Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

Started Nov 8, 2009 | Discussions
Adam51980 Junior Member • Posts: 45
Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

I am currently shooting with an Olympus E-3 and their high end glass. I feel that their glass is some of the best available and that the system has many strengths but the auto focus in low light is really difficult at times. That and I cannot shoot above 800 iso with the camera due to banding and excessive noise. I tend to shoot in manual focus at weddings & receptions but would really like to have a system with better auto focus. I can deal with the noise but the focus hunting and false focus lock is really annoying. The olympus system is also lacking in dynamic range which isn't a huge deal if you nail the exposure.

I am interested in either a D700 and 24-70 F2.8 and 70-200 F2.8 or the Canon EOS 1D Mark III with 24-70 F2.8 and 70-200 F2.8. How is the auto focus on these cameras in low light situations? Also being that the 1D is not full frame will the two lenses I'm interested in work with that camera?

Here are a few photos taken with my Olympus gear. I feel that working within the constraints of my current gear has made me a better photographer and that my shooting will improve with a system more suited to my needs. I know that it is the photographer and not the camera and I feel that I am proof of that, but think that upgrading will only help me improve my craft.

Jon Laye Senior Member • Posts: 2,485
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

I think the 1D series, any of them will be a big improvement. The D700 will also be better but probably a bit behind the EOS 1 series. The Nikon D3 would be the EOS 1 equal from Nikon. The D700 will be a bit better with less noise at 3200 ISO

PenguinPhotoCo Veteran Member • Posts: 6,284
5d2?

The 1d3 isn't FF either, it's a 1.3 crop.

Why are you looking at that body? Why not a 5D2? The 1D is more money, better weather sealing and more FPS, but i don't know if the AF for weddings is much better, not enough better to justify the price difference.

I use a 5D2 and 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8 IS (and other lenses) and the usual ambient for wedding ceremonies is ISO1600 2.8 at 1/30th sec and I have no issues ever with AF w/o any assist light.

Receptions are of course much darker - ISO3200 2.8 at 1/20th or darker. Here I'm using on-camera flash for AF assist and don't have any problems with the 24-70, but at times I do with the 70-200 - no doubt because I'm farther away from the couple so the AF assist light has problems.

I have shot in complete darkness (outside at night, no moon, at a riverbank) and with a 1.8 lens I can focus - which is amazing to me because I can't see the subject!

Yeah, focus is slower the darker it gets but I don't ever get that 'racking' thing cameras do when then can't get focus lock.

The 40D I used to shoot with did just as well, and I bet the new 7D is better yet, but I've not heard any firsthand reports as of yet.

A used 5D 'classic' (i have one as a second body) focus' just as well as the 40 and newer 5D2. Either 5D or 1Dmk3 have usable, printable ISO3200 capability. The 40D is iffy at 1600 and I don't like the noise above 1000.

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Julius T Santos Senior Member • Posts: 1,476
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

If you want to change your whole setup...I would go with Canon for the quality of the lenses that they have in their lineup.
--
http://www.juliussantos.com

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Canon EOS-1D X
TruePoindexter
TruePoindexter Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

Adam51980 wrote:

I am interested in either a D700 and 24-70 F2.8 and 70-200 F2.8 or the Canon EOS 1D Mark III with 24-70 F2.8 and 70-200 F2.8. How is the auto focus on these cameras in low light situations? Also being that the 1D is not full frame will the two lenses I'm interested in work with that camera?

I'm not sure you should be comparing the D700 to the 1DmkIII since they're two different grades of cameras and like you said the 1DmkIII is not a full frame camera. I think you should instead be comparing the D700 against the 5DmkII since those two occupy the same bracket. I'd even suggest considering the Sony A900 (maybe even the new A850) as well in that comparison.

I won't compare them for you since I think you should draw whatever conclusion yourself. I don't think you would go wrong with any of those cameras and there are numerous detailed reviews of all them and their lenses available. I'd avoid any pundits who push one system or another. All of them (Canon, Nikon, and Sony) output fantastic image quality. All of them sport massive feature lists. All of them have some great glass and some poor glass available. All have a huge library of classic film lenses to fall back on as well. Since you're dumping your current system you'll need to evaluate each yourself to pick what you think best suits you.

