• 35mm 864.0mm2
  • 21.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • 35mm 864.0mm2
  • 22.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Canon 5D Mark II advantages over Canon 5D Mark III

  • Less expensive
    $2699 vs $3399
    Save money for lenses or accessories

Canon 5D Mark III advantages over Canon 5D Mark II

  • Higher effective ISO
    2,293 vs 1,815 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More cross-type AF points
    41 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Newer
    7 years vs 10 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Less shutter lag
    0.12 vs 0.21 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • More AF points
    61 vs 15
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.0 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    6.0 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    18 vs 11 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    102400 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 HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • 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
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • 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

Buy From

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Canon 5D Mark II

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Canon 5D Mark III

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.

The Competition

Compared to Canon 6D

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 6D
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Less shutter lag
  • More AF points
  • $1699
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 6D
  • $2824
  • 35mm
  • More cross-type AF points
  • Less shutter lag
  • $1699
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Wi-Fi

Compared to Canon 5D Mark IV

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger pixels
  • $3582
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $2824
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • $3582
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Sony A900

Canon 5D Mark II
Sony A900
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • More pixels
Canon 5D Mark III
Sony A900
  • $2824
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Nikon D3X

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D3X
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Shoots 1080p video
  • $6999
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • More dynamic range
Canon 5D Mark III
Nikon D3X
  • $2824
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $6999
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • More dynamic range

Compared to Sony A850

Canon 5D Mark II
Sony A850
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • More pixels
Canon 5D Mark III
Sony A850
  • $2824
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
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