Nikon D800 vs. Canon EOS 5D Mark III specs comparison

Here is a quick specs comparison between the Nikon D800 and the new Canon EOS 5D Mark III:

Model Nikon D800 Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Effective Pixels 36.3 million  22.3 megapixels
Sensor Size 35.9mm x 24mm 36 mm x 24mm
File Format Still Images JPEG: JPEG-Baseline Compliant with fine (approx 1:4), Normal (approx 1:8) or Basic (approx 1:16) Compression
NEF (RAW): lossless compressed 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed
JPEG: JPEG-Baseline-Compliant; can be selected from Size Priority and Optimal Quality
 JPEG, RAW (14-bit Canon Original)
Picture Control Landscape
User-customizable Settings
User Defined 1-3
Storage Media CompactFlash© (CF) (Type I, compliant with UDMA)
CF Cards (Type I)
Compatible with UDMA CF cards
SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards
Card Slot 1 CompactFlash (CF) card and 1 Secure Digital (SD) card  1 CompactFlash (CF) card and 1 Secure Digital (SD) card
Viewfinder Frame Coverage FX (36x24): 100% Horizontal and 100% Vertical Approx.
1.2x (30x20): 97% Horizontal and 97% Vertical Approx.
DX (24x16): 97% Horizontal and 97% Vertical Approx.
5:4 (30x24): 97% Horizontal and 97% Vertical Approx.
 Approx. 100% vertically and horizontally
(At approx. 21mm eyepoint)
Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x Approx. 0.71x Approx.
Lens Compatibility at a Glance*** AF-S or AF lenses fully compatible
Metering with AI lenses
Canon EF Lenses (excluding EF-S Lenses)
Fastest Shutter Speed 1/8000 sec. 1/8000 sec.
Slowest Shutter Speed 30 sec. 30 sec.
Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution 4 frames per second High-speed: Maximum approx. 6 shots/sec.
Low-speed: Maximum approx. 3 shots/sec.
Silent continuous shooting: Maximum approx. 3 shots/sec.
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV  ±5 stops in 1/3 or 1/2-stop increments
ISO Sensitivity ISO 100 - 6400
Lo-1 (ISO 50)
Hi-1 (ISO 12,800)
Hi-2 (ISO 25,600)
SO 100-25600 (in 1/3-stop or whole-stop increments)
ISO speed expansion possible to ISO 50, 51200, and 102400
Dynamic AF Mode Number of AF points: 9, 21, 51 and 51 (3D-tracking)  61-point (up to 41 cross-type points)
One to five cross-type AF points at f/2.810 to 20 cross-type AF points at f/4
and 15 to 21 cross-type AF points at f/5.6
Focus Modes Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A)
Continuous-servo (AF-C)
Face-Priority AF available in Live View only and D-Movie only
Full-time Servo (AF-A) available in Live View only
Manual (M) with electronic rangefinder
Normal area
Single-servo AF (AF-S)
Wide area
One-Shot AF
Predictive AI Servo AF
AI Focus AF
Manual focus
Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points 51 61
Built-in Flash Yes No
Flash Compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV ±3 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
White Balance Auto (2 types)
Choose color temperature (2500K–10000K)
Direct Sunlight
Fluorescent (7 types)
Preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored)
Auto (AWB)
Tungsten light
White fluorescent light
Custom (Custom WB)
Color temperature
Live View Shooting Photography Live View Mode
Movie Live View Mode
 Photography Live View Mode
Movie Live View Mode
Movie HD 1,920x1,080 / 30 fps
HD 1,920x1,080 / 24 fps
HD 1,280x720 / 30 fps
HD 1,280x720 / 24 fps
HD 1,280x720 / 60 fps
1920x1080: 30/25/24fps
1280x720: 60/50fps
640x480: 30/25fps
Monitor Size 3.2 in. diagonal 3.2 in. diagonal
Monitor Resolution 921,000 Dots Approx. 1.04 million dots
Monitor Type TFT TFT
Playback Functions Auto Image Rotation
Full-Frame and Thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar)
Histogram Display
Image Comment
Movie Playback
Movie Slideshow
Playback with Zoom
Single image,
Single image + Image-recording quality/shooting information
histogram, 4- or 9-image index
magnified view (approx. 1.5x-10x)
rotated image (auto/manual)
image jump (by 10/100 images, index screen
by shooting date, by folder)
two-image comparative display
slide show
star rating
Battery Life (shots per charge) 900 Battery Life (shots per charge) (CIPA) Approx. 950 (Viewfinder Shooting, At 73°F/ 23°C)
Approx. 850 (Viewfinder Shooting, At 32°F/ 0°C)
Approx. Dimensions 5.7 x 4.8 x 3.2 in. (144.78mm x 121.92mm x 81.28mm)  6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0 in. (152.0 x 116.4 x 76.4 mm)
Approx. Weight 31.7 oz. (900g) body only 30.3 oz. (860g) body only
 Price $2,999.95 $3,499.00
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  • Jek

    I think I will stick with my D5000 😀 😀 😀

    • Qq

      You sticking with your camera shouldnt even be influenced by this. Honestly both these cameras are better than your current one so what is you point?

      • das zebra

        he made three smileys behind his post how cann you not see that ?

        • David

          Everyone keeps saying it’s not the camera its the person behind the camera, sounds like Jek is taking that seriously!

        • Dixie

          Smileys or not, but why did he has to share that info with us?

          • Rudi

            Because he would like to have it but hasn’t some small money left at the moment. I like that sense of humour 😉

      • WTF

        The point is I can still make better picture with a point and shoot than you are with those big guns.

        • Marq

          Indeed! You can compose with any camera…What these new bodies will give you is better latitude. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Yes, I too gave 3 smileys!

