Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III Comparison

Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III Comparison

Canon 5D Mark III

Nikon’s D800 is an entirely new kind of camera for Nikon. Rather than a successor to the D700, its features and capabilities line up closer to the previous flagship D3X. The high resolution and video capabilities of the D800 make it similar in many ways to the previous Canon 5D Mark II, and the new 5D Mark III.

We have highlighted some of the major differences between the two cameras. The Canon 5D Mark III is Jack of all trades; It balances a moderately fast continuous shooting speed with a fairly high resolution, although the resolution has not changed significantly from the previous 5D Mark II (21.1 MP). It is an incremental upgrade to the 5D line and adds additional ISO range, auto focus points and improved metering that were lacking on the Mark II. The new 5D will broaden the appeal of the 5D line, making it an affordable alternative for sports shooters when compared with the high-end Canon 1D X.

Nikon D800

The Nikon D800 is a landscape and studio specialist, offering the highest resolution ever seen in a DSLR. The trade-off is that the camera can’t quite keep up in continuous shooting at full resolution (4 fps). Those seeking the best possible image quality will appreciate the Nikon D800, as well as the $500 cheaper price versus the Canon 5D Mark III.

Canon 5D Mark III Nikon D800
Resolution 22.3 MP
5760 x 3840 pixels
36.3 MP
7360 x 4912 pixels
Sensor Size: FX FX (35.9 x 24mm)
ISO Range 100-25,500
Extended 50-102,400
Expanded range 50-25,600
LCD Display Size 3.2-inch 1,040,000 pixels 3.2-inch 920,000 pixels (640×480)
Video 1080p (1920 x 1080) 24/25/30fps
720p (1280 x 720) 50/60 fps
1080p (1920 x 1080) 24/25/30fps
720p (1280 x 720) 24/25/30/60 fps
Maximum Frame Rate 6fps 4fps FX, 5 fps DX
up to 6fps (DX mode with optional battery grip MB-D12)
Shutter Speed 30 sec – 1/8,000 sec 30 sec – 1/8,000 sec
Shutter Life 150,000 actuations 200,000 actuations
Built-in Flash No Yes
Viewfinder 100% coverage, optical
0.71x magnification
100% coverage, optical 0.70x magnification
Autofocus Sysem 61-point 51-point AF system
with face recognition
Metering 63 zone metering 91,000-pixel RGB sensor
Wireless Transmitter (optional) WFT-E7B Wireless Transmitter WT-4 / WT-4a Wireless Transmitter
Media Slots Dual: SD and CompactFlash (CF) Dual: SD and CompactFlash (CF)
Battery LP-E6 EN-EL15
Shots per charge 950 900
Battery grip (optional) BG-E11 MB-D12
Connectivity USB 2.0 USB 3.0
File Formats: RAW, sRAW1, sRAW2 (14bit, Canon original RAW 2nd edition), JPEG 12 or 14-bit RAW files (NEF): lossless compressed or compressed
uncompressed TIFF
Dimensions 6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0 inches (152.0 x 116.4 x 76.4 mm ) 5.7 x 4.8 x 3.2 inches (146 x 123 x 81.5 mm )
Weight 33.5 oz (950g) /w battery & card
30.3 oz (860g) without battery
34.9 oz (990g) /w battery & card
31.7 oz (900g) without battery
Retail Price (at launch) $3,499 USD
Pre-order 5D Mark III at Amazon
Pre-order 5D Mark III at B&H Photo
Pre-order 5D Mark III at Adorama
$2,995 USD
Pre-order the D800
Release Date Late March 2012 March 22, 2012

18 thoughts on “Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III Comparison

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  2. Thanks for the comparison, the cameras are more similar than different, all the years Nikon D700 owners had less Mp and improved low light has now flipped.

  3. It doesn’t show in the specs comparison but the D800 is a more professional camera, for instance the D800 AF is fast and accurate. The continuous AF in video mode is awesome. The built etc… Many things that a list of features cannot show.

  4. Don’t forget that Nikon has a cool thing, with only one camera you can have fX, DX, 2.4x and more always in 1080. clean video output, etc.
    The only thing i miss is the Webserver that D4 has

    Canon Don’t,

  5. As a canon shooter who is about to sell his entire line to reinvest in a d800 and new lenses, the 5d III is too little too late.

    Sick of the autofocus in my 5d2, not risking this new model having the same awful shadow noise as before, either.

  6. I am leaving Canon for the D800….Canon is out of control with their pricing….500 for a radio transmitter….640 for a speedlite…..almost a grand more for the mark III… 24-70 2.8L is a grand more….. They need to stop this or I think everyone will be moving over to Nikon. At wppi I picked up the D800 and D4 and I had the camera’s figured out in a few mins. I went to Canon to look at the 1dx and nobody at the booth could show me how to change the autofocus modes and I couldn’t figure it out. I’ll put the batter grip on the D800 and get another FPS to almost match the mark III

  7. I got the D7000 & I Love it I’m so Getting the D800 But I love Canon For there Point & shoot Style Cam’s

  8. Pingback: Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III Studio Comparison Video | Nikon D800

  9. Please never forget when you compare fps: D800 has about 60% more of resolution and a RAW is about 80MB or something like this. This is more time consuming than in “normal high resolution” cams.

  10. Tech specs are one thing, outcomes are another – but what about all those reported faults/issues with the D800? Should I cancel my pre-order?

  11. I don’t believe the D800 even exists. I ordered one from B&H on Feb 16, 2012, more than a month before its so-called release date of March 22, 2012.

    It’s now April 21, 2012 (a month after Nikon’s release date) and my camera order status at B&H is still “backordered.” Something tells me B&H is giving out cameras to their friends first. They say they send them them out first come, first served, but do I know what order I’m in? They didn’t tell me I’m “D800 order number 300 and we’ve sent one to customer 275, so be patient.” They don’t communicate to me at all.

    I don’t think I’ll use B&H again as a trusted supplier.

  12. Come on folks !!! Accept it …. Nikon was/is/will be always better than Canon. Nikon is centuries ahead of Canon. I have and still have a Canon A-1 and a Nikon F3 HP when I started in photography and Nikon quality was there all along … over 25 years ago. Good try Canon BUT I will always put my buck on Nikon. Thanks !!!

  13. I was surprised to see how the prices of the D3s, D3, and the D3x went down in value after people started receiving their D800… I just bought myself a D3s for less than $3400. I’ll stick with this until Nikon comes up with another one… then I’ll buy the D800! LOL

  14. Both cameras are awesome. Had the opportunity to try out both. Would be happy to shoot with either. But as I’ve got a Nikon system I chose to buy the D800. For me, the only downside is the ridiculous number of options in the menus.

  15. Some people on here deciding to leave Canon for Nikon because of the D800. What a silly reason. Look you guys, so the 5D MkII has is downsides, but the MKIII is better for sure. But to dump the system just because the D800 does some things better that the 5D series s daft. I doubt you will be satisfied and will find some reason to swap systems again in the future. All these cameras are really great. I own a D800, yes it’s a great camera with some cool features. But I’ve also used the 5D MkII and MkIII. And they are great too, particularly the latter. I would be happy to shoot with any of them. So before you waste your investment with the lenses you have, think again. It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer behind it. Every camera has it’s good and bad points; the good photographer works with the good points and around the bad. And yes, I am a confirmed Nikon user, but I realize just how good the Canon’s are too.

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