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Nikon vs Canon

Postby Jake » 16 Apr 2011, 15:56 •  [Post 1]

I was researching for a friend and happened to come across a very interesting article.. and I know its always a personal choice.. but this is worth a read

(Note: If you’re a bride or client – feel free to ignore this post. We will resume our normally scheduled programming soon!)

Hey there fellow photographers and cameraphiles! Some of you may have heard the rumor that I switched (back) to Nikon…. well, it’s true!

I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking me to explain why, so i thought I’d use this opportunity to do a little explaining and to liquidate my Canon gear.

First up… why did I switch? Actually, I started shooting weddings on Nikon gear. At the time, it was the best digital solution out there and I never really had too many complaints. But Canon released the 20d and it offered better high ISO capabilities and more megapixels at a much better price-point. So began my 6 year affair with Canon…

Canon was good to me, especially back in the day when I rocked a cropped sensor and a 35mm lens for 90% of my shoots. It was simple, reliable and dependable. Then I got a 5d. The 5d offered great high ISO features, a full frame, a nice big LCD and the worst focusing system money could buy. :(

Let me preface this next part by saying that I am a hard-core stickler for sharp images; “A little soft,” or “a little back-focused” is not ok by me. It’s tack sharp or it get’s the hose. So, as you can imagine, the 5d became quite a handicap for me. But, nonetheless, I figured out that if I only shot on One Shot and kept my aperture up, I could make in-focus photos.

Despite my near-constant frustration with Canon, I held out for the mythical 5d Mark II – a camera that promised even better ISO, an even bigger sensor, an even fancier LCD and (you guessed it), the same crappy focusing system. At that point, Canon had me by the you-know-whats (I don’t actually have you-know-whats… it’s a euphemism, silly) – I had *thousands* invested in lenses (see below). So I shot my 5d Mark II for the entire 2009 wedding season…. on One-Shot…. using a high aperture… constantly cussing under my breath.

So, there you have it! Canon is a great system…. I will miss some of the lenses and the way the bodies feel in my hands (I still think Nikons are made for a man’s hands and mine don’t quite fit around the grip right). But, at the end of the day, I am a stickler for focus and Canon just didn’t deliver.

Now for Part Two of this post….
BUY MY CANON STUFF!
Below is a list of what I have to sell, along with a brief description of condition, what’s included, etc. If it’s not listed, it’s not included ;) I used to be one of those crazy people that kept every little box and accessory and manual, but now I’m not and I don’t have that stuff. But, I take good care of my stuff and this gear has seen some very lovelyl weddings ;)

So here is the list! Email me at chenin@boutwellstudio.com if you want to buy anything. You pay shipping from 92694.

Canon 5d MarkII (excellent condition, one year old, includes body, body cap, 3 batteries and charger) – $2300 – SOLD

Canon 5d – (good condition, a couple of minor scratches on the body, includes body cap, charger and 2 batteries) – $1000 – SOLD

Canon 5d – (fair condition, works great but it has some deep scratches on the body, includes cap, charger and 1 battery) – $900 – SOLD

Canon 85 1.2 lens (excellent condition, includes hood and caps) – $1600 – SOLD

Canon 50 1.2 lens (excellent condition, includes hood and caps) – $1300 – SOLD

Canon 28 1.8 lens (excellent condition) – $375 – SOLD

Canon 50mm macro (excellent condition, includes caps) – $200 – SOLD

Canon 24-105 IS lens (good condition, includes hood and caps) – $900

Canon 45 2.8 TS-E lens (good condition, includes hood and caps) – $875- SOLD

Canon 70-200 2.8 IS lens (good condition, includes hood and caps) – $1300 – SOLD

Canon 50 1.8 lens (never used, this lens sat on my back-up camera for a year) – $50 – SOLD

(2) Canon 580exII Speedlights (good condition, has a piece of Velcro on it) – $225/each – BOTH SOLD

Canon 550EX Speedlight (fair condition, this thing is scratched and ugly, but it works fine, been sitting in my back-up bag for 2 years) – $125 – SOLD

On another note, there are still spots available for The StyleLab, my first workshop in 2 years! A lot of people have been emailing and asking if I will be going to the East Coast or Midwest anytime soon. LET ME BE SUPER-DUPER-CRYSTAL-CLEAR – I am only teaching workshops in Orange County, CA. I love to teach and help photographers, but I love to be with my family more. Being a mom comes first, which means no giant mutli-city tours. So come on down to the beautiful OC and lets’ do some learning :)

delightully,
Chenin


Personally if I had her lenses, I'd stay put! :D
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby manarak » 17 Apr 2011, 13:27 •  [Post 2]

I made some nice sharp Songkran pix with my Canon 550D, but in the past I've had my frustrations with the autofocus.
The AF works fine in daylight, but when it gets a bit dark, it tends to wander.

Out of curiosity, which Nikon Camera has:
- good continuous AF
- 5 pix / sec
- full HD video
- good high ISO performance
- 12 MP minimum
?

