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Bogac
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Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:32 pm

I am fully aware that this is an ongoing debate and there might not be a definite solution to my struggle but I need some feedback from the users, especially from people using both brands.

OK, here's the deal: I have a Canon 550D with a 70-300 IS USM lens and I plan to upgrade my camera on a tight -very tight- budget. The image quality of my Canon sucks and what frustrates me most is the performance of the cam, under low light conditions.

I checked several web sites and most of them list Nikon's over Canon's, in terms of image quality. Common sense dictates me to switch to Nikon but I have a friend who is a pro photographer who shoot aviation photos and he told me to stick with Canon. He tells me the focus speed of Canon is superior and if I switch to Nikon, I will be regretting this decision.

Switching to Nikon would mean changing all my gear and in terms of lens prices, I might be in trouble. My best option for Canon is EOS 6D and as far as I can see, 6D is a great camera but it has much less (cross type and regular) focus points, compared to Nikon.

I am confused.

Nikon users, do you experience problems with AF speed while you are spotting?

Any feedback would highly be appreciated, especially from spotters who use both brands.

Best.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:20 am

I switched from Canon to Nikon almost a year ago. I went from the Canon 5D Mark II to the Nikon D750 and I have zero regrets. Here's the deal...

In terms of high ISO and dynamic range, Nikon has superior performance right now. The current sensors in the Nikon full-frame bodies (D600 and later) are amazing. As for Nikon's autofocus performance, yes they have typically lagged behind Canon in AF speed and reliability. However, that isn't true for the Nikon D750. The D750 reminds me of my old Canon 7D, it's fast, responsive and very reliable even in low light.

If all I shot was airplanes in typically good light then the Canon 5D2 would have lasted me forever. Sure it's old AF system was a pain sometimes but for taking photos of airliners in good light it was fine. I switched because of my non-av photography demanded more dynamic range than the Canon 5D sensor could offer. I was at a dead end with Canon.

My advice to you is don't worry about which brand is best. Consider sticking with Canon unless you know for a fact you NEED the dynamic range. Are you shooting landscapes? Do you push sliders in ACR? Recover shadow detail and highlights? Do you do HDR photography? These are areas where Nikon offers more flexibility. If not, then any modern DSLR will work fine. The Canon 6D is a great camera, and possibly the best Canon for low-light high ISO performance, which is why it's popular for astrophotography. It's full frame so you'll already see an upgrade in image quality.


*If there's one thing I do miss from Canon though, it's the Canon L lens lineup. I think Canon still has the edge in lenses, with the exception of the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8. That lens alone made the switch worth it!!

[Edited 2015-10-17 19:22:26]
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:35 am

Quoting Bogac (Thread starter):
OK, here's the deal: I have a Canon 550D with a 70-300 IS USM lens and I plan to upgrade my camera on a tight -very tight- budget. The image quality of my Canon sucks and what frustrates me most is the performance of the cam, under low light conditions

You sure? I would be much more likely to say the performance of the lens isn't up to par, and I would definitely suggest you upgrade lenses before cameras.

If you do a lot of shooting at 250-300mm, the 70-300 IS USM is not going to get you great quality.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:26 am

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 1):
the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8. That lens alone made the switch worth it!!

It is a magnificent lens. As are Nikon's 70-200 f/2.8 & 200-400 f/4. But they should be, they're all very expensive, professional lenses.

All of which is great, but he did say he was...

Quoting Bogac (Thread starter):
on a tight -very tight- budget.

  
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:01 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 3):

All of which is great, but he did say he was...

Haha yes, I forgot to mention that part. Brand switching isn't cheap so as I said in my above post, I recommend he sticks with Canon.
 
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teme82
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:13 pm

As a 6D user I would say go for it. Yeah it might lack at the focus points but then you have the full range of great lenses available to you when you have the money to invest on them. I moved to the 6D from 450D and it was totally worth it. Still waiting for the screener's to do they job of my current upload of OH-LWA at HEL. Got some good shots of that in the "golden hour" ...
 
