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Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs Nikon D5 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera image

Nikon D5

Nikon D5
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Nikon D5
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
January 06, 2016
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D5 outperforms the Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a score of 74 to 56. Both cameras are DSLRs, with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II released in 2008 and the Nikon D5 in 2016. The Nikon D5 has a higher launch price of $6500 compared to the Canon’s $2199. In terms of size, the Canon is smaller and lighter, measuring 152 x 114 x 75mm and weighing 850g, while the Nikon measures 160 x 159 x 92mm and weighs 1415g.

The Nikon D5’s higher score shows its superior performance in various aspects, making it a better camera overall. However, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II has its advantages, such as a more compact design and lower price. When choosing between these two cameras, it is essential to consider the individual’s priorities and budget, as both cameras offer different strengths and weaknesses.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs Nikon D5 Overview and Optics

The Nikon D5 emerges as the winner in the optics comparison with a score of 72/100, while the Canon EOS 5D Mark II scores 59/100. Both cameras share some specifications, such as the CMOS sensor type, full-frame sensor size, and the absence of image stabilization. They also have different lens mounts, with the Canon featuring the EF mount and the Nikon using the F FX mount.

The Nikon D5 outperforms the Canon 5D Mark II in several aspects. Firstly, the D5 has a superior processor, the Expeed 5, compared to the Canon’s Digic 4. This results in faster processing and better image quality. Moreover, the Nikon D5 boasts a higher DXOMARK score of 88, indicating a better overall sensor performance. The D5 also has a significantly faster shooting speed of 12 frames per second, compared to the Canon’s 3.9, making it more suitable for capturing fast-moving subjects.

On the other hand, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II has a slightly higher megapixel count of 21, compared to the Nikon’s 20.8. This difference, however, is minimal and might not have a significant impact on the image quality.

Taking these factors into account, it is evident that the Nikon D5 offers better optics performance than the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, primarily due to its superior processor, higher sensor score, and faster shooting speed. While the Canon 5D Mark II has a marginally higher megapixel count, it is not enough to outweigh the advantages of the Nikon D5.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
21 MP
20.8 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
5588 x 3712 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
23.9 x 35.9 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
12 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
Nikon F FX
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Digic 4
Expeed 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 Nikon D5 Video Performance

The Nikon D5 emerges as the winner in the video capabilities comparison with a score of 70/100, while the Canon EOS 5D Mark II trails behind with a score of 43/100. Both cameras share some common video specifications. They have the same maximum video frame rate of 30fps, which ensures smooth video recording in both models.

However, the Nikon D5 has a clear advantage in terms of video quality, as it offers a maximum video resolution of 4K (3840 x 2160). This higher resolution provides sharper and more detailed videos compared to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which only supports Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. The Nikon D5 also features built-in time-lapse functionality, allowing users to create stunning time-lapse videos without the need for additional software or equipment.

While the Canon EOS 5D Mark II does not surpass the Nikon D5 in video capabilities, it still provides decent quality Full HD videos, suitable for casual users or those who do not require the higher resolution offered by the Nikon D5.

Taking all factors into consideration, the Nikon D5 stands out as the superior choice for video capabilities due to its 4K resolution and built-in time-lapse functionality. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II, although not as advanced in this aspect, remains a viable option for those who prioritize other features and are satisfied with Full HD video quality.

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
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
3840 x 2160 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
30 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 Nikon D5 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D5 outperforms the Canon EOS 5D Mark II in features, scoring 74 out of 100 points, while the Canon scores 54 points. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a 3-inch screen size for the Canon and a 3.2-inch screen size for the Nikon, no flip screen, no GPS, WIFI connectivity, and no Bluetooth.

The Nikon D5 surpasses the Canon EOS 5D Mark II in several aspects. The Nikon D5’s screen resolution is significantly higher, with 2,359,000 dots, compared to the Canon’s 920,000 dots. This higher resolution provides a sharper and clearer image when reviewing photos or navigating the menus. Additionally, the Nikon D5 features a touchscreen, making it easier and more intuitive to use.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II, despite having a lower feature score, does have one advantage: it is lighter than the Nikon D5. This makes it more convenient for photographers who need to carry their camera for extended periods.

Considering the differences in features, the Nikon D5 is the superior choice due to its higher screen resolution and touchscreen capabilities. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II may be more suitable for photographers who prioritize a lighter camera. However, the Nikon D5’s advantages make it a better option for those who value advanced features and usability.

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
2,359,000 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 Nikon D5 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D5 outperforms the Canon EOS 5D Mark II in storage and battery with a score of 87/100, while the Canon scores 37/100. Both cameras share the absence of USB charging and accept Compact Flash memory cards.

The Nikon D5 excels with two memory card slots, allowing for more storage and flexibility. It also supports XQD cards, providing faster write speeds. The D5’s battery life is remarkable, offering 3780 shots per charge with its EN-EL18a battery.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II, on the other hand, has only one memory card slot and accepts fewer card types, such as UDMA and Microdrive. Its battery life is significantly shorter, with 850 shots per charge using the LP-E6 battery.

Taking these factors into account, the Nikon D5 is the clear winner in storage and battery performance, providing greater storage options and an impressive battery life. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II falls behind in this comparison, offering fewer advantages in storage and battery capabilities.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Microdrive
Compact Flash, XQD
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
3,780 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
25.1 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
12.3 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'

Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs Nikon D5 – Our Verdict

Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs Nikon D5 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 Nikon D5:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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