Good luck! Let us know what you pick!

BAK Forum Pro • Posts: 23,947
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

Weird comparison, and the !d sries are sports photographers' cameras.

Anyway, the 24-70 and 70-200 Canon lense will work fine on them.

A Canon lens with EF in the name will work on any current Canon.

A Canon lens with EF-S int he name only works on the so-called 1.6 Canons, which include the current Rebels, the 50D, and the new 7D.

Over at Nikon, if a lens says DX it only fits Nikon's 1.5 cameras (the D300s and D90 and D5000 being the current best ones.) Lower level Nikons than these may demand lenses with certain autofocus moter specs.

The D700 doers not take DX lenses, but takes other Nikon lenes, including the 24-70 and 70-200 you have your eye on.

The logical Canon for wedding photogrphers with decent amounts of money is the 5D Mark II, which is a full frame camera, and, once again, a happy fit with the 24-70 and 70-200 Canon lenses. But many wedding photographers with this or other full frame Canons prefer the 24-105 for weddings.

That said, the Canon Reberl T1i, the Canon 50D, and the Canon 7D are all wonderful wedding cameras if you hang the right lenses on them.

The Canon EF-S 17-55 f2.8, or several lenses with similar focal lengths and f2.8 macimum apertures from Tamron, Tokina and Sigma, are great basic lenses for everything from an eight-person wide group shot to a waist (and flowers) to top of the veil portrait of a bride.

Battery grip is a wise investment on any of the cameras mantioned.

BAK

RLewis Regular Member • Posts: 426
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

IMHO I would say take a serious look at Nikon if you are shooting weddings. The Nikon CLS system using on and off camera flash is the best in the industry. The D700 is an excellent choice and has great high ISO capability which is crucial for weddings.

I shoot a limited number of weddings each year. The fellow I shoot with uses a Canon 5dMII and does nothing but complain about the difficulty he has getting consistently good images using the Canon flash system. He is a Canon stringer, a certified professional photographer through PPA with 20 plus years experience as a pro. (I know the fan boys will kill me on this.) In short he knows how to use his equipment.

Either the Canon or Nikon cameras will give you excellent frames. (Although the 5DMII files are HUGE). Both systems are great but I would give Nikon a closer look if using flash is important to you. Otherwise, buy the 5DMII. I think it's cheaper.

My 2 cents worth,
Rick
http://www.ricklewisphotography.com/
http://www.RickLewisPhotography.com/blog

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JRDavis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,311
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

Bak,

Nikon's full frame offerings do accept both FX & DX lenses but the DX run in a cropped mode on the D700, D3(s) & D3X.
--
John

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BAK Forum Pro • Posts: 23,947
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

Thanks...

that's a real brainteaser -- would we think this is a good thing, or just an unnecessary false feature?

Put on an 18-55, use the smaller part of the sensor, and get the framing of a 28mm lens, without the 28mm lens.

But with only part of the sensor.

So I guess this is more or less like "digital zoom" on a point and shoot.

Except, of course, that only part of the sensor on a D3 is better than all of the sensor on lots of cameras.

BAK

JRDavis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,311
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

Bak,

What we get is a less painful transition to FX lenses. When you move to FF bodies with Nikon your DX lenses can still be of limited use until you can complete the mostly expensive upgrade to FX lenses.
--
John

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mandm Contributing Member • Posts: 823
This is the Chevy vs Ford question, both Nikon & Canon

have cameras, lenses & lighting to do your job right. I am not familiar with Canons flash equipment but I keep hearing from others and on this site that Nikon's is tops, I love it, it's great. See which one feels better in your hand with the lenses you plan to use.

You can buy used older manual focus (think low cost) Nikon lenses to use on any Nikon digital camera. I have a MF 200mm macro lens, I do not use it enough to justify a AF lens, and I usually focus manually with my 60mm AF Macro anyways at close distances. Canon's MF lenses can not fit a Canon AF body, there are still some people who are mad about that (the ones with the big buck MF lenses).

