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Old     (dizzyj)      Join Date: Jul 2003       01-28-2009, 8:51 AM Reply   
I'm wanting to buy a dslr this spring to learn photography an to get some nice shots from the boat.

I've been leaning towards getting canon 40d, with the kit 18-55mm lens, then getting a 70-200mm for the boat shots.

That would be ~1000 for the camera and ~500 for the zoom lens (not the L glass $1600 for the L).


I could get the nikon d300 with the 18-200mm lens for ~2500.

I guess I've read that the d300 is a "better" camera, but probably in areas that it would take me years to get to. i.e 51 spot metering areas vs 9.

So I guess I have 2 questions. Is either route going to allow me to take both wakeboarding shots and lifestyle boat shots? or do I need to look at different lenses?

and second, is the d300 combo really $1000 better than the canon with both thoese lenses? I mean, I could get the 70-200mm 2.8 L glass, and still be matching the price of the d300. Where do you put your money, the body, or the glass?

any other ideas out there?
Old     (helix_rider)      Join Date: Mar 2003       01-28-2009, 9:23 AM Reply   
DJ...the 70-200 is an L lens..just the f/4 not the f/2.8. I have that lens and love it, with a Canon 30D. Since I bought Canon, I love them and would not switch to Nikon. If I had started with Nikon, I'm sure it would be the other way around. It's the old Chevy/Ford argument...they both have great products, just depends on what pumps your jimmies. I went to a shop and simply 'held' the camera...the Canon felt right, the Nikon was just wrong...made the decision easy for me.
Old     (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       01-28-2009, 9:56 AM Reply   
^^^^^Yep, at your stage, just go on what feels right ^^^^

I started with Minolta then to Sony, naturally.

When I decided to make a switch, Nikon felt great and made sense to me, the Canon might as well have been a flux capacitor, the button/dial config made no sense to me. Although, all of my friends shoot Canon
Old     (calexan)      Join Date: Dec 2008       01-28-2009, 11:32 AM Reply   
Ive been told to look at the 18-200mm Nikon lens. It gives you the length to get in there close for the wakeboarding shots and still allow you to have the 18mm for landscape/lifestyle shots.

I think price wise if you were going to compare to the Canon 40D you should look at the Nikon D90. I know they have been testing the D90 vs the D300 on many sites and just a quick search came up with ken rockwells D90 review where he says "If you're considering a D300, forget it. Get the D90 instead.

The Nikon D90 is Nikon's newest and smartest DSLR. It has the same or better technical image quality as the D300 that costs much more, and it handles better and it makes movies, too!"

I know many people dont like him but it might give you a reason to atleast look at the D90 and maybe save yourself a bit of cash to go towards a lens.
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       01-28-2009, 11:41 AM Reply   
I'd probably go with a 50D over the 40D just for the much improved LCD and the increased ISO. I don't know much about Nikon so I can't help there. My next step up from my XSi will be a 50D. I use the 70-300 IS lens for wakeboarding shots and it is very good. My 100-400 L lens be an option this year for boarding shots.
Old     (dizzyj)      Join Date: Jul 2003       01-28-2009, 11:57 AM Reply   
so, lets say the nikon felt better. would that 18-200mm be a good boat lens?

or, if the canon felt better, are my selection of lenses ok for what I want to do? and if I got the f/4 70-200 will that be good for wakeboarding shots when its cloudy out, or should I spend the $$ for the f/2

thats part of my problem, is that I know what the numbers do, but I dont have the real world experience. i.e. I know that the f/2 lets in twice as much light, but what does that mean in real world terms. i.e. I couldnt run a fast enough shutter speed to get a good shot with the f/4 but I could with the f/2, or no, its not light enough no matter what lens...
Old     (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       01-28-2009, 12:46 PM Reply   
Maybe someone with more experience can chime in on this one. I recently went through the same dilemma. I went through the overcast shooting days from the past summer and found that my average "good" shots were f/5.0, 1/1000, ISO 200. That is with my 70-200 f/2.8. I always stopped it down a little because it is not super sharp wide open. Plus the depth of field at 2.8 makes chase boat shots tricky.