          • It is about the photographer, and not the camera. Unless your camera is a Holga or Nikon D-5000. And I have four smileys, so there! 🙂 :-):-) 🙂

    • xlaburu

      I’ve been a Nikon photog. for 18 years, and if I have to tell you the truth, this camera looks quite neet, never the less, I am using now the D-700 and instead of buying a D-800, I am seriously thinking about buying the Fujifilm X-pro. It’s an other concept, I know, but I was missing a rangefinder that would not be that overpriced Leica, and perhaps this is the one, and since I do a great deal of street photography or similar, I seriously don’t need so many Mpx. But obviously, that’s my opinion, I prefere a small camera, that doesen’t draw too much attention nor brakes my back.

  • Jау Асhtеrbеrg

    Ok, I’ve ordered a D800E myself, but I sincerely hoped that Canon users (many of my colleagues use the Canon 1 and 5 series) would finally have a camera that would catch up with the awesome sensors of Nikon & Sony (and an AF update for the 5D was also long overdue!) as the 5D mk II was IMO dreadful in low light while D3(s) and D700 were simply amazing. And even D7000 DX DSLR is pretty impressive too at >ISO 1600. But just look at the Canon’s samples on ISO 800 and ISO 6400, especially the darker tones and shades:

    I was seriously disappointed by de IQ, color noise all over it, even at ISO 800! At first I didn’t want to believe my eyes, but apparently that’s all Canon has to offer for the moment. I do hope Canon’s D1 X will perform much better than this! Just compare these 5D mk3 samples with D7000 or D800 samples at >800 ISO. They’re simply not in the same league…

    So we’d better look on the 5D mk3 from the bright side, as an improved 5D mk2 – IQ at lower ISO will surely be better than the 5D mk2 (that wasn’t very good anyway, per pixel comparison with the Nikon D3x with higher pixel density showed that IQ per pixel of the Nikon was so much better, at low ISO and high ISO!), they’ve finally put a decent AF in it and DSLR video features are improved (headphone connector at last!). I hope Canon fixed that bouncing mirror too
    but as the 5D mk3 is supposed to be much quieter than the mk2 I’m sure they have!

    • Jау Асhtеrbеrg

      ouch, typos again: ‘disappointed by de IQ’ should be ‘disappointed by 5D IQ’ of course!

      • Land

        Your right, it doesn’t even look as good as the D700, it has too much color noise even at ISO 800. What’s up with that?

    • Looks terrible !!

    • SW

      That’s ISO800 with an 8 second exposure – hardly a shot you’d expect to be clean with any camera.

  • Emanuele
    • Yagion

      I expect 5D3 to be better than D800 in term of ISO. By how much, we don’t know until the tests come out. In any case, I’m happy with my D800 preorder, because I think overall it is a more useful body and better suite my needs, and I only care about ISO up to 3200, or 6400 at the most.

    • Rob

      That setup is bad for trying to figure out low light performance. It’s almost like they designed it to hide any noise there might be. I think any camera would perform well shooting that set.

      Has any other camera besides the NEX-7 used that set? I can’t seem to find any, and they even had a color checker in the NEX-7 test image. That would have at least helped a little bit.

      • Rob

        It’s funny the DPReview explanation tries to say it’s designed to make the noise look worse. I would think things like wood grain, the pencils being at an angle, and the background being black would make noise more difficult to see. Perhaps I’m wrong, but Canon’s Aurora pics look much much worse than this test shoot.

        • Yagion

          +1 on the aurora pic
          I’m really surprised to see the sample images from Canon look so bad

          • luke

            Im also a little shocked at these images, they are small files at like 6-7MB and making an image size smaller usually decreases noise and makes it sharper.

            When I saw the 5D mark iii went to 102k ISO I was like ohhhh @#$% that is going to have excellent noise abilities around 6400 but even at ISO 800 on the images canon released the noise is terrible. You think they would atleast run it through DFINE 2.0 or something before posting them.

            Nikons D800 samples released @ 20MB etc. were incredible, like of the library or the forrest and you could zoom right in to almost read the labels on the books. Im really happy with my D800 order after seeing these images. They may suit journalist and the like but not pixel peeping landscape artsists (maybe ones who only release small files on teh web though <1000px width)

    • treehaus

      Unless you are into surveillance, or photographing rare wildlife in the dead of night, or getting shots of your girlfriend under the covers when she wont turn the light on (in the unlikely case of anyone who cares about this having a girlfriend), then ISO102.000 of this quality is pointless. Impressive for the iso maybe, but its still shit and unusable. A novelty

    • Chase

      Thanks for posting that. I don’t see anything above 6400 being any more usable than the D800 samples. In fact, I can see some banding noise beginning at 6400 on black background, which will hopefully be fixed when production models arrive. I’m excited about my D800, but I think the Mk III looks like a comparable and equally impressive camera for Canon shooters. Competition is good for all of us 🙂

    • it’s make me laugh. Hi iso samples under controlled light? Even pentax k-5 can get greats results with this light.

      Looks how my D90 is clean @ iso 6400 with a nikkor 50mm f/1.8G in this tests – Here is practicaly the same results of 5DmkIII at same iso.

      I want see real life samples!

      D90 sample @ iso 6400

      • Sahil

        The D90 sample you posted isnt under controlled light? that makes me laugh. Please, some rationale behind what you say.


    D800 so much better on paper haha up urs canon 🙂

    • Nikon Don

      Is it just me or does anyone else notice Nikon seems to sell a lot of cameras to immature children?

  • Ar

    >>>>>>>>>>>>> they are more or less the same then they are different.

    • gt

      classic trade off: ISO vs. MP

      I have no idea why Nikon decided to go the wrong way on this. It has consistently valued image quality over ISO and now it decides to go 36MP…god knows why.

      I think they are overvaluing the importance studio shooters put on Megapixels. I don’t think studio shooters care. They’ve been making large prints since the 6MP days, they know that Megapixels have only limited value — particularly if they don’t crop heavily.

      • Ken Elliott

        We studio shooters are very excited about the D800E. See that 44″ printer in the corner? At 300 dpi, it wants 200MP. If I cut the dpi in half to 150 dpi, I still need 50MP. The D800 is pretty close to this. With the D700, I have to print 75 dpi. This is a huge difference in print quality. I think Nikon knows exactly what they are doing.

