Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III

How does the Nikon D800 compare to the newly announced Canon 5D Mark III? In this article, I will show the specifications of both cameras and talk about feature differences, in addition to providing my subjective opinion about each camera. Please keep in mind that the information below is purely based on specifications and available information. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons is provided in my D800 Review.

Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III

Nikon definitely surprised everyone with its ultra high-resolution Nikon D800 announcement earlier this year. Featuring an impressive 36.3 MP sensor, the Nikon D800 was a huge jump from the 12.1 MP sensor that we all got so used to ever since the Nikon D3 came out in 2007. Knowing that the Canon 5D update was due for a refresh, I wondered what Canon would respond with – a similar high-resolution sensor to compete head-to-head against the D800, or a lower-resolution sensor with better noise characteristics (as it did with the Canon 1D X). As it turns out, Canon decided to play a different game and instead of engaging in a megapixel race, it decided to focus on image quality, autofocus features/performance and weather sealing – the three areas that have been receiving a lot of criticism from the Canon community for many years now. This is a very smart and welcome move, especially in regards to autofocus features and performance. As one of our readers pointed out, “the Canon 5D Mark III is what 5D Mark II should have been in 2008”. While I have to disagree with this statement in terms of image quality for now (I will have to test both side by side), I agree that Canon should have included a better AF module on the 5D Mark II, given its price and the full-frame sensor.

See Canon 5D Mark III image samples.

Let’s take a look at the specifications of both cameras in more detail.

D800 and 5D Mark III Specification Comparison

Camera FeatureNikon D800Canon 5D Mark III
Sensor Resolution36.3 Million22.3 Million
Sensor Size35.9x24mm36x24mm
Dust Reduction / Sensor CleaningYesYes
Image Size7360 x 49125760 x 3840
Image ProcessorEXPEED 3DIGIC 5+
Viewfinder TypePentaprismPentaprism
Viewfinder Coverage100%100%
Viewfinder Magnification0.70x0.71x
Storage Media1x Compact Flash and 1x SD1x Compact Flash and 1x SD
Continuous Shooting Speed4 FPS, 6 FPS in DX mode with MB-D12 battery grip6 FPS
Max Shutter Speed1/8000 to 30 sec1/8000 to 30 sec
Shutter Durability200,000 cycles150,000 cycles
Exposure Metering Sensor91,000-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering IIIiFCL metering with 63 zone dual-layer sensor
Base ISOISO 100ISO 100
Native ISO SensitivityISO 100-6,400ISO 100-25,600
Boosted ISO SensitivityISO 50, ISO 12,800-25,600ISO 50, ISO 51,200-102,400
Autofocus SystemAdvanced Multi-CAM 3500FX with 51-points (up to 15 cross-type points)61-point high-density reticular AF (up to 41 cross-type points)
AF DetectionUp to f/8 (up to 9 cross-type sensors)Up to f/5.6
Built-in FlashYesNo
AF AssistYesNo, only with external flash
Video OutputH.264/MPEG-4 in MOV FormatAVI, H.264/MPEG-4 in MOV Format
Uncompressed Video OutputYes (HDMI)No
Video Maximum Resolution1920×1080 (1080p) @ 30p1920×1080 (1080p) @ 30p
Audio RecordingBuilt-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)
Built-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)
LCD Size3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD
LCD Resolution921,000 dots1,040,000 dots
Exposure Compensation±5 EV in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV increments±5 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV increments
Bracketing2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV±3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV increments
HDR SupportYesYes
Built-in GPSNoNo
Wi-Fi FunctionalityEye-Fi Compatible, WT-4AEye-Fi Compatible, WFT-E7
BatteryEN-EL15 Lithium-ion BatteryLP-E6 Lithium-ion Battery
Battery Life850 shots (CIPA)950 shots (CIPA)
Battery ChargerMH-25 Quick ChargerLC-E6 Charger
Weather Sealed BodyYesYes
USB Version3.02.0
Camera ConstructionMagnesium AlloyMagnesium Alloy
Dimensions144.78 x 121.92 x 81.28mm152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm
MSRP Price$2,999$3,499

So, what are the main differences between the Nikon D800 and the Canon 5D Mark III? First, it is obviously the image sensor – while both cameras have about the same size sensors, the Nikon D800 has a 36.3 MP sensor, while the Canon 5D Mark III features a 22.3 MP sensor. This essentially means that the Canon 5D Mark III has an edge in terms of noise performance at high ISOs – but that’s at 100% view. A real and a fair comparison involves a down-sampling process, in which an image from a higher resolution sensor is down-sampled to a lower resolution, which ultimately reduces noise on the higher resolution sensor. This comparison is provided in my Nikon D800 Review and as you can see, the Nikon performs very well when compared to the 5D Mark III. True, the Canon 5D Mark III has a two stop advantage in terms of native high ISO of 25,600 versus ISO 6,400 on the D800, however, I personally have no interest in such high ISO figures, since I know that anything above ISO 6400 is just too noisy for professional use. Neither camera can match what the Nikon D4 or the Canon 1D X can do at very high ISOs anyway.

The second main difference is the autofocus system. Now this is the part that will definitely need a lot of testing to compare the two AF systems. While the Nikon D800 has a lower total number of focus points (51 versus 61) and cross-type focus points (15 versus 41), the Nikon D800 has working AF at f/8, with 9 cross-type sensors. The Canon 5D Mark III is limited to f/5.6.

As for other differences, the Canon 5D Mark III has an edge in speed (6 fps vs 4 fps), LCD (1.04 Million dots versus 921,000 dots) and weight (860g versus 900g), while the Nikon D800 has better shutter durability (200,000 shutter cycles versus 150,000), better video features (uncompressed video), high-speed USB (USB 3.0 vs USB 2.0) and built-in flash.

The biggest difference, however, is the price – the Nikon D800 retails for $2,999, while the Canon 5D Mark III is $3,499 – a $500 difference.

Here are the links to order the Nikon D800 and the Canon 5D Mark III.


  1. 1) Josh
    March 1, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Wow! Canon really missed the Mark on this one. I’m glad I pre-ordered the d800. I’m sure the demand will only increase.

    • March 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm

      Josh, I won’t comment or I will get a lot of hatemail :)

      • 1.1.1) john
        March 2, 2012 at 7:31 am

        $3,500 body only? Please, I’d get a D800 and a SB910 in a heartbeat.

      • 1.1.2) Che Ibarra
        March 5, 2012 at 7:45 am

        You just commented Nasim!! No hate mail coming from me. Nikon Love :)

    • 1.2) eduard
      March 3, 2012 at 8:03 am

      I’ll wait for 5Dx

    • 1.3) Mario
      April 20, 2012 at 7:34 am

      Yes sure I have noticed after hundred of hours reading about these models that Nikon fans have to many complex about markIII but this is something you can explain easy as a psychologist… you just can’t put in your head Nikonians that you will always get the 2nd place!
      I haven’t see this hate and complex from Canon fans anywhere on the web.. they dont try to compare all the time their cameras against Nikon and neither they fight so much as you…
      As for companies both are great for so many years but think which one gave all these technologies so we can be able today to compare a Canon camera against all the others? Which one brought the Dslr Video in this superiority at 2008 with the Mark II, which one has the best prime and telephoto lens made?
      Think again.. its Canon!

