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Author Topic: Impossible decision, but I have to make it by the end of February!  (Read 1700 times)
adam z
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« on: February 05, 2013, 08:19:48 AM »
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Well, so it seems! I am about to sell all of my old Canon gear and upgrade it as I am getting much more serious about my photographhic business. I mostly shoot portraiture, a fair bit of it is environmental portraiture and will be shot in mixed lighting (Elinchrom Ranger RX mixed with daylight, or whatever light is in a building that I may be shooting in). I will also be shooting a few weddings. My other passion is landscapes, and as these are not my core business, I guess if I have to let anything take a less important part of my decision making, then it is the landscape bit.

So, I'm stuck - I'm selling all my old Canon gear no matter what, and I am struggling to decide between 2x Nikon D800/D800E bodies, or 2x Canon 5D MkIII bodies, and of course the appropriate lenses.

Both are obviously capable of fantastic results, but here is my dilemma. The D800/E have one thing I have been looking for for a long time and have never found in any Canon bodies - and that is the ability to pull up clean shadow detail. The Higher resolution is nice too, but I can live without it without any real problems.

The 5D MkIII on the other hand has aparrently superior autofocus, and this is a big deal too. They also have a couple of lenses that I would particularly like, but they are also something I could live without as for the most part Nikonm has fairly capable alternatives.

So - how can I make a sensible decision? Is that even possible?

Obviously in the future Canon may come out with a higher performing sensor in terms of dynamic range, or Nikon may improve their autofocus - but obviously that is the future, and who knows how long any of these changes could take?

I don't think I have ever struggled so much with a purchasing decision in my life before!
 
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Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 08:26:28 AM »
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Why do you think af a big deal for portraiture? It's the last thing I'd look for, the first thing being a lens of around 2.8/135mm non-af, and FF camera, of course.

Rob C
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 09:11:11 AM »
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I've shot with the 5D Mark III, and both the D800 and D800E.

How large are you planning on printing?

Autofocus on all three bodies is superb, especially after you fine tune the AF (using the camera's Micro Adjustment feature) for the lenses you will be using.

The D800 cameras can definitely form moire more quickly than the 5D Mark III although all digital cameras have moire issues. This could be a real issue with wedding gowns and tuxedos.

A little remarked on advantage of the D800/E is that the multitude of pixels gives you more cropping resolutions at a higher resolution, and also more detail to work with when doing fine retouching.

HOWEVER: If you are shooting candid portraits or shooting weddings in a primarily photojournalistic style the D800, D800E or 5D Mark III would not be the cameras I'd be looking at. Get a D4 or EOS 1D X instead.
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
jonathanlung
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 09:22:35 AM »
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Unless you were planning on ditching your lenses anyway, switching to Nikon becomes more expensive and, probably more importantly to you, means having to get used to the new body controls (although maybe the leap from your current bodies will be large, too). Also, I'm with Rob on portraiture: a good lens is far more important than AF.

Edit after reading Ellis' response: Since it sounds like you want to be taking two bodies for shoots, how about getting one 5D Mk III now and shooting it side-by-side with your current body/bodies and then replacing the old ones after you're more comfortable with the 5D? Even though managing two different bodies on a shoot is a bit of a pain, you'll probably be using just one most of the time, anyway.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 09:26:37 AM by jonathanlung » Logged
adam z
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 08:10:49 AM »
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Rob C
I will be shooting weddings and the odd other events as well - af is a big help when things are happening quickly. I also like to shoot wide open with fast lenses sometimes, and with children in particular you need fast and accurate AF with for examlpe - the 85 1.2L, especially in dim natural light.

Ellis Vener
I don't need to make ridiculously big prints - since I posted I have pretty much settled on a pair of 1D X's despite not having given them a lot of thought initially. As much as the resolution of the D800 and D800E would be nice, especially for landscapes, I can make do without it without any problems. I think that 18mp should do - plenty of pros got by with the 1Ds MkII's 16mp for a long time, and with less on the previous model. Plenty of Nikon shooters are getting quality decent size prints from the 12mp Nikons too.

I do hope Canon will eventually release a higher res body later, buit I guess I need to buy what I am comfortable with now, and my farmiliarity with Canon and their current lenses have pushed me that way.

jonathanlung
I will be getting a lot of good lenses. Since I have settled on sticking with Canon, mostly because I plan to add the 17 and 24 TSE's to my lens collection in the near future, and due to my familiarity with Canons (I have shot with the 300D, 30D, 7D and 1Ds MkIII).

