[News] Nikon D800 Stomps Canon 5DM3 In DxO Test

[News] Nikon D800 Stomps Canon 5DM3 In DxO Test

The Nikon Vs Canon war rages on, this time Nikon fan boys will gain a little ammunition. As you may have heard, the 36mp sensor inside the Nikon D800 is the highest rated sensor of all time (a 95), beating even medium format cameras that cost over $50,000.00. DxO Mark recently released their reviews of the Canon 5D Mark III sensor and it received a score of 81 that puts the camera in 10th place. Whether you are a Nikon or Canon fan, remember that we are giving both of these cameras away in our current Facebook contest so everyone wins right?

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eh...nikon may have better sensors, but canon definitely beats them on ergonomics and glass.

Michael L's picture

That is one place Canon has never gotten close to Nikon....On the ergonomics... There are so many things on Canon cams that require you to push several buttons or go to the menu that you can do on a Nikon while holding the camera in a single hand. It's been like that for 20 years and it continues to this day even though Canon has improved over the last 3-4 years.

Mmmm... Nikon glass has always been superior to Canon... Nikon has always been an optics company.
As a matter of fact Nikon used to make glass for Canon.

Dont know about ergonomics, as this depends on what system you are used to.
Im used to Nikon's ergonomics, where the fstop and shutter speeds and all be adjusted with one hand with two dials smartly designed around the thumb and index finger.
When Im shooting with a Canon, i find it so clunky and clumsy.

Only thing i like on a Canon, ergonomics wise, is the large dial on the backside when reviewing images. Thats about it.

Ive always found the "Av" = aperture priority, and "Tv"= shutter priority on Canons to be so back-asswards

On a Nikon and many other cameras A=aperture priority, and S=shutter priority
Simple + makes sense...

So as for your comment on ergonomics....heck no... NIkon all the way..
But like i said... all depends on what you are used to.

Sensible ergonomics = Nikon
Clumsy ergonomics = Canon


pgshooter's picture

If you're like most higher-end camera-body users it won't make any difference whether a new Nikon trumps a new Canon in tests and reviews. Most people are going to go with whichever camera their previous investments in glass have been. The decision, for the majority of photographers, is not going to be about whether they should  suddenly switch from Canon to Nikon or visa verse.  The decision, for most, is going to be. "Should I buy this new high-end Canon (or Nikon) or not based on what I already own in high-end glass."

I'm an avid Canon shooter but I mess around with Nikon whenever I get the chance.  I like both systems, but am obviously more comfortable with Canon.  I recently got my hands on a friend's D800 and I couldn't help but be impressed by it.  I will have my hands on a 5DIII next week to mess with for a day and I'm anxious match them up.  I found the articles that Pat and Lee posted interesting and I think that both models of cameras under discussion here contribute immensely to the craft we all love so much.  But, Canon wins......just joking....  Thanks Lee and Pat for sharing again.

I could care less which camera is better, What I need out of my next camera is a full frame sensor that shoots 720p at 60fps.  The canon 5d Mark III does that for me....So that is the camera I will buy.

Patrick Hall's picture

well the Canon T2i, T3i, 7D and the Nikon D800 and D4 all shoot 60fps at 720 so there are lots of choices

RUSS's picture

for me if i was going to buy one of the new releases. I'd rent them both and test them both, doing what I do, and how i do it. AND THEN JUDGE which is best. then i'd buy.
But that's me.

If you don't like what fstoppers posts, stop complaining and start your own photography site. Keep it up HalLee.

Patrick Hall's picture

Lee Hall is actually my uncle's name 

Very disappointed in the DR results for the new Canon. According to DxO tests it's actually slight worse then the Mark II. While I have no intention of jumping ship I also now have no desire of upgrade

The test is not the sensor and the focusing system, or the number of camera shots ...WARNING!


Thanatham's picture


Take both cameras along for the ride and the 5DmkIII either beats it in ISO or AF etc, or they are VERY close or tied in other areas. . . . . . Then you have a sensor score of 95 v. 81, and you are all finally seeing what I have been saying for years: that only people that THINK they are "photographers" salivate at these scores if they hapen to be also fanboys for one company ort the other, makes no difference. I dare to take real world tests/results, and see for yourselves that what I just said in the previous line was not as offensive as it sounded. If you shoot with Nikon, don't bnother worrying about 95 points v. if you are with Canon worrying about a score of 81. . . . I guarantee that out THERE you will NOT notice those numbers, or even think they exist. THAT is the truth about such sensor scores. And SUDDENLY AFTER the FILM DAYS, thanks to the digital age we have a society of pixel peepers, as if they were failed microbiologists. Photography is NOT about a DR score of 23v. 24.5, etc etc etc . . .  it is about the things that exist out there and in us to make beautiful photos or tense photos or art, etc. . . . .I ama  Canon user, and I just CAN'T stand Canon cheerleaders and NIkon cheerleaders.. . . . it's almost as suffocating as such worthless sensor scores . . . I had a Canon 30D, and it got a scorte of 51+ (?) . . . the photos were amazing, and I never saw the 51 score.

