DxOMark verdict: Nikon D800 – 95, Canon 5D Mark III – 81

DxOMark just published their Canon EOS 5D Mark III test results and the Nikon D800 scored better in every category, including low light ISO capabilities. The D800 got the highest score ever given by DxOMark by even topping medium format cameras costing 10 times more.

With a DxOMark Score of 81 points, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III edges out the Canon 1Ds Mark III (80 points) by one point and gains two points on its predecessor, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II (79 points), putting it in 10th place overall (for all cameras) in the DxOMark rankings.

“Canon achieves its best Score with its new 22-megapixel sensor, although the difference is very slight with respect to the former number one sensor, the Canon 1Ds Mark III,” observed Frédéric Guichard, DxO Labs’ Scientific Director. “Even though Canon achieves the same performance as Nikon in terms of sensitivity, Canon is still behind its competitor in terms of dynamic range, Nikon apparently having taken advantage of the latest sensor enhancements that improve the handling of dark noise.”

Here are some more detailed comparisons between the D800 and the 5D MarkIII:

BTW, with the 5D Mark II Canon got thei highest DxOMark score ever:

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  • What’s interesting is that ISO50 seems to gain DR compared to the standard base ISO of 100.
    I thought LO1 would be a pure post process trick, but it seems it’s not?
    I.e. we should actually use it, if there’s enough light or time.

    • Daniel

      “ISO 50” is not visible, as it’s the same as “ISO 100”.
      The DR value corresponds to the true ISO, as measured by DxO.
      For “ISO 100”, the true value determined by DxO is more like 75 for the D800.

      • karl

        not trying to flame or anything (am a Nikon DX shooter myself), but to be fair – where does that high ISO score of 2853 vs 2293 come from ??? Both cameras have exactly the same SNR ratio for print (the canon fares better in useless per-pixel comparison) as well as the same dynamic range in the ISO range around 3200. So whats with the 2853 vs 2293 ? How were these numbers calculated ?

        • Global

          Noise, Tone, Color, etc, throughout the spectrum of ISOs (see the bottom of each chart — and notice how in MOST OF THE charts the D800 is clearly beating the Canon). Because of the majority of +s and less -s, the D800 wins ISO. (Its not just how high you can go using a switch).

          But I agree that extreme ISO isn’t weighted much by comparison. Neverthless, Noise, Tone, and Color are what photographers look for, not just ability to reach.

          • tianle

            same snr but d800 has more mpx so when downsample to any size there will be better downsampling, as in statistically, there will be more noise eliminated per downsampled pixel

            • Patrik

              That’s exactly whatDxO do with their ‘print’ comparison. All images are resampled to 8MPix, then compared. D800 gets to average 4.5 pixels while the 5DIII averages 2.75.
              That still does not tell us where the ‘ISO’ numbers come from. I would have assumed that an acceptabe S/N was chosen and the ISO value us read off of the S/N vs. ISO chart. Apparently not. Some sort of average of all values from all ISO’s must be taken (only way the D800 can beat the 5DIII). Clarification Please!

        • AFAIK DxO resizes all images to 8MP for certain comparisons. Thus while the Nikon probably has greater ‘per pixel” noise, when the pixels get binned down to 8MP it effectively trounces other cameras.

          There’s a thread of dxo’s forums about whether 8MP needs to be raised:


          • Anthony

            Other of their tests involve IIRC making then scanning a print, which introduces all manner of additional variables.

          • From what i understand (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) it doesn’t really matter whether it is 8mp or 18mp. It’s a constant, and it works. As soon as the print shows noise, it crosses that threshold and they assign their rating. They aren’t saying that 2800ISO is the top ISO you can use (for example). Instead, they’re saying that Camera A shows noise at x ISO when printed at 8mp, and Camera B shows noise at y ISO when printed at the same size. That portion of the test is a comparative analysis more than a quantitative or qualitative test.

            • Jesus_sti

              +1 for you

              Because if you decide to print a BIG 36 MP size print (24×16 300 Dpi) you can if you have D800, now the same print need to be interpolated for the canon one. maybe Canon have better noise at 100 % on screen but if you want to print a 24*16 you will have much more grain looking than D800.

            • T. C. Knight


            • That’s just the thing. The Mark III doesn’t have better s/n at 100% on screen, at least not in any noticeable amount. The Mark III and D800 look pretty much identical at the pixel-level, a remarkable feat given the significant increase in resolution for the D800.

          • Worminator

            DxO scales the output to a constant baseline, for a fair comparison. While the exact numbers will depend on what baseline is chosen, the end result is the same: It shakes out that as you increase the pixel count, you can take a moderate hit in pixel quality and still get a higher score.

        • Sports

          The DXO ISO score is sort of a “weak point observation”.
          The Canon has a weak point because its color sensitivity curve crosses the 18 bit line at a rather low ISO value, 2293 to be exact.
          After having found the weak point, the ISO score ignores the other parameters even if they are much closer or even superior. That’s also why the D4 scores so relatively low. It “wins” one event, it excels even more in another high ISO measurement, but the DXO ISO score doesn’t give points for these. It only lets the weak point count.

          • karl

            thanks, this is what I had in mind.
            Since the Color sensitivity is the only parameter where the D800 outperforms the 5D at higher ISO settings. The SNR and Tonal range charts look exactly the same, and the 5D matches the D800 in Dynamic range in mid-high ISO settings and outperforms it slightly in high-iso settings.

            • joshimi

              Spec of the low light rating is :
              highest iso allowing
              30DB SNR, 9 EV DR, 18bits color depth.
              SNR are the same, both chart cross the 9EV barrier around the same 6400 iso+ (not limiting parameter) and… color depth of d800 cross the 18bits horizontal far later than 5dIII.

        • Lee Saxon

          You’ve hit on the problem with DXO. The charts are great but the scores are 100% worthless.

          • Eric

            Nikon shooter & scientist speaking :
            It’s always hard (impossible?) to reduce different tests to one single score, or even one graph to one score.
            I’m pretty sure you could find other definitions for weak points (30DB SNR, 9 EV DR, 18bits color depth) with which you would get a similar low-ISO score for 5Diii & D800. With different weightings, you may even get an higher score for the 5Diii, at least for “Sports”.

            Also, the absolute dynamic range value is useless. You won’t get 14.4 stops out of the D800.

    • Greenaroundthegills

      Here’s what I see. If you increase the ISO on the Canon from 100 to 1600 (4 stops) you ONLY loose about 1 stop of DR.
      The same move on the D800 and you loose about 1 stop of DR PER 1 stop of ISO gain.
      So which camera gives the user more real world flexibility? To me it looks like the MkIII.
      And I am STILL waiting for my D800 to arrive . . . *sigh*

      • Justin

        How is the Canon 5D Mark III giving more real world useability when the D800 delivers more DR at almost every ISO setting?

      • Anonymous

        Green, your logic is flawed. D800’s DR starts from a much higher value. At some ISO, the Canon’s and the Nikon’s DR values are the same. However, at lower values, the Nikon’s is better. So, Nikon gives you more DR flexibility. By the way, I am still waiting for my D800 too, after ordering hours after announcement.

      • Gareth

        LOL, I’ve fixed it up for you.

        If you increase the ISO on the Canon from 100 to 1600 (4 stops) you only lose about 1 stop of DR because the 5D mkIII’s DR is so poor compared with the D800, that even ISO100 cannot get it over 12EV.

        The same move on the D800 and you loose about 1 stop of DR per stop of ISO gain because you cannot be expected to retain such a high DR at higher ISO’s.

        Medium format tops out at ISO800 to avoid loss of dynamic range and addition of noise, but the D800 still retains a DR greater than 9EV at ISO4800 (so does the 5dMKIII).

        • Greenaroundthegills

          I was having trouble seeing straight, so now that I have my pants on the right way round and the belt set to waist girth rather than hat size, I see your points.
          My only defense is that I am STILL waiting for my D800 and all that waiting is driving me CRAZY…..

          • St.

            Once you get it, you’ll forget about everything else, trust me.
            The dynamic range is great and the noise is very fine grade, so it’s very to be cleaned.

          • Discontinued

            >> My only defense is that I am STILL waiting for my D800 and all that waiting is driving me CRAZY… <<

            Good defense. I know exactly what you mean. Received my D800E yesterday and am an entirely different person now. Bye now, I need to get to know this baby and to do some testing.