The D5100 seems to fit the bill?

But the 5100 is just coming out now, before that, I believe Nikon didn't offer any high-performance option in the entry-level DSLR segment, especially regarding HD Video, ISO performance and MP
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby Jake » 17 Apr 2011, 15:37 •  [Post 3]

manarak wrote:I made some nice sharp Songkran pix with my Canon 550D, but in the past I've had my frustrations with the autofocus.
The AF works fine in daylight, but when it gets a bit dark, it tends to wander.

Out of curiosity, which Nikon Camera has:
- good continuous AF
- 5 pix / sec
- full HD video
- good high ISO performance
- 12 MP minimum
?

The D5100 seems to fit the bill?

But the 5100 is just coming out now, before that, I believe Nikon didn't offer any high-performance option in the entry-level DSLR segment, especially regarding HD Video, ISO performance and MP


Good continuous AF is a hallmark of the new generation, D3100/ D5100 and the D7000.

For the things you mentioned well the D7000 (although not entry level fits the bill perfectly) and it has 6 shots a sec. It actually has microadjustment feature too. Video is full HD 1080p. 39 auto focus points for motion tracking (I have to admit this one makes me drool since I only have 11 on my D90 which is the same as the D5100 so the 7000 would be better).

The HIGH ISO performance is fantastic.. I mean look at this, this is ISO 6400!
And here is another iso 6400.. jaw dropping good..

It's a 16 megapixel camera but I've heard that you really need good glass to take advantage of of anything above 12 mp. Basically when you go over 12 megapixels it exposes the weakness in the glass if its not good glass. But since you already have an 18 megapixel you would know that already!

Here is the review complete with the specs. But you know the funny part? It's weather sealed like a pro dslr but its only semi-pro really as its the replacement for the D90.

I certainly wish I could afford it but.. anyways.. :cry:
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby manarak » 17 Apr 2011, 20:00 •  [Post 4]

ah, but the D7000 doesn't have the same price tag as a 550D !
There's a difference of about 450 USD, or 50%.
But then it's just the price of an average lens!
The D7000 certainly seems to be a good buy over the 7D which sells for double the price!
Microadjustment is more than a nice to have nowadays.
With all the factory-grade lenses coming out with AF focusing issues, microadjustment can save so much hassles!

Regarding the glass, you are right.
The sigma f/1.4 is difficult to use and quite "soft" up to f/2.0
Did some shots today using it, and it is difficult to get a nice low light shot.

And I discovered an annoying feature on the 550D: the camera seems to automatically compensate the exposure when it thinks that the pic is not optimally exposed.
This even occurs in "manual" mode, but not in aperture or shutter priority modes.
And the adjustment is a bit unpredictible, so my pics of the walking street neon signs were too dark or too bright...
I tried the manual mode. I could set ridiculous settings for the pic, like a shutter of 1/5000 and f/5, and the camera would still make a well-lit pic.
Very very annoying.
I'm curious as to how to deactive that.
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby Jake » 17 Apr 2011, 20:17 •  [Post 5]

I noticed that exact same softness on the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 as well in addition to the side focus problem which caused me to return it. :(

The price of D7000 will drop with time. Right now it's still considered new after 6 months of being out and the demand is still more than the supply. Besides Canon seems to release new cameras every few months if not every year so their bodies seem to be cheaper. With Nikon they seem to put a camera out and just leave it there for a while so it tends to hold its value until the new version comes out. Remember I picked up a D90 brand new for under $700 just when the D7000 came out.

Regarding the auto exposure compensation do you have auto ISO on? That's the only thing I can think of which could balance the exposure especially since you have full control of aperture and shutter speed. Otherwise I'm not sure, because I don't have a Canon. You could look in the flickr 550D groups. Might be somewhere in the menu.

Funny thing about exposure.. this maybe strange for you to hear but sometimes I'll intentionally underexpose a shot by 2 full stops to not add grain to the image or to prevent it blowing out the highlights and then I'll fix it in ACR later on. For example the candid shots of the redhead I showed you, I shot them at ISO 800 since I didn't want to make them grainy but then I bumped up the exposure by +2.10 in post process along with a few other things.

BTW I didn't know you were into video recording with your DSLR much. That's one feature I haven't used on mine at all. I still seem to prefer still shots.
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby manarak » 17 Apr 2011, 21:32 •  [Post 6]

I did some tests now in the condo and I was unable to reproduce the problems of exposure compensation in manual mode. In the condo, everything seems to work as intended. hmm.
But the exposure correction problem is still present in AV and TV modes, but it's not as crippling there.

