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Dare I open this can of worms? Not on any other forum no, in fear of there being a riot. However, I feel it warrantied here based on the maturity of the user base, experience and I know I'll get a straight answer either way. 

 

I'm a Lightroom user and like to experiment with edits. I changed my LR camera settings to 2010 and appeared the Fill Light slider. I used it and noticed a lot of lines across my images in the shadow areas. Apparently this is called banding and Canon are notorious for it. A little purturbed by it I carried on but it's been annoying me since. I went through a wee series where I was trying closely to blacken the sky in landscape B&W edits, and highlight the clouds but the files just kept falling apart, posterizing all over. I was sent a NEF file from a D810 and it was a breeze. It's since then I've been wondering you see. 

 

Is this just a Canon thing or are Sony sensors really that superior? 

 

I did touch on switching a few weeks ago to a D810 after many conversations with a user who switched but is there many else out there that did it? is the grass greener? I'm looking to slow down a bit, no more news, no more sports and just enjoy shooting again. Build my port and go back to doing better in the day job. I think that bit of advice was so damning at the time but so true. 

 

Canon are releasing the 5Ds and 5Dsr but they just seem to me like FF versions of the 20Mp 7dII sensor with the same poor dynamic range. I kind of feel they aren't really listening to the needs of many and from early previews the cameras seem a bit average. 

 

Open to ideas of course. 

 

Cheers, Paul 

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For an objective and quantitative assessment of your questions, check out http://www.dxomark.com - there are some direct comparisons of recent cameras as well as detailed tests and reviews.

 

There is no doubt from reading the dxo tests that Nikon is currently way ahead on dynamic range. This is not some fantasy world for pixel peepers or serial upgraders - it makes a real difference to image quality being able to drag back shadows and highlights. This is not new - the D700 broke this ground in the prosumer market back in 2008. I switched from Canon back to Nikon then and there was a massive difference. I don;t have any experience of more recent Canon cameras - I'm just going by the reviews and what others say.

 

Looking at the type of photography you do, you should definitely consider the D610 and the D750 as well. The 800 series cameras, while they can be used for for general purpose photography, are best with very good prime lenses and a tripod. Had there been a D600 or D750 in mid-2012 when the D800 came out, I would definitely have given it serious consideration. Having said that, I wouldn't swap now but I almost always use a tripod and good prime lenses.

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I've been using Nikons since the original F was introduced. There was a promise made to photographers by Nikon way back then: We will do our best to keep the same lens mount on our camera bodies, because we see Nikon as a system. How many times has Canon changed its mount since 1960? 

 

I still use Nikons, although I've been using Sony mirrorless more in the past two years. Yes, they both use Sony sensors.  :)

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There was a period of time when Canon had image stabilization and Nikon did not, roughly overlapping a time when Canon had a full-frame sensor and Nikon did not.

 

In the contest of sooner versus better, the tortoise ultimately beats the hare.

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I have never used Canon but I recently went from the Nikon D300 (2009 technology 12 MP crop senser) to the D750 and the new D750 is outstanding. Its tracking focus is spot on, its high ISO performance is amazing (8000ISO shots pass QC here) and the dynamic range is huge. If you do decide to swap, do look carefuly at the spec compared to the D810. I looked at both and decided that the extra money wasn't worth the extra 1000 pixels per side, the 1/8000 top speed plus a few other little bits. 24MP is more than enough for me - in fact I have a 6 x 9 foot print from the 12MP D300 that looks great. The dynamic range of the D750 is only about a third of a stop less than the D810, they are both up at around something huge like 14 stops. The D750 has a flip out screen which is pretty nifty, and you can control it with an iphone. If you are interested you can PM me to give an email address and I can send you a few D750 files. 

Colin

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I would have stayed with Canon if they'd fixed the shadow noise:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/5DIII-D800/index_controlled-tests.html

 

This is by far the best feature of the D800 for me. For other things there's not so much in it. This was a big decision as I was upgrading an 8 year old Canon 1Ds2 to enable higher ISO shooting and was considering the 5D3. I kept the transfer affordable by splashing out on one expensive lens (Sigma 35 f/1.4 art - my go-to lens) and stocking up on old AI/AIS manual focus Nikkors on Ebay (careful, they're so affordable it can become addictive).

