Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

  1. #1

    First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    I am a retired physician, interested in photography. My English is not so good, I speak German. Today I am undecided which digital camera to buy. Do you prefer the Canon EOS 5D, the 1Ds Mark III is quite expensive for "advanced" amateur interests. At the other side I like the handling of the Nikon D200. But will the sensor format: 23,6x15,8 mm of the Nikon fit to my favorite photographic interests (landscape!!, travel! and some macro photography)/ (cutting, clipping factor!)?

    Until now I use a Nikon F4 and tripod, weight is therefore "no problem" ;-). I would appreciate it very much to get any recommendation.
    Last edited by anonymous; 13th April 2008 at 07:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    1,473
    Real Name
    Sean
    Choosing a camera is often a difficult decision. Many choose the model based on not only the camera itself, but also on all of the lenses available from that particular manufacturer.

    I think you would be happy with either the D200 or 5D as these are both great cameras. The biggest difference (other than the crop factor) is probably that the D200 has a sturdier feeling build, while the 5D has much lower image noise at higher ISO speeds. I chose the 5D based on the greater array of lens options, and its long exposure (and low noise) capabilities. As far as the crop factor, please see the article on digital camera sensor sizes (in the advanced section) for the trade-offs associated with this. Hope this at least gets you started.

  3. #3
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,333
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    The two cameras you are considering are quite different in price. I would set as a starting point, your budget, especially as this is your first DSLR.

    From that you will find there are significant differences in performance between a Canon 1 Ds MkIII which as you rightly point out is quite expensive for an advanced amateur (many pros would love to get to this level), and some of the others you are considering.

    There will be quite a learning curve if this is your first DSLR even if you have been using film cameras for many years and I would suggest you also consider some of the other offerings out there, try before you buy and if possible hire / borrow the models you want to try first. D200s are a bargain at present due to the new D300 being the latest offering, although I would imagine the same will be true of the 5D soon (see below)

    From the photography you do, a full frame camera would be ideal, but many landscape photographers have been more than happy with the crop frame D200, and the recent D300, which for the money is a superb camera.

    Of course the Nikon D3 is new and full frame too, just like the Canon Ds MkIII and at around half the price very tempting. I have seen the results and can vouch for its quality and flexibility. Feels good too, it is robust and a real quality pro model; you suddenly realise that the D200 is small by comparison. Ignore the fact it is 12.2 MP.

    The 5D is equally a great camera, as photos on this site and others can attestify to, but bear in mind this looks like the next camera at this level that Canon will upgrade. Bearing in mind the way the market at the Pro end seems to be hotting up, it might well be worth waiting to see what Canon have up their sleeve.

  4. #4
    xeliex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    93
    Real Name
    Elie

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    Great posts guys.

    I do not have any experience with full frames or Nikons.
    But, yes, I would wait to see what Canon is up to. We never know when the release will be, but if one is in no rush, perhaps waiting is smart now. Rumors are referring to the new expected 5D upgrade as Canon 7D or 5D MKII. Sounds exciting, but I think the price might be a bit too steep as well.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Berkeley CA
    Posts
    23

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    The Nikon D3 is a forerunner for quality right now, and probably for some time. If I wasn't so invested in Canon, that's where my money would go. If you've got a set of Nikon glass I would start by verifying it will be useable with a new DLSR, that alone will save you a lot of clams. I had to replace all my Canon glass when going digital...
    I like the idea of grabbing a full frame sensor 5D except for 1: imminent replacement (at likely 25% greater cost than the present model) and 2: Canon have already gone with 14 bit A/D converters in their newer models, the 5D is still only 12. To me this is a big deal and a very long awaited step toward a 16 bit DSLR in a price range I won't be too afeared of walking down the street with. Theoretically each increase equates with greater exposure latitude, if implemented properly (or switched on, as in the case of the D3 having 12/14 options).
    All that said, I'm with the 'wait for the 5D replacement' crowd. Canon has some wicked competition at last and might just meet the challenge with it.