Dehowie
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:47 am

The 550D is pretty old now and double that because it's apsc means it's low light and hi ISO performance will be poor by modern standards.
A switch to full frame on either brand would reap rewards immediately.
The 14-24 was always a magnet at Nikon but gladly Canon knocked it off its perch with the new 11-24 which is simply staggering.
To save money I would just upgrade bodies if you can afford it.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:47 am

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 6):
The 550D is pretty old now and double that because it's apsc means it's low light and hi ISO performance will be poor by modern standards.

While true, I was still able to do some pretty good low-light stuff with the 50D, which is older than the 550D.

Bogac, what sort of shots are you trying to do?
 
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NZ107
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:00 am

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 6):
To save money I would just upgrade bodies if you can afford it.

Even then, the 70-300 IS USM would be rather substandard.. Nothing like an L lens. It's a bit of a lose lose situation when you're on a very tight budget but you're basically starting from scratch. But it's still an improvement.
 
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seahawk
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:01 am

It is a never ending story and today both are so close, that switching makes no sense. Canon user miss the dynamic range and high ISO capabilities of the Nikons, Nikon users miss the speed of a 7dII. Any current DSLR for Canon or Nikon will be doing just fine, and full frame much more so. (but always remember FF comes with a great extra costs for lenses)
 
LifelinerOne
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:45 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 2):
If you do a lot of shooting at 250-300mm, the 70-300 IS USM is not going to get you great quality.
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
Even then, the 70-300 IS USM would be rather substandard.. Nothing like an L lens. It's a bit of a lose lose situation when you're on a very tight budget but you're basically starting from scratch. But it's still an improvement.

So, as I have this lens, I'm following this discussion with interest. So, what would you recommend as a successor for this lens? Are we looking at the 70-200 F4 L (with IS or without IS)? Or, if the threadstarter looks for better performance in low-light, the 70-200 F2.8 L (with IS or without IS)?

For myself, I do tend to shoot in the 250-300 mm range, but I often find myself limiting it to 200 mm and crop the picture, which gives a better quality than taking the shot at 250-300 mm.

Thanks for your replies guys!

Cheers!   
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:23 pm

Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 10):
For myself, I do tend to shoot in the 250-300 mm range, but I often find myself limiting it to 200 mm and crop the picture, which gives a better quality than taking the shot at 250-300 mm.

Well, it depends on what you need, of course. If you need 250-300mm, then I wouldn't get the 70-200, though it is a fantastic lens and your cropping ability will be quite good (I used it as a replacement for my 70-300 IS USM for awhile, until I got sick of having to crop so much).

The 70-300L is supposed to be quite good. Haven't used it myself.

I ended up getting the 300 F4L IS to supplement my 70-200. Both it and the non-IS version are fantastic, but you're obviously limited to one focal length. Whether that's an issue is up to you.

There's always the 100-400L Mk1. I've been quite pleasantly surprised with mine.
 
Bogac
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:05 pm

Thank you very much for all the feedback, people.

The thing is I am on a very low budget and switching to Nikon would kill me. Although I am disappointed on the focus points of 6D, especially the amount of cross-focus points, I think I am going to stick with Canon. My mind dictates me I should, although my heart is in Nikon, seeing that the image quality and dynamic range.

I shoot a lot of other things; in fact spotting is a minor part of my photography experience. I shoot portraits, concerts, landscapes etc. In short, I can enjoy the extras Nikon can offer but I wouldn't be able to buy lenses if I switch. My best option for a new body will be d7200 but I really want to upgrade myself to full frame. If I try to achieve my FF target with Nikon, my best option would be d600 and I wouldn't be able to buy lenses.

Nikon lenses expensive... Canon has more options...

I don't know what to do. Maybe one of you should slap me in the face and tell me what should I do.

