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
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
9 fps
Sensor size
Large sensor
Full frame 36.0x24.0mm
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
88 ms shutter lag
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.71x
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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Movie format Shoots movies 1080p @ 30fps vs None
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Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
True resolution Much 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
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
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Almost the same
Lens availability Slightly more lenses available 156 lenses vs 152 lenses
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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
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The D3 has a slight edge (0.3 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Continuous shooting Shoots much 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
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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

        similarities

        Compared to recent DSLRs

        Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
        Sensor size Very 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"
        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

        $1,642 - $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

        $3,199 - $3,399 body only

        $3,799 - $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
        Dynamic range Has slightly narrower dynamic range
        Nikon D7100

        Nikon D7100

        Entry-level DSLR

        $1,047 - $1,097 body only

        $1,347 - $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 D700

        Nikon D700

        Pro DSLR

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

        Nikon D610

        Pro DSLR

        $1,797 - $1,897 body only

        $2,297 - $2,397 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

        $3,160 body only

        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
        Nikon D7000

        Nikon D7000

        Entry-level DSLR

        $1,257 body only

        $1,300 with 18-105mm 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 7D

        Canon EOS 7D

        Pro DSLR

        $999 - $1,799 body only

        $1,299 - $1,599 with 18-135mm lens

        Cross type focus points Significantly more cross-type focus points
        Continuous shooting Shoots significantly faster
        Low light performance More noise at high ISO
        Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
        Canon EOS 70D

        Canon EOS 70D

        Pro DSLR

        $999 - $1,155 body only

        $450 - $1,449 with 18-135mm 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 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 Significantly more noise at high ISO
        Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality

        Nikon D3 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Nikon D3S

        Nikon D3S

        Pro DSLR

        $5,995 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

        $6,744 - $6,842 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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