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              5D Mark II:9
              D5100:11
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $309 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 body only

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $550 body only

              $549 - $630 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $625 body only

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

              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Focus points Has significantly more focus points
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $897 - $1,097 body only

              $1,197 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Canon EOS 7D

              Canon EOS 7D

              Pro DSLR

              $999 - $1,499 body only

              $1,099 - $1,978 with 28-135mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $599 - $750 body only

              $597 - $700 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II 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

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Shutter lag More shutter lag
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $3,099 - $3,399 body only

              $3,699 - $3,999 with 24-105mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              $4,337 body only

              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Focus points Many more focus points
              Movie format Does not take movies
              True resolution Significantly lower true resolution
              Canon EOS 5D

              Canon EOS 5D

              Pro DSLR

              $4,000 with 24-105mm lens

              Movie format Does not take movies
              Screen size Much smaller screen

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $439 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $697 body only

              $599 - $797 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $430 - $450 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Weight Lighter
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $272 body only

              $390 - $409 with 18-55mm lens

              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Thickness Thinner
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range

              appearance

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D5100
              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D5100
              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D5100

              discussion

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

              Report a correction
              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 15 comments

              impartial one (7:15 PM, February 19, 2012)
              Guys really, the full-frame sensor beat the cropped!
               
              impartial one (7:12 PM, February 19, 2012)
              Actually it says the Canon won!
               
              Chetjarvon (2:55 AM, January 18, 2012)
              5D Mark II: full frame sensor. D5100: cropped sensor. 5D Mark II: 21.1 mp. D5100: 16.1 mp. 5D Mark II: used by some of the worlds greatest photographers and most pros that use Canon. D5100: Used by college students and entry level photographers. Need I say more? There's a reason why the pros choose this camera. I hate this site, lol.
               
              Steve (2:43 AM, December 24, 2011)
              Canon is popular because its cheaper.  At my school, more people use Canon cause they don't have the money for Nikon.
               
              Avatar for Hammad Hammad (5:47 AM, November 27, 2011)
              That fact that Nikon wins, is a clear indication that snapshot needs to re-adjust its point system. One area I looked at it popularity. 20,000 vs 98,000 in favour of Nikon against 5D. I think this should be more an amount you spend on camera not the units. Example you spend 3 times more on 5D so 1 Cannon = 3 Nikon. Obviously the rating system needs some serious work! I own D5100 and I know it probably isn't as good as 5D.
               
              Matt (10:59 AM, November 14, 2011)
              if you look on ebay the price is much less
               
              Guest (2:46 AM, October 12, 2011)
              Bah ha ha ha ha ha!  :D  How is this possible?  Guess all you Canon fans better be selling/ trading up to Nikon gear.
               
              Viewer (9:12 AM, October 07, 2011)
              Hard to believe that the intermediate level D5100 can compete with a Pro DSLR, otherwise why bother with the more expensive option
               
              Viewer (9:07 AM, October 07, 2011)
              I absolutely agree, if you go by Snapsort's reviews, then Nikon generally is much better than Canon. This might be true, but how do you explain that Canon is so popular.... Great website anyway.
               
              Sathyabeleyur (5:29 PM, October 02, 2011)
              I am the nikon user. Still I think snapsort website is supports nikon camera only. Comparing  Nikon D5100 v/s Canon 5D mark ||, it says nikon D5100 is best. How it is possible?
              Canon 5D mark || has Full frame sensor & world wide winner. It is so silly & partial. Please give true reviews.
              Thanks
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (3:37 PM, June 29, 2011)
              We've fixed that up, thanks for pointing out the issue!
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:38 PM, June 29, 2011)
              Thanks for pointing that out Ed, we'll double check and fix that up!
               
              Ed (8:19 AM, June 29, 2011)
              Also, Canon 5D Mark II color depth is 23.7 bits, dynamic range 11.9 eV, "image quality" 80, etc... all your stats are from the 5D version 1, a camera introduced in 2005...
               
              Ed (8:12 AM, June 29, 2011)
              Your statistics for the Canon 5D Mark II are wrong.  Some of the stats most notably ISO performance are the numbers from the classic Canon 5D (should be 1815, not1368).  Please update the stats for a more accurate comparison.
               
              Papa (4:41 PM, May 29, 2011)
              2 sweet camrea's...   Nikon looks amazing and has it all, but the price is little out of reach for me.