Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 Comparison

Last Updated (03 October’12):
– Review & Sample Photos @ TechRadar

Which one is a better camera for you between Canon EOS 5D Mark III or Nikon D800? Canon EOS 5D Mark III is offer 22.3MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor with DIGIC 5+ Image Processor, 61-Point High Density AF, Up to 6.0 FPS Continuous Mode, Built-In HDR and Multiple Exposure Modes, and an extended ISO Range (50-102400), while the Nikon D800 offers higher resolution up to 36.3Mp CMOS FX Format Sensor with EXPEED 3 Image-Processing Engine, Optical Low-Pass Filter, Built-In Flash + i-TTL Flash Control, and an extended ISO Range (50-25600). Both of these camera offers the huge advantages to capture amazing photos and videos that make users difficulty to choose on of them. So, please read the reviews in this bellow to guide you make the right decision.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Latest Price Info | Nikon D800 Latest Price Info
Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Expert Reviews

Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 Comparison Reviews

Techradar compares the Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 and writes;
“In summary, both cameras are extremely good, and choosing between them isn’t easy.. Those who shoot in a wide range of conditions, or have a preference for sport and low-light photography, are likely to find they are best served by the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. But photographers who shoot primarily in good light and who are interested in capturing the maximum amount of detail possible, perhaps specialising in landscape, still-life or macro photography, will find that the Nikon D800 is a better choice.”
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Cameralabs compares the Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 and writes;
“Despite becoming fond of mirrorless cameras in recent years, I’ll be the first to admit I loved my time with the 5D Mark III. It is one of the most confident and enjoyable DSLRs I’ve used and easily earns my Highly Recommended award. Is it better than the D800? No, but it’s not worse either. They’re different sorts of cameras. Based on my tests I’d say the D800 is preferable for sheer detail on still photos so long as you shoot carefully using a tripod, whereas the Mark III feels like a more rounded camera with its faster shooting, more sophisticated AF and superior video.”
Rating: ★★★★½

PCMAG compares the Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 and writes;
“The 5D Mark III does outpace the D800 in continuous shooting—it’s capable of grabbing up to 6 frames a second, while the Nikon is limited to 4 frames per second. It can also be set to a higher ISO—up to ISO 102400 in expanded mode, compared to the D800’s top expanded mode of ISO 25600. Both cameras have viewfinders that cover 100 percent of the frame, but the 5D Mark III’s eyepoint is very slightly longer than that of the D800, making it just a little bit easier for eyeglass wearers to see the entirety of the finder when shooting with the Canon.”
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CNET compares the Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 and writes;
“Between the two, the 5D Mark III’s sample video looked more vibrant and warmer, while the D800 sample appeared to be a hair sharper with more neutral color. Both camera were set at the standard color setting.”
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Technobuffalo compares the Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 and writes;
“Both full-frame DSLRs have their strengths and weaknesses, but ultimately you can’t make a wrong decision by buying either model. Of course, the Nikon D800 is friendlier to the wallet with an MSRP that’s $500 less than the 5D Mark III’s. The D800 also has a built-in flash, a fantastic shooting interface, great HD video quality and shooting features with a clean, uncompressed HDMI out signal.”
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Whatdigitalcamera compares the Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 and writes;
“Thanks to ten more AF points the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a slight improvement, especially as it also has 41 cross-type points as opposed to 15 on the D800. As cross-type sensors are more accurate this may be evident in the sharpness of the images produced.”
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Reviews Video

Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 Comparison Reviews

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User Opinions

Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 Comparison User Reviews

Canon EOS 5D Mark III User Reviews

A superb camera for the photo enthusiast
“I am impressed. I love the flexibility of this camera and I the image quality is excellent. I am definitely a perfectionist when it comes to image sharpness and I only shoot RAW so I tend to be a bit of a pixel peeper. While the 36MP was impressive on the D800E, in the end, I realized that when it comes to shooting the kids, family and friends, the Canon gave me more versatility. I also found the video capabilities to be pretty good even though I rarely use it.” – By Momo9999
Rating: ★★★★★

