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Old Jan 5, 2004, 1:01 PM   #1
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I won't exactly ask "what should I get?" I'm trying to decide what the difference between Canon and Nikon systems are. I like a couple of each brand, but what do I need to think about in the long term? What are the advantages/disadvantages to one or the other? Or is it simply a matter of preference?

Starting from scratch, this will be a big investment for me and I hope not to upgrade camera for a few years.

Any input to this is greatly appreciated.
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 1:28 PM   #2
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Primarily it's a personal choice, as both Canon and Nikon have been in the photography business for many years and both have fine products to their credit. For film based SLR's, I'd give the edge to Nikon. For dSLR, Canon may have the slight edge. But, rest assured that either would be a good choice.

You are correct saying that it is a big investment. It is not like buying the latest compact all-in-one camera. SLR's are systems with the body being the base and the lenses, flashes, etc being the accesories that you add to the system as your budget and needs change.
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 1:47 PM   #3
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Ohenry hit the nail on the head with his reply. The other thing you may want to consider is lenses. Nikon hasn't changed their mount in ages, whereas most of their lenses, AF and some non AF will work. However, Canon has changed a few times, making some lenses obsolete. Just some info to keep in mind, hope it helps and good luck with whichever you chose!!
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 2:48 PM   #4
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I agree with ohenry as well, but I disagree some with Chrisr.

As far as I know, Canon has only changed lens mounts once in recent memory. That was the FD -> EF mount change. The EF mount is completely electronic and has a fairly large diameter. This should leave them room to grow (more electronic contacts) for a long time.

Nikon hasn't changed the physical mount in ages, but they are making changes to their lens design. Specifically they are dropping the aperture ring (the "G" lenses, I believe.) All newer bodies can use them, but older ones can't. I know people who have 20+ year old lenses that they still use on their new Nikon bodies. Sure, it doesn't AF and it doesn't support 3D matrix metering for flash (I think flash) but it works and it's a great lens so they keep it. Oh, and then there is 3d matrix metering support. All the newer lenses support it, but some older ones (but not that old) don't. This info only effects the used market, but it's still something to consider if you'll buy used lenses. (I don't believe any lenses sold new don't support 3D matrix metering.)

pbnoj

Your question is only slightly better than the "what should I get". I know you meant well, though. The big thing you left out is what type of photograpy do you do. That makes a large difference (I believe.)

Nikon seems to have more Macro lenses (Canon's are good, but there are fewer of them.)

Nikon seems to have better flash support. I don't know this from personal experience, but several people have said it to me. I'm talking about how it meters and gets exposure and flash power correct.

Canon has Image Stabilization across more of its lens line. For some this matters, for others it doesn't.

Canon's longer focal length lenses are noticably cheaper than Nikon's (I'm talking about 400+ mm lenses. The difference can be a thousand bucks or more.)

Some believe that Canon's USM AF moters are faster than Nikon's AF-S. Don't believe them. This is a blanket statement that isn't true. Take it on a lens-by-lens case. Some USM is slow & some fast. Some AF-S is slow & some fast. So find the lens that you want, and compare those directly.

Nikon licenses the lens mount to others so you'll find other cameras with full nikon lens mount support (The Fuji S2 Pro, for example.) Canon doesn't do this, so once you buy into Canon, you are stuck with Canon bodies and the occasional lens that doesn't support a new canon body and has to be fixed by the manufacturer (for free, usually.)

I could go on. The real question is what type of photography you do. The middle of the road "vacation, shots of the kids" type of stuff, the systems are basically equivalent. This means you should choose by what camera body feels best to you (fits your hands, better button layout, that kinda stuff.) Another reason to chose might be you have a friend who uses one or the other. Then you can more easily get help from them, and mooch equipment to try out.

