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Old January 15th, 2010, 08:29 PM   #1
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Canon vs Nikon

lookin to buy into a dslr and really strugglin deciding whether to go nikon or cannon i like both and have read that both are very close specifically speakin of the rebel t1i and the d90 i like both and idk seems to me cannon is more professional and has some top notch lenses but also have heard some pretty insane stuff about the d90 and how good it is any one throw me some opinions try not to be biased haha
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Old January 15th, 2010, 08:32 PM   #2
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I am actually in the same boat. this thread will be very helpful:

http://v6performance.net/forums/showthread.php?t=200180
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Old January 16th, 2010, 10:09 PM   #3
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Can't go wrong with either really... go into the store and see which system and body you prefer. SteVTEC and I both have a D90 I absolutely adore mine, but I'm still looking to upgrade eventually to the Nikon D700. Nikon and Canon are both professional... you'll see both on the sidelines of big sporting events, and you'll also see both used in the fashion portrait genre too. Either will be great for landscapes as well. It seems like more people have Canon than Nikon, but that could be based on more stuff for the money with Canon. From looking through Canon's lens lineup, the lenses are less expensive, and Canon also has some lenses that Nikon either doesn't have or just has old manual focus versions of... Canon +1. Nikon is a smaller, primarily photography-based company, so their attention to detail is exquisite... Nikon +1. They also seem to come out with camera features first and then Canon follows suit. Really my main advice would be to go into a local store and try out a mid-level DSLR from both brands and see which suits you best.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 09:32 PM   #4
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alright so im def feelin the d90 but my friend popped up the question a why not a sony alpha and it seems to me a lota ppl tend to bash it is it really that bad or is it just the lack a lenses and wat would be a semi competition to the d90
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Old January 18th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #5
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Lack of lenses among other things. Low light isn't as good as Canon or Nikon. Sony is still playing catch up even after buying Minolta years ago.

You'll need to really goto a store and see which one feels better in your hands cuz that's really the best way to tell. Also look to see what cameras your friends are using so u can trade lenses. Don't just feel it cuz we say so....go really feel it. Touch it. Play with the menus. etc....

As far as sports are concerned...lets get real. Majority of the pro sports are using Canon lenses and bodies. Just look at all the big white lenses along the sidelines. I remember Canon running an ad once and among 20+ Canon photogs, there was just one using Nikon. Thant being said, not everyone is shooting pro sports either.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 10:03 PM   #6
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Like other ppl already stated it is better to go to the store and play with both cameras and see which one you like better. You might or might not like the style of canon/nikon, options, functions. When actually playing with one, you will see which one would be easier to use and choose the one that fits your price tag. Both Nikon and Canon are good cameras, its just Canon has a bit cheaper prices on lens and more variety. Good luck
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Old January 19th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #7
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Every time I watch a football game or basketball game, etc., whether professional or college, I do see lots of Canons when they show the coaches' handshake, but I also see lots of Nikons, same with paparazzi. Of course, with both, you tend to see Nikon D3 or D700 or Canon 1D or 5D which are all professional DSLRs.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 08:46 PM   #8
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i hate being a indecisive person!!!! i went into a shop today and the had both the t1i and the d90 and i love both a them but the seller guy was a real **** and wouldnt let me use them just hold them wit out turning them on lol i was like are you serious??? so idk ive been readin review all day i would like to save two hundred bucks but then i wouldnt mind waitin a lil and gettin the d90 i really like the second lcd that tells you your settings ive also read the rebel has like soft shots or somtin is this true"?????
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Old January 19th, 2010, 09:19 PM   #9
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Are you being serious? do you have any other stores that you can actually go in and play with the camera? That's just pathetic that he wouldn't let you use it.

About soft photos, that's depends on the faulty lens or photographer itself. But for a body to produce soft pictures, haven't heard about that yet...

Also I noticed no one asked, what's your budget?
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Old January 20th, 2010, 09:36 AM   #10
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Soft pictures, like he said, means the photographer either wasn't focused properly or was using a lens with wide-open aperture or over-edited the pictures.

Ahhh, that d'bag store manager probably sells no cameras.

Try out another store. Even Best Buy at least let me test out the D90 in that one little spot. The D90 felt like a brick compared to my little D60 from which I upgraded. Didn't it feel so rugged to you?

What I did was test it in the store, then buy it online. There's so many deals out there, especially at Amazon or Ebay or Adorama or B&H Photo Video or even Newegg.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16830113154 <<<<<< that's body only, but buy the lens separately, and that might be a better deal than buying as a kit... man I wish I would have waited to buy mine. could have saved $150.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 09:56 AM   #11
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my view on canon is it over exposes the picture in good lighting and seems to always want to use the flash in the auto setting. (this was the first rebel i know there better now)

nikon i was very impressed with and it doesnt have the over exposure but your going to spend more on everything, however it has better features then canon for the most part.

sony dispite people saying its body is uncomfortable the sensor is the same as the nikon with the a380 and up aslo the a380 is the same size as the a330 and is a very light weight camera. the problem with sony is there is not as many lenses and the shape is supposedly uncomfortable(i thought it was just fine)


i say sony they have all the features of nikon but with a few less lenses even the entry level cameras are ok in low light but after the a380 it is the exact same senos as nikon uses but for less money.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #12
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I had the first Digital Rebel and found the pictures were fine, even in auto when I first started. As I stated elsewhere, I beginning to regret selling it to purchase the 40D. I'm sitting here looking at the 11x14 framed metallic print of my Paris Arc de Triomphe photo hanging in my law office and I'm convinced it took better pictures than my 40D. The only other culprit I can think could be the problem is that the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 that I sold to a friend is better than my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. LOL.

