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Nikon D810 vs Canon 5D Mark III


If you’ve noticed, I really enjoy making reviews about DSLRs, they’re literally my favorite type of cameras, not only that they have a premium look on them, but they also have stunning specs and dazzling image quality. I’ve done many budget-oriented entry-level DSLR reviews and comparisons before, but for this article, budget or entry-level is not the word to use, since we have two high-end DSLRs who rank among the most premium DSLRs out there: The Nikon D810 and the Canon 5D Mark III.

They are both highly-rated cameras on Amazon, but also highly-recognized worldwide for their ability to deliver a crisp, sharp, and detailed image quality with vibrancy, and fast performance for better user experience.

I particularly like DSLRs more than any other type due to the fact that they are for long-term, durable enough and always infused with the latest technologies, so when you buy one, you ensure yourself a camera that is going to serve you for many years to come.

Do you want to know something interesting? We’re about to do a comparison for two cameras that have the same price, and as you can imagine, this can be really hard, although, they must have something different from one another, no matter how small it is. So we’ll make sure to mention even their slightest differences, advantages, benefits, etc.

Okay, now let’s get straight into the topic and see what these cameras are truly capable of.

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Head To Head Comparison

Nikon D810

The Nikon D810 is a uniquely designed which has managed to stay on top of the chain for years, due to its amazing specs, and stunning image quality. As we mentioned, this can be called a high-end DSLR, while it is most suitable for semi-professional, and professional photographers. I wouldn’t recommend this camera to people that are just starting out, not that they can’t get used to it, but they have to try out cheaper models, at the beginning, entry-level DSLRs, or some other model just to see where they find themselves the most.

To start off our review, I’ll begin with the design. The D810 has a decent weight of 34.6 ounces, while you can’t really call it lightweight, but you also can’t call it heavy, it’s in between. I particularly like the textured spots on the camera, which not only provides comfort but also gives a great look to the overall aesthetics. It has a good grip, while the buttons for optimization and settings are placed well which can be easy-to-reach, while the camera can also be operated one-handed, so in terms of aesthetics, there’s no complain or whatsoever.

When it comes to the LCD screen, well, in terms of brightness, details, and colors, it’s great, but what I’m really disappointed at, it’s that it doesn’t have a flip-out design, which can be great for shooting from different angles. Other than that, I’m also disappointed that it doesn’t have touchscreen capabilities, while this has become a very common feature even for low-cost DSLRs and other camera types.

Okay, enough said about the design, let’s see how this camera performs and talk a bit about its specs.

Now, no matter, if you are a professional photographer or you are just starting out, or just changing to a new camera, the Nikon D810 is a DSLR with serious power. It has a 36.3-megapixel full-frame sensor, while it runs Nikon’s innovative EXPEED 4 image-processing for flawless detail retention from snow white to pitch black, beautiful noise-free images from ISO 64 to ISO 12,800. 

It has 5 frames-per-second capture speeds and a new higher-resolution OLED screen within the optical viewfinder. I use it for food photography, and i can confidently say that no camera comes close to it in terms of image quality.

Let’s also not forget to mention that the camera has a great autofocus system which boasts 51-AF points, which allows for burst shooting, and a quieter shutter. These are great specs even for the most serious and professional photographers out there.

To continue, let’s talk a bit about the video quality, shall we?

This camera comes with many improvements from its predecessor, such as the new built-in stereo microphone with corresponding displays in Live View, as well as the ability to shoot full HD at 1080p 60 fps. This time around, ISO can also auto-adjust in video mode, which is great because it prevents distracting shifts in exposure as lighting conditions change. This means that it can be used as a stop-motion camera too, and it performs exceptionally in this field.

Before we end, I’d also like to mention that this camera is tested in different weather conditions, from which I can safely say that the camera has dust-sealing, and it can be used in the rain, or other situations, so don’t worry about that.

Moreover, in terms of connections, this particular model has optional wireless communication technology via the WT-5A or Eye-Fi. This is also an area where I’m really disappointed, there is no built-in Wi-Fi includes, no NFC, no Bluetooth, no Built-In GPS, so you’ll be pretty limited in terms of connections.

