I said at the beginning of the year that I was making room for “BiG” changes. One of these had to do with upgrading my current DSLR camera system. I’ve been a Canon DSLR user since 2005, and I’ve been thinking for a while about moving over to Nikon. What’s the difference, you might be asking? I like the way this pro photographer breaks it down here.
I’ve been reading great reviews about the Nikon D800 so I went to Fotocare and rented it along with the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II over the weekend to see for myself how it performed. I won’t get too technical in this post because there are a lot of experts out there who are much better at writing about this area than I am. However, I was paying close attention to the following:
-quality of the sharpness in RAW and JPEG files
-amount of digital noise at a high ISO
-manageability of the different dials on the camera body
-how heavy the camera felt with the long lens attached
Saturday morning I took the camera to Stephen Colbert’s book signing at the Bank Street Bookstore.
Then I had a brief portrait session with a couple of my favorite teenagers.
And yesterday I brought it to Sunday Sessions featuring DJ Afrika Bambaataa. (Didn’t take long for security to spot the big ol’ lens and ask me––very nicely––to put the thing away)
-I like the Nikon D800 system overall, met all my criteria, and I’m excited to practice more with it.
-One sticking point is that you would have to buy additional software to convert your RAW files before you can even bring them into Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw. Really, Nikon?? Such a waste of time in the digital workflow. UPDATE: Thanks, Chad, for reading this post and letting me know that the latest versions of both Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw will process the digital negatives.
-Another disadvantage is the shorter battery life due to the new environmental requirements in Japan. A ‘win’ for the environment, but a ‘fail’ when shooting long and/or multiple weddings, for instance, on any given weekend.
-There is an updated soon-to-be-released version, the D800E, which removes the anti-aliasing filter (even sharper image files!). The downside there is that it increases the chances for moiré patterns to appear––not easy to deal with in post-production when your subject is wearing jeans or some other tight-patterned clothing. I’ll have to ‘test drive’ it with lenses of different focal lengths when it comes out.
-Despite my concerns, I’m leaning more and more towards switching to Nikon only because the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter, Canon or Nikon: neither makes one a better photographer.