The d800 also does surprisingly well against the h4d.


This would be biased if the fact wasn't that the D800 is kicking the 5dmk3's ass.  I shoot both systems and I couldn't care less which one wins out because my images taken with my existing cameras will not be affected.  Don't let the geek in you defeat the artist that is trying to create a beautiful image.

David New's picture

100 years from now are we really going to be asking which camera created which image?

Michael Kormos's picture

This honestly reads like the kind of pompous, sensationalist stuff Ken Rockwell writes. Is he the new guest contributor at fstoppers?

The d800 looks very nice for dsrl, but real MF cameras are superior in many ways. Getting 36mp on same sensor size doesn´t make it MF. Don´t take for granted what those ifninite "reviews and test results" all over the web tells you. Just get both cameras and for yourselves.

awerllow's picture

Touchy subject. I'm a Canon user and yes, I think that this site sometimes sides favorably toward Nikon .... With that said, I think that this site features some of the best and most helpful posts about photography around. I mean, they introduced Peter freakin' Hurley to us for crying out loud. Like most things in life, I just weed out what I consider the bad / irrelevant or sometimes "the bitter truth", and just absorb the good. 

I'm a Canon user and an fstoppers follower.

Sandy Phimester's picture

It does sometimes feel a little one sides here sometimes, I gotta say.... I like my Mamiya gear more than my Canon gear, and I've shot Nikon too. Just as a neutral consumer it feels a little weird coming here sometimes and reading how some of this stuff is written. Honestly.

Besides, it's paraded around by folks, but none of this mess, Canon or Nikon, will make your photos any better. I think these tests are more for people who love talking about #s, as opposed to taking photos every day for a living. Lame.

And yes, it would come off just as weird to me if the results were the other way around. The wording reads like a tabloid.

The purpose of purchasing a full frame camera is largely resolution and high-ISO picture quality.  If a canon full frame performs no better in either areas compared to a crop-sensor Nikon, then why buy a full-frame at all?

picture quality matters, but when you mention the 7D et al and questioning why bother changing, yoiu have to realize that the score is not a camera score, and the fact that the 95 v.81 score is great for sensor tech talk, you CANNOT see that difference out i the field. . . . where is the better AF!? better noise when viewd at full res is betyter on the mkIII or slight difference . . video belongs to Canon too.

The mkIII just feels solid and fits your hand so beauitifully. All these things matter . . not a DR range difference of 25.5 v. 24, etc etc etc. That is even a number that would not matter within the MF range of systems. Just look at the images compared to the D800, and although the D800 has a "highest score ever" . .

tell me what that actually means when you have a MF camera image in fron of you on the screen and printed (price notwithstanding ;) ). . . .  Then take a look at the 5DmkIII . . take both cameras out and shoot at dusk or dawn, or at mid day . . what can yu tell?? Then test out the AF . . . . no contest there, though, as the Canon is better (wasn't expecting that one haha ).

I hope everyone understands what I am trying to say here. . . . . . About the only thing I find wrong with the Canon (after all the little firmware upodates, and light leak issue that means nothing unless you have the cap on or lens off), is the price! But the best AF with 6fps, and amoung class leading ISO, and amazing video - even compared to D800 - sometimes simply pay anyway, I guess *gulp. 

When I see lots of bickering of this thing being better than that thing a certain phrase comes to mind 'shut up and shoot'.

I just bought a Rolleiflex MF camera. It's had 40 years of heavy use and looks well worn in but I can tell you that I had more fun shooting the first roll of film through it than I ever did with my D700 in the past 3 years. How many D800's do you think will be in use 40 years from now? Just shut up and shoot and have some fun with it. 

I'm a professional photographer and I still use the 5D MK I exclusively. For those that have invested in glass, these reviews are unlikely to make them switch brand but rather inform whether to upgrade or not. Honestly i'm still waiting for a body that will convince me to upgrade, because in real-world situations and in terms of customer satisfaction, my MK I continues to deliver the goods

hahahaha... so touchy people geez... relax.. this is our love and passion not something to argue about. Who cares bout brand really, an amazing picture is still heavily reliant on the hands of the talented photographer behind the lens. Gear is gear, although let's face it, I'd give my left nut for a Hasselblad. I shoot Canon personally and I prefer the glass, but thats just me. I figure it this way, if commercial photogs and haute couture/fashion world use Canon's/Hasselblads/Nikon, its good enough for me and then some. 

After shooting for over 30 years, I get better images now with a D2xs than I ever did with film.

This thing where people clammer on about the NEW ISO, THE NEW REZ.. ,Wireless

Seriously? Has everything turned into a who's got a bigger one? Aside from the way cool video that some of the newer models turn out. Why bother?

If you don't shoot sport and you're canon shooter the winner is canon 5d mark ii....No good AF but now incredible price!!!

Sean Shimmel's picture

So far as I can see, no one has offered a link for these :)