From 1960s-1980s, almost all journalists used Nikon. Other bodies were out there, too, but still mostly Nikon. In these days, cameras were more or less the same, but the lenses are what got so many folks to use Nikon. Nikon is glass company known for its optical quality.
In the early/mid 90s, Canon outpaced Nikon in high-speed focusing systems, so many journalists switched. I used an N6006, N8008s, N90 and N90s during those days. While fast at the time, Canon was faster. But I manually focus many sports anyway. Auto was still unreliable for both bodies in those days, being based on basic parameters. I couldn't afford to switch, and I'm still glad that I did not.
Kodak and Nikon then developed the first DSLRs in the mid/late 90s, so many switched back or bought into both. Canon had no competition for three years (vs Nikon, longer against Kodak). And even then, it's first two DSLRs were unusable shutter-lagged crap (D20,D30).
Then Canon started to outpaced Nikon in DSLR bodies in the mid 2000s, and started to release a lot of L series lenses. So many switched back to Canon (again!) Those who opted for both systems sold their Nikon gear. I got some great deals on used Nikon gear for a couple of years there, from Canon owners.
Not quite three years ago, it flipped again, thanks to the Sony CMOS chips used by Nikon. Nikon is now the champ for news cameras, so many have switched back to Nikon. Some are opting for both. Some have waited for Canon to reply (not happened yet). Canon has an edge on video quality, but it's getting its ass kicked on sensor noise for sports. I'm seeing lens gray/white lenses on sidelines these days, and more black lenses.
I mostly speak of flagship bodies, and a few of the other pro class bodies. As you get into consumer gear, quality levels out maker to maker.
+ Reply to Thread
Results 31 to 53 of 53
I believe our apparent difference of opinion (concerning high iso) actually lies in our relative interpretations of what "fast" and "low lighting" refer to. In an effort to hopefully bypass an unproductive debate on semantics, I suggest we focus on the basic principles, which we very likely do agree on.
In available light (using dslr), all you've got is f-stop (aperture), shutter speed, and ISO. If the f-stop is as low as the lens can go, the shutter speed is set to the minimum required for the shot, and the ISO is set to the maximum preferred setting, but you're getting underexposed shots, there is no alternative to raising the ISO to whatever it takes to get the (properly exposed) shot...unless you know something I don't know.
Of course I would prefer to always shoot at ISO 100, but aperture and shutter speed are options which contribute to, or determine the feel of a photo. Increasing ISO is an unattractive but sometimes necessary means to an end. Even then, it depends very much on the camera. ISO 6400 on the d700 doesn't bother me at all. ISO 6400 on the d200 doesn't even exist.
In the end, how someone feels about higher ISO most likely comes down to the equipment they're using, the subjects they choose, and the conditions they're shooting under.
To me, it's absolutely accurate to say:Originally Posted by VegasBudOriginally Posted by lordsmurf
Just so it isn't all words, here's a picture of a girl and a car shot on a city street (at night) using ISO 6400. Did he "need" to use ISO 6400? I wasn't there, so I don't know. He certainly "chose" to use ISO 6400, however, and I'm not seeing the downside to his choice.
As to the en-el3e batteries...I also like them, although I like them even more when there are two of them, which is why both the d200 and the d700 (I use) have battery grips attached to them. I mentioned the d90 uses them (while the d5000 uses the en-el9(a)) as a gentle means of highlighting the difference in intended users likely goals.
Regarding your assessment of the 18-200mm lens...no, it's not perfect...yes, it has flaws. It still has a warm spot in my heart. It sounds like Ken Rockwell has a fondness for the lens also (see here).
Finally, while I appreciate the suggestion about trying the 10.5 f/2.8 on the D700, I'm afraid I have very little interest in wide angle. It doesn't represent what I see, and it's a pain in post processing. To me, it's not all that different from high ISO...I only use it when absolutely necessary, and not one step further than I have to. Thanks anyway.
Originally Posted by lordsmurf
Originally Posted by DB83
I don't judge people by the cameras they use, the subjects they choose to photograph, or even their camera technique. My sister, for example, uses whatever point and shoot she finds on sale, and always chooses backlit subjects (if at all possible). It has no bearing on who she is as a person...she's just doing things her way.
I have two examples that might help to clarify what I mean:
I used to have a "competitor" (in some aspects) whose main selling point was that he used "$100,000.00 worth of equipment" for shoots. Unfortunately, for him, he had absolutely no talent, no "feel" for it, so his photos were absolutely horrible.
When a nephew-in-law of mine was going to a wedding, he asked to borrow a camera. He knew nothing about cameras so I lent him a Nikon s10 which I used for a "put it in my pocket" camera. The photos he took (when he didn't have a finger over the lens) were just beautiful. When I asked him about it, he said he just looked for things the same way he did when he was doing an oil painting, which he'd been doing since he was a teenager.