Nearly 10,000 photos and very happy
“I shoot a set of L series primes, and with my MKII I was hitting maybe 70% of my shots in focus. I’m just finishing editing our first full wedding with the MKIII’s and that percentage has climbed to probably 95%… and that 5% could easily be user error. The dynamic range and high iso performance is also noticeably improved which I really appreciate as a wedding photographer.” – By dan
Rating: ★★★★★

More pleased with it than I thought I would be – A Video Shooter’s Perspective
“To be honest, the 5Dmk3 fixes so many headaches that I was having using the 7D as my main video choice, headaches that would not have been resolved with just the 5Dmk2. The d800, which takes beautiful pictures, is a fantastic camera except in one very crucial area, lowlight.” – By [R6L] Matt W.
Rating: ★★★★★

Game changing camera for wildlife photography
“The color accuracy and vibrancy out of the box is great, even shooting with a “neutral” or “faithful” color setting. RAW files are about 24 MB in size, 45 MB if you convert to DNG and embed the original as I do.” – By MoonX
Rating: ★★★★★

Love this Camera
“The ISO performance is superb with even as high as 3200-6400 being plenty good for the average viewer. Anything under 1600 is tack sharp with the right lens. The speed is also fine for kids sports although I highly recommend only using a fast CF card when doing so. Even the fastest SD can’t keep up with the buffer.” – By Mike C
Rating: ★★★★★

A Fantastic Camera…coming from a T2i
“Focus. There are almost too many options to choose here. Whatever you are shooting, from moving 1 year olds like another reviewer to 9 year old soccer players like I have to professional sports or weddings focus is spot on.” – By Robert Stone
Rating: ★★★★★

Almost Perfect DSLR
“All I can say is WOW! The auto focus is fast and accurate. The high iso capabilities compared to the classic is astonishing and allows me to do more than I ever thought I could with a camera.” – By Cc’s Mom
Rating: ★★★★★

Converted from D7000
“This camera was cleary designed with THE PHOTOGRAHER in mind. It becomes transparent , letting you focus on what matters – Light Color and Gesture. To me, this is the clincher. LCG are really what is most important in photography.” – By powerlifting315
Rating: ★★★★★

Loving this purchase. No regrets
“The new auto focus system is so fantastic, I’m able to grab focus quickly and refocus quickly if necessary. And, I know this is stupid, but – I love the way it sounds when I press the shutter. It has a very satisfying “click” – even my significant other commented on it.” – By NoSunshineHere
Rating: ★★★★☆

“IQ: I would say I’m getting about a 1.5 stop improvement in iso noise. At 1600 I don’t even think twice. Might as well be 400 in most cases. At 3200 and 6400 it’s a little more of a push, but still tolerable with some NR.” – By Rimmit
Rating: ★★★★★

Worth every penny
“I upgraded from the Canon 5D Mark II. Really worth the upgrade. Fantastic camera! Low noise up to an ISO of 3200. Even at higher ISOs, the noise can easily be removed. Fast and accurate autofocus even after the sun sets. Wonderful for wildlife photography. The full sensor makes for unbelievable image quality.” – By Lindy
Rating: ★★★★★

Overall GREAT Camera
“From some, not all, of the images that I have taken with the camera, I can tell you that it is a H U G E, let me spell it again a H U G E improvement over the Nikon D700 that I recently sold which should be the case considering this is using new technology. Anyway, the pictures really are 3D-Like. The colors are phenomena! Different from Nikon but just really good for my purposes.” – By MacVideography
Rating: ★★★★★

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Nikon D800 User Reviews

Unbiased Review of 5DmkIII vs D800
“Video: Suprisingly about the same. I would have thought that Canon’s lead in video would maintain. Surprisingly, the Nikon’s video was just as awesome as the Canon. Nikon’s video has a bit more detail and is definitely a little sharper than the Canon.” – By se
Rating: ★★★★★