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    First let me say that the Canon 5D is a fine camera but do not purchase it. The LCD is small and poor and it is expected that the 5D will be replaced prior to the end of the year. I do expect the replacement to be great but expensive.

    Second I would say that the Canon 40D has excellent build quality and depending on the lenses you choose (the 17-55mm IS kit lens is poor build quality and the outside of the lens screws up a polarizer when focusing). I would look at the EF 24-105 IS or the EF-S 55-250 IS. For wide angle Landscape work the Canon EF-S 10-22 is better than any competitive lenses.

    or

    Look at the Nikon D300 with the 28-200 DX VR lens.

    KEEP IN MIND THAT NIKON DX AND CANON EF-S LENSES CANNOT BE USED ON FULL FRAME CAMERA BUT LENSES DESIGNED FOR FULL FRAME CAN BE USED ON THE APS-C SENSOR CAMERAS. THE ADVANTAGE OF THE S/DX IS THEY ARE LIGHTER, LESS EXPENSIVE AND USUALLY FASTER THAN THE FULL FRAME COUNTERPARTS.

    Third I would look at the newly released Canon 450D. You can expect about the same image results as the 40D when using the same lens but the build quality is not quite as good but under non professional use should be good enough.

    or

    Wait until the Nikon D90 replaces the D80 expected prior to the end of the year.

    IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO WAIT

    I would choose between the Canon 450D, the Canon 40D, or the Nikon D300. As far as image quality goes you would be hard pressed to see any difference. Nikon has the most features but costs about a 1/3 more so if you are after semi pro build quality and do not need the extra features then give a non to the Canon 40D unless you feel the 450 is built good enough.

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielJ View Post
    The Nikon D3 is a forerunner for quality right now, and probably for some time. If I wasn't so invested in Canon, that's where my money would go.


    I do not understand why you, being a Canon user, would choose a Nikon D3 over a Canon 1Ds MkIII, with money not being a consideration. And if money is a consideration then I do expect the new Canon 6D (you choose the name) will still be considerably less expensive.




    If you've got a set of Nikon glass I would start by verifying it will be useable with a new DLSR, that alone will save you a lot of clams. I had to replace all my Canon glass when going digital...
    I like the idea of grabbing a full frame sensor 5D except for 1: imminent replacement (at likely 25% greater cost than the present model) and 2: Canon have already gone with 14 bit A/D converters in their newer models, the 5D is still only 12. To me this is a big deal and a very long awaited step toward a 16 bit DSLR in a price range I won't be too afeared of walking down the street with. Theoretically each increase equates with greater exposure latitude, if implemented properly (or switched on, as in the case of the D3 having 12/14 options).
    All that said, I'm with the 'wait for the 5D replacement' crowd. Canon has some wicked competition at last and might just meet the challenge with it.


    I do not understand why you, being a Canon user, would choose a Nikon D3 over a Canon 1Ds MkIII, with money not being a consideration. And if money is a consideration then I do expect the new Canon 6D (you choose the name) will still be considerably less expensive.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Berkeley CA
    Posts
    23

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    Money does come into play at about this point for me. I recently shot a job with the D3 and have never been so impressed with a new camera and it's results. It's also very personal then, but the D3 is widely regarded as the cat's pajama's for IQ in dslrs. Now if I were moving to the ether of DSLR's I'd pick up a Mamiya ZD over the 1Ds III. meow.

  9. #9
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,333
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    As long as you don't partner the D3 with a 70-200mm, which has dreadful vignetting in certain conditions at some settings. Put it with a D300/200 and it is awesome, however. That said, a bit of cropping and matters are usually put to rights, although this should not need to be the case.

    Clearly Nikon did not have full frame in mind when they designed this lens.

    However word is that they will put this right later on this year, and I am not just talking about the firmware 1.1 vignetting upgrade.

  10. #10

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    Test a samsung GX serire....i have just got a GX10 it is grate.!!!!!!!

