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Author Topic: Which one is better for large bird / animal photography? A D4 or a 1D X  (Read 7650 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2012, 12:21:59 AM »
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Looking at the 2012 Olympics vs the 2008 Olympics shows a clear shift towards Nikon among action shooters.

The same trend was already visible between 2004 and 2008, but I tend to see more black lenses overall now.

Cheers,
Bernard
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lfeagan
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« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2012, 12:31:02 AM »
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Quite true Bernard.

The Asahi Shimbun: Olympics will see high-stakes duel between Canon, Nikon
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Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
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Keith Reeder
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« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2012, 12:51:26 AM »
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Or not...

Depends where you look and what you want to see, I guess (and as an aside, isn't it sad that this sort of thing actually seems to matter to some people?):

http://www.canonrumors.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/olympics01.jpg
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Keith Reeder
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« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2012, 01:39:24 AM »
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Or not...

Depends where you look and what you want to see, I guess (and as an aside, isn't it sad that this sort of thing actually seems to matter to some people?):

http://www.canonrumors.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/olympics01.jpg

Following in the footsteps of someone respected/knowledgeable in a field when you are not able to gather enough information on your own is generally a pretty good strategy. Humans use this all the time to simplify and expedite the decision making process. Of course, this shortcut to in-depth analysis is what got so many folks invested with Berndard Madoff. While choosing based on what the majority use may not result in an optimal solution, it is also not particularly likely that it will result in a vastly sub-optimal solution. Obviously Madoff is a notable instance of this not working, but greed was also involved, in addition to mental laziness, which can skew thinking in general pretty dramatically.

The number of people shooting N and C appear to be equal in that photo (maybe off by one). And using a sample of a dozen or so photographers as representative of the whole isn't a very solid analysis technique. I didn't post that article because of the photo. I linked to it because of this statement, "Canon managed to retain its lead among sports photographers by a margin of about six to four, however, according to media reports and assessments by the two companies."
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Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
Fuji: X-Pro 1, 14mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2012, 01:49:12 AM »
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Bernard,

The original posting was about shooting birds, not athletes, a very different thing.

Why? Shooting at the olympics is about getting the picture and publishing it, fast. Bird photography is more about getting the picture.

I'd suggest Nikon has an advantage where image quaility is at premium. But that is the D800/D800E. AF, hihh ISO? I don't have the slightest idea.

Best regards
Erik
Looking at the 2012 Olympics vs the 2008 Olympics shows a clear shift towards Nikon among action shooters.

The same trend was already visible between 2004 and 2008, but I tend to see more black lenses overall now.

Cheers,
Bernard

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hasselbladfan
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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2012, 03:04:08 AM »
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Dough,

I surely don't have your skills. Great shots.

Is there a noticeable difference in AF between both cameras?

Is any of them better in color delivery?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2012, 03:30:54 AM »
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The original posting was about shooting birds, not athletes, a very different thing.

Why? Shooting at the olympics is about getting the picture and publishing it, fast. Bird photography is more about getting the picture.

I'd suggest Nikon has an advantage where image quaility is at premium. But that is the D800/D800E. AF, hihh ISO? I don't have the slightest idea.

Hum... why comment if you don't have the slightest idea?  Wink

There are in fact many things in common between shooting athletes and shooting birds:

- you are severely constrained in terms of position relative to your subject which forces you to use long lenses,
- you have very few opportunities to get a shot, success rate is key which points to AF accuracy, speed and reliability, accurate metering,...
- movement is often fast which imposes high speed AF,
- it is difficult to time exactly the positions of the wing of a bird in flight, just like it is difficult to time accurately the positions of the arms of an athelte running or diving, which means that very high frame rates do help increase the chance to get keepers,
- light levels are often pretty low which requires good high ISO image quality,
- the environment in which you shoot is not controlled, which requires ruggedness.

I agree that the need to publish images fast is not there for bird photography, but that's it. The photography part of the equation is extremely similar.

There are of course other differences, like the possibility to add light in sport in some cases,...

Cheers,
Bernard
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Petrus
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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2012, 03:38:50 AM »
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Looking at the 2012 Olympics vs the 2008 Olympics shows a clear shift towards Nikon among action shooters.

The same trend was already visible between 2004 and 2008, but I tend to see more black lenses overall now.

Cheers,
Bernard


One reason is that Nikon gave huge discounts to Olympic photographers who traded in their Canon gear for Nikon equivalents. Like 10000 and more.

