Nikon D700 vs Canon 5D ii

5D ii

This is not going to be the definitive be all end all this is what I should choose even if I don’t have the money to buy either article, but I have learned enough about these cameras from using them to give an opinion.  First off, I went 5D ii for the video alone.  To me, having a baby meant that I needed video to capture some of those moments that you never get back once they’ve grown just a month older. When I bought my first DSLR, I went with Canon; so coming back really wasn’t a big deal for me.  Here are a few of the pros and cons of both cameras that I have come across:

Canon 5D ii


1.  High quality video even in low light (even 640×480 looks great)

2.   Since Canon cameras have a shorter flange to sensor distance, there are many many options when it comes to using older manual focus lenses.

3.  Canon color ( no matter the lens, straight out of the camera Canon looks great to me)

4.  The availability and cost of professional lenses (weather sealing just a bonus)

5.  Worked as a usb drive as soon as I plugged it in


1.  Focus points and ease of use in selecting a new focus point.  If you’re an AF-on focusing button person who focuses then composes then it’s not a big deal.

2.  Viewfinder, it could just be me, but it seems harder to pay attention to the corners of the frame without having your eye jammed into the back of the camera.

3.  Button layout isn’t as user friendly as the D700.  With the 5D, when you adjust ISO you have to really pay attention to the light meter before you press the shutter and know how many more stops of light you need before you hit the ISO button because the viewfinder won’t show you the changes live like the D700.  The location of the on / off switch is a pain too.

4.  Focus point confirmation is just a beep and you need a chip to get that confirmation beep from mf lenses

Nikon D700


1.   AF points and ease of selection.  Also how the focus point you’re using stays lit up at all times

2.   Button layout with almost everything easily changeable without taking your eye from the viewfinder.  Also the feel of the camera in hand is great

3.  When adjusting ISO, it displays the changes in metering live,  just one less thing to think about

4.  Wireless TTL and a cheap SB-600 go a long way

5.  Focusing with a manual focus lens is so easy it should be illegal.  It tells you which direction you are off by in the viewfinder


1.  I could never get the color rendered so that it would display correctly in PS if I just save the image instead of using “Save for web”.  Also, windows preview never displayed the colors just right either.  It was always off.  If I used save for web, never had a problem, but the exif is stripped from the image.  There may have been some way to fix this, but I never managed figured it out.

2.  Viewfinder…You’d think it would be in the pro since It seems easier to look through than the 5d, but it’s got 3% less coverage.  On top of that, the D300 has a 100% viewfinder that’s top notch; why couldn’t they carry that over?  I know Nikon has it’s reasons (price or pop-up flash), but- oh well

3.  Never worked as a usb drive on PC when the D300 did. another go-figure moment

4.  No IR remote.  I know it’s a cheap fix, but come on!

5.  Not as many pro lens choices as Canon.  We could argue about it, but it’s a fact



The real tests are how does the camera feel in your hands, how easy do you find it to use, and what are you going to be shooting?  Does either company offer a specific advantage in pricing or options? (like remote shooting software being included with Canon’s DSLR’s)  Are there certain types of lenses that one company offers that you want to use that aren’t available anywhere else?  The best thing to do is try one for yourself before you buy.  Finding that your hand cramps because the grip is too big or not being able to see through the viewfinder with your glasses on is a real crapper after you’ve already bought the camera.