    • Anonymous

      I am not biased either way. I think you pick the right camera for the job. That being said, there is something flawed wth the DXO testing that does not appear to accommodate actual real-life shooting. I love Nikon products, and for years they had much better AF and ISO performance. However, I want to upgrade from my D700 and I have read report after report after report, I have looked at picture after picture after picture. The Canon 5d Mark III clearly dominates the D800 in low light / sports performance (as it is labeled). In noise recognizable to the human eye, the Canon appears to be about 1.5 stops better than the Nikon. I do not know what their test use to measure noise, but it’s the eyes that ultimately matter. Furthermore, the scorecard refers to “sports/low light” as the gauge to measure…At 6 fps the 5D Mark III would be better for sports as well. Again, I do not know how DXO came to such a lopsided results compared to the entire photography community, but someone should re-evaluate the results. I will probably still stay with Nikon because my lenses are Nikon, but fair is fair.

      • Anonymous

        Anon Vs. Anon…

        You are a Canon Troll…

        • Aperazzo

          @ Anon 1.

          Who said that Nikon launched the D800 to shoot sports? Seems quite clear the D800 is intended for Landscape and Studio. D4 is for Sports etc. If you ask me, Canon did a very bad job… My D7000 is 1/3 the price and has only 1 point less in the overall score…

          Someone at Canon must be curled up in a corner whilst Nikon is probably having trouble finding enough Bubbly for their party…

          • KlewedIn

            Thankfully, no one is asking you…

          • Kim

            A few days after I ordered the D7000, Nikon announced the 800. I’m happy I chose not to return the 7000. I love everything about it….good price for a great camera!

          • B!

            What party, they haven’t delivered much and part of what has been delivered is flawed. Did I miss anything.

            I got a a pre-order for a D4 in few places (naughty me) and today I got another email from BH regarding delays. I emailed back and they said they only received 15 NON-NPS units, they are fulfiling orders from 1/9 and I ordered 2/28. Something tells me my birthday is closer then the shipping of D4 my way; and its in september.

      • I will be buying a d800. but it appears to me you are correct. i think they are taking DR at high iso into account is my bet on why this is. and noise isnt everything

      • Sports

        See my comments above about the DXO ISO score.
        Also, in some of those sample photos, the Canon has clearly reduced noise much better, but lost details in the process. You could most likely get some of the same noise reduction when postprocessing a Nikon image, and again, it’ll cost you some detail. Which camera has the best NR algorithms? Any reviews??
        (Post-processing just takes longer because of the large files 🙂

      • I’ve shot with both the Mark III and the D800 side by side on the same shoot, in the same light, with the same lenses from each respective company. The D800’s noise performance is pretty much identical on the pixel level when compared against the Mark III (again, each camera zoomed at 100% in ACR and all NR turned off). The noise is the same. With the extra resolution, the Nikon wins in both sharpness AND noise performance. Then there’s DR, which simply oozes out of the D800.

        Pretty much all of the tests I’m seeing online are comparing Mark III in camera JPEGs vs. Nikon RAW or Nikon in-camera JPEGs. What you’ll notice is that in all of the samples showing (admittedly) spectacular low-noise results at high-ISO for the Mark III are also showing another spectacular phenomenon: the complete annihilation of detail in the shots.

        And most of those are comparisons are showing Nikon images with little or no NR, making it a lame comparison at best. Look closer, and you’ll see those scores are not just warranted, but fully expected.

        As if comparing JPEGs at all on a pro camera isn’t a lame comparison to start with.

        • Giovanni

          ive had mine since march 24th and i love this camera !!! way way better than the d7000 in ever way possible. and i sold my d7000. i bought the 14-24 , 24-70 and 70-200 vrII .. next i am looking for a micro lens. maybe the 105 2.8. im a perfectionistic person and nothing i have ever seen online or in my hands is better than the d800.

      • Anon

        Anyone who talks about Canon’s superiority when it comes to ISO performance and/or noise to signal ratio needs to watch:

      • Dchino

        Did your eyes also pickup the fact that you (and the “rest of the photography community”) were comparing Jpegs, not Raws?

        DxO compares RAW performance: you know what professionals use.

        Yes, canon’s JPEG noise reduction is fantastic (with a major sacrifice in detail). And if you shoot jpeg and need low light then you have your camera. If you shoot raw then the two are nearly identical (noise wise), and the D800 DR and resolution kill the 5diii.

        Btw, I am a canon user. You need to pay more attention to the details when you do research.

    • Hhom Togan

      the ISO 50 isn’t a native ISO meaning is done via software in camera (in the D800 it isn’t either) it has been like that since the 1Ds MKII did it.

      I wouldn’t be affraid to use it in the MKIII or D800 in prints (ISO 50 vs 100) you can’t spot any difference.

  • trialcritic

    I love my D800, it is fast and accurate. The bigger problem is how I can improve my standard as a photographer.

    • Andrew

      Technical or creative? For technical, go to school – then experiment, experiment, experiment. For creative – work with a master and/or study the works of many accomplished photographers. Use your imagination and the creative genius within. And while at it, don’t forget National Geographic.

      • Don’t go to school. It is a tremendous cost burden which is wholly unnecessary in this day and age. Find a mentor, assist for a pro, study the subject, shoot every day, every week, or every month only on projects that scare -and therefore stretch – you personally. Do ANY of those (or all of them) and you’ll get more out of that than any form of formal schooling. And you’ll walk away with a whole lot more wealth (even if it is through avoiding the unjustified debt burden).

        If you cannot spend the kind of time and effort doing that for the next 4 years like you would in school, I recommend you find another profession, and keep photography your hobby.

        • jodjac

          There is no substitution for a solid education in the liberal arts. If nothing else, you can use it to inform your photography.

          I love my D800! You will too when it finally comes in. It’s amazing. I kinda want another one. DX? never again! I’m in love with that monster FX chip. Any advice on storage drives? My passport is already full. Hoping to find something that plugs into the thunderbolt ports. So far I haven’t had a chance to use them.

          • T. C. Knight


            Funny, my D800 came complete with two very noticable black spots of grease or oil on the filter. So, I sent some jpg’s to a Nikon rep to show him and he came back with a request for the originals. There is no dang way my email service is going to let me email these monster files. HA!

            • B!

              dropbox my friend, dropbox.

            • NikonUSA service can provide you with a link to upload full sized files.

              Sounds like the camera needs to go for service or replacement.

          • “There is no substitution for a solid education in the liberal arts.”

            If my recommendations above are not a plan for an education in liberal arts, what are they? There is so much we can learn through real-life experience, something that is almost completely absent from factory schooling. The cost of schooling has inflated 10x OVER inflation during the last 30 years. This is not a valuable proposition, it’s highway robbery. A better moniker might “debtors’ prison”.

            Notice I didn’t say an education isn’t important. I actually mean just the contrary. That’s why I point out the fallacy that schooling == education, when often they are on quite opposite ends of the spectrum.

            This is coming from someone who participated in (and survived from) the factory learning model.

    • peteee363

      but don’t try and copy anybody, be your own photographer. find what area you are good at, and expand it. so many times people try to copy a master, only to get frustrated. not every shooter will be excellent, so just have fun at whatever subjects make you happy. the d800 is a really cool camera, i wish i could have had one 30 years ago.

  • WSY

    Dang… first was the light leak on the 5D Mark III, which I though would be something just shy of a crippling blow. Now to add salt to the wound a pretty large gap in the sensor score.
    Now add on top of that Canon is not issuing a product recall for the light leak issue. I dont see how this issue can be addressed by users alone, a recall is due sooner or later.

    OMG I just read the comments on Canonrumours.com, those guys are frigging pissed.

    • What comments on Canonrumours.com? Comments are off on every post near as I can tell.

      • bob villa

        this is a troll … don’t feed him

      • D400

        Coments on the canonrumors forum I think he means

      • Hhom Togan

        in CR you have to comment in the forum thread for each article, it keeps things cleaner less trolls, it has been like that way before the 5D MKIII appeared in the world.

    • Andrew

      Sometimes, these problems occur when products are rushed into the market. Now you see why it takes Nikon years to release a new product. Or why Nikon does not announce new products – a year in advance. Not intending to compare the two companies, but simply to make a point. But we should not be happy about the situation of the 5D Mark III, let’s hope the problem gets fixed soon!

      • Jason

        It is not just canon that rushes things to the market. In this case it seems apparent that nikon didn’t rush and had to postpone launching the D800. Maybe that saved everyone some headache, but look at all the problems they have been having with The 7000 and the 5100 and some of their point and shoots not working with Sanndisk cards.
        It used to take awhile for a company to post a firmware update. Now it is a given that early buyers with be updating firmware to fix minor bugs.

