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

Nikon D3 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Winner
Nikon D3

82

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

80

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
2,290 ISO
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
12.2 EV
Rapid fire
Continuous shooting
9 fps
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
88 ms shutter lag
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.71x
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos

galleries

Explore our gallery of 94 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3.

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
Size
Much smaller
152x114x75 mm vs 160x157x88 mm
Help
More than 40% smaller
Sensor cleaning
Has a self cleaning sensor
Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
True resolution
Higher true resolution
21 MP vs 12.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 70% more detail in your photos
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$1,999.50 vs $5,999.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $4,000 cheaper (3x 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
Almost the same
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
Significantly 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
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.2 EV vs 11.9 EV
Help
0.3 f-stops more dynamic range
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
15 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
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
        82 Nikon D3 Nikon D3
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Viewfinder size Above average viewfinder size Help
              5D Mark II0.71x
              D30.70x
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              5D Mark II400 ms
              D3300 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
              D31,300 g
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Lowest price Very expensive Help
              5D Mark II$1,999.50
              D3$5,999.00
              Autofocus No video autofocus Help
              Manual focus only
              Size Large Help
              5D Mark II152x114x75 mm
              D3160x157x88 mm
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              3.0"

              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
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              5D Mark II21 MP
              D312.1 MP
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              5D Mark II1
              D315
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              5D Mark II920k dots
              D3922k dots

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 6D

              Canon EOS 6D

              Pro DSLR

              $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 much more shutter lag
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $2,499 body only

              $3,099 with 24-105mm lens

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Dynamic range Has slightly narrower dynamic range
              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              $3,990 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 body only

              $1,160 - $1,197 with 18-140mm lens

              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Viewfinder size Slightly smaller viewfinder
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,315 - $1,497 body only

              $1,699 - $1,997 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 D750

              Nikon D750

              Pro DSLR

              $1,997 body only

              $2,697 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
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D600

              Nikon D600

              Pro DSLR

              $1,357 body only

              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

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 7D

              Canon EOS 7D

              Pro DSLR

              $749 - $778 body only

              $849 - $1,448 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

              $949 body only

              $1,249 with 18-135mm 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

              $1,699 body only

              $2,049 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

              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

              $5,289 body only

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Battery life Much shorter battery life
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag

              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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