      • 1.3.1) jamal
        May 22, 2012 at 7:07 am

        Nikon introduced its first dslr in 1999 whilst cannon debuted its d30 in 2000, and as for the lenses, Nikkor Lenses are way better in terms of build and image quality. ALso nikon is cheaper :)

        • Elsavann
          May 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm

          @Jamal, you said Nikon lenses cheaper than Canon lenses, really? I don’t know which part of the world are you taking about. Here in the US at B&H Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 $1,886.95 and Canon 24-70mm 2.8L $1,579 now tell me which one is cheaper. Speaking about build and image quality they are about the same, Nikon are better in wide angle and Canon better in telephoto.

          • Jamal
            May 25, 2012 at 6:19 am

            I said nikons are cheaper not nikkor, i was talking about the bodies being cheaper like d5100 vs the rebel t3 in cropped sensor and the d800 vs the mark iii , as for telephotos i have the cheap nikkor 70-300 fx vr2 which is all i need and it is really heavy duty, and I got it on best buy for 580$ while the cannon 70-300 has a regular price of 650$ so much for cheaper cannons, by the way im not a nikonian, i currently have a nikon but im welling to jump to any other manufacturer that offers me a better deal on cameras and lenses :) by the way i love the 5d mark 3 a big jump there :)

            • Elsavann
              May 25, 2012 at 8:54 am

              Sorry, I missed your point, I was thinking about Nikon and Canon in general because Nikkor is still a Nikon, made by Nikon & Co. and Canon or Canon L is still a Canon.

  2. 2) David
    March 1, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Nasim, fix the MP figure on D800, it is 36.3MP, not 33.6MP as you have everywhere in this article :)

    • March 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      Thanks for letting me know, I put a wrong number to start with, then copy-pasted it in a couple of other spots :) Fixed now!

      • 2.1.1) john
        March 2, 2012 at 7:28 am

        and you just lost your credibility.

      • 2.1.2) Del-Uks
        March 2, 2012 at 11:21 am

        …by the way, the 5D MarkIII has HDMI output as well.

        • Guy
          March 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm

          Yes, but the camera doesn’t have a clean HDMI out-pot, so you can’t use an external recorder.
          As a moviemaker, Canon just lost it for me.

          • Del-Uks
            March 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm

            Au temps pour moi.

            • John
              March 7, 2012 at 7:50 am

              Autant pour moi…. :}

            • alex
              March 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm

              Nope, “au temps pour moi” is the original way of writting.

            • claudio
              May 26, 2012 at 6:25 am

              actually you’re wrong alex, autant pour moi means “the same much for me”, au temps pour moi is sth completely different which is translated as: for me at the right time (like somewhen later). the second version makes def more sense here i’d say.

            • Del-Uks
              May 26, 2012 at 11:26 am

              John, claudio… permettez-moi d’insister !

              Selon l’Académie française, la formule juste est bel et bien : “Au temps pour moi”.
              Une expression d’origine militaire, semble-t-il.

              À bon entendeur !

            • claudio
              May 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

              pardonnez-moi Del-Uks. J’ai lu votre information. Je n’en ai pas connaissance jusqu’ici.

  3. 3) Rex
    March 1, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Canon needs to spend more money on research and development, A real landscape camera has nothing to do with ISO, it needs to be strictly Resolution because it is supposedly meant for more tripod use with 100 ISO, that’s why D4 is built to answer the ISO options on the opposite end. Nikon clearly divides the the resolution vs low light, it’s like buying a sedan vs. SUV. It seems Canon is being sandwhich in between, they have not clearly set a specialty direction.Why would you buy 2 Canon cameras with 18mp and 22mp, it’s too close to justify a different need, while Nikon clearly set the difference 16mp vs. 36mp, In Nikon I see the reason to own a D800 and D4, which is Landscape vs. Action.

    While canon seems like to produce an Action Camera and Semi-Action Camera….no actual big contrast.

    • 3.1) Jokke_r
      March 2, 2012 at 5:59 am

      A Real Landscape camera needs lots of dynamic range though, larger photosites will allow that. Which leads to better highlight details, more accurate color representation in highlight regions and less noise in shadow regions.

      • 3.1.1) bert
        March 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm

        The D7000 has the highest d-range of all cameras at dxomark. The d800 is said to be the full frame d7000 sensor, with the exact same pixel pitch. The d800 will probably beat the canon on d-range.

        • lesliecool
          May 11, 2012 at 12:40 am

          love my d800’s dynamic range… can pull the shadows right back!

  4. March 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Very interesting comparison,

    Yet I feel that jumping to 36 MP wasn’t a very smart move from Nikon as most professional photographers care about the file size (transfer and storage issues).

    To me I think bother cameras are equally outstanding and I wouldn’t think switching from Canon to Nikon or Nikon to Canon is a smart thing to do.

    All these advancements in technology are blessings for us photographers.

    • 4.1) jorg
      March 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

      why – from all people- would a professional photographer not own the technology to handle large data? of course it depends on the style of photography, but whoever works with medium format will be used to 75 MB-files anyway, no?

      • March 3, 2012 at 11:12 am

        am not a professional photographer :)
        I barely buy me a new camera every 3 years ….. but now am thinking more of storage space… and am like am gonna need at least 6 TB …. regardless of my complaint am still going to aim for the D800 …


        • SCHMEGGA
          March 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm

          On Black Friday 2 years ago, I bought 3 Western Digital 7200 2TB External drives for $75 a piece at Target. So for $225 plus taxes I got 6TB. A whole lot cheaper than 1 32GB UDMA7 CF Card! You can today get the same drives on Amazon for $360 shipped. That would still leave you $140 extra (from the price of the Mark III) that could go towards one more drive giving you a full 8TB. More than enough space!

      • 4.1.2) Ed K.
        March 31, 2012 at 1:10 am

        Correct! Storage issues are not a problem. HD’s are cheap.

    • 4.2) David
      March 3, 2012 at 4:40 am

      Oh come on.. don’t tell me that with your $3000 camera body, plus probably several >$1000 lenses that you won’t have an $800 computer which can handle the files.

      Not to mention that the d800 is NIkon’s camera for the next few years now. In a year, even cheap laptops will be able to handle those files no problem.

      • March 3, 2012 at 11:14 am

        well, I will need to save a lot this year to be able to get me the D800 and of course a new PC and a new storage solution ….

        unfortunately am an amateur photographer , I just do it at my free time :) doesn’t even pay for a new lens….

  5. 5) Carl TightShooster
    March 1, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    A Nikon stated the D800 is a complete new system not only a D700 follow up;
    But this Canon cam? and the the price tag? and then only 6 fps????

    No, never!

    • 5.1) john
      March 2, 2012 at 8:06 am

      bet the outer focus points are as useless as the mark II

  6. 6) David
    March 2, 2012 at 12:01 am

    full size samples (Jpegs) at various ISOs from 100 to 3200 on Canon’ site, available for downloading. I just downloaded them and pixel-peeping:)

  7. 7) Roberto
    March 2, 2012 at 2:36 am

    I will wait for your hand on comparision!

