Switch to NIkon?

Started Jan 31, 2006 | Discussions thread
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Andrew Chiciak Senior Member • Posts: 2,500
Switch to NIkon?

I know this title will be inflammatory...but relax!...no troll. I am a Canon professional photographer who shoots mostly portraits, weddings...with some commercial stuff sprinkled in. I wanted the see what the fuss was about with the new D200...after all, its a light , modern, high resolution body that only costs 1700 and you have a scad of excellent nikon optics to use with it. I picked up a body the other day...since I used to be a Nikon film shooter...I still have some of my older nikon lenses, so I dusted them off and began testing. I shot outdoors, indoor flash and studio at various iso's . I am not ready to show any test shots yet...but here is my general conclusion.

I know there are guys out there that shoot both systems...so there must be some credence in the nikon gear....this is a very unscientific test...but I think it is a practical one. I shot between a 20d, 1Dmark2, 1Ds and the D200.

The D200 is a nice camera...weighs slightly more than the 20d...the controls are very funky compared to the ones on the canons, but I guess no worse than the crazy layout of the 1series. The body is nicely finished and has a GREAT LCD screen...much sharper and more useable than any of the canon ones...including the 5d. The af seems to work well, however the focusing screen does not snap into focus like on my 1series cameras.

Now to the important stuff...image quality. Since I do not have any raw converter for Nikon...I only shot Large fine jpeg. I use my 50mm on the canons since I only have a 50 Nikon lens for testing. The D200 gives a fairly sharp , crisp image using a Custom parameters with low sharpening, normal tone and contrast...I had to only usm about 120 .5 0 to bring the image up to snuff. The colors from this camera are slightly on the cool side compared to the canons...I constantly had to add yellow in the PS slider to bring colors to more natural. I also felt the shadows were somewhat weak in tone...there seemed to be a lack of "richness" that I am getting from my

Canons...not really saturation, but richness. Compared to the Mark2, the D200 files seemed coarse, hazy and grainy...the Mk2 was much richer and smoother right out of the camera. As far as resolution goes...the Mark2 seems to resolve slightly better detail, the 1Ds is far better, the 20d maybe resolves slightly less.

My opinion...unscientific, but in my estimation...real world. If you have Canons and are curious about switching...keep your Canons, or wait until the next Canon body comes out. If you are just starting with a digital slr, you could do worse than buy the Nikon...it is a nice body at a good price...and with some work...I think you could get more out of the files than I could. I feel that the D200 is a better scenic camera, than a people one...the files seem more analytical and harsh, whereas the Canons have better, smoother skin tones. I would put this camera right between the 20d and the 5d in terms of overall quality.

If I get a chance, I will try to post some images. I will be happy to answer any questions...but no inflammatory remarks...please.

Andy C

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