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Thread: Camera selection opinions sought

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    Camera selection opinions sought

    Hello!

    I am Murali Nair, from kerala, in the southern tip of India. I am a marketing teacher at an Institute for Social Entrepreneurship.

    It is really nice to read up on all the articles and posts here...

    I have been shooting a bit with my D80 for 2 years now and am looking forward to some advice on buying a D700/D3 or Mark 5D/1D. I would be doing largely street photography and a bit of motor sport. There are many comparisons online, but somehow am not sure if 12.1 Mp of the Nikon would be enough and if they would upgrade the resolution of D3 in the near future.


    Looking forward to your views...

    Cheers!

    Murali

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    Re: Camera selection opinions sought

    Hi Murali,

    The megapixel debate should have pretty much ended when cameras past the 8MP mark; I still print images up to 44" wide taken when I had an 8MP Canon 20D, and they look just fine. Now days I shoot with a 21MP Canon 1Ds3 - and they really don't look much different.

    A couple of things to think about ...

    1. Increasing resolution is a square-law function; if you have a print from an 8MP camera - and you want to double it - then you'll need a 32MP camera, because you need to double the resolution in both dimensions.

    2. The bigger the print, the further the viewing distance - and thus the less detail that our eyes can resolve (the one exception being photographers in which case the minimum viewing distance is limited only by the length of their nose!)

    In the "real world", in most cases, high MP count cameras give you the ability to get more agressive with cropping, but that's really about the only advantage that I can think of (unless your printing in high-end high-gloss magazines and really need those insane resolutions).

    In terms of one brand -v- another, I can only give you an insight from a Canon perspective, although it's my understanding that Nikon have functionally equivalent models in their range.

    Canon have a number of models, and I'm not totally sure which you're referring to; ...

    The Canon 5D has been around for quite a few years now - it's full frame and 12MP, and is positioned as an advanced amateur / pro-sumer camera.

    The Canon 5D2 is it's replacement that was released quite recently. It upped the MP count to 21 and added video ability and great high ISO / low-light ability, but is still only positioned as advanced amateur / pro-sumer.

    The Canon 1D3 is the "sports" model of the professional lineup - it's a 10MP camera with a 1.3x crop factor that shoots at up to 10 fps.

    The Canon 1Ds3 is the "studio" model of the professional lineup - it's a 21MP camera that's full frame, and shoots at up to 5 fps.

    Debates rage all over the net regarding 5D2 - 1D3 / 1Ds3 comparisons; the bottom line is that they're as different as chauk and cheese.

    Some of the differences ...

    The 1D3 / 1Ds3 have FULL weather sealing, and can be used in rain / hail / sleat / snow without fear.

    The 1D3 / 1Ds3 has a vastly superior AF system (in fact they dedicate 1 CPU to AF calculations and another CPU to lens drive). We're finding that in low light situations the 1D series can simply focus and take the shot whilst the 5D2 is still hunting and trying to lock on.

    The 1D3 / 1Ds3 has vastly superior 63 zone metering (-v- 35 zone for the 5D2).

    The 1D3 / 1Ds3 has many more firmware configuration options - and the ability to do far more advanced things (like spot meter and graph up to 8 measurements at once).

    The 1D3 / 1Ds3 has dual media capability so when your shooting "failure is not an option" type situations (eg weddings) a card failure isn't doing to drop you deep in the doggy doo doo!

    The 1D3 / 1Ds3 has "built like a tank" build construction - there are many stories of how they've been dropped - totally smashing a lens - change lens - keep shooting.

    The 1D3 / 1Ds3 have longer battery life and higher shutter lifes.

    Just different tools for different jobs really. Although I've labeled them as "sports" and "studio" models, in reality, they are both very versatile cameras with a BIG overlap between them (eg I use my 1Ds3 for landscape photography, which it's perfect for).

    From the Canon lineup you'll find the superior AF and frames-per-second of the 1D3 your best choice for motor sport, but probably the low-light performance of the 5D2 would be best for street photography. In the Nikon lineup, probably the D3 would be your best choice.

    Does this help?
    Last edited by McQ; 18th May 2009 at 05:06 PM.

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    Re: Camera selection opinions sought

    Quote Originally Posted by maranello View Post
    I would be doing largely street photography and a bit of motor sport
    IMO, in the Canon line the 5D MkII would be the best choice. The 5DMkII (as mentioned) will allow more aggressive cropping, but if you already have Nikon gear and lenses . . . ??? Are you really considering changing brands - is there much already invested???

