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Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs EOS 5D Mark III Comparison

Storage & Battery

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera image

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
EOS 5D Mark II
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
September 17, 2008
March 02, 2012
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III comes out on top with a score of 65/100, while the Canon EOS 5D Mark II trails behind with a score of 58/100. Both cameras are DSLR models, announced in 2012 and 2008 respectively. They share similar dimensions, with the Mark III being slightly heavier at 950g compared to the 850g Mark II.

The Mark III’s higher score reflects its superior performance and features compared to the Mark II. Launched at a higher price of $3499, the Mark III offers improved specifications and capabilities, justifying the extra cost.

However, the Mark II still holds its own with a lower launch price of $2199, making it a more budget-friendly option for those not requiring the advanced features of the Mark III.

Ultimately, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III outshines the Mark II in terms of performance and features, making it the better camera of the two. Nevertheless, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II remains a viable option for those seeking a more affordable DSLR camera.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs EOS 5D Mark III Overview and Optics

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III emerges as the winner in the optics comparison with a score of 67/100, while the Canon EOS 5D Mark II scores 59/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including a CMOS sensor, Full Frame sensor size, Canon EF lens mount, and lack of image stabilization.

The 5D Mark III holds an advantage in several aspects. It possesses a higher megapixel count of 22.3 compared to the 5D Mark II’s 21 megapixels, which results in slightly better image resolution. The Mark III also boasts a faster shooting speed of 6 frames per second (fps) compared to the 3.9 fps of the Mark II, providing an improved ability to capture fast-moving subjects. Additionally, the Mark III features a more advanced Digic 5+ processor, which contributes to better overall image quality and processing speed. The DXOMARK score for the sensor is also higher in the Mark III at 81, as opposed to the Mark II’s score of 79, indicating a better sensor performance.

On the other hand, the 5D Mark II does not necessarily outperform the Mark III in any specific optical aspect. However, considering its lower score and older release date, it may be available at a more affordable price point, making it a viable option for budget-conscious photographers.

Taking these factors into account, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III proves to be a superior camera in terms of optics performance, with improvements in megapixels, shooting speed, processor, and sensor quality. While the 5D Mark II may offer a more budget-friendly alternative, those seeking enhanced optical capabilities should opt for the 5D Mark III.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
21 MP
22.3 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
5616 x 3744 px
5760 x 3840 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
24 x 36 mm
24 x 36 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
3.9 fps
6 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Canon EF
Canon EF
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Digic 4
Digic 5+
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentaprism)
Optical (pentaprism)

Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs EOS 5D Mark III Video Performance

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III outperforms the Canon EOS 5D Mark II in video capabilities, scoring 56/100 compared to the Mark II’s 43/100. Both cameras share some video specifications, including Full HD max video resolution and 1920 x 1080 max video dimensions. Neither camera has built-in time-lapse functionality.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III’s higher score is due to its superior max video frame rate of 60fps, compared to the Mark II’s 30fps. This allows the Mark III to capture smoother and more detailed video, especially in fast-moving scenes or when recording action. The doubled frame rate provides greater flexibility in post-production, enabling better slow-motion effects and more precise editing.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II does not offer any significant advantages over the Mark III in terms of video capabilities. Its lower frame rate of 30fps is a clear disadvantage when capturing fast-paced action, and it lacks any features that would make it preferable for video recording.

To conclude, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is the superior choice for video recording due to its higher frame rate of 60fps, which allows for smoother video and greater editing possibilities. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II does not offer any advantages in this area, making it a less suitable choice for those prioritizing video capabilities.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Full HD
Full HD
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
1920 x 1080 px
1920 x 1080 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
30 p
60 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs EOS 5D Mark III Features and Benefits

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III emerges as the winner in the feature comparison, with a score of 59/100, while the Canon EOS 5D Mark II scores 54/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as the absence of a touchscreen, flip screen, GPS, and Bluetooth.

The 5D Mark III has a larger screen size of 3.2 inches compared to the 5D Mark II’s 3 inches. This provides a better, larger view for composing and reviewing images. Additionally, the 5D Mark III boasts a higher screen resolution of 1,040,000 dots, which results in a sharper and clearer display than the 5D Mark II’s 920,000 dots.

However, the 5D Mark II has a notable advantage in one aspect: it features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, which the 5D Mark III lacks. This allows for easy sharing of images and remote camera control through compatible devices.

To summarize, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III outperforms the 5D Mark II in terms of screen size and resolution, making it the better choice for photographers who prioritize image composition and review. On the other hand, the 5D Mark II’s Wi-Fi connectivity offers a valuable feature for those who value easy image sharing and remote control capabilities.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
920,000 dots
1,040,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs EOS 5D Mark III Storage and Battery

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III wins in storage and battery with a score of 76/100, compared to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II’s score of 71/100. Both cameras have two memory card slots and use the same LP-E6 battery type. Neither camera offers USB charging capabilities.

The 5D Mark III outperforms the 5D Mark II by accepting more memory card types, including SD, SDHC, and SDXC, in addition to Compact Flash and UDMA. This flexibility allows for a wider range of storage options for photographers. Furthermore, the 5D Mark III has a longer battery life, providing 950 shots, whereas the 5D Mark II lasts for 850 shots.

The 5D Mark II does not have any advantages over the 5D Mark III in terms of storage and battery. Thus, the 5D Mark III is the superior choice for photographers seeking better storage options and battery life.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Microdrive
SD / SDHC / SDXC, Compact Flash, UDMA
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
850 shots
950 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
23.7 bits
24 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
11.9 EVs
11.7 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Alternatives to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs EOS 5D Mark III Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Canon EOS 5D Mark II or the Canon EOS 5D Mark III:

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B&H photo video
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