      • Charles

        Canon , started with the FD mount then sold everyone of its followers by changing mount to EF , then changed again to EFS mount.
        I would not come near a cannon even if it as the last camera maker on earth.
        My 1986 50mm micro Ai Nikkor will work just fine with my 2012 D800 !!
        This is Nikkon!


        • My understanding is that EF-s is to EF as DX-F mount is to 35mm F-mount. EF-s is backwards compatible with EF and only the APS-c bodies take EF-s. our only valid reason here is the bit about switching from FD to EF, but let’s be honest- it put them 2 decades ahead of Nikon for lenses with built-in focus motors.

          • Anonymous

            Now compare it with Nikon… both DX and FX lens work on DX (and FX) bodies.

          • You are right about the EF-EFS and FX-DX analogy , it seems that I was carried away 🙂
            Yes the major thing that made photographers buy canon gear to sports events was the Canon lenses and the speed of the AF. Nikon took a different path and did not changed their mount ,I am sure that Nikon ,could if wanted , change their mount to incorporate newer AFS lenses back in 1987 but they did not.

            What I want to say is that Nikon got my money for pro lenses and I can still use those lenses (that are the largest system of interchangeable flange-mount photographic lenses in history) today on a Nikon DSLR.
            Again This is Nikon 🙂

            • don

              Canon can use Nikon glass with a adapter canon can use Minolta with adapter can also use all older canon lenses with adapter with or without corrective glass and nikon dx can use all lenses but only higher end bodies but Fx CAN NOT use DX lenses sorry I had Two canon lower high end cams and Nikon high end mids I m sticking to canon due to 2013 prediction and looks like red will have a run for their money plus open source works wounders.

            • jodjac


            • Anonymoust

              To Don… You CAN use DX lens on FX cameras. Get your facts straight, you Canon troll.

        • The EF-S mount is to cater to the APS-C cameras, it’s rear element extends into the body to accomodate wider angle lenses, so essentially you’d break the mirror in a 1 or 5D if you managed to get an EF-S lens on there. EF-S lenses require less glass because they are only meant for the smaller sensor, therefore they are lighter and cheaper and probably meant for the people who probably couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for an L-lens anyway, if they can, that lens or any other EF lens will work fine on their EF-S body. My jimmies simply cannot be rustled by the EF-S mount. I can’t use them, but I don’t want any of the either.

          The D800 has gotten an excellent score, it’s an impressive sensor, but this ancient mount-discussion is pointless in connection with this, yes, you can use a whole bunch of legacy glass, but you can still use any Canon lens made since 1987 on your modern camera, which is quite a long while ago, and only a year younger than your 50mm. Other benefits from the EF mount is its larger diameter, making larger apertures possible (some claim) best of all it being able to adapt pretty much any lens for it. Again, my jimmies remain unrustled, other than the fact that Canon now really need to get their **** together and release something that competes with that Sony sensor qualities and resolution. Where is the 1Ds?

    • Ray

      The paranoid ravings over there about dxo being a giant anti-canon hate conspiracy were already bad enough… with the results actually in I don’t even dare go over there. lol

      Combine this with the Mark III being pulled from sale for the light leak issue, oh man…

    • Doesn’t look good with the 1DX production date being pushed back to mid-June… they are on the verge of missing the Olympics!

  • Roger

    While I think the DxO Marks tests are really great and helpful in understanding sensor performance , they need to be taken in context . I find the overall score completely useless and the concept of my sensor is best damaging to the otherwise fine tests.

    Just from the charts you presented ….both the D800 and the 5DIII are outstanding cameras . They are also essentially equals on these tests (no material difference) except in low ISO DR . Here the D800 has a material advantage based on this test . Yet the 5DIII also has excellent results just not as good as the D800.

    If you compare the D800 to the D3S and the D3x you will see a slight (about what you would expect improvement over the existing sensors ) enough to be excited about ?

    • Greg

      That Dynamic Range gap is huge, though! These sensors are essentially identical except for that one spec (and Color Sensitivity, which I’m guessing derives from the same advantage in the Nikon sensor).

      Canon did make improvements in their low light DR. Since Dynamic Range is the gap between saturation and noise, I’m guessing the advantage came from the gapless micro-lenses. If the benefits were in the sensor itself I’d expect to see improvements in low ISO as well.

      What’s remarkable is how much of an improvement Nikon made at low ISO?

      I’m guessing the factor of two or three in color sensitivity comes from the same source– better dynamic range should also lead to better sensitivity to colors, I’d imagine.

      I agree the overall score is pretty meaningless (as is anything that tries to boil a complex product down to one number).

    • Anonymous

      Comparing a two stop DR advantage at base ISO, is like comparing apples to pebbles, not even oranges. To a landscape photographer, which the D800 is geared towards, that is immense.

      • Greg

        I almost wonder if Nikon could have brought base ISO down to 50 or 25 and eked out another half stop or two…

      • A

        From 5fps on the D700 down to 4fps on the D800? WTF are they thinking? Only logic I can whip up is that they want to drive D4 sales.

        • Wow, you missed the boat.

        • its a technical limitation of the high res sensor.

        • Alan

          I still don’t understand this fps fetish. I get the feeling that people who think they want a still camera really want a video camera that they can do frame grabs from.

          I don’t know what you’re going to get with 200ms between frames that you can’t get with 250ms between frames.

          Of course, the only reason I use multi-frame is to filter out random events like camera shake, blinks, birds, so I really don’t understand (as opposed to saying fps fetishists are wrong), but I think that if I was doing sports photography where I needed to capture the exact moment of the catch and couldn’t get good enough at pushing the release at the right moment, I’d seriously be looking at Red or one of their rising competitors. 4k @ 120fps anyone?

          • Anthony

            What I might get with 200ms frame-to-frame is a 20% greater chance of my son’s eyes being open and facing me. Some sites say 30% faster shooting, which is likely due to 4 fps and 5fps not being exact figures. Of course, shutter lag factors into this as well.

            Baseball or football catches, your example, would seem to be way more predictable than kids.

            I miss a fair number of shots between my 5D2’s 3.8fps frames, and due to the shutter lag. I also miss a *bunch* due to the poky AF, especially when he’s running and I’m trying to keep a given AF point on his eye.

            So, when thinking of fps et al, consider my personal angle: if we pretend that I could afford to update my body, would a 5D3 or a D800 meet my needs better? Part of the equation would be face recognition *iff* it were fast enough to track a kid.

            • your seriously using motor drive to shoot portraits. Id kill myself first

            • ShaoLynx

              Get a Nikon 1 for shooting your kid.
              Problem solved (and it really works).

            • Anthony

              your seriously using motor drive to shoot portraits.
              I don’t have a seriously, and honestly don’t know what a seriously is. Oh, maybe you meant “you’re”. Where did I say anything about portraits???
              Id kill myself first
              No need for that, just hunt through the couch cushions to get money for a new keyboard with a ‘ key that works.
              Get a Nikon 1 for shooting your kid. Problem solved (and it really works).
              HAHAHAHAHA funniest thing I’ve heard all month.

  • Jablko

    As a Nikonian, I understand everyone’s glee at these results, but a lot of people’s reactions, both here an on the Canon side, seem like juvenile flame-baiting. Let’s not forget that DXOmark only cares about one aspect of the camera–the sensor. While that’s important, there’s a whole lot more that goes into one camera being “better” than another for certain types of photography and videography.

    The way I see it, if you have Nikon glass, you’ll get the D800. If you have Canon glass, you’ll get the 5dmkIII. Both have comparative strengths and weaknesses, and both will take great photos. Competition between these companies is healthy and good for us all, but once we as users have chosen a system, it seems like there needs to be a much wider gap between the products to make decisions based on comparisons like this each time a new generation of sensors comes out.

    I guess I don’t understand how tests like this give users who had no part in engineering the technology the freedom to be jerks about it. (Of course, maybe I’ll feel differently once I can actually get my hands on my own D800 …)

    • Eric

      Excellent points. We all win when there is competition. It’s hard to switch brands once you have an investment in glass. However I think that Canon did themselves a huge disservice when the initial 5DmkIII hype spoke of a2EV improvement in sensitivity… There are some disappointed folks out there.

