In this article I’ll compare the Nikon D750 versus D810, Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EOS 6D. All four are Full-frame digital reflex cameras. It’s hard to decide which camera to buy, especially if this is your first FF camera and even more if this is your first DSLR camera. If you currently own either Canon or Nikon compatible lenses, you probably going to buy the camera which is compatible with your current lenses. That said, it’s always interesting to see how those three cameras differ. So without further ado, let’s learn about the key differences between those three cameras.
Upgrading From APS-C to Full-Frame
Upgrading from APS-C camera to a FF is a major decision. Some people already know that they must upgrade to adapt to their professional needs, others might prefer upgrading for its advantages. Among those advantage are: better high-ISO performance, better sharpness and more detailed image, take advantage of the actual focal-length of the lens and enjoy a wide range of ultra-wide angle lenses, improved color accuracy, higher dynamic range, shallower depth of field, higher resolution without a strong negative effect on image quality (can also do larger printing with better quality), etc.
Whatever are your reasons, full frame cameras can certainly help you become more creative if they fit your shooting style. Of course full-frame cameras are more expensive than APS-C based cameras. This is one reason why not everyone buy those cameras. We’ve seen quite a large drop in price in the past couple of years, but still full frame cameras are significantly more expensive than most of the cropped ones.
- Canon EOS 6D (body) – ~$1400
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III (body) – ~$2500
- Nikon D750 (body) – ~$2000
- Nikon D810 (body) – ~3000
- Nikon D7000 (body) -~$550
- Nikon D7100 (body) – ~$1000
- Nikon D7200 (body) – ~$1200
- Nikon D610 (body) – ~$1500
- Canon EOS 70D – ~$1000
*estimated prices based on amazon.com. Visit amazon.com for updated price listing.
As you can see from the above price list, the Canon 6D is the cheapest FF camera in our comparison, but still more expensive than APS-C cameras. Both Nikon and Canon have introduced an entry-level FF cameras (Canon 6D and Nikon D610), which should offer a cheaper entry price for those who want to dive into the world of full frame photography.
In this comparison article we’ll focus on two cameras from each company: The Nikon D750 and D810 and from Canon, the 5D Mark III and the 6D. I’ve added the 6D into the mix in order for you to see how a cheaper FF camera can compete against the more expensive models.
D750 vs D810 vs 5D Mark III vs 6D
In this section I’ll compare the key specs of all four cameras side by side and add my side notes. Here you can get a clear view of the key differences between those four cameras, so let’s get started.
|Nikon D750||Nikon D810||Canon|
5D Mark III
|Announced||September 12, 2014||June 26, 2014||March 2, 2012||September 17, 2012|
|Build Quality||Magnesium alloy, Kevlar/carbon fiber–composite||Magnesium alloy||Magnesium alloy||Magnesium alloy, polycarbonate top plate|
|Weather Sealed||Yes ("extensive weather and dust sealing" - nikon.ie)||Yes ("moisture and dust resistant.")||Yes ("equal to EOS-1N")|
Not recommended to use in the rain
|Yes ("equal to EOS-1N", " is equivalent to the protection on the EOS 5D Mark III." - source|
|Shutter Life||150,000 cycles||200,000 cycles, self-diagnostic shutter||150,000 cycles||100,000 cycles|
|The Nikon D810 has the highest shutter durability and 6D as the least.
In terms of build quality, the 6D is less durable due to its polycarbonate top. All the other cameras offer very high durability, but although all are weather-sealed, it isn't recommended to use them in the rain. For this you'll probably need a rain cover for your camera.
I know that some people show YouTube videos of the camera being used in the rain, and although it should survive a few drops and even a splash (just don't try it at home), I've linked to a few official resources that states that it's not recommended to use the camera in the rain.
If you have any information that shows that any of those cameras can be used in the rain, please drop me a line with a link in the comment section below). From what I've read, any of these cameras shouldn't be used in the rain.
Also remember that if you intend to use any of those cameras in a highly moist or dusty environment, you should also consider using a weather-sealed lens and battery grip as well, or any other accessories that you bring with you which might not be weather-sealed.
Both the 6D and 5D Mark III have the same weather-sealing protection.
Full Frame (35.9x24.0mm) FX
Full Frame (35.9x24.0mm) FX
Full Frame (36x24mm)
Full Frame (36x24mm)
|Low-Pass Filter||No OLPF|
(optical low pass filter)
|No OLPF||Built-in/Fixed with fluorine coating||Built-in/Fixed with fluorine coating|
|Cleaning System||- Image sensor cleaning|
- Image Dust Off reference data
|- Image sensor cleaning|
- Image Dust Off refe
|EOS integrated cleaning system||EOS integrated cleaning system|
|Pixel Size||approx. 5.97 µm||approx. 4.87 µm||approx. 6.25µm||approx. 6.55 µm|
|Both the D750 and D810 lack the optical low pass filter, whether both the 6D and 5DMKIII have them.
This helps boost sharpness a bit at the cost of moire. That said, a high resolution sensor has less need for the OLPF.