  11. #11

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    I purchased a Nikon D60 with the 2 lens kit ....18-55 and 55-200. The camera takes amazing photos and I am really pleased. It suits my experience and abilities for now and the price is reasonable!

    My 2 cents.

    JR

  12. #12

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    A D200 is more affordable than a 5D and will work on the lenses you use on your F4, which makes it a logical choice. The D300 is about a stop better than the D200 for both higher ISO and dynamic range; both cameras will meter on all your old lenses.

    The DX crop factor is a consideration for wide angles and shallower DOF (subject isolation). If you want wider compositions than you could buy a 12-24 DX lens, Tokina makes one that is both well built and has decent optics for $500 and Sigma also makes a 10-20 for about $500, and you would still be under the cost of a 5D. As for subject isolation, your choices are to step back or use faster lenses, Sigma makes a 30/1.4 that gives you the equivalent of a 50/2 on your F4.

    For macro and travel photography, DX format will be advantageous because of the greater DOF and because you can slim down your kit a little by exchanging a wide zoom for a longer telephoto.

    If money is not a consideration, then the D700 might be the perfect camera. If you want a smaller kit though, the D300 with a Nikkor 18-200 would make a fine casual travel combo.

  13. #13
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikond700/ <- A full frame Nikon, smaller and cheaper than the D3. Also here -> http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d700.htm .

    Coming out right now.

    Then again, I would set a budget and then decide what system to get: Lenses, flashes, software, even filters cost money. You have lenses from your F4 (which, unless you want to sell, would make Nikon cheaper for the same set up), may be happy with the software your camera comes with (which I was), until I tried Lightroom.

    You mention travel. Even though you say weight is not a problem, consider how much lightness can be a pleasure. A D40 or even a D80 with the 18-200 (small sensor only) is a fantastic travel combination that weights 1/3 what an equivalent full frame combination does.

    For what it's worth, I was set on buying a Canon, went into the store, held a d80 in my hands, and found that it was just more comfortable. I have had nothing but great experiences with that camera, to me comfort is a very large issue.

    Finally, as others have mentioned, the D300 is a _FANTASTIC_ camera, in a great size, although it may not have the width you want for landscapes.

  14. #14
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyRotten View Post
    I purchased a Nikon D60 with the 2 lens kit ....18-55 and 55-200. The camera takes amazing photos and I am really pleased. It suits my experience and abilities for now and the price is reasonable!

    My 2 cents.

    JR
    Yup. I bought it at Costco and very happy with it. With 2 lens, I can take most of pictures I need and the price is with in my budget.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    CT USA
    Posts
    23

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    Apprently, you have been using Nikon a Nikon film camera in the past. If you have some good Nikon lenses, you could also use them on a Nikon digital camera.

    I have been using a D200 for several years, and it is an excellent camera, though not very good at iso > 800. Recently, I acquired a Nikon D700 which is a full frame camera quite similar to the D3 but a lot less expensive.

    By the way - reports re. poor performance of the 70-200 mm vr on full frame cameras are vastly overblown The vignetting observed at f/2.8 is easily eliminated in-camera or in PP.

  16. #16

    Re: First time digital SLR buyer - Nikon or Canon?

    It is so nice to see some different people from different country. I am from China and I think my english is even worse than you. LoL. If you have some Nikon lenses, I just suggest you to stay
    with Nikon. The most nikon lens after 1980 can be used on the new Nkon DSL so you do not have
    to buy new lens if you do not want to give them up. D200 could be very good choice if you do not
    want to spend too mush money. It has very good performance and very handy body. I have been
    using it to shoot thousands and thousands photos without any problem. The question of D200 is its' small sensor which is the better CCD but not the full fram. The new D700 just came out which has
    full fram sensor so it means all your lens could behave what you see in the viewfinder. But its' price
    is little high. I can not say that Nikon is better than Canon, but I found the color from NIkon is easier
    to be banlanced than the color from Canon and Canon 5D's shutter can not work with 1/250 second
    when you use it to shoot with flash but D200 can. Good Luck!
    Jared ( Jia Yue )

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •