• 35mm 864.0mm2
  • 21.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • 35mm 860.4mm2
  • 12.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800

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Differences

Canon 5D Mark II advantages over Nikon D3S

  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    21.1 vs 12.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos

Nikon D3S advantages over Canon 5D Mark II

  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 8.46 vs 6.41 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 0.4 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    3,253 vs 1,815 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 4200 vs 850 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    9.0 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    9.1 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    41 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Review Excerpt

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D700

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D700
  • $2598
  • 35mm
  • External Mic Jack
  • Shoots 1080p video
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Higher effective ISO
Nikon D3S
Nikon D700
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Internal flash

Compared to Sony A900

Canon 5D Mark II
Sony A900
  • $2598
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • More pixels
Nikon D3S
Sony A900
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Bigger pixels
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Nikon D3X

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D3X
  • $2598
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Shoots 1080p video
  • $6999
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • More dynamic range
Nikon D3S
Nikon D3X
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $6999
  • 35mm
  • More dynamic range
  • External Mic Jack

Compared to Sony A850

Canon 5D Mark II
Sony A850
  • $2598
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • More pixels
Nikon D3S
Sony A850
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Bigger pixels
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Nikon D4

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D4
  • $2598
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • More pixels
  • $6248
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
Nikon D3S
Nikon D4
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $6248
  • 35mm
  • External Mic Jack
  • Shoots 1080p video
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