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Thread: Help me with my choice! Canon vs Nikon camera purchase options

  1. #1

    Help me with my choice! Canon vs Nikon camera purchase options

    after comparing a lot between nearly everything!. with my budget, I found that I'm stuck between:
    Nikon D90 with kit lens 18-105 VR. and 50mm 1.8.
    and Canon T1i with 18-135 IS and 50mm 1.8.
    I don't want the 18-55 / 55-200 combo as I want a very good all-around lens in a reasonable price for travel. then I might buy more lenses later. and a flash of course.

    I think I'm going Canon for the following reasons:

    1- the Canon 50mm 1.8 produces much more delightful bokeh than the Nikon. and I'm a HUGE bokeh fan! it's one of the main reasons I'm having a DSLR and buying a 50mm prime. While I just can't find a reasonable price Nikon prime lens producing a great bokeh!
    2- I'm going to have more focal length. and I read that the Canon 18-135 is really good! and the 18-105 is just fine.
    3- Nikon Lenses are SO EXPENSIVE and most of them lack VR! while most of canon L Lenses provides IS.

    the reasons I'm going to miss Nikon for are:
    1- The GREAT viewfinder.
    2- The GREAAAAT body! I loved the ergonomics of the D90!
    3- more autofocus points but that's not a problem. and the built in 3D metering mode seems to be nice!
    4- it can remotely trigger flash!
    5- the -5/+5 exposure bracketing.

    So, Do you agree with me in my choice or not? am I going wrong?

  2. #2

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    Re: Help me with my choice please!

    I don't know the Nikon range very well, so can't really comment on it, but what I often say is "don't get too hung up on the ergonomics of one brand -v- another" as it's a bit like the feeling you get when you buy a new car; no matter what you get it feels a bit weird, but after a couple of days it feels just fine. In terms of overall ergonomics though, I normally suggest avoiding canon's entry-level range because they don't have a quick control dial on the back (which means a lot more button pushing) - they're also smaller - of lighter build quality - and are only rated at 50,000 shutter actuations.

    Plan B might be to up the budget and get a 50D or a 7D - nicer all round.

  3. #3
    Steve H's Avatar
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    Re: Help me with my choice please!

    Hi Mathew, ahhh the long and winding road. Sounds like you've already made up your mind on the white lens camp but a few thoughts from someone who has been exactly where you are. I tend to disagree with Colin on this one (sorry Colin) but I think ergonomics play a big part. I used to have a 30D and yes, a big white lens, I got some great photo's with it (I think) but then I picked up a D90 and 'it just felt right'. I could never get used to that bottom right corner sticking into my right palm. I switched to Nikon. Having said that there is no right or wrong camera/lens choice (except not buying one at all!). Both big players and other smaller manufacturers put out quality products, it's just a case of choosing one and putting your eye to the viewfinder as much as you can. You can always change allegiance down the track.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew18 View Post
    . While I just can't find a reasonable price Nikon prime lens producing a great bokeh!
    Take a look at the Sigma 50mm 1.4 http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/sigma_50_1p4_c16/ I've just picked one up and like it a LOT. Great bokeh.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew18 View Post
    3- Nikon Lenses are SO EXPENSIVE and most of them lack VR! while most of canon L Lenses provides IS.
    VR or IS while great is not everything, as you progress down this road you'll find your camera spending more time on your tripod (you have got a good tripod high on your list haven't you?). When camera is on your tripod - VR is turned off. VR is good but don't think it's going to get you the National Geo photo of the year. Fast glass and camera handling technique are just as good.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew18 View Post
    I think I'm going Canon for the following reasons:

    the reasons I'm going to miss Nikon for are:

    So, Do you agree with me in my choice or not? am I going wrong?
    As I said at the start I think you've already made up your mind and only you can decide which one is the one, and there's no wrong choice but all I can say is I am very happy with my Nikon gear. I started with the D90 and 18-200 VR (great travel combo by the way), I have since added a tokina 11-16 and the sigma 50 as well as good tripod(s) and ballhead, filter systems and speedlight etc etc. It's and endless road of gadgets, shiny things and upgradeitis.... welcome!

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    Re: Help me with my choice please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve H View Post
    I tend to disagree with Colin on this one (sorry Colin) but I think ergonomics play a big part.
    You'll keep!

    Both big players and other smaller manufacturers put out quality products, it's just a case of choosing one and putting your eye to the viewfinder as much as you can. You can always change allegiance down the track.
    Although if one does change, they then have to also change their entire lens collection ... which can be VERY expensive.

    VR or IS while great is not everything, as you progress down this road you'll find your camera spending more time on your tripod
    Maybe yes, maybe no ... it's going to depend on the type of shooting. Essential for landscape, hopeless for street shooting.

    VR is good but don't think it's going to get you the National Geo photo of the year. Fast glass and camera handling technique are just as good.
    To a point - but - VR / IS can also augment good technique by giving you yet another 3 or 4 stops. eg a 400mm lens (needing 1/400th on a FF camera if hand held) can get you from 1/400th all the way down to 1/25th. Pretty massive difference

    Just me 10c worth
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th June 2010 at 10:59 PM.

  5. #5

    Re: Help me with my choice please!

    @Colin: thanks a lot for that! that's a relief for me to hear that I'll get used to ergonomics. I might get used to the button clicks anyways
    the 7D is a dream! but I don't have a budget for it .. I also think that the Nikon D300s is great as I held it with the 18-200 lens and it was OUTSTANDING!! .. but they're all dreams for me!