      I sold my D3S and some old glass and ordered A D4 and a D800E. That left me with an old D80…not quite the same. So, admitting my error, I got online and found a good used D3, which I will sell when my D4 comes in. (I have Nikon glass, there is no question that I would by anything other than Nikon) For grins I compared the DxoMark ratings of the 5DmkIII and the D3. Guess what, they are the same. The Canon has the better resolution at 22mp (vs 12) but for my use of this camera, the higher frame rate of the D3 makes more sense. (and I don’t use video) From a sensor standpoint, Canon seems to be a generation behind. What does this mean? It means that Canon is going to come out with something absolutely kick-ass to turn the tables. When that happens (and it will) I hope I can be as positive as my Canon friends are…and I sure hope that they are as considerate of my Nikon gear as I currently am of their Canon gear. What goes around comes around. In my 30 years of Nikon use I have seen it go both ways….If I have learned anything, its to be nice.

      • Sports

        This Canon stuff made me spend some time understanding the DXO scores. They simplify things too much, I would say, and in particular, they hide the real qualities of the D4 sensor. Its high ISO performance is really way better than the D800 despite of the rather small “ISO score” difference.

    • joey

      Nicely put. A few lenses (etc.) and one is in for thousands if ten or more. Hard to justify selling all that equipment so one can have a body that is better than the competitor’s body. Fortunately, I am on the “winning” side this time as I shoot Nikon, but my time will come to watch Canon dominate. This competition is good for those of us who are locked into our respective brands; otherwise, I have a hard time understanding why the major brands would work as hard as they do to produce better products.

    • Andrew

      These tests (DxOMark) are important for the same reasons that people have competitions. Consider two teams playing against each other, companies competing, families and friends playing games, students striving for the top score, etc. This is life, and it (i.e. competition) is what makes us strive to be better. But beyond that, don’t you think that comparing the gas mileage of one automobile versus another may be relevant to the needs of a given buyer? I know you agree with this thinking from your article, but I just want to expand on your thoughts a bit and emphasize the value of the DxOMark measurements.

      Sometimes people need a simple number such as what DxOMark provides to help them make a purchasing decision. Sure they can go to the store and play with the camera, but these products are so technical, that its performance parameters are beyond the average consumer. Another point is that we should also consider that after years of exceptional product releases by Nikon, some Canon professionals may finally want to add Nikon to their equipment line (and some others may want to make the switch); the DxOMark results will give them that added confidence that maybe now is the time to get some Nikon gears, vis-a-vis the D800!

    • jodjac

      I love my D800! You will too when it finally comes in. It’s amazing.

  • nuser

    problem is you can’t get one !
    no one has them in stock and pre-orders are not getting shipped either ;-/

    • Rudi

      You have the wrong dealer. I preordered a D4, my “big” dealer didn’t deliver. I called one of his competitors next street and was on the way next day to buy it. And I could have had a D800 also, though I had just had spent all money on a D4 🙂

      • dwd

        Did something similar myself, preordered from B&H and on release day got a call from the camera shop down the street asking if I wanted one of theirs fresh off the truck, so I had it the day of release.

  • Remedy

    May I say something very important and personal to all the kind Canon fanboy sirs?
    Are You ready? Just wanna make sure You’re ready for it. Here it is:

    I’m gonna be rubbing this pic all over every Canon fanboy’s face for years! 😀

    Trolls gonna troll.

    • CHD

      ‘Trolls gonna troll’…glad you recognize you’re a troll….what a stupid post. Sleep tight with that D800 that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside…just too bad you probably can’t use it to it’s potential.

      • Remedy

        Dear child (as I think that’s what CHD stands for), first of all you need to learn something about humor, sarcasm and irony. Second, you need to take your nose out of your canonistic to the bone ass and look around a bit more. Third, who said I own D800 or even intend to? Feel free to gtfo back to your kindergarten. :*

        • Charles

          Remedy , humor is one thing and ironic cursing is another.
          say what you want to say as if you was talking in physical and not behind a monitor


          • Dhdbu

            Shut up Charles.

            Is what I would say to you if you said something so completely annoying in real life.

            • Cannot do that 🙂

              C H A R L E S

        • CHD

          Remedy, really you need to up your game a little in the talk smack dept. Maybe you’re ESL so I’ll cut you some slack. I actually think the D800 looks like a wicked camera, who says I’m a Canon fanboi?? I just think your original post is plain stupid….and by the way, the only thing ironic about any of your posts was you calling me a child. Kettle…black.

          Anyway, go on being the internet tough guy and try not to get too much sand kicked in your face this year at the beach.

  • Hmm…very interesting results. As a Canon user I’m pretty jealous of the supposed low ISO dynamic range in this new D800. If I wasn’t already so heavily invested in Canon gear I might buy the D800E and that awesome 14-24mm lens.

    With that said, I’m pretty sure I’ll still get better results with my trusty 5D2 than some of these yahoos beaking off about the D800:)

    • Matt_XVI

      I’m a Nikon user and couldn’t be happier as such however I must say that I agree with your statement.

    • Nice sentiment, agree completely. I love my Nikon cameras, I guess I could say I’m a Nikon fan, but feel a bit ashamed at some of the posts here (as well as canonrumors). I can’t believe people can be this immature “Eat THAT Canon!” – anthropomorphism at its best. As if Canon were a person or something.

      It’s good such a kind example of praise from the “other” camp. Real photographers are bound to be attached to their cameras, even brand, but we concentrate on TAKING PHOTOS instead of trolling on public forums. I personally know a lot of Canon shooters, some good friends, and I understand why they love their gear. Strange, we tend to cite the same reasons for choosing Nikon vs Canon: ergonomics 😉 I love the Nikon handling and can’t stand Canon. This is also a matter of habit I think, an important factor in brand loyalty. Still, feel like a fish out of water when shooting the 5D Mark II or the 550D. And my Canon friends feel exactly the same when shooting my Nikon lol 😉 We are geeks to some extent, love to play with new gear – and when I’m shooting a Canon, it’s like a new, albeit sometimes frustrating toy. It’s still kinda cool shooting them and seeing the little differences in image processing, colours, etc. One thing I noticed is that Canon’s have superiour JPEGs – and I’ve been trying to recreate the Canon look via Picture Controls for some times (though 99% I shoot raw).

    • Simon A.

      I am new to architectural photography and in the process of buying professionnal stuff (and selling Pentax SLR ; ). I feel torned apart by the the D800 body versus the famous tilt-shift lens on Canon side.

      Dear god. ; )

      • jorg

        nikon offers superb 24, 45 and 85 tilt shift lenses. you only miss the 17 mm ts-e form canon- which is actually not that cool for architecture since it can not avoid curvatures.
        if you ever need wider than 24 mm, put the 24 on a tripod and do a wider image by 2 shifted shots, composed by any panorama-software..

        • Simon A.

          Thanks Jorg.

          I read not so good reviews about the Nikkor 24. May be I’m wrong and should test it by myself, I am not experienced with the tilt-shift operations yet.

          Combined with the D800 (res, DRange and bracketing) that would be a dream combination.

          • jorg

            cheers, simon. i spent last weekend with a rented 24 pc-e nikkor and my D800. it is a dream team.
            the 24 pc-e is as good as it gets for a 24 mm lens on nikon FF. the only minor thing with the 24 pc-e and D700/800 is one knob, that could hit the flashhousing- in reality it is nothing.i am wondering which negative review you could find about htis lens, since i could only find people raving about it 😉
            btw- the 45 pc-e is supposed to be even better, sadly i could not test it yet.
            however, as much as i enjoyed exploring and playing with the TS-lens, my strongest recommendation is to rent them first to find out, which one you really need/ want. after renting the 24mm twice i would rather get the 45.

          • Ralph

            The PC-E24 is absolutely brilliant. Its my main lens now for landscape. If theres a bad review for this lens its from someone who either got a bad copy for some reason, doesnt know how to use it or just plain has no idea.

            Try it yourself.

          • Simon A.

            Thanks for your precious advice guys. Long life to the D800 ; )


        • The glaring flaw in Nikon’s PC-E lenses is restriction on tilt and shift on the same axis. Lenses can be modified for a fee to do this, but then can’t tilt and shift on opposite axis. Canon’s TS lenses do not have this limitation. Technical and view cameras with MF backs and lenses are very expensive. Some can take Nikon bodies but with limitations on lens width. I’m a Nikon guy but I’ve considered a Canon body for this reason. Or two PC-E lenses, one stock and one modified. Most of us will pick a most-used setup and live with the limitations, but if Canon can do it I don’t see why Nikon doesn’t fix this.

      • Brian

        If Nikon would come out with a 17mm TS, that would seal the deal with architectural photographers. There are times when an extreme wide lens is the only way to get the job done. Yes, you can stitch together shots, but that takes extra time shooting and in post production.

    • Rudi

      I switched from Canon to Nikon 3 years before and I’m really, really happy and satisfied. No looking back. Should have done this step earlier.