Any volunteers?

 
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:53 pm

Quoting Bogac (Reply 12):
I don't know what to do. Maybe one of you should slap me in the face and tell me what should I do.

Any volunteers?

Can you answer this:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 7):
Bogac, what sort of shots are you trying to do?

Note: I don't mean what genres. I mean what sort of shots are you doing where you feel your camera is coming up short, and for what reasons? Examples would be fantastic.

Full-frame is great, but you wouldn't be able to exploit all of the benefits with the EF 70-300 IS USM. That lens has some issues on crop bodies; I'd hate to see what the corners/edges would look like on full-frame.

I was able to extend the life of my cheap Rebel XS by acquiring better lenses. They make a world of difference.
 
Bogac
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:44 pm

Thank you for a new angle, vikkyvik.

Yes, I can answer that.

Whenever the conditions get worse, for instance under low light conditions, 550D sucks. I love portraits and night photography. I love shooting at concerts and all. Yes, I know... a better lens with a better f will give me better results but even 800 ISO destroys my photographs.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Esenboga airport for spotting and it was roughly an hour to evening light. Nothing. Unbelievable noise. And it was not possible to clean that noise.

I plan to buy better lenses but in my humble opinion, a better body would come first.

I'd like to hear what you think though...
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:25 pm

Quoting Bogac (Reply 14):
I'd like to hear what you think though...

Can't say much unless you're willing to post examples, and the related settings.

ISO800 on a 550D really should be usable.
 
Bogac
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:40 pm

Both of these are %100 crops. Both were taken under low light conditions.

@300 mm 1/160 ISO100

http://www.bogacerkan.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/20141109LTAC002.jpg

@165 mm 1/180 ISO800

http://www.bogacerkan.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/MG_7189.jpg

I have a couple of A340 shots which might be a good example but it seems I deleted them already.

Thanks a lot for your comments and feedback.
 
Bogac
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:42 pm

And this too... I loved the shot but how much I tried to turn into a decent image, I failed. Yes I am aware that this is a different story, but there were too much noise as well and while shooting, I couldn't raise the ISO to gain some speed.  http://www.bogacerkan.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/LTAC-e1427722041148.jpg

[Edited 2015-10-19 14:43:00]
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:33 am

Honestly if you like to shoot portraits and concerts etc, any full frame camera will be a good jump for you. As for the Canon vs Nikon, some will still give Canon the edge for photographing people because they feel Canon handles skin tones better.

But ignore the C v N debate. Go with any affordable Full Frame option from Canon and you'll see a significant improvement over the 550D.
 
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ivandalavia
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:06 am

In the day,when the canon will combine switcher "On" and "Off" with the shutter button, these cameras will be absolutely identical.
But!
Honestly...........

They absolutely identical even today as high quality photo makers
 
Psych
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:06 am

Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 10):
Are we looking at the 70-200 F4 L (with IS or without IS)?

Hello.

Many moons ago I used the 70-300mm non-L lens, and upgraded to the 70-200 'L' non-IS. I was amazed at the quality difference (though mine was probably an older version of the non-L lens). Even cropping the 70-200 'L' image to make it the same size as something at 300mm with the old lens, the quality was massively better. I believe the non-IS version of this lens is relatively inexpensive for a Canon 'L' lens, and it's lovely and light. I would heartily recommend that one.

Paul
 
Bogac
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:19 pm

Well, thank you very much for all of your precious comments. Actually I am aware that I should stick with Canon but you know how it is... the much reduced numbers of cross-type and regular focus points became an issue. I wouldn't be thinkin too much about that because I currently use spot metering and just one focus point at my camera.

More dynamic range would be important for me but as Silver1SWA mentioned, switching to a FF would make a huge difference and after changing the body, I should focus on buying new lenses.

Ssomething just popped into my mind, though. Do you use your cameras wit noise reduction ON or OFF? I checked mine and found out that I switched mine off. I am going give it a try with the on setting and see what happens.

