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  • #31
    Good thread, Hillbilly and good advice by Snowwolfe (who makes a living with his camera) & others. Didn't escape me that Snowwolfe just upgraded his boat too... Canon, eh? :topjob:

    Been curious about DSLRs - had friends shooting Canons and others shooting Nikons, both featured prominently in any photo magazine these days too. And they both seem to make a tough-enough camera. Gear which tolerates a little grit & grime. I guess how the camera fits your hands, and which controls are easier for you could be factors too? Is either Nikon or Canon especially easier or more difficult to operate?
    No habitat, no hunter.

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    • #32
      "I guess how the camera fits your hands, and which controls are easier for you could be factors too? Is either Nikon or Canon especially easier or more difficult to operate?"

      Canon's entry level cameras (Rebels of all ilks) have a small hand grip that plenty of people have complained about over the years, but it depends on the size and shape of your hand. I've read that the new Rebel T3i is better in this regard. Operation wise, it's more of a personal choice and what you get familiar with first.

      Canon's use of a tilt/flip out rear LCD on their latest camera bodies is quite convenient, and their video modes are often ever so slightly more advanced than the equivalent Nikon. But this is a constantly moving target, and you may find otherwise in the bodies you compare.

      Historically (last 20 years) Canon usually focused on more advanced features in their mid to low end camera bodies. While Nikon concentrated on getting the basics of operation and function to work reliably and consistently on their low to mid level bodies, and kept the new features for the high end bodies. In the last 3-4 years they have been competing more head to head on both accounts. The professional bodies from both have always been more about reliability and consistency than anything else. At least that's been my view of these two companies.

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      • #33
        Gee, this can get complicated if ya dig...

        Good input, Jim. Quite a range of technical comments on this thread, and maybe quite a range of users too (it's sure new to me). I found additional info in an online buying guide, which explains many of the terms (and supports comments here about the need for MPs) at: http://reviews.cnet.com/dslr-buying-...?tag=page;page. Here's a comment from that guide regarding "Ruggedness", which I appreciated given my interest in outdoor subjects, but the more I dig it seems the more technical details there are. Here's ruggedness from the consumer perspective:

        "Also hard to quantify, but another area where a wide gap exists between low-end offerings and the midrange-to-top sports and news pro cameras, which are sealed against moisture and made with more durable materials".

        The article also suggests some selection criteria in dSLRs based on your level of interest/commitment in photography (Dabbler, Student, News-Sports-Action Photographer, Documentary-Travel-Wildlife Photographer...). They're suggestions, but seem useful - to consider certain features before committing...maybe.

        And the article discusses image formats & associated software. I'm guessing that the Canon & Nikon cameras already discussed have software that supports several image formats and conversion programs? Maybe that's partly what Snowwolfe was referring to when describing "...because these are the two companies that will have what you need later down the road". From CNET:

        "Hint: Think twice about any digital SLR that is not supported by a good raw-conversion program. If the camera's manufacturer doesn't make a decent converter, look for a third-party application. We've counted at least half a dozen for various digital SLR models. And many image-editing apps now include good raw-conversion features for a wide range of popular digital SLRs".
        No habitat, no hunter.

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        • #34
          Ahh yes, raw converters: Canon's is decent and free. It's interface has been greatly improved in recent years, but it still isn't quick to run a 500 pictures through it. It does work very well though. Last I heard Nikon was giving away a rather lame converter with their camera, and charging $100 for their good one. It's about the same as the newer free Canon version. At least some Pentax cameras have shipped with a 3rd party raw app. Can't remember the name of it, but people complained about it's very odd interface and slow processing. I understand it did a good job with image quality though.

          I use Adobe Lightroom for raw processing. It is SO much faster and the image quality is great. I know a lot of people don't want to waste their time messing about with raw image processing, but I rarely shoot anything but raw format anymore because I find it faster and easier to tweak raw files into good images than to do the same with jpgs.