  • Viktor

    Dear admin, i must say, you doing your work really great. Every time i enter NR site, i have good mood just because you know how to wright articles and maybe because you know everything. BTW this site should be renamed to @nikontruestories@, because you miss only about 3% of info and other 97% are just spot on. Rumors is what people comment under your articles.
    And, of course, thank you for that DXO M3vsD800, it made me smile. (I already own D800)
    Great JOB! Keep it up!

  • an nonymous

    As a Nikon shooter (at least for now) I still think the 5D mkIII did quite well, except that the EV range has actually dropped down from it’s predecessor mkII 11.9 –> 11.7, this is the most worrisome imo, and well, it could perhaps performed a bit better on the ISO as well though not a big deal.

  • john

    hasnt the canon mkiii got light leakage issues something about them might been recalled hmmmm plastic hargon lol Nikon rule well done to the d800 🙂

    • Hom Thogan

      I wouldn’t chant victory yet, the D800 has:

      1) Problems with CLS not working properly (being documented by many)
      2) LCD screen’s color poorly calibrated (you have to calibrate by eye which isn’t accurate)
      3) AF system locks but keeps doing fine adjustments even before confirming focus lock (AF-S mode)

      I have witnessed problem 2 and 3 (I don’t care about using CLS ) Number 3 is worrying because the D4 doesn’t exhibits this problem.

  • Ray

    Reading the Canon fanatics reaction to this is like reading the Fundamentalist Christian reaction to “On the Origin of Species”.

    • ….or reading ardent evolutionists’ reactions to evidence for intelligent design 😉

      • BartyL

        If you think there is evidence for ‘intelligent design’ then your understanding of ‘evidence’ is an informal one.

        If you think there is any substance to the conjecture called ‘intelligent design’ then you do not understand what it is that sets science apart from nonsense.

        • Typical response 🙂 No, you’re completely wrong. I have training in science and have debated successfully with senior professors in a very top university. Intelligent design makes scientific sense. And there are enough holes, tape and bandaids in evolutionary theory (not to mention prejudice, bias, preconceptions, peer pressure and turning a blind eye to the problems) to make it into a religion as well, which under the covers it is.

          There are some flawed arguments by people who say they’re creationists but there are an equal number of flawed arguments made by evolutionists, on equally nonsensical grounds. There are no clean hands in that fight. Anyone who thinks there are is either unaware of facts, in denial of the problems, or just fooling themselves. But that’s a topic for a different forum, I just wanted to address an unwarranted attack targeting people who are in reality no worse than the attackers themselves.

          • BartyL

            I daresay we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one Robert, because disagree we surely do.

          • Stifledgenius

            If you believe a dude turned water into wine, then it’s difficult to have a conversation with you.

    • Andrew

      If we are to shine a “ray” of light on the debate, “On the Origin of Species” is “pure theory”. You need “scraps of data” projected over millions of years and proposed as evidence to support this theory. This theory requires more faith than many Fundamentalist Christians have. But let us keep it in the science books since no critique of it is acceptable to the scientific establishment. Sir Isaac Newton, generally considered the best and most revered scientist of all time was a Fundamentalist Christian, the man owned over 30 Bibles!

      • PAG

        Wow. Somebody obviously has no idea what the difference is between a hypothesis and a theory, what a well supported scientific theory is, or much about the vast data set (no, not just fossils) that support evolution. Evolution is in the science books because it is vastly supported and no other explanation has yet worked, including the thinly veiled theology of “Intelligent Design”. In fact it’s got more evidence supporting it than gravity. It’s not there because the scientific community doesn’t allow critiques.

        • Really… I mean really… are we actually talking about this here.

          you guys win the internet for random and bizarre arguments

          • alcapaho

            “……I love my Binka, because Binka’s always there…..”

            Well put Trent. Totally agree.

        • Andrew

          PAG, a person does not have to believe in “Intelligent Design” to have a problem with the origin of species. I did not bring up this discussion, I am only responding to an errant comment by “Ray”. In science, there is also a difference between a theory and a law!

          The landscape of biology is strewed with fakes and disreputable publications, read your history books. Even the Big Bang Theory is undergoing serious challenges in the scientific community. Such challenges is healthy and should not be suppressed!

          Anyway, I am an electrical engineer by training and my expertise is in mathematics, engineering, and computer technology, and not biology. I am always suspect of any field that attacked anyone that has a dissenting view – that is far from the scientific mindset that I subscribe to. So please refrain from alluding to your superior knowledge or other people’s lack of aptitude.

      • jorg

        omg, christian mentalists already at NR…

        • Andrew

          I like provocative thoughts to stretch ones perspective. But name calling is the worst type of censorship!

    • Ray

      Ooops, sorry guys. Last time I forget there’s a large American presence on NR. No intention of starting a big thing, just an off the cuff remark. I shall not add more fuel to the fire.

      • BartyL

        I’m a philosophical fellow-traveller on this issue Ray, but I agree it’s best to confine ourselves to commentary on photography and related issues on NR.

        (Another tip: don’t write anything which could be construed as a criticism of ‘Capital-C’ Capitalism.)

      • No problem, Ray. Mistakes happen. We all make them. I know I have. Handling the situation with such thoughtfulness and personal grace says a lot very positive about you. All the best.

  • Samas

    All the new D800E, D3200 and 28 f/1.8 news is great… But WHERE THE FREAK is my D800 that I ordered in February? After this long of a wait, does it matter now at what time I put in my pre-order? Or, for that matter, what “DATE” in February?

    NR Admin – Do you have any news about WHEN are the big boys like BH, Adorama and Amazon are going to ship D800 for the us the “rest of the folks who are still drooling at the pictures and comments”? I am getting totally BS responses from the CSRs now. I called in this morning (APRIL 19) to Adorama and this guy was shamless to tell me that “Adorama has not shipped a SINGLE non-NPS D800 until today”. What do they think we are? Some kind of morons?

    I wrote an ear-full of an email to Nikon USA yesterday and waiting for a response from them too. This is too much!

    • there is supposed to be a shipment coming in this week

      • Samas

        Thanks NR Admin! I hope there is! And I sincerely hope that there is a one box in that shipment with my name written on it!

      • Anonymous

        I spoke with Adorama before the Passover holidays and the rep told me that I should get my camera when they get the next shipment. So, I am keeping my fingers crossed. I ordered in the morning of 2/7, just in case someone else is curious.

    • Mark

      The second round of D800 deliveries is underway here in the US, and the first round of D800E deliveries has just begun as well. There’s just so many preorders floating around that it will take a while. I’m still waiting on my D800E, so I feel your pain.

      That said, I think it’s a mistake preordering with the big national distributors (B&H, Adoroma, Amazon) unless you’re one of the first on the list, because their preorder list is so long, and Nikon doesn’t play favorites with their dealers. Proportionally speaking, Nikon doesn’t deliver that much more to a company like B&H than they do to a smaller local store, so you’re better off preordering with a local store, where the lines are much shorter. My local camera store received a dozen D800s in the first round of deliveries, and their preorder number stood at 20 (several weeks ago). Haven’t heard what they’re getting in the second round, or how many D800Es they’re getting.

      • Samas

        @Mark, You are absolutely right. I should have gone to my local store instead of being loyal to Adorama. It wasn’t like this for my earlier DX upgrades. And only now when I am wanting to jump to FX, this atrocious testing of patience… As a sidenote, one of my local stores has a D800 and D4 on display! They also have a wait list to buy, but they let the customers to play with the display units! And that few minutes of playing with it, my friend, added more salt to the wound! 🙁

        The lesson learnt is – Adorama is awesome when it comes to a readily available item. They even provide updates over phone sometimes! But NEVER pre-order anything from Adorama (or any other online stores) hereafter. I am going to my local store when I upgrade next. Loyalty doesn’t really pay!

        • Samas

          And… to make it really – REALLY – worse, this Adorama puts random temporary authorizations on my credit card every now and then! It is like, you go “Ah, here it is”. And then a few days later that temp authorization disappears from the card, and then you go, “Ah WTF!”. This happenned three times – yes – THREE TIMES – already since March 22. Is this some sort of newly invented torture technique?

        • tcknight

          Have to say I agree. I ordered my D800 from my local camera shop and have had it for almost a month. The same was true for the D3 when it came out. Only problem is that I DID get one of the first one D800s and it is having to go to El Segundo tomorrow. So, careful what you wish for.

