• 35mm 864.0mm2
  • 22.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600
  • 35mm 855.6mm2
  • 20.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

Buy From

Comparison Review

The biggest difference between the 6D and its older sibling is price: right now you can pick up a 6D for nearly $1500 less than the 5D Mark III. Despite the price difference, the 6D maintains much of the 5D Mark III's functionality, even adding some features.

Let's get another big difference out of the way: autofocus points. The 6D offers a measly 11, just one of which cross-type, versus 61 and 41 offered by the 5D Mark III. AF points are critical to autofocus tracking, so you can eliminate the 6D from consideration if you plan to do a lot of sports photography.

The 5D Mark III is also the better camera if you do a lot of video work. We found the 5D Mark III to be highly effective at limiting video moiré, which wasn't the case for the 6D. The 5D Mark III's headphone jack is also invaluable for shooting video.

Beyond AF and video advantages, the 5D Mark III offers a number of features not found on the 6D: more rugged body, higher shutter life rating, more card slots, decreased shutter lag and faster continuous shooting, among others.

The 6D still manages to best the 5D Mark III in certain ways. By opting for the 6D, you gain built-in wifi and GPS, while losing 20% of the 5D Mark III's weight. You'll also enjoy a much quieter shutter.

What it comes down to is this: if you make your living off the camera, the extra $1,500 for the 5D Mark III is a no-brainer. On the other hand, if you don't plan to stress the AF system, don't do a lot of video or you prefer Wi-Fi and GPS to the grab bag of features offered by the 5D Mark III, pick up the 6D body-only or in a kit.

Buy From

Your purchases support this site

Your purchases support this site

Differences

Canon 5D Mark III advantages over Canon 6D

  • More cross-type AF points
    41 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Less shutter lag
    0.12 vs 0.29 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • More AF points
    61 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Canon 6D advantages over Canon 5D Mark III

  • Less expensive
    $1999 vs $3099
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Built-in GPS
    GPS vs None
    Geotag your photos
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 63 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Top deck display
    Both provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Both provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Select your focus point more intuitively.
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Internal flash
    Neither provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D610

Canon 5D Mark III
Nikon D610
  • $2484
  • 35mm
  • More cross-type AF points
  • Less shutter lag
  • $1497
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
Canon 6D
Nikon D610
  • $1390
  • 35mm
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Built-in GPS
  • $1497
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO

Compared to Canon 7D Mark II

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 7D Mark II
  • $2484
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1490
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in GPS
Canon 6D
Canon 7D Mark II
  • $1390
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1490
  • APS-C
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • More cross-type AF points

Compared to Sony A99

Canon 5D Mark III
Sony A99
  • $2484
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $1986
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Canon 6D
Sony A99
  • $1390
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $1986
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Nikon D600

Canon 5D Mark III
Nikon D600
  • $2484
  • 35mm
  • More cross-type AF points
  • Less shutter lag
  • $1196
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
Canon 6D
Nikon D600
  • $1390
  • 35mm
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Built-in GPS
  • $1196
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup

Compared to Nikon Df

Canon 5D Mark III
Nikon Df
  • $2484
  • 35mm
  • Shoots 60p video
  • More cross-type AF points
  • $2747
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Higher effective ISO
Canon 6D
Nikon Df
  • $1390
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • $2747
  • 35mm
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer battery life

Review Excerpt

  • Superb still and video image quality; Powerful, fast, and accurate AF system with loads of cross-type points, loads of configurability and great frame coverage; Rugged, weather-sealed body with great control layout and user-interface configurability.

  • Dynamic range is limited by noise in deep shadows; Somewhat heavy-handed noise suppression and sharpening at default settings. (Shooting RAW avoids both.); No AF illuminator.

  • Excellent image quality on par to more expensive full-frame DSLRs (including the 5D Mark III); Responsive all-around performer; Superior HD video-shooting chops; Built-in Wi-Fi with remote control and sharing features, Built-in GPS and geotagging.

  • Lacks a built-in, pop-up flash; No external headphone jack; Rather basic 11-point autofocus system; Mediocre burst speed.

Canon 5D Mark III vs Canon 6D Discussion

Compare Other Cameras?