    If you are referring to classic street work, then a 35F/1.4 or (more snub) the 35F/2 would be appropriate.

    I think that the physically smaller camera body and high ISO is more useful for street work and the 5DMkII can easily be adapted to the odd sports event . . . frame rate is often overrated: timing the shutter release is an oft forgotten key element, too.

    WW
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 17th May 2009 at 08:10 AM.

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    Re: Camera selection opinions sought

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    frame rate is often overrated: timing the shutter release is an oft forgotten key element, too.
    ... but not 1/2 as much fun
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 17th May 2009 at 08:11 AM.

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    Re: Camera selection opinions sought

    Quote Originally Posted by maranello View Post
    ...am not sure if 12.1 Mp of the Nikon would be enough and if they would upgrade the resolution of D3 in the near future.
    In my opinion, the MP wars have almost reached the point of "irony" now ... Manufacturers like Canon and Nikon - driven by the marketing departments - who are in turn driven by consumer demand - which is driven by consumer perception - which is driven by marketing departments (etc etc etc) invest millions to leap-frog one another continuously when many would get far better results from a camera with far less pixels and far greater dynamic range.

    So to answer your question about "will Nikon upgrade the D3 MP count anytime soon?", it all depends on your definition of soon. At the sharp end of the market the Canon 1D3 is probably next in line, followed by the D3 (probably within the next 12 months) with updates to the 1Ds3 and D3x within 6 months after that. And so on and so forth. Anyone who knows anything about the release schedule will be under NDA agreements, but it doesn't take too much effort to work out approx cycles for these kinds of things (nor their approx specifications). Bottom line is "if you're always waiting for the best then you'll always be waiting for the best"; the release of a new model doesn't make an existing model perform any the worse - and in most cases the image quality obtainable from existing equipment is already more than adequate.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 17th May 2009 at 08:11 AM.

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    Re: Camera selection opinions sought

    Whoa,

    I was expecting maybe one reply in a few days time and here I am flooded! Thanks a ton for giving so many different perspectives..Thanks Dave for putting the post in this section.

    What made things more complicated was an offer from a friend to buy all my Nikon gear giving me an option of jumping over to Canon or maybe even a range finder Leica M8 as it falls in a similar price bracket atleast for the body (apologes if it sounds confusingly stupid or stupidly confusing!)


    Thanks Again

    Murali
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 17th May 2009 at 08:12 AM.

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    Re: Camera selection opinions sought

    Quote Originally Posted by maranello View Post
    I was expecting maybe one reply in a few days time and here I am flooded! Thanks a ton for giving so many different perspectives..Thanks Dave for putting the post in this section.
    Your welcome (PS: It was me who moved it to the SLR forum for you)

    What made things more complicated was an offer from a friend to buy all my Nikon gear giving me an option of jumping over to Canon
    That's what we Canonites like to hear

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    Re: Camera selection opinions sought

    Hi Murali,

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Your welcome (PS: It was me who moved it to the SLR forum for you)
    Yup, it was, I asked first, Colin being a more experienced moderator, just jumped right in and did it
    Whereas I, being the more sensitive soul (or sole!), didn't want to put off a "first poster" by moderating it - but as it happens, you didn't mind - that's Colin's experience coming to the fore

    In terms of the response; I am very happy to say that this is normal here, lots of help within hours is one of our best bits, that and the comstructive solutions offered.

    On the swapping brands thing, the other thought that crossed my mind was if all your current Nikon lenses were DX, you would have to replace them all anyway in order to get the benefits you were looking for in moving to a FF body. (OK I know they might work at reduced resolution/in the middle if cropped, but that's kinda self defeating)

    We obviously hope you stay around to make more use of us when you get the new camera.

    I look forward to seeing some shots, or more questions,

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    Re: Camera selection opinions sought

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Yup, it was, I asked first, Colin being a more experienced moderator, just jumped right in and did it
    Whereas I, being the more sensitive soul (or sole!), didn't want to put off a "first poster" by moderating it - but as it happens, you didn't mind - that's Colin's experience coming to the fore
    Hi Dave,

    To be honest, it was more a case of just doing it as soon as I saw it - sorry, didn't realise you'd also lined it up for a relocate.

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    Re: Camera selection opinions sought

    Colin dear chap,

    I have absolutely no problem with you doing my work for me

    I think you made the right call, so I'll know what to do next time.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Camera selection opinions sought

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post

    I think you made the right call, so I'll know what to do next time.
    You mean shoot with a Canon? (ps: feel free to move these 2 posts to your recent camera selection thread!).

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