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    Camera : Canon vs Nikon 

    from http://kenrockwell.com

    INTRODUCTION
    I’m going to to on and on below about personal experience, so feel free to skip ahead to the real differences between Nikon and Canon.Nikon and Canon are as good as each other. Each are multi-billion dollar optical companies who have been making some of the world’s best optics for numerous consumer, military and industrial applications for decades and decades and decades.
    Each makes lenses as parts of multi-million-dollar steppers used in making electronic chips with more precision anything needed for photography, and each make other optics that sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars in other applications. They each make our cameras and lenses out of the same stuff from which they create these other products.
    I don’t extend this same awe towards discount lensmakers, but I do have this respect for Nikon and Canon and Pentax and LEICAand Fuji and Zeiss who’ve been making much more than cameras for longer than I’ve been alive. I do have a hat off toTokina, who are related to Hoya, who are as far as I know the biggest maker of optical glass on the planet, and whose glass is found in parts of everyone’s lenses.
    Did you know that Nikon is one of the world’s leading makers of professional laboratory microscopes, often beating out Zeiss and Leitz? Nikon also makes the million-dollar lenses and mechanical steppers used in semiconductor manufacture. They have a 37% market share. These lenses and mechanics resolve at 45 nanometers, or less than one-tenth of a wavelength of visible light? That’s over 10,000 lines per millimeter! See Nikon Precision.
    Canon may make their own ICs and image sensors, but for all we know, Canon may use Nikon lenses and steppers to do it! Probably not: Canon also makes steppers and semiconductor photolithography equipment, with a 20% market share. (Thanks to Bates Marshall for those figures.)
    Canon also makes gigantic lenses with 100x zoom ratios for television and lenses for Hollywood motion picture cameras! These sell for six figures.
    Making $20,000, $2,000 or $200 lenses for either Canon or Nikon is child’s play. Their big stuff sells in the $200,000 to $2,000,000 range. We photographers get to benefit from all of it.
    Nikon and Canon are optical companies, not camera, electronic or software companies. It’s sad to see people buy good Nikon or Canon cameras and then put off-brand lenses on them.
    Nikon and Canon are different, but just as good. Anyone who tries to tell you that one or the other is garbage isn’t paying attention, and most likely doesn’t have the other to sell you. Nikon and Canon compete so heavily against each other that if one really were better or worse they would have gone out of business long ago.
    I prefer Nikon DSLRs, and Canon Compacts. Many other people prefer Canon DSLRs and Nikon Coolpix compacts; we’re all different.
    Year to year one usually has an edge on the other. They tend to leapfrog each other back and forth, slowly. LEICA was king from the 1930s through 1950s, Nikon took over from the 1960s through 1980s, Canon was the top pro SLR in the 1990s and 2000s, and as of the Nikon D3 of 2007, Canon and Nikon now run neck-and-neck in the pro market, with Nikon pulling ahead again.
    I shot Minolta from 1973-1983, and have been shooting Nikon since 1983. Shooting for a living, I also got Canon and LEICA systems back in the 2000s, and today in 2012, I shoot all three systems depending on which is best for what I need to shoot. I also got a Fuji X100 in 2011 which I use for my family photosbecause it’s better than any SLR or LEICA.
    Contrary to some beliefs, I get paid nothing by and have no allegiance to Nikon or Canon or Nikon or any other camera maker, other than having used their great products for many decades depending on the brand.
    Shooting all these systems for a living every day makes one very familiar with what each does well — or not, so let me share how they really compare from actual long-term experience
    I spend a lot of time covering the background and details before I summarize the real differences. Feel free to skip ahead if you’re in a rush to spend a few thousand dollars quickly.

    SYSTEM COMPATIBILITY
    Nikon
    Most Nikon SLR camera and lenses made since 1959 are compatible with each other.
    Any two items from about the same 10-20 year technology window will work well with each other.
    The Nikon system is so renowned for its multi-decade interoperability that I have aNikon System Compatibility page discussing it.