  8. 8) Jason
    March 2, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Viewed the samples. There’s one with ISO 6400. I was impressed. I’ve never thought there will come a time that some camera can easily render a picture that’s almost noiseless @6400. You may want to examine it. I think it will still perform very nicely @ higher ISOs.

    • 8.1) David
      March 2, 2012 at 4:45 am

      You can see blotchy noise reduction on the image though. I don’t think it’s fair to call it “almost noiseless” when it’s an image with only a few large swathes of colour and is heavily noise-reduced. If you look at the ice in the bottom of the image, there is so much noise reduction that it turns into mush against the background!

      The portrait sample is particularly horrible.. not even in focus, terrible white balance too

      • 8.1.1) Jason
        March 2, 2012 at 5:38 am

        Missed it. I guess we’ll be able to see better once there’s a raw file available but good observation.

      • 8.1.2) Uggi Kaldan
        March 2, 2012 at 7:14 am

        Yea actually I dont like the noise either – the Fuji X100 does a better job…

        NO! some might say, but yes – here its obvious you have the classic RGB noise, it has been blurred yes, but IMO it looks like crap (and Im even on a very poor monitor – so it should look better).

        Fuji X100 might produce more artifacts, but they noise it produces is without the classic 3 point RGB color in every dot…

        Makes it look nicer IMO, and is a lot easier to work with preproduction wise.

        Imagequality overall obviuosly is worse on the Fuji.

        Already preordered the Canon… REALLY looking forward to the AF improvement, this has been SO much needed!

      • 8.1.3) silly
        April 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm

        true, but still useable.
        anyhow i prefer to have a little luminance noise to having washed out details.

        • silly
          April 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm

          ps: i’m still shooting (now for 8yrs) with a 20D using manual focus only (because as you all know the AF sucks and therefore I only bought MF primes in the first place).
          now i consider upgrading because I fancy night time photography and rather hate having to lunge a tripod with me all the time. also non-blurry people seem like a good idea ;)
          i think i’ll get a used 5D mkII, or can you think of better value for money if you want high ISO? i could get a nikon converter for my lenses.

  9. 9) Martin
    March 2, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Excellent comment, indeed the developers of the new Nikon give an excellent inside in the rationale of the new cameras and what they should be used for. Really interesting to read.Myself I am looking forward to the tough reviews. I admire the Nikon 800 for the phantastic technical achievements and its use in landscape, studio and portrait, street photography and the reasonable price tag.

  10. 10) David S
    March 2, 2012 at 3:55 am

    It is a good comparison between the two cams (one of many to come in the next few days)

    The Canon looks good but I believe the price factor will effect the buyers from purchasing it straight away especially when Nikon have come out with the D800 which is $500 cheaper.

    Nikon have stated that they were looking at the D800 as an answer to a Medium Format camera and not to much of a DSLR. So ideally the D800 should not be compared to the Canon 5D Mk III but another Medium Format. It’s interesting to see Nikon taking this leap into Medium Format cameras. Read the Q & A . It is an interesting interview with the designers of the D800 and gives people more of an understanding why they approached the camera the way they did with a 36.4mp res.

    It will be interesting to see how many people buy a Canon 5D MkIII.

    • 10.1) David
      March 2, 2012 at 7:24 am

      The question is whether Canon 5D M3 should be compared to D800 or 5D M2. Nikon keeps saying that D800 is a different type of a camera, trying to avoid the comparison. I think the price factor though warrants the comparison. Traditionally, Canon and Nikon don’t like to price their camera at the same level (just remember 40D vs D300, etc). In the present case, both cameras are probably fantastic. Sales would be through the roof for both. I personally pre-ordered D800 at the time. I would not pre-order 5DM3 without reading the actual review on their new AF. The reason is that we are all pretty much familiar with AF on D300/700/3 series, so we know what to expect, and AF on D800 is even better. And I’ve never talked to anyone who disliked the AF system of the higher Nikons. On the other hand, Canon’s new AF system in 1DX and 5D3 is a big unknown, and we all remember the AF problems with some of the Canon’s previous 1D models. So I would wait for first reviews before pre-ordering 5DM3.

  11. 11) Horia
    March 2, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Not only Nikon can produce A2 size prints without interpolation, but it can avoid also Bayer interpolation in a picture of 20 Mp, so in terms of sharp images it should have the edge.

  12. 12) Horia
    March 2, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Not only Nikon D800 can produce A2 size prints without interpolation, but it can avoid also Bayer interpolation within the camera in a picture of 20 Mp, so in terms of detailed sharp images it should have the edge.

  13. 13) David
    March 2, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Well, dpreview just posted low light JPEGS that they had shot and I am impressed. These are probably the least noisy ISO12800 and 25600 photos I’ve ever seen. In fact, if you downres these to 12MP I have a feeling they will easily beat D3s, the current low light king, in that specific area (low light noise). If the price of 5DM3 was $2500 and not $3500, I might have seriously consider it.

  14. March 2, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Can’t wait to see the head to head ISO comparisons. USA today claimed ISO 1600 on the mark 2 is equivalent to 6400 on the mark 3, which would be an impressive jump. If its true the improved noise reduction could be very helpful to wedding photographers and photojournalists alike. Considering its a newer version of the same camera I’m slightly curious why they feel justified in raising the price tag. Perhaps they are trying to make up for losses incurred by the earth quake? Really impressed with the dpreview of the full resolution Jpegs, especially the 51,200. Might be well worth every penny.

  15. 15) Andrew
    March 2, 2012 at 9:41 am

    The other factor to consider in terms of the price is the fact that you would need a separate transmitter for Flash triggering , or on camera separate flash to do the job. The transmitter is around 470 $, so to summarize you would be spending around 900 $ extra for Canon.

    • 15.1) David
      March 2, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Well, but then of course, one can say that you can buy radio trigger/receiver for $29 (Cowboy Studio, for instance) so that factor is less of a consideration, unless you must trigger in ETTL and then need Pocket Wizards or CANON’s Brand trigger.

      • 15.1.1) Overfocused
        April 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm

        You forgot Pixel King and the Phottix Odin – both full time TTL with very good reviews, and not near $490

  16. 16) Raja
    March 2, 2012 at 11:27 am


    I have a feeling that D400 will be an entry level FX in Nikon line up with a lower resolution sensor (~24 MP) and faster frame rate, AF, and ISO performance (close to D4).


    • 16.1) Bogdan
      March 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      I don’t think so. If what you say will happen, then the D4 sales will collapse. I don’t think that Nikon will make the same mistake as it did with D3 and D700. I continue to believe that the D400 will be DX with at least D7000’s ISO performance and the focus system, mattering system, processor from D4/D800 and high fps. The question remains about sensor’s resolution. My guess is 16Mpx.

      • 16.1.1) Pete
        March 3, 2012 at 10:32 am

        Why did Nikon made a mistake with the D700? Where is the hard evidence that it harmed D3 sales? Regardless of whether it did effect D3 sales, the D700 made Nikon a ton of money, including all the additional FX lens sales.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          March 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

          Pete, I read an article once that showed Nikon DSLR sales by category. Can’t seem to find it on Google anymore, since the word “sales” shows me all kinds of advertising instead. Long story short, the Nikon D700 definitely hurt the D3 sales after it was announced. Yes, it made a ton of money for Nikon, but it also took away from the D3. Things got a little better for the D3 line after the D3s was announced, but it was still not enough to keep the D700 from cannibalizing the sales.