The lenses I plan on getting immediately will be

24-70 2.8L II
70-200 2.8L IS II
24 1.4L
85 1.2L
100 2.8L Macro IS
13f 2L

The two TSE's mentioned above, and the 35 1.4L and 50 1.2L will join in the future

I currently have the 17-40 4L, 70-200 2.8L IS (old version), and a Sigma 50 1.4. I 'm thinking about holding onto the wide zoom for now just in case I want to shoot wider than 24 before I but the 17TSE, and the 50 1.4 just in case I need that focal length and a fast aperture before I get the 50 1.2L.


Thanks all of you for sharing your opinions.
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 08:44:41 AM »
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Since print size is not limited by pixel resolution anyway, either camera will produce files that can be printed as large as you want.

Since you are going to get this by the end of the month, any future development in technology is irrelevant.

So which one of these cameras blows your hair back and gets your pulse racing? Buy that one.
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MrSmith
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 09:58:33 AM »
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i would look at the lenses you want and see who does the best ones. lenses are investments that you tend to hold on to longer, bodies seem to have a shorter shelf life. lots of lenses are being updated with excellent performance (and a price to match) by both nikon and canon that will see them well matched with the future high mpixel bodies.

if a wide focal length zoom was essential then i would err towards nikon, wide tilt-shifts and fast 50/80mm's and the 100mm IS macro then canon.
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stever
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 10:02:22 AM »
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as a professional, if you are used to Canon USA's level of service you'll be happier staying with Canon
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k bennett
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 10:40:27 AM »
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as a professional, if you are used to Canon USA's level of service you'll be happier staying with Canon

Yes, and given that investment, if you are not a CPS member you should be.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2013, 12:49:11 PM »
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Hi,

If you are dissatisfied with your Canon gear it may make sense to switch. If you are satisfied it may make more sense to add some new stuff to existing gear.

I'm pretty sure that Nikon has some advantages in DR but I'm also pretty sure that it only applies to low ISO and special conditions.

I'm just a bystander, as I am shooting Sony.

Best regards
Erik


Well, so it seems! I am about to sell all of my old Canon gear and upgrade it as I am getting much more serious about my photographhic business. I mostly shoot portraiture, a fair bit of it is environmental portraiture and will be shot in mixed lighting (Elinchrom Ranger RX mixed with daylight, or whatever light is in a building that I may be shooting in). I will also be shooting a few weddings. My other passion is landscapes, and as these are not my core business, I guess if I have to let anything take a less important part of my decision making, then it is the landscape bit.

So, I'm stuck - I'm selling all my old Canon gear no matter what, and I am struggling to decide between 2x Nikon D800/D800E bodies, or 2x Canon 5D MkIII bodies, and of course the appropriate lenses.

Both are obviously capable of fantastic results, but here is my dilemma. The D800/E have one thing I have been looking for for a long time and have never found in any Canon bodies - and that is the ability to pull up clean shadow detail. The Higher resolution is nice too, but I can live without it without any real problems.

The 5D MkIII on the other hand has aparrently superior autofocus, and this is a big deal too. They also have a couple of lenses that I would particularly like, but they are also something I could live without as for the most part Nikonm has fairly capable alternatives.

So - how can I make a sensible decision? Is that even possible?

Obviously in the future Canon may come out with a higher performing sensor in terms of dynamic range, or Nikon may improve their autofocus - but obviously that is the future, and who knows how long any of these changes could take?

I don't think I have ever struggled so much with a purchasing decision in my life before!
 
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adam z
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 09:59:31 PM »
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Thanks again, the Canon lenses are definitely what I want. The two zooms will mostly be used for the faster paced bits at weddings and events - the quality of these lenses is definitely up to the task of candid shots at such events, the rest of my more considered work will be shot with primes.

I could go on procrastinating forever, but I have to make a decision one way or the other - so I went with what I "think" is the best choice for me. Really, I can't go wrong either way, I'm no fanboy and I realise both systems are capable of exceptional results. Who knows what the next body from either manufacturer will be like anyway!

As for CPS membership, I will definitely be doing that as soon as I get the new gear.
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