I started with the Nikon F in 1969 and use Nikon digital now. All Nikon AF lenses will work on all Nikon digital cameras, yes DX lenses require a crop, but Canons crop lenses will not fit their full frame bodies at all.

Again, which is better, Ford or Chevy, Canon or Nikon? Canon just started rebates and Nikon is sure to follow if they believe needed. No company does rebates on any item unless they are not selling as planned, or unless it is being fazed out for a newer model or they just like pi--ing off their customers with the lost/missing/incomplete rebate problems, it may be that last one.

Note: Whatever you buy, it will be replaced with a faster, better, cheaper, quieter, lighter, ect. camera next month/quarter/year.

Have you check out the newest Olympus camera bodies, they have great glass and while I would not use one for sports, there are some people on this site that love them for weddings. The Oly bodies and lenses are smaller & lighter than N or C and may be quieter also. You do not want to find out during the service that a big full frame mirror is way louder than your old OLY. That is why you need to check out Nikon & Canon, the grass is not always greener on the other brand.
Sony offers the most pixels for the $$$, just to add another.
--
mandmp; Pro for 40 years and still making money.
100% of my income is due to a camera for the last 37 years.

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Rand47 Contributing Member • Posts: 769
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

I'll second taking a good look at the Sony A900 and Carl Zeiss lenses.

I just moved from an extensive E-3 kit. The HUGE increase in dynamic range alone will blow your mind. Low light focus is dependable, IMO.

FF and large resolution doesn't hurt either.

Give it a look, especially since you're not heavily invested in C or N gear.

David Lawson Senior Member • Posts: 2,784
I went to Nikon

Mainly for the Flash, I never got on with Canon's, Olympus's was good but slow.

The 24-70 and new 70-200 would be good, However to give you a more creative edge I think I'd go 14-24 and 70-200, you could also put a 50mm f1.4 in the middle.

it's a personal thing but a 24-70 is maybe wide enough but not long enough for me. david

calson Veteran Member • Posts: 9,262
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

Nikon has always had better quality and more reliable zoom lenses than Canon and with the release of the 14-24mm f2.8 and 24-70mm f2.8 lenses with the D3 this is doubly true.

The only drawback, and a serious one, with Nikon equipment in the past was its poor high ISO performance. Not much good having excellent low light autofocus with a D2x and yet needing to stay at ISO 640 or lower to control the noise. With the D3 and D700 this is no longer a concern.

I used the 1D Mark III as my primary camera for a wedding season and it was great in every respect except flash accuracy in challenging situations (large poorly lit rooms with high ceilings) and its having the 1.3 crop. Low light AF is exceptionally good - faster than the D3 and just as accurate.

The APS-H sensor format is supported by no one including Canon. Canon makes DX lenses and FF lenses but no lenses for the APS-H format so while the 17-55mm f2.8 IS and the 10-22mm f3.5 lenses can be used on a 7D or 50D they cannot be used on a 1D.

The D700 provides a very usable ISO 6400 and full frame. From 14mm to 200mm at f2.8 with the 3 Nikon zooms (two mentioned and the new 70-200mm VR II) you have the 3 best lenses available within their range available today from anyone. Canon has a broader range of prime lenses which is a good thing as with Canon one cannot rely on their zoom lenses for accurate autofocus or for high quality images.

No way to appreciate how much better the Nikon zooms are until you view images from them side by side with images from Canon lenses, even Canon primes. The Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 is much sharper at 24mm than my Canon 24mm f1.4 lens and that is using just the center area of the lens with the 1D camera.

kb2zuz Veteran Member • Posts: 3,202
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

Both the D700 and the 1Dmk III have better AF systems than the Olympus, but I'd ask you to evaluate your method of using AF and make sure you don't have unrealistic expectations of an AF system knowing where you want it to focus if you don't tell it so. Nikon and Canon will focus better in the dark than the olympus and will track moving subjects better. Both cameras will have bigger, brighter view finders than the Olympus. And both cameras will do much better at 800 and 1600 ISO than the Olympus (the D700 will be better in this field than the Canon.)

