D700 vs 5DII vs A900

Started Nov 4, 2008 | Discussions thread
Asherd New Member • Posts: 3
Re: D700 vs 5DII vs A900

harold1968,

I am in a similar situation as you: I'd plan to purchase either the D700 or the 5D II, I have limited resources, and haven't made a decision. My current camera is ... nothing. My house was burglarized and they got the camera. I am borrowing an XTi and am wary of purchasing a new camera until the 5D Mark II is rigorously tested. I am both a photography student, so I am forced to photograph an eclectic mix of imagery (I.e., everything.), and a lover of photography. Here is how I am weighing the situation:

(1) I like both the D3 and the D700, but Nikon glass is more expensive, though supposedly sharper, than Canon lenses.

(2) Canon has faster prime lenses in their L-series: many are f/1.2; this is about 1 1/3 stops faster than the equivalent Nikon Primes (f/2.8), save the 50mm f/1.2. If the 5D Mark II offers excellent image quality at ISO 3200, and usable images at 6400, you can gain the potential for, at least, an extra 1 stop with the faster Canon lenses--that's like ISO 12800. Again, this is little more than speculation.

(3) My XTi is usable, but I find the autofocus rather inept in low light--this makes me worry about the 5Ds autofocus--and it has little extra functionality.

(4) I have used a D90, and prefer its ergonomics and variety of options to the XTi; these options come at a cost: the D90s menus are somewhat 'stuffed' with options and this made navigation rather slow. I did not use the D90 enough to truly measure its learning curve.

(5) I like the D3s professional body. If I bought a D700, I could eventually buy a D3 at a much lower price than one of Canon's professional bodies.
As for accessories,

(6) the 5D Mark IIs vertical grip is currently $279.95 and increases the battery life; the D700s vertical grip is $229.95 and provides increased battery life, D300 compatibility--second body--, and, potentially, higher FPS.

(7) The 5D makes an excellent backup body but none of the 5D Mark IIs accessories are compatible with it.

(8) The D700--and D3--have both been on the market long enough to be heavily scrutinized; the 5D Mark II is, for all practical purposes, untried: many of Nikon's cards are on the table, while Canon's cards are, well, uncertain.

(9) The 5Ds 21MP offers wonderful options for cropping--I don't care too much about the improved image quality over the D700 or 5D.

(10) Video is a nonissue for me: I simply don't care. At most, it is a wild card: it does not add utility, but I might enjoy it.
(Conclusion)

On paper, the D700 qualities seem to offer greater utility, for me, than those offered by Canon, but, I believe, that such a judgement is somewhat myopic: both Canon's and Nikon's future is relatively uncertain--save the development of better and more competitive DSLRs. At this moment, I like what Nikon has to offer, but, I believe, that, in the long run, everything will even out; in this light, I will likely choose the 5D or the 5D Mark II because it is more affordable and, I am certain, Canon will continue to stay competitive with Nikon. I will most likely invest some of the 'saved' money in lighting equipment. When money is less scarce, I will certainly invest in both Nikon and Canon photography equipment. I will not buy anything until the 5D Mark II has been thoroughly test.
(Aftword)

I just thought that this would be an excellent forum to examine my one of my current existential crises, Canon or Nikon, and, maybe, someone will find fault with my logic and help me reach a decision.
Happy Thanksgiving!

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