All cameras have full frame sensor, with the D810 having the smallest pixels due to its highest resolution, whether the 6D has the biggest pixels because of its relatively lower resolution.
|Processpr||Expeed 4||Expeed 4||Digic 5+||Digic 5+|
|ISO||100 - 12800|
Boost: 50 - 51200
|64 - 12800||100 - 25600|
Boost - 50 - 51200/102400
|100 - 25600
Boost: 50 - 51200/102400
|The 6D and 5D Mark III offer a higher native and boosted ISO range than the Nikon's.|
|AF System||Multi-CAM 3500 II|
51 AF points (15 cross-type)
–3 – +19 EV
51 AF points (15 cross-type)
–2 – +19 EV
|61 AF points (up to 41 cross type)|
5 dual cross-type at f/2.8
–2 – +18 EV
|11 AF points (center cross-type)
- extra sensitivity at f/2.8
–3 – +18 EV
|The D750 51 AF points are narrower compared to the D810 due to the D750 being considerably smaller than the D810. This means that in the D810 the AF points have a slightly better spread, which should lead to slightly better tracking performance.
The D750 has a one stop better detection range in low-light as well compared to the D810.
The 5D Mark III has the most sophisticated AF system among the four cameras with a total of 61 AF points which up to 41 are cross-type (depends on the lens), and 5 dual cross-type at f/2.8 - this is a subject-tracking beast.
The 6D has the least impressive AF system among the three. If subject-tracking is crucial for your type of shooting style, you should probably be looking at the other cameras.
|The D810 is the only camera among the four to offer a tilting LCD display. The 6D has the least impressive display: smaller, fixed and with lower resolution compared to the Nikon's offering.|
|The Tunnel viewfinder of the D810 provided brighter and crisper view compared to the D800.
All four cameras will provide you with a large view of the scene (compared to cropped-sensor cameras). The 6D has the least impressive specs with less coverage. Many photographers prefer having 100% coverage in order to be able to make sure that what the viewfinder sees is what is captured in the final image output, not less.
|Shutter Speed||30 - 1/4000 sec||30 - 1/8000 sec||30 - 1/8000 sec||30 - 1/4000 sec|
|Both the D810 and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III offer the fastest maximum shutter speed, which is essential to anyone shooting fast-moving subjects or anyone who wants to gain more control over the exposure be being able to minimize the exposure using a faster shutter speed.|
|Both Canons don't have a built-in flash. This feature is probably less important for experienced and professional photographers who will most probably prefer using an external flash for best results.|
|Flash X Sync Speed||1/200 sec||1/250 sec||1/200 sec||1/180 sec|
|Burst||6.5 fps||5.0 fps||5.0 fps||4.5 fps|
|Exposure Compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)||±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)||±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)||±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||(2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)||±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)||±3 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)||±3 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|WB Bracketing||2-9 exposures in 1, 2, or 3EV increments||2-9 exposures in 1-3 increments||3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis||3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis|
- Stereo mic
- Stereo mic
|1080p30/24 (Intra or inter frame)|
720p60 (Intra or inter frame)
480p (inter frame)
- Stereo mic
|1080p30/24 (Intra or Inter frame)
720p60 (Intra or Inter frame)
480p (Inter frame)
- Stereo mic
|In terms of video functionality, the 5D Mark III and 6D offers the ability to choose between different compression options, whether the two Nikon's do not. That said, both the D810 and D750 can shoot at 1080p60 progressive frames, which allow better results when applying slow-motion in post-production.
All the cameras offer a 3.5mm mic input so you can connect and external stereo microphone of your choice. Only the 6D lacks the headphone jack, the other cameras have this, which allows you to monitor the audio sound while recording videos.
The 6D also lacks clean HDMI output.
|Battery Life||1230 shots||1200 shots||950 shots||1090 shots|
|Both Nikons have longer battery life than the Canons.|
|Dimensions||141 x 113 x 78 mm (5.55 x 4.45 x 3.07″)||146 x 123 x 82 mm (5.75 x 4.84 x 3.23″)||152 x 116 x 76 mm (5.98 x 4.57 x 2.99″)||145 x 111 x 71 mm (5.71 x 4.37 x 2.8″)|
|Weight||750 g (1.65 lb / 26.46 oz)||980 g (2.16 lb / 34.57 oz)||950 g (2.09 lb / 33.51 oz)||770 g (1.70 lb / 27.16 oz)|
|GPS||Optional (GP-1)||Optional (GP-1)||Optional (GP-E2)||Built-in|
|The 6D is the only camera among the four to have a built-in GPS, which allows you to tag your images with location data.|
By going over the key specs of each camera, you can see that all the four cameras are very capable cameras. The were designed from the ground up to appeal to those photographers who demand more from their cameras. These are professional tools that are suppose to match the creative mind of the photographer, while posing as less limitations as possible.
That being said, there are some significant differences between those four cameras. If you search for a camera with the most robust AF performance, you’ll probably should be looking at the 5D Mark III, D810 or D750. If you want a very high-resolution output, nothing beats the D810 36.3MP effective resolution. If video shooting is your cup of tea, you should probably be interested checking the 5D Mark III with the ability to choose between two video compression formats, while it also has both mic and headphone inputs.
It’s all a matter of which camera best answer your specific needs as a photographer. I personally prefer the Nikon D750 for its 1080p60 video recording, excellent subject-tracking performance, AF low-light performance, tilting LCD and relatively low price.
If I owned either Canon or Nikon lenses, I’m not sure that I would hurry to switch. So before making up your mind, make sure you fully understand the differences between those four cameras. Hopefully this comparison gave you a good understanding of the key differences between those four cameras, so it will be easier for you to continue your research on those cameras later on.
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