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Thread: Photography Equipment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    11-06-10
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    Default Photography Equipment

    Dear Friends,
    I have been Browsing several Indian and International Photography Related Websites.
    Many Including me are left badly confused after the exhaustive research,or at-least of which we seem to have illusion of having done.
    Reasons:

    1. *1.*NIKON v/s CANON
    2. *2.*Cost of Respective equipment
    3. *3.*Video Capability of One Manufacturer(Canon,of which one just cannot resist the temptation) V/S Superior Low light(ISO) Performance of the other manufacturer(Nikon)
    4. *4.* Nikon has UNDISPUTED Nikon 200-400mm(ALAS Thanks to Mr.Thom Hogan and alike who feels its a tad soft for farther subjects) and all the most loveable Wide Angle Lens
    5. *5* Some Contrast related issues between the two manufactures

    *_Subject_*
    1. Mainly wildlife
    2. *1.*Small Birds
    3. *2.*Birds In Flight
    4. *3.*Incredible Tigers and massive elephants in close range(LOVE INCREDIBLE INDIA FOR THAT)

    *_Method of Shooting_*

    1. *1.*Safari jeep(Most of the time)
    2. *2* Sometimes with monopod
    3. *3* When opportunity favours Tripod with Wimberly-2 Gimbal Head

    *_My QUESTION _*
    *_/Whats the best set of equipment??????????/_*
    I have two options in my mind
    1. *_ OPTION 1._* _ALL The way Nikon_

      [
      LIST=1]
    2. *1.*Nikon D3s+ Nikon 200-400mm F/4 along with
    3. *2.* Nikon D300s +Nikon 500mm F/4 VR II(Not 600 as its too heavy, difficult to manoeuvre)
    4. *3.* Nikon 300mm 2.8 and Nikon 105mm F/2.8 Macro
[*]*Pros*
[*]A clear Speed : Superb Shutter Speed, Buffer for faster Shutter Speed and *Unparalleled* in* Low Light/HIGH ISO PERFORMANCE*
[*]*Cons*[*]
*NO HD VIDEO CAPABILITIES*<D7000 lacks shutter speed for BIF and low Buffer>

[*]*2.**_ OPTION 2._* _COMBINATION OF NIKON and CANON_

  1. *1.*Nikon D3s + Nikon 500mm F/4 VR II(Not 600 as its too heavy, difficult to manoeuvre) along with
  2. *2.* Canon 1D Mark IV + 100-400 F/4.5-5.6 (this is a compromise, any options )
  3. *3* 300mm2.8(N?? or C??) MACRO????
[*]*Pros*[*]
A clear Speed : Superb Shutter Speed, Buffer for faster Shutter Speed and a good HD Video compatibility 1080i @ 30FPS
[*]*Cons*[*]
A Let Down in* Low Light/HIGH ISO PERFORMANCE*[*] Difficulty in *SWITCHING* Between two Legends ON-FIELD
[/LIST]
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$
/Well Friends this Long prologue is from and amateurs point of view and Comparison is with Limited Knowledge and limited to Canon and NIKON only , Lack of Hands on Exposure to Lieca/Pentax/Sony Etc Etc is attributed for the same, please feel free to correct any inadvertent errors./

*_ I would request the readers to liberally contribute your views and suggestions to aid and guide thousands like me , am sure a healthy discussion such as these will help beginners and semi pros in a long way..... _*
Warm Regards
Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  • #2
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    Default

    Hi Pradeep,

    It is quite a tough decision when it comes to buying equipment. I am presently using Canon 50D, 100-400mm L IS USM lens and 24-105 mm lens. So I have been a Canon user and thoroughly satisfied with the equipment. I feel if you know the equipment well, and its limitations, you can use it to its maximum capacity and get the best results.

    I will be upgrading to 60D or 7D soon, lets see . The reviews of 7D are amazing, you can check the images in the forum.

    I would say if you are planning for a complete range, it can be as follows -

    Canon Mark IV / Canon 7D
    Canon 500mm f4 + 1.4x (good for bird photography)
    Canon 100-400mm L IS USM ( good zoom for large mammals elephants and tiger.. )
    Canon 100mm f2.8 (Macro, low light)
    Canon 24-105mm/Canon 17-40mm (landscape)

    The list can go on and on as it is never enough when it comes to wildlife photography .
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

  • #3
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    Default

    Pradeep,

    The Nikon vs Canon debate is a difficult decision. In India, historically Nikon has a following. However in the late nineties canon started making inroads and now you find white lenses in most of the places.

    Both Canon and Nikon are good and you can’t go wrong with either of the two brands. You can then decide which one would be specifically suitable for your needs.