    Canon
    On the other hand, Canon flushed compatibility down the toilet in 1987 when it created a new and completely incompatible system of AF cameras and lenses called EOS. Nothing works together before or after the great autofocus divide of 1987.
    To Canon’s credit, the new EOS system is a better design than the old Nikon mount, but old Canon FD manual focus lenses, once promoted as “timeless” by Canon, areuseless on any modern Canon camera.
    Contrast this to Nikon, where just about every lens ever made works swell, with few limitations, on every brand new camera.
    While I shoot both of the Canon systems (FD and today’s EOS systems), most people are only concerned with Canon cameras today, and that’s where the good news starts.
    Because Canon wiped the slate clean and created a completely new camera system for autofocus in 1987, every camera and lens Canon has made from 1987 through today is completely 100% compatible with everything else made since 1987. Every Canon EF lens works perfectly with every Canon EOS 35mm or digital camera ever made. Their oldest EF lenses work perfectly on the newest EOS digital cameras, and the newest EF lenses work perfectly on very first EOS650 camera of 1987. (Flash is a different story, and the smaller EF-s lenses wont’ work on full frame cameras.)
    Nikon can’t come close to this; many Nikon autofocus lenses still sold new today use old technology that won’t autofocus on some of Nikon’s newest cameras!
    Canon cameras can use Nikon lenses, but Nikon cameras can’t use Canon lenses.

    DELIVERY
    One big difference between Nikon and Canon is delivery of new products.
    A good thing about Nikon is that they announce products a couple of months before they become available. You never feel like an idiot having bought a camera that goes obsolete the next day. Canon, on the other hand, usually has cameras available when they announce them, so you can get caught off guard.
    Unfortunately Nikon does this to a fault. It’s good to announce something a couple of months before it comes out, but bad to take orders and not be able to deliver.
    Nikon has been doing this at least since 2000. They announced the 80-400mm VRin January, 2000. It was a year and a half later before you could buy them easily!
    Nikon Announced the D100 in February of 2002 and it was a year until you could get them easily. I had bought a D1H the week before, but didn’t worry even though I would have preferred the D100, because I didn’t have 9 months to wait for one.
    Nikon announced the 12-24mm in February 2003 and took a year until they were easy to find.
    Nikon announced the D70 in February of 2004. That only took a couple of months to get.
    The 18-200mm VR was announced on November 1st, 2005, and Nikon had them on back-order until 2007!
    Canon usually ships its hot new products, while Nikon often strings us out for long periods of time.
    LEICA is a different story. LEICA never makes anything; their new products are never available. You always have to order them and be patient.

    HISTORY
    You have to know the history behind this Nikon versus Canon race to understand it. Here’s my personal experience, which spans most of five or six decades.

    Early 1900s
    Canon was founded in 1934 to sell cheap knock-offs of the new LEICA camera. It was sold with a lens made by Nikon, since Nikon has been making lenses for military applications forever, and Canon had just started in a garage.
    Canon started by making consumer products, and branched out into industrial equipment much later.
    Nikon had been making military instruments for mass destruction long before World War II. Nikon made bomb sights used to murder Americans in the Japanese terrorist attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941, as well as huge rangefinders for battleship and field artillery in WW II.
    Nikon made no cameras before WW II. After Nikon’s warmongering activities were closed-down after WWII, Nikon had to figure out what to do for peaceful purposes. Their idea was to make rangefinder cameras for consumers in the late 1940s, and then SLRs in 1959.
    Nikon started out making military products and was forced into making consumer products after Japan lost WW II.
    Canon and Nikon have been competing with each other since WWII.

    1960s and 1970s
    My first 35mm SLR camera, bought when I was 11 years old in 1973, was a Minolta. You can see it and its photo quality on my Night Photography page. I upgraded to my dream camera, the Minolta SR-T-102, around 1974.
    Nikon was exclusively an expensive camera for professionals, and Canon made cameras popular with consumers. They didn’t compete much, although as the decade wore on, Nikon started making cheaper cameras and Canon made some more expensive pro cameras that pros wouldn’t buy.

    1980
    In 1980 I wanted all my lenses to use filters the same size so I could change them easily while photographing from my mom’s small plane. Minolta drove me nuts by using a different filter size every time they restyled their lenses. I bought a Nikon F2AS manual camera and a slew of manual focus lenses. I sold the Minolta gear because I thought Nikon was better.
    In 1980 Nikon was the undisputed king of pro 35mm cameras. For the same price as Canon I got what I thought was much better mechanical quality and better access to rental gear. I also thought it was cool to have the same camera used by every other journalist.
    I was still too stupid to realize that 1.) people shooting landscapes used 4 x 5 cameras, not 35mm, and that 2.) All cameras in the same format perform the same.