I've actually considered downsizing to a T1i and selling the 40D just to lighten my load a bit. It's getting difficult to take vacations with two kids in tow and then having to carry my SLR gear as well. The new T1i also fits my hand a lot better than the previous Rebels. Still thinking about this.

Sony lenses are expensive. Their advantage is that for folks coming from a P&S, its an easier transition. However, w/ the new Nikon and Canon offerings, I think their advantage is much smaller. My friend has an Alpha and after dropping and breaking it, will be getting a Canon T1i shortly simply due to the expensive lenses.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #13
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I BOUGHT A D90!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my friend bought it and sold it to me for $775 its body only so now i just need to find a lense haha on to my next problem i wana get a good all around lense mostly for shootin portraits and landscapes im seeing a good macro lense down the road but for right now i need a general lense
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Old January 20th, 2010, 07:08 PM   #14
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Nice, congrats...

I have a friend, and she's using the 18-270mm lens and she shoots weddings and portraits and says its really nice all general purpose lens.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sccsammy View Post
I BOUGHT A D90!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my friend bought it and sold it to me for $775 its body only so now i just need to find a lense haha on to my next problem i wana get a good all around lense mostly for shootin portraits and landscapes im seeing a good macro lense down the road but for right now i need a general lense
Congrats... join the club!! You will very much enjoy the high ISO performance of the D90... handles ISO 6400, no problem, but 3200 is where it shines!!

You may want to look into a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8... http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._XR_Di_II.html.

You want wide-angle for landscapes and more telephoto for portraits.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 05:53 AM   #16
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UPDATED CANON vs NIKON Thoughts, June 2010


well here's my take on the Canon vs Nikon debate. They're both equally good systems, just different in various ways. As a whole one isn't better than the other, but if you have a particular area of photography in mind one might be better suited. I'll break up my thoughts by area.

SPORTS / ACTION: SOLID CANON Traditionally Canon, now a toss-up
Canon has owned the sports market for the past 20 years since they want to autofocus. Their initial AF system was superior to Nikon's, and that caused Nikon to lose the pro sports market. Because of this, Canon has a much nicer selection of telephoto lenses and at much better prices because they sell them in much higher volumes than Nikon can. If you're into sports shooting, Canon will probably serve your needs better. However, Nikon is currently leading, by quite a bit, with high ISO performance. The AF system on their bodies is also more flexible, accurate, and consistent than what Canon offers. But Nikon is still hobbled by the fact that a lot of their medium to long telephoto primes STILL haven't been updated with newer AF systems, which is what makes it a toss-up. Nikon's more exotic super-teles tend to be so much more expensive than Canon's that a Nikon shooter can go buy a Canon super-tele AND a pretty decent Canon body to shoot it with and still come out ahead price-wise vs buying the Nikon version, they're that much more expensive.

AS OF JUNE 2010: I'd say this is solidly back to Canon now. Nikon still has a firm lead in the high ISO wars for indoor sports. Their D3s body is probably a full stop better than Canon's 1D MkIV body. The problem is that Nikon can't supply nearly enough of the D3s bodies. If you want one today you can't buy one anywhere. Also because Nikon's D3s is a full-frame 12MP 1.0x APS body as opposed to Canon's higher resolution 15MP APS-H 1.3x 1DIV body, you run out of reach a lot sooner with Nikon than you do with Canon. Nikon sports shooters who need reach will very quickly need the more exotic 400, 500mm, and longer super-telephoto lenses whereas Canon shooters can get by just fine with 300's or maybe a 400. Guess what? Also completely out of stock in the Nikon system are super-telephoto lenses 300 and longer. Some of these you simply haven't been able to get for ages. So while Nikon's system might sound better on paper, that's no good if the things you need simply aren't available to buy. If I was a full-time pro and needed to get some serious sports gear today I'd be going with Canon simply due to the availability issues with Nikon. In the crop body lineup, Canon now has the 7D with a very advanced AF system that's said to be just as good if not better than anything in the Nikon lineup. Also Canon's fast-focusing medium tele primes and their f/4 zooms for those on a tighter budget can't be beat by Nikon, so Canon has something for everyone at all levels. Nikon has gaping wide product gaps that they haven't shown any interest in filling, and severe availability issues on what they do offer.



LANDSCAPE / TRAVEL: APS-C Crop Bodies: Toss Up, Full-Frame: CANON

If you're at the high-end, Canon's 5D MkII gives you the most megapixels for the dollar at 21MP on a full-frame sensor for $2500. To get something comparable from Nikon you have to spend $8000 on their D3X which is absrud. Everybody is waiting for Nikon to come out with a cheaper "D700x" type body with the higher MP sensor in a cheaper body. At the lower end of the market I'd give the edge to Nikon. They have a nicer range of crop body lenses which are built much better than Canon's, and their in-body features like adaptive dynamic range, auto ISO, auto Contrast, and great JPEG processing all make it very easy to get great looking travel photos. When you're chasing beautiful light and things can be changing quite a bit from minute to minute or even second to second, a lot of the smart functionality and automation built into the Nikon bodies really helps. If you're shooting JPEG like me, Canon bodies I've read of lately add noise reduction to their JPEGs that you can't get rid of even at low ISO which would really hose things up since it smudges out detail. That's a non-starter with me since I have no time to mess around with RAW files.