  • Denko

    Hm… the Canon results look too horrible to me and if it is that way I am unsure if this is truly any good. I was actually hoping for much better results on the Canon side because that would put Nikon et.al. on their toes to create even better cameras sooner. Now everybody will go back and relax and there will be less progress and more milking of the consumer cow. Canon seriously botched this one… did they do this on purpos though? (Same as the 60D IIRC) Not that I ever want to use a Canon but healthy competition is very important.

  • doug

    I knew it, i knew it, i knew it so much that i kept checking the DXoMark website every day since they release the D800 tests, ;p.

  • I am very glad that I have had the D800 on order for over 3 weeks now. I thought it would be a great camera and that seems to be the case with everything coming out. I am looking forward to move up to full frame from my D300. Does anyone know when this camera will start shipping in quantity???

    • Samas

      @Steve, Welcome to the “Club of Patience”. Buy putting in the order for D800, you have signed up to wait forever! I have my D800 on order since February – couple of days after the announcement, and still no peep.

      That – “WHEN” in your question – is the Million $ one. I doubt if even Nikon knows the answer.

      Come on in… The water is nice! Let us wait together!

      • Ian

        I’m dying! I’m making an upgrade from a D80. I can’t wait to experience the difference of a full frame image, let alone, THE best sensor available.

        B&H told me they’ll have a shipment at the end of May : ( and who knows if my D800 will accompany it.

  • barneydog7

    my d800 on order from the 7th feb 14:30 and i still don’t have it, yep! we will all wait together……………

  • T


    Posted April 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm |Permalink

    Here’s what I see. If you increase the ISO on the Canon from 100 to 1600 (4 stops) you ONLY loose about 1 stop of DR.
    The same move on the D800 and you loose about 1 stop of DR PER 1 stop of ISO gain.
    So which camera gives the user more real world flexibility? To me it looks like the MkIII.

    So the worse your starting performance, the better off you are overall? That’s not rational. I see the Canon being better at high ISO, period. And the Nikon is much better at low ISO, period. Pick the winner by which playing field you will be on.

  • KnightPhoto

    HOLY Mackeral!

    I haven’t read the thread yet, but this seems like a pretty understated result for the 5Diii to say the LEAST! Is this for real?

    The dpreview Canon forum is going to be interesting…

    • rs

      I think if you check the mark 3 compares closer to the D700.

      • It is essentially a D700 with great video, and twice as many pixels.

  • KD

    Just heard from b&h that the next shipment from Nikon will be end of May, this year.

  • rs

    The DXO comparison shows the Mark 3 and the D700 very close. Not bad for a older camera.

    • No, it’s incredible for a camera with 5-year-old tech.

      On the flip-side, that’s horrible for a new camera. Only 2 points higher score than it’s predecessor? It’s essentially a D700 with video and more pixels. Not a bad camera, but very late to the party.

      • Sports

        The DXO “ISO score” has D700 better than MarkIII.
        But DXO’s own measurements has MarkIII clearly better at high ISO.
        I tried to explain a little bit on the ISO score above … somewhere … if you’re interested.

  • Dean Forbes

    Since most of us end up posting images to web sites such as flickr (or the end use of our images is not large prints) is all of this pixel peeping meaninful and useful? Will you see a difference between images taken by the two cameras on a web site? Not likely.

    I’m a very longtime Nikon shooter who is ready to buy a new dSLR body this year. Lens choice is more important to me and this is where Nikon has fallen behind, especially in good f4 lenses that are lighter, less expensive and still perform well. My research on DxO shows the Canon 24-105mm f4 outperforms the Nikon 24-120mm f4. Nikon doesn’t offer a 70-200mm f4, another lens I would want.

    • Did you look at the 80-200 f2.8 at all?

      • Dean Forbes

        I own one. Love it but it’s becoming too heavy for much of the work I do.

        • Hhom Togan

          Do you have spaghetti arms? lettuce wrists?

    • anthony

      “posting” != “only posting”.

      • Dean Forbes

        Yes, “only posting” would be a better phrase.

    • whos pixel peeping this is about DR color and noise. yes you will see that on a website. also these are pro cameras and the majority of buyers ARE buying them for reasons above posting them to flickr. but resolution wasnt even taken into account here

  • Xander

    You know what entertains me? Seeing this post, and heading to the Canon rumours forums to entertain myself at the inherent and massive denial by all Canon users about this score. LOL.

    Ah, they just can’t accept that the D800 scores higher, in a benchmark for the sensor.

    Even the Canon Rumours ADMIN said this:

    “There are two sites I will never link again, and one of them is DXO.

    Numbers tests really bother me, because other people will use the DXO software and get completely different results. There will also be a range of results if someone is using Imatest. I’ve also seen the same person run DXO and Imatest and get different results.

    The other issue is how they weight their score. By the looks of things, during the D3/D700 days, ISO performance was the major stat that that weighted the “total score”, now it appears they weight it to dynamic range.

    I’ve honestly wondered at times if anyone that does numbers testing like this has actually taken a photograph and looked at it with their eyes. The D800 is NOT a better high ISO performer, even if you down rez the D800 files, the 5D3 trumps it.

    I’ve talked to 3 folks that do this type of testing independently, and all 3 agreed above ISO 800, the 5D3 is the clear winner in dynamic range, but the D800 beats the 5D3 at lower ISO.

    These tests serve nothing positive to the community. If the 5D3 had a score of 291, I still wouldn’t post it on the site.”

    Where’s my popcorn? I’m gonna be entertained for a while.

    • Perhaps the guy never noticed that it clearly shows D800 has lower performance in the higher ISO. D800 was made for people with lots of light who don’t need to bang out 10+ F.P.S. Landscape and studio work. Also great for wedding portraits but not so much for reception work.

      • Rob

        It’s over a stop better than the D700. Are you saying the D700 was abysmally bad at receptions?

  • So, what is this – http://vimeo.com/40113110 ?

    • rs

      Why I’ll keep my D700 and wait for the D800s or D900.

    • JD

      ISO performance for video and stills can’t really be compared. As you have noted, the D800 does not perform as good for video in higher ISOs as it does for stills.

      • Hhom Togan

        Nikon is catering the camera as a rival of the Canon’s that have video, if this video is representative of real life performance in every camer then Nikon has shot itself in the foot because the performance is really bad…

    • I was just discussing this video with someone else today. It’s a totally unfair comparison.

      1. The D800 has NO noise reduction applied, and the Canons have GOBS of it. I mean, the Canons loose detail at the same rate the D800 gains noise. Properly captured, you could equalize them in post with noise reduction.

      2. You can’t compare at the same ISO. Nikon and Canon measure it differently. You can tell from the very first frame all the way through the last… the Nikon is exposed quite a bit more than the Canons. I expected somewhere in the range of about half a stop, but this looks like as much as a 2 stop difference. They needed to be equalized based on their effective output, not the random assignment of an ISO number.

      This was a really worthless comparison. And even still, I expect the Canon to perform better… but marginally so after everything is equalized.

  • This has made my mind up to place my order for a D800.

  • Former Nikonian

    I was a nikonian in film era equipped with N90S, N 8008S bodies + SB25 speedlight + (were) high end Nikkor lenses. Because of situation, I have left phography since 2003. However, my eyes still have been following the progress from SLR to DSLR. I have a little changed my view from Nikon to Canon since the first time I had a chance physically seeing a Nikon and a Canon DSLR bodies sitting side by side in a camera store years ago.
    In my point of view, the Nikon looked cheap because of the orange stripe on left front. And I started loosing my love with Nikon.
    Now, my situation has changed and I have opprtunity to come back with my love photogaphy. I was thinking and reading a lot of reviews online to choose among Nikon or Canon or Sony as it was an expensive investment in hobby (I was a Pro but have not been earning in photogaphy since the situation told above). After months of considering, I dropped Sony and paid attention on 2 new comers for my come back: D800 and 5D Mk iii
    Finally, last night, I placed oderd 5d Mk iii and 2 L lenses. Why?:
    – D800 looks cheap because the orange stripe as my view of aesthetics.
    – I do not like the pop-up flash. It does not help much but is annoying, and looks cheap as well. As a Pro, external speedlight was always at my side.
    – My composition used to be tight and in purpose. I do not shoot randomly then crop a lot later so I do not need extreme high MP. If 36 MP were good, it would be in D4.
    – I used to take pictures in early morning and late afternoon and evening, so low light is a issue to me. 5D Mk iii gives me the convenience. I can rarely use speedlight.
    – I am not biased by reviews online. I judged on my own eyes, especially the comparison on http://www.imaging-resource.com.
    I am sad to leave Nikon and happy to join Canon.

    • neosxm

      I disagree with you:

      – D800 looks cheap because the orange stripe as my view of aesthetics.