        The D800 would produce a 24″ x 36″ print at 200 dpi. There are a LOT of 24″ printers out there.

        • Sahil

          You studio people are the same guys Nikon has been brain washing into believing that 12 MP is more than enough for a pro photographer. They are still saying that with the D4.
          Scott Kelby shoots Nikon. He has one full page in his book which explains how you dont need more that 12 MP.
          Suddenly Nikon releases a high MP camera and everybody starts saying that its the best because thats what my clients want. Its like you were not doing business before this. Quite amazing.

  • Jау Асhtеrbеrg

    interesting, these pictures look much cleaner than Canon’s own samples! As I wouldn’t expect a pre-production 5D mk3 to perform better than the current version there should be a difference in processing. Are we comparing RAW at DPreview (+NR?) with unprocessed JPG straight from the 5D mk3 (Canon website)?

  • zoran

    I looked at the 2 aurora images taken with 5DmkIII at iso 800 and 6400 on the site below and I have to say they look horrible. The noise level at 6400 look pretty bad when it is enlarged to 100%. The sky and the bright stars of the iso 800 image look rather bad too.
    I think Canon should pay more attention to the images the use to show off the camera.

  • DREW

    Amazing comments.

    The 5D Mark 3 produces entirely usable video at ISO 25,000 (and usable stills up to ISO 50,000) — and the reaction at Nikon Rumors is “I only care about ISO up to 3200.”

    • zoran

      Indeed we take photographs. Those images may look great to you. To me the bright stars have prominent black rings around them. The noise is much more prominent that what I expected from reading all the ravings about the great high ISO performance. Those disposable plastic film cameras of the past were great for millions. At the end we all use cameras that suit our needs best.

      • It’s funny you mention the dark rings around the bright star points, even my D300 doesn’t do that and I’ve done my share of night photography. (Stars are a favorite night subject matter.)

        When I zoomed in on the samples, I was immediately distracted by the dark halo around the bright star points. I’m guessing the noise reduction doesn’t know what to do when it comes across a point of light so bright on an otherwise dark field. (Or it’s just a sensor issue, dunno.)

        The Canon will be a nice video camera, if that’s what you’re into… I shoot photos, that is all I need my camera to do very well.

    • Yagion

      and what’s wrong with someone who only cares about ISO up to 3200??? I fail to get your point.

      • zoran

        I am sorry. My comment was meant for the post below yours. It was just misplaced. I am fully on your side with the ISO speed. I actually prefer to be around 100 and do not remember the last time I went above 1000. In the heydays of film I used Kodak technical pan with red filter at ISO 12. This high ISO performance talk is completely meaningless to me. Hearing so much about it arose my curiosity to actually look at the high ISO sample of 5Dmk3 and to be utterly disappoited even at its ISO 800 performance. I am quite happy, actually amazed, with the samples I saw from D800/E. I hope I was one of the first ones to preorder a D800E.
        I apologize again for misplacing the comment.

  • gerry

    Man I have never seen so many stupid, narrow minded and totally uninformed posts!!

    What is with this pissing contest? Do some of you guys actually go out and take photographs or just sit in front of your computers making stupid pointless comments about whose brand is better then the other!

    Here is a camera that ‘on paper’ actually has specs to down the D4 and people are saying it’s crap. This camera has a unbelievable ISO and enough MP for anyone who isn’t making poster sized prints regularly.

    It isn’t aimed at the D800. The D800 is for people who crop a lot, make very large prints or like to jack off over how much detail an eyelash shows at 100% on their monitor.

    Whether this camera can live up to its specs is another thing. I am not going to go jumping ship but I also owe no allegiance to Nikon. I just have too much invested in lenses. The camera is just a tool to make photographs and one camera may suit a persons style more than another.

    But all this rubbish about how Nikon has won the world is safe again is so ‘schoolyard’

    • Switcher


      I will use whatever brand lets me make the most amount of money. At the end of the day, cameras are money making tools.

      I want the thing that performs best. I just switched to Nikon from Canon about a year ago. It was super easy to do, despite having $20k in lenses. Now I might just switch back. Takes about a month of buying and selling and you break even.

      The 5d3 kicks ass. I will switch back if…

      1) The AF is better than the Nikon
      2) The skin tones are not magenta, even in RAW mode
      3) You can spot meter to an AF point

      I will buy 3 d800s if

      1) I can shoot sRAW at 16 MP.

      But that’s just me. I crop in camera and print past 28″ wide once a year.

      • jorg

        14-bit uncompressed RAW, 74.4MB
        camera buffer memory 16 frames
        12-bit lossless compressed RAW, 32.4MB
        camera buffer memory 21 frames
        14-bit uncompressed RAW in DX, 32.5MB
        camera buffer memory 25 frames
        12-bit lossless compressed RAW in DX, 14.9MB
        camera buffer memory 38 frames
        JPG at highest resolution, 16.3MB
        camera buffer memory 56 frames
        JPG at highest resoultion in DX, 8.0MB
        camera buffer memory 100 frames

      • French Fries

        A) You are NOT making money with your photography
        B) You are just an insecure Canon shooter
        C) You have no idea what you are talking about.
        D) You’ve never switched brands and never owned 20K worth of glass

        Which is true?

        A – B – C and D

    • Jorge

      Well said.

    • BenM

      I agree about the pissing contest – but I’ve ordered the D800E – and I dont crop, make large prints or jack off over eyelashes – but from borrowing the D3X I’ve seen what a difference a high res sensor can make. It’s huge. And it’s not just about more details.

      • Gerry

        Are you sure the difference is due to the amount of pixels?

        I was reading an article by diglloyd who uses both Canon 5Dii and D3x and he also said the difference was phenomenal. But they have a fairly similar amount of pixels.

        There is a lot more to it than pixel density.

        Just as there is a lot more to it than advertising a massive ISO range otherwise the D4 would be very under specced.