Which settings do you prefer in terms of builtin noise reduction?

Best.
Bogac
 
Bogac
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:42 pm

Hahaha... I felt myself filled with hope but nope, I checked and sadly saw that NR is at on position.  
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:42 pm

Quoting Bogac (Reply 21):
Ssomething just popped into my mind, though. Do you use your cameras wit noise reduction ON or OFF? I checked mine and found out that I switched mine off. I am going give it a try with the on setting and see what happens.

I do not use in-camera noise reduction (since I shoot RAW, it's a moot point anyway, I think).

Any NR is applied in post-processing.

Quoting Bogac (Reply 16):
@300 mm 1/160 ISO100

Suffers from lens softness, bad light, underexposure, for a start. And if that's a 100% crop, then you're not using nearly enough of your sensor to get a quality image.

Quoting Bogac (Reply 16):
@165 mm 1/180 ISO800

Hmmm, it is fairly noisy, I'll give you that. But also appears quite soft, and quite dark. In general, if I have the option and the need, I'll expose to the right and bring the levels down in post, because you get less noise that way.

Quoting Bogac (Reply 17):
And this too... I loved the shot but how much I tried to turn into a decent image, I failed. Yes I am aware that this is a different story, but there were too much noise as well and while shooting, I couldn't raise the ISO to gain some speed.

I assume that's a resized original. You're fighting bad light, again, and in general, that will cause more noise to appear, as you'll need to increase contrast, etc. The image looks compressed, so it's hard to say anything else about it.
 
Bogac
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:47 pm

Anyways... thank you for your feedback. I'll jump to 6D if I have the chance and then try to get better lenses in time.
 
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ivandalavia
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:31 pm

Quoting Bogac (Reply 24):
Anyways... thank you for your feedback. I'll jump to 6D if I have the chance and then try to get better lenses in time.

Anyway troll detected
 
Bogac
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:28 am

Quoting ivandalavia (Reply 25):
Anyway troll detected

Didn't understand what you mean.
 
ACDC8
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:22 am

I'm by no way an expert in this field, but I'd like to share my experience and opinion on this. First of all, I completely agree with the majority of you and the lenses seem to be the culprit. However, I have had the Canon 300D with the kit lens and loved it, I then upgraded to the 350D with kit lens and the image quality was noticeably poorer - the colors seemed to be lacking with the 350D, they were almost pasty. Not that I'm knocking Canon, they have some great cameras, but that was just my personal experience.

I've since made the switch to Nikon with the D3300 and love the camera to pieces, the image quality, even with the kit lens is top notch - add a decent lens to it, and the image quality for a $400 body is fantastic. The dynamic range of the Nikon over Canon was, for me, important, but the most important thing for me was the way the Nikon felt in my hand - the controls just seemed more logical to me and that is what is important. I do get a bit frustrated with Nikon's lens line up though, it does seem that Canon has more choices then Nikon.

It seems to me that the OP hasn't really invested much in the way of equipment and lenses, so if he were to do the switch, now is the time. But my recommendation is why Nikon or why Canon and most importantly, which one feels better to you and is easier to use.
 
LifelinerOne
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:52 am

Quoting Bogac (Reply 16):
@300 mm 1/160 ISO100

Looking at this shot and at the light, I think you chose the wrong settings for this shot.

I don't think changing camera body or lenses will help you, if you pick the wrong settings from the start. A crappy taken shot will still be a crappy shot, no matter if you have a FF or an expensive lens.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 11):
Well, it depends on what you need, of course. If you need 250-300mm, then I wouldn't get the 70-200, though it is a fantastic lens and your cropping ability will be quite good (I used it as a replacement for my 70-300 IS USM for awhile, until I got sick of having to crop so much).

Thanks for the comments! Food for thought.