      Many would argue me included that the built quality of the beast is on par if not better than the canon 5d m3

      – I do not like the pop-up flash. It does not help much but is annoying, and looks cheap as well. As a Pro, external speedlight was always at my side.
      – My composition used to be tight and in purpose. I do not shoot randomly then crop a lot later so I do not need extreme high MP. If 36 MP were good, it would be in D4.

      If you do not need these functionality, don’t use them. Heck the d800 is still cheaper…

      – I used to take pictures in early morning and late afternoon and evening, so low light is a issue to me. 5D Mk iii gives me the convenience. I can rarely use speedlight.

      dxomark just proved that the SNR is the same for both sensors

      Don’t be so harsh on Nikon. The D800 is a great camera. 😉

      • burgerman

        “If 36 MP were good, it would be in D4.”

        Well it IS GOOD! And it matches the HIGH ISO of a D3s (and likely D4) in prints of every size for noise here on my desk. The ONLY reaon its not also in the D4 is the speed. Too much data to move, process, etc to do 11 frames per second. Electronics as of 2012 isnt able to do this.

        And the canon is basically about 4 years behind both of these.

        Best image quality and detail of any dslr (and some MF) including high ISO noise comparison is D800

        Best sport/reporters cam, for speed D3s or D4.

        And for those looking for a replacement D700 wake up! This thing does everything better than my antique D700 ever did. And its about the same price in spite of the weaker £…

      • Former Nikonian

        Photography relates to aesthetics; camera is a tool in photography. I just do not feel good when trying to use an ugly tool to creat aesthetic products. I miss my N90S and N8008S (all were sold years ago), they looked nice comparing to current Nikon’s.
        I only buy what I need, and 5D Mkiii gives me that while D800 does not.
        My brother, who is an IT engineer and nikonian, has tons of Nikons since FMs (you know what they are? hope you was born then) and his latest is D700. He had a plan to upgrade to D700’s successor; but after D800 release he gave up with huge frustration. He expected D700’s successor would have something which 5D Mkiii has now. He choses sticking with his D700 and hoping for 4 years later.
        When I called telling him about my oders, he said “Brother, you did the right job!”
        Final words, we nikonians spend for what we need; so I spent for 5D Mkiii and my brother did not spend for D800. Period.

    • Tom

      Need to change your boots? Pretty full of s***.

    • Ruslan

      It seems like your main goal is to look expensive.

      Just buy a red Corvette.

      • Derp

        One person finally has arguments for his choice and you fucktards flame him because he doesn’t buy what a lab test tells him to buy? Omfg. You are as bad as the Canon-people you hate.

    • LP

      Looks like Former Nikonian has transformed into Current Troll…

    • Rudi

      As I wrote above I’ve switched from Canon to Nikon because of quality in every aspect and I’m totally happy.

      Seeing that a – as you say former Nikonian -(sorry, you have never been a Nikonian in my eyes!) has switched because of the red stripe (it’s on the right side btw. and orange I guess is what Canonians got) I have to admit you are a troll.

      • Former Nikonian

        Thanks Rudi,
        I do not care whaterver you said about me. I start over without gear left behind so it is easy for me to make up my mind.
        I read but never totally trust any reviews online, especially no-no with reviews just give words or graphs without illustrating samples. Anybody, including you and me, can put those words and graphs online without a camera in hand. But I 100% trust my brother judgement.
        As told before, my brother is an IT engineer and nikonian. He have been sticking to Nikons’ since the time, I guess, you may not been born yet. DSLR is photographic computer, so I believe on his knowlege and experience in digital photography. When he decided not to replace his D700 with D800 while he had been waiting for a while, he must have his own reason. Especially when he gave me a praise when I placed 5D Mkiii oder. He praise Mkiii over D800 but cannot switch because of tons of his lovely Nikon’s gear.
        My decision came from my brother’s judgement and my naked eyes on samples online. I am happy with my oder, and my brother is as well. It is my camera bought by my money, not yours, right. Why you are so furious? Ridiculous! Are you envying?
        If you have time, with your own naked eyes, you should take looks on: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_EOS_5D_Mark_III/Canon_5D3_vs_Nikon_D800_noise.shtml;
        http://www.imaging-resource.com/; http://www.dslrnewsshooter.com/2012/04/01/video-shootout-nikon-d800-vs-canon-5d-mkiii/;
        and many others. BTW, you need a powerfull computer, especially video card, and high resolution monitor to see samples in your naked eyes. If not, forget them and D800 or 5d Mkiii. Have fun.

  • derWalter

    as i mentioned before – i doubt this can be true…

    12 ev….. i mean red just announced a 6.5k sensor with at least 85fps and
    15+ EV … i mean if red can pull this out at this speed, how can a still camera not compete with that…

    and the red upgrade cost 3000$ so are we all switchting to red cameras shooting with 85fps (85fps in RAW mode!!) or what?

    • Ruslan

      Because speed has nothing to do with DR.

  • Ren Mockwell

    Well this is awesome! too bad it sucks for video at high ISO’s: http://nofilmschool.com/2012/04/markii-vs-markiii-vs-d800-candlelight/ OUCH OUCH OUCH Glad I stocked on D700’s! >:3

    • Tom

      Dork. That is all.

    • Michael

      Video. 🙂

  • Steve Starr

    What is interesting is that Nikon comes out with a 24MP sensor for $700 in the 3200. Canon must be reeling on that alone.

    What will hurt Canon is if DxO puts a higher sensor score on the 3200 than the 5D Mark III. Somehow, a $700 body is going to make selling a $3,500 Canon 5D Mark III at 22.5MP a bit tough.

    Canon needs to do something outstanding soon. Maybe 48MP for $2,400.

  • what a bunch of Bull Sh_t, hehehehe. I don’t believe the Hype and I’m posting my next youtube video right now, hahaha. Yes the D800 is a great body but not better then the 5Dmk3 at Highrer ISO period. Compare real world images, not lines graphs charts, numbers. DXO is definitely bias. Adn I’m not the only one who see through thier crap. Despite being a Canon user I appreciate some Nikons greatnes, but I’m a Professional with my equipment and L lenses. I would never have a issues with some friendly competitions. me and my 5Dmk3 against a D8oo with my 100mm f2.8L and nikons 105 macro in all kinds of test today tomorrow next week or even next year. I promise DXO is going to lose a lot of credit because of this crap and not sell thier software, except maybe to Nikon fanboys. Compare images for your self IMAGING RESOURCES website.

    • Al

      Canon sucks ……..live w/ it fanboy !!!!

    • Michael

      Lol, temperature (how hot is it), lighting, real ISO, and pre-cooked (noise reduced) RAW all affect the final image, DxOMark is the most reputable site, with experts visiting them without finding out any flaws.

  • biho

    check real world iso comparisons between both cameras at

    • Hhom Togan

      I have seen it and I’m not impressed with Chroma Noise at all

  • Seriousley
  • buh fing huu

    Aaaawh, poor canon fanboys getting crushed. I guess now every canon fanboy will claim DXO is just BS. Hahahahaha. Warms my nikon heart to see them bleed & cry.

  • Srini

    Canon may have to drop the prices of 5D III steeply to outsell D800. Hope Nikon UK won’t jack the prices further!

  • mircea

    yeah yeah, I saw how those tests are conducted. I saw pictures with same ISO same condition, on Nikon looks so bad, Canon was much better. Let’s be honest now, Nikon will never hit on Canon. They have very good cameras, but innovation=ZERO! Looking back in time, we will never change the mount of our cameras, who need full frame, who needs CMOS, etc, etc.
    I know this will get angry many Nikon guys around here, but this is the truth, even you don’t wanna say it.
    What I like on Nikon is the menu of cameras, SB-800 (700, 900’s more recent).

    • Hehe! Its so typical. Canon fanbwoys that never touched a Nikon, to tell us how bad Nikon is. Its only to be expected from that camp. When you say that Nikon is not innovative. It tells me that your knowledge about cameras and photography is zero. The D800 is no high ISO machine. No one ever said it would be. Despite that it does a pretty good job, concidering the resolution.
      Below is some sample shots that i did with the D800@ISO3200 The lens: AF-S Nikkor24mmf14G ED at the largest aperture.


      • Hhom Togan

        After noise reduction even the oldest camera can look fine, sorry but why would we trust you?

        • No noise reduction. I took this raw file into lightroom 4 and turned off default sharpening. No other tampering with the file. I left the color and luminance noise reduction at default. *note* color nose red. is set to 25 at default.

  • Peter


    the techradar test:

    TIFF images (after conversion from raw) have a consistently good signal to noise ratio across the sensitivity range comparing closely to the Canon EOS 1Ds Mk III and just having the edge over the Nikon D800. It also shows a slight improvement at all sensitivities over the Canon EOS 5D Mk II.

    TIFF files (after conversion from raw) have a high dynamic range with results comparing closely to the Nikon D4 and D800. Compared with the Canon EOS 5D Mk II, there is a marked improvement showing over 2EV greater range at the lower end of the sensitivity scale.

    i thought techradar is a DxO certified lab?


  • Jimmy

    What happened to all those folk who said:

    “If the D800 is 36MP, then I’m jumping ship to Canon.”


    • Clark Tanaka


    • Hhom Togan

      They did the shift and no longer care about this BS camera.

  • Clark Tanaka

    Really!? Do people still look at these numbers and say which camera is better?
    What happened to all of the real photographers that knows the phrase “it’s not the camera that takes the picture, it’s the photographer..”

    • Hhom Togan

      You see all these morons think their camera will make them better photographers and DXOmark just reinforces the idea of this.

      People think Canon or Nikon or Sony will make them better shooters and spend tons of money on cameras that will end up in Keh or Ebay because they will not be able to shoot something decent with their 3,000 bucks camera 😉

      • Clark Tanaka

        +1 You’ve said it all:)

      • Andrew

        Not true! A better equipment will help you perform better. Sure, the user needs to know how to make effective use of the equipment, but would you take a Honda Civic to a race track against a Formula 1 racing car?

        And besides, many people buy these products for fun and personal fulfillment. No, they are not morons – you are greatly overstepping your bounds with this characterization.

  • t5454654654


    the techradar test:

    TIFF images (after conversion from raw) have a consistently good signal to noise ratio across the sensitivity range comparing closely to the Canon EOS 1Ds Mk III and just having the edge over the Nikon D800. It also shows a slight improvement at all sensitivities over the Canon EOS 5D Mk II.

    TIFF files (after conversion from raw) have a high dynamic range with results comparing closely to the Nikon D4 and D800. Compared with the Canon EOS 5D Mk II, there is a marked improvement showing over 2EV greater range at the lower end of the sensitivity scale.

    i thought techradar is a DxO certified lab?


    so is DXO really sponsored by NIKON.. or why does a DXO test yields a different result when done by techradar?

    or can someone explain the dicrepancy?

    • Anonymous

      Troll alert…

  • Viktor

    It is clear that the main reason for the low DXO score of the new Canon EOS 5D Mark III is its low level of the dynamic range (DR). Otherwise the results are very impresive.

    What follows is only speculation:

    In pixel level comparisons the dynamic range of 5D Mark III is 10.97 EV. The best score of any Canon camera is 11.95 EV (EOS 1D Mark IV). This observation suggests the following possible explanation:

    Internally, at the base level, Canon is using only 12 bit ADC conversion (if the sensor behaves linearly there is no chance to get higher DR then the number of bits used for ADC). Consequently, for 12 bit ADC it is not possible to get higher DR than 12 EV in pixel level and for 14 bit ADC it is not possible to get higher DR than 14 EV in pixel level.

    Significantly higher DR than that of Nikon D800 (13.23 EV) could be achieved only by changing the sensor AD conversion for 16 bits.

  • Alan Wu

    MKIII for landscape, its base ISO dynamic range is lower than the base iso of the D90 which is my favourite light camera for landscape. This raises some eyebrows. What happened here? Besides the high resolution compared to the nikon APSC last generation sensors(not the new d3200), MKII is not even better in this area. Disappointing.

  • I would like to know how much money you guys are being paid from these camera companies to spend so much time and effort advertising for them. Maybe I’m missing out on something. Are you all Beta testers. The secret to good photography is getting out there doing it I thought. But it seems nobody has the time to be a photographer these days, marketing the technology seems to be of more importance.

    • Samas

      +1 @Doug Stevens. May be if Nikon is smart enough to really put the camera on these people’s hands (me included!) soon, then may be, they will go away from this place to make real pictures! The problem right now is – we are only seeing other’s pictures and reading forums like this.

      I am guessing that right now people who are still waiting for this camera are the ones who are writing here, about the specs, blah blah (again, me included!). But I like your way of saying it: “we are providing free advertisement for the camera companies!”. Damn!

  • dbas

    This is a clear with for Sony. Their sensor technology is far more advanced than anything else out there. This reminds me of the Intel vs AMD debate on which processor to include in the Mac.

  • Hansg

    Being Nikoninan myself I think this a little unfair for Canon. The 5D_MIII is equally aimed at filmmakers and photographers. Even though D800 does fairly well in the video divission its strength is in photography (it is therefore a photographers camera) but it does not stand a change against the 5D_MIII in video shooting.

  • BeanyPic

    I’ve had a great time reading all you comments. Thanks for making my Day. I’ve used both the D800 and the MkIII over 3 weeks and I will be going with the Canon as it gives me the overall results that the Nikon can’t produce for my work. Like everything in life there’s more to photography than just “ISO”. The overall work rate of the MkIII out preforms the D800 for me. If you want a all round work horse get the MkIII if you want a studio camera with limited external use get the D800 (in my opinion that is). I’ll now await for the screams that I’m a “FanBoy”. Even though this is the biggest “FanBoy” site in the world… I’m not a “FanBoy” I’m just a Photographer that uses the best tool for me.

    • Andrew

      What is your point? You come here to proclaim your love for all things Canon and then use the word “FanBoy” three times. What, are you trying to tell us that you are a FanBoy? If you are, don’t worry, we believe you!

    • DraKsa

      Keep convincing yourself. What ever helps you sleep better at night.

  • Slatz

    What good is the rating for a camera that the average photographer will not e able to put thier hands on for 6 months? This is just a theory from my point of view.

    • Samas

      @Slatz… Totally agree! If this is the world’s best camera (sorry, I had to use this Rockwell sarcasm!) show it to the users! What is the point in just boasting that you have the best camera? No word from Adorama still. It is amazing that they maintain their stand saying they haven’t shipped a single non-NPS unit until now! Btw – I got a response from Nikon for my earful of an email I sent them couple of days ago. And guess what? They also say that they dont have a clue on which dealer is going to get how many units at what time!

      Way to go Nikon! You treat your customers like sh*t!

    • Andrew

      No it is not a theory, it fact! The performance of a camera has nothing to do with how many are produced. But if you are saying that you will not believe the ratings until you can handle the camera for yourself and try to personally verify the results, then that makes sense. But you may be interested in knowing that the average consumer is not technical enough to properly evaluate the performance parameters of this camera. But at a subject level, they can point and shoot and see how they like the pictures.

  • Anonymous

    Nikon D800 beats Canon mkIII hands down !

    • Andrew

      True, but this is today’s result, what next? For someone purchasing a new camera that is not wedded to Nikon or Canon, then this result is important. But if you are invested in a lot of Canon lenses, I am sure you will find the Mark III a competent performer. But the price of the Mark III puts it at a disadvantage.

  • Jane

    I’m a Nikon gal, but the DxO overall scores are skewed somehow. For example, the D4 is ahead of the D800 in both sensor ratings I know of at virtually everything above base ISO, but the D800’s score is higher? Same problem with the Canon cameras. The Mark3 may not be better than the Mark2 at base ISO, but it’s a lot better at higher ISO, yet the DxO ratings are 79 and 81? Nikon (D4) and Sony (D800) are ahead when it comes to sensor tech, that’s obvious, but the DxO rating is not the whole picture.

    • Andrew

      True the DxO is not the whole picture, but it is sure convincing. But also, I will not go as far as to say the results are skewed. Sure, other things to consider in a camera are the features, ergometrics, construction, and price. These are all very strong areas where Nikon excels, and where the D800 should prevail. At the end of the day, these results simply mean that Nikon has edged out Canon in this latest contest. But these battles go back and forth, and it should be expected when industry giants compete.

      • Andrew

        One too many words – replace “ergometrics” with “ergonomics”.

  • lamby

    I am glad that I ordered my D800 – I can’t wait.

    I had a missed call from Jessops UK this afternoon and called them back. Interesting…. they have received the next batch. They would not tell me numbers but it is a small batch in comparisson to the number of orders. Unfortunately the team who called had gone home so here’s hoping next week brings me my order.

  • reply to Don ,
    A handfull of canon lenses , mainly telephotos , can be used with adapter (1.26 teleconverter) and this can be done if you are lucky to find one. let alone camera lockups , wrong metering etc.
    what is more simple than just get your old fisheye and attach it on your Nikon D800 !!!!

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