        The proof will always be in the usability and the images

        • BenM

          Gerry, I’m not sure. I didn’t do any formal testing. I had it for 2 days and I had a great time with it. I used my own lenses, same lenses I use on the D700. I was amazed at the difference – resolution, dynamic range, even colour. The whole rendering was different. If I could have afforded the $8000 I’d have bought it on the spot.

          I guess you’re right, it has to be more than just pixel count. I’m hoping, gambling, that, like the D3X, they’ve done more than simply triple the pixel count.

    • You must be nuts to think th 5DmkIII would compete with D4.

      Firstly; it doesn’t have the same ISO range, secondly it’s not even nearly as fast. Neither the autofocus nor the actual frames per second.

      And most importantly – it isn’t a full sized professional grade housing.

      Lastly – “Anything except poster prints” actually won’t even need 22 MP. Even 5MP is more than enough for a magazine spread. I remember working with the 3MP Nikon D1, back in the days when things weren’t all about megapixel hype, and delivering full page photos for tabloid and even broadsheet newspapers.

      • Gerry


        unless I have read wrongly it has a better ISO range!

        How do you know the autofocus is slower?

        Of course it isn’t a better camera, but for almost half the price!!!

    • Nikon Don

      Brilliant, Gerry. Couldn’t agree more. Based on much of the fanboy nonsense I’m reading here, Nikon should change their tag line to:

      “Nikon, for professionals and assholes alike.”

      To the assholes: I suspect that most of you own a shiny new D3100 and are still trying to figure out what ISO actually stands for. Instead of pontificating on two different cameras, neither of which you’ve even seen in person, let alone held or used, why not take your D3100 outside today and have some fun. Don’t forget to take the lens cap off before you start shooting.

  • Witty Nickname

    Faithful picture control? WTF is that?

    Is that a special option for the Canon fan boys?

    • 120-300 os

      Faithfull Yogi Bear uses one called “Ol faithfull”

    • Scorp

      It’s a special toning curve suited to give a more “natural” skin look for 3000k lighting conditions,

      Oh, you didn’t know that ?

      BTW, I still shoot on a film SLR because it’s all I need for now. and no, I don’t own a Canon nor a Nikon, I usually rent the cam that suits my need.

    • Copy and paste from Canon USA website, not sure what it is.

    • HornyPony

      u notice?

  • daniel

    Both 5DMK3 and the D800 are amazing!

    In the hands of a person that knows how to make them work properly can achieve great results. As a Nikon user, I would stick with the D800 (I use a d7000 and can do a lot of great stuff!). Competition is good to us all, and, at the end, what I love is photography.

    Some sticks at “wow, the old focus system of the 5DMK2 wasn’t that good”, but I saw great results from this camera. As I saw great results from other Nikon cameras (DX and FX)…

    Finally, I think that the D800 is better (just looking on the paper), but this model has the tough mission to breake the huge MPixel feature and show the world what it can do! I believe that this is the evolution of technology: offer a high MP count and the same (or even better) high ISO performance…

  • Hero

    The 5D3 looks so ugly and dated! The D800 looks much sleeker and modern.

    • Robert Falconer

      +1 😉

      • silmasan

        And the D700 looks even more gorgeous still… (I know…)

  • Hero

    The ISO samples from Canon shows significant noise at 6400. i wouldn’t call it usable and i can’t imagine why they declared ISo 25600 is within the usable range. Bloody Canon marketing. I say Nikon is much more forth coming then Canon is the true ISO performance.

  • Jeff

    The Canon sample pictures look amazing as ever, I love competition, I would be happy with either, but I pre ordered a D4

  • Mikael

    Well I like both cameras a lot. Its a shame I cant afford both.

    För me there is one key question that will make or breake what camera i will buy and that is the quality of the uncompressed HDMI 1080p video out on D800. Will it be smooth as a newborn babys skin without jagged edges and at the same time be razorsharp where it should….. or will it suffer from linsskipping issues, moire, distortion and other nasties, so there really is no point using it anyway.

    So if some one know the answer to this. Please please please answer quickly. I must preorder one of these two soon… before i go crazy 🙂

    • luke

      Well, Mikael as you realise the mark iii doesnt even offer this option… by waiting and waiting you really are watching the boat sail out to see. Even if you select the D800 because it offers uncompressed HDMI video out and its not what you were hoping for, you could always sell it for almost cost value. Both of these cameras are starting to be on back order to xmas and by not selecting you are most likely going to be stuck with what ever setup youve got

      • luke

        *sea* …

  • Jos Callinet

    I am curious why both Nikon and Canon have put video in their top-end SLR digital cameras. Pro-grade digital SLR cameras are for still photographers, whereas professional digital video cameras are specifically designed for shooting “films.” These cameras have shoulder mounts, removable lenses, XLR inputs for 48 kHZ 16-bit stereo audio, prisms to split the red, green and blue elements of the light spectrum onto three CMOS light-sensor chips, etc. To use a still camera to shoot video is like trying to make an apple into an orange.

    Isn’t tacking video onto a still-image camera “gilding the lily,” so to speak? Isn’t it an unnecessary cost to add a second-rate and largely useless feature on otherwise fine pieces of gear? Why are the manufacturers doing this?

    Would any serious videographer buy a D800 or 5D MKIII to shoot films? My guess would be no – they would instead opt for a professional video camera.

    • javaone

      1. cost

      Serious is not always rich or well funded.
      Look at the video you can get with the D800.
      Look at the cost of the setup vs. a RED.

      2. With the internet working photographers sometimes need to shoot video now.
      A news site with a video clip may get more hits than one without.
      A pro may have gotten into it to take that award winning picture but to make a
      living the must also supply a video of the action. Even if I had the money I would not want to take extra video equipment in to Afghanistan. I would want the best SLR money can buy and I want it to take good video to help pay the bills.

    • Asquare

      The 5D2 has had a huge impact on TV and other professional video shooting.