    1985
    LEICA invented autofocus, and knowing that its customers know how to focus, sold the patent to Minolta, who introduced the world’s first SLR in 1985. A few years later Canon and Nikon had them, too. Professionals laughed at the idea — they knew how to focus, and autofocus was still to slow for sports. Even if AF was fast, sports shooters know where the ball is going before it gets there, which cameras don’t.
    Nikon AF cameras and lenses were completely compatible with older lenses and cameras. This was good because pros all had many thousands of dollars invested in their manual lenses. It was a no-brainer to buy a new Nikon AF camera since it was compatible with everything. New AF lenses were compatible with manual focus cameras. They still are! Nikon solidified the reason to shoot Nikon as a pro: no one had to start out from scratch again. Going to AF in Nikon was easy.
    Nikon AF cameras had motors in the body to focus the lenses mechanically through a small screw in the lens mount. They still do.
    Canon designed their AF system from scratch, and used a completely new and incompatible lens mount. The lenses each had their own motors inside them. If you shot Canon you had to throw away all your lenses and bodies and start from scratch. Not good! To go to Canon AF you had to rebuy your entire system with new AF gear.

    1990
    Pros eventually started using the AF cameras around 1990 and liked them. One teensy-weensy problem around was that Nikon AF cameras couldn’t focus fast enough for sports. The Canon cameras worked great. Pros who shot sports dumped their Nikon gear and moved to Canon in droves. Sports shooters still predominantly use Canon for this reason. I was kidding about slow AF being a teeny problem: it’s why Nikon lost it’s twenty-year lock on the pro journalism market and has never won it back!
    Unlike 1980, in the 1990s Canon cameras evolved to be as professional as Nikon. They have competed neck and neck for the same customers ever since.
    Nikon’s AF speed is as good as Canon today, but no pro is going to sell all his lenses and cameras and start from scratch without a very good reason.
    As a pro you own a lot of gear, all bought at different times. It all needs to work together as a system. Amateurs buy bodies and lenses together, while pros add and delete each body and lens from their systems as it makes sense. Except in the case of total fire or theft, you never get the chance to start over from scratch.
    Better AF performance was why sports pros left Nikon in the 1990s. There’s never been anything compelling enough since then to get them all to switch back, so it’s been a slow road back for Nikon. That’s why you see so many white lenses at sports events, in addition to the fact that Canon Pro Services loans them all out. Remember, sporting is only part of the photo picture. Landscape photographers have been using 4×5″ film for over 100 years and don’t show any signs of changing soon. The best ones rarely use Canon or Nikon.

    1999
    Nikon invents the professional D1, the world’s first practical digital SLR. It was $5,000 and had 2.7MP. Nikon became the leader in professional digital.
    I bought my first AF Nikon, an F100, and liked it so much I eventually wound up buying all new AF equipment anyway.

    2000
    Canon introduced their own first DSLR, the consumer D30. It had the same image quality as Nikon’s metal D1, but for only $3,000 in plastic. It also had 3MP.

    2001
    Canon announces their first professional DSLR, the EOS-1D on 25 September 2001. Canon moves ahead of Nikon in the digital arena.

    2002 – 2004
    Nikon doesn’t introduce much, while Canon is very busy. Every time Nikon announces a new DSLR, Canon outdoes them the next week. This goes on through 2012!

    2005 – 2006
    Nikon’s D70 was my favorite over the better-built Canon 20D. I preferred the D70’s faster operation, specifically, the D70’s immediate access to white balance trims, needed for every shot, over having to go into menus on the 20D.
    In 2006 Canon tweaked the firmware in the 20D and called it a 30D, which I find uncompetitive with the D200. What were they thinking? Nikon leapfrogged them with the D200. The D200 eclipsed anything Canon had done, including the Canon5D which cost three times as much.
    I had always admired the Canon 28 – 135 IS lens. Nikon had nothing similar until Nikon introduced the spectacular 18-200 VR for digital, which eclipses the earlier Canon 28 – 135.
    In 2005, Canon introduced the Canon 5D, the world’s first full-frame consumer DSLR. The 5D has technical performance better than any consumer full-frame camera from Nikon until 2012’s Nikon D800.