    • 16.2) Alex
      March 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      That won’t happen. Why would you think this would ever happen? No. If anything, D400 (?) could be a crop sensor camera.

    • March 5, 2012 at 9:53 am

      Raja, no, I do not think Nikon will make the Dx00 line FX. And you can rest assured that there won’t be a camera from Nikon with the D4 sensor.

  17. 17) Jason
    March 3, 2012 at 5:55 am

    As usual, just let 5D Mark III simmer down a little bit and prices will eventually almost even out between canon and nikon. This has happened before and will certainly happen again. Remember price war between 5DMKII and D700? It’s just law of supply and demand. For me, I’ll wait a little bit more for 5DMKII to be a little bit cheaper. It will be my first time to venture into FF and I hope to have enough money for decent L glass.

  18. 18) Peter
    March 3, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I think Nikon and Canon are going to run out of gas soon with this MP lunacy. Now we have 36MP. What’s next? 50 MP? 75MP? 100MP? To what practical end?

    A GOOD photograper can easily use a 12MP camera to get excellent 11x14s and larger. Ever try framing anything larger than an 11×14? $$$$$$$$$$$$. And how many of us print 13x19s? Do you need 36MP to post on the Internet? The MP race, I think, will bring this lunacy to a halt. It’s at “end stage” now, like 300hp car engines. That eventually stopped.

    OK, if you don’t frame in the camera, but have to heavily crop afterwards for lack of framing (exception wildlife) you may have a case. But, that’s the only case. Why not learn how to frame properly first? Film users know what I’m talking about. Being sloppy meant lost cash.

    Lastly, the cost of buying new DSLRs every two years is nuts, unless you can write it off as a pro (a real money-making pro).

    All of this MP hype is being rationalized under HD movie needs rhetoric ; otherwise, it’s pure lunacy for any protograper below a real money-making pro to have a 36MP camera.

    I know you will all agree with me. Right?

    • 18.1) David B
      March 3, 2012 at 11:16 am

      I think it is lunacy to count other people’s money. If some
      Cannot afford a new body Every 3 years that does not mean that others can’t. I printed several large prints and the cost of prints even large ones is cheap but I do agree that the cost of
      Frames is $$$. I have nothing against high mps as long as low
      Light performance does not suffer. Ive used to shooting with Nikons 10
      To 12mp bodies so I am
      Looking forward to my new d800

      • 18.1.1) peter
        March 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm

        I can afford a new camera every year, easily, but my values get in my way! I grew up during WW2.

        Anway, if people was to spend $2-4,000, that’s their business. I just think it’s …. at least for me.
        For me it’s about phtography, not cameras.

        Good luck with your new D800.

        Let me know how much you got trading in your 12mp bodies.

        • David B
          March 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm

          I got $2000 for my d700 when I sold it around time d800 was announced. I also sold 24-120 vr 3.5-5.6 lens that I got
          With it. I bought both used with 6k activations for $2k a year before. So I actually made money. This was my 3rd d700. Turned out to be Smart move
          On my
          Part because Nikon just lowered the price
          Of d700. So I would have to come up with $700
          To upgrade. I rarely buy new bodies but with d800 it would have to be new.

          • Peter
            March 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

            Sounds good. Smart moves.

            You seems to like the trading action. Try the NYSE!!!

            I buy and keep, much like buying cars.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          March 5, 2012 at 10:39 am

          Peter, I agree with your comment here – a lot of people are so tied up with camera specs, that they are forgetting about the true meaning of photography and they have no idea how to make a good picture. Unfortunately, there are many more pixel peepers today than good photographers. For me, the D800 is going to be my primary tool to create even better photographs that I can sell. I do not have to worry about print sizes anymore, because the D800 has plenty of resolution…

    • March 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Peter, having higher resolution on cameras is a natural progression. Will we have a 50 MP FF camera some day? Absolutely, sooner than you think. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having more megapixels on a camera. Is 12 MP enough for most people today? Yes, since most people do not bother printing their work and use web for photo publishing. Heck, even 6 MP is more than enough for 90% of photographers out there today. Do I need a 36 MP camera? Yes I do, because I want to be able to sell pictures that print larger than 11×14. Resolution is important for landscape and fashion photographers – there is a reason why so many photographers switch to MF when they can afford it. I have been thinking about purchasing a MF film camera for my landscape needs and I now won’t do it, because 36 MP is good enough for me. And I know that I am not alone. No, D800 is not equivalent to a MF format camera and will never be one for many reasons. However, for those that have been considering MF for resolution reasons alone, they now have a camera that gets pretty close without breaking the bank…

  19. 19) ali
    March 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    thanks for your information, i am going to buy one of them(canon mark||| & nikone d800 e
    i want to use it for shooting video camera (documentary film)what do you recomend ? and why?

  20. 20) fred
    March 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks for the comparison. I think Canon made a significant improvement with the new Mark III. Even though resolution is not on par with D800, other features are. Af was the most complained point of Mark II but now the problem is solved.

  21. 21) Mark de Vrij
    March 4, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Dear Nasim,
    Thanks for all the posts over the new canon and speedlight. It looks like canon have released the camera that many people would have liked to see as the successor to the D700. It looks like a nicely balanced camera with a bit of everything, the question being can it do everything well enough since this is what is seems to set out to do.

    I have 2 main questions with the camera.

    1) The Autofocus. It has a lovely 61 autofocus points including 41 cross point, of which some are some new fancy double cross point and can make the tea while focussing. Until f/5.6 at least, then it’s a lovely manual focus camera. This to me sounds like that Canon have not fixed the inherent weakness of their auto focus system. Given the low-light performance being touted for this camera I worry the Auto-focus system will not keep up. Also since the price point will be aiming at semi-professionals and highly enthusiastic amateurs as well as pros i.e. the sort of people who are less likely to be buying 600mm f/4 lenses but rather using 300mm + 2x teleconverters again the autofocus system doesn’t match up.

    2) Too much of a good thing? Compare the specs of this camera vs the 1dX and there isn’t a lot different. only 4Mp difference (so not a huge difference in pixel pitch) and 14 fps (in super high speed mode) vs 6 fps. So on paper unless you need really massive high speed fps I think the 5dm3 will do what the D700 did to the D3 in terms of sales canabalisation. Especially since the 1Dx can only buffer 36 raw files (against the D4 at well over 120). So have canon a already trashed the 1DX (Since launched in Oct and there is still no price or availability date either – and the Olympics not so far away any more) by launching a lower price point camera that is too close in performance to their flagship model?

    On the other hand the new speedlight is quite clever, very smart innovation and well timed – I imagine the guys at pocket wizard aren’t too happy about it though. I guess the next step is to have in-built wireless receiver capability in their lower end speedlights so you can have 1 master 600EX and several slaves without paying $600+ for each unit. With Nikon having just released the 910 to fix the flaw in the heating management of the 900 I think Canon have done very well here.

    Looking forward to seeing some great reviews and comparisons coming out when we actually get the real things in our hands and can see how they match up vs what’s on paper.