Just bought the Nikon AF-S 70-300G VR 4.5-5.6. I am hoping that I don't have to stop it down too much to get similar results. I guess I will find out, if so I just saved myself $1000.
Old     (evil0ne)      Join Date: Sep 2006       01-28-2009, 1:20 PM Reply   
I bought the 40D in December without a lens and bought the 18-200. You can go that route and you'll be about $1,000 total. Other then that in my reading I would go with a D90 over the 50D if you're going to go with either of those.
Old     (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       01-28-2009, 1:44 PM Reply   
The D300 is a better camera than the will pay a little more for it though.

The reality is that I wouldn't worry about $5-600 here or there on photography. It's really just a drop in the bucket when you consider everything else you will end up getting (eg. upgraded computer, external drives, tripod, good glass (14-24, 24-70, 70-200), lightroom, photoshop, etc...)

That said, of the camera's you listed, I would definitely get the D300. Better AF (those are 51 autofocus points not metering points (I think there are 1005 metering points for the matrix metering). and IMHO better ergonomics.

Go hold them both. Shoot some shots at the store. Chimp the screen and go with your gut. You are not really going to go that wrong with either selection
Old     (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       01-28-2009, 1:50 PM Reply   
PS--> You can probably get a D300 with a 18-200 for a LOT less than $2500. I'm pretty sure you can get the D700 body for about $2500 these days.

Quick check at B&H shows the D300 body for about ~1500 and the 18-200 for ~$650 (**although for some reason if you by them together you end up paying $2500+ )

You can probably get the combo for about $1500-1700 if you buy used. Check out craigslist
Old     (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       01-28-2009, 2:07 PM Reply   
Or there are some screaming deals on used DX (APS-C) cameras and lenses.
Old     (iamnathanhudson)      Join Date: Dec 2002       01-28-2009, 7:03 PM Reply   
Alan, you switched to Nikon? when did that happen?

(Message edited by iamnathanhudson on January 28, 2009)
Old     (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       01-28-2009, 9:16 PM Reply   
Its a long story. Nothing to do with problems with Sony. I just wanted to do some lens consolidation and it required going to full frame. Sony's A900 is $3k and 24mp. Nikon's D700 is $2,300 and 12mp(plenty for anything I would ever need.) Better High ISO on the D700 blows everyone else away. Plus Nikon's "Pro" glass is about 10-20% cheaper than Sony's "Pro" glass (Zeiss.)

I do feel like a traitor though. I've shot minolta/sony for 15 years.
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       01-29-2009, 9:17 AM Reply   
"Better High ISO on the D700 blows everyone else away."

Can I have your permission to post your baby shot and that quote above on the Canon forum over at Fred Miranda?


Seriously though I would like to see more from your D700 at really high ISOs - 3200 and above!

A friend of mine is a Nikon rep for Norcal, he keeps telling me the same thing!
Old     (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       01-29-2009, 10:19 AM Reply   
I would say in the comparison below the Nikon is a clear 2 stops better than the 5D.

I don't mind if you post it over there. I think that you are confusing noise with lens softness/camera shake/subject movement.

Here is ISO 3200.
and 100% crop
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       01-29-2009, 10:56 AM Reply   
That's more like it!

The lens texture is hiding a lot of it, but the noise in the smooth sections is very well controlled.

I do know the difference between noise and camera shake.

Your baby shot looked like a classic case of noise reduction smoothing everything out to the point that noise totally disappears but so does detail. If part of that was due to your baby moving or you not being on a pod it's not evident to me but granted that could affect it.

2 stops better then the 5D! wow that is pretty good, I'll have to read that review.

I was joking about the FM thread, there are enough "high ISO" wars going on right now without me starting another!
Old     (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       01-29-2009, 11:01 AM Reply   
BTW, I am just poking fun at this. Camera wars are even more fun than Boat wars sometimes. The user variables are infinite and so are the opinions. I think the 5D is an amazing camera, I just don't quickly understand the button layout.
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       01-29-2009, 11:11 AM Reply   
I'm the one looking anal here so I wouldn't worry about it. I like the D700 alot on paper, that's why I want to see the best it has to offer and I'm questioning things if I don't think I'm seeing that. No one really has a cam figured out after 1 week anyway.

