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Nikon or Canon and then which camera?
#1
Hi, I am a new member in the process of going digital. I have a reasonable understanding of photography in general although I am an amateur in the sense that I never sell my photos, but need to make a choice for my first DSLR. I have brought the choice down to a race between Canon and Nikon and know that I want quality levels that require a 50d, 7d or a 5d MkII on the Canon side and D300S or D700 on the Nikon side. If budget was not an issue, I would definitely buy a D3S or a D3X. I don't have a lens stock problem, since my lenses are old and need to be renewed. My shooting means that I probably want a 12-24, a 24-70 and a 70-200, plus one macro plus minus 100 and a 50mm f1,4. I feel that Nikon is leading the engineering a QC race. I don't necessarily need the fast AF all the time, but I lean towards the 7d or the D300s or the D700 and I guess the race would be over if the D700 had video. Do I REALLY NEED THE VIDEO? I don't know yet. I see there is a lot of knowledge and experience in this forum and wonder if someone might take the time to give his ideas to make my choice easier?? Thanks in advance for your efforts <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' />
#2
[quote name='Vieux loup' timestamp='1282238502' post='1932']

Hi, I am a new member in the process of going digital. I have a reasonable understanding of photography in general although I am an amateur in the sense that I never sell my photos, but need to make a choice for my first DSLR. I have brought the choice down to a race between Canon and Nikon and know that I want quality levels that require a 50d, 7d or a 5d MkII on the Canon side and D300S or D700 on the Nikon side. If budget was not an issue, I would definitely buy a D3S or a D3X. I don't have a lens stock problem, since my lenses are old and need to be renewed. My shooting means that I probably want a 12-24, a 24-70 and a 70-200, plus one macro plus minus 100 and a 50mm f1,4. I feel that Nikon is leading the engineering a QC race. I don't necessarily need the fast AF all the time, but I lean towards the 7d or the D300s or the D700 and I guess the race would be over if the D700 had video. Do I REALLY NEED THE VIDEO? I don't know yet. I see there is a lot of knowledge and experience in this forum and wonder if someone might take the time to give his ideas to make my choice easier?? Thanks in advance for your efforts <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' />

[/quote]

You won't get anywhere this way! Canon shooters will tell you to go Canon (I would), with valid arguments. Nikon shooters will tell you to go Nikon, with valid arguments.



The lenses wishes, is that on APS-C or on full frame?



12-24mm sounds like APS-C, 24-70 sounds like full frame, 70-200 sounds like both!



Canon has the best 70-200 lenses (both in f4 and f2.8), the best macro.



The difference between 21mp 5D mk II and 12mp D700 is rather huge. The 5D has a big lead in video and live view, the D700 is more weather sealed (only of importance if your lenses and YOU are also weather sealed) and a more complex AF system.



What is your actual budget?
#3
You'll be satisfied with either brands.

Just go to a store and see which one feels better in your hands.
#4
I agree with the edge. Try in store and decide. You will loose money anyway.

Nice evening.
#5
[quote name='Vieux loup' timestamp='1282238502' post='1932']

Hi, I am a new member in the process of going digital. I have a reasonable understanding of photography in general although I am an amateur in the sense that I never sell my photos, but need to make a choice for my first DSLR. I have brought the choice down to a race between Canon and Nikon and know that I want quality levels that require a 50d, 7d or a 5d MkII on the Canon side and D300S or D700 on the Nikon side. If budget was not an issue, I would definitely buy a D3S or a D3X.[/quote]

If that really is the case, I honestly suggest you save up for a D3X, or wait for a D700X or whatever it will be called. In a way, although the D700 is a very, very good camera, the sensor is not a lot better than that of a Canon 5D Classic, IOW, it was outdated when it came out (and I probably am stepping on a lot of toes with this statement). Do note, it is very good, but it doesn't come close to the D3X.



The one thing I'd like to know, is whether you are looking for IQ (Image Quality), body quality, or both.



Best IQ: Canon 1D Mk IV, 1Ds Mk III (or 1Ds Mk IV when it comes out), 5D II, Nikon D3X, D700/D3s, not necessarily in that order. Do note that I only list FF and APS-H cameras here, IOW, not very cheap cameras. There is IMO a quite significant difference in IQ between FF/APS-H cameras on the one hand and APS-C cameras on the other, and if I had known everything in advance, I would have jumped straight for the 5d Classic instead of taking the long path I did and end up with a 5D classic (and a 5D II) anyway. That path would have been cheaper too, BTW (I went from 350D, 400D, another 400D, 40D to 5D Classic, to 5D II). The money I spent on all the bodies up to and including the 5D Classic, vs the money I recouped when selling the other bodies, is significantly more than the price of a 5D Classic when it first came out <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' />.

Quote:I don't have a lens stock problem, since my lenses are old and need to be renewed. My shooting means that I probably want a 12-24, a 24-70 and a 70-200, plus one macro plus minus 100 and a 50mm f1,4. I feel that Nikon is leading the engineering a QC race.

If that is your feeling, I think you definitely need to go with Nikon, because you will always have niggling thoughts afterwards if you do go for Canon, simply because you will keep on second guessing yourself. I actually came down to the exact same brands as you did, probably for similar reasons (availability, range of products, service).



I went the Canon route because of a couple of things that were important to me, namely

1) MF. Due to a genetic eye disorder I cannot MF with a Nikon body, and I know that people with the same disorder also cannot. I don't have that problem with a Canon body. That alone I guess would have been enough for me <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />.

2) Ergonomics. I prefer the ergonomics of Canon bodies. I don't particularly like either the zillion buttons on a Nikon body, they don't feel right in my hands, nor do I like what si to me a counter-intuitive way of mounting and dismounting lenses.

3) Lens range. More lenses in the Canon range than in the Nikon range, and certainly at the time, exactly the lenses I wanted or thought I needed, which Nikon didn't have in their collection at the time ( I did get 6 lenses to start with, from 13 lenses in my analog days).

4) Price. Canon is generally a little cheaper than Nikon.

Note: these were the things important to me; somebody else will have different needs and/or requirements, and hence could very well come up with a totally different solution or selection. BTW, I am still happy with my choices about 5 years or so later, but my equipment list has changed drastically in that time. More about that later.



As to QC: I think it doesn't matter much. Canon shooters seem to be more vocal about problems, and seem to have more extensive forums, so it seems as if QC problems are more skewed towards Canon. Knowing a retailer who is a buddy of mine, who prefers to sell only Nikon and Canon dslrs because he feels he can stand behind their products helps here for me, because effectively the stuff returned for repair and/or warranty issues according to him is very similar.



I assume you mean a 14-24 here rather than a 12-24, unless this is for an APS-C body. For FF I would consider the 17-35 or the 14-24, and in my opinion, the 14 -24 really. All of the zooms you mention are absolutely excellent zooms, except that the 70-200 VR may have a little too much breathing (FL dimishes quite a lot when focusing closer) if you want to seriously get involved with video shooting on your dslr.

Quote:I don't necessarily need the fast AF all the time, but I lean towards the 7d or the D300s or the D700 and I guess the race would be over if the D700 had video. Do I REALLY NEED THE VIDEO? I don't know yet. I see there is a lot of knowledge and experience in this forum and wonder if someone might take the time to give his ideas to make my choice easier?? Thanks in advance for your efforts <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />

Did you actually handle any of these cameras? I think ergonomics is THE most important thing, apart from IQ, to consider when buying into a brand, or specific body. Anything else is, IMO, often an afterthought or rationalisation.



And when it comes to IQ, there is honestly nothing like a FF body. I would always recommend people to buy better glass over a body, except in case of FF. If you can afford an FF body, and know how to work it, it becomes clear very quickly that the additional cost is entirely worth it, except when you need more reach, for example for birding or sports. In that case you'd likely want a (semi)pro APS-C or APS-H camera, IOW, 7D, D300s, or 1D Mk IV (or even 1D Mk III).



A few more questions I have is

1) whether you really need 200 mm,

2) whether you really need zooms, and

3) whether you really want to carry a lot of heavy stuff all the time.



If the answer to all of those is no, I seriously suggest you look into buying a Leica M9, and just save up for lenses as it comes, although there are many cheaper very good lenses out there for this camera, including used ones (Zeiss, Voigtländer). An M9 with 3 lenses will weigh about the same as a semipro APS-C camera with 1 zoom and takes up less space.



If you do need 200 mm, well, dslr is the way to go, there is no 2 ways about it. The question about zooms relates to the fact that if you are an IQ-freak, you will end up with primes eventually, because primes just are better than zooms, even if it is only a tiny bit. They are generally faster too, and therefore give you more opportunities for low light and minDoF shooting. I do hear what you say about the lenses you need now, and that was more or less what I went for at first, too. I only have one of those lenses still in my bag, and that is a specialist lens, a TS-E 90. Other than that I have a couple more specialist lenses, a bunch of fast primes, and only 1 zoom, which is my lens for the long FLs - anything else in the long range is unwieldy, too expensive, or both <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />. I've owned all the usual suspects in Canonland, but only since I settled on what is essentially primes only, I don't feel the urge anymore to get anything else. I do however have a 37 year background of slr shooting, so I grew up with primes, IOW, I feel very comfortable with them. This may be different to you. Even so, as I mentioned, if you really want the utmost in IQ, you will certainly migrate towards primes IMO.



