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Canon for a \"Nikon-Guy\" ???
Old 03-04-2005, 05:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi Everybody,

I have been a "Nikon-Guy" for years but thinking about converting to Canon. I am currently using the D2H and was wondering how much of a "getting used to" it would be with Canons. I am talking about the handling, menue operation, buttons,....
I am specifically looking at the 1DMkII or 1DsMkII.
Anybody who jumped ship from Nikon to Canon? Robert B., are you out there?
IAll I am looking for is to find out how different the handling is and how user-friendly the Canons are. The Nikon cameras I had/have are very intuitive, hope this will be the case with Canon too.
Unfortunately I can't get a hold of someone in my area (San Antonio,TX) who owns a 1DsMkII so that I can play with it for a few minutes, not even the local camera store has one (well, that place sucks anyway, no customer service, even when you are waving 8000$ before their nose they tell you to "go online and read the reviews!!!").

Thanks
Robert
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Re: Canon for a \"Nikon-Guy\" ???
Old 03-04-2005, 08:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Robert,

I switched last Summer after shooting with Nikon since `77, The Canons are by far superior and are easy to figure out, however the best part is customer support , seems Nikon forgot about it and are so behind times its sad. The 1D MKII is a great camera I shoot television shows and with the focusing and speed I never have the talent dissapointed. a note for you though I dont know if you need motor speed because the 1Ds MKII is NOT near as fast to shoot with...larger file more buffer. In a nut shell bye-bye Nikon Helloooo Canon.

Mike
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I just switched....
Old 03-04-2005, 08:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have shot Nikon since the 1970's and just last week got a 1DsMk2. I'll be selling off all my Niknon stuff soon.

Accessing the menus is definately more of a pain because you have to HOLD DOWN one button with your left hand while you turn the selector wheel with the right. Fortunately I rarely mess with menu options... I set them and forget them. However you have to do the same hold-down-while-turning to review images in history, and that takes some getting used to.

Changing some settings (like ISO) require pressing 2 buttons at the same time with the left hand while turning the control knob with the right. If you shoot manual alot like I do, it is easy to accidentaly change the apeture unless you turn off the main control wheel.

Their raw conversion software is not nearly as good as Nikon's.

Canon's LCD is better and truer. Dynamic range and noise are better. Shutter lag is much better than my D1X. Battery life is very good.... much better than D1X, and more like the D100/D70.

I rarely use AF aso it is taking some getting used to to focus by rotating the other way.

The Canon AF is actually more useful/usable IMHO than Nikon's. I've used single point with automatic expansion, in one-shot mode while using manual AF activation with the button under the thumb rather an the shutter button.

The Canon 200mm 1.8 is a great lens... on par with my Nikkor 200 f2. I was asked to shoot some stuff at a concert Wednesday, and this is a full-frame shot at 320th sec at f2.0 ISO 1600 with the Canon.



Here is the same image at 1:1 pixels... no retouching, no post processing, no sharpening... just converted from RAW to JPG.




I shot RAW so if changing light levels caused under exposure, I could recover... on images that were clearly 1.5 to 2 stops under exposed from the ISO 1600 setting on the camera, they recovered nicely with noise levels vastly superior to the Nikon.
 
 
Re: Canon for a \"Nikon-Guy\" ???
Old 03-04-2005, 08:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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*Edited to add - for those comparing the 1DII to the D1x, come ON. The D1x is over 3 years old an the 1DII is one of Canon's freshest bodies. Not to mention as for speed comparisons, the D1x was never intended to be the speed camera, it was the studio camera. Let's compare to the latest Nikon, which is what I do.

I can't argue that Canon isn't in some ways better. BODIES isn't one of those ways (don't even get me STARTED on ergonomics, and the build quality of the 300D & 350D vs. the D70.....anyway I digress) Nikon is not big enough to keep up with the cost of the kind of R&D it takes to keep up in the digital age (notice how slow their development cycle is - what do you think would happen to Intel if they took that long to respond to AMD?). Which was a problem with their LBCAST sensor in the D2h, which, I'm sorry guys, we'll be honest, was not great. It did a lot of the things they said it would, but sacrificed noise performance and was not up to the standards of the wonderfu D1x as far as colors go.

However, that's now back to being irrelevant like it was with the D1 series. Nikon bought their sensor from Sony again for the D2x. And it ROCKS. So you can go back to worrying about who has the better bodies (Nikon) because both brands have good sensors again.

The small number of testimonials, reviews, and comparisons I've read so far, although in some cases not 100% scientific (which, sorry photography isn't scientific, MTF tests are the least useful lens tests for example), suggest that the D2x can stand toe-to-toe with the 1DsII and keep up and in a few cases squeak out a lead. Obviously the 16mp 1DsII produces slightly more detail than the 12.2mp D2x (4992 x 3328 pixels vs. 4288 x 2848 pixels, about 1.5"x1.5" difference in a 300 DPI print, already not worth $3000 more for the 1DsII in my opinion). However, looking at Bjorn's comparison, I agree with his conclusion that the D2x is a bit sharper. I suggest you read this review, it really makes you want a D2x, but he is EXTREMELY knowledgeable and is NOT shilling for Nikon. www.naturfotograf.com

Now as for the 1DII. I won't try to convince you to get the D2H/D2Hs over the 1DII. The new sensor in the D2Hs is supposed to improve the color and white balance shortcomings of the D2H, but they said nothing about the noise, which lets face it was a problem with the original D2H. Plus, I'm sorry to all those "4mp is enough" people, but even if 4 is enough, 8 is better. That's like 1st grade math right there.

