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Old Jul 17, 2006, 9:10 AM   #1
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Moderator: Yes, posted in two forums. Looking for two sets of feedback. Hope you'll leave both. Others have followed these posts...

One more newbie question pitting one manufacturer against another. For those who are rolling their eyes at my previous posts, please bear with me and see where this one goes. It has a new angle, and perhaps totally different focus. Also, there have been a few, "I'm following this" responses to those posts… (BTW, I am buying a camera this month so you won't have to deal with these types of questions from me much longer. Also, for those who recognize my posts, I've dropped both Rebel XT/350 and d50 from consideration. Hopefully that hooked a few of you to stay on longer.)

I have begun, through all my research to understand that the user is clearly the most important factor in good photography. If I am catching on, the order may go something like: user, settings, lenses and then somewhere down the line the actual camera body. Give me a $6,000 rig and a pro a $600 entry-level and he'll kill my images. I get it.

That said, I do find it hard to believe there are not some clear, distinct positions that manufacturers take and then base their engineering efforts around those positions. With limited resources, manufacturers have to choose. If they add one extra feature, they more than likely give up something else. Any analysis of the dslr market (especially between Nikon and Canon) shows there are probably no two cameras that can compete feature to feature 100%. This camera has that but loses that.

While many have replied to my posts almost with "a camera is a camera. it's just the shooter stupid!" types of responses. "Just go feel it out and see which you like better." I get the point but don't buy it 100%. There's got to be some competitive advantages from each. There's got to be distinct strengths that they represent to distinct types of users. There's got to be some users more willing to say, "Yep, for portraiture, go XXX." "No, no, for action photography, XXX is better and here's why." I find it too hard to believe that there is not SOME product focus, engineering, etc that would make one manufacturer (and/or model) stand apart.

CANON
My first example would be, and I don't think anyone could argue: Canon clearly positions itself as the leader in sports photography. Whether you agree or not with who is the leader, Canon advertises to show a dominant position, and I've guessed, even chose that external lens color (grey? white?) to set themselves apart on the sidelines. They've gotten what they've paid for. Most of us think sports, from NFL to Nascar, and most of us think Canon. Tennis legend Andre Agassi was a spokesman for years. His "rebel" image and Canon, what a marriage! I had no real interest in photography in the 90's but I knew what a Canon Rebel was. Maria Sharapova appears to be the new face for Canon in tennis. You can't watch a tennis match on TV without seeing her and some nifty new point and shoot. We're all clear on that, so get to the point, right?

NIKON
Many of the clerks in local camera shops, techies, true hobbyists seem to be Nikon guys. They roll their eyes at all of the marketing hoopla mentioned above. They refer to portrait shooters, National Geographic shooters, etc and state emphatically that you will see WAY more Nikon users in those camps. Can't disagree. I've watched a lot of photography DVDs (such as National Geographic) lately and would have to agree. I see Nikon offer more capabilities with flash systems, remote capabilities, more and more. THAT seems to be their focus and position in the marketplace. Nikon seems to be the Apple computer company to me: We're not the biggest. Don't really want to be. But just ask a REAL user and they'll tell you whose best. We give you more. We focus more on you and less on advertising. We give you more technical capabilities and make our product easier to use… On and on and on. At least that's the message I have gotten in the marketplace. Sure you see the Canon name everywhere, but it's not really better. Let me show you why…

I love the CAnon sports shots and low light but see better detail in non sports, OUTDOOR shots with Nikon, . Yes, change settings but people in background got washed out into shadows with CAnon. They disappeared as compared to Nikon. With Nikon they remained crisp. But, indoors other way around. Is that truly the shooter? NOthing to do with the camera?!?

NOW, and yes finally, I get to my question.
WOULD THERE BE ANY TRUTH TO THE MATTER THAT IN THAT SOUGHT AFTER POSITION, WITH THAT PRODUCT FOCUS, WITH SUBSEQUENT ENGINEERING, CANON INCORPORATES SOME TECHNOLOGY THAT IS BETTER SUITED TO ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY. And, perhaps to low light situations getting better, clearer shots indoors??? Is there something in their speed of autofocus, in image processing, something that makes them a choice for so many action shooters? Following advice, I see better, clearer, sharper images in sports forums from Canon shooters. EVen gymnasts on a podium in a poorly lit gym look clearer. ISO???

Is there something in Nikon that blew me away about their out of the box, bright and brilliant colors. With the shots I took outdoors, I was amazed at the color differences between a Nikon and Canon test. (not scientific, don't put too much focus on that. We've covered that before. And yes, you can change settings…) (!!!!POST EDITED DAYS LATER, AN AH HA MOMENT WAS THAT D50 DEFAULTS TO A DIFFERENT COLOR MODE THAN EVEN THE D70. IT DEFAULTS TO COLOR MODE IIIa VERSUS D70'S Ia. MANUAL STATES THIS WILL PROVIDE MORE "VIVID" COLORS IN LANDSCAPES, ETC. POSSIBLE AH AH MOMENT AND I FELT COMPELLED TO ADD THIS HERE!!!) But, most of the posts I see show more pop in still shots, nature shots taken with Nikon. Fleshtones seemed to stay truer with Nikon. DOES NIKON PUT JUST A LITTLE MORE INTO SOMETHING, SOME ENGINEERING, SOMETHING MECHANICAL TO OFFER MORE "out of the box" POP and thus the choice for those NOT needing the focusing speed and low light settings desired by the Canon shooters.

