Canon 5D Mark iii or Nikon D750?


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Aug 13, 2015
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Hello! A bit about me: I am a hobbyist photographer currently using a hybrid/bridge camera (Panasonic Lumix FZ60). I am starting to outgrow its capabilities and am looking to upgrade to a DSLR. Note that video is not important to me.

I also would like to put my upgrade to good use and start doing it professionally (portraits, weddings, etc). After a fair bit of research (DSLR's are new to me), I decided a full frame would probably be best, as I read they take clearer images.

I am torn between Canon's 5D Mark iii and Nikon's D750. I have nothing invested in either brand, so this decision also is between Canon and Nikon.

The built-in flash on the Nikon D750 is pulling me in that direction, as I don't have a separate flash yet, and would prefer not to have to carry one around everywhere. Also, I read that it is supposed to have less noise at higher ISO? But it seems like a lot of people are in love with the Mark iii, and the color of Canon cameras. It seems that the auto focus on the Canon might be superior, as well. I am not sure what to do.

I also wonder if I am being silly spending this much on a DSLR when I haven't owned one previously? But I don't want to have to buy a cheaper one only to upgrade later. Your thoughts are so appreciated as I make this big decision!
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Well if you plan to shoot professionally I wouldn't consider using the built in pop-up flash, you'll want a good external flash at a minimum,and probably at some point other lighting as well.

But being a Nikon guy I'd go with the D750 myself for other reasons. The Nikon's have a better dynamic range than there Canon counterparts, and the 750's tilt screen can come in real handy for lining up difficult shots.

But really there isn't a huge major monster difference between the two, they are both very capable cameras and very good systems. Image quality is going to be determined a lot more by your skills as a photographer than it is by whether or not you get a Nikon or a Canon.
Thank you! If/when I started taking photos professionally, I would for sure invest in an external flash. I meant more for every-day/travel use, it would be nice to carry minimal gear.
I have the 6D (which I'm selling) and upgraded to the 5D Mark III. The focusing system on the 5D III is amazing. The other difference that I know of is that the 5D has two memory slots (CF/SD).

As far as flash goes, the low-light capability of both and high ISO can really make a flash superfluous at times.
I am sure you are right. With my current (lower-quality) camera however, I found I have been using it as a fill more often. I assume you would still need a fill in situations where you have a brighter background or face in shadow.
IMHO, the D750 is a lot more forgiving in difficult lighting conditions due to much better dynamic range. The high ISO noise is slightly better than the 5DM3. Autofocus at night is also better. It's a few hundred dollars cheaper.

The 5DM3 can do 1/8000 shutter speed, full metal body, and more focus points.

I shoot the 5Dm3 once in a while but can't never get use to the control layout, so I personally prefer the D750 because I'm more familiar with the buttons and menu layout. At 12800 ISO, the noise is clean with no banding on the D750. That's something that Canon hasn't fixed when you have to push the shadows. Also, dual slots on the 5DM3 is limited to the slower speed if you use both CF and SD because of the older design. However, either camera will serve you well.
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The Nikon D750 is almost three years newer than the 5D-III, and is similarly featured, but has a better sensor than any Canon has yet been able to invent. I honestly think the Nikon D750 was designed to be a "5D-III killer", meaning a camera designed to do the same things a 5D-III can do, plus MORE, like built-in flash, built-in multi-speedlight controller system; and in general, the same basic thing: a moderate-weight, half-height body with an available dual-battery grip option, a pro-level AF system, and the right pixel count for high resolution PLUS file size economy. Wedding and people shooters do not really "need" 36MP or 50MP file size...that just means more memory cards filled up, drives filled faster, slower downloads, and more archiving and more editing hassles. 22 to 24 million pixels on full-frame is a very,very sweet spot in the sensors made by Sony and used in the Nikon FX d-slrs.

The Nikon is priced pretty fairly. AGain, I think Nikon designed the D750 to compete head to head with the 5D-III at this current stage of the market's evolution, with the D750 coming in about a thousand dollars lower than the Canon offering.

Is this too much to spend, $1996 for a D750? I dunno. Maybe. Maybe not. It should last you for a decade if all you do is use it as a regular-user's camera. If you are unsure about dropping 2k, then DON'T, get something wayyyyy less expensive. Buy something used maybe, from a camera store, a real camera store, see what you thnk.
As Derrell said the D750 is much newer then the 5D III and that shows in all the reviews that I read or saw which favored the D750 over the 5D III
Better low light performance
Much better dynamic range
Slightly better AF system (that's debatable as I saw conflicting reviews but overall they are very close)
Flip screen which you might find helpful or not but in any case its a bonus.
Popup flash is not design for pro work but its nice to have and when outside and need a fill in flash it is very helpful

Overall both excellent cameras but the 5D III is older and it shows.
I am bias toward Nikon, I own the D750 and love it, never disappointed me and feels like an overall excellent camera.
Thank you all for your replies! I guess now I just have to decide if I like the color/tint of Canon or Nikon better.
I think i'm going to go with the D750, because of it's superior dynamic range. I can't decide whether I like the color or Nikon or Canon better, so I think i'm just going to go for it.
I suggest you initially buy it as a kit. The 24-120f4 that can be bought with it is imo excellent, but a cheaper option that many like is the 24-85mm vr
Which lens for the D750 ?
Depends of your pocket, good fast lenses is always the best choice, I got with my D750 the Nikon 24-70mm 2.8G but you can also get the Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 VC
Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-f4.5 VR is a good lens and is very reasonably priced and its relatively small so its another option
So I just happened upon some more info in my research... Perhaps you could clarify for me, as i'm new to RAW. It appears the Nikon D750 shoots in compressed RAW. Wouldn't that give the Canon D M3 an advantage?

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