Overall, this camera really deserves your attention, and if you’re changing from mirrorless, or upgrading for a cheaper camera to this, you will never go wrong with your decision because despite lacking some features, the Nikon D810 pays that debt in performance and image quality.

Nikon D810 Sample Images:

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Canon 5D Mark III

This is also a full-frame DSLR camera which has amazing specs, and despite the fact that it is an older version of the 5D line, it’s still a top-option for semi-professional and professional photographs. It holds the same price as the Nikon D810, nonetheless, we’re going to see now which one outperforms the other in different aspects.

Design-wise, this particular camera is extremely customizable and has many buttons that are set to perform different functions and to admit, this is to be expected from a camera of this price range. Just like in any other DSLR, there are also textured spots on the body, and I’ve mentioned this in almost every review I’ve made, I really like the textured spots because they do not only deliver comfort, but I think they also give a great look to the overall appearance of the camera.

Yeah, as far as you’re concerned about the LCD screen, there’s also no touchscreen capabilities here, as well as no flip-out design, so you have to get used to it if you’ve been using a camera with a flip-out design and touchscreen capabilities. Personally, these features are pretty major for me because a flip-out design can really help to capture shots from different angles and viewing positions, as well as the touchscreen, can help for image scrolling, easier operation, and optimization, etc.

Okay, let’s get more into the specifics now and see how this camera performs under different circumstances and situations.

To start off about the performance, I’ll mention first the 22.3MP sensor, which immediately poses a disadvantage when you compare it with Nikon D810’s 36.3MP sensor, nonetheless, it’s still a full-frame with great image quality, but we’re going to see later in this review if this camera pays that debt in features.

In fact, we’ll mention an advantage right now, the autofocus system. This camera boasts a 61-AF point system which is better than Nikon D810’s 51-point AF system, while the image types can be JPEG, RAW, RAW+JPEG simultaneous recording enables.

Other than that, this camera has an ISO range that stretches from 100-25600, while it can also be expanded to 50-102,800, so this is another area where the Canon 5D Mark III beats the D810.

What I like the most about this camera is the metering system, it has been greatly improved from the previous models, basically, this iFCL metering we’re talking about will perform fantastic under different circumstances, dark or light main, but don’t expect the results to be as good as some cameras that are found in higher-price ranges.

Similar to the Nikon D810, 1080p HD video recording is also available, and personally, I find the video quality to be quite decent, with vibrant colors, blur-reduction with fast-moving subjects, and also sharp details. To speed up movie activation, there is also a live view/movie switch on the rear.

Connection-wise, same as the Nikon D810, there is no built-in Wi-Fi available here as well, so if you end up buying one of these camera’s, you’ll just have to get used to using wireless communication technology and other methods for transferring images or sharing them, for instance, the camera is NFC enabled, so that means you can remotely connect your smart device or tablet with the camera to transfer or share your work.

To conclude, the Canon 5D Mark III is more suitable for videography, sports, wildlife, etc.

Canon 5D Mark III Sample Images:

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Nikon D810 vs Canon 5D Mark III Feature Comparison

  Nikon D810 Canon 5D Mark III
Camera Type Full-Frame DSLR Full-Frame DSLR
Megapixels 36.3 22.3
ISO Range 100-12,800 100-25600(50-102,800)
Flip-Out Screen No No
AF Points 51 AF points 61 AF Points
Viewfinder Yes Yes
Touchscreen No No
Video Recording Yes Yes
Sensor Size Full-Frame CMOS Full-Frame CMOS

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As we reached the end of this article, all I can say is that both these cameras are great for what they do, while one of them is better for still photography, landscape, and portrait photography(Nikon D810), the other is more suitable for videography, weddings, sports, etc(Canon 5D Mark III in this case).

In other words, if you are someone who is looking for DSLR that performs well for still photography shooting, then the Nikon D810 is the ideal full-frame choice. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a full-frame DSLR that tracks impressively fast-moving subjects, and is perfect for videography, then the Canon 5D Mark III is your answer.

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