I realize this may still oversimplify. I realize glass, shooter, post processing all come into play. But would there be any truth to the above. Any truth? Any TOTAL misconceptions. Any feedback anyone would want to give.

And finally, I already hear it, "what will you be shooting… what do you want it to do… etc." Okay, I am the family documenter. I'm always the one with the camera or camcorder in hand. 50+ percent will be walk around, non vital, fun family shots. Indoors at birthday parties, outside watching kids eat bugs, etc, etc. 25 percent will be my long-term desire of getting into local little league sports photography. Baseball, football, and yes, indoor sports such as basketball. Let's say another 25 percent will be learning to be a photographer, getting creative. But, primary focus will be Kids, action, sports more than birds and bugs. Kids chasing birds, not birds sitting still. Bugs and flowers going to toddlers mouths. Not just still shots of bugs and flowers. Eventually, those toddlers in faster action activities such as sports, and nieces and nephews already there.

For those who recognize my posts, I'm ruling out BOTH the Rebel XT and the d50. I've found too many limitations in both for what I know will be a very quick learning curve and progression into the hobby. I'm back to my original desire for the Canon 30d and considering Nikon d70s. I'm now somewhat educated enough to know that megapixels aren't everything and so the lost megapixels (6.1 versus 8.2) is debatable. Also, the glass on the d70s is far superior to that on the 30d. Price is not my concern. I'll save up and get some glass. Currently work a part time job just for this and other expensive hobbies. Let's talk technology, not price. CAn't really justify d200 even though I wonder if it's not a better value than 30d if it has good glass. 30d + better lens = price of d200????

Any feedback. With good response, I promise to make this my last such post. Just looking for technical feedback and opinions.



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Old Jul 17, 2006, 9:29 AM   #2
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leeraff wrote:
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Let's talk technology, not price...
You should be comparing the D2Xs with the 1D mrkIIN for sport!!! :lol: :-) :G
... again they are just tools - It's the person behind the camera who makes the difference
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Old Jul 17, 2006, 10:12 AM   #3
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Okay, right off the bat. Hobbyist NEW to photography. 30d is a stretch I'm willing to make. Getting up to and above $2000 is ridiculous for my skill level as an initial purchase. When I say sports, let's say the dad/uncle who is above point and shoot but not necessarily wearing a press badge. Hope that helps a little. Thanks for the suggestion but a little overkill for my needs.
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Old Jul 17, 2006, 11:21 AM   #4
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Ok - So it's really not Nikon vs Canon is it? Because clearly they can make equally fast cameras... (and noise free)

Again it's back to the default design where each camera target different segment of the market where each manufacturer is after - I'm quite sure a D200's owner can prove you wrong... I have a 1D mrkIIN now, but still shoot with an older 10D (which is slower than either a D70 or D200), but action shots have never been my problem: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=11 :blah:

What I've found is with a higher frame rate, you're also deleting more pictures... :lol: :-) :G
(Photography is all about lighting, composition and techniques - the camera and lens are only parts of the overall "PICTURE")

-> You should really stop chasing the manufacturer's marketing machines / advertisements !!! :idea:
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Old Jul 17, 2006, 2:25 PM   #5
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There are a few parts to this equation. Marketing schtick or no, Canon IS the leader in pro sports shooting. They are there because of two reasons:

1. Their glass

2. The performance of their 1-series bodies (now headed up by the 1D Mk II-N for sports considerations).

Part of that is good marketing but a big part of it is they are simply great products.

Now, having said that, it doesn't sound like you will be buying a $4000 camera (mk II-N) or $6700 lens (400mm 2.8 - the big white lens most commonly seen at sporting events) or even the little-brother 300mm 2.8 at $4000.

So, you have to ask yourself - if you are interested in sports shooting do you ever see it getting to the point where you would invest the $$ in either a pro level body or the pro sports lenses? If so, then Canon is the right camp for you - while your body now will be replaced in a couple years the lenses you buy hopefully will not.

But, if you don't see yourself down the road buying those types of bodies or lenses then who cares how many 400mm 2.8 lenses with a mk II N body you see at pro sporting events? That's not the equipment you're using or going to use.

As to glass available in Nikon vs. Canon for the non pro - both have excellent 70-200mm 2.8 lenses which is the basic starting lens for a sports shooter. I happen to own 2 sigma lenses (70-200 2.8 and 120-300 2.8) which I use for all my outdoor sports and any indoor sports that don't require a prime lens. So, from a lens standpoint - Sigma makes those lenses for either mount. So, what I'm saying is, from a sports perspective, once you get below the 300mm 2.8 lenses both Canon and Nikon are going to be about equal in price and quality of their sports capable lenses (with Sigma offering some very compelling lenses as well).