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          • #35
            I like Camera Raw in CS5, But Canon's Raw Converter is quite nice, and free to boot

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Jim Strutz View Post
              At least some Pentax cameras have shipped with a 3rd party raw app. Can't remember the name of it, but people complained about it's very odd interface and slow processing. I understand it did a good job with image quality though.
              The supplied software that comes with Pentax DSLRs uses the same RAW conversion engine as SILKYPIX software but it is nowhere near as good as SILKYPIX. I tried it out on my 1.67Ghz PBG4 when I started shooting in RAW and found it to be pretty slow and the interface is clunky but functional. It will convert Pentax PEF files to DNG even though the newer Pentax DSLRs can also shoot in DNG format.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by kodiakrain View Post
                OK, Canon, What........?? , are you guys shooting?

                I was drawn to this thread by the OP's question, figuring to get a plan for replacing my little Canon Powershot 1200,

                then see the brand loyalty thing going on,..... but No Specifics ??? (grin)
                Oops...

                I'm running a Canon 7D now, the wife runs my first Xti, and true to the "don't pay attention to pixel counts" advice, I'm looking at picking up a 1D Mark III to replace it.

                As mentioned, the best place to spend money is on the glass. Current list is...

                17-55mm EFS
                24-105mm
                70-200mm f/2.8 IS
                70-200mm f/2.8 IS MkII
                100-400mm

                and of course the kit lenses.

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                • #38
                  Canon 5D Mark II

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                  • #39
                    Hi Gary
                    I have a D90 and love it. Relatively inexpensive for a DSLR. That said, if I was out shopping for a new DSLR today I would instead choose the newer D7000: better features, magnesium body, sealed against dust, a little more mega-pixels, etc. Yeah it costs more, but I think it's worth it. Whether to choose Nikon, or Canon, is largely a matter of personal preference, because both companies produce wonderful cameras. I just like the back-of-the-camera "push-button" scheme of the Nikons for changing settings. (such as ISO, picture quality, shutter speed, etc...makes it easy and fast, without searching in any menus). Other people prefer the menu-driven settings of Canon. (or other) I'd think it would just take a day or two to get used to either method...it's not a big deal. I'd just go to a camera store and handle both and see what you like. Not just the cameras, but any included lenses as well. Just my $.02

                    Marshall/Ak
                    "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"

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                    • #40
                      Hmmm....I sure don't like this 20-minute forum enforced time limit on changing/editing our posts! Anyway, thought I'd add a few more comments.
                      I noticed the other day that Costco/Anchorage is now carrying the D7000, with 18-200 VR lens, for about $1800...about as good a way to start in DSLR, as any. One thing to bear in mind: as a general rule of thumb, Nikon lenses cost about 10% to 20% MORE than equivalent Canon lenses, and are no better. (no worse either, just more expensive, for no good reason) I do think Canon has a better selection of lenses than Nikon. For example, just try to find a 400mm prime (non-zoom) telephoto lens in the Nikon lineup. (and yes, Canon has one) I was forced to go with a 300mm Nikon prime lens with a teleconverter to get to 400mm....not the best approach to super-telephoto, but it works. Common Nikon, get off your duff and make a 400mm prime!

                      Marshall/Ak
                      "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"

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                      • #41
                        Marshall, Thanks for the nikon input. I did go to the camera store in fairbanks and checked out both a D90 and D7000. I really liked both cameras but I can pick up a D90 for half the price. I have considered a Canon but I dont care to scroll throgh screens to change setting. Im in the middle of a move right now so the new camera is going to have to wait until I can fund it. Thanks again. Gary

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                        • #42
                          One more thought: Nikon (and probably Canon also) has factory refurbed cameras for sale on their website store, that are every bit as good as new:
                          http://shop.nikonusa.com/store/nikon...oryID.43896500

                          In fact, just looking at them side-by-side you can't tell any difference, and the cost is somewhat lower. A lot of these cameras were returned to the factory not because they didn't work, but because the buyer was nitpicky and didn't like something, maybe they decided they wanted a different camera, maybe they found one cheaper elsewhere, or maybe some paperwork or part might have been missing in the box, etc.
                          I can recommend this site, without reservation, for info, reviews, and VERY professional advice...won't steer you wrong (lots of good info for you Canon guys too) http://www.bythom.com/

                          Marshall/Ak
                          "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"

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                          • #43
                            Clarification on my beef about Nikon not having a 400mm prime: they actually do happen to have one: a big and pricey f/2.8 model that costs $9549.95!!! My complaint is that there is nothing in the price range that the average John Q Citizen can afford. (like maybe $1500...which is still quite a lot of money to me!) Even a "slow" 400mm f/5.6 would be acceptable, if available light is good. I believe Canon has one like that for around $1500 (at least they did a year ago)