 

Don't expect such a move to transform your photography. There are drawbacks: I lose more shots with it due to image shake - possibly mirror slap. It has only been a boon to me because I have adamantly refused to expose to the right and always spend a lot of time on each picture (quality wins out over quantity for me) and the D800 produces files that can take a lot of manipulation.

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I just bought a barely used Nikon D750 that I am waiting on.

I know,I've used every camera made...

 

Currently I have the Nikon D7100 I bought while I was trying to decide which camera to get next. I hate the fact the raw buffer only gives me appx 7 frames so that's another reason to move on.I'll probably keep this as a backup.

 

I had the Canon 6D.It ticks a lot of boxes however the focus was not always accurate and I was not that impressed with the dynamic range compared to Nikon D4s' I had used.

 

I've gone thru tons of cameras since 2013 recovering from an arm/shoulder injury. I figured,if I am going to lug heavy DSLR equipment,it might as well have spot on focus the first time around.That's why I ordered the D750.

 

DXOmark is a good starting place. For lenses I read the Amazon reviews and also like the Fred Miranda site under 'reviews.'

 

I would have loved a Sony A7II but I don't like adapters and I'm not impressed with their pricey full frame lenses.

 

L

Edited by Linda
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I just bought a barely used Nikon D750 that I am waiting on.

I know,I've used every camera made...

 

Posted 4 days ago

Come summer I may buy the Nikon D750 even though I'd prefer  something lighter and smaller

 

Summer has arrived early in Chicago then? 

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Interesting to see my exact issue on that link provided. Good to see that even the D800/E has this excellent shadow recovery. I do use Dxo Mark a lot but take much of this resource with a pinch of salt. It's real world testimonies I prefer and it's certainly sounding like it's true what they say about the Sony sensors. 

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I would have stayed with Canon if they'd fixed the shadow noise:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/5DIII-D800/index_controlled-tests.html

 

This is by far the best feature of the D800 for me. For other things there's not so much in it. This was a big decision as I was upgrading an 8 year old Canon 1Ds2 to enable higher ISO shooting and was considering the 5D3. I kept the transfer affordable by splashing out on one expensive lens (Sigma 35 f/1.4 art - my go-to lens) and stocking up on old AI/AIS manual focus Nikkors on Ebay (careful, they're so affordable it can become addictive).

 

Don't expect such a move to transform your photography. There are drawbacks: I lose more shots with it due to image shake - possibly mirror slap. It has only been a boon to me because I have adamantly refused to expose to the right and always spend a lot of time on each picture (quality wins out over quantity for me) and the D800 produces files that can take a lot of manipulation.

 

The only time I've noticed any mirror slap is close-up and I use the mirror-up as I'm shooting static subjects. I've shot loads of long exposures on landscapes and buildings and not had any problem with shake due to the mirror. Focus is critical though as depth of field is significantly reduced at 36MP full screen. I shot some portraits a few days ago in lowish light with an old manual focus Tamron 90 (a really sharp lens) at wide aperture and was shocked by the number I had out of focus. My eyesight is not what it used to be unfortunately. 

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I just bought a barely used Nikon D750 that I am waiting on.

I know,I've used every camera made...

 

Posted 4 days ago

Come summer I may buy the Nikon D750 even though I'd prefer  something lighter and smaller

 

Summer has arrived early in Chicago then? 

 

I got an excellent deal on a barely used D750! So yes,summer has arrived early for *ME*    :-)

 

L

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Like Edo,

 

I have been F mount for many decades.  In the mid 80's I switched to Canon and my F-1's and my LD

glass was so good that NIKON used one of my pictures, shot with an F-1 and 20mm 2.8 on K-64, in an

ad.  The fault was not with NIKON but with my agent, he has passed away.  When Canon AF was introduced

they offered me a complete AF system with most of the glass that I already had in FD mount and I politely

declined.

 

While I have no love for what NIKON cameras has morphed into, I am using the D800's with glee, not to mention

lenses that date back to the 70's.  Can you make a better portrait lens than the Micro 105 f4?  The D800 is a GREAT

DSLR, as is the D700,  I have not played with the 810 or the 750 to date.

 

Hate to add this, but the FUJI S2 and S5 were also great DSLR's and the S2 was years ahead of it's time.  Why FUJI

gave up on it's CCD is beyond me.

