I do weddings. I do events. I am a photographer. Although I am not a full time professional, I am proud to be a part time and professional. I do have my own perspective and probably not many will appreciate my perspective but who knows, maybe some will. So here I go.
I started my SLR life with Canon in the beginning. And when I turned to Nikon, it was to go to Nikon’s DSLR system which was D100 back then. Compared to all the issues Canon had with 10D model, it was reasonable for me to turn to Nikon. Back then.
Then I turned again to Canon to 1D Mark II N from Nikon’s D2h & D2x. To me, it was rather camera body performance that mattered more, then lens selections. I was never a rich (or popular) photographer so I had to get whatever I could get. The lenses I could get was either third party or mid-class lenses. Most people talk about how good 50mm f1.2 is on Canon, 85mm f1.2 is on Canon. I only had 50mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.8. They are both very good lenses but Nikon has them too and they were just as good. To me, lens selection was not a big problem. I have the lenses I use on pretty much all brands.
Flash was just a pain in the ass! Canon flash was ridiculous. Even when I was not really working a lot with strobes, I felt there was something not right or easy about Canon’s flash system. I just could get what I used to get with Nikon.
When D3 came out, I didn’t hesitate one bit to turn back to Nikon. Of course, it blew me out of my mind with its body construction and hi-iso noise control, etc.
Now full-frame DSLR isn’t really something that is so expensive. You save enough money for a nice crop-sensored DSLR + bundled lens, you can buy a decent full frame DSLR with that amount of money. It’s not much, especially if you think about how much Canon’s 1Ds used to cost.
And now to what I think on those 2 new cameras which just made my blood pump.
I think back. Not long before. When Canon’s 5D mark II used to be top of the market in wedding industry. High enough MP, great HI-ISO noise control upto ISO 6400, reasonable fps, high quality video capability. These specs were at the top of the list for Canon’s 5D Mark II.
I know things change but D800 actually meets or supersedes all those spec lists that made Canon’s 5D Mark II one of the top cameras for wedding.
Light, smaller body compared to pro-grade DSLR (D3s for instance)
36MP (could be overkill but 5D Mark II used to be called overkill with 21mp. We will see in a few years time)
Still great high iso noise control upto 6400. Adding with higher MP, we may get better image and details at higher iso when reduced to lower size. Maybe down to 24mp or something.
Better video performance. Mic monitoring and all.
reasonable fps at 4 fps. same as 5D mark II.
Then I figured. Why Nikon said it will be a great wedding photographers camera. Because 5D Mark II used to be.
It sucks they didn’t make everything else go above what 5D Mark II used to be.
My perspective, if Nikon D800 came with 36MP, iso 12800 and Hi-1 Hi-2, 5 fps even with no boost with grip, would have been a killer for both 5D mark II and 5D mark III.
But the world is not perfect.
Canon 5D Mark III
I’ve been back and forth Nikon and Canon in the past. And this camera is actually another one that makes me think if I want to do this gear swapping again. It sounds almost perfect to wedding photographers. 22mp is not too small, not too big these days to handle enough details and have a bit of margin for crops and stuff (I had to crop out when my hood was attached not all the way and made a huge vignette around the frame. Made 12mp files into 8mp. Things happen. It’s good to have an option). 6 fps is not the fastest but it’s close enough to not to miss out in a fast changing situations. At least it’s better than 4 fps in that regard. ISO upto 25600. I don’t care how they do it, but if native iso is that high, I believe I can use upto 12800 at least. Heck, I even used 102400 on my D3s sometimes when the occasion called for it. And 61 AF Points!
Then I think back again. Nikon and Canon have been battling for a long time now and they do this step forward, backward battle all the time. Things will be different again in about 4 years time, when the new upgrade cycle comes. I can’t be changing my systems all the time.
Canon’s 5D Mark III will keep their customers happy and stop them moving to other brands. Great Camera. But here’s what I figured.
22MP. Everybody now says it’s just enough MP. About 4 years back, 12MP was more than enough. Even before that, I was more than happy with 8MP. When Sony announced A900 with 24MP, People said it’s got too big RAW file. Things change. It will change even more in 4 years time. I don’t know but there will be more “very high MP” cameras soon. I know that Sony will come up with their own 36MP DSLR. Or DSLT I don’t know. But it will happen. 22MP for now is good. But in a few years time, it could be at the bottom of it’s competitor’s MP.
ISO upto 25600 is mind blowing. At the moment. Again, things change. Since Nikon cut the first tape with high iso with D3, everybody started to pour out ultra hi iso cameras. ISO 25600 may become standard soon. Then D800 will be outdated in that part, but then, Nikon may have something else planned. I don’t think they will say that D800 is NOT an upgrade model of D700 if they didn’t have a plan. I don’t think they had anything planned for D700 upgrade model, but they will probably think of something else to challenge 5D Mark III. It’s just how they play.
61 AF Points! It’s great! But they should have done it before with 5D Mark II. Not 61 AF Point, but maybe even 21 points or 17 points I don’t know. What made me turn back to Canon was because of the focusing issue I had all the time with whatever lens I buy. I had to calibrate everytime. I don’t wanna be doing that again. They say Canon got better. But my past experience keeps me away from believing that.
So here’s my perspective. To cut in short, I am looking at it in Nikon’s favour. To stop myself from changing the whole system again! But oh boy do I want to change to Canon again…!