So the new Canon 5D MKIII has been announced. There’s a number of great write-ups about it already so go ahead and check them out if you haven’t. I’m more interested in comparing the first looks of this new camera with those of the D800 from Nikon.
Now to be honest and fair, it must be said I haven’t had the privilege of wielding either of these bad boys so this entire post is essentially based on speculation.
If you’re comparing these two cameras the first thing I notice is the price difference. Not huge but $500 is worth noting, the Nikon being on the lower end of that imbalance.
Next is the photo quality. So from what I can gather, the D800 will boast a significantly higher resolution sensor but it will be likely giving up some low light quality along with perchance some dynamic range. This toggles the favour over to the 5D MKIII although it’s tough to know how it will perform at high ISO’s as well, it does at least have a 2 stop edge on the D800 in their respective native ISO ranges.
But is photo quality what I think of when I think of the 5D? Well no. Not for me. I’m not denying that it’s a great stills camera and it always has been. But from my point of view one of the most amazing things that made the 5D MKII what it is today was its video abilities. So I beg the question “What are we getting out of the 5D MKIII that we didn’t out of the mII?”.
The answer… not much it seems. There are some nifty features they’ve added into the MKIII but honestly compared to the mII it doesn’t seem all that impressive. It looks like Canon has focused on improving the photo quality of the camera while leaving the video quality relatively equal to that of it’s predecessor. I do realize that the quality of video has improved in that they’re suggesting it handles moire better but that just isn’t enough for me. Maybe I would have liked to see 1080p 60fps? I’m not really sure. And maybe their issue is that the 5D MKII was SO great. How can they really improve on it? Again I’m not sure. But with the D800, in my opinion, offering a significant feature of clean video output while matching all the other specs it seems to me that the cheaper body from Nikon is the winner in this battle.
Sufficed to say that the ISO range doesn’t make much difference to me since I don’t image too many people are going to be thinking of the D800 as anything but a studio camera. At least that’s my opinion of it with a 36MP sensor.
Again there’s lot so of testing to be done, and it may turn out that either camera could blow the other away after real comparisons are made. In the mean time, I’m thinking that Canon was a bit late to the party offering a camera that’s quite similar to the D800 but more money and less new features compared to their respective predecessors. For what I make out of the 5D MKIII it seems like the better option might be to stick to the 5D MKII. Nearly half the price and much of the same features, the tried and true MKII might remain king of Canon’s lineup simply due to it’s hard to replace nature.
What are your thoughts?