      That is why every DSLR will now have video.

      The 5D3 has better quality video than the 5D2 and interestingly, the 5D2 sensor is exactly 3 times the width of 1080p. This could enable Canon to do some simple pixel binning to get better IQ. Simple tricks like that cannot be done with the D800.

      In terms of customers, Canon is likely looking forward to everyone that bought a 5D2 for video lining up to buy a 5D3, regardless of price, etc.


    • Hi Jos, I don’t shoot video myself but 1000s of professionals are shooting broadcast quality video on the 5dmkii – it really is a viable video option. Check out the season finale of house that was shot entirely on a mkii. 🙂 🙂

    • btdown

      I’m with Joe…I dont get the whole video thing on a top end SLR….I can’t wait for the true d700 successor. @admin, Pls get a hold of a product roadmap or something!

    • dave

      Hey Jos – Look around. DSLR video is here to stay – the quality undeniable. The latest Feature Film to be shot entirely on the 5DMii – It’s in theaters now! check it out.

      1) Form factor is not an issue – the camera is mounted on a rig (nobody holds a video camera directly to shoot)
      2) Shoulder mounts are handled by the camera rig.
      3) We are seeing fewer 3chip cameras – the RED is single chip as well
      4) audio is usually captured externally

  • cosmic

    Hey guys, here’s the picture you can show to Canon fanboys about what the 5d-fail can do:

    • Mighty

      the 5D mark iii is what the 5D mark ii should have been and everyone knows it…

      Nice FAIL image… just dont click to zoom or you will get a head ache from all the blurry foliage

    • Joseph

      That looks like a scan from 35mm Portra. No I don’t mean that in a good way, I mean it looks like the camera is barely capable of 35mm film resolution (in comparison, the D700 I use is about as good as scanned 120 film. I’m hoping the D800 will be close to 4×5 quality).

    • GLenn

      That is a highly processed HDR image…. Hardly worth comparing.. 🙂

    • BOZO

      So what’s with all the blur fist in that Canon picture? I think I’ve seen similar issues with most of canon landscape photos. I’m not a very technical guy but I’m wondering what’s causing such results in Canon cameras? is it the focus system or is it the lens?

    • Chedd

      Canon user here, that sample image is an example of Canon’s new in camera HDR setting, NOT a regular sample. But I agree, it looks like shit.

    • CaryTheLabelGuy [NR]

      I’ve inspected all of the Canon 5DIII samples at great length and I’m not at all impressed. Even at ISO-100 the samples look totally smoothed over and lack all sharpness and definition. It seems as though Canon is using MASSIVE amounts of Noise Reduction, even at low ISOs, which is smearing out all fine detail. This is why Canon can get away with such high ISO specs, because they’re using TONS of NR. It looks similar to what happens when I take a D7000 shot @ ISO-25,600 and apply heavy amounts of Topaz Labs DeNoise, which can smear out all detail, but leave an image decently noise-free.

      The same thing goes for the 1D X, it’s applying NR at very low ISOs, causing all of the sample shots to look terrible, plasticky and soft. The Nikon D3s doesn’t even apply high-ISO Noise Reduction until over ISO-3200 and I suspect the D4 will be the same.

  • derf

    When will there be a 3100 and 5100 replacement?

    • enesunkie

      D3100 – latter this year
      D5100 – 2013

      With all these recent annoucements, even a D400 would get lost in all the hype now.

      • NG42


  • komalkumar

    I am happy that i am with nikon 🙂

    d800 has almost all that d4 has but with more MP

    5d3 has 61 point Af but it is not what 1dx has !! simple fact being that 1dx has one processor for Af operations, sure to say that 61 points might not perform any were equal to 1dx

    and admin you missed the 91k RGb sensor which d800 has liKE D4 but 5d3 does not talk about 100k RGB sensor that 1Dx has !!

  • anonymule

    Yawn….5DIII is better looking than that nikon monstrocity anyway. I love the “IQ” experts. You move me with your pixel prowess. I’m with Jek….I’ll stick with my 60D. 😀

  • w

    Here is what I expect from 5dIII apart from its awful price:

    1- IQ a bit better than 5dII even though samples are horrible because the pixel count hasn’t changed substantially and 5dII was already awesome so I expect it to be better than d800 if you purely consider physics.

    2- Video implementation better than Nikon’s because after all Canon is better at doing video.

    3- AF might be slightly worse compared to d800 especially when it comes to tracking but still light years ahead of 5dII because IDX uses a dedicated digic4 for AF and no such thing exists in 5dIII only the same AF sensor layout.

    Having said that I am going to buy a D700 as soon as I can find a great deal on it. I have had it with 5d and 5dII’s AF and I am not going to pay extra $1000 for what 5dII should have been. All Canon fanboys who justify their purchases by saying “lcd alone is worth it” can buy their 5dIII and especially for an AF system which they didn’t need at all when they were lining up to spend 2700 on 5dII.

    • Joseph

      You need to brush up on the physics. The IQ on the D800 is going to slaughter the 5d3 considering the samples.

      • Bozo

        some people will just don’t see reality and instead stick to what is known to them from previous experiences and assume that the world will not change and the technology doesn’t advance and that the earth is still the center of the universe.

  • One More Thought

    While the 5d3 is indeed a very capable machine…I still do not get the pricing from Canon with this and their new 24-70 lens. Are they trying to say that they make products only for the very wealthy? Are they trying for Leica type pricing status? Have they gotten so complacent about their market share that they think their customers will buy at any price?

    And the specs basically kill of the new 1DX and relegate that camera to a very small niche.

    I see why Vincent Laforet basically took a pass on this one.

  • nikon_boy

    D800 is cheaper….this is just fantastic…. can’t wait to upgrade in a few months

  • Jim

    I love shooting with a shallow depth of field, but some people posting here have shallow depth of mind. The fact is, both Nikon and Canon are fantastic products. I had Nikon D90 a couple years and now own a Canon 5D MKII. I can tell you now, there are things Nikon does better than Canon, and things Canon does better than Nikon. (I miss Canon’s focusing light and pop up flash for instance).