Very happy so far
“5DM3 is a great camera too. I think the AF is pretty similar. AF has to do with not only the Camera but lenses. The truth is that Canon’s USM on their top lenses is just brilliant and they focus incredibly fast. Just try the old 24-70 on any of their bodies. Nikons’ AF-S SWF is pretty fast but not as fast as Canon’s USM. On balance though, both 5DM3 and D800 will do brilliant job for you.” – By D. Brodsky
Rating: ★★★★★

The next legendary Nikon camera – Review against D700
“36MP is HUGE. It may not be for everyone, but then again the D800 along with that kind of resolution at $3,000 definitely has its impact on the DSLR market. Despite the difficulty handling large RAW files, it is generally a welcome additional along with its amazing image quality. Image quality is absolutely stunning – DxO Mark rates it at 95 and calls it “A full-frame sensor with no weak points” for a good reason.” – By Herman Au
Rating: ★★★★★

A clear improvement over the already excellent D700
“I just shot a wedding, and I consider the D800 to be an excellent choice for the job. All the complains about shots being more blurry at 100% magnification are irrelevant. One has to be precise with his/her settings, at the right exposure and optimal shutter speed, results can be absolutely mind-blowing.” – By M. Billon
Rating: ★★★★★

Best in Class
“Autofocus: The AF is very similar to the D3/D700, good but could have been better. The center sensors are quick and reliable, the extreme corners work well, but they are not as quick and require high contrast subjects.” – By Emmanuel
Rating: ★★★★★

An Amazing Camera
“The D800 is an amazing camera that I continue to be impressed with. You can get some really stunning shots. While I like to do a lot of nature and landscape photography, I’ve also been using it to create virtual tours of commercial real estate for the web.” – By William J. Evans, Jr.
Rating: ★★★★★

Great camera
“Other than “unjust” price of Canon 5d mkIII, I also like that Nikon D800 has a built-in flash which, I think they could have made sturdier. It feels a little flimsy and in my mind I’ll be always thinking about being extra careful about bumping my camera into things where with my Canon I was not an issue. Also, I very much like the detail and depth of field that D800 surprised me with,” – By Sitnitski
Rating: ★★★★★

Switched me from Canon to Nikon
“The D800’s bracketing ability was a real strong selling point for me as I do a significant amount of HDR work. The D800 allows you to easily set and make up to nine bracketed exposures. The 5D only allows up to three bracketed exposures at a time and you needed to go into on line screens (twice for a nine exposure sequence) to reset bracketing.” – By Rich ME
Rating: ★★★★★

A most challenging camera
“Now that I have used the D800 for a few months, I am getting a better handle on my technique and it is showing in the photographs I take. The high ISO capability, the 36mp, the incredible focus system, instant response, and advanced features mean only one thing. The weak link is now me.” – By Thejohnz
Rating: ★★★★★

Amazing video quality
“It shoots 1080p/24p in 20 minute segments at highest quality. It has a clean HDMI video output that stays pure 1080 during filming. You can record the 1080 output. HD field monitors can be used to focus the image during filming. It doesn’t downres to 480 when rolling.” – By Rush Hamden
Rating: ★★★★★

A Fantastic Camera
“This was a move from the wonderful D7000, and it’s a whole different species of camera. Color rendering, sharpness, AF (I’ve had no issues with the left focus point) and low light shooting (even past ISO 6400) are all sublime.. I shot a wedding with it a couple of days ago, and it performed spectacularly under all conditions.” – By Dylan Reed
Rating: ★★★★★

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Samples Images

Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 Comparison Sample Photos

Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 Sample Photos @ Techradar

Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 Sample Photos @ Cameralabs


Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Nikon D800 User Manual (PDF)

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– Download Canon EOS 5D Mark III User Manual (PDF – 28.2MB)

– Download Nikon D800 User Manual (PDF)


Canon EOS 5D Mark III VS Nikon D800 Comparison Features

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Features

The EOS 5D Mark III is an impressively specified DSLR camera that takes the heritage of its legendary EOS 5D Mark II predecessor and adds significantly upgraded specifications for shooting both stills and Full HD Movies. It comes with a 22.3 Megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor. This sensor has designed from the ground up to create high resolution, perfectly detailed images with unprecedented speed and clarity. Moreover,it has 61-point AF with up to 41 cross-type AF points to provide greater accuracy, no matter the situation. It also offers multi-zone wide-area AF for better tracking and is sensitive in extremely low-light situations.