    2012
    For the first time ever, Nikon introduces the Nikon D800 which has more resolution than any Canon DSLR. Nikon finally regains it’s leadership status, lost since Canon trumped Nikon’s 1999 D1 with Canon’s 2000 EOS-1D.

    My Personal Preferences
    Nikon and Canon all give the same quality images within the same price class. See my Noise and Resolution comparison. These differences are so small I have to strain to see them with test charts. In the dynamics of the real world they are invisible. I ran those tests, and discovered that whatever differences entertain chat-room participants don’t exist.
    As you ought to know, I’m just a guy who loves to take pictures and today just happens to have literally millions of people reading this site, which are my personal opinions, each month. I don’t get any free gear, money, sponsorships, hats or anything from any camera companies, in spite of what people may think.

    Compacts
    I prefer Canon point-and-shoots. I love their color rendition, and I can’t for the life of me figure out the menus of the Nikon Coolpix cameras.

    DSLRs

    Flash
    The biggest reason pros shoot Nikon, or switch from Canon to Nikon, is that Nikon’s flash exposure control gets perfect flash exposure every time, while a core incompetency of Canon is that Canon DSLRs rarely get consistently good flash exposure.
    Sure, you can get a good shot on a Canon with flash, but it often will take a lot of fiddling, while even the cheapest Nikon DSLR usually gets it right on the first shot. As a pro, this is critical; Nikon’s flash technology has some secret sauce or patents that Canon just can’t match.
    My Nikons give me far more flash sync options. They are well labeled and easy to set without menus. Canon hides them inside other modes deep inside menus.
    For instance, the important Rear Curtain option is hidden in the 30D’s Custom Function 15, while even a cheap Nikon D50 has its own flash sync button.
    Slow sync isn’t selectable separately on these Canons. Program mode always uses a faster speed of about 1/60 as its lower limit. Tv, Av or M modes use slow sync by default. See p.92 of Canon’s 20D manual for details.
    This is too bad: I always shoot my Nikons in Program, and set the slowest flash shutter speed to whatever I want, usually 1/30 or 1/15 to let in enough ambient light. This is easy to change on Nikon, and almost fixed in stone on these Canons.
    I have no idea how to set manual flash mode on the Canons, while on the Nikons it’seasy to set up wireless remote flash control.
    My Nikon DSLRs let me know if the flash may have underexposed (the bolt in the finder blinks rapidly). I’ve never seen that on the Canons. The Nikon flash units even tell me, in stops, by how much they have underexposed.

    C1 C2 C3 Modes
    Most Canons have “C” modes on their control dials. Each of these is a complete memory for everything about the camera. Every time you select that position, everything about the camera is recalled from when you saved it!
    Nikons, except for the D7000, have no easily recalled total-camera-state recall functions. Every time you want to shoot anything different on a Nikon, you have to reset many different things in many different menus. Nikons often have “settings banks,” but there are many of them, and they still don’t save and recall everything, so they don’t help much. Even if they did, there is no way to lock them; as you change settings, there is no way to recall what had been set before, so they are useless.
    With most Canons, its fast and easy to get back to all the settings you want, and if you have more than one C on your dial, I set C1 for my landscape, and C2 for my people shots.
    Easy!
    Every time I wake up my Canon in a C mode, it resets to all my personal favorite settings, which is far better than Nikon’s one factory-default green-button reset that neither resets everything, and certainly doesn’t reset to my settings.

    Smart (green-button) Reset
    I always use the Smart Reset (two-green-button reset) of my Nikon DSLRs. They reset all the shot-to-shot stuff, like WB and ISO and selected AF sensor and exposure compensations and image and file sizes, and leave alone the rarely set items like file numbering, custom functions and beeps.
    If I don’t use Nikon’s green-reset of Canon’s “C” modes, I’ll often have left the camera at a deep tungsten white balance and ISO 1,600, which of course ruins all shots made that way until I notice and reset them all by hand.
    With my Nikons I hold the two green buttons and all is back at normal.

    Playback Held Hostage
    My biggest complaint about all my Canons, DSLR and compact, is that they lock ne out of any playback controls, like zooming, until after I’ve pressed the PLAY button. With Nikon’s, as soon as my photo shows on the back after I shot it, I have full access to zooming and selecting other images. (I usually have to enable this in Nikon’s menu.)
    Nikons play fast. Canon DSLRs take time when you try to display pages of 9 playback images and flip though them.

