• 35mm 864.0mm2
  • 21.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 372.9mm2
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 3200

Buy From

Differences

Canon 5D Mark II advantages over Nikon D300S

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 6.41 vs 5.50 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,815 vs 787 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.71x vs 0.63x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    21.1 vs 12.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    75 vs 26 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 6400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Nikon D300S advantages over Canon 5D Mark II

  • Less expensive
    $1645* vs $2699
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 0.4 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • More cross-type AF points
    15 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • More AF points
    51 vs 15
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    7.1 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    7.1 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    17 vs 11 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (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
  • 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
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

Buy From

Review Excerpt

  • Rugged construction; 51-point AF system capable of sophisticated AF tracking; Large, bright optical viewfinder; 7 fps JPEG or 12-bit RAW burst mode; HD Video capture.

  • 14-bit RAW mode slows continuous shooting from 7 fps to 2.7 fps; Somewhat slow AF for a camera at this level, especially in 51-point auto-area mode; Video capture tops out at 720p24.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D3X

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D3X
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Shoots 1080p video
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
  • $2500
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • More dynamic range
Nikon D300S
Nikon D3X
  • $1671
  • APS-C
  • Internal flash
  • Shoots 24p video
  • $2500
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Higher effective ISO

Compared to Sony DSLR-A550

Canon 5D Mark II
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
Nikon D300S
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $1671
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen

Compared to Sigma SD1 Merrill

Canon 5D Mark II
Sigma SD1 Merrill
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor
  • $1799
  • APS-C
  • Internal flash
  • Doesn't require an AA filter
Nikon D300S
Sigma SD1 Merrill
  • $1671
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $1799
  • APS-C
  • More pixels
  • Doesn't require an AA filter

Compared to Nikon D600

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D600
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
  • $1900
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
Nikon D300S
Nikon D600
  • $1671
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • More cross-type AF points
  • $1900
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Better color depth

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
Nikon D300S
Canon 6D
  • $1671
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
  • $1699
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
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