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Like Edo,

 

I have been F mount for many decades.  In the mid 80's I switched to Canon and my F-1's and my LD

glass was so good that NIKON used one of my pictures, shot with an F-1 and 20mm 2.8 on K-64, in an

ad.  The fault was not with NIKON but with my agent, he has passed away.  When Canon AF was introduced

they offered me a complete AF system with most of the glass that I already had in FD mount and I politely

declined.

 

While I have no love for what NIKON cameras has morphed into, I am using the D800's with glee, not to mention

lenses that date back to the 70's.  Can you make a better portrait lens than the Micro 105 f4?  The D800 is a GREAT

DSLR, as is the D700,  I have not played with the 810 or the 750 to date.

 

Hate to add this, but the FUJI S2 and S5 were also great DSLR's and the S2 was years ahead of it's time.  Why FUJI

gave up on it's CCD is beyond me.

I had the Fuji S1 and S2 when they came out and they were excellent cameras.

 

L

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Like Edo,

 

I have been F mount for many decades.  In the mid 80's I switched to Canon and my F-1's and my LD

glass was so good that NIKON used one of my pictures, shot with an F-1 and 20mm 2.8 on K-64, in an

ad.  The fault was not with NIKON but with my agent, he has passed away.  When Canon AF was introduced

they offered me a complete AF system with most of the glass that I already had in FD mount and I politely

declined.

 

While I have no love for what NIKON cameras has morphed into, I am using the D800's with glee, not to mention

lenses that date back to the 70's.  Can you make a better portrait lens than the Micro 105 f4?  The D800 is a GREAT

DSLR, as is the D700,  I have not played with the 810 or the 750 to date.

 

Hate to add this, but the FUJI S2 and S5 were also great DSLR's and the S2 was years ahead of it's time.  Why FUJI

gave up on it's CCD is beyond me.

 

 

Always interesting to hear how things where done in the past, and tbh I'd love to have been involved in it all from the get go. I really enjoyed shooting the few rolls of 35mm film on my AE-1P before the shutter stuck and it was going to cost more to fix than it cost to buy so on the 4 months I got out of it, it was different. A good friend has directed me to "ditch that horrible Canon SLR and get a Nikon F2" - I have yet to take up that challenge.

 

My understanding of the current situation is that the Nikon cameras with the Sony guts, will recover excellent shadow detail from about 100 to 400 ISO very well, and in tests it's clearly streaks ahead of the Canon 5D Mark III. Luminance and colour noise being very apparent in the CR2 files. However, when it gets above that ISO level there's not a lot to tell between them. 

 

The D800/E, D810, D750, D610 all seem to be rated very highly on their sensor performance, however much like my old VW Passat, everyone raved about how the engine was bomb proof and would last for ever, I didn't bother too much when I was spending all my cash fixing all the other parts that were a bit rubbish. I'm wondering if there's a lot of attnetion paid to the guts of Nikon and in the real world the story of the durability could be one that isn't told much? 

 

I can see where the above Nikons could fit into the sort of things I shoot on a daily basis. Glasgow and Scotland in general, is a very highlight/shadow place to live. Tall buildings in the cities, narrow streets and thousands of hills and mountains in the landscapes. It's a recipe for a highlight and shadow nightmare. More often than not I find the 5D Mark III struggles with capturing in one shot. Landscapes are usually bracketed, and street type scenes or architectural are usually processed with a lot of sliding on the shadow slider. 

 

It's not ideal and you can usually tell the sort of file that's going to produce a QC fail. I tend to not use it and upload it somewhere else that only deals with editorial RF licensing. Not my cup of tea really. 

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The D800/E, D810, D750, D610 all seem to be rated very highly on their sensor performance, however much like my old VW Passat, everyone raved about how the engine was bomb proof and would last for ever, I didn't bother too much when I was spending all my cash fixing all the other parts that were a bit rubbish. I'm wondering if there's a lot of attnetion paid to the guts of Nikon and in the real world the story of the durability could be one that isn't told much? 

 

 

 

I've never heard any complaints about Nikon on durability but this is where one might want to be thinking 800 as these are very robust machines. I've not tried with my current kit, but by old D700s (very similar build externally to the 800s) hit the ground several times, and although scarred, did continue to (and apparently still do) function perfectly. Apparently the 750, although lighter is also made out of some special alloy made to last. 

Edited by MDM
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I don't know if it's similar with Nikon but I see on the 750 the absence of the Af-On button at the back. Can another button be programmed to perform this way? 

