Comparing Canon 5D Mark III VS. Nikon D4

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III is the new kid on the block and a step up from the Canon 5D Mark II. Like the Mark II before it, the Mark III is a full-frame professional camera targeting professional and advanced amateur photographers.

The 5D Mark III is an important update to bring Canon’s pro line up to speed with more sophisticated technology, faster shooting, and improved auto-focus. The 5D Mark III began distributing with an average cost of $3500 for the body only with a 22.5 megapixel sensor. However, you can get deals from distributors such as Amazon and others for about $ 2800

Canon's 5D Mark III is a full frame D.S.L.R. It features an image sensor that is markedly larger than your typical entry-level D.S.L.R.The larger sensor gives the came a lot more image data to work with. The resulting images are nothing short of excellence with extremely accurate color rendition. Noise and dynamic range shows the full frame sensor’s ability to minimize noise in less than ideal light situations, especially low light shooting.

The 5D Mark III large sensor accurately records a large range of color tones, This leads to a large dynamic range, letting the Mark III take on scenes that have varying brightness and it does so with reliability and with very few problems. It is worth mentioning that the camera maintains a high dynamic range even when shooting at a high ISO of 800.

The Canon 5D Mark III also features some improvements over its predecessor the 5D Mark II, with about a 3/4th stop improvement through ISO 800.

The Nikon D4 can still be called the workhorse for serious professionals seeking a top of the line D.S.L.R. It features high-speed shooting, durable construction, and the ability to utilize a new XQD memory card.

It also has a ridiculous ISO range of about 204,000. Notable is the full frame FX 16.2-megapixel image. Not surprisingly the D4 comes with a rather step price tag of around $6000 and that's for only the body.

Nikon D4 is a powerful camera that also shoots incredibly fast. It produces clearly visible images in low light conditions. It auto focuses quicker than the Cannon 5D Mark III in most conditions. It further boasts an excellent dynamic range.

Nikon's lenses for the D4 produce sharper images when they are at their full focal range but its sensor makes up for any distortions.

One of the most impressive features of the D4 is its ability to take remarkable crisp pictures in less than ideal conditions.

Both the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D4 are meant for serious professional who need to push the limits of their gear constantly. Both feature lens that can be interchangeable from S.L.R to D.S.L.R. Both are tough cameras which will stand up to years of use. The main difference is the price differential. Nikon D4 is about $2000 more than the Canon 5D Mark III.

From a purely personal perspective, I have found it much easier to locate used Canon lenses and parts than Nikon and their prices are always substantially less than their Nikon counterparts.

Bottom line everything depends on your style of shooting and budget with the Nikon being a tougher workhorse capable of more diversity in its uses than the Canon 5D Mark III. But any seasoned professional photographer can achieve the exact same results, maybe better, with most any camera and the Canon 5D Mark III performs quite well under duress for a much less intrusive price.

Also worth taking note is that many professionals will never change from Canon to Nikon and vice verse. After years of shooting with one brand or the other, ease of use and a thorough knowledge of each brands workings makes these pros stick with their chosen brand for life.

As for me, I have been shooting with Canon for well over 30 years, first with a Canon AE 1, then Canon EOS and now with a Canon 5D Mark III, and I don't see myself shooting with anything else for the time being.

However, research and make your decision based primarily on your shooting style and the use that you plan to give your camera, then ask others who use each brand and gauge their loyalty, then make your purchase. Do not buy on your first instinct and always ask the salesperson about their return policies. It is better to buy from a dedicated photography store than from a large retail outlet.

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Canon vs Nikon

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© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez

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