Eric
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 4:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
As far as I know, Canon has only changed lens mounts once in recent memory. That was the FD -> EF mount change. The EF mount is completely electronic and has a fairly large diameter. This should leave them room to grow (more electronic contacts) for a long time.
Actually they had an FL (breech lock) before the FD (stop down lever)...
The larger inner diameter allow for wider aperture lenses like the 50mm f/1.0 and the 85mm f/1.2, but other than that well ... :P

Quote:
Nikon seems to have better flash support. I don't know this from personal experience, but several people have said it to me. I'm talking about how it meters and gets exposure and flash power correct.
This is because Nikon use the distance info from their lenses (same as Minolta) to factor in the correct flash compensation. Canon use its AF sensors position to analyze the scene and can be fooled... However Canon (and Minolta) has the wireless TTL slaves control which is now only available on the D2h, and its just release flash (all other Nikon lost their wireless feature when going to digital).
Flash exposure lock is also another feature that is recently added to the D2h, but available on all the Canons (ie to compensate for the above AF points problem)!

Quote:
Nikon licenses the lens mount to others so you'll find other cameras with full nikon lens mount support (The Fuji S2 Pro, for example.) Canon doesn't do this, so once you buy into Canon, you are stuck with Canon bodies and the occasional lens that doesn't support a new canon body and has to be fixed by the manufacturer (for free, usually.)
Actually Kodak did make a Canon mounted camera (may be because Kodak chose a Nikon bodied DCS-14n):
http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...8.3.22.6&lc=en

... :idea:
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 6:42 PM   #6
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Thanks to all for your help.

I shoot mostly sports (motorcross and cross country quad racing). Also marching band compitions, and everyday use. Mainly will use outdoors so a flash isn't a top priority for awhile.

I've got a Fujifilm s602z now and have been pretty happy with it as my first digital. Shutter lag is my biggest concern and shot to shot times aren't great.

Does this help any?
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 9:29 PM   #7
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Canon typically has better pictures directly from the camera without any post-processing than Nikon. All the top motocross photographers use Canon cameras, but they use the 1Ds which is considered as the top digital SLR. I don't think you can go wrong with either of the two brands, they both make solid cameras with a large selection of great lenses. Whatever you choose, good luck and have fun.
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 7:47 AM   #8
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The EOS 10 D may give you more "frames per burst" than say the Nikon D100 (9 as oposed to 4 in RAW ?), and this could be handy for your sports shots.

Regards,
Graham.
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 12:19 PM   #9
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The D100's buffer is that small for RAWs? I didn't realize that. Good to know.

NHL, thanks for correcting and adding info. I knew I didn't have all the info, so it's nice to learn more (while being corrected.) That info about flash metering is good to know. I never really understood why Nikon was considered to do this better. (And I knew you'd bring up the wireless flash issue. )

pbnoj
That info is just what we need to know. That camera has a 35-210mm F2.8 - F3.1 (that is a great max fstop range!)

Without too much trouble, you could buy good lenses from Nikon, Canon or Sigma to replace that zoom power. Even including the sigma (which is much cheaper) the equivalent X-200 zoom will be a bit expensive. But that is the price you pay for a good fstop. I would have expected you needed a bit more reach for the motor cross, but what do I know? So unfortunately the lens choices don't help you too much in picking a brand. But itís good to make sure.

Go to the store and check them out. You might find that one just fits your needs much better than the other. Both have low shutter latency, about 1/3 of a second shot-to-shot time, and good AF. Much better than what you have now, so you'll be happy with either brand in that respect.

Eric
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 3:09 PM   #10
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Thanks for your help!


I really like my fuji for now. Wish it did have a little more reach. Burst 5 feature is good, except it takes over a minute to write. They only give me 30 seconds between each class starts on cross country!

I have been considering the D100, I also noted the small buffer in RAW. I have little experience on postprocessing, but would like to have something to grow with.

Canon 10D also on short list. or DRebel? Price is much better, but again will I wish a couple years down the road I went with 10D?


Will be awhile before I can buy unfortunately. Hubby needs new quad!

Thanks again! You've given me more to think about

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