    Seven versus Eight-bladed diaphragms
    Nikon always uses superior 7- or 9-bladed lens diaphragms, while another core incompetency of Canon is often using 6-or 8-bladed diaphragms.
    Odd-numbers of diaphragm blades lead to superior sunstars (14- or 18-points from Nikon vs. 6- or 8- points from Canon) and less disruptive shapes of out-of-focus highlight blobs (bokeh), septagons or nonagons from Nikon versus obnoxious hexagons or octagons from Canon. When we see hexagons or octagons, we thing snowflakes or stop signs, while septagons or nonagons are so low-key that you probably don’t even recognize the names of the shapes!

    Control Sensibilities
    On my Nikons, one dial always sets aperture and the other always sets the shutter. On the Canons, what dial does what depends on your mode. That drives me crazy – I need to have the same dial change the same thing every time I spin it, regardless of the shooting mode.
    Nikon turns off the exposure compensation indication if you haven’t set it. Canon leaves it on, even in the finder, even if it’s set at zero.
    I prefer Nikon’s easy-to-find-in-the-dark LCD illuminator button. It’s concentric with the shutter; just twist. On the Canons you need to feel around for a dedicated button.
    When you hit the LCD illuminator, either on camera or on flash, everything lights up. On a Canon Rebel XT and EX-550, each button only lights one of them!

    Auto ISO
    Nikon has more flexibility in programming Auto ISO.

    Autofocus
    I get more consistent results on my Nikons. It’s not unusual to get an unfocused image with my Canons, with the camera’s AF confirmation light lit on an unmoving subject.
    My Canons tend to be a little faster with cheap lenses, and about the same with the expensive ones. In other words, Nikon lets the AF of their cheap lenses ($80 – 500) get slower, both both brands of pro lenses (c. $1,500 range) are equally fast.

    Locking Flash Shoe
    Nikons for about 15 years have had a pin in the flash shoe which bolts the flash solidly into the hot shoe. It will never slide a little out and lose its electrical connection. It flicks with a lever.
    Canon is still back in the 1970s. The 550EX flash only has a plastic screw-down ring on its bottom, which doesn’t work, is a pain to loosen when needed, and loosens itself when you don’t want it to. This results in the flash misfiring, since only a small amount of slippage is enough to disconnect the small electrical pins.

    AF Assist Illuminators
    Canon got all the sports shooter business in the 1990s because of their superior AF system. Today Nikon is fine, but pros who moved have no need to return. Pros have a huge investment in gear; it’s not just one camera. Even I have Nikon gear bought over 25 years ago that I still use today.
    Something very annoying about the Canon AF system has been their attempt to use the on-camera flash for low-light AF assist. I kid you not: Canon cameras fire off multiple extended bursts of the flash to light the subject for focusing in the dark. Every time this happens we say “What the heck was that???” and try to turn it off. This only happens in dark areas where the AF system can’t see enough, and of course those are the conditions under which the flash going off in people’s faces is the most annoying. Egad.

    The Freedom Lens: Nikon’s 18-200mm VR/IS (what is Vibration Reduction?)
    Canon, and no one, makes anything that can do what the life-changing Nikon 18-200mm VR does. There are loads of off-brand 18-200mm lenses, but they have no VR (critical at 200mm) and only have primitive focus control with no instant manual override.
    Canon’s 18-200 IS is inferior: it demands you move a switch to get between auto and manual focus, while on the Nikon 18-200 VR, all you do is grab the focus ring.
    Sigma announced an 18-200mm OS (stabilized) lens, but it’s only f/6.3 (not rated to work well for AF, which needs at least f/5.6) and I suspect it has primitive focus, not HSM/AFS/USM. We’ll see, and I avoid off brand lenses anyway. As I explained, the whole point of a Canon or Nikon camera is to use the superior lenses made by either, both of which are very serious optical companies, unlike the off brands.

    Viewfinder Grids
    Most digital Nikons have magic, selectable viewfinder grids, free!
    The Canon DSLRs don’t. You can buy an optional screen for the 5D, and manually jam it in the camera’s viewfinder.
    Most point and shoots from Canon and Casio have these, too, just not the Canon DSLRs.
    I use these grids to help me get level photos. It’s one of the first things I turn on when I get a new camera.