A quick note on specs.
1Ds II - 16mp @ 4FPS for 11 RAWs or 32 JPEGs
1D II - 8mp @ 8.3FPS for 20 RAWs or 40 JPEGs
D2x - 12mp @ 5FPS for 15 RAWs or 26 JPEGs AND
6.8mp @ 8FPS for 26 RAWs or 35 JPEGs
D2Hs - 4mp @ 8FPS for 40 RAWs or 50 JPEGs

Now personally, if I were a sports guy considering the 1DII and I owned Nikon glass, I would have to think long and hard about whether it was worth sacrificing 1.2mp, ~0.3FPS, 8 frames of buffer, and $800-$1000 extra for the versatility of ALSO having a 12.2mp 5FPS high res mode. Now if you're a current Canon shooter with an investment in Canon glass who will NEVER use the 12.2mp, the answer would probably be it's not worth $1000. However, as a Nikon shooter, you'd lose more than that extra $1000 switching out your lens system. Not to mention the fact that based on what forum you're on, I bet you will want to use that 12mp mode.

I know Canon is better at hiring dozens of reps and sending them to troll forums and talk up the evils and patheticness of Nikon at shooting events and tell you that their cameras are God and EVERYBODY has switched and you're a loser if you don't. I have a friend that fell for it. You shouldn't.

Go D2x, baby. I envy you, I wish I could afford to update my D1x.
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Re: Canon speed
Old 03-04-2005, 09:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was impressed with the speed and buffer. 4 fps. If you set the Canon to JPG size the same as the Nikon (2k x 3k pixels) you get a 70+ frame buffer... three times larger than the Nikon. Set it to smaller JPG and you can get over 100 frame buffer!

In RAW mode you get a 10 frame buffer. It is slow to write to microdrives, but twice as fast with Sandisk Ultra II CF cards.
 
 
Re: The last Nikon I owned
Old 03-04-2005, 09:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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was the 2020, the switch was quite painless, similar to moving from an Acura to a BMW, sure there are differences, but if you have a general knowledge on how things work you will not have a problem.

The 1D MK II (which I own) has 8.5fps, the 1Ds MK II has double the mega-pixel files, but half the fps, so if you are shooting sports, the faster camera would be better.
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Re: Canon for a \"Nikon-Guy\" ???
Old 03-04-2005, 09:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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> the D2x can stand toe-to-toe with the 1DsII and keep up
> and in a few cases squeak out a lead.

Not even close IMHO. Canon has better dynamic range, noise, speed, and to a lesser degree better tonal quality... but the big advantage is that it is FULL FRAME.

You think it is unfair to compare the D1x to 1DsMk2 head to head ... and you are right. But if you want to compare apples to apples, where is Nikon's full frame digital body? They don't got one, so until they do, they don't have _anything_ to compare to the 1DsMk2.

Having full frame makes an huge difference to someone (like me) who wants shallow DOF and wants to isolate the subject with compression.

The D2x has a higher pixel density than the Canon. As a result, the Nikon sensor is pushing the resolving power of many lenses, so you can't even use all the pixels Nikon gives you.

The Canon also goes down to ISO 50, and that extra stop is worth gold on the beach with fill flash. The D1X was better in this regard since it went up to 500th for flash sync, but the D2x dropped back to 250th ... same as the Canon... so the lead goes to Canon which has the lower ISO of 50.

I do like the Nikon ergonomics better than Canon... and the Nikon software is better IMHO.
 
 
Re: Canon for a \"Nikon-Guy\" ???
Old 03-04-2005, 11:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Robert,

thanks again for the valuable information. Your post about the Full Frame Sensor with your two comparison photos (Hooters girls) made me think. This is when I first started thinking about switching (plus I am NOT happy with the image quality of my D2H straight out of the camera, it requires a LOT of post processing). Well, although some of my problems could be actually coming from the main factor - the brainless guy at the controls [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]
Your samples of the concert are absolutely awesome, especially since they are straight out of the camera. I am aware that the D2H was not designed as a high-res wonder for glamour/fashion,architecture or landscape work but was hoping to be able to get some decent images (I bought it mainly for sports photography and had already the Nikon glass from my old D100). My first "closer" contact to a Canon was through Ed Hanson (at the Surf&Turf Supershoot) and I was blown away. Even the quality of the preview images on the (smaller, but sharper) camera monitor was a LOT better than my D2h... I am now fighting to color correct my images from this great workshop and have the impression that I am spending countless hours of correcting for something that shouldn't need correction in the first place.

Anyway, my biggest concern was the controls and ergonomics, I know that I can't go technically wrong with the 1DsMkII (or the 1DMkII). Both cameras are probably "overkill" for my capabilities anyways but I am also an "equipment junky" [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
After my meter broke and sporadic AF failures (now fixed after 2 weeks at Nikon service-well known problem of the D2h) I just don't trust that thing anymore. I have to correct all images (lower red and yellow saturation) no matter what white balance or RAW conversion I try.

Thanks
Robert

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Re: Canon for a \"Nikon-Guy\" ???
Old 03-04-2005, 11:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well I might be with you on the change. The Canon rep was at last months state convention, I asked a lot of questions. The most important thing he said was the word "SALE" in march, 0% interest. I think there trying to move the 1Ds. I saw 24x30's of the 1DsMkII. Almost too sharp for individual portrait work. We stood around and could count the pores in the skin.
Just a note
Robert
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Thanks guys for the info
Old 03-04-2005, 11:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you for the valuable information, I seems that I will be placing an order for a Canon body (I am still not sure whether it will be the 1DMkII or the 1DsMkII) and some nice "L" glass.
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