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Old Nov 15, 2004, 8:08 PM   #1
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NOTE: I also have this thread in the Canon thread, trying to get more feedback.
I'm about to take the plunge with one or two 2.8 lenses for my D70. I do mostly sports, in particular auto racing during the spring and summer. Throughout the year I'm doing indoor (this time of year) and outdoor sports. Currently I have an el cheapo lens arrangement for my D70: 50 1.8, kit lens (18-70) and Sigma Macro II 70-300 APO. I also have an SB-28 flash, and still have a couple of N60 film bodies (one of which I hope to sell soon).
A friend who works at a local paper said he would be able to get me a good discount on lenses, so I'm anxious to order a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM lens, and possibly another 2.8 (Tamron 28-75) for indoor sports like basketball.
It occured to me last week if I wanted to switch to Canon, now would be the time since I don't have a huge investment in Nikon stuff yet (well, besides the D70 body). When I cover a big-time race (i.e. Champ Cars in Portland), attend an event like college football or watch a sport on TV, I pay attention to what the pro photogs are using. As such, I've seen the number of white lenses being used. So that got me thinking.
Then I looked at lenses at B&H to get a feel for what equivalent Nikons and Canons cost. Yes, for now I'm looking at third party stuff but thinking about down the road, I might upgrade to Nikon or Canon stuff. It seems Canon lenses are either cheaper than similar Nikon or the same price but with an additional feature like IS or USM. In fact, when looking at all Canon lenses B&H sells I was impressed by the number that have USM (though it seems like I read there are two different types of Canon USM?).
I really like my D70, but for my uses it doesn't seem to be a particularly fast focusing camera when paired with a non AF-S or SWM lens. For most of the volleyball season I used my 50 1.8 lens and struggled getting in focus shots. Obviously that's not an ideal lens to use, but it got me to wondering if a similar Canon body would focus faster?
I like some of the specs of the Canon 20D compared to the D70, in particular the FPS, lower noise at high ISO levels, and faster focusing. Then again the camera is $500 more and likely won't be discounted anytime soon, at least not until Nikon comes out with the D100 replacement, whenever that will be.
I wouldn't want to go to the DRebel/300D because from what I've read it's a slower camera (including initial start-up) and I'm not that wild about the color or controls (I like the black one better, but that's the same price as the D70).
I've read plenty of posts on Nikon v. Canon, including a great discussion on DP Review about why many pros went from Nikon to Canon 10-15 years ago, and have come up with some pros and cons about switching:
Reasons to switch:
1. It seems Canon has been a step or so ahead of Nikon, in particular with regards to coming out with newer/more advanced products. See 300D (response was D70) and 10D/20D (D70/still waiting to see Nikon's response). Some feel Canon will continue to be the leader, while others feel Nikon will come out later but with a better product.
2. As I mentioned earlier, it seems Canon lenses are better values than similar Nikons, and are more likely to have features like USM. For example, both Nikon and Canon have 85/f 1.8 lenses for around $300; the Canon version has USM while the Nikon doesn't.
3. Many seem to feel Canons have better sensors, which to me would mean faster/better focusing. In all fairness, I haven't shot with a Canon so I can't say how I like the Canon focusing compared to my D70.
4. Also as mentioned earlier, it's pretty noticable how many pros seem to be shooting Canon as opposed to Nikon. Not that it's 99% vs. 1% of the market by any means, it's just Canon seems to be preferred and most everything I've read confirms that observation.
5. I've read, mainly from Nikon users, about the 'arrogance' of Nikon and some subpar service stories.
Okay, now reasons to NOT switch:
1. Seems to be consensus the Nikon flash system is better than Canon's, and has been better for a while. With a 2.8 lens, however, that becomes less of a factor.
2. Having used two N60 film cameras before the D70, I am familiar with Nikon ergonomics and am quite satisfied in that respect. I really like how the D70 feels, and it doesn't take long to make necessary changes. I haven't even held a 20D yet. I briefly held a friend's pool camera (may have been 10D, not sure) and didn't feel too bad. I've also held his 300D and I wasn't really impressed.
3. By and large, I have been pleased with Nikon's reliability. I've taken thousands of shots with the D70 and haven't had it quit on me. Not to say I feel a Canon would be unreliable, just that I've had pretty good luck with Nikon.
4. The D70 showed that a Nikon response to a Canon product could indeed be worth the wait.
5. Sorry, I like black. I don't care much for white lenses. Not that I would be using a white Canon lens for a while, but once I get to the point of buying a top quality lens, I cringe at the thought of having a white lens.

Any comments, suggestions, insights etc. would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Nov 15, 2004, 11:26 PM   #2
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Value doesn't necessarily means happiness. Like modding a Civic until it's faster than a Porsche GT2, but at the end of the day it's just a faster Civic, NOT a Posche GT2 replacement. I guess this applies to lenses. The first lens that I purchased was an AF-S and ever since only purchased AF-S glass. I guess once you go AF-S you won't look at regular AF lenses anymore :G

As for AF performance, I haven't yet seen how the autofocus of the 20D compares to my D100's, but I know the D100's was better than the D60's and 10D's my friends use at work. I've heard them complain so many times their camera couldn't AF in low light, and then their 550EX wasn't much help either. Oh, and speaking of flashes, if by any chance you get an SB800 wet in the rain (during a rainy wedding day as the bride makes her way inside church for example) it will not leave you flashless. I've seen this happen twice, my friends' 550EX just quit working for a few minutes after getting a bit of rain, both my SB-80 and SB800 never gave me that problem, EVER! I'm the only Nikon guy at work, I'm surrounded by infidels! :lol: Seriously though, you should do what better serves your needs, even if it means going to Canon.
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Old Nov 15, 2004, 11:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply marokero. Believe me, if I could swing it financially all my lenses would be AF-S. :G
I've heard the Canon flashes aren't as good but I haven't done much reading on the subject. For all I know, a third party flash like Sigma might be better. When using flash, that's a definite advantage not only for Nikon in general but the D70 in particular with the 1/500 flash sync rate. Having said that, with a 2.8 lens and ISO bumped up there's not as much need for flash. From what I've read, the D20 is much better in low light performance than the 10D, plus has low noise levels at high ISO (I've noticed the D70 indeed has higher noise). I think some testing is in order here.
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Old Nov 16, 2004, 3:40 AM   #4
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Hmmm, another idea came to me tonight. It seems the D1H is pretty cheap right now, roughly in the area of both the D70 and 20D. A pro level camera which would be robust and fast for sports, quite tempting, especially for the price. :shock:
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Old Nov 16, 2004, 8:11 AM   #5
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murphyc wrote:
Quote:
From what I've read, the D20 is much better in low light performance than the 10D, plus has low noise levels at high ISO (I've noticed the D70 indeed has higher noise). I think some testing is in order here.
Check my other post on the Canon forum: The 20D has a higher precision AF sensor than the other cameras listed. http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...06&forum_id=37

I'm not an infidel just an atheist... :-):-):-).
IMO the Minolta has the best AF! Who else have an AF system that works to f/8: http://www.adorama.com/MN5008AFU.html
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Old Nov 16, 2004, 9:59 AM   #6
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Imho: I'd pick Metz/mecablitz over both Canon and Nikon strobes. I don't know about sigma as I have not used any of theirs. I do like my old Vivitars, thoughnot sure how they would work out on a modern camera.

This one in particular seemsinteresting http://www.metz.de/en/photo_electron..._MZ-4.171.html

But Metz is premium equipment and is not inexpensive.

[size=2]murphyc wrote: [/b]
I've heard the Canon flashes aren't as good but I haven't done much reading on the subject. For all I know, a third party flash like Sigma might be better.



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Old Nov 16, 2004, 2:11 PM   #7
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NHL wrote:
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Check my other post on the Canon forum: The 20D has a higher precision AF sensor than the other cameras listed.
Thanks for that link, I missed that thread earlier. Would it be correct to guess the D1H would be faster and more precise being a pro body, or does the 20D's newer technology mean the 20D is as fast as the now 'obsolete' D1H? In a quick search I haven't found any comparisons between the two, probably in large part due to the lack of overlap in the marketplace (both in class and when they came out).
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Old Nov 16, 2004, 11:39 PM   #8
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So you want to change your current D70 to a 20D because it seems it's a more attractive system? Warning: the grass is not always greener...