Coming back to your choices, as I mentioned I recommend FF over APS-C if your budget is enough to do consider this, and preferably the higher MP FF bodies. In the case of Nikon, I would seriously suggest to wait till after the Photokina, because who knows, they may have a surprise for us in store with a D700x or something similar. If you can't wait that long, I'd suggest you get a D5000 or D90 for the time being, which also means you will always have a backup camera and an APS-C camera to boot in case you need the extra reach. And if you don't always want to carry heavy stuff, a D5000 with one of the kit zooms is a great way to maintain IQ and have something quite portable with you.



If you can't wait that long and are not prepared to spend that extra, well, I guess a D700 is really the way to go for now. And with Canon a 5D II, unless you want weather sealing - in that case it's a 1Ds III, which currently goes used in very good condition for about 3000 to 3300 euros. The D700 and 5D II are about the same price, around 1800 to 2000 euros. Lenses, up to you, your list is really good. Do take into account that for utmost IQ you may end up with a lot more primes than you anticipated, so personally I would probably go for F/4 lenses in the zoom range if at all possible, if not for the weight difference.



As to APS-C cameras: you may want to reconsider the lenses you listed a bit. Zoom lenses ok, especially if you would get the12-24 iso the 14-24 in the case of Nikon, and maybe a different zoom than the 24-70 unless you really want/need the F/2.8, but the 50 F/1.4 and 100 F/2.8 are rather different animals on APS-C than they are on FF. On APS-C personally I would opt for the 35 F/1.8 and the 60 F/2.8 Macro (and similar lenses on Canon APS-C). Standard prime, approximately 40 - 45 degree AoV, and approximately 24 degree AoV macro prime, very usable as a standard portrait lens too, IOW. If you want the 50 F/1.4 for portraits, I'd suggest you take that for APS-C and the new 85 F/1.4 on FF.



I didn't say too much about Canon here, because from your post I deduct (rightly or wrongly) that you prefer Nikon anyway, and I am convinced that you do need to do what your heart tells you . Do check out ergonomics in quite some detail however, before you commit. And when choosing between APS-C and FF certainly make sure that you can live with VF (huge) and IQ (some to huge) differences between the two.



HTH, kind regards, Wim
Gear: 5D Mk II, a gaggle of primes, a lone zoom, an accessory plague, and an Olympus OM-D 1 Mk II, Pen F and Panasonic GM5 with 14 primes, 8 zooms, and 3 Metabones EF-MFT adapters ....
#6
Thank you very much for your very thoughtful and complete answer. I think this will help me. As far as efficiency is concerned, I should probably go with the 7d, since it has everything except for a FF sensor. In terms of gut feel, I should go for the D700, because I really think it is the best combination of IQ, fast operation when needed and manageable price. As far as the lack of video is concerned, when I have become comfortable with the stillphoto shooting again, I can worry about the video, which then will have gotten better, with auto AF, etc. for it, which is doable I think.It is true that I can buy a D90 and almost have the same IQ and it might be a good back up body later, but then..... somehow I don't think I will. Or, I buy a D300S now and buy only FF lenses, which is doable I think. Again <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' /> down to the same 3 suspects. Now, assuming I find an answer to my body question, do you think I can find the same lens quality for a more manageable price with the 3 "other" supplier, Sigma, Tokina and Tamron? If yes, which ones? I know Tokina has an excelent 12-24 WA zoom and Sigma has the 24-70 lenses? How good are they? Is there some lens out there to replace the Canon 70-200 F4, IS USM. If not, that lens is almost a reason to buy Canon. Finally, I think your comments about primes is very important, because whatever zooms I buy, I will always have at least 2 primes.Have a good night and I look forward to hopefully getting another answer from you <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />
#7
[quote name='Vieux loup' timestamp='1282252379' post='1942']

Thank you very much for your very thoughtful and complete answer. I think this will help me. As far as efficiency is concerned, I should probably go with the 7d, since it has everything except for a FF sensor. In terms of gut feel, I should go for the D700, because I really think it is the best combination of IQ, fast operation when needed and manageable price. As far as the lack of video is concerned, when I have become comfortable with the stillphoto shooting again, I can worry about the video, which then will have gotten better, with auto AF, etc. for it, which is doable I think.It is true that I can buy a D90 and almost have the same IQ and it might be a good back up body later, but then..... somehow I don't think I will. Or, I buy a D300S now and buy only FF lenses, which is doable I think. Again <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' /> down to the same 3 suspects. Now, assuming I find an answer to my body question, do you think I can find the same lens quality for a more manageable price with the 3 "other" supplier, Sigma, Tokina and Tamron? If yes, which ones? I know Tokina has an excelent 12-24 WA zoom and Sigma has the 24-70 lenses? How good are they? Is there some lens out there to replace the Canon 70-200 F4, IS USM. If not, that lens is almost a reason to buy Canon. Finally, I think your comments about primes is very important, because whatever zooms I buy, I will always have at least 2 primes.Have a good night and I look forward to hopefully getting another answer from you <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />

[/quote]

You are mixing APS-C and FF still, so lens advice is hard!!