    Kind regards,

    • March 5, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Mark, many photographers, including myself, are quite happy with Nikon’s decision to use a 36 MP sensor instead of 23 MP on the D800. I do not think everyone truly understands the benefits of a high resolution sensor, which is why there is all this talk about how D800 disappoints, etc.

      As for your questions:
      1) I do not know how well the AF point will work on the production model. Considering how bad AF truly was on the previous generation pro cameras, I think this one will do just fine (meaning Canon most likely made sure that the AF system is very good now). The 5D Mark III has the same AF system as the new Canon 1D X. Time will tell how well it truly functions.
      2) That’s exactly what I have been trying to say since the D800 launch. Nikon realized its mistake and now has two different cameras for different needs – a fast camera with very good high ISO performance for sports and wildlife photographers, and a high-resolution camera for everyone else. Makes sense and I think it is a good marketing move. Surely, sports and wildlife photographers that currently shoot with the D700 are not happy, because they have to spend a lot more money on a better camera. But on the other hand, if they can afford buying $10K lenses, why so much anger over a $6K camera? There won’t be a camera with a D4 sensor on a D800 body – people should realize that now. If Nikon made a D800S (D4 sensor) and D800 (36 MP sensor), it would be an ideal case that appeals everyone with a $3K budget. But then how different would the D4 be to justify its $6K price? FPS and RAW buffer are not enough to justify another $3K. Nikon would be forced then to downgrade the AF system, metering capabilities and many other features. Then we would have another Canon 5D Mark II, with a crappy AF system, no weather sealing, etc, etc. Thanks, but I would rather have the current D800 than a camera like the 5D Mark II.

      As for radio in speedlights, I hope Nikon will update its line of speedlights with radio as well, or they will have a big disadvantage very soon…

  22. 22) Ryan
    March 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Looks like this guy pretty much copied your words:

    • March 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

      That’s OK, people copy my stuff all the time :)

  23. 23) Rx
    March 5, 2012 at 1:27 am

    This is exactly why I drew a line. For landscape FX camera, I’ll switch to Nikon. All my DX lens won’t be usable on Canon FF body anyway.

  24. 24) Marco
    March 5, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I have to say, if there were no labels and you were looking at the specs alone. The Mk3 sounds more like a D700 successor.

  25. 25) Thomas
    March 6, 2012 at 4:13 am

    For my needs the Nikon D800 is the winner. Let’s wait for other camera news at Photokina in september.
    But before putting my money into a new DSLR body I will buy a NEX-7 with good prime lenses this year.

  26. 26) Hixster
    March 6, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Reckon Nikon just steal the show on this one – the lack of uncompressed video via HDMI is the deal breaker on the Canon for me..

  27. 27) jason
    March 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I already have Nikon D7000 and ordered D800. Should I sell my D7000?

  28. 28) Jon
    March 7, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    “But before putting my money into a new DSLR body I will buy a NEX-7 with good prime lenses this year.”

    That was my plan, too, but NEX7+Zeiss 24mm is $2500, and I just used that money towards 5D mkiii preorder. I guess one can’t have it all, and ultimately, I’d rather shoot with the 5D mkiii, with my L glass, than NEX 7.

  29. 29) Jason
    March 8, 2012 at 1:46 am
  30. 30) DynaDom
    March 10, 2012 at 6:57 am

    I’ll probaly be getting a D800 because of this review. The mark sucks unfortunately canon seems to have not brought there best when Nikon is willing. Canon thinks they can sell because of their name. nope. they look to have just brought this out raised the price slapped a few upgrades from 1d and expect people to buy. nope

  31. 31) Jason
    March 11, 2012 at 12:59 am

    still on MP race?

  32. 32) dencelly
    March 11, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I think a brand discussion or brand race is more stupid than a MP or high ISO race. For some of us megapixels can not be more enough! Why do you think, manufacturers like Hasselblad, Phase One or others are producing 40, 60, 80 and 200 MP sensors? The Nikon D800 is now the first 35 mm DSLR of the world and a very interesting for most photographers who wanted an easy to handle MF Camera at a lower price segment. The cheapest MF Camera in this MP area, is the Pentax 645D with 40 MP or the Hasselblad with 30 MP at a body pricing over 10K! Now Nikon brakes every records and offers us a possibility we never had before. In my opinion the D800 is very welcome to most of us. Ofcourse the 5D MK III is very welcome for most Canon users. I am convinced that both cameras are fantastic for their users!

    I love Nikon and preordered the D800. I did never like the Canon colani design but nothing is more stupid than a brand discussion. A really good photography depends not on MP, high ISO or on a camera brand, it depends on a good photographer who knows using what he is using for which purpose!

  33. 33) ruby
    March 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    for me, i don’t want you guys to argue about Nikon vs Canon. you dont know how to make even a simple camera, it took how many years for them to develop new technologies but for you its simple to judge their achievements. how dare you do that. you dont have the balls to do that. just shut up your mouth and all you have to do is to make your shoot better and appreciable. it does not matter on the guns you used but its up to the gunner on how use it. peace! I LOVE CANON AND NIKON BECAUSE I OWN BOTH CAMERAS. I dont have the balls to judge them because they perform very!!!

    • 33.1) tap
      March 21, 2012 at 8:37 am

      i think your right

    • 33.2) Max
      May 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      Not all of us can afford a Nikon and a Canon, so we are here because we are trying to weight the merits of each to make our decision.

  34. 34) David
    March 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Nasim, Canon 5DM3 has a dedicated HDR menu as explained in this video . Does D800 has anything similar in its menu?

    • 34.1) azerbouf
      March 14, 2012 at 8:37 am

      David, look at the compare screen again: they both have HDR mode up to 9 exposures.

  35. 35) David B
    March 14, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Good to know, I assume D800 also give you ability to create a HDR-Composite in camera (I am sure it will be a jpeg) , like Canon?

  36. 36) Robert
    March 17, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Would you please discuss the options to reduce the size of the D800’s 36mpx RAW file when it is not needed or wanted? What about the 1:2 format? Is not this a good 25mpx option? I am assuming it is RAW.


  37. 37) Dimitris
    March 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

    The of Canon it seems to be 3200 euros body only for Nikon is 2650 is more than 500 EUROS
    In Greece

  38. 38) Andrew
    March 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I’ve had a chance to process RAW test images of the D800, 5D Mark III and D4 in Lightroom (using DNG converter Beta). All comments refer to processing with no in-camera noise reduction and using my “standard” preset in Lightroom with a little colour and luminance noise reduction. No tweaking of the images. Compared by rezing UP to the D800 level. I know there are arguments about the best way to compare but my purpose was to see if the extra pixels made any difference to IQ in the event I am printing large or cropping heavily.

    1. D800 has best IQ at all ISO levels. Less differences at high ISO, but still D800 is the leader (IMHO)

    2. All three cameras have essentially the same noise up to ISO 25,600 – not on an individual pixel but overall image noise.

    3. Colour noise is a bit of a problem at higher ISO for the D800 and 5DIII but only in a few places. Different RAW processors may have different problems. Lightroom 4 has very good noise handling.

    4. D4 definitly a bit soft compared to the D800 and 5DIII

    5. Differences in resolution are not all that great anyway between the cameras.

    6. D800 is no replacement for Medium Format – resolution on Medium Format is still much better and more than the difference between the D800 and D4. (Compared to Pentax 645).