Cameras don't take photos, photographers take photos. A camera is just a tool. As with all tools, it's how you use it that matters.
I would agree it depends on the combo of shutter, aperture and ISO. But most situations will end up below 6400 ISO. For most of the history of photo, that's all we had anyway.
Matte, as in the camera puts a black translucent screen over the non-DX portion of the lens in the viewfinder, and then only captures the inner 6MP or so covered by the DX field of view. You can turn this off on the D3, thereby being able to capture a full-frame (FX) field of view, as well as see without the viewfinder matting, although you'll obviously see the edges where the lens trails off. It's actually quite interesting to see the shape of a DX lens full angle. Shot "FX", the 10.5 covers a wider panoramic view than it does DX.
I also have competitors that can't shoot in focus or without blur. I don't understand how they get clients.
Thank you for the explanation. Armed with the new knowledge you provided, I found that a6 (in the menus) which is labeled "AF point illumination" has three settings..."auto" and "on" put a thin black line around the dx area which will be used, with the rest of the (fx-sized) view completely clear. If a6 is set to "off" there is, indeed, a translucent black frame which masks the entire non-dx part of the view. The translucent black frame actually makes it easier, at a glance, to see what will...and won't be included in the final picture. On the d700, the default appears to be "auto".
I was looking around in the menus some more, and found that in the "Shooting Menu" - "Image Area", if "Auto DX crop" is set to off, and "Choose image area" is set to "FX", the viewfinder shows a big circle (of what the lens is seeing), with gray in the corners. At least that's what I see with the 18-200mm dx lens, set to the 18mm end of the zoom range.
Set that way, the a6 setting doesn't appear to have any effect.
D5000 body $629 + 35mm f/1.8 AFS $199 = $828
D90 body $849 + 35mm f/1.8 AFS $199 = $1048
D300s body $1499 + 35mm f/1.8 AFS = $1698
D700 body $2399 + 50mm f/1.4 AFS $429 = $2828
D3S body $5199 + 50mm f/1.4 AFS $429 = $5628
D3x body $7399 + 50mm f/1.4 AFS $429 = $7828
The minute you cross over to an FX body, the price of the 35mm f/1.8 AFS that you might have to leave behind is the least of your monetary concerns.
You provide the inputs on the DX and FX sensor of the Nikon. Can you provide the inputs to compare the Canon and Nikon in the same price line such as the Nikon D90 vs. Canon 50D? It seems more users prefer the Canon to Nikon if they are in the same price line. Is it true?
"What you see is what you get." FX camera, DX camera....what you see in the viewfinder is what comes out on the photo. That's all that needs to be said...
Go to dpreview.com to review camera specs, etc.
In the smaller DX or APS sensor models, Canon and Nikon run neck and neck with the only significant difference being Canon's lead in integrating video features. If you do more video than stills you may want to go Canon, although even here a lot of Canon's "video advantage" is relative: Canon's lenses are often horribly unsuitable for serious video projects which is why everyone in China makes and sells adapters to fit Nikon, Pentax, Leica and Zeiss lenses on Canon bodies. Its a toss-up: choose the camera that feels better and most controllable in your hands. In the larger FX sensor cameras, its a more brutal street fight. Canon was first out of the gate with FX sensors, Nikon stalled way too long before bringing out theirs. Canon tends to be slightly cheaper with the second-tier FX bodies, and Canon's FX flagships usually boast higher resolution than Nikons (until Nikon catches up and the race starts again). Nikon has gotten better at staying current with the market recently, and has carved out a niche at the high end with arguably better high and low ISO performance. By next year both Nikon and Canon will hit a wall dictated by the laws of physics: 30 megapixel resolution is the maximum theoretical capacity of the FX sensor size.
Almost all of the above is immaterial to most photographers: choose based on your gut instincts and which camera has handling and operation that feels most comfortable. It doesn't matter if a particular Nikon or Canon (or Pentax or Panasonic) has a momentary advantage in resolution or features: if you can't operate that camera intuitively, you'll miss your shots. The best camera is the one you can shoot with instinctively, that seems to be a part of you and does exactly what you want when you want it most of the time. As an example from the film days, Hasselblad was considered the be-all and end-all of medium-format camera systems. I bought into that mystique, only to find the cameras are a gigantic pain to use and require hideously expensive service on the lens shutters more often than anyone ever admits. One day I picked up a Mamiya C330S TLR, long considered the lowest of the low suitable only for wedding photographers and students. I loved it from the second I touched it. Instantly figured out how to use it blindfolded, lenses are half the size and a tenth the price of Hasselblads, and give me much better results because I can handhold and fire the thing with much less vibration (also I can take the lenses apart in two seconds to clean and repair them myself.) Having the camera thats right for you trumps nearly any other consideration.