    Cost:
    Historically Nikon has always priced its equipment higher than Canon. The prime reason being, Nikon and Canon - as any going concern – are there to make money. If you look at the size of Nikon it is much smaller to Canon. When you spend in R&D, the cost has to be recovered from the sale of your products. After taking care of all your costs, you have to have a surplus which will be your profits.

    In case of Canon, the number of patents registered every hear is huge. Canon has consistently remained in the top five companies in terms of patents registered in the USA. For example in 2009 it was ranked No. 4 with 2204 patents. So you can imagine that the R&D spend of Canon would be higher. However, Canon is also a much larger company as compared to Nikon. So the patents can be used in number of its businesses and the cost can be apportioned among number of products. For example, if Canon does a patent on miniaturization, it can be used in the camera division as well as its photocopier division among others. So Canon can price its products much more cheaper than Nikon.

    Having no affiliation or sponsorship from either of the two companies, I use Canon as I get good quality and don’t want to waste my hard earned money in paying a premium in buying Nikon products.

    Video:
    Canon is a hands down winner with 1080p full HD capture. Nikon is playing catch up in this area. You can check my Mark IV video review here: Mark IV Review: Part III – Video - Indiawilds: Land of the Tiger. Conservation, Wildlife Photography, Communities

    Low Light Capability:
    You seem to indicate that the high ISO ability of Canon is not good? You have also used terms like “unparalleled” low light performance for Nikon. There is no point in using jargons that marketing guys love to throw at consumers, unless one has enormous amount of money to splurge. Lets throw away those jargons and also side step discussions of whose toy is bigger and better.

    Low light ability is a much misunderstood area. The fact is every other year there is a new camera launch and there are no apple to apple comparison available, so to speak. Different cameras have got different sensor size, megapixels, pixel size and frame rates. To complicate the matter, we don’t know how “raw” is the raw files, as manufacturers are often accused of doing noise reduction in the raw stage itself. One camera may be theoretically better in terms of low light capability at a lower megapixel. The Nikon D3 had a better higher ISO ability, but it was a 12 Megapixel vs the higher MPs of Canon cameras.

    With the 5D II and 1D Mark IV, Canon has got two highly capable cameras in terms of their low light abilities. If you look at the 25600, 51200 and 102400 ISOs and compare between Canon Mark IV and Nikon D3s, the Nikon version would appear marginally better. However, the question one needs to answer is whether those high ISOs are useful in the present avatar? May be if you are using it for surveillance, than that is a different matter. Else, can you really make use of ISO 102400 and print that image big? The answer is a simple no. I have been photographing with a SLR camera for the last 19 years. And believe me the high ISO abilities of these cameras are much more than I had ever dreamt off. So it is better not to start pixel peeping at those high ISOs.

    Having said that, the high ISO images clicked with the Mark IV can be seen here:

    ISO 5000: Great Pied Hornbill
    Great Pied Hornbill - Male - Indiawilds: Land of the Tiger. Conservation, Wildlife Photography, Communities

    ISO 4000: No billboards please
    No billboards please! - Indiawilds: Land of the Tiger. Conservation, Wildlife Photography, Communities

    ISO 12800: Shot in very low light, before sunrise. Gaur Jostling
    Gaur jostling - Indiawilds: Land of the Tiger. Conservation, Wildlife Photography, Communities

    ISO 12800: Shot in good light: Lion Tailed Macaque
    Lion-tailed Macaque - Happy New Year - Indiawilds: Land of the Tiger. Conservation, Wildlife Photography, Communities



    Lens: 200-400 F4
    Nikon users used to say that Canon doesn’t have this zoom lens. Now Canon has not only announced a 200-400 F4 lens, but has gone one step ahead. Read here:
    Canon announces new 200-400 f4 L IS USM lens with internal extender 1.4x - Indiawilds: Land of the Tiger. Conservation, Wildlife Photography, Communities


    Sensor size:
    This is an important variable. The Nikon D3s is a full frame camera, whereas the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV has a APS-H sensor ie. it is a 1.3x crop camera. So a 400mm lens is equivalent to a 520mm lens in a full frame camera. This is important in wildlife, especially in birding, where the birds are invariably smaller or shy or far off. The same bird and in the same distance with the same lens will appear smaller in the image in case of a D3s and will appear larger in a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV. If you are participating in competitions like BBC, where cropping is frowned upon, it is better to use a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV. Infact, there are many photographers who have shifted to a 1.6 crop sensor of the Canon EOS 7D to get the reach and avoid cropping.
    So I would prefer the Canon 1D Mark IV over the full frame Nikon D3s.

    The Nikon D300/D300s is not as good as the Nikon D3s. So lets leave that out of discussions.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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