Nikon D800 vs. Canon 5D Mark III: Which Shoots Better Video?

By Michael Hession on at

Canon and Nikon both have brand new professional DLSR cameras fighting for the wallets of photographers and videographers the world over. We recently reviewed the Canon 5D Mark III, and are whipping up a review of the Nikon D800. In the meantime, we put together a comparison of the video capabilities of these two foes.

 

Low Light

The Canon 5D Mark III wins hands down in this category. Less noise, more even colours. No contest.

 

Detail / Sharpness

In full screen video, the Nikon D800 clearly has better overall sharpness and details.

 

Moire

Moire — the dreaded distortion that occurs when shooting detailed pattern — was vastly improved in the 5D Mark III, while the D800 really fails on this one. The moire visible in the brickwork in the D800's image is very noticeable.

 

What Does This Mean?

Clearly both have their strengths and weaknesses. Personal preference is going to play a huge part in your own conclusion, and our results pretty much confirm what we expected going in. If you shoot mostly in under-lit environments and distribute via the web, maybe the 5D Mark III is for you. If you shoot in studio conditions and are looking to display your movie on the big screen, maybe the D800's superior detail is more important.

The fact is, both cameras produce terrific results, and in the right hands, can produce video worthy of the highest praise.