    For those calling either brand crap is beyond stupid because without a healthy competition, they wouldn’t be on their toes striving to make such amazing products better each year. When Canon released the 5D MKII, they didn’t expect people to use it so much for videos, but it just performed so well, many films and music videos were shot on it (Just saw Act Of Valor made mostly on 5D MKII’s). Do you think the new Nikon would have all the particular video features it has if not for the success of the 5DMKII? They learn from each other, they borrow technology/ideas from each other and the public wins.

    These cameras are both very capable though I have no reason to change my 5DMKII for several years. The photographer as well as decent equipment (i.e. lenses) will make more difference than having the lastest and greatest gear. Lets just all realize how lucky we are that technology gives us such amazing tools to be artists and stop bashing which paint brush is best.

    All that being said, if I had no investment in lenses, I would have no issues choosing this fantastic Nikon, OR just sticking with Canon. Simply two amazing cameras.

    • +1…kudos.

    • Carsten

      +1 as well. As a 5d user I would be happy with the upgrade, it is a clear evolutionary step – no revolution. They could have kept the price-tag down.

      Nikon made a mistake: The D800 is not a D700s many had been waiting for. It is more a “D3xs” for a better price in a smaller package. I personally find this a good segmentation.

      Do we need a D4-light? Many want this, provided it will cost ~$2500, but where should Nikon differentiate this model? Worse metering like in the 5d3? Slower shooting rate? Smaller viewfinder?

      It looks like the D700 stays around, get this if the D800 is too expensive for you or if you really think you can’t live with big files produced by a 36MP sensor

  • Jim

    Correction to previous post. I meant to say: I miss Nikon’s focus light and pop-up flash!

  • Michael Devonport

    If you are shooting raw, Nikon states that the D800 can only shoot 4 frames per second due to the high resolution. My question: Can you shot Jpeg and get a faster response rate say 6 to 7 frames per second by using Lithium-Ion EN-EL15?

    • Michael Devonport

      or lowering the resolution to the same size as D4?

      • btdown

        I would like to know this too.

    • Frisco

      I suspect you can’t shoot faster than 4 fps otherwise it seems Nikon would have indicated a faster rate for JPEGs in the specs. But, I think we’re just going to have to wait till the D800 is available before we can answer the many questions posted here. Since I never shoot JPEG files, I really don’t care much if it can shoot faster in that format. I always shoot RAW. For the kind of shooting I do, I don’t ever need a fast frame rate —- so it’s not an issue for me. But your question is very good. Let’s hope for the best. We have another three weeks before all our questions are answered.

      • steven8217

        CH: Up to 4 frames per second
        CL: Up to 4 frames per second
        5:4 format
        CH: Up to 4 frames per second
        CL: Up to 4 frames per second
        CH: Up to 5 frames per second
        CL: Up to 5 frames per second
        1:2 format
        CH: Up to 5 frames per second
        CL: Up to 5 frames per second

  • steven8217

    NR Admin, good comparison data but I believe you miss out the AF assist light and the entire details of the build in wireless i-TTL flash control.
    The build-in pop-up flash can be use as a Master Control Flah to wirelessly control other compatible Nikon CLS Flash !
    Top FP High Speed Sync : Up to 1/8000
    Flash Bracketing : 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV
    Flash Control:
    TTL: i-TTL flash control using 91,000-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash and SB-910, SB-900, SB-700, or SB-400; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix and center-weighting metering, standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot metering.
    Flash Sync Modes:
    Front-curtain sync (normal)
    Rear-curtain sync
    Red-eye reduction
    Red-eye reduction with slow sync
    Slow sync

    • Glenn

      Steven8217, Perhaps he left that out because Canon has had that flash control built in since 1998. And with the 5D MK III, they have released Radio flash control built in…. Not much to brag about being 14 years after Canon and Canon releasing the next best thing…

      • Stefan

        i don’t think the wireless flash control is “built in” to the 5D3 – it’s an addon and one that looks a bit less appealing than Pocketwizard/Phottix. Canons new ST-E3-RT wireless controller only goes up to 30m and costs more.

  • hq

    Ok, here’s my take on what 5D MkIII excels in over the D800. This is not to start a war, just my observation:
    * Better ISO range… 100-25,600 (expandable 50-102,400) – though, the proof is in the pudding. Let’s wait an see.
    * 1m LCD screen! – Nikon claims however, automatic brightness control, wide viewing angle, and better dynamic range.
    * Touch sensitive read-dial – ok, you have to admit, this is slick!
    * Super quiet shutter release mode – even in continuous – the quiet shutter in the dpreview video was awesome – I doubt Nikon’s “quiet” mode is as quiet.
    * Burst mode – max 18 RAW, or 16,000 JPEGs!! Will RAW buffer capacity is comparable to that of the D800, but the D800 limit stops at 100 JPEGs max. While I don’t see real application of anything beyond 100, I believe some creatives will make use of Canon’s 16,000 buffer capacity.
    * HDR mode aligns shots! (so it can be shot hand-held – that’s cool) and saves original files, not only processed ones. Not sure if Nikon does that, but I know in Time-lapse mode, Nikon discards the original after processing.
    * Improved auto-focus – it’s about time. How will it play against Nikon?
    * In-camera Rating and side-by-side comparison – gimmicks?
    * 600EX-RT remote flash is radio based – ok, that’s a whole separate discussion.


    • Tiger1050Rider

      Good luck with the touch screen on a freezing cold winters morning and you are wearing gloves….

      IMHO, touch is a typical Canon Marketing Generated USP.
      – looks great in the specs
      – naff all use to man nor beast in reality.