    @Steve: that was very helpful! thanks a lot! you've been through what I'm right now! but I'll tell you something. the sigma 50mm 1.4 is about 30% more than the great canon 50mm 1.4. and about 60% higher than the canon 50mm 1.8. I actually held the canon 400D and the Nikon D90. the 400D felt like a kid compared to his father the D90! and as you just said the D90 felt just right! but unfortunately, with a good lens such as the 18-200, it's way out of my budget.

    I think that I'll go something similar to what you've done.

    I think I'm going to go for a used canon 500D. so that in case I didn't like it. I'll sell it without loosing much money and buy a D90 (or maybe a 50D)! because then I'll be very sure that it really don't fit me.

    well, thanks a lot guys

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    Re: Help me with my choice please!

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew18 View Post
    @Colin: thanks a lot for that! that's a relief for me to hear that I'll get used to ergonomics. I might get used to the button clicks anyways
    No worries Mathew. I like to think that if someone put me in a 400km/hr Bugatti Veyron the "ergonomics" would feel a little weird compared to my Ford Telstar ... but I PROMISE you I'd not only get used to it ... I'd learn to like it in no time at all (wouldn't like the fuel bill though!).

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    Re: Help me with my choice please!

    I agree with Colin (as I usually do) regarding your considering a 7D or 50D rather than a T1i (don't you just love those alpha-numeric combinations the marketing people come up with). You mention that the 7D is out of your league price-wise but, consider a refurbished 50D. A used 50D might also be a consideration.

    I am a firm believer in "FACTORY REFURBISHED" Canon cameras (not a camera which has been returned to a dealer, checked over and sold as "refurbished").

    My first two Canon DSLR cameras (10D and Rebel XT) were bought "NEW". I had to send each of these cameras in for service within the first 90 days of ownership. The 10D just died for no apparent reason and the XT had focus problems that were only obvious when using long focal length lenses. Canon fixed each camera under the warranty and I had no further problems with either camera.

    However, in actuality, I was then shooting with refurbished cameras for which I had paid a full price. When I purchased my 30D I decided to skip the seemingly mandatory steps of purchasing new and sending the camera in for service. I bought a refurb camera. It worked so well that when I purchased my 40D, I went the refurbished route again. I have been shooting with each camera for several years now and have had no problems with either.

    As a result of my experiences, I have much more confidence in the quality control at the Canon Service Center than the Q.C. at the assembly line.

    A comparison of the T1i and the 50D can be found at: http://www.dpnotes.com/canon-t1i-vs-canon-50d/

    A few of the most important advantages for me would be: size of camera which is more ergonomic for me, better viewfinder, more accurate A/F and higher burst speeds as well as a larger buffer to allow a larger number of high-speed shots. I also like the two dial controls of the xxD cameras and I was lost without the top LCD information panel when I used my XT (which I absolutely hated). I find the top panel extremely useful and check it frequently.

    The 50D solves two of your NIKON vs CANON problems: better and more ergonomic build and better viewfinder. Unfortunately, the Canon cameras do not have the ability to shoot a 5-shot auto exposure compensated series which would be great for HDR photography.

    Why don't I buy a 50D? I am relatively happy with my 40D/30D combination (along with the old 10D as back up). I personally don't feel that the 50D has sufficient advantages over the 40D to invest the extra money but, would choose a 50D if I were buying now. I am however, considering a 7D (to replace the 30D - not the 40D) and am waiting until refurbished 7D cameras become available at Adorama or B&H.

    One final thought: I have never heard anyone praise the 50mm f/1.8 bokeh. Usually, it is just the opposite because the five bladed aperture provides what is considered by many to be a ragged bokeh. However, bokeh (as opposed to depth of field) is a totally subjective quality.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 13th June 2010 at 03:59 PM.

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    Re: Help me with my choice please!

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Unfortunately, the Canon cameras do not have the ability to shoot a 5-shot auto exposure compensated series which would be great for HDR photography.
    My Canon 1Ds3 will do 2, 3, 5, or 7 shots in a bracket up to 6 stops wide

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    Re: Help me with my choice please!

    I have never analyzed the bokeh on the canon 50mm f1.8, but you are right to think the nikon alternative is junk! i have the 50mm f1.8, and have seen pictures from the 35mm f1.8 (my next lens, despite this post), and they both have severely uneven bokeh. My understanding is that the Nikon 50mm f1.4 has quality bokeh, but ignore this since you are going canon

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    Re: Help me with my choice please!

    I didn't know the camera would bracket in 6 stops - that is a great capability. I should have said, xxD and xxxD Canon cameras do not have this capability.

  11. #11

    Re: Help me with my choice please!

    rpcrowe, that was extremely helpful! but I'm going to go for the 500D for one reason, getting into the DSLR field and practice with it. then I might go for a 50D or 7D as a next step. a refurbished 50D also is out of my budget as it'll cost me about 300 USD more than the used 500D. thank you

  12. #12

    Re: Help me with my choice please!

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew18 View Post
    as you just said the D90 felt just right! but unfortunately, with a good lens such as the 18-200, it's way out of my budget.
    here's a list for you from the past 4 years

    1. Kodak compact camera 250
    2. Sony P&S camera 150
    3. Fuji bridge camera 400
    4. Canon 30D camera 500
    5. Canon 17-85mm 400
    6. Various Sigma mid-price lenses 700

    Total cost 2,400. I no longer have any of the above.

    Cost (now) of new Canon 5DMk2 with 24-105L lens 2,400.

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