AS OF JUNE 2010: Canon has now filled out their range of crop body lenses nicely to match if not exceed what Nikon offers. Canon's newer crop body cameras also have noticeably better build quality than older generations, have better menu systems that are easier to navigate, controls that make more sense, and a lot of the "smart" fucntionality like Auto ISO and adaptive dyanamic range systems have now found their way into the Canon bodies. For those reasons I'd now say it's a dead heat for travel and landscape photos on the crop bodies. Canon has advanced a lot while Nikon has stood still. Canon does offer more megapixels in their crop bodies (up to 18MP vs 12MP max for Nikon), but with so many pixels squeezed into a smaller sensor, you'll need the very best lenses and the best technique to resolve all of that. Testing at www.dxomark.com shows that the Canon bodies aren't resolving anything more than the Nikon bodies are despite the extra pixels, and the Nikon bodies have better high ISO and dynamic range due to the larger photosites. If you really really "need" that many megapixles, you should plan to jump up to a full-frame DSLR (see below) or get a nice medium format film system and shoot film.

With full-frame, Canon has a clear lead. For landscape and travel photos where you might want to resolve every last bit of a landscape, it's tough for Nikon's 12MP D700 body to compete with the 21MP Canon 5D Mark II. Nikon does have the D3x, but it's $8000 and also not really suitable for travel. Another nail, Nikon doesn't have any modern and currently available full-frame zoom lenses that are really suitable for travel. Nikon's f/2.8 fully professional zoom lenses are all outstanding, but are all beasts and not really travel lenses. You have your choice of clunky old zooms many of which can only be bought used, or prime lenses. Canon's 17-40mm f/4L, 24-105mm f/4L IS, and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses are all outstanding performers, have stabilization where needed, give a very nice range, and are also lightweight and very reasonably priced. A prominent and highly-regarded Nikon reviewer is recommending old discontinued lenses that Nikon no longer even makes as mentioned above for travel photos with full frame Nikons because they simply don't make anything that's actually good today that you might want to take with you on travel. They do make a 24-85mm f/2.8-4 lens with 1:2 macro, but it's clunky and not very sharp. They also make a 24-120mm VR lens which is sold in kits with the D700, but it's also widely considered to be a dud of a lens that pales in comparison to Canon's 24-105mm f/4L. Even Canon's 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens is better than Nikon's 24-120VR, and that's not saying a whole lot! It's sad that Nikon can't ship anything better than their dud 24-120VR in kits with their D700 body, but Canon ships the superior 24-105mm f/4L IS. Canon really has their act together when it comes to having a nice selection of modern, fully up to date, and good performing full frame lenses that are actually light enough to take with you. Nikon has a loooooooooooooong way to go here.



PHOTOJOURNALISM / NEWS / WEDDINGS: STILL NIKON
Photojournalism is about capturing a key moment in time that's going to come once and then never repeat itself again. If you miss it while having to screw around with your camera it's done and gone and you simply can't afford that. I'd give Nikon the clear edge here because their camera bodies are jam packed with a whole lot of smart functionality that allows you to just shoot and not worry about ****ing around with settings, which will cause you to miss shots. I can program Auto ISO to maintain a set minimum shutter speed, set the camera for Auto Contrast, Auto Sharpness, Auto Saturation, and pretty much auto everything, put it in "P" mode and just go shoot. If I go to a dark area it'll automatically crank up the ISO to whatever it needs to. When I go to a light area it'll automatically drop the ISO back down. On Canon you have to manually set this, and can't program in a minimum specified shutter speed to maintain. If I'm in a contrasty area the auto contrast (now called Active D-Lighting) will automatically adjust contrast on the in-camera processing to give a proper exposure, and if I'm in a flat area it'll automatically crank it back up. I come home and have a whole card filled with perfectly exposed JPEGs that I'll hardly need to touch if at all, and don't even need to screw around with RAW if I don't want to.