    7. To see these differences at all focus must be spot on with a good lens and DOF/diffraction must be optimised.

    8. The slight differences in resoltuion may not be worth the extra file size and extra processing time depending on your lenses, computer hardware, and your needs.

    These results are of no surprise to me. Even at 24mpx FF is diffraction/lens and f0cus sharpness challenged.

    I am a long time 5D shooter. I have no plans to switch because on 99% of handheld photography (especailly with zoom lenses) you will likely not see any difference between these cameras. My advice is pick the camera that fits your needs (e.g. D4 for rough use and fast frame rate) , your concept of how a camera should operate (I happen to like Canon more, Pentex most), or has the lens line-up you like to use (I have lots of L lenses). Now that sensors differences are so small, we are back like the day of film – features and lenses matter more.

    Still, I have the envy thing goin’ on! Good for you Nikon.

  39. 39) Dimitris
    March 23, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Dxo mark labs rates d800 in the top of the list with score 95

    • 39.1) David B
      March 23, 2012 at 11:32 am

      Just saw it! Amazing scores by DXO!!! And Low light score of 2853, which is much higher than D700, and only slightly lower than D4!!!!!! The highest rated sensor ever on DXO

  40. 40) Dimitris
    March 23, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Dxo mark labs rates Nikon D800 in there top of there list wiht score 95!!!!!!!
    it mast be a hell of a camera

  41. March 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm
  42. 42) Srini
    March 26, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Nazim, I hope you would find time to post a full comparative reviews/analyses of D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III…..

    • 42.1) Ed K.
      March 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      I hope so as well.

  43. 43) sadas
    March 26, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Flash sync data?

  44. 44) Ed K.
    March 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I have a dilemma.
    I realize this is a Nikon lovers site and you’re all probably quite biased (that’s ok), but I need your help thinking through the dilemma, for which I find myself.

    Here’s a list of my equipment:
    Canon 5D Mark ONE, yes mark 1
    Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L Mark 2
    Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L Mark 1
    Canon ts-e 24 mm f/3.5L Mark 2, a phenomenal lens
    Plus, various batteries, chargers, cable release, etc.
    Flash equipment:
    Metz 58 AF-2 digital
    Metz 54MZ-4, both dedicated to Canon’s, of course.

    I pre-ordered the 5d Mark 3, but I’m now wondering, if I should sell all of my Canon gear and go with the Nikon D800, because of the high quality of the sensor. I know I’d love the Mark 3 vs my present mark 1, but is it worth it, to go through the effort (pia) of selling my Canon gear? Maybe, I should wait to see what the ratings will be on the Mark 3?

    The Canon tse 24mm is a standout lens. Is the Nikor version even close in quality? How old are the designs of the Nikor lenses and how do they compare to the great quality of my Canon’s? I know Nikon had great glass in the film era, but digital has changed everything. Canon regularly upgrades their lenses to improve the quality. Does Nikon do the same?
    Just so you all know, before I went digital, I was a Nikon guy!

    What do I shoot?
    Architecture, landscapes, people, events, interiors, and eventually some table top.

    I’m sure this will generate a lot of discussion.

    Thanks for your help,
    Ed K.
    Los Angeles

    • 44.1) David B
      March 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Well, lets see. Lets say you sell your 5DM1. At most you will get around $900 these days. Your 16-35 could be worth $1200-1300 used. Your 70-200 F.2.8 worth under $1500…. not sure about your other lenses. You need to see what the price of upgrade will be. It might be cheaper for you to upgrade to 5DM2 which is probably gonna go for $1600-1700 these days.

      • 44.1.1) Ed K.
        March 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm

        Thank you, David, however, I’m not interested in the mark 2. It’s the mark 3, or the d800 I’m looking at. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

      • 44.1.2) Matt
        March 30, 2012 at 11:12 pm

        Switch to the nikon it will make you a better photographer. Why would any chimping photographer in his right mind ask a stupid question. You spent money on good glass and will be at a loss selling and rebuying a camera that has a few more pixels. I purchased the Canon 5D Mark III and with it teamed up with a 50mm 1.2L is a “Light Vortex”… Anyway more pixels will not make you a better photographer shooting LOL Cats.

        • Ed K.
          March 31, 2012 at 1:19 am

          True, more MP’s will not make one a better photographer, however for most photographers, especially pro’s and advanced amateurs, there’ a lot to be said about dynamic range, which the Nikon has in spades. The extra will especially be helpful in the shadow area’s.

          • Ed K.
            March 31, 2012 at 1:33 am

            One more thing….I decided on the Mark 3, because I’m not sure if Nikon has the glass to keep up with 36 MP’s.
            Also, the extra investment in Nikon glass after selling off my Canon glass, is a little more than I want to handle right now. I’ll be fine with the M3 and “L” series lenses, plus I’m also not sure if Nikon has anything close to compare with the CAnon TSE 24mmL mark 2, which is my main lens.

            I’ll be watching, like millions of other artists, to see what the future holds. I wouldn’t be surprised, if I switch to Nikon, late next year. I want to make sure Nikon has “the glass”.

            Dear Nikon lovers, please don’t feel slighted. I love NIkon. I have an old FM2. But, when I made the switch from film to digital (2004), Canon had the clear edge on DSLR’s with their CMOS sensor, versus Nikon’s CCD sensor. It performed much better in low light conditions.

    • 44.2) dencelly
      March 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      Dear Ed, if you don’t really need more megapixels and if you did not miss more megapixels in the past, then the 5 mk 3 is a good choice for you. If you have enough money and want to change to more megapixels and a better system, don’t wait and preorder your D800 today and then please never change your system again!

      You can be sure that Nikon has some outstanding lenses for you like 14-24 2.8, 70-200 2.8, 85 1.4 you’ll be lucky with them …

      I am using

    • 44.3) Srini
      March 27, 2012 at 3:05 am


      It’s a very difficult call. In my personal opinion, I would prefer D800; I thin it is a better camera with a pretty good continuous AF system. This is a nice to have feature for videos. It does not of course take away anything from 5D III, which is a fanstastic top of the line camera by itself. Your post does not indicate anything about videos, which, personally, I think is good to have in a full frame DSLR.

      If you sell all Canon stuffs, taking the figures from David B, you might get approx $3500 plus may be $1500 for your Canon ts-e 24 mm f/3.5L. D800 costs $3000 in the US, which saves you another $500 compared to 5D III, which may fetch you in total approx. $5000 – $5500 on your Canon gears with savings inclusive to purchase Nikon lens.

      I think you need to ask if you are likely to gain by switching to Nikon gears. You would pay about $3500 for Canon 5D III but get to keep all your Canon lenses.

      It is all relative, personal and a funtion of our tastes and preferences. Please note that my observations are for information purpose only. Finally, it is down to your personal choice, prerference, taste, needs and finally if you are the Canon or the Nikon lover.

      Good Luck!

  45. 45) dencelly
    March 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Dear Ed, if you don’t really need more megapixels and if you did not miss more megapixels in the past, then the 5 mk 3 is a good choice for you. If you have enough money and want to change to more megapixels and a better system, don’t wait and preorder your D800 today and then please never change your system again!