Last edited by orsetto; 11th Aug 2010 at 01:41.
Do you have any recommendation for a model under $2,000 in the current market, by the way?
D200, used in excellent condition, with an older AF-D 80-200 f/2.8 lens. Great $2k investment. Maybe even have some bucks left over for a Nikkor 50mm 1.8 or even a new Tokina 12-24 (or used 12-24).
It really depends on what you want to do, however.
Like LS says, depends what you want to shoot and whether you're comfortable shopping for second-hand deals. Also depends on your personal shooting style and what type of low-light work you expect to encounter. You mentioned photojournalism, of the two PJs I know one prefers very fast fixed lenses like the 35mm f/1.8 and 50mm f/1.4 on his Nikon D300, another prefers an f/2.8 midrange zoom on his Canon.
The bodies of all brands at this point are roughly comparable within similar price ranges. Pentax and Nikon have the better fixed focal length lenses, Nikon currently holds the edge in exotic high-priced zooms, and Canon has an edge with the huge teles used for sports and wildlife. But the differences to most photographers would be hard to see and there are exceptions within each line of lenses. Its hard to believe in our high-tech age, but lenses are still a black art and there is no consistency lens to lens: Nikon and Canon both have a horrendous problem with quality control, especially on the more expensive fast zooms. Many pros have had to buy and return the same lens three times to get one they consider usable. So again, pick the body you're most comfortable using which has the most useful lenses for your purposes.
If you're willing to buy used, the Nikon D200 and first-version D300 are an excellent deal at the moment. If you really do have a $2000 budget to play with, and would rather buy new, the Nikon D300S at $1499 is quite good and leaves $500 for a great first lens. These are very rugged cameras with good viewfinders. The D90 offers comparable performance in a cheaper body with less compatibility with older non-AF lenses. The Canon 7d is a high-featured marvel but opinion is split on it, even among Canon devotees. If you aren't in a great hurry, and really think you're leaning toward Canon, it might pay to wait a few months until the new cameras are released. You might then be able to snag a great deal on a used highly-regarded Canon 5dII FX body. If Nikon comes thru with the rumored D800 or D900, good deals may appear on the superb D700.
You see how impossible it is to advise anybody: its too personal and the market is always in flux. Think about the type of photos you take now with your present camera, and consider what factors you feel are limiting your work. Choose a camera that helps you overcome those limitations, and jump in when you see a good deal. And unless you're a working pro getting seriously paid, its usually better to grab a proven camera thats recently been discontinued than a new one with price inflated by "gotta have it" early adopters and pros.
Best buy time? There isn't one.
I shoot almost everything with a 12-24 DX f4 (D200) / 17-35 f4 (D3) and an 80-200 f2.8
Some locations and subjects need the 50 f1.8
Use a macro lens when shooting bugs, flowers and other tiny stuff.
I almost never use a "normal zoom" from 24-80. There's no need for it. Lacks style.
My setups are built around shooting sports and portraits (think Maxim and Time, not school yearbooks).
I don't see how anybody could shoot with just a 35 and 50 prime, for news. Too limiting.
Don't forget Tokina, when it comes to quality zooms.
The 12-24 Tokina outperforms both Nikkor and Canon offerings.
Don't forget Tokina, when it comes to quality zooms. The 12-24 Tokina outperforms both Nikkor and Canon offerings.
Frank Zappa: "People wouldn't know a good movie if it smacked 'em in the face."
I don't know that I'd go that far.
Nikon is an old-school Japanese company, not unlike Taiyo Yuden (a company many here know).
Canon is a marketing whore.
The approach to the market is very different.
Canon rather suddenly came from distant second place to beat the living daylights out of Nikon near the tail end of the professional AF 35mm film era, just beat them into the ground, and Nikon never really quite got over the shock or humiliation. I'm sure it screwed with their finances at the worst possible time, leaving them very wary of spending a lot on marketing and just throwing random ideas at the public to see if they'll sell. Canon got giddy with its success, and went berserk with advertising and a non-stop stream of products. There's also a big difference in corporate cultures: at Nikon the engineers still mostly run the show, while Canon puts more emphasis on speeding innovations to market figuring they'll work out the details later. Both approaches have merit, but in our current crystal-meth-addled age, Canon is more on the ball with keeping its name out there.
DSLRs are the glamor products everyone talks about, but they aren't the bread and butter, and this is where Nikon constantly shoots its foot off. Canon sells tons of cheap to midrange compact digital cameras, the income that generates helps pay for more marketing and quicker turnover of the DSLR offerings. Nikon cannot give away a compact camera, they could have Ashton Kutcher stand on his head naked and not move the damn things. The last compact Nikon anyone cared about was the CoolPix 3500, and they didn't get the entry-level DSLR right until the great D40 (by which time Canon had blown thru countless Digital Rebels). The replacements for the svelte D40-D60 were the truly heinous D3000 and truly hideous D5000, which doesn't help matters.