AS OF JUNE 2010: STILL NIKON. For this type of shooting you don't really need super long lenses, so the fact that most of Nikon's 300mm and longer lenses cannot be bought today won't affect this. Also for PJ, News, and Wedding work you can make very good use of ultra-wide lenses, and Nikon's ultra-wide lenses such as their 14-24mm f/2.8 and 16-35mm f/4 VR are superior. The D3s, D3 (now available used only), and D700 are all superior, full-frame so they'll use every bit of that ultra-wide lens, have outstanding autofocus performance in any light, and unmatched high ISO performance. While Canon has caught up a lot as far as in body smarts, their adaptive dynamic range system still isn't quite up to Nikon's level, and I don't think most Canon's bodys even have an auto-contrast system yet. Even their point and shoots have this! The Canon 1Ds Mark III is a full-frame high-res body, but it's not a high ISO body limited to 1600 max (3200 expanded). The Nikons will do well beyond that at 6400 and still give good results, or up to 25,600 in expanded modes. The 1D Mark IV body will do a pretty good job, but as an APS-H 1.3x framed body it won't fully utilize ultra-wide lenses. Canon's 16-35mm f/2.8 II lens is only 21mm equivalent wide on one of these bodies, whereas you can get full 17mm wideness with Nikon's 17-35mm f/2.8 lens on a D3/D3s/D700 body with Nikon, or to 14mm with their excellent 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, which has unmatched image quality in SLR land. A widely published photojouranalist that I'm familiar with that had been shooting with Canon 1D Mark II bodies recently switched to Nikon because he wanted something that was full-frame to get that extra wideness and high ISO capable in a tough and fully professionally built body. Nikon is it. Canon does have the 5D Mark II, but it's not built to fully professional standards and likely would NOT take the beating that this photojournalist would put it through. For crop bodies I'd still say Nikon. Again, the kick butt AF system, Nikon still leads with high ISO performance, and their 17-55mm f/2.8 lens is built to full professional standards unlike the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS which is known to be a bit frail and also unreliable. More of a toss up here, but I'd still give the edge to Nikon.


PORTRAITURE: Either
For a posed shot you have time to setup your subject and time to setup your camera, so the smarts in the Nikon bodies are of little advantage. Both systems have nice lenses. Autofocus speed isn't important here either so the fact that a lot of Nikon prime lenses still use their clunky old screwdriven system won't matter. Nikon's flash exposure system is maybe a little better, but pro portraiture photogs all use strobes anyways.


VIDEO: Canon, clearly
Canon's video is superior at this point. Nikon's is primitive in comparison. [color=blue]As of June 2010 Canon has only gotten better while Nikon has stood still. The lastest firmware and hardware releases (7D) from Canon now use the correct "pull-down" frame rates that are fully compliant with NTSC and Hollywood standards (it's actually 23.97 fps (or something )not "24", and 29.97 fps, not "30". Nikon still doesn't have this right, which is a huge issue if you actually want to make professional use of your videos on a standardized format. On top of that, Nikon's video is still laggier and jumpier. Canon has also responded to customer issues and have improved the HDMI output connector (on the 7D) from previous bodies. If video is going to be a big thing for you, no question go Canon.


LENS SELECTION / COMPATIBILITY: Canon
Canon screwed over everybody when they went to autofocus back in the late-80's because they switched over their mount design from the old FD to the new EOS. Everybody who shot Canon back then got hosed and there's a lot of great FD lenses out there that you simply can't use. But that's ancient history. Nikon never switched their mount when they went to AF and have been using the same F-mount since 1959. You can mount a lot of old manual focus lenses from the film days straight onto your D40, manually focus it (you still get help from the AF sensors, you just have to turn the focus ring manually), manually meter since most of these lenses don't have a CPU in them, and take great photos! The higher end Nikon bodies have the coupling prong aperture feeler in them needed to meter with the old lenses, so you can even get autoexposure with the old manual stuff.

That might sound like Nikon is the winner, but today Canon is actually the winner because of what Nikon is doing with their low-end bodies. For autofocus to work, you need a motor either in the body or in the lens itself. When Canon went to autofocus, by definition ALL of their lenses had the motor in the lens - a custom tweaked motor for each lens, controlled by the body's electronics. Nikon did it differently and defined the camera body to have the motor in it, and it turned the focus in the motorless lenses via a screwdrive type coupling. This is how autofocus worked on Nikon lenses for many years except on the very high-end lenses which had motors in them too, just to keep up with Canon. The problem today is that Nikon's lower end bodies (d40/40x/60/3000/5000) lack this traditional autofocus motor to save space, weight, and cost, but this then locks you out of having autofocus with a whole ton of great used and even current lenses. You can still mount them, get metering (autoexposure) and take photos with them, but you have to manually focus unless you buy a D90 or higher level body which is a lot more expensive, or buy a used older one that still has this screwdriver motor in it. Also complicating things is the fact that a lot of Nikon's prime lenses in particular still haven't been updated to have motors in them. In particular if you like and want to shoot with prime lenses, Nikon really hoses you here. The cheapest $100 Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens won't autofocus on all of Nikon's cheap bodies, but Canon's 50mm f/1.8 will on any of their bodies. Nikon is very slowly updating their lens lineup, but of course a lot of the brand new ones with motors built in are a lot more expensive. They do perform better optically than the old, but at great cost. Nikon lenses that have built-in motors are called AF-S lenses, but there's a whole sea of older "AF" or "AF-D" lenses without motors that are still great that won't have AF on these cheaper bodies, which is a shame.

The funny thing is that because of the differences in mechanics between the Nikon and Canon lens mounts, you can actually get Nikon to Canon adapters for Canons, and mount and use Nikon lenses including even old manual focus ones, with metering support! There's no way to get metering with an old manual lens on a cheaper Nikon body short of adding a CPU to the lens, so it's funny that Canon bodies with a good adapter (a few hundred dollars) can be more compatible with old Nikon lenses than Nikon can be!

In case I didn't mention it, Canon does have a slightly broader selection of lenses, but each system has unique lenses not offered by the other.