    Data Embedding
    My Nikons let me embed my ©, name and phone number into the EXIF data of every one of the 75,000 shots I’ve made, no computer required.
    I haven’t seen that yet on the Canons, unless you dick with software in your computer. Pros don’t have time for computers, we have photos and money to make.

    Automatic Zone System Exposure and Development
    The Nikons have an AUTO CONTRAST mode by default (called Tone Compensation under Optimize Image) which uses the Zone System to optimize the camera’s contrast to the subject. It was awful in the D1H, and in the D70, D80 and D200 it works great to match conditions. The Canons have no such mode: you have to set them manually. That said, in harsh light sometimes my D200 goes a little too flat, and the Canons always look great anyway. The Canons also make it easy to set these, by using a custom function to have their SET buttons call up instant selection of preset image adjustments, called Parameters on some Canons and “Image Styles” on others.

    AF Assist Lights
    Nikon has annoying little lamps on the camera body. Canon doesn’t, and instead fires the flash with an ultra-annoying series of continuous bursts. Boy, if having the flash fire a zillion times doesn’t get you thrown out of a venue, nothing will.
    Canon’s self-timer lights don’t work as the AF assist lights as they do on Nikon.
    To Canon’s credit, their AF system works great so long as you have at least a little light; just forget about it in darkness.

    Viewfinder

    They are about the same size, clarity and brightness, depending on which you compare. They all have gesticulatic dioptometricization. The Rebels are about the same size as the D50/70, the 20D/30D are a bit bigger, the D80/D200 much bigger, and I presume the 5D the Mother of them all.

    I find the in-finder data a little bit sparser in Canon than in my Nikons. I also found the Canon’s digital thinner and harder to see than in my Nikon DSLRs.
    All of them do a great job of automatically varying the brightness of the display to match ambient conditions.

    Sensor Sizes
    Canon curses us with three incompatible sensor sizes. For two of the sizes, 1x as in the 5D and 1DS Mk II, we have to use the 16-35, 17-40 and 15mm fisheye lenses, and on the 1.6x consumer cameras (20D, 30D, Rebel) we have no fisheye, but do have the excellent 10-22mm. The pros using the 1.3x (1D) cameras are screwed: the pros who could make the best use of wide angle lenses in news reporting just don’t have them. There are no fisheyes and no ultrawide lenses for the 1.3x cameras.
    Why do I say cursed? Because as I dig through the Canon system to report on it, I have to make three sets of tables for each lens. Each lens performs differently on each format camera. Corner sharpness? The corners are in three different places!
    To use the Canon system, I have to buy different lenses for each camera. I bought a 10-22mm for the XTi and its brethren, and have a 16-35 and 17-40mm on loan to figure out which one I need to do the same thing on the 5D. Of course my pain is your gain: I’ll be doing a knock-down, drag-out donnybrook between them (apologies to Pop Photo cover copywriters)
    I love wides. Telephotos aren’t as weird, although the 18-55mm, 17-85mm, 17-55mm and I forget what else only work on the 1.6x cameras.

    Data Transfer
    Both are as fast. The newer ones are all fast enough to eliminate card readers.
    My Nikons show up as hard drives on my computers. I drag and drop files either way, no software required. I create folders in-camera, and download sorted photos directly from my Nikons! Data from the Canon cameras can only be read via software.

    Help

    Nikons have a “?” button for explaining most of the menu functions. Canons don’t.

    Nikon USA’s free live tech help line, (800) NIKON-UX, is open all the time, 24/7/365.

    Canon USA’s free help line, (800) OK-CANON, lets its very good people go home late and on Sundays.

    Both help lines are very good. I’ve always gotten someone who knows the answer on the first try.

    Shots Remaining
    This is even.
    The Canons are stupid and stop at 999, while Nikons are smart enough to show “2.7k” if they need to. They each only have three digits with which to display this.
    My Nikons are defective in design: they underestimate, which is pretty funny, since the Canons vary the size of the file to fit the image, and Nikons tend to make the same size files, making this easier. As an example, my D80 says “516” shots for Normal JPG LARGE images on a 2 GB card. I actually get about 800 shots on those.

    Trick Custom Image Settings and Tweaks
    Nikon makes you buy their buggy $100 Nikon Capture software to create and load crazy curves and settings into your camera. You need to buy this to tweak curves, colors and contrasts other than what you can do in the menus.
    Canon makes this available for free here, and includes all sorts of fun presets, too.