Which brings us to the bodies. I own a 20d so I don't own either of the cameras you're considering (30D or D200). I will say that based upon professional reviews and people's reviews the D200appears to be better than or equal to the 30D inevery area except high ISO performance - where the 30d is still a better performer (although in Popular Photography they claim the D200 is a better performer in this regard - but that contradicts everything else I've read or seen).

So, for low light sports I would still stay with the Canon. Otherwise the Nikon appears to be the better camera. But either one will produce poor results if you don't get a good lens for it and don't have the knack for shooting sports (i.e. choosing the right angles, anticipating the action, etc...)

But in reality - go handle both, both are more than capable of meeting your needs. If you are leaning towards the Nikon for whatever reasons then by all means get it - it is more than capable of handling the shooting you plan on doing.

But, just as NHL has shown what the Canon cameras can do for wildlife, feel free to see what the Canon cameras can do with sports shooting. Mygalleries are all with the 20D (predecessor to 30d but sensor is the same so IQ will be identical):

www.jagsportsphotos.com

All the baseball, softball and little league shots were with the Sigma 120-300 2.8 lens. Football shots were with the Sigma 70-200 2.8. Cleveland Indians shots from this year were with Canon 100-400L lens.

Good luck - you really don't have a wrong choice here.

As to color rendition, I can't comment on that. I honestly think from everything I've read the two systems (and these 2 cameras) are equal in that regard.
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Old Jul 17, 2006, 3:04 PM   #6
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JohnG wrote:
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So, for low light sports I would still stay with the Canon. Otherwise the Nikon appears to be the better camera. But either one will produce poor results if you don't get a good lens for it and don't have the knack for shooting sports (i.e. choosing the right angles, anticipating the action, etc...)
but as long as you get the right amount of light, (ie an external flash for brighter results) noise is not really much of an issue... thats why i went with Nikon (d50) It just felt better in my hands, and i as i would have loved a 30d i just couldnt afford it (bought myself and im only 15) so i went with what i could and i absolutely love it... noise is still pretty clean and no to intrusive at 1600 which was comletely gone after a quick run through neatimage.



and leeraffi wouldnt completely throw out the d50/rebel they are amazing cameras (like i said i went with the d50 for the better feel in my hands as i do havebigger hands) and they are completely capable of wat you are asking for a fraction of the price... and if this is your first dslr you might want to reconsider...

just my $0.02

-Logan

PS and like everyone said its just not the camera its the lens and person behind that make a good photo...

PSS asleeraff said " Canon advertises to show a dominant position, and I've guessed, even chose that external lens color (grey? white?) "... Nikon also has some grey lenses... http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

and http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
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Old Jul 17, 2006, 3:28 PM   #7
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Log wrote:
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but as long as you get the right amount of light, (ie an external flash for brighter results) noise is not really much of an issue...
Logan,

I agree in part with what you're saying. However the context of the discussion was sports shooting. Sports shooting with flash is extremely difficult - most people can't do it well. You not only run into bad looking images, but you then have recycle times and distances working against you (i.e a flash shot 30 yards down field in football is pretty useless but 400mm lens and ISO 3200 gets you there).

And, there are some instances where flash is not allowed - when I shoot gymnastics there is no flash allowed. So, from a sports shooting perspective, flash is usually a last ditch choice. Where it is probably most prevelant is basketball - and then, most pros who can will prefer to use mounted strobes vs. an attached flash.

So, for normal photos I agree - I prefer to use a flash. For sports, I HATE it and ISO 3200 and a fast lens will produce much better results.

And while I agree the D50 and 350D are great cameras - sports and wildlife are the two main areas where the feature set of the better DSLRs makes a big difference (5 fps and ISO 3200 are absolutely a huge step forward for a sports shooter). If you're not into either of those areas then I agree the D50 and 350 are extremely good cameras.
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Old Jul 17, 2006, 3:29 PM   #8
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Forgot one thing Logan,

By all accounts the D50 has better noise performance than the D200 - so you're right about it being very clean at 1600.
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Old Jul 17, 2006, 5:59 PM   #9
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JohnG,

as you said nothing will replace ISO 3200 and a fast lens, i absolutely agree with this. but from reading what this guy has said he is making a big jump (as he said he is new to photography)and wont be taking as high of quality pix as you off the bat, so he should invest in a better lens and a lower body and than once he knows where and what he will be shooting he can upgrade his body in a few years as by then we could have even higher performance (ISO, FPS, res, etc)

-Logan

PS, so pretty much all im saying is spend more money on a better lens then upgrade to a better body in 18 mos to a year... (which is what im planning on) to me this sounds reasonable but if someone disagrees, please feel free to comment:-)
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Old Jul 17, 2006, 8:38 PM   #10
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Do you think leeraff appreciate the importance of f/2.8 and 3200 yet?
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