AS OF JUNE 2010: Not only does Canon have a wider selection of lenses, generally cheaper and more affodable lenses, and a "more compatible" system in modern times, but they also have much better lens availability! As mentioned above in the sports section, you simply can't buy any professional Nikon lens 300mm and up. Nobody really knows what's going on with Nikon and their inventory, but the fact that lots of people are wanting to buy lenses like these, but can't find them to buy anywhere at any price (short of going to Japan where suddenly you can find anything you want) tells Nikon shooters that something must be seriously amiss with either their production capabilities or their management. Nikon has historically been very bad as far as product availability and inventory, but things are worse right now than they've ever been according to people very familiar with Nikon's track record here.

BUILD / DURABILITY: Nikon
Nikon bodies and lenses have always been built tough. There's a reason old manual lenses from decades ago still work great today and produce beautiful images, because they were built exceptionally well. Similarly, old Nikon film bodies were built like tanks, will still work just fine, and still take great pictures even today. Everything is built cheaper today, but still works great, but I think Nikon still has the edge here. I hear of a lot more issues relating to build quality and sample variability with Canon gear than I ever had with Nikon. I've heard of at least a half dozen people from Canon land complaining about the front element of their 18-55 kit lens popping out, but I've never heard of this happening with Nikon's 18-55 lens ever. Nikon's kit lenses are generally considered to be excellent and will hold up pretty well so long as they're not abused. Apparently with Canon you don't have to do anything and they can fall apart on you. You do pay more for Nikon bodies and lenses, but the money isn't necessarily wasted. You're overall getting an arguably higher quality product.

AS OF JUNE 2010: Having picked up a Canon 5DMkII, one of the first lenses I bought for it was of course the 50mm f/1.8 II lens to use as a fast normal prime. Cheap cheap cheap, is all I can say. Plastic mount, it's so light and fragile feeling that I'm afraid the first solid "hit" this lens might take is going to break it. Compare it to Nikon's 50mm f/1.8 lens and there's simply no comparison. Metal mount and a much more toughly built lens, and also a little beefier feeling too althought still pretty light. Current prices are $100 for the Canon and $130 for the Nikon. You're much more likely to break the Canon and have to buy another one for another $100, whereas the Nikon lens ought to be good for a lifetime of use even with mild to moderate abuse for just $30 more. The Canon 70-200mm f/4L I picked up is professionally built and every bit as nice as professionally built Nikon lenses, but Canon is more willing to cut corners on build quality and overall costs than Nikon is. If you treat your gear NICE and don't beat it around too much the fact that Canon builds lenses more cheaply might be to your advantage since you'll be able to afford them more easily, or might be able to buy more of them.


WILDLIFE: Canon

New section. No question, Canon. Better long lens availability, cheaper long lens prices, and they have a better selection of long lenses to suit almost any purpose as well. If your primary interest is wildlife photography, no question go with Canon.

GENERAL PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Why I shoot Nikon, what I still like in Canon
My style is primarily photojournalist chasing my kids around, so all of the smart functionality in the Nikon bodies is what keeps me with them. Capturing a precise moment in time or a cute expression that will happen only for an instant requires staying as focused as possible on your subject, and Nikon allows for that a lot easier. Canon builds a lot of constant aperture f/4 lenses though like their 70-200mm f/4L with and without IS, their 24-105 f/4L IS, and their 17-40mm f/4L. These are great because they give you a nice range, decent speed, and aren't too heavy all for a great price. Nikon just doesn't believe in building lenses like these and forces you to choose between cheaper and slow f/5.6 lenses, or super heavy and far more expensive f/2.8 lenses with less range than you can get with an f/4, with very little in between. If you have kids you're lugging around, big fat f/2.8 zooms can be more a liability than an asset. A lot of Nikon's prime lenses are still too slow to keep up with erratically moving kids too. Nikon does have a MUCH better lineup of crop body (DX) lenses compared to Canon's EF-S lenses though. Canon tries to push you into their more expensive full-frame lenses sooner, whereas Nikon gives you almost everything you need with their DX lenses. Nikon even has a DX fisheye lens whereas Canon doesn't. But Nikon has so many gaping wide holes in their full-frame lens lineup that I decided to stick with their crop bodies indefinitely. On Canon the jump would be very easy because their full-frame lens lineup is so much more complete. I also don't mind paying a little bit more for something so long as I feel like I'm getting a quality product, and with Nikon you certainly do.

