Nikon D700 vs Canon 5D Mark II
The Nikon D700 and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2008 and September 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 12.1 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 21 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Nikon D700||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|12.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor||21 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 200-6400 (100-25600)||ISO 100-6400 (50-25600)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 922k dots||3.0" LCD, 920k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|8 shutter flaps per second||3.9 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|1000 shots per battery charge||850 shots per battery charge|
|147 x 123 x 77 mm, 1074 g||152 x 114 x 75 mm, 850 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D700 vs Canon 5D Mark II
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D700 and the Canon 5D Mark II is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the D700 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 5D Mark II is somewhat smaller (4 percent) than the Nikon D700. Moreover, the 5D Mark II is markedly lighter (21 percent) than the D700. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Yet, since both cameras are based around a full frame sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D700) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (5D Mark II).
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Nikon D700»||147 mm||123 mm||77 mm||1074 g||1000||Y||Jul 2008||2,999||-||Nikon D700|
|Canon 5D Mark II«||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||151 mm||116 mm||76 mm||890 g||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||950 g||950||Y||Mar 2012||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 5D« »||152 mm||113 mm||75 mm||895 g||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299||-||Canon 5D|
|Nikon D850« »||146 mm||124 mm||79 mm||1005 g||1840||Y||Jul 2017||3,299||Nikon D850|
|Nikon D810« »||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299||-||Nikon D810|
|Nikon Df« »||144 mm||110 mm||67 mm||760 g||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D800« »||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||1000 g||900||Y||Feb 2012||2,999||-||Nikon D800|
|Nikon D800E« »||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||1000 g||900||Y||Feb 2012||3,299||-||Nikon D800E|
|Nikon D3S« »||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1240 g||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199||-||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D300S« »||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||938 g||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D3X« »||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1260 g||4400||Y||Dec 2008||7,999||-||Nikon D3X|
|Nikon D3« »||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1300 g||4300||Y||Aug 2007||4,999||-||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D300« »||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799||-||Nikon D300|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The D700 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the 5D Mark II, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
Sensor comparison: Nikon D700 vs Canon 5D Mark II
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.5 (D700) and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 21MP, the 5D Mark II offers a higher resolution than the D700 (12.1MP), but the 5D Mark II has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.41μm versus 8.43μm for the D700). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.
The Nikon D700 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-25600..
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon D700»||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||-||23.5||12.2||2303||80||Nikon D700|
|Canon 5D Mark II«||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.7||12.4||2381||87||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.6||12.4||2308||86||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 5D« »||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||-||22.9||11.1||1368||71||Canon 5D|
|Nikon D850« »||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.4||14.8||2660||100||Nikon D850|
|Nikon D810« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97||Nikon D810|
|Nikon Df« »||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||-||24.6||13.1||3279||89||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D800« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/30p||25.3||14.4||2853||95||Nikon D800|
|Nikon D800E« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/30p||25.6||14.3||2979||96||Nikon D800E|
|Nikon D3S« »||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D300S« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.5||12.2||787||70||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D3X« »||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||-||24.7||13.7||1992||88||Nikon D3X|
|Nikon D3« »||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||-||23.5||12.2||2290||81||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D300« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.1||12.0||679||67||Nikon D300|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 5D Mark II indeed provides for movie recording, while the D700 does not. The highest resolution format that the 5D Mark II can use is 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Nikon D700 vs Canon 5D Mark II
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D700 and the 5D Mark II are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D700, the Canon 5D Mark II, and comparable cameras.
|Nikon D700»||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||8000||8.0||Y||n||Nikon D700|
|Canon 5D Mark II«||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||3.9||n||n||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||7.0||n||n||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||6.0||n||n||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 5D« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||3.0||n||n||Canon 5D|
|Nikon D850« »||optical||Y||3.2||2359||tilting||Y||8000||9.0||n||n||Nikon D850|
|Nikon D810« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D810|
|Nikon Df« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||4000||5.5||n||n||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D800« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||8000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D800|
|Nikon D800E« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||8000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D800E|
|Nikon D3S« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||8000||11.0||n||n||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D300S« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||7.0||Y||n||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D3X« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Nikon D3X|
|Nikon D3« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||8000||11.0||n||n||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D300« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D300|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D700 has one, while the 5D Mark II does not. While the built-in flash of the D700 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D700 and the 5D Mark II write their files to Compact Flash cards.
Connectivity comparison: Nikon D700 vs Canon 5D Mark II
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D700 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D700»||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D700|
|Canon 5D Mark II«||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 5D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D|
|Nikon D850« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D850|
|Nikon D810« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D810|
|Nikon Df« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D800« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Nikon D800|
|Nikon D800E« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Nikon D800E|
|Nikon D3S« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D300S« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D3X« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3X|
|Nikon D3« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D300« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D300|
Both the D700 and the 5D Mark II have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D700 was replaced by the Nikon D800, while the 5D Mark II was followed by the Canon 5D Mark III.
Review summary: Nikon D700 vs Canon 5D Mark II
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D700 or the Canon 5D Mark II – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D700:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 3.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1000 versus 850) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 5D Mark II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (21 vs 12.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 32%.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 224g or 21 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D700 emerges as the winner of the contest (5 : 3 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D700 or the 5D Mark II handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
Expert reviews: Nikon D700 vs Canon 5D Mark II
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Nikon D700»||89/100||HiRec||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2008||2,999||-||Nikon D700|
|Canon 5D Mark II«||91/100||79/100||4/5||5/5||-||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Rec||83/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2012||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 5D« »||88/100||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Aug 2005||3,299||-||Canon 5D|
|Nikon D850« »||HiRec||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jul 2017||3,299||Nikon D850|
|Nikon D810« »||-||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299||-||Nikon D810|
|Nikon Df« »||-||81/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D800« »||HiRec||82/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||2,999||-||Nikon D800|
|Nikon D800E« »||-||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||3,299||-||Nikon D800E|
|Nikon D3S« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199||-||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D300S« »||HiRec||82/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D3X« »||-||86/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Dec 2008||7,999||-||Nikon D3X|
|Nikon D3« »||-||HiRec||5/5||rev||4.5/5||Aug 2007||4,999||-||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D300« »||HiRec||HiRec||5/5||rev||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799||-||Nikon D300|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Nikon D700 vs Canon 5D Mark II
|Camera Model||Nikon D700||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2008||September 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 2999||USD 3499|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 23.9 mm||36.0 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||860.4 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.2 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.1 Megapixels||21 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4256 x 2832 pixels||5616 x 3744 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||8.43 μm||6.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.40 MP/cm2||2.43 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-6400 ISO||100-6400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO||50-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED||DIGIC 4|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||8 shutter flaps/s||3.9 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||EN-EL3e power pack||LP-E6 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1000 shots per charge||850 shots per charge|
147 x 123 x 77 mm
(5.8 x 4.8 x 3.0 in)
152 x 114 x 75 mm
(6.0 x 4.5 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||1074 g (37.9 oz)||850 g (30.0 oz)|
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