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Author Topic: Evaluating camera systems  (Read 4374 times)
X-Re
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« on: December 24, 2006, 04:09:05 PM »
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I don't want to start up a Canon vs. Nikon debate - let me say that upfront

Long story short, I inherited a bunch of camera gear from my grandfather, including a D2X and a couple of lenses (the 70-200/2.8 VR zoom, and a wide angle zoom - not certain of the model). I'll have the camera in my hands late this next week. I'm intending to evaluate it against my Canon rig, make a choice between the two, and then I'll be sending the other rig to my dad, who's been wanting a digital SLR for some time now.

To the point - any suggestions for evaluating, and any shortcomings of the Nikon system that I should explore so that I understand them personally?? I'm pretty familiar w/ my Canon rig.

I've been digging a bunch online to try to uncover things I need to look at. My current plans basically revolve around shooting some shots to get familiar w/ the Nikon system and interface, and then doing a shootout between the two and examining resulting shots on screen and in print. I intend to evaluate the noise differences between the two, as high ISO makes up at least part of the work I've done in the past, overall image quality, and how the images hold together in processing, what I can get out of them, etc. I plan on shooting JPEGs and RAW, and comparing both in ACR.

I'm currently shooting a Canon 30D w/ L-series lenses - so obviously, it won't be an apples to apples comparison, in terms of absolute resolution. I'm aware of that  If I stay Canon, a higher resolution body is in my future, as well (and possibly a 1DMkIIn). If I keep the Nikon, a D200 is probably in my future, as well as appropriate lenses. I've owned Canon pro series film gear in the past, so I'm familiar with the auto-focus system and other features on those cameras. I believe I can weight my examination appropriately keeping those differences in mind.

The real question I have is - am I overlooking something obvious (or maybe not so obvious) that I should take a look at while I'm doing the eval? I'm open to whatever - just want to make sure I get the "full experience" out of it... I know it will boil down to what works for me, and what produces the results I need, and I'm going to do the work to get that data. I'm hoping to draw on the vast amount of knowledge in this forum to help guide me in the right direction???

Thanks for any thoughts!

Dave
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Henrik Paul
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2006, 04:27:13 PM »
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One thing that you might take into consideration are the ergonomics. How well the camera sits in your hand as well as how the buttons are located. Naturally, this is something different from the Canon layout, so it's probably confusing at start, but I'd recommend giving it time to give it a fair chance.

I'm not entirely sure what you meant by the Canon L-series comment, but (unless my memory fails me big time), the 70-200 VR lens is in the L-equivalent class for Nikkors. Also, the change from D2X to D200 puzzles me. Even though D200 has newer technology than D2X, the D2X is still regarded superior to all other Nikon DSLR:s. Furthermore, it's smaller than the D200+battery grip, and also lighter, if i recall correctly.

Nevertheless, I'm guessing that you probably will stick with your Canon rig. Nikon has inferior high-ISO performance to Canon, and naturally you already are accustomed to the Canon way of photographing.
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You are welcome to look at my thoughts of and about photography at http://www.henrik.paul.fi/
X-Re
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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2006, 05:17:40 PM »
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Quote
   
but (unless my memory fails me big time), the 70-200 VR lens is in the L-equivalent class for Nikkors.

     Yes, that's my understanding, as well. Its the equivalent of the 70-200/2.8 IS lens. I currently have the non-IS version Canon lens, and its a beauty. I believe the Nikon equivalents to L series lenses are referred to as "gold ring" lenses? Though, I haven't figured out how to distinguish them via their model names, yet...

Quote
Also, the change from D2X to D200 puzzles me. Even though D200 has newer technology than D2X, the D2X is still regarded superior to all other Nikon DSLR:s. Furthermore, it's smaller than the D200+battery grip, and also lighter, if i recall correctly.

     Not a change from - and addition to. The D2X, while being lighter than Canon's pro stuff, is still a big camera. I enjoy being able to take the battery grip off my 30D, slapping the 17-40/4 on it, and having a relatively lightweight rig to carry around. The D200 would be that piece of the puzzle. On the Canon end, I have a lusting for a pro body w/ the better autofocus features, etc - so, either way, with either system, I'll be picking up a 2nd body, and for various reasons... The smaller bodies complement the bigger ones nicely in both systems, it would seem...

     And, yeah, my understanding is that the D2X is the bee's knees, in the Nikon lineup...

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Nevertheless, I'm guessing that you probably will stick with your Canon rig. Nikon has inferior high-ISO performance to Canon, and naturally you already are accustomed to the Canon way of photographing.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=92207\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

     We'll see - I want to give it a fair shake. I've already encountered lens compatibility issues w/ my Canon rig and the 30D (it was a rental lens, luckily, but worked fine on the 10D I still have), and I have concerns about my 17-40/4 lens on the camera, as well, but have not had a chance yet to fully evaluate it. That's going to get old in a hurry, especially without being able to be a CPS member, at this point - but maybe that'll be the only case of it...