Regarding vids, I don't shoot vids often, but when I do, I like them to be top notch quality.
I shot a vid the other day of how the thais remove their boats from the water for the night - it is quite impressive.
They need less than a minute per boat.
And the 1080p quality is really great!
I'll try to shoot a vid of some dancing ladyboys and post it on the forum.
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby Jake » 19 Apr 2011, 15:22 •  [Post 7]

I've been thinking of picking for a good 2.8 lens for a while too but I think I'll hold off till I'm ready to pack up the bags and leave for good. I mean there's one thing I've realized in the last few months of shooting here, when its cold, it gets really cold and at those times, I don't really like being outside taking shots, not to mention my hands start shaking and VR can barely rescue the image. I need a warmer climate.

So might be best to hold off till I'm ready to leave for good since it won't really see any use or maybe since the dollar keeps sliding, maybe I should get it sooner than later because of price increases. Ah the dilemma... :?
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby manarak » 19 Apr 2011, 15:37 •  [Post 8]

LOL, taking the climate and shaking hands from cold in account for lens buying, hehe.

The tokina is definitely my best lens, I love it.
The tamron is good too for what is does.

I might sell the Sigma, there is really no point - I might get a better grade low light lens if one day I got the cash.
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby Jake » 19 Apr 2011, 15:57 •  [Post 9]

no point due to it's softness till 2.0? I didn't want to say that outloud but that was my disgust with it. It costed double the 35mm 1.8 and it was unusable till 2.8 really.

There's something interesting I observed from it.. I know 1.4 and faster (1.2 or 0.95) lenses make people drool and such but in reality the times we need to use that aperture are very limited - the depth of field is so shallow that in real world situations if you focus on someone's eye, the hair are soft which drives me nuts. 1.8 lenses seem to be good enough honestly provided they're sharp. For example the 35mm and 85mm 1.8 nikkors are sharp but the 50mm 1.8 is soft until 5.6. :roll:

BTW I like your tokina too especially its vibrant colors but I'm not sold on wide angles personally.. I have basically shelved my 18-105 but I keep it around for the wide angle *if* I need it. My favorite is now the 70-300 tamron and its that focal length that has me thinking of upgrading its quality since although its a very good lens, I wish it created a more shallow depth of field.. 5.6 isn't enough. :cry:

Basically if I could sum up the type of image I want consistently, it would be something as sharp as this but with a shallower depth of field.

Oh I had to take the weather into account because I don't want to purchase something that just sits there and collects dust! It's been raining most of the past month and I haven't been able to go out and shoot.
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby manarak » 19 Apr 2011, 17:45 •  [Post 10]

the tokina is amazing... I'll post some samples I shot at famous bar the other day, and you will see.

regarding the shallow DOF on f/1.2 and f/1.4, this is true but there is still low-light landscape-style photography where wide aperture is useful - that's how I want to use the Sigma, but it is just too soft on about 50% of shots. The other half are about fine, but not perfect. And in low light, I have AF issues, I would need to use live view.
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby manarak » 19 Apr 2011, 17:54 •  [Post 11]

ok, here is a sample of the tokina

second pic is a crop

(but both pics are probably distorted by the forum software)
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby Jake » 19 Apr 2011, 17:59 •  [Post 12]

Nice shot (girl and background). But that shot is revolting to me..

As for landscapes, why don't you use multiple area focus for those kind of shots. I always use single point but if I was doing landscapes with a prime, I'd switch to multiple area.

In Nikon area focusing is default.. I had to switch to single point. I'm not sure how it is with canon but might be worth giving it a shot.
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby manarak » 19 Apr 2011, 19:54 •  [Post 13]

err... how do you see that with the focus point from the pic?

I can set multiple focus points, but then the camera chooses the object that is closest to me, i.e. the shisha jug or jar or whatever that thing is called.

There's also the "A-DEP" mode, automatic depth of field, is that what you mean? It tries to set the aperture as to have the max number of focus points in focus.

I usually use single point because I am wary of OOF shots
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby Jake » 19 Apr 2011, 20:00 •  [Post 14]

Hmm how do I see what? The revolting comment was referring to the tobacco/ shissa whatever. Can't stand smokers.

As far as focusing well on Nikon its different.

Mine will choose multiple focus points and still have all in focus even at f/1.8. I use single point to specifically create more out of focus areas. Personally I would never use Auto Depth of Field.. sec I'll try and pull up an image and then post it to show you what I mean.
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby Jake » 19 Apr 2011, 20:21 •  [Post 15]

Ok here..

This isn't the best shot in the world.. and there was no way to perfectly focus the fireworks show during the Loy Krathong celebration, so I shot them in rapid fire on Auto Area focus mode with the 35mm prime using Aperture Priority @ f/ 2.0, ISO 1600.

As you can see, the multiple focus locked onto 5 of 11 points for this shot.

Image
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby manarak » 19 Apr 2011, 22:41 •  [Post 16]

Loy Krathong?

So you live in Thainatown?
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Re: Nikon vs Canon

Postby Jake » 20 Apr 2011, 15:06 •  [Post 17]

No I live in a ethnically mixed Queens NYC suburb remember!

BTW look at this.. 5d mark II, This may look sharp but if you pixel peep its not sharp at all.

I hate that even the hair strands are soft!
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