      Once you get used to your camera the controls you use whilst actually shooting are used by touch… the touch of the control and where it is in relation to others.
      Touch has no place in this part of operating a camera.
      As for touch for the menu operations, well everyon has different sized digits.
      My hands are the size of dinner plates.
      As such I find using a smartphone not very smooth. It is all too easy to hit the wrong bit.
      Yet, on a tablet it is fine. The screen on a DSLR is more akin to a phone screen.
      I know that if I had the option to use it or to disable it, I’d choose the latter one instantly.
      Touch is IMHO a gimmick.

  • polymer

    I guess it is only paper contest looking at the spec of both cameras. There are always about whether Nikon or Canon is better, this sort of argument or comparison could go on forever, plus there are still Sony, Olympus, Leica, Pentax on the market, exactly how people could judge which one is better. At the end of the day it all comes down to your purposes, habits, loyalty, finance etc. I guess majority of people would stick to a brand simply because they could just switch to a higher model without having to buy all the lens again afterall these cameras and accessories are money burning business. I saw great pictures taken with a cell phone camera so skill and sense are far more important, cameras on the other hand are just tools to assist us.

  • Hero

    To be honest the 5D3 is pretty low tech considering non of the technology it employes are at the cutting edge.

    It s a luke warm product from canon and it just doesn’t taste good.

    The D800 just kills it in image quality and crop mode flexibility. Not to mentioned USB 3.0 and the uncompressed HDMI. I am not even going to mentioned about the pricing deifference and the cheap look of that 5D thing.

    Excellent excellent job Nikon!

  • Claustral

    Does anyone know why pretty much all DSLRs can’t go beyond a 30 second exposure without using some external timing/bulb device? What’s the problem with getting 1 minute or more?

    • Landscape Photo


      If you can do it with a $10 cable remote, I don’t see any reason why can’t they add a dial-in long exposure or T-mode on the menu.

  • john

    SDXC compatible
    – makes no difference to the photo

    UHS-I compatible
    – makes no difference to the photo

    USB 3.0 compatible
    – makes no difference to the photo

    Uncompressed HDMI out (whatever that is)
    – makes no difference to the photo

    Popup flash that doubles as commander
    – makes no difference to the photo

    $500 less
    – makes no difference to the photo

    more resolution
    – makes it harder to shoot sharp hand held pictures at low ISO

    AA filter-less version
    – valid.

    Real Autofocus
    – unproven but Canon has more AF points than Nikon

    On-Off switch in a sensible place
    – makes no difference to the photo

    Better metering
    – makes no difference to the photo when you expose to the right

    Autofocus to f/8 . like D4
    – makes no difference unless you’re using extenders with big zooms

    WB presets: 12 vs 6
    – makes no difference if you shoot RAW

    Custom WB: 5 vs 1
    – makes no difference if you shoot RAW

    Autofocus assist lamp: yes vs. optional with speedlight
    – this actually makes a difference but in many low light scenarios, you turn it off anyway because it disturbs the scene

    Self-timer: 2 to 20 sec (1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 sec) vs. 2 or 10 sec for Canon
    – this is very useful automation.

    The most pertinent difference to image quality is the ability to order a camera without an AA filter.

  • Looks like Canon has really dropped the ball. This is bad because competition drives both companies. Anyway, why worry, because All of these cameras far exceed the abilities off 99.9% of any photographer out there.

    However, Canons focusing speed still stinks? WHY. Even small cameras like the PEN can handle this. What is going on there.

    Anyway. I think both good cameras. But the Canon is NOTHING to lust after.

  • This thread cracks me up. I shoot mainly Nikon, but also some Canon because of their fast lenses when I need to. Is the point that I should say, “Oh, crap, I should have grabbed my Nikon (or Canon) system for this particular shot”? Both systems are going to take fantastic images (and videos for that matter). Specs are not going to sway me one way or another.

  • I think some specs are wrong on 5D3.
    1. Flash Compensation: what flash compensation ? 5D3 does not have flash
    2. Exposure Compensation: 7D does ±5-stops in 1/3-stop increments; I don’t think 5D3 will only do up to ±3 stops in 1/3-stop increments

    • David

      You can have flash compensation for a hotshoe-mounted flash

      My a850 does this in the menu even though it doesn’t have popup flash

      Though honestly, I’d rather have an enormous film camera style viewfinder than a popup flash anyway.

  • Marcus

    Admin/Peter, I think the table is lacking one of the biggest differences between the cameras; the metering. Canon has opted to put the 7d:s 63 point rgb metering sensor in the mk3 instead of the 100k one from the 1d-x, while the d800 carries down the 91000 point sensor from the d4.

    This sensor is what allows face recognition af (while not in live view), face priority exposure and so on in the d800. It also makes it far more likely that the d800 will produce correctly exposed pictures with more acurate white balance.

    • Carsten

      Real photographers only shoot Manual:-)

      • David

        Though we do still rely on the in-camera meter, so it still has some relevance

      • Marcus

        I remember seeing a poll over at dpreview which stated that most photographers prefer the aperture priority mode, which very much makes use of the metering.

        In addition to this, nowadays metering is a lot more than determining the exposure, it also assists the af-engine to determine points of interest, as well as subject tracking.

        All in all, metering and white balance has a huge impact under difficult lighting conditions. Nikon obvoiusly also thinks so, as it spends about a quarter of its marketing material raving about this feature. In this area the d800 completely destroys the 5d mk3.

      • Until you realize the wonders of using semi-automated modes like aperture priority when you have powerful features like face detection.

  • 5dd800whocares

    what a load of tosh talking about example images a canon user uploaded some 5d mk ii jpegs to a chinese website and posted them as d800 jpegs when the d800 was first announced. the jpeg experts decided they were nice images. the guy who posted them put up the canon raw and jpegs in a zip file for download and he was wetting himself.

    fact is if the 5diii was 36 mp and d800 was 22mp, you guys would be jumping on the big mp is crap blah blah. myself ill stick with the d7000 16mp nice autofocus nice iq and not having to upgrade my pc to edit or the current high hard drive prices still nearly double the price pre thailand floods.

    ill also go out and take some photos rather than spend 14 hours a day housebound whining that my existing camera is no good it was good when i bought it and good now. roll on when the ipad 3 comes out it might be quieter when the tech geeks are outside the apple store wanting their next overpriced toy.