    You can be sure that Nikon has some outstanding lenses for you like 14-24 2.8, 70-200 2.8, 85 1.4 you’ll be lucky with them …

  46. 46) David B
    March 27, 2012 at 12:35 am

    For some amazing sports sequence shots with D800, see these And someone would tell me that D800 is not a camera for sports?

    • 46.1) ruby
      March 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      I agree with it. Amazing shots with Nikon

  47. 47) ruby
    March 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    A few years ago, Canon has the lead in DSLR. But now it’s time for the Nikon to take the spot for its surprisingly MP and video quality. My cousin worked at Canon in Japan had notify me that these days Canon was now left behind in all aspects compared to Nikon. In this generation of cameras Nikon has now the advantage.

  48. 48) Ed K.
    March 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Thank you for the comments and help!

  49. 49) David B
    March 30, 2012 at 11:05 am
  50. 50) George R
    April 9, 2012 at 3:20 am

    As your example photos prove – the Nikon D800 is the closest thing to imaging perfection that there is to date. At 1/10th the price of say a Leica S2, with better dynamic range and resolution roughly on par with same it’s ideal. It’s really unfair to think the 5D Mk III is even in the same league – it isn’t; just look at the example photos. The 5D Mk III is $500 more expensive, has not quite as good a sensor in terms of dynamic range and high ISO performance and has a shutter that is rated for 50,000 less cycles than the Nikon shutter. Add to that the fact that Nikon stands behind their cameras for 2 years vs Canon’s one year warranty and that Nikon warranties their lenses for 5 years vs Canon’s 1 year and it’s simply no contest. Nikon is now doing to Canon, what Canon did to Nikon in the 80’s and 90’s – competing with superior technology and adding superior robustness and product support to round out the package.

    To really understand how much better the D800 is, take a look at the reviews of the two cameras and look at their standard still life tests shot with fabric swatches, embroidery thread and the round image size calculator – zoom in on the text of that little thingy! Look at the various ISO sample images taken with both cameras – BOTH WITH A Sigma 70mm macro as the optic and you have a stunning apples to apples comparison of just how good the D800 is. While I hear people talking about how all the sensors are now so good that it just doesn’t matter, I call BS! For your general “snapshot” shooter – yes, but for professional portraits, landscapes, architectural photography and any other subject that deserves a really large print, like say commercial advertising poster work, deep crop surveillance photos, etc., the D800 is the tool of choice.

    Looking at the lifecycle of Nikon design refreshes on their top end cameras, I predict that we will soon see an 8 – 10 FPS D4x with the same sensor as the D800! Back in 2007, Canon announced a prototype 50 megapixel sensor in a 19 x 28mm format, which is roughly ASP-H (1.3 crop factor). Watch for an announcement of vaporware from Canon at NAB to try to stop the bleeding. They announced the EOS 1DX back in October and still haven’t released it! No doubt, they were aware of the D4 and D800 coming, so they announced early to get people to order early to keep them in the fold. Ultimately, they just pissed them off and gave them another reason to go Nikon. I expect them to repeat this cynical exercise in customer abuse.

    I should mention that I don’t presently own either system. I owned top end Nikon gear back in the 70’s and 80’s, but sold it, planning on replacing it with Canon gear; then life got in the way. I’m now back in the market and was ready to pull the trigger on Canon gear, when I started to look very closely at the two companies and their latest lenses and was pleasantly surprised to find that most of Nikon’s latest top lenses outperform Canon’s, although Canon certainly has some gems that outperform their Nikon counterparts or are at least indistinguishable in optical quality. As the apples to apples sensor comparisons show, the Nikon D800 will deliver the very best a lens has to offer by a wide margin. I look at taking a picture as a combination of three key things – Photographer’s eye/skill, lens quality and sensor quality; it takes all three to produce the best possible images. I’m going to place my order for the best Nikon has to offer. 8^)

  51. 51) David B
    April 10, 2012 at 11:38 pm
  52. 52) Dimitris
    April 12, 2012 at 6:31 am

    The prices in Greece for canon 5d mark III is 3200 Euros body only and for Nikon D800 is 2650
    who is going to get the Canon ?

    • 52.1) Ed K.
      April 12, 2012 at 10:54 am

      I purchased the Canon 2 weeks ago.

    • 52.2) Quang
      April 13, 2012 at 2:08 am

      @Dimitris : peoples who are previously owning Canon lenses of course. How can you (and all other commenting people) bet that 450 euros and som tech spec differences will be the edge for the customer ???

    • 52.3) Sam
      April 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      What an idiot!!

    • 52.4) Dimitris
      April 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Well me and 2 friends of mine we are going to get nikon D800
      i have all ready sold my canon mark ii and 3 lens (24-70 f2.8 – 16-35 f2.8 and 70-200 is f2.8)

      Well about Sam
      The only thing i can say
      just he must be really intelligent and well educated

      • 52.4.1) Quang
        April 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm

        @Dimitris, seems that in your case, prices wasn’t the reason to change from Canon to Nikon right ? If it where the case, I think that selling then buying new gear won’t save money. So I assume that your former comment on the 450 eur wasn’t exactly what you meant.
        Anyway, I stick to my theorie which is working 95% at least which says that Canon boys stay Canon and Nikon boys stay Nikon.

        After that, the useless comparison between two philosphies won’t bring much, the point is on the comparaison between a new one and the former (mkii vs mkiii or d700 vs d800) which is way more logical as the question that owners are asking is : “how much better is the new vs my current camera” and “does worth it to change now or jump a generation to better feel the difference”.

        What do you think ?

        • Dimitris
          April 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

          Dear Quang

          don’t you think that a difference of 1000 euros is not a reason ?

          • Quang
            April 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm

            Dear Dimitri,
            It seems that your opinion is quite definitive. Why don t you just skip the mkiii generation?? For me even at 1000 eur I won’t change my canon lenses I already have to match a nikon which MAY be better following some nikonfans opinion!! Plus you mention a price difference of 1000eur now which is only valid in your country!! As far as I can find e-shop which are selling both camera, my search ate only spotting roughly 500usd of difference which mean less than 400eur….. So what are you trying to prove or to say???

  53. 53) Elsavann
    April 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Hi, here is another testing: Canon 5d mark III vs. Nikon d800

  54. 54) Elsavann
    April 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Canon 5d Mark III vs. Nikon D800 Part I

  55. 55) Dvir
    April 18, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Hi, i was just wondering i see all these comments from Nikon Fans and Canon Fans about why the D800 or the 5D mk. III is better. I just wanted to ask, if someone didn’t own a Nikon or a canon before, but wanted to move to either one starting by buying either of these cameras, which one would/ should i choose? And i know that they each have their own pros and cons, but just in terms of which images(if the lenses used are of comparable quality) would come out better.

