My New Camera

Canon 7D, Lensbaby Composer, 1/60th at f/4, ISO 100, +4 Macro accessory

I recently bought a new camera … a Canon 7D. No big deal, right? Well, maybe not, unless you consider the fact that for the last 13 years I have been using all Nikon gear. Why did I make this choice? I have been in need of an upgrade to my Nikon D200 for quite some time, but I haven’t been able to find a camera that fits all of my needs. The majority of my photography is commercial stock imagery for iStockphoto. While I personally could care less how many megapixels I shoot, with microstock it’s a good thing to have a lot of them. Nikon does not currently have a high-megapixel camera (other than the über-expensive D3x) … so that was one thing pushing me towards Canon.

To make it simple, here is a list from my own personal experience, comparing some of the aspects that are important to me between Nikon & Canon:

Nikon
D700/D3
Canon
7D/5DMkII
Only 12.1 mp Higher Megapixels (18 and 21)
Low noise at high-ISO w/ D700 and D3 Still has low noise with some models, but not as
good as the D700/D3
Clunkier controls – zooming, scrolling through
images, etc.
Controls are much more intuitive; I especially
like the “wheel” on the back of the body.
Menu goes on and on … it’s easy to get lost. Menu shows only as much as will fit on the screen
(I just like how it looks)
Great focusing system for fast performance Focusing not as good as the Nikon, but I don’t
typically shoot fast-moving subjects
In-camera interval modes Needs a separate cable-release for intervals
No HD video in the D700 or D3 (yet) HD video capability in the 7D and 5DMkII

Please note that this is a very small list compared to all of the differences between the two systems; I mentioned only the few that are important to me.

So … am I switching to Canon? The answer is … maybe, probably … I don’t know. Economically it seems like the right thing to do, since I have perfectly good re-sell-able lenses sitting in a camera bag (including the “hard-to-find” 24-70 f/2.8) and a Nikon camera body that probably won’t see the light of day again for quite some time.

If I could do both systems, I probably would. It’s not easy to get rid of my Nikon gear, since I feel strangely connected to it. At first I was very much intent on sticking with both systems, possibly upgrading to a Nikon D700 (or whatever comes out next) and maybe I still will. If I had all the money in the world then this would be an easy decision … but glass aint cheap.

I’m making no promises to myself … I’d like to give it some time, live with my Canon for a while, and then decide if I want to take the full plunge.

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11 thoughts on “My New Camera

  1. It’s strange isn’t it. I’d have no issue switching from one branch of Television to another (to use an item with a similar price tag) but camera’s solicit an emotional response. I love my D300 and even if I could afford the D3x it would still feel odd not using the D300. Kudos to you for looking at it with your head rather than just your heart!

  2. Keep both if you can, Nikon will answer soon. I shoot Canon, and am also going to buy Nikon gear so I can shoot both. Don’t sell your nikon gear, just put it away for now, when Nikon fires back you will be glad. I had the same issue when I left 4×5 film shooting, then ended up buying back all of my gear, and use it still to this day. There will always be something better out there, that I am sure of, so hang on to both for now

  3. Nicole…I can understand the need for more megapixels for your type of work, but wouldn’t going to a full-frame camera offer more of an advantage than jumping 6MP?

    I am sure you must know about NikonRumors.com That site puts out enough content to make me comfortable not upgrading my D300 yet as rumors of new bodies come fast and furious on a weekly basis.

  4. @Tony – Yes, I really want to keep my Nikon gear, and will for as long as possible. One of my problems is I don’t have any lenses for my new camera, and it’s not easy scraping up $1k+ for good glass.

    @Jason – Full-frame is preferred, but the price-tag on the 7D was more affordable than the $1k-more-expensive 5DMkII. I do plan on upgrading to a full-frame camera one day, either a Nikon or Canon. Also, one thing that I really like about the 7D is the video … if I get a full-frame camera then the 7D will probably just end up being my “video” camera.

  5. While the 7D may be new have have more MP, in comparison shooting, nothing still beats the D700 in my opinion.

    I guess unless you need larger resolution stock photos. Rich did that with the 5DMKII, and makes perfect sense.

  6. Lenses are exactly what keeps someone in a system, and that’s what surprised me about you going to Canon at least for the 7D, Nicole. Hope it serves you well!

  7. @Sawyer – Well, I really only have one good lens for my Nikon (the 24-70 f/2.8). The other lenses are Sigma, and need to be replaced anyways since I’m not happy with their performance and quality.

  8. There was a 20 yr. gap between my last SLR and my first DSLR which I bought in 2006. In the mid-80s, Nikon had an aura of excellence; plus I didn’t hear much about Canon in those days. So when I went to a DSLR, Nikon it was; I was more concerned about the glass than the body. If I had it to do over again, I might go with Canon, for the superior customer service if nothing else. I also think that you can get more bang for your buck with Canon. Regarding quality, it seems to me that it’s a toss up, and one needs to do what you have done which is look at the specific features.

  9. Are you kidding me! You dumped Nikon for Canon! ;) Yeah, I’m just kidding, but was surprised about your switch. I was waiting for this post and appreciate the reasons you gave. Nikon seems like they’re missing the boat with pricing of the D3X, but knocked the ball out of the park with the D700/D3. I also shoot a little stock (D300) and think, boy it would be great to have more megapixels. For me, though, my main shooting has been weddings and portraits and the D700/D3 light sensitivity is where I’m heading. Enjoy the 7D. It looks sweet! And when you’re ready to sell that 28-70, give me a shout! I’ll be in the market for one soon.

    All the best!

    Rob

  10. Doesn’t canon have an adaptor for nikon glass? I’m not familiar, but are there any drawbacks to using one?

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