But its a cyclical business, and things are beginning to equalize. Nikon now has a good stable of solid, predictable DSLRs in clearly-defined good-better-best categories that are attracting a sizable following, the D3x has made surprising inroads to the medium format market and the D90 that kicked off this thread is mega-popular. Canon is beginning to realize they need to diversify into making straight-up video-oriented bodies, because their own research indicates 4 out of 5 new high-end Canon owners are using them strictly for video and a backlash is starting to form (DSLR bodies are not ideal for video shooting and Canons current lens designs, to put it politely, suck wind in video operation.) After the next sensor refresh both companies will run smack into the wall of diminishing returns, and need to figure out something else to market besides megapixels. The money is on Canon to make a huge video play before dedicated specialists like RED get a chance to move into the prosumer market, and Nikon must certainly be looking at that distraction as an opportunity to seize some other market segment Canon is less focused on. If the new Pentax 645D sales are as strong as the interest its generating, we might see Nikon move into crossover-small-MF cameras before Canon (Nikon has long experience and a good rep for larger-format glass). Five years out, both companies should have fascinating lineups.
Last edited by orsetto; 12th Aug 2010 at 17:59.
By the time bodies started to hit 10MP, we already saw the diminishing returns. It's gotten to a point where high pixel sensors simply show the flaws in your glass. I have $1,000 lenses that look like awful under the microscope of a 10-20MP sensor. Those lenses were made for 35mm film strips, never this sort of resolution, nor with the noise-pickup of the digital sensors.
I have three 24-80 "normal zoom" lenses that I can't even use. It's one of the big reason I don't use that length. And honestly, after doing without 24-80 zoom for about 3-4 years now, I can't say that I miss it. I would have to have the Nikkor 24-70 for about $1.5K, to get quality results, and it's just not worth it. That glass was made for the digital era. Sure, I could get some cheap DX f/5.6 lens, but it's not conducive to my shooting style.
Long-term, I almost think RED will be forced to have a joint venture with another camera maker to truly succeed. Given how Canon has become very "we can do it ourself" in past years, I'm betting Nikon would be a good marriage. But I would not discount Sony/Minolta or even Panasonic, Pentax, etc.
Even the Phase One felt the bite of the Nikon D3x.
I would have to suggest that the Canon P&S series of cameras got beaten up a good bit by some of the quality offerings by Sony in the past couple of years. Even smaller electronics companies like Samsung made some good inroads. On the other hand, older P&S brands like Olympus have almost disappeared.
I can't really comment on Sony as I haven't used their camera's personally, but I haven't been impressed with the quality of images that I've seen shot on Sony cameras. Again, this is comparing point-an-shoot to point-an-shoot and D-SLR to D-SLR.
My girlfriend regularly uses a Canon point-an-shoot, and I used to know a guy with a Canon D-SLR. For some reason, both cameras always seem to take really washed out photos that require a good deal of color correction. I absolutely hate the way the original images look from Canon cameras, including the D-SLR's, and generally wind up spending a good deal of time in Photoshop just correcting image color. (A little bit of over-exposure is fine, and can even be useful, but this isn't over-exposure, it's just poor color management.) I can tolerate Canon cameras in a bind, but I generally try to avoid them, in part because I've had similar experiences with them as I have with Sony. I should point out that in terms of longevity, Canon's professional cameras, their D-SLRs that is, tend to last much longer than their consumer-oriented cameras. Canon's consumer-grade point-an-shoot cameras on the other hand have an average life span of about two years in my experience, although some have died within a week.
Two weekends ago I had the privilege of taking a photo on a Nikon D-SLR for someone at a convention. The viewfinder was comfortable, even with my giant glasses on, the camera was easy to focus, and it was admittedly comfortable in my large hands. After taking the photo, I handed the camera back to the owner to ensure that it was to his liking, his response: "Dude, you take awesome photos!" I'm pretty sure the guy was one of the convention's professional photographers, and I have to admit that I was just glad to get to use a Nikon D-SLR again. The image quality from Nikon is simply the best in my opinion, their lenses are top-tier, for reasons lordsmurf has already mentioned, and for photos, I really only recommend Nikon cameras.
But anyway, I recommend the Nikon.Specs: Mac Mini (Early 2006): 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo CPU, 320GB HDD, 2GB DDR2 RAM, Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics card, Matshita UJ-846 Superdrive, Mac OS X 10.5.7 and various peripherals. System runs Final Cut Express 3.5 for editing.