• 35mm 861.6mm2
  • 36.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • 35mm 858.0mm2
  • 20.8 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 102,400

Buy From

Differences

Nikon D800 advantages over Nikon D5

  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 0.4 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    2,853 vs 2,343 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    14.4 vs 12.3 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Lighter weight
    1008g vs 1415g
    Lighter weight
  • More pixels
    36.3 vs 20.8 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos

Nikon D5 advantages over Nikon D800

  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 6.45 vs 4.88 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • 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 900 shots
    Capture more photos
  • More cross-type AF points
    99 vs 15
    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 307k pixels
    More detail on the screen lets you judge focus and composition
  • Less shutter lag
    0.13 vs 0.21 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More AF points
    153 vs 51
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    12.1 fps vs 4.0 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    200 vs 54 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    12.1 fps vs 4.0 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 25600 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
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

Buy From

Your purchases support this site

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon D5

Review Excerpt

  • Rugged build; Excellent controls; Extremely high resolution; Dual cards; Surprising high ISO performance.

  • Very large files; Slower frame rate; Custom white balance gives a greenish tint; Battery life lower than D700.

  • 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 5D Mark III

Nikon D800
Canon 5D Mark III
  • $1850
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $2817
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • More cross-type AF points
Nikon D5
Canon 5D Mark III
  • $6498
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
  • $2817
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Lighter weight

Compared to Sony A99

Nikon D800
Sony A99
  • $1850
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $1998
  • 35mm
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Focus peaking
Nikon D5
Sony A99
  • $6498
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Shoot 4K video
  • $1998
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Nikon D600

Nikon D800
Nikon D600
  • $1850
  • 35mm
  • More cross-type AF points
  • More pixels
  • $1497
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Faster JPEG shooting
Nikon D5
Nikon D600
  • $6498
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
  • $1497
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup

Compared to Nikon D4S

Nikon D800
Nikon D4S
  • $1850
  • 35mm
  • Internal flash
  • Lighter weight
  • $5999
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup
Nikon D5
Nikon D4S
  • $6498
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
  • $5999
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO

Compared to Canon 1DX Mark II

Nikon D800
Canon 1DX Mark II
  • $1850
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Internal flash
  • $5699
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Shoot 4K video
Nikon D5
Canon 1DX Mark II
  • $6498
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $5699
  • 35mm
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Built-in GPS
Compare Other Cameras?