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

Nikon D3

Tie
Nikon D3

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Reasons to buy the Nikon D3

Low light performance
Low noise at high ISO
2,290 ISO
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
9 fps
Sensor size
Large sensor
Full frame 36.0x24.0mm
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos
Sensor size
Large sensor
Full frame 36.0x24.0mm
Sensor cleaning
Self cleaning sensor
Avoids dust in your photos
Thickness
Thin
3"
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

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
Thickness Much thinner 3" vs 3.5"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Lowest price Much cheaper $2,279.99 vs $7,995.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $5,715 cheaper (3.5x less)
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
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More than 5x more shots per battery charge
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
Continuous shooting Shoots significantly faster 9 fps vs 3.9 fps
Help
Around 2.5x faster continuous shooting
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 Significantly 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
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recommendations

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

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark II 82
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        84 Nikon D3 Nikon D3
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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
              D3:0.70x
              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
              Built-in flash No built-in flash Help
              Professional
              Weight Heavy Help
              5D Mark II:850 g
              D3:1,300 g
              Autofocus No video autofocus Help
              Manual focus only
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              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.

              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"
              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

              $1,899 body only

              $1,899 - $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

              $3,399 body only

              $3,990 - $3,999 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
              Canon EOS 7D

              Canon EOS 7D

              Pro DSLR

              $999 - $1,199 body only

              $1,099 - $1,478 with 28-135mm lens

              Lens availability Slightly more lenses available
              Built-in flash Has a built-in flash
              Sensor size Has a much smaller sensor
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              $3,150 body only

              Built-in flash Has a built-in flash
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Viewfinder coverage Significantly less viewfinder coverage
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,097 body only

              $1,320 - $1,397 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

              $1,897 body only

              $2,397 - $2,400 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 D800

              Nikon D800

              Pro DSLR

              $2,997 - $3,297 body only

              $3,797 - $4,087 with 24-85mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,049 - $1,150 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 - $871 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 D3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3S

              Nikon D3S

              Pro DSLR

              $6,200 body only

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

              Nikon D4

              Pro DSLR

              $5,949 - $5,997 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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