                            Marshall/Ak
                            "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Canon Rebel XSi, good camera, some day I would love a 50 or 60D, then after that a Mark series I use to shoot one at my last job and LOVED IT! When I changed jobs I had to buy my own gear thats why I'm shooting a Rebel, overal great for the price. Canon Lenses: I have a 18-55mm f4.5-5.6, 50mm f1.8, and a 100-300mm USM f4.5-5.6. Again one of these days I will upgrade back to what I have rented in the past a 70-200mm L USM IS f2.8 with a 1.4x teleconverter, and a 300mm L USM IS f4 with a 2x teleconverter, that would be my dream lens set. Maybe a 100-400 L series lens. Next year when I do Denali I will rent a canon 400mm L IS f2.8 lens with the 2x teleconverter and a make sure I have a nice tripod with me.

                              Good luck, its just fun to get out :topjob:

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Marshall/Ak View Post
                                Clarification on my beef about Nikon not having a 400mm prime: they actually do happen to have one: a big and pricey f/2.8 model that costs $9549.95!!! My complaint is that there is nothing in the price range that the average John Q Citizen can afford. (like maybe $1500...which is still quite a lot of money to me!) Even a "slow" 400mm f/5.6 would be acceptable, if available light is good. I believe Canon has one like that for around $1500 (at least they did a year ago)
                                That is a valid point.

                                It might help to understand the reasons, and the history, though. Nikon is a relatively small company compared to Canon. Canon is very much oriented towards their marketing people, while Nikon is more controlled by the engineers. Which is to say that at Canon it is much more likely that marketing will insist the engineers develop a product from a marketing concept that they have; while at Nikon it is more likely that the engineers will insist the company market an engineering concept they came up with.

                                Canon is more likely to have new technology quicker. Nikon is more inclined to continue R&D until a technology is totally integrated into the Nikon system. So the Canon technology might be a little awkward, but is available; the Nikon technology won't be available until it is smoothly integrated for professional use.

                                The important thing about the 400mm consumer lens though, is that Nikon does not pretend to market a complete line of consumer equipment, and instead concentrates on the profession line. Initially, in the 1950's and 1960's, Nikon produced only professional 35mm cameras. In the middle 1960's they first came out with the Nikkormat line, though even that was a "high" end consumer grade model. It wasn't until the 1970's that they made any attempt at entry level consumer cameras. In the late 1970's they made a concerted effort at production of consumer grade entry level lenses. (They were not exactly very successful either, until they began producing consumer grade DSLR's in the early 2000's.)

                                So, for example, Nikon's low end consumer systems have never been "complete". They simply do not make lenses longer than 300mm in consumer grades. They also have relatively limited fixed focal length selections at shorter focal lengths too, with a complete line for the pro and less complete as the price goes down.

                                There is some substantial method to their madness though, and the approach is fairly logical. The prosumer quality zoom lenses are technically better than a set of consumer quality fixed focal length lenses. Hence, for your purposes there actually are several ways to obtain a 400mm focal length from Nikon, but they all require pre-planning and may not work at all on any of the low end consumer cameras. An 80-200mm f/2.8 or a 70-200mm f/2.8 with a 2X TC, or the 80-400mm f/2.8 AFD, or a 300mm (f/2.8 or f/4) with a 1.4X TC. Not exactly the easy solution you are looking for! But from an engineer's point of view the selection is adequate.

                                Some serious advice though, on 400mm lenses. I used the 80-400mm AFD for years when I wanted "portable". I've now switched to also using the much more expensive combination of a 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII with a TC20III, but if your camera body has the built in AF motor the 80-400mm is the ticket. (If you have a body without the AF motor, you made an expensive mistake if inexpensive lenses are also on your list. Get a D90 or whatever!)

                                And if a 400mm f/2.8 is something you lust after... find an older AF-I model! The darn thing is heavy, at about 15 pounds, and not at all portable. But it won't cost ten grand either, and will in fact do anything the newer version can do, if not quite as conveniently. (Save up a lot of coins though, because the tripod and gimbal head needed to use such a monster are also expensive.)

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