Quoting Psych (Reply 20):
Many moons ago I used the 70-300mm non-L lens, and upgraded to the 70-200 'L' non-IS. I was amazed at the quality difference (though mine was probably an older version of the non-L lens). Even cropping the 70-200 'L' image to make it the same size as something at 300mm with the old lens, the quality was massively better. I believe the non-IS version of this lens is relatively inexpensive for a Canon 'L' lens, and it's lovely and light. I would heartily recommend that one.

Thanks Paul for your comment.

Cheers!   
 
Bogac
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:08 am

Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 28):
Looking at this shot and at the light, I think you chose the wrong settings for this shot.

Thank you very much for your comment. Maybe I haven't stated my point clearly... What I was trying to show is that the camera starts to feed the shots with a lot of noise even at ISO100 when the daylight starts to fade. Even in summer, my shots become unuseable right after the sunset. Sadly I can not show examples, as I deleted all of the shots.
 
marosbts
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:48 pm

Sorry to drop in, but why is the debate only - Canon vs Nikon? I always keep saying, I want Sony sensor and Canon lenses. But until recently there was no way. But the current Sony A7s/r offer the best of both worlds - you get the image quality of the Sony sensor, with unmatched ISO sensitivity on tha A7s and the metabones adapters allow you to adapt lenses. Ane on the mk2 line of A7 the focus speed with adapters is really improoved. I myself will be soon getting the A7s for low light photography as there simply is nothing which can match the performance in terms of ISO.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:25 pm

Quoting marosbts (Reply 30):
on tha A7s and the metabones adapters allow you to adapt lenses. Ane on the mk2 line of A7 the focus speed with adapters is really improoved.

AF speed has been the big issue. A lot of my friends ditched their DSLRs for the Sony A7/r and the ones that don't shoot exclusively on a tripod have switched back to DSLRs, going with Nikon because the sensors are close to Sony.
 
skyflyer001
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:45 am

HI, interesting reading,
I was there with a low grade 60D and non L zoom, not being able to afford the newest and greatest, I got a reasonably good deal on a 2nd hand, but basically new 1D Mk3, which is a 1.3 crop rather than 1.6, which for aviation is great for me as you still have more reach than a full frame, but bigger image area than a APSC sensor. The difference in sharpness with a 1D sensor was absolutely apparent - made anything I'd taken before look soft! Then when a good second hand 70-300 L lens came my way, that really changed the game. I think for aviation it is all I'll need. The 1D Mk3 may be old, and only 10.5 MP, but the Quality of those MP are what is really important, and for plane sites, your downsizing them an awful lot anyway. I think the rationale to have more MP is another debate for another time...! MY above purchases were less than a new 5D body. You are not going to get something for nothing in the photography world, but good quality 2nd hand can ease the pain.
Kind regards
Daniel
 
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yerbol
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:07 am

I am a happy Nikon user. Had Nikon D70, D80, D90, D3000, D7000, D700, D600 in the past and still using Nikon gear.
Like it for ergonomics and for quality of the image.
Sometimes I use my friends cameras as Canon and Sony and happy with quality also but Nikon is my favourite.
 
marosbts
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:18 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 31):
AF speed has been the big issue. A lot of my friends ditched their DSLRs for the Sony A7/r and the ones that don't shoot exclusively on a tripod have switched back to DSLRs, going with Nikon because the sensors are close to Sony

To be honest, unless you are about to photograph fighter jets on an air show, the AF speed should be sufficient. If its good enough for video in deep night and stay focused, it should not be an issue during day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUR4ebcZcy0
 
Bogac
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RE: Never Ending Debate: Canon Vs Nikon

Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:13 pm

Thank you very much for all your feedback, people. I think I am going to go for the 6D, mainly due to financial soruces I have, as I will have to buy new lenses as well, if I switch to Nikon.

As mentioned, upgrading to a FF camera with much much better ISO handling will make a big difference for me.

Best.

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