    JPG File Size and Quality Optimization
    Busy, detailed, contrasty subjects need more JPG bits to look good than do images with flat backgrounds, low contrasts and blank spaces.
    Canon does a better job here. Canon’s JPG file sizes vary to maintain constant quality. It’s not unusual to see a fat file three times the size of a small one, with the only difference being the subject. Nikons are stupider and tend to keep JPG files sizes very similar, wasting bits when not needed and lowering quality when they are.
    I prefer Canon. Even the Nikon D2Xs and D200, which allow a new choice to let the JPGs files vary size, don’t work as well as Canons have for years by default.

    Clock Setting
    I prefer my Nikons, which let me check the time to the second and change time zones without altering my to-the-second calibration. The Nikons let you set the clock to any random second, not just at the minute as with almost every other digital clock.
    The Canons only read to the nearest minute, and don’t even recognize time zones. I lose my exact setting, since I have to reset it from scratch when changing time zones.
    The latest Nikons really did a good job and have an easy-to-use world map and time zone calculator and display. The Nikons (my D80 in this case) sadly hide the clock setting under the menu item MENU > SETUP > World Time > Date.

    Depth-of-Field Preview Button
    Canon’s buttons work instantly and silently. I wish everything worked this well.
    Unfortunately, Canon only in 2012 is starting to out this button on the correct side of the camera. FOr decades, Canon has put this button is on the wrong side of the camera so it takes a second hand to use.
    Nikon’s buttons are bogus: they clatter all around as if the camera took a picture. This is annoying, but was handy back in film days when I could hit it to satisfy people pestering me to take their pictures. Today, at least Nikon always has these buttons on the correct side of the camera.

    Front Lens Caps
    Canon’s caps are pretty flimsy. They only have tabs for release from the side, not the front.
    Nikon has much, much better and beefier caps.

    Color and Tone
    Nikon and Canon each use different “secret sauce” that defines the colors and tones captured by their cameras, especially when you start adjusting the color, contrast, saturation and the zillion other controls on cameras today.
    Images will look different from either brand of camera. Most Nikons and most Canons’ match other cameras of the same brand when set alike, but images shot on Nikons most certainly won’t match the colors, highlights, shadows and grays of the other.
    In this case, there is no right and wrong. Photography is an art, and in art, it’s about what looks best to you, the artist.
    Look carefully at the color rendition you get from either camera, and shoot what you prefer.
    Auto White Balance (AWB) works very differently in different cameras. If you shoot in AWB as I do, one brand or the other may work better under the unique conditions under which you shoot. Pay attention and you’ll probably prefer one over the other.

     
  • s 9:35 PM on 130215 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , nikon   

    Nikon to Canon Lens Adapter 

    Cinevate
    Fotodiox (v1?)
    Fotodiox Pro v2
     
     
    FOTODIOX PROBLEM
    Now that we know what the flaw is, what to do? Well, it turns out are two generic Nikon/EOS adapter designs out there. Most importers (Fotodiox included) order these from China and put their own logo on it. I have an adapter *identical* to the Fotodiox that I got from eBay(tons of those out there) except it doesn’t have the Fotodiox name. You can tell this design from the presence of a little black spring loaded lever that you press to unattach the lens from the adapter. This is the flawed design and the one to avoid.

    The other (costs about the same) has a little square tab with a hole in the middle which you push/pull to mount/ unmount the lens from the adapter. I own one of these as well. There is almost zero play with the lens mounted on this. It fits tightly and is a pleasure to focus with. This is the one to get. These are also plentifully available on eBay.
    REMOVAL

    So I learned that I wasnt the only person getting their fingers sliced up while trying to remove the Fotodiox Nikon adaptor off an canon camera. I finally figured it out and shot a quick video on how to remove it.
    ***I take no responislbity for anyone breaking their adaptor/lens/camera or injuring themselves in the process of removing the adaptor. In other words be careful.***
    Taking off the adaptor is actually very simple:
    Step 1: take the lens off the camera
    Step 2: locate the metal flap, stick a flat head screwdriver under the flap and while lifting the flap up move the flap slightly to the left. The goal here is too hang the flap on the rim so that it stays up
    Step 3: lastly twist the adaptor off. Use caution when twisting the adaptor off. It is very sharp and will slice your fingers if your not careful. I recommend using gloves.
    I’m a visual person so if the directions dont help here’s a video I shot of me taking the adaptor off:

     
  • s 9:28 PM on 130215 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , nikon, zeiss   

    Canon Lens 

    canon 40mm pancake – for my standard use carry around lens. Small and cheap and decent lens. (this is similar to what i already have, though for such a cheap price seems it could be very worthwhile investment. The ability to be shooting more often and more conveniently and discreetly.Canon 24-105 zoom – all around multi purpose film and shoot lens. good for portraits and group events
    + in retrospect the 40mm is ok, and helps for casual shooting, but fall short in many ways. Capable of some nice images but usually very bland. The 24-105 does seem good for the range and IS but not sure I like the image quality/ the speed (f4)/ and the handling is big and clunky.

    >> Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM (about $900)
    or cheap >> Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Image Stabilizer USM Autofocus Lens (a cheap kit lens, 300$ though looks functional)

    Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM (about 600$ and very useful, though huge)

    Rokinon 8mm T/3.8 Fisheye Cine Lens for Canon – $350 Very wide and Cine made

    the Rokinon, Samyang, and Bower lenses that feature fully manual focus and iris components.

    +++

    TOP:

    1. Canon 24-70mm zoom
    2. 70-200 zoom
    3. Tokina 11-16mm

    Canon Zoom lens – 70 mm – 200 mm – F/2.8 – Canon EF $1200this was recommended by Tom and as a great all around lens.
    Zeiss ZF lens 21mm – 1800 suposed to be the sharpest and most glass in a 21 mm. Looks like really beautiful image maybe too surgical sharp though?
    // Canon EF Macro lens – 100 mm – F/2.8 – Canon EF – $1000Some version of this 100mm macro is what was used a lot on House, the TV show. Seems to be very popular.

    Others:
    Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens
    this looks like a more practical and high quality lens. Very large and not convenient but a good general shooting lens for quick situations that require improv shooting.

    Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Planar T* ZF.2 $1,283.00 / 8180 RMB (got this for 6400)

    +

    AFFORDABLE VARIOUS

    // Bower 500mm f/6.3 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens ($170. slow but cheap and not too big)
    X – Voigtlander Color Skopar 20mm f/3.5 SL-II Aspherical Manual Focus Lens ($600 image looks beautiful)
    Or this long huge one. cheaper:Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/635278-REG/Bower_SLY500P_500mm_f_8_Manual_Focus.html

    RESEARCH

    Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 Micro Four Thirds Lens BA259M
    $994 online (not compatible, but looks great)

    Zeiss 50mm f1.2
    Canon FD 50mm F/1.2 L Lens *EX+*
    (not very necessary for me as I have a Nikon)

    Tokina 11-16mm  A functional super wide lens. “Please Note
    The lens is designed for Digital cameras with APS-C sized CMOS and CCD sensors, not designed for cameras with Full Frame sensors.”

    CANON ZOOMs
    One of my favourite L series zoom lenses is the 24-105 f4 IS. Nice range and IS although a little on the slow side. It’s one of my favourite interview lenses.

    14mm F2.8 II is the most amazing wide angle lens I have ever seen. Or the 16-35mm F2.8L (super expensive! ~$2000)

    Canon EF Wide-angle lens – 24 mm – F/1.4 – Canon EF $1500

    24-105mm f/4L IS 07 July 2007 7/7/7

    Zeiss ZE (The ZF’s are Nikon mount)

    Zeiss 85mm F1.4 (good portrait lens. very sharp and good defocus image)

    WIDE:
    Canon 24mm F1.4L and Samyang 24mm F1.4. (expensive)

    There are other options like the Canon 28mm F1.8 or Sigma 24mm F1.8 for around $500

    +
    Nikon 20mm f/2.8 (about $400 used online.

    Wideangle Lenses
    Angle of View (degrees, Hoizontal)     35mm
    “full frame”     APS-C “crop”
    Normal lens     39.6     50mm     31.3mm
    Normal-wide     54.4     35mm     21.8mm
    Wide     65.5     28mm     17.5 mm
    Very wide     73.7     24mm     15mm
    Super wide     84     20mm     12.5 mm
    Ultra wide     96.7     16mm     10mm

    | Style : Background0, Font0, Size16 |

     
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