Whilst you could claim Canon is "one step ahead" of the competition (read: Nikon), you have to remember two years ago the people who bought the Canon D60 at $2k or whatever cost won't necessarily have that view (their cameras are suddenly two generations behind, it's made of plastic - so hated by current 20D users affirming their "excellent build quality" against the "plastic" D70) - it seems there's a constant influx of new models with every season. That means if you want to enjoy "staying ahead in the game", you would need to shell out the greens everytime, or be stuck with last year's model which everyone conveniently forgets about whilst hailing the new one as the best thing since sliced bread. This cancels out whatever perceived cost savings you may have on the tele lenses. Yes, Nikkors are more expensive in the pro lineup - but you buy these once and they last a lifetime. Unless you bought a Canon FD lens fifteen years ago, in which case you can't even buy adaptors today to mount it on currently for saleEOS camera. With this known history of dumping one successful lens mount system for another, what will the future bring in 20 years time?

The response to the 300D was not the D70 IMHO. The D70's feature set is closer to the 10D at the time of launch. Remember, the D70 was hailed as being in every way better than the D100 preceeding it, aside from lack of cable shutter release and a vertical grip option (the latter has since been addressed by 3rd parties). The 20D was IMHO released to addressed the shortcomings of previous generations and to beat the D70 in ways it excelled. With the 20D, Canon users are finally enjoyinginstant startup, instant shot review, intelligent buffering system, etc (still lacks a spot meter) that Nikon users have taken for granted with the D70 (and with a filled buffer on both cameras, the D70 still shoots faster at 2FPS).

Up until perhaps five years ago - if you had paid attention to what "the pros" used ("as seen on TV", etc), it would have been a Nikon whitewash. Today, Canon's 1 series digitals rule the photojournalist market, no doubt about it.If that'sthe reason to switch - then let's throw out all your kitchen utensils too, and buy what you seeJamie Oliver and other TV chefs are using. After all, cooking skills play no part in how the dishes taste, it's all to do with what brand of frying pan it's cooked with...

Also keep in mind, just because you see a white lens that doesn't mean it's a Canon (Nikon makes light grey teles glass, heck so does Pentax!). However conversely, if you see a black tele lens - it's a sure sign that it's NOT a Canon.



I may be biased, but there's nothing that's not true in what I stated above (sarcasm aside).
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 12:24 AM   #9
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Onyx, thanks for the quality response. For the record, seeming to see more pros use Canon wasn't THE reason I was considering a change--it just got me thinking.
And the 20D alone wasn't why I considered changing over, but the advances in that camera (higher FPS, lower noise etc.), combined with the generally more advanced lens system (i.e. the number of lenses with USM and/or IS compared to Nikon) and what I've read about Canon being ahead for quite a while got me seriously considering the change. There seems to be general consensus Nikon still leads in flash, and there's no telling when (or if) Nikon surpasses Canon in other areas like image noise and telephotos. Based on track record over the last few years, Canon appears to have had a technological and value edge.
For my sports shooting conditions, Canon looks attractive because of generally lower noise levels at high ISOs, more USM lenses (including the 85/1.8 ) and (arguably) faster AF systems. Those comments aren't tied to one particular camera like the 20D but to brands as a whole.
Then again, as I mentioned in a previous post, the D1H is a tempting solution. It certainly has speed I would need for sports shooting, which could be enough to overcome disadvantages like battery life and lower MP count. I would like to try out both a D1H and 20D in person, but there don't appear to be local stores that carry them.
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 10:23 AM   #10
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Onyx is completely right of course. Leapfrog is a game I played when I was young only. So what if Canon have brought out the 20D? Next year will surely IMHO see the launch of the D200 which will then probably be almost as good as the D2H the way things are going. At the Le Mans 24 hours race this year I was agreeably surprised to see how many journalists were actually carrying a D70 as a second camera, and on questioning them they were all completely in favour of it, quoting start up time and speed.

The point I make is, since really there is nothing between the range really as far as lenses are concerned, it is down to personal preference. To say that Canon are "ahead" is good for today, but the D70 is "ahead" of the Rebel, and next year the D200 will be "ahead" of the D20. In the final analysis, try both cameras and see if one feels right in your hand and the other doesn't. My D70 fits my hand like a glove, and if you are comfortable with a camera you can take good pictures. I didn't like the Rebel at all. My dealer (Gray's of Westminster) more or less point blank refused to sell me a D100 saying the D70 was better in almost every respect, and cost less. That's honesty for you I feel. Maybe I'll upgrade to a D200, who knows, but for the moment the D70 is clicking away merrily with never a problem, and that makes nearly 20 years of Nikon use with not one mechanical or electronic fault. That speaks as highly for me as anything else.
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