• 35mm 864.0mm2
  • 22.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600
  • 35mm 858.0mm2
  • 20.8 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 102,400

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Differences

Canon 5D Mark III advantages over Nikon D5

  • Less expensive
    $2899 vs $6497*
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Lighter weight
    950g vs 1415g
    Lighter weight

Nikon D5 advantages over Canon 5D Mark III

  • Shoot 4K video
    4K (UHD) vs 1080p
    Make sure you have a fast computer
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 3780 vs 950 shots
    Capture more photos
  • More cross-type AF points
    99 vs 41
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Newer
    19 months vs 6 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Higher-res screen
    590k vs 348k pixels
    More detail on the screen lets you judge focus and composition
  • More AF points
    153 vs 61
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    12.1 fps vs 6.0 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    200 vs 63 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    12.1 fps vs 6.0 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    183 vs 18 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    3276800 vs 102400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

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
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Both provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Dual card slots
    Both provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Both provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • 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

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Your purchases support this site

Buy the Canon 5D Mark III

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon D5

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; Excellent high ISO performance; Fast 153-point autofocus system; Fast continuous shooting speeds; 4K video recording; Pro-quality camera body; Outstanding battery life.

  • Large and heavy body might not be right for all; Loud shutter; Underutilized touchscreen; Low ISO dynamic range not as good as predecessor; Extended high ISOs not very useful; Sluggish Live View AF.

The Competition

Compared to Canon 6D

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 6D
  • $2817
  • 35mm
  • More cross-type AF points
  • Less shutter lag
  • $1356
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
Nikon D5
Canon 6D
  • $6497
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
  • $1356
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Wi-Fi

Compared to Canon 5D Mark IV

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $2817
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger pixels
  • $3299
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
Nikon D5
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $6497
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $3299
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Wi-Fi

Compared to Sony A850

Canon 5D Mark III
Sony A850
  • $2817
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5
Sony A850
  • $6497
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Shoot 4K video
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Lighter weight

Compared to Sony A99

Canon 5D Mark III
Sony A99
  • $2817
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $1998
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Nikon D5
Sony A99
  • $6497
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Shoot 4K video
  • $1998
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Nikon Df

Canon 5D Mark III
Nikon Df
  • $2817
  • 35mm
  • External Mic Jack
  • More cross-type AF points
  • $2747
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Higher effective ISO
Nikon D5
Nikon Df
  • $6497
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
  • $2747
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Higher effective ISO
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