AS OF JUNE 2010: Why I've started the switch to Canon. As I stated above, Canon has always had a very nice range of professionally built full frame f/4 lenses which are cheaper, lighter, and easier to carry around than the 'big hitter' f/2.8 zooms that have a range wide enough to still be useful on crop bodies if you want to use them on those, along with fast-focusing medium telephoto prime lenses that Nikon still lacks. My kids are now 1 and 3 years old and run around like crazy. They're no longer always within a few arms-length of me like they used to be and run off on their own. I tried chasing them around with Nikon's excellent 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens but it just didn't work because it was way too big and heavy, and also insuitable for travel. And their 55-200VR and 70-300VR f/5.6 lenses got way too slow too quickly. You can't chase kids around into the evening or even during the day when they might be in shade with only an f/5.6 lens, or if you try you might not get very pleasing results due to needing to push ISO too high. So my style is now more centered with Sports/Action and Travel/Landscape than it is photojournalist, and you can see above that Canon has the edge in these areas. Technically I don't even really "travel" that much, but anytime you go anywhere at all with two young kids the size and weight of your photography gear is going to be a concern simply because you're already lugging around a ton of other stuff for the kids. Overly big and heavy photog gear simply isn't manageable. The combination of a lightweight high-res full-frame body like the Canon 5D Mark II and Canon's 70-200mm f/4L lens gives me the same depth of field and subject isolation that I'd get with a 70-200mm f/2.8 on a Nikon crop body, in a much smaller, lighter, and easier to take around with you package. Also the 70-200mm range "works" a lot better on full-frame than it does a crop body. 70mm starts out too long on a crop body, but is just right on a full-frame. The 24-105mm f/4L and 17-40mm f/4L lenses are all ideal for travel since they're not too heavy, and I can use my faster manual focus Nikkor prime lenses with an adapter for static portraiture and other still shots if I want to. Canon has made huge ergonomic improvements in their bodies, and a lot of the internal smarts that Nikons have had Canon now has too such that it's a moot point now. The fact that I could "downgrade" my $1600 Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens all the way to a 70-200mm f/4L non-IS in Canon land for $600 and pocket $1000 paid for half of the 5D Mark II body. (I never used VR on that lens because I use it for action shots where the shutter speed is fast enough that VR won't help you. And to add injury to insult, Nikon does have an $1100 80-200mm f/2.8 lens, but it's the old style screwdrive focusing system that won't yank the focus around quickly enough for difficult action shots unless you have a full pro body!) I just sold off two other Nikon lenses that I wasn't using (70-300VR, 14mm f/2.8) and had a nice starter Canon system already and could keep all the rest of my Nikon gear if I wanted to. Selling off the 300mm lens could be justified because the high-res 5DMkII body gives you enough cropping leeway with 21MP and only a 200mm lens to still give you plenty of reach. I rarely needed to go all the way out to 300mm on my 70-300VR and don't anticipate buying a 300mm Canon lens anytime soon unless it's for sports, in which case used Canon 300mm f/2.8 super-telephotos are way cheaper and much easier to find than Nikons. All Nikon needed to make was a lens equivalent to Canon's 70-200mm f/4L and I wouldn't have switched. Watch them come out with one now.


IN THE END IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER

A good photographer learns to adapt around whatever limitations or nuances their camera body or system has and will get great results either way, no matter what they do. A lot of pro photojournalists still shoot Canon, even though technically the Nikon system might be better suited to that. These guys know exactly how to set their cameras anyways and do it instinctively and don't necessarily need the extra smarts in the camera body to do it for them.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 07:04 AM   #17
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my view on canon is it over exposes the picture in good lighting and seems to always want to use the flash in the auto setting. (this was the first rebel i know there better now)

nikon i was very impressed with and it doesnt have the over exposure but your going to spend more on everything, however it has better features then canon for the most part.

sony dispite people saying its body is uncomfortable the sensor is the same as the nikon with the a380 and up aslo the a380 is the same size as the a330 and is a very light weight camera. the problem with sony is there is not as many lenses and the shape is supposedly uncomfortable(i thought it was just fine)


i say sony they have all the features of nikon but with a few less lenses even the entry level cameras are ok in low light but after the a380 it is the exact same senos as nikon uses but for less money.
Nikon and Sony sensors are definitely not the same. Everybody griped when the D3x was coming out because it used the "same" sensor as the far cheaper Sony a900, but there's no comparison in performance between the two (link). Whatever Nikon has is blowing what Sony has right out of the water. It's true that Nikon does use Sony's fab and probably tries to reuse as much of their sensor architecture as possible, but there's a whole lot of things that go into sensor design that matter that are clearly not shared between the two. I'm guessing Nikon's photosite technology is very different and more advanced, along with A/D conversion, processing algorithms external to the sensor, etc. You referenced the Sony a380 which uses a 14MP sensor, but Nikon doesn't even have a 14MP sensor in any of their camera bodies at the moment, so .
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Old January 21st, 2010, 07:08 AM   #18
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I BOUGHT A D90!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my friend bought it and sold it to me for $775 its body only so now i just need to find a lense haha on to my next problem i wana get a good all around lense mostly for shootin portraits and landscapes im seeing a good macro lense down the road but for right now i need a general lense
D90 is a great camera, congrats!
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Old January 21st, 2010, 07:40 AM   #19
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I had the first Digital Rebel and found the pictures were fine, even in auto when I first started. As I stated elsewhere, I beginning to regret selling it to purchase the 40D. I'm sitting here looking at the 11x14 framed metallic print of my Paris Arc de Triomphe photo hanging in my law office and I'm convinced it took better pictures than my 40D. The only other culprit I can think could be the problem is that the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 that I sold to a friend is better than my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. LOL.

I've actually considered downsizing to a T1i and selling the 40D just to lighten my load a bit. It's getting difficult to take vacations with two kids in tow and then having to carry my SLR gear as well. The new T1i also fits my hand a lot better than the previous Rebels. Still thinking about this.
Just switch to Nikon.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 09:40 AM   #20
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I wish Steve was more knowledgable.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 03:37 PM   #21
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Just switch to Nikon.
LOL. Not likely.