  • Douglas Adams

    Studio comparison shots for D4 are posted on dpreview. Enjoy! 🙂

  • – D800 does not have a histogram with video recording,
    – Automatic exposure changed discontinuously,
    – You can not adjust the sound level when recording video (just before the shooting)
    – Uncompressed HDMI only interlaced.
    This is a very grusnye moments for me. I am sad that Nikon has not made it all …
    I’ll buy it anyway, but I’m in mourning. Nikon simply pumping money. A year later they release a D700 replacement where possible add these points, and again I have to shell out $ 3000

    • Mikael

      Well i guess uncompressed hdmi is only wrapped in 1080i container and the footage is still progressive. … but i dont know because there isnt any information about it

      Why isnt there any detailed information about the reel and practical quality of the clean hdmi. Clerarly the real quality of uncompressed hdmi must be clarified. Its a huge question. Seriosly.. the non exsisting information about this is the main reason why I hav not preordered a d800. Im sure there is more peolpe out there thinking the same.

      There is no use of uncomressed if the downsizeing method is no good. Is there really no one who can clear things out about this. Surely is must be in Nikons interest informing about this in detail and give examples one can trust. For example untouched footage to download.

      The non excisting information about this make me think sometings wrong, but I hope thats the wrong conclusion.

      Is ther someone who can clerify. Please do that. I think this noninformation about the real/practical quality of the uncompressed hdmi is hurting the sales of d800. It makes people thing somethings wrong…… is it?

    • Linus

      According to the D4 will output true 1080p from HDMI. I think d800 will have the same.

      “Uncompressed means that you’re not using the in-camera H.264 compression, instead allowing the external device to record in the desired or supported format for editing. In order to get full 1080p output from the HDMI port for external recording, both memory cards must be removed from the camera. That’s what triggers the full 1080p output from the HDMI port for recording. When recording to either of the two memory cards, the HDMI output for monitoring is only for monitoring purposes, not suitable for recording.
      by Shawn Barnett January 10 at 3:30 AM”

  • Shure NIKON D800 & D800E ,KIK THE …. OF CANON 5DIII… & I WILL SALE IT (D800E).

  • Canon made the D800 I wanted…

  • Bloody Monkeys

    Holy bloody lifeless people.
    Stop being a wannabe human being jerking off with pixel peeping, cameras, sharpness, AF, ISOs (that probably 99% of people writing here won´t be able to buy any D800, 5D M3, 1Dx nor D4).
    Go back to your 9 to 5 office work, spend less time writing about toys you would like to own just to show a social-economic status (that you don´t even have).
    Bloody Monkeys with cameras!


      • Sorry for the last comment, sometimes i am a little bit dumb.
        My name is anourr (or better known as Anwar Al Nakib) my english kind of looks like a cavemen writing on stone walls.
        I used to have a Nikon D90 and a D300s, now i have a Canon 7D and i wish i had more money to buy a Canon 5D MIII or Nikon D800 to show people i am a big money maker…. but as i am still paying my english courses i will keep on writing on blogs trying to show i am heavy weight pro photog, crying over stuff i will never have and keeping my virginity where it belongs (right inside my pants).

        • FishCakeSoup

          What’s up! It’s only a box and a bit of glass

  • R!

    Blah Blah Blah ,D800 is the winner!!!!

    • Gerry

      Oh… was this a competition?

  • The 5D Mark III has 5 EV exposure compansation, like the D800 – not 3, according to the specs and press release Canon sent us.

  • R!

    I think we should compare D3X and 5DIII ,we can’t compare a 36 mpx Camera with a 22 mpxl It makes no sens!!

    • R!

      …and I m sure the D3X at 100 iso kills the 5D II & III!!!!!

    • Anonee

      You’re right, but they are from a different generation of tech. Both are the latest stuff, which probably is the reason to be compared.

      Btw, Nikon must introduce a sweet-spot 21-24mp D900 next year based on D800 body with a new sensor. This will be a camera that serves for all purposes, with better fps & high-iso performance than D800 (a little worse than D4), simply the successor of D700.

  • Anonymous Maximus

    What an absurd move of Canon from 21mp to 22mp. I could rather be in the upper twenties to make sense in terms of competiton both inside & with Nikon. Previous rumors already indicated a 28mp model but then proved wrong unfortunately (for Canonians).

    I can’t see much of a reason for mk II owners for upgrading to mk III. It is a slight evolution rather than offering something exciting. Worse, its price of $3500 will be a certain show stopper.

  • R!

    Canon troll fan boys are ridiculous they think that 36 mpxl is not good because Canon can’t give it to them,pfff!!!!

    • Markus

      Who gives a **** what Canon users think, do you use Canon, can you use Canon lenses in combination with your camera, do you get more assignments when using Canon camera’s instead of the D800???

      So and so this whole comparison is balonie. Comparing the D800 with the new MP Nokia phone will even be more logic.

  • Denno

    The comments here are funny! I just wonder how many of you engaging in a pissing comp will actually be shelling out for one of these two camera. I suspect not many of you! Ps I have preordered a d800

    • bragging rights

      Good for you. piss piss…

  • Ferdinando

    I like them both even though I personally use an 8×10 field camera for all my snaps

    • Jodd

      Thats the only way to get really narrow dof for sure. Go baby go

  • What a switch. It used to be Nikon had the high ISO and FPS advantage and Canon had resolution (and video). Now Canon is positioning as the high ISO/FPS champ. Will the other shoe drop and we get to see a D4 sensor in a smaller body?

    • neekone

      Nah man, the D4 is probably going to still outperform Canon on ISO. Also, the D800 and 5dmk3 are not targeting the exact same users, they just have FF and are somewhat similarly priced.

      • neekone

        Also, these mirror less guys are going to rule the FPS speed. Like mad frame bursts!

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