Congrats on being a new dad BTW! I didn't own a decent cam when my kids were born and I sure wish I had more then Brownie type shots from those days!

I'm busy nitpicking the detail even though your shots look a ton better then anything I've got from those days!
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       01-29-2009, 11:28 AM Reply   
BTW my shots are all with a 1D3. Based on owning that and a 5D I've always felt the 1D3 was about 1 stop better at high ISOs then the 5D (a whole nuther argument believe me!).

The D700 being 1 stop better then my 1D3 should be about right given it's newer technology. I glanced over the article in that link and it does mention different levels of NR that you can dial in with it.
Old     (cable_rocker)      Join Date: Nov 2004       01-31-2009, 10:37 AM Reply   

this discussion is totaly useless! you can take great pictures with every camera!

is depends only on you! i have a great pan at home, but this dosnt make me a 5 star cook!

by shooting from the boat, i use the nikon d300 and a nikon 70-200 2,8. but im pretty sure the pictures will be same with a canon 40d.

the reason for me to go with nikon are some features how makes photogs life easyer. for example 100% view, 8fps, sealed body etc.

if you wanna save money, go with the canon and the 70-200 f4. great combo!

(Message edited by cable_rocker on January 31, 2009)
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       01-31-2009, 6:38 PM Reply   
i dig on the canon L lenses.. they are pretty reasonably priced imo..
Old     (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       02-01-2009, 9:13 PM Reply   
"the reason for me to go with nikon are some features how makes photogs life easyer. for example 100% view, 8fps, sealed body etc."

Man...I wish Canon would make a body that shoots 8fps and is sealed.
Old     (cable_rocker)      Join Date: Nov 2004       02-02-2009, 1:18 AM Reply   
whats with the canon 1D Mark III?
this cam shoot in 10 fps!
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-02-2009, 4:53 AM Reply   

Did you just hear something fly over your head??
Old     (cable_rocker)      Join Date: Nov 2004       02-02-2009, 8:01 AM Reply   
sorry i dont know phrase...

whast do you mean?
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-02-2009, 6:42 PM Reply   

Scott was being "sarcastic" - look it up. He knows Canon makes a 10 fps / water sealed body because he owns one. Canon made water sealed DSLRs a long time before Nikon. As far as 8 fps goes, I don't believe the D300 will shoot 8 fps in 14 bit RAW so as far as I'm concerned it doesn't shoot 8 fps. I personally want everything in RAW and everything 14bit but that's just my preference.

You're right when you say all cameras can take good pictures but that doesn't mean we can't have a technical discussion about the current state of high ISO and what's "useless" to you may be of interest to others.

I personally hate to see shots with excellent content ruined by poor technical quality (no reflection on anything you've posted - just my overall opinion) So there is a reason to talk about the technical merits of images as well as the merits of their content on this forum whether you think it's a waste of time or not.
Old     (cable_rocker)      Join Date: Nov 2004       02-03-2009, 12:08 AM Reply   
ahh... o.k.
thx for explaination.

but for what do you need 14bit? its a nice to have in the postprocessing but i bet everything you dont see a difference between a current 12 bit and a 14 bit image!

some of my pictures are taken in 14 bit and you are right the d300 onyl shot 3fps in 14 bit. i only need the 8fps for sequence shots and this i always make only in jpg due to the image size.

but ussaly i also shot everything in raw and in single shot mode!

but o.k. back to topic.
if dj wants a recommendation from my side, go with the canon 40d and a the 70-200 f4! unbeatable combo for this price!
Old     (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       02-03-2009, 12:57 AM Reply   
12bit vs 14bit debate-
Part 1:
Part 2:
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-03-2009, 5:53 AM Reply   
I almost bought a D300 when they first came out and that was the only thing that stopped me. Like I mentioned above 14 bit RAW is my shooting preference and the reasons are well documented in the 2 links Scott posted. (thanks)

14 bit color is like having an L lens - the overall look of the image is just better in most shots and when you start adjusting them in post the advantages become even more obvious.

Like I said before that's just me and I probably should spend more time worrying about content and less about gear. No need for you to defend the d300, it's a great system.


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