I've also never had any durability problems with either my old Digital Rebel or my 40D. And I've certainly banged my previous kit lense around while hitting Disney World every year.

In case anyone cares, here's a link to my photog site.

http://www.rwcphotography.zenfolio.com

You know its bad when you google my name, my photog stuff comes up more than my law stuff. LOL.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 05:17 PM   #22
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LOL. Not likely.

I've also never had any durability problems with either my old Digital Rebel or my 40D. And I've certainly banged my previous kit lense around while hitting Disney World every year.

In case anyone cares, here's a link to my photog site.

http://www.rwcphotography.zenfolio.com

You know its bad when you google my name, my photog stuff comes up more than my law stuff. LOL.
Wow, some nice pics, though question how do you get your WB right dead on spot? any tips?
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 11:29 AM   #23
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I use Bibble Lite to do all my raw conversions to jpg. I also use the "click white" feature to fix any WB issues and a few Bibble tweaks here and there to make the photos pop.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 11:33 AM   #24
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Hmmm, intersting, I just tweak my pics in photoshop, but still sometimes can't get it to perfect and to stand out...

if you want to check out my flickr and tell me what you think, I'd appreciate it. Thanks

http://www.flickr.com/photos/turbo_911
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 12:39 PM   #25
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^^ Nice photos on your Flickr Turbo_911.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 07:42 PM   #26
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wow guys great websites u guys really inspire me im still learnin and hope to get as good as you thanks for all the help advice
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 08:53 PM   #27
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^^ Nice photos on your Flickr Turbo_911.
thank you


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wow guys great websites u guys really inspire me im still learnin and hope to get as good as you thanks for all the help advice
no problem, and good luck learning
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Old June 8th, 2010, 05:51 AM   #28
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Ken Rockwell's D700 vs 5D Mark II comparison: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d700/vs-5d-mark-ii.htm

Here's my take from the perspective of a long-time Nikon shooter and new 5DMkII owner.
  • The 5DMkII is definitely not built as toughly as the semi-pro Nikon bodies, but... It's smaller and noticeably lighter, so easier to carry around. That matters to me more. Lots of Nikon folks have been asking for a smaller and lighter full-frame body, and Canon gives you one.

  • AF is definitely not going to be as good on the Canon as it is on the Nikon, but I haven't had any complaints with the Canon so far. It can keep up with and maintain accurate focus on my fast-moving kids even using side sensors, and with a fast lens doesn't seem to do too badly in low light either.

  • The built in flipping plug for the charger on the Canon is sweet. No annoying cord to lug around. I really was excited about that when I saw it. The Canon S90 is the same way. Now I can throw chargers for both in my main camera bag while on travel and not have to pack them separately because the cords from the Nikon chargers would take up too much space.

  • In exchange for being slightly smaller and lighter, the 5DMkII has no pop-up flash. That means no ability to command slave flashes, and no fill flash ability in harsher light. I do like the smaller size and lighter weight, and rarely used the pop-up flash on my Nikons so I'm ok with this. I picked up a 270EX flash though rather than the 220EX suggested because the 270EX's head can flip up for bouncing. I rarely if ever use wireless slave flashes, so ability to command off-camera flashes with the 'PUF' isn't a big deal to me, but is nice on the Nikon.

  • The Canon does work extremely well with NIKON AI, AIS, and D type lenses with a GOOD adpater. I picked up a Haoda adapter which works great! Metering seems to work pretty well, you get proper infinity focus, and the focus confirmation light and beep work as well. EXIF will always say 50mm and f/1.8 though, whereas the Nikon will give correct EXIF data assuming you enter the non-CPU lens data properly. He's correct that old Canon FD mount lenses won't work though. Buying the 5DMkII was made easier knowing that I wouldn't be orphaning all of these great old manual focus Nikkors that I have, and that I could still use them.

  • Power switch: I definitely like the Nikon setup better, but since I use a BlackRapid strap the power switch doesn't hang facing my body hitting my belt buckle or body at all, so there's no way the camera would inadvertently get turned off.

  • Image playback is definitely more annoying on the Canon. You do have to hit the playback button even during image review after you just took the photo to zoom in, although you can flip between info screens. Also there's no ability to instantly zoom to AF sensor used like you can on the Nikons. If you want to see very quickly if what you wanted was in focus and sharp or not, the Nikons rule. Canon is a lot clumsier here.

  • Yes Nikon's custom settings and custom shooting banks are absolutely friggin useless. As he describes, it's way too many button presses to still not change everything you might need to. And since there's no way to hard lock settings, if you change anything while in those modes it remains "saved" and you can't revert back to your original settings. They're like constant live banks. Haven't tried them yet, but yes Canon's approach to this does seem to be superior. The C1/C2/C3 settings save "everything" and it remains hard locked. You can adjust things, but after a timeout period it'll revert back and give you a 100% known starting point each time. I'm going to make good use of this as soon as I can learn my way around the camera enough to figure out how I want things set for what.

  • Viewfinder digits are definitely on the thin and weak side on the Canon compared to Nikon. Last night shooting the 5DMkII into some brighter light sources, all the viewfinder info became washed out and invisible. I don't recall that happening to me with any of my Nikons. If you're trying to see where the heck your settings are going and what your meter is saying while looking through the VF in very bright light, this is a big distraction and annoyance with the Canon.

