[Video] Canon 5DM3, 5DM2, and Nikon D800 Low-Light Video Test

Who's got who beat is a big deal for those who are debating where to put their next $3000 -- and rightly so. So if you're interested in shooting video on any of the newest and hotly debated DSLRs out there, check out this low-light, high-ISO video test. The winner is crystal clear -- literally.

SPOILER ALERT: So if that 5D Mark III doesn't impress you, I don't know what will.

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DnN Photography's picture

This video proves that I'd rather just keep my 5DII

ColinMcMano's picture

Have a close look at the high ISO's...see how the sharpness seem to drop on the Canons as the ISO is increased and the Nikon stay sharp? That is a clear indication that noise reduction is active on the Canons.

Jon Livingston's picture

Impressive! I so want a 5DM3. But the D800 is impressive in it's own right. Still a hard choice.

Ken Yee's picture

I agree w/ the comments on Vimeo...Looks like the D800 exposed for her face while the 5D exposed for the candle, so it's a flawed comparison already.
That said, the D800 looks good only up to about ISO3200...how high do you really need to shoot in dim conditions (worst you've encountered)?  Is ISO3200 enough like it is for still photography?

I think the Nikon can do better :d

Pixyst's picture

While I don't know the parameters for this test, I can only make assumptions. I am amazed at the kinds of conclusions some people here arrive at based on the evidence that appears to have been presented. 

I assume that the illumination of the scene has been kept constant throughout the test (as that is the only condition under which it makes any sense). There would appear to be some discrepancy between both Nikon's and Canon's definition of ISO (at least as it relates to video) if the subtext is to be believed.  

Looking at the images, the Nikon shows enough brightness in the scene to render the colors clearly from ISO 1000, while the Canons need to be at ISO 2500 before we can get equivalent color/brightness. The only logical conclusion is that these two ratings on the respective cameras are equivalent. If ISO 1000 on a Nikon D800 renders a brighter clearer scene than ISO 2500 on a Canon 5D MkIII, does it require an advanced degree in rocket science to figure out which machine is outperforming the other?

Richard14's picture

Wow...and I thought I was an amateur. What's the goal of such a test? The light sensitivities are obviously not the same. Whatever...

D B's picture

Am I the only one who has an issue with the method of testing here?
Why not expose for a gray card (proper exposure) for all the ISO settings.
In the first few, the picture is so dark that you can't see anything.
On the higher ISO's it's over exposed.

D800 seems incredibly noisy while it seems to be one stop more sensitive than Canon's settings.
And as Patrick mentioned earlier, use Nikon to get the best out of your models!
Canon makes them bored out of their minds! ;)

D B's picture

To be exact, D800 exposure is more or less the proper at ISO 3200.
5D mk2 exposes properly at ISO 5000and Mk3 at ISO 6400.

Dake Liu's picture

All I can see is that the Nikon girl smiles more.

Donald William Gillies's picture

This is a stupid test, according to the Japan Camera Manufacturers Association, ISO is whatever the camera maker says it is, and Nikon's ISO 2500 is similar to Canons ISO 10,000, but the Canon is obviously over-processing the image because it's blurry @ ISO 10,000.

john Doe's picture

This is all  good for demonstrating the tech. But who is going to shoot video Or stills in one candle light. Unless you're a spy, or videoing a candle light vigil with only one candle. In which case the media be there with their food of lights. So this is all a nice display but I will never to shoot anything in "one candle power" light.