     If high ISO performance is the only issue, depending on how it prints, it may not be a big deal for me, so... we'll see

     Thanks, Henrik
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2006, 05:44:09 PM »
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     If high ISO performance is the only issue, depending on how it prints, it may not be a big deal for me, so... we'll see

     Thanks, Henrik
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=92213\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I use mostly my D2x at base ISO where it is outstanding, but, when shooting up to 800 ISO I find A4 prints to be completely OK. 1600 ISO is a bit weak.

The key, as always, is to expose correctly. I tend to tolerate a bit more blown highlights in images where shadows are important if I shoot at high ISO.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
GregW
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2006, 03:35:01 AM »
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As with Canon firmware upgrades are an opportunity to fix the odd bug, unlike Canon, Nikon are a little more generous about rolling out new features through firmware upgrades.  Check out the firmware version on the D2X.  Make sure it's 2.0.  1.01 brought improvements in AF performance and according to some a slight but undocumented (Nikon) increase in higher ISO performance.  2.0 delivers many of the features which were incorporated in to the D2Xs.  

For more details:

Nikon D2X Firware Update Page (US)
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X-Re
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2006, 07:52:27 PM »
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Thanks for the hint, Greg - I got my mitts on the camera yesterday, and had to charge batteries (its sat for a year w/ no use...). Played with it some today. It has 1.0 on it... which is obviously pretty old

Actually, I'm impressed with the handling on the camera - its different than the Canon stuff, obviously, so I keep doing things like looking for the power switch on the back...  But... The menus are intuitive and so are the controls, once you learn how they work and where they're located. And... heh heh... you can do mirror lockup w/o having to change a custom function  <sigh>

Truly, this is just going to come down to what the pictures look like as part of my work and which system I find easier to get good results with overall... I don't think handling is an issue for me, either way...
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ircoha
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2007, 06:09:34 PM »
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Greetings from Ireland!
Newbie here so please excuse the lack of knowledge.

Am considering going from the EOS rebel SLR to the XTi. DSLR

Also have the Canon G2  as the P&S

One requirement is the ability to print the date on the front of the pictures
photo-vandalism I know but  my trouble and strife wants to have it for all the pictures of our first grandchild!

Does the XTi have that function and how is it controlled?.

I don't print my own pics, just burn them in 100's onto a cd for the print shop.

Any suggestions most welcome. Thanks
Colm
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K.C.
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2007, 08:48:55 PM »
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Greetings from Ireland!
Newbie here so please excuse the lack of knowledge.

Am considering going from the EOS rebel SLR to the XTi. DSLR

[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You really want to post your question as a new thread.

At the top of this forum: [a href=\"http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showforum=4]http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showforum=4[/url]

Click on New Topic, near the top of the page on the right.
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ircoha
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2007, 05:42:47 AM »
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Will do: thanks
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X-Re
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2007, 12:04:46 AM »
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Just thought I'd resurrect this thread and note my final choice.... I've got a deposit down on a 1DMkIII...

High ISO performance is important to me, as is ability to use the camera for action. And, well, the D2X just wasn't real good at either one. It focuses fast enough - but getting a high frame rate out of it meant dealing w/ HSC, which I just couldn't seem to get used to. And the high ISO noise, well... its not good.

That said - the D2X handles very well (even though I was still fighting the camera's layout - everything that can be opposite of Canon controls is... (or vice versa, or whatever)). It has great color rendition. The files seem to come out of the camera relatively soft - but seem to respond very well to even stout sharpening. The 70-200/2.8 AF-S VR lens is dynamite - easily as nice as my 70-200/2.8L lens (and, being my first exposure to VR/IS... makes want to think about switching lenses on the Canon side...  ).

Equivalents between the platforms - neither one of them is that great at auto white balance in certain situations  (deep shade, for one...). Both of their "sophisticated" metering systems can be easily fooled. Both of their autofocus systems can be fooled... Nothing we didn't expect, though, right???
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303gnz
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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2007, 08:17:33 AM »
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I was enjoying reading this long thread, and I just wanted to add that I tried this camera at a trade show in Miami and I was just awestruck by the speed. In addition -- and I realize that this is not one of the primary selling points for a professional user -- the screen on the back is just amazing. Like I said, it might be unnecessary for a camera like this, but I would have no complaints viewing my images on that screen.

My impression was that this camera represents the most significant upgrade to the Canon range in some time. Sure there are upgrades all the time, but this camera sets the bar for speed -- and I don't just mean the frame rate.
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