  • Permanent "scarring" of the VF with AF sensor displays doesn't bug me, and I don't think it impedes composition either. Of course the Nikon would be absurd if all 51 AF point markings remained in the VF display at all times. The Canon only has 9 and a few invisible assist points in comparison.

  • White Balance trims: One of the most shocking things about the 5DMkII has been that you cannot apply quick amber or blue white balance trims (offsets) without diving into menus. I guess I took this for granted on the Nikons. On the Nikons (with two control dials at last) you hold down the WB button and spin the main control dial to select the main WB modes (Auto, Sunny, Shade, etc) and then hold down the WB button and spin the sub-command dial (front dial) to apply an offset A5 (amber 5, or B3 (blue 3) if you wanted slighter warmer or cooler settings. Can't do that on the Canon without diving into menus. That's annoying.

  • Auto ISO: I like the Canon better. I need to get in and out of Auto ISO modes all the time. I didn't realize how much I disliked Nikon's setup until I saw how simple Canon had it. Auto is built right into the normal ISO selection range as the lowest setting so you can flip easily in and out of auto and manual, whereas Nikon forces you into menus. You can't select a minimum shutter speed with the Canon, but I'd be constantly resetting that in menus on the Nikon anyways. On the Canon I just use shutter priority (Tv) instead, no big deal. I also like the "soft landing" feature of Canon's Auto ISO. It won't constantly run your lens at maximum aperture like the Nikons do before starting to bump up ISO. It'll leave you a third or two-thirds of a stop down which is great, since most lenses don't perform their best wide-open anyways. Once you get to higher ISOs it will run the lens at max aperture, but at lower ISOs it leaves you stopped down just a little and bumps ISO first. Smart thinking on Canon's part IMHO.

  • Chargers again. I do like that the Canon charger tells you the percentage of charge, because it gives you a hint as to when the battery will be done charging. You have no clue with the Nikon chargers.

  • I was very worried about the JPEG processing on the Canon since I have little time to deal with RAW, and the unavoidable noise reduction that gets applied even at low ISOs with NR turned off. It's turned out to be a lot less of a deal than I thought it would be. I tested this this week, and yes if you're in 21MP mode and if you happen to have fine details right at about the resolution limit of the sensor, YES it may smudge those details via low-level NR with the JPEG files. The issue seems to apply only to very high frequency textures or detail, as in right at the Nyquist limit of the sensor.. For medium and lower frequency details the JPEGs look the same as the RAW files. Since I rarely shoot scenes with that much complicated detail in them, and since I rarely look at 100% anyways, just a minor issue for me. OK I can flip to RAW for that one shot, but otherwise no big deal. If you're in the Medium size mode (11MP), I don't notice the issue at all, and yes the Canon 11MP files are super duper sharp.

  • Lateral Color Fringes: Yes the newer gen Nikon bodies all correct these, with the exception of the D3000. Nice handy feature to have that the Canons don't handle.

  • Auto Dynamic Range Control: Yes, Nikon is better here. Canon still doesn't really seem to have a good auto contrast feature built into their cameras. Honestly I haven't been able to figure either out though. Both are very complicated. Maybe leaving this fully manual is better afterall.

  • High ISO performance: Ken didn't really mention it, but I think it's just about a dead heat here. Both look great at 1600, start to show some noise at 3200, and can still give good looking usable images at 6400. At the opposite end, the Canon does give you an ISO 50 mode, which is great for shooting at very large apertures in very bright conditions (daytime portraiture). And you can flip very easily in and out of the expanded ISO modes on the Canon also, whereas on Nikon first you have to dive into the menus to disable Auto ISO, and then go back and select the expanded ISO range you want.

  • Software: Also not mentioned by Ken, but another thing that amazed me with the Canon is just how well their software works. From the download utility to the free DPP utility for image processing including RAW, it just works. I think Nikon's Capture NX2 package is more capable with RAW files, but incredibly clunky running, operating, a resource hog, crash prone, and they make you pay for it ($199). DPP just works and does everything I need it to do, and it's free. Awesome! Canon clearly has their act together when it comes to software. Nikon's is a mess

Anyhow both are phenomenally good cameras. I went with a 5DMkII because of Canon's lens lineup being much more to my liking and suiting my needs better more than any differences between these two camera bodies. If Nikon built some of the lenses that Canon does, I'd have upgraded to a D700 and stuck with Nikon. I'd probably enjoy the heck out of a D700 just as much as I'm enjoying this 5DMkII.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:32 AM   #29
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^^ Super review!
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Old June 8th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #30
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And that's why its always good to have an engineer on this site Steve is much more anal about these types of details when it comes to photography. LOL.

Seriously Steve, you might as well start your own photo site to rival Ken Rockwells. I find your reviews much more neutral and useful than Ken's heavy Nikon slant. Throw on some google ads on there and you'll easily be making an extra few hundred a month on clicks alone (Reminder for our members to click on our ads, its what keeps this site running now and the more photog ads we click, the better the pay out since they tend to pay more...gotta keep it consistent since Google checks for spikes in clicks since we're not allowed to "artifically" inflate our numbers) hehehe
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