    • 55.1) Mark de Vrij
      April 20, 2012 at 2:34 am

      Hi Dvir,
      A quick question that is very difficult to answer. The Nikon camera has 36MP so the potential is huge on this beast. the Dynamic range is amazing, especially at lower ISO levels, which means you can capture a lot of details in the bright sky without losing any details in the shadows.
      The Autofocus system on the Nikon allows focussing with lenses with a maximum aperture of f/8 which means that you can use it in lower light or on an f/4 lens with a teleconverter which you cannot do on the Canon.
      However the Canon is a bit more of an all-rounder with faster FPS, warmer colours and it preserves the image quality better at higher ISO’s straight out of the camera (start debate about downsampling etc). In my opinion the Canon seems to give better images out of the camera at high ISOs but the Nikon D800 has more potential in the images if you don’t mind doing a bit of post-processing to the image.
      Both Nikon and Canon systems have some great strengths and they will only get better and better and both have some amazing lenses available (and there are also some great 3rd party lenses now that can be used on both systems).
      So in my opinion if you want a great all-round camera then try out the Canon and see if it feels comfortable, if you don’t need high FPS or to shoot at insanely high ISO numbers then the Nikon will give better detail and dynamic range. I feel that if you invest the time into it then the Nikon will give better images but I think it is a little less forgiving, however that is only an impression from several reviews and a brief chance to try each camera at a trade show.
      As Quang says below, maybe the best way to choose will be to see which camera feels better in your hands. I prefer Nikon with my big hands, Quang likes Canon. Which will you prefer?

  56. 56) Ray
    April 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Although I understand the point of this review, you’re not comparing apples to apples. I mean when you compare specs, they’re not even close to being the same camera. Of course the Nikon is cheaper.

    Canon – 25,600 ISO vs. Nikon 6,400 ISO
    Canon – 41 cross-type focus points vs. Nikon 16 cross-type focus points
    Canon – 102,400 boost ISO vs. 25,600 Nikon boost ISO
    Canon – 6 fps vs. Nikon 4 fps

    The only real advantage for the Nikon is MP and Flash… but again, they’re not even close to being the same camera. If you’re going to buy a professional camera and care about it having an internal flash, you’re in the wrong line of work. MP – nice to have, but if you’re shooting in low light (like many of us do, I would much rather have the 25,600 ISO vs. 6,400 ISO — especially since Canon has done an AMAZING job reducing the noise.

    My 2 cents.


    • 56.1) Dimitris
      April 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Dear Ray

      The difference of prices in Greece is 900 Euros mark iii 3599 – D800 2699
      You think there is much difference in high iso from the 2 cameras
      and much difference from to 6 fps to 4 fps
      well in cross- type points mark iii has them up to f5.6 and nikon up to f8
      thats a difference (specially in landscapes)
      You don’t think that a better DR is not important in a Dslr ?

      (i have to say that i have both a mark ii and a d700)

  57. 57) Quang
    April 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    @Dvir : I think that all brands have their edges in one or the other situation. For me the best way to decide which brand you will choose is to look at the ergonomics of both brand. I do prefer my Canon as I like the Canon logic and layout. Some other will prefer Nikon. It’s Only up to you. Best way is to try in a shop or from a friend’s camera

  58. 58) Mario
    April 20, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Yes sure I have noticed after hundred of hours reading about these models that Nikon fans have to many complex about markIII but this is something you can explain easy as a psychologist… you just can’t put in your head Nikonians that you will always get the 2nd place!
    I haven’t see this hate and complex from Canon fans anywhere on the web.. they dont try to compare all the time their cameras against Nikon and neither they fight so much as you…
    As for companies both are great for so many years but think which one gave all these technologies so we can be able today to compare a Canon camera against all the others? Which one brought the Dslr Video in this superiority at 2008 with the Mark II, which one has the best prime and telephoto lens made?
    Think again.. its Canon!

  59. 59) Tim
    April 26, 2012 at 2:44 am


    I have read this article with great interest as I am in the market for a replacement for my…..Canon A-1 film camera (I know, sinful). I am incredibly ignorant in all things digital photography! In truth, I have shot 35mm film about as far as supply and quality development would take me (although still shoot B&W), then for the last couple years have used a cheap Canon digital to snap backpacking photos. So with that as a background, I am still trying to figure out which of these two I would purchase and it seems to be a matter of style in the type of photography. What I really want is something that shoots landscape and macro photography (waterfalls, flowers, etc.). In my film days, I shot nothing but Kodachrome and Ektachrome, so not sure why I would want high ISOs. That is what a tripod if for, right? So with money not a factor and the aforementioned as my photography “style”, what would be your best recommendation? I truly value your opinion. Tie would go to the fact that I have long been a Canon fan. But also if there is another camera out there that you think would be above these two for my purposes, I would love to know that as well.

    Thank you,


  60. July 23, 2012 at 3:12 am

    ive been looking to upgrade to a full frame now & have been looking at both the canon D800 and 5d mark3 & i’ve having trouble deciding simply coz my first camera has been a canon 550D that i brought last aug & honestly i would have just gone with the 5d but i feel in the long run the prices for the lenses that i would like to buy are simply overpriced and out of reach.

    If i had to upgrade now to canon along with just three lenses ie 16-35 F/2.8 ~ 24-70 F2.8 ~ 70-200 F2.8 ~ i’m spending close to $9999/- & mind you i’m carry forward my 100mm F/2.8, 50mm F/1.8, and the 580ex II(flash) which i’ve already spent close a $1800/- … but if i was to upgrade to nikon and were to buy all the lenses as above or the equivalent as well as a flash, i would land up spending a total of $9999/- , which is ridiculous and a better deal for me. i could save some more money buy selling off my current gear as well.

    so my question is why wont i switch over? or is there a catch which makes nikon equipment cheaper? or is canon always the right way to go when it comes to photography.

    whoever i talk to is so damn biased to nikon or canon. no one has any real and relevant reason to choose a brand.

    whats going on here? #help
    I shoot food, interiors, travel, landscape and products

    • 60.1) Samrat
      June 20, 2014 at 8:44 am

      Hi Joy,

      Can u help ….I am planning to buy a high end dslr…..confused between mark iii and d800…..Can you suggest which one is a better buy…..I’m a fan of Canon but don’t mind going for nikon if it’s better.

  61. 61) Tim
    October 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Seems this is the definitive video on Nikon vs. Canon.

  62. 62) William
    October 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Yes, but the Canon AF works. I’ve had THREE d800s and none of them focused properly. The last one I asked Nikon to repair twice but each time the failed so it goes back to the dealer. I’m really considering the 5Dmk3 now. Lloyd Chambers also has some interesting points to make here:

  63. 63) amir
    December 3, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Hi i need to buy one of this but ii confused which one is the best help me plz?and i want to buy one lens which is good for sport and closed up too help me plz im new photograph

    • 63.1) David B
      December 3, 2012 at 10:12 am

      You want to buy a full frame top of the line (almost) camera to use it with one do-it-all lens????? If that’s your goal, why not buy a mirrorless instead?

      • 63.1.1) amir
        December 3, 2012 at 10:21 am

        No u misuderstood about my need i sayd ….one lens for sport and one lens for closed up…..thats it and which one of the top cameras is better?

  64. 64) xzoup
    March 21, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Ready to by my second 5dm3. Test both before you buy.

    • 64.1) Samrat
      June 20, 2014 at 8:38 am

      Hi! mate, Can u please suggest…. mark iii or d800

  65. 65) Samrat
    June 20, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Guys after going through your I’m still in double minds as to which camera to buy….Canon 5D mark iii or Nikon d800…..Kindly suggest before I make a wrong choice. Just to point out, I’m a hard core Canon fan. But I don’t mind going for Nikon if its better. Kindly help. Thanks in advance.

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