Another, cheaper option worth considering is the new Canon 7D. I'd give it one or two more months to let other people be guinea pigs to the new camera to see if there are any major unforeseen problems with the AF system, but from what little I've played with one, it seemed very good. Coming up from a 4/3 system, the view finder will still be bigger and you'll get a little more depth of field (going from a 2.0 fov crop to a 1.6.) The high ISO on the 7D is pretty impressive too. And while the crop factor means the 24-70 won't be as wide as it would on the 1D Mk III, with the money you save you could buy the 10-22, 17-55, or even the 16-35 and still come out ahead (if you went for the 16-35, all your lenses would be full frame compatible, so down the road if you want to upgrade to a 5D Mk V or whatever is out then, you'd have the option.) The 7D can take either EF or EF-S lenses, the 1D Mk III and 5D Mk II can only take EF lenses, as the EF-S lenses are made specifically for smaller sensors.

Personally I'd lean towards the D700, but if I could I'd hold off for a little bit in hopes that Nikon will come out with a D700s following the D3s. The images I got off of the D3s and 6400 ISO were unbelievable.
--
~Kurt

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mike winn Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

I think that the nikon system is better for flash and external flash control..Boy I see everyone here must be real young and like to carry a lot of weight around their neck.. Also the high cost of all the back up equipment... Whats wrong with a nikon d300 for wedding photography..a 50 1.8 and 85 1.8 for available light and an 18-105 for candids..etc..losts less weight and great photo quality... Its the photographer that makes great images..not the equipment..
--
mwinn

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James Youngman Regular Member • Posts: 347
The D700 is compatible with DX lenses

BAK wrote:

The D700 doers not take DX lenses,

It does, you just get a 1.5x cropped image. I don't know why anyone would bother doing this, but it does work.

calson Veteran Member • Posts: 9,262
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

I switched from the 1D Mark III to the D3 for my wedding photography and sold off nearly $20,000 in gear. The autofocus in low light with the Mark III was excellent and better than the D3 when it was first released (subsequent firmware fixes have made the D3 an excellent low light AF camera). I made the switch after two wedding using the Mark III with the 16-35mm and primes and the D3 with the 14-24mm and 24-70mm f2.8 lenses.

First of all there is a huge difference between 14mm on a FF camera and 16mm (effectively 21mm) on the APS-H 1.3 crop sensor on the Canon. Second, the fill flash exposures were on target 100% of the time with the D3 and SB800 while with the Mark III and the 580EX II the exposures were on target in small rooms but in large rooms with high ceilings and dim lighting the Canon exposures were off by more than a stop.

With Canon people rave about the primes but that is due in part to their dislike of the zooms bot in terms of image quality and reliable autofocus (especially the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 and many wedding photographers use the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 lens instead). For wedding photography I need consistent image quality with consistent in-focus exposures and reliable equipment that will not let me down. For that purpose the Nikon equipment is the better choice.

Read the posts on equipment failure or autofocus problems or people having to send the same lens back to the manufacturer for calibration one or more times and you will find that the majority of posts are about Canon equipment. As you are just making the switch you do not have to justify your investment in one system of the other as many people feel compelled to do.

For me wedding photography is first and foremost a business and I want equipment that will not prevent me from delivering a finished product to my clients. No retakes and no excuses needed.

OP Adam51980 Junior Member • Posts: 45
Re: Want to buy a new camera system. Have some questions.

Thank you everyone for the replies and opinions. Today I have purchased a Canon 1D Mark III, 24-70 F2.8, and 2 580ex flashes. I will be picking up the 70-200 F2.8 IS and a 2nd body shortly. I will be selling off my Olympus gear and lenses now. I'm excited as my new gear will arrive on Monday! The way I see it is that I will have a camera system that will allow me to continue with weddings and portraiture as well as branch off into some different area's where I have interest. I want to start doing some snowboard photography this season and the 1D should be a lot of fun for it!

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