With a DIGIC 5+ processor, Canon EOS 5D Mark III achieves a whole new level of performance that enhances noise reduction and delivers blazing processing speed of up to 6.0 fps (RAW + JPEG). This camera also has an ISO range of 100 to 25,600 as standard, ISO 50 to 102,400 with expansion for better low-light performance.


In addition, this camera allows you to record Full HD Movie with ALL-I or IPB compression. The camera captures HD video by offers both All-I to compress each frame and IPB to compress the movie frame by referencing the previous and next frames. It also supports H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile, and automatically splits files greater than 4GB for extended recording without interruption.

It also easy for composing your photos and videos by offers an 8.11cm (3.2”) 1.04 million-pixel Clear View II LCD Screen that equipped with an anti-reflective construction and features Canon’s Clear View II technology for bright, sharp display in any number of shooting situations make it is ideal for reviewing settings and images, as well as for shooting in Live View mode.


Canon EOS 5D Mark III Highlight Features:

– Zone, Spot and AF Point Expansion focusing modes.
– Up to 6fps shooting speed
– +/- 5 stops of exposure compensation
– HDR shooting in-camera
– 29mins 59sec clip length in Full HD Movie
– Timecode setting for HD Movie shooting
– Headphone port for audio monitoring
– 59ms shutter lag
– Transparent LCD viewfinder with 100% coverage
– EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS)
– CF and SD Card slots
– Silent control touch-pad area
– Dual-Axis Electronic Level

Nikon D800 Features

The D800 is new DSLR camera that offers 36.3 megapixel FX-format sensor that will be perfect to capture wedding, commercial or landscape images with creative genius. The sensor offers witness tonal range and precision to provide supreme clarity, depth and texture. The camera also has high ISO sensitivity of 100 to 6400 (expanded up to 25,600) which allows users to shoot from dawn to dusk.

There is new Advanced Scene Recognition System which offers a 91,000-pixel RGB light meter capable to deliver unprecedented levels of accuracy to AF, AE, i-TTL flash control, face recognition and auto white balance. Moreover, the Nikon D800 comes with new EXPEED 3 image processing which offers ability to reduce color phase shifts seen with lesser systems, producing more faithful colors and tones while managing massive amounts of data at breakthrough speed.


The camera also allows users to record Full HD 1080p at 30/25/24p or 720p at 60/50p in AVC format that will be perfect choice for filmmakers, multimedia professionals and event photographers. There is manual mode which supports users to control manually the aperture, ISO, AF and shutter speed when you are recording the video. The Nikon D800 allows users to record uncompressed files via HDMI to an external recording device including attach headphones and check audio levels or monitor input on the camera’s LCD monitor.

The Nikon D800 has a super sharp 3.2-inch LCD screen that offers high resolution of 921,000-dot with 100% coverage to confirm image capture and view menu options, histograms, video settings and more. The LCD screen is equipped with an anti-glare coating and auto brightness control ease of viewing, no matter the environment. It also automatically adjusts the LCD brightness and visibility for bright, crisp image playback, menu adjustment and Live View shooting.


Nikon D800 Highlights Features

+ 35.9 x 24.0mm CMOS FX Format Sensor

+ 36.3Mp Resolution

+ EXPEED 3 Image-Processing Engine

+ 3.2″ LCD Monitor

+ Nikon F Mount Lens Mount

+ Optical Low-Pass Filter

+ Eye-Level Pentaprism Viewfinder

+ 1080p at 30/25/24p or 720p at 60/50p

+ Built-In Flash + i-TTL Flash Control

+ Matrix/Center-Weighted/Spot Metering

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