Nikon D300s vs. Canon 7D - Final Battle Royale!

Started Feb 24, 2010 | Discussions thread
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zachAEUG
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Nikon D300s vs. Canon 7D - Final Battle Royale!
Feb 24, 2010

Like many other before me, I'm trying to decide on a new camera to buy:

Canon 7D vs. Nikon D300s

Let me first explain what I want the camera for:

I am a filmmaking major, so the video side is very important. I want good quality video for online streaming as well as full documentary and narrative projects. The ability to use different lenses and depth of field focusing are VERY important in visual aesthetic.

But also, of course I want to be able to take excellent photographs. For the time being it will mostly be general purpose travel photography and documentary work, later moving into more nature and wildlife photography.

Mostly, I'd like to spend the next few years traveling, funding my travel by selling my photos and videos to travel and tourism publications.

Now to explain some differences as I understand them.

Canon shoots 1080 video vs. Nikon shoots 720p.

Personally I am fine with 720, it still looks great, especially for internet use and it doesn't take up as much storage space (able to record more without changing cards). Also, a side note, I've heard that if recording for longer than 10 minutes with the Canon, the color begins to shift due to heated sensor, is this true with Nikon also?

Megapixels.

Canon has the upper hand here again, number wise, with 18MP compares to 12.3 in the Nikon. Again though, I don't think this matters really THAT much.

ISO Range.

Once again here, Canon has the upper hand, and once again, I believe they are both very capable cameras. And personally, if I'm shooting in low light, I light my photos to look like it. I don't want a night scene looking like there's day-time light, and I'm fine with slight motion blurring from slow shutter speed.

Memory.

Canon only has one CF slot, where Nikon has two, SD and CF. This is clearly a win for Nikon, as there are a number of advantageous uses for the two slots. I'd be interested to get some clearer answers as to how much video can be shot (minutes per GB) for each camera.

Ergonomics.

I have to give this to Nikon. With the position of the dials and On/Off being in convenient places where you naturally hold the camera, it's much easier and quicker.

Video file formatting.

Canon records H.264 files and Nikon uses AVI, both go into Final Cut Pro just fine, which is what I use for video work. But H.264 I think is just a bit easier and better.

Those are the big differences that I've noticed, ones that especially apply to what I want to do. If I've left anything out, remind me.

Other points to consider:
The ability to adjust certain settings while recording video.

Which cameras can/cannot do what while recording video? I know one loop-hole is using and older lens with the Nikon allows you to adjust the aperture by simply using the ring.

External Microphones.

Both cameras have Mic input, that's good. And though the internal mic isn't great, we all know that, but are they the same in both cameras? I'd like to know just for casual video or if I need quick things and don't have tim to break out a mic, will one internal mic be better than the other?

Also, which type of external mic would be best? Of course this depends on what I'm doing. But I'm thinking a smaller shotgun mic (like the Rode VideoMic) or maybe Zoom H4n (twice the price). Open to plenty of suggestion on this, also because I want to be packing light and be able to record quickly, unpacking and setting a mic should be easy to do.

Last but not least, LENSES!

If I go the Nikon route, I think I like the standard 18-200 VRII lens given it's versatility of a slight wide-angle and good zoom. But as for Canon I'm not sure. I'll obviously want a very nice telephoto for nature photography later on, once I start making some money! And I'll want a better strictly wide-angle lens later too, but for now I want one that's going to be good for general purpose.

Other than that, please give any feedback on these topics, especially the video! I've looked aat a lot of videos from both cameras on Vimeo and loved things from both, leading me to believe they are both very capable of creating excellent videos, but please share experience or opinions!

Also, different buying suggestions. B&H, Amazon, other sites, which offers a good WARRANTY, this is very important as well, it's a big investment!

Thanks in advance, I can't want to get shooting so I appreciate any and all advice!

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