While the new top Nikon and Canon are quite equal in everything, Nikon seems to have better sensor, 1.5 stops more dynamic range to start with. The 200-400mm zoom already mentioned is also a really useful piece of glass. With new so much faster sensors carrying a f:2.8 lens is not necessary anymore, if not for shallow DOF effect only or shooting at night. I have been shooting with D4 for some time now and really like it a lot, also the auto ISO feature I felt was a gimmick, but it is not. It is a Great Camera, and Canon 1DX is a also a great camera, but maybe not with capital letters...

Disclamer: I have been shooting with Canons for 10 years, but now switched to Nikon D4/D800 combo. Nikon seems to have gained an edge with D3 and D700 and is keeping the lead.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2012, 03:54:43 AM »
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One reason is that Nikon gave huge discounts to Olympic photographers who traded in their Canon gear for Nikon equivalents. Like 10000 and more.

I am sure they do, just like Canon used to do the same from what I hear, but none of the top pros would accept even free equipment if they had concerns about their ability to capture the images they need.

For those guys, their Olympic images simply define who they are in the profession.

Cheers,
Bernard
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DaveCurtis
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« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2012, 04:31:43 AM »
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Early reports and comparisons show that the 1DX is truely impressive when it comes to AF:

http://xerodigital.ca/canon-1dx-nikon-d4/
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2012, 05:03:42 AM »
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Hi Bernard,

I was mostly thinking that the cameras with the black lenses at the olympics are neither D800E or D3X. On the other hand I actually feel that a small sensor pitch is advantageous when shooting birds. In my experience I would mostly use my APS-C camera with 24MP rather than my full frame camera with an 1.4 extender. Having good AF is of course essential as I lack the focusing skills of the "Birdman of Sacramento".

So I really think that a D800/D800E may be preferable to a D4 and I also would suggest that a 7D (Canon) may be preferable to an 1DX, as the 7D is said to have very good AF.

I don't know much about the D7000 regarding focusing speed.

I'm not really in favour of shooting high ISO, but that is an area where the pro cameras (D1X and D4) may have an advantage. From the DxO data I have seen that advantage may be less significant.

Another factor I would point out that it is quite possible that sports shooters shoot JPEG, in that case in camera processing plays a major role, especially regarding high ISO noise reduction, but if you shoot "raw" in camera processing matters little.

Best regards
Erik


Hum... why comment if you don't have the slightest idea?  Wink

There are in fact many things in common between shooting athletes and shooting birds:

- you are severely constrained in terms of position relative to your subject which forces you to use long lenses,
- you have very few opportunities to get a shot, success rate is key which points to AF accuracy, speed and reliability, accurate metering,...
- movement is often fast which imposes high speed AF,
- it is difficult to time exactly the positions of the wing of a bird in flight, just like it is difficult to time accurately the positions of the arms of an athelte running or diving, which means that very high frame rates do help increase the chance to get keepers,
- light levels are often pretty low which requires good high ISO image quality,
- the environment in which you shoot is not controlled, which requires ruggedness.

I agree that the need to publish images fast is not there for bird photography, but that's it. The photography part of the equation is extremely similar.

There are of course other differences, like the possibility to add light in sport in some cases,...

Cheers,
Bernard

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2012, 05:44:49 AM »
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On the other hand I actually feel that a small sensor pitch is advantageous when shooting birds. In my experience I would mostly use my APS-C camera with 24MP rather than my full frame camera with an 1.4 extender. Having good AF is of course essential as I lack the focusing skills of the "Birdman of Sacramento".

So I really think that a D800/D800E may be preferable to a D4 and I also would suggest that a 7D (Canon) may be preferable to an 1DX, as the 7D is said to have very good AF.

So by "The original posting was about shooting birds, not athletes, a very different thing." you meant to tell the OP that the 2 cameras he is hesitating between are not the right ones? Sorry I didn't get it.  Smiley

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #32 on: August 01, 2012, 06:14:09 AM »
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I linked to it because of this statement, "Canon managed to retain its lead among sports photographers by a margin of about six to four, however, according to media reports and assessments by the two companies."

If I read the article correctly, that comment is about the Beijing Olympics in 2008, isn't it?

Cheers,
Bernard
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2012, 06:20:59 AM »
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Hi,

That is really for the OP to decide. But I would say that it is pretty obvious that a top of the line camera is not always the best choice. For landscape I would clearly prefer the D800 over the D4, would not you? Twice the pixels and better DR at low ISO.

Best regards
Erik

So by "The original posting was about shooting birds, not athletes, a very different thing." you meant to tell the OP that the 2 cameras he is hesitating between are not the right ones? Sorry I didn't get it.  Smiley

Cheers,
Bernard

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2012, 06:42:45 AM »
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That is really for the OP to decide. But I would say that it is pretty obvious that a top of the line camera is not always the best choice. For landscape I would clearly prefer the D800 over the D4, would not you? Twice the pixels and better DR at low ISO.

I am not disagreeing that an APS-C camera might be better in some birding situations.

I had just assumed that the OP, being apparently a bird photographer, had a clear view on what type of camera was suitable for his applications.

Cheers,
Bernard
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hasselbladfan
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« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2012, 07:19:51 AM »
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I would miss too much my wide-angles by going APS-C.

I saw the article on AF. Seems Canon has an edge there, not sure if everyone agrees.

Anybody encountering also the greenish lcd they complain about, or is it a one-off?

Anything else I need to consider?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2012, 07:38:42 AM »
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I would miss too much my wide-angles by going APS-C.

I saw the article on AF. Seems Canon has an edge there, not sure if everyone agrees.

You may want to visit the DPreview Nikon forums. It seems that some D4 shooters have very different experiences and question the relevance of the settings used with the D4.

Cheers,
Bernard
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2012, 07:40:10 AM »
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Hi,

The way I do it I use my Sony Alpha 900 (fullframe) for normal photography and the Alpha 77 (APS-C) for telephoto work. Both are 24 MP. But I don't photograph a lot of birds.

Best regards
Erik
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Paul2660
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« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2012, 08:08:15 AM »
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I used both a 5D MKII and iD mkIV for birds of all sizes and large wildlife for many years.  After my move back to Nikon earlier this year, at first I found I missed my 1d MKIV.  I looked to a D4 briefly, but then found myself coming back to the D800 (not an E).  The D800 with the DX crop mode is for me a great asset.  With most wildlife shots, I am cropping into the frame anyway.  Cropping in to a 5D MKII full frame shot started to cut down pretty quick on total available resolution.  The Canon 1D MKIV with it's 1.3 crop was better, but I had sell it  in my move to Nikon.

My logic for the D4 was use in early morning, late evening (both great times in Arkansas for wildlife), low light, higher iso.  Sure the D4 is great, but when I compared it to the D800 I was pretty surprised.  The D800 hold it's own against the D4 up to 3200, and in many cases 6400.  I was surprised enough by this, to test it again and found the same.  The issue is do you down res the D800 file to  the size of the D4 to compare or do you up rez the D4.  If you down rez the D800 file it just gets better imo and if you up rez the D4, then the noise in the image gets worse. 

The big advantage I found with the D800 for wildlife was the DX crop mode.  You are still left with 15 mp of image.  If you do this on the D4, you are down to 7mp and for birds and fine feathers, I have always liked more not less resolution. 

I find myself often using the D800 at iso's over 2000 and getting very good results.  Again something that I was not able to do with the 5d MKII.  The Canon 1D MKIV would go there, but I was never that fond of the images from the camera as if it had too harsh a anti aliasing filter. 

I guess my point is, before you make the decision, try a D800 if you can.  I don't see the advantage many seem to on the e model.  This personal preference.  Take the D800 up to 6400 in mixed light and see if you don't like the results.  For 1/2 the price point of the D4 it may be the right choice unless of course you need the 10 fps speed and  sure for some wild life shooting this could be important.

Paul
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Paul Caldwell
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lfeagan
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« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2012, 08:34:51 AM »
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To clarify, the reason I suggested the D800E and not the D800 was I thought that hasselbladfan probably also shoots landscapes (I don't know what would possibly give me the idea that someone at LuLa would be interested in landscape Wink ) and that the D800E would make an excellent second body giving markedly different characteristics in speed and resolution than the D4 (diversity).

To hasselbladfan, I am sorry that things have gotten off track from your question. I was just trying to throw some more ideas into the mix to help you with your decision. I personally believe that if you can only have one camera for high-speed action, you should not be getting a D800/D800E. While I do use my D800E for some sports, it is as a secondary/tertiary body for shots to the other end of the field, where I still crop quite heavily from the 400/2.8. For close up I use the D4 or D700+Grip. The 8-10 fps vs 4 and gigantic buffer of the D4 really does make a difference in getting key facial expressions right after the big score.
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Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
Fuji: X-Pro 1, 14mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4
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