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  • Jul 3rd, 2008 2:04 am
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Nov 19, 2005
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Markham/Kingston
Sorry for bumping an old thread. But I recently switched systems from a Nikon D70s, D200, D1x to a Canon 30D and have lots of interesting tidbits that may add to this thread.

The Nikon bodies all feel nicer in my hands and the button placements and user interface just seems much simpler. For example the grip and magnesium alloy body of the Nikon D200 feels phenomenal in my hands while the Canon 30D feels more like a plastic toy. Some of (well most) of the options and settings in the Canon are dumb like setting custom White Balance requires going deep into the menu to change the colour temperature. On a Nikon you just press one button and spin one of two wheels to change WB to custom and to set your own temperature.

Other dumb things on the Canon 30D compared to the Nikon's is that I only needed one finger to turn on the Nikon (as the on/off button was integrated with the shutter button), while on the Canon I have to use two fingers or severely stretch my hand to turn the camera on (as the on/off button is to the bottom left of the selection wheel). The Custom Menu/Functions of the Nikon are also much more in depth than on the Canon as well.

However, the Canon 30D makes up for all this user interface nonsense by providing fantastic image quality! ISO 400+ is FINALLY usable now in RAW where noise would creep its ugly face at ISO 400+ shooting RAW on my D200. Images at ISO 3200 look usable in the Canon whereas in the Nikon lines everything would look like crap. The noise on the Canon's are also more colourful and smear like compared to the fine grain monocromatic noise of the Nikons. Adobe Lightroom seems to handle the Canon noise a lot better than the Nikon noise though.

Regarding lens selection Canon offers the best choices if you intend on shooting prime lens like I do. They offer lens like the 35mm F1.4L, 85mm F1.2L, and 50mm F1.2L that just has no comparison on the Nikon counterpart. Both the Canon and Nikon lens systems are great but both are very different as well. I am still getting used to the Canon system so I have not much to comment on just yet.

All my rumblings on image noise will probably not matter anymore because of the release of the Nikon D300 and D700 which addresses this problem and crushes the Canon counterparts in regards to ergonomics and user interface. However these models cost $1600-$3000 new while used 20D/30D's that have similar if not BETTER image performance can be had for $400-600 used. This allows a lot more money to be used in fine lens which is why I made the switch in the first place. Canon, at least its lower to mid range offerings, is more value than the competing Nikons.
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