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Old Jul 7, 2008, 3:55 AM   #1
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I am choosing a semi-pro system with a quality standard zoom lens.

I am considering the following systems:

Canon EOS 5D $1899

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L $1190

Total: $3089



Sony A700 $1300

Zeiss ZA Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F/2.8 SSM $1750

Total: $3050



Nikon D200 $1260

Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED $1700

Total: $2960



The prices are from B&H Photo's website.



Out of these three Sony offers the best lens and Canon the best camera. Given that its 5D is FF although it's a little old now and the price of this camera will drop when the newer model arrives.

I have a feeling Sony's system is better than that of Nikon. It features a better lens, CMOS sensor similar to that of the D300 and other cool features like built-in image stabliser. However, D200 is better built.



What are your opinions on these systems?



Thanks!
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Old Jul 7, 2008, 5:40 AM   #2
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Alot depends on what kind of shooting you'll be doing. One issue I see with the Sony and Nikon is the lack of true wide angle. With the crop factor, the widest you can get is 36mm (equiv. 35mm). The 5D probably does offer the best IQ, but some have complained of its build quality and responsiveness. For the money though, unless you shoot alot of action or sports, the 5d is the best setup.
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Old Jul 7, 2008, 6:12 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. Mainly documentary pictures. Hence choosing the 24-70mm lens.
I am aware of the crop factor on D200 and A700. The lenses will give me 36-105mm in old terms on these cameras. Which is acceptable.

5D is a good camera but it is a little old now. And the lens from Canon is not all that great. I think it's better to spend a little more on the lens rather than on the camera.

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Old Jul 7, 2008, 7:15 AM   #4
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Interesting choices.

I'm curious why you didn't select the Canon 40D or the Nikon D300? (See http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/5062...l?print_page=y) Both the Canon 40D and the Nikon D300 offer 'Live View' which maycome inhandy, and the Sony A700 doesn't have it.

And since the Canon 5D is a full frame dSLR, the choice of a 24-70mm lens isn't appropriate for comparison with the other two dSLRs on your list.

Yes, the Sony system benefits from having the best lens, and if that's the only lens you'll ever need, that's great. But Canon and Nikon both have a larger selection of lenses, some, but not all of which are stabilized.
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Old Jul 7, 2008, 1:00 PM   #5
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My comparison is built around:

- my buget which is $3K;

-quality lenses;

-cameras.



In that order.


I am not a professional photographer. I don't need many lenses. Only 2-3.

24-70mm, 70-200mm and a lens for portrait. Carl Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 with AF is optically much better than both from Canon and Nikon. Although, it's quite expensive.

So, yes, 2-3 lenses quality lenses will be enough for me.
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Old Jul 7, 2008, 2:19 PM   #6
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Granted, the CZ 85/1.4 is the best of its kind, but the Nikon is also very good, and it's cheaper.

And Canon, Nikon and Sony all have very good 70-200/2.8 lenses that are very good, but even the stabilized versions for Canon and Nikon are cheaper than the Sony.

The Canon and Nikon 24-70/2.8 lenses are also very good, though of the two the Nikon is better. And again, the Nikon is cheaper than the Sony.

If you want the best lenses possible, Sony is certainly the way to go. But if the budget is fixed, and the system won't pay for itself, the Nikon D300 is also a good choice. And it's got 'Live View'.
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Old Jul 7, 2008, 2:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Sony A700 $1300

Zeiss ZA Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F/2.8 SSM $1750

Total: $3050
How about this instead:

Sony A700 $1300

Carl ZeissĀ® Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom Lens... $700

Sony 50mm f/1.4 Telephoto Lens... $350

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 (D) EX DG Macro Autofocus Lens for $429

Total: $2.799

Although I don't expect one to be as nice as the new Sony/Carl Zeiss 24-70mm, the Sigma tests quite nicely against the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L. Here's an example of one test:

http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/2470exl

With that kind of solution, you'd have a smaller and lighter package with better focal range from wide to long for most conditions (the Carl Zeiss 16-80mm would give you the same angle of view you'd have using a 24-120mm lens on a 35mm camera) with only a stop loss of light on average compared to the 24-70mm f/2.8 offerings (and you could fall back on the Sigma if you needed f/2.8 and don't mind the heavier lens).

That solution would also give you a bright 50mm you could use in lower light if the zooms are not adequate.

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Old Jul 7, 2008, 5:32 PM   #8
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joey_ wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for your reply. Mainly documentary pictures.

5D is a good camera but it is a little old now. And the lens from Canon is not all that great. I think it's better to spend a little more on the lens rather than on the camera.
A little old but still the best in its class until the D700 comes along.

Canon 24-70L lens not good? Where on earth did you read that?

It's been the benchmark that everyone has had to try to match for years, finally Nikon and Sony/Zeiss have now brought out decent competition for it.

Of the 3 choices you listed for DOCUMENTARY photography it's the Canon option by a mile!
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Old Jul 7, 2008, 10:43 PM   #9
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How is it the best? Just because it offers FF sensor does not mean the camera is thebest. It's slow, it's AF is older. Tt gives advantage of less noise in low light conditions and wider angle but that is never issue for me.

Canon's 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L is marginallyworse than the new Nikon's 24-70mm af-s f/2.8 and CZ T* 24-70mm. The reviews of the lensesare on photozone and on other sites. There are comments on various forums from users who used both lenses.

The Canon's lens is even $500 is cheaper than those of the competion.

Canon:

http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Cano...report--review



Carl Zeiss:

http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/47-s...iss_za_2470_28

Nikkor:

http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/46-n...w--test-report


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Old Jul 7, 2008, 10:47 PM   #10
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I've considered the very best lenses from Sigma, Tamron and Tokina. All were reported to have issues such as slow autofocus and poor built quality on Tamron's 28-75mm, slow AF or overexposure on Tokina 50-135mm. Just a couple of examples.

I'd rather buy one quality lens than a couple of lenses which are of inferior quality. Besides, 85% of my photographs are taken in the range of 20-80mm.
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