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

Nikon D3

Winner
Nikon D3

83

vs

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

80

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
2,290 ISO
Large viewfinder
Viewfinder size
0.70x
Has live view
Live view
Preview your photos
Rapid fire
Continuous shooting
9 fps
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.71x
True resolution
High true resolution
21 MP
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos
 

differences

Advantages of the Canon 5D Mark II

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Movie format
Shoots movies
1080p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
True resolution
Significantly higher true resolution
21 MP vs 12.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 70% more detail in your photos
Sensor cleaning
Has a self cleaning sensor
Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Size
Much smaller
152x114x75 mm vs 160x157x88 mm
Help
More than 40% smaller
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$2,494.73 vs $7,995.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $5,500 cheaper (3.2x less)
Thickness
Much thinner
3" vs 3.5"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Weight
Much lighter
850 g vs 1,300 g
Help
More than 30% lighter
Color depth
Better color depth
23.7 bits vs 23.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.2 more bits of color
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 D3

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Battery life
Much longer battery life
4300 shots vs 850 shots
Help
More than 5x more shots per battery charge
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
9 fps vs 3.9 fps
Help
Around 2.5x faster continuous shooting
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
2,290 ISO vs 1,815 ISO
Help
The D3 has a slight edge (0.3 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Focus points
Many more focus points
51 vs 9
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
88 ms vs 206 ms
Help
2.3x less delay when taking photos
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
15 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.2 EV vs 11.9 EV
Help
0.3 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
81.0 vs 79.0
Help
Almost the same
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
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 D3 Learn more about
the Nikon D3
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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        vs

        83 Nikon D3 Nikon D3
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Viewfinder size Above average viewfinder size Help
              5D Mark II:0.71x
              D3:0.70x
              Sensor size Very large sensors Help
              Full frame 36.0x24.0mm
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              5D Mark II:400 ms
              D3:300 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
              Lowest price Very expensive Help
              5D Mark II:$2,494.73
              D3:$7,995.00
              Weight Heavy Help
              5D Mark II:850 g
              D3:1,300 g
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Autofocus No video autofocus Help
              Manual focus only
              Size Large Help
              5D Mark II:152x114x75 mm
              D3:160x157x88 mm
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              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
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              25,600 ISO
              GPS No built-in GPS Help
              Missing geo-tagging
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              3.0"
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              5D Mark II:920k dots
              D3:922k dots
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              5D Mark II:79.0
              D3:81.0

              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

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Light sensitivity Significantly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              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

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Canon EOS 7D

              Canon EOS 7D

              Pro DSLR

              $999 - $1,499 body only

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

              Lens availability Slightly more lenses available
              Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
              Sensor size Has a much smaller sensor
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              $4,337 body only

              Built-in flash Has a built-in flash
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              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 size Has a significantly larger screen
              Sensor size Has a significantly smaller sensor
              Shutter lag Has much 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 D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $625 body only

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

              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Movie continuous focus Can focus continuously while recording movies
              Sensor size Has a significantly smaller sensor
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $999 body only

              $1,129 - $1,149 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 5D

              Canon EOS 5D

              Pro DSLR

              $4,000 with 24-105mm lens

              Movie format Does not take movies
              Screen size Much smaller screen

              Nikon D3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3S

              Nikon D3S

              Pro DSLR

              $4,995 body only

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Nikon D4

              Nikon D4

              Pro DSLR

              $4,514 body only

              Movie format Shoots movies
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Battery life Much shorter battery life
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $750 body only

              $900 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Size Much smaller
              Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO
              Battery life Much shorter battery life

              appearance

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D3
              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D3
              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D3

              discussion

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

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              Nikon D3
              D3
              Nikon

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