Camera Showdown: Compare Cameras Based on Real Life Performance


Snapsort has been helping folks pick out the right camera for a while now, but the team behind the useful camera comparison site wanted to do something different. And so, they’ve launched Camera Showdown, a “Pepsi challenge for cameras” that lets you compare models based on real world performance alone.

To use Camera Showdown, all you have to do is pick your two players. In our case, the contestants are the slightly older Canon 5D Mark II and the slightly dusty entry-level full-frame Nikon D600.


Once you’ve picked your cameras, clicking play will load 10 sets of Flickr images one after the other — complete with metadata for proper analysis. You simply go through and pick the image you like best (preferably based on image quality and not composition…).

Once you’re done, Camera Showdown will reveal the camera you liked best, after which you can repeat the test (like any good scientist) or click through to see what the overall results are for the two cameras from all users.


As you can see, after 60 votes/6 rounds (the website is still very new) the Mark II is edging out the D600 by a narrow margin. For now there’s not much data, but eventually, as votes pile up, Camera Showdown could turn into a very reliable, non-spec-driven way to compare cameras.

Check it out for yourself and give the “taste test” a shot. Whether you go logical (T4i vs D5100) or less so (iPhone 5 vs 5D Mark III), the results may surprise you … and that’s half the fun.

  • cheap shots for real

    are all these pictures compared actually SOOC? it’s totally unfair to compare SOOC and processed pictures, they compete in totally different leagues. also pro captures compared to happy snapper snapshots is quite irrelevant in finding out the “winner”. but a showdown is a popular format in internet, check out the Saatchi on-line for example…

  • Mike

    Great. It took a terrible comparison service to think up a horrid new way to compare cameras.

  • Syuaip

    how about the impact of lens being used by both cameras?

  • David Liang

    So basically which ever system as the most pro-active fanboys wins. You might as well make a poll of how many users there are for each system, I’m willing to bet it’ll look eerily similar to the results on the site.

  • Miles

    It’s just a gimmick. The images are pulled from Flickr’s API and there’s no way of telling how they were processed. Either way, there’s absolutely nothing to glean from people’s preferences what camera is ‘better’ only what image they prefer out of the two they’re shown. The results they give you have nothing to do with the worth of the cameras used, it’s just a stunt and should in no way be taken seriously.

  • Rob

    I agree completely. Snapsort is garbage. Lots of the specs they compare are incorrect. Also, showing 2 different (overly processed) photos, from 2 completely different photographers with 2 completely different styles, and 2 completely different kinds of lenses, is NOT a comparison of camera bodies, it’s a comparison of photographer skills (and a poor one at that).

  • Richard

    I have to agree with you Rob, I used to check cameras on SnapSNORT till I realized their specs were inaccurate and misleading. Such a amateur website not fit for anything useful.

  • muh.qu

    How about the impact of the person using the camera?

  • Bj√∂rn Lubetzki

    First of, the idea itself is interesting, BUT I got a few issues with the system:

    – There are some OOC Pictures and some processed

    – There is no way to get a real accurate assessment of the camera if the images you see are this small (and I own a 24″ monitor)

    – It ain’t the same shots

    – A lens can have a big impact on a camera body. I can have a cheap body with a good lens and the images are better than the images from a pro body but a very cheap lens.

    – There is no other comparison. It’s all solely based on the images

    There is one interesting fact though!! I’m a Nikon guy (had the D90 and now the D700). I pitched the D600 against the 6D. I look at the images for a fraction of a second and then made my decision. My winner was the D600 which I choose 8 out of 10 times….

  • Gregor_Albrecht

    I personally think this website is an ENORMOUS help for people who are looking to buy a camera but don’t know which one to get!
    They’re able to look at a lot of pictures and realize that specs don’t mean the world and that they should get the camera they simply like more.
    Why would I care about 547 cross-type AF points when I only use the center one, right?!

  • Gregor_Albrecht

    How about some syrup for your pancakes?

  • slvrscoobie

    This is more of a comparison of what pictures you like, and what people that shoot the pictures you like, shoot with…

    Some of the photos it showed me were not even single photos, they were


  • Gautam Joshi

    I wasn’t impressed at all with the site. It seemed biased against DSLRs. It seemed like they were consciously picking up better pics from iphones and worst pics of DSLRs. For me it was a waste of time.

  • Mick Orlosky

    Yes there is post-processing. Yes, quality of photographers differ greatly. Yes, compositions and subject can influence the voting. Yes, a variety of lenses will have an effect. But, the point is that over time, all those factors should factor themselves out, statistically being spread evenly throughout a large enough set of sample images. In theory, with enough input, this should really work.

  • Mike

    I think most of such people could just instagram it and be happy. No big expensive camera needed. Unless they have small instruments.

  • chubbs

    How about that local sports team.

  • Jeremy Washington

    I think its clever, but really not based on camera performance. The age old “Its the photographer, not the camera” plays well here. I chose photos based on what I liked about them (t4i and 60d). The T4i won, but thats because 60% of the photo I liked, not because of camera features and what it offers to me as a photographer. This will be a good system for crowdsourced photo judging

  • Jeremy Washington

    Actually could tell which was which by the focal length. and also, I got some really bad iphone pics

  • Renato Murakami

    Flip a coin, less biased option.

  • Jack

    Except they are randomly plucked from Flickr via an API.

    Feeling insecure, are we?

  • Black Light Shoots

    so effin stupid. worst gimmick so far



  • Wansai Ounkeo

    those comparisons made no sense whatsoever. I was asked to choose based on what looks better. The problem is the shots are not comparable at all. Some shots (for example) of the iphone vs the Canon had them shoot different types of scenes. A dynamic angled shot from the iphone vs a wide landscape of a lake.

    Obviously the iphone shot will look a heck of a lot better because the shot is more interesting and taken at a more dynamic lighting situation whereas the lake shot by the canon is in flat light conditions. You could take the same landscape shot with the very best FF camera and the iphone shot would still win.

    Give me a comparison of like for like shots and of at least 1000px wide and then ask the same question. Otherwise this is nothing but a fun waste of time.

    I mean, seriously, we’re asked to compare a flat shot of a bland office ceiling(!) vs an eye level room shot taken at a 45 degree angle with orange walls and mood light? is it even a contest what people will choose?