On APS-C, I would skip the Tokina 12-24mm f4 DX. I have it myself, and I won't bore you with all its problems and downsides.



APS-C ultra wide angle zoom lenses to get:

Sigma 8-16mm DC. Both for Canon and Nikon.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM. Canon only.

Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC (old version, not the f3.5 version). For Canon and Nikon.

Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 DX, even though it may have some of the 12-24mm f4 problems I encountered.



FF ultra wide angle zoom lenses to get:

Canon EF 17-40mm f4 L USM. Canon only. Lacks a tiny bit of contrast that makes me go "wanna have".

Nikon 16-35mm f4 VR. Nikon only. Barrel distortion and size/weight of an f2.8 keeps me from thinking "go for it".

Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L USM II. Canon only.

Nikon 17-35mm f2.8. Nikon only.



Super ultra wide angle on FF:

Nikon 14-24mm f2.8. Don't like the barrel distortion, weight and price. But sharp.

Sigma 12-24mm. When you have a good copy and learn to use it to your advantage, a bargain, really.



Is there a lens to replace the Canon EF 70-200 f4 L USM and f4 L IS USM on full frame? No. Half the weight and price of the f2.8 lenses.



You seem to dismiss the 5D mk II over its AF system. But in reality its AF system performs really rather well, and is not slower either.

Personally I would value the 21mp a lot more, over 12mp. And I could care less about video, but the Canon live view implementation is something that makes me choose Canon anyway. And the ergonomics.



But all that is personal.
#8
Thank you brightcolours for your advice. No, I am not mixing FF and APS-C, but I permit myself to make some jokes on me, therefore hurting noone else. <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' /> You say one needs to value the 21mp of the 5dMkII. Of course, I take my hat off, but after all, only the results count and it is not doing any better in any tests than the D700 and the 5d AF is rather old and technology exists to do better. I feel Canon is using high resolution as a marketing weapon. In reality, most of the lenses are far from able to use the possibilities of the sensor.
#9
you should ask yourself some questions...



- "which size I'm going to print, at maximum?" This is actually what makes you choose between a high pixel count body and a medium pixel count body (aka: FF or DX).

- "I'm going to need high iso shooting?". If yes, go with a FF D700.

- "how much Depth of field handling is crucial to me? (portraits, for example)". If it is, go FF, otherwise DX is more than enough.



And now for the brands: as Edge said, feel a body in your hand, to decide the brand. Nikon has better ergonomics, but that doesn't mean Canon has something wrong. Nikon makes some better lens, as the micro series and the wide angle zooms (14-24 at the top), but they are expensive. Canon makes very good lenses too, and not necessarily cheaper.

About other makers: trust Tokina, less so Sigma (quality control issues).



I'm a full time pro nature photographer, and I am totally satisfied (up to 60x90 prints) with my D300 and D200. So, after all, what does matter is other than megapixel.
#10
[quote name='Vieux loup' timestamp='1282294801' post='1944']

Thank you brightcolours for your advice. No, I am not mixing FF and APS-C, but I permit myself to make some jokes on me, therefore hurting noone else. <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' /> You say one needs to value the 21mp of the 5dMkII. Of course, I take my hat off, but after all, only the results count and it is not doing any better in any tests than the D700 and the 5d AF is rather old and technology exists to do better. I feel Canon is using high resolution as a marketing weapon. In reality, most of the lenses are far from able to use the possibilities of the sensor.

[/quote]

I do not say one needs to value 21mp, I say I, myself, value that.



It is a misconception though, to think that most lenses are far from able to make use of the extra sensor resolution. ALL lenses actually benefit.



To illustrate that fact, I would like to point you to the photozone measurements. The Canon EOS 350D 8mp model has the SAME pixel pitch the Canon 5D mk II has. The Canon EOS 50D has a higher pixel density, with its 15mp sensor.



Now, pick ANY lens that has been tested on both APS-C cameras. And look at the resolution measurements. Surprising, isn't it?

And of course, some lenses are less sharp o the 5D mk II than others, just like some lenses are less sharp on a 350D, 50D, D770, D90, D50, D3x than other lenses on the same body.



The 5D mk II OF COURSE does better than a D700 in resolution.



It is your choice, by all means get a Nikon D700. If you feel that more AF points is important to you, and you can live without for instance an EF 70-200 f4 L USM.

Like I said, it is personal.
  
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