 

I think I'm swinging more on a used 800E. Apart from lower native ISO of 64 and higher bar on the ISO of the 810 and I don't see much difference between the two that warrants the £900 difference used cost. 

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Very tempting - the trade-in offer that is - and the Tamron lens is supposedly excellent.

 

http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-nikon-d810-digital-slr-camera-body/p1556074

 

I did enquire about that and for my 5D3, 9000 clicks, 70-200 2.8L IS, and 24-105L they were willing to give me £2100 for it. The deal brings the D810 down to 1999 which is the same price as their open box used ones. The D800E on the other hand on a used rating of 9 is only £1099 so that would give room for lenses, however, it's a big expense to swap it seems.  

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If you are happy with 2nd hand, then the D800E is a superb camera and there is not a lot of difference between it and the 810. The lack of anti-alias filter definitely makes a difference in terms of sharpness and both have that (implemented differently). The shutter is a lot quieter in the 810 but most of the tweaks seem to be quite minor. If you are intending to shoot video, then the 810 is supposedly quite an improvement but I have no experience there. Good luck with it whatever you decide. 

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If I can't create nice landscape images with a 5D MarkIII, a decent lens and some luminosity masking in photoshop then maybe photography isn't for me. No other camera is going to solve that problem. Granted the higher pixel count of a nikon is appealing for detail but after using the TK actions panel by Tony Kuyper i've noticed how different things can be with existing flles. 

 

I've been watching some videos by Sean Bagshaw on Youtube and his images are fantastic. He uses the 5D mark III and 16-35 2.8 so to me it's just about the post production techniques and as long as you collect the righ data, you can work with it. 

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I use both Canon (5d3) and Nikon (800e) for Macro (Nikon for everything else) and when I first got the canon files into my computer I was shocked at the amount of pattern noise - it shows up when you start to push and pull files in post. The base FF Nikon file is much easier to work with. I notice it in my macro shots as theres a lot of shadows where the pattern noise is worse.

 

I still stick with the canon though as it has other advantages to me (lens and flash system). 

 

I don't know about the Sony.

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I use both Canon (5d3) and Nikon (800e) for Macro (Nikon for everything else) and when I first got the canon files into my computer I was shocked at the amount of pattern noise - it shows up when you start to push and pull files in post. The base FF Nikon file is much easier to work with. I notice it in my macro shots as theres a lot of shadows where the pattern noise is worse.

 

I still stick with the canon though as it has other advantages to me (lens and flash system). 

 

I don't know about the Sony.

 

I have noticed the lines and pattern noise a lot in my 5d3 files too. That was why I thought about switching. From what I can see, if you're shooting exclusively landscape or on tripod shots around the 100-400 ISO range, pulling shadow detail out puts the Nikon streaks ahead of the 5D3, however, in higher ISO ranges the nikon seems to fall away with a purple cast where the 5D3 retains and just gets mushier. 

 

There's good and bad examples of images for both companies and I guess post processing on the nikon would be made easier and lenses and flash isn't an issue for me. I'm not a fan of white lenses either because they attract the wrong attention. 

 

The more I delve deeper into this one, the more consistent the advice gets, and the closer the Nikon gets to meeting the criteria. I think it's the fear of the unknown that is making me stay. I don't know anyone with Nikon stuff so it's fault finding as I go really. It just seems easier to stick with what you know. Just looking for something I can generally walk about with, do landscapes and produce work worthy of a license. I'll use any tool that gets the job done with minimal sit at computer time. 

 

I seem to have contradicted my last post a wee bit but that's how easily my mind shifts at the moment. *sigh*

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Paul - I'm not sure of your location but you could hire a Nikon FF camera body.  I've just looked online and you can hire a D800 in the UK for 3 days for roughly £150. That would allow you to get plenty of test shots before making a decision.

 

Michael

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Paul,

 

I currently use both a Canon 5DIII and a Nikon D800 - with older Canon 1DSII and Nikon D3 bodies as backup. Having started in digital with a D1 back in 1999, I only bought back into the Nikon system when the 14-24mm lens came out, and I was willing to spend almost £4000 on a body just to be able to use that (the D700 was still a year away from release). Admittedly, I was shooting a lot of interiors on commission at the time, but it's such a superb lens that I upgraded to the D800 even though I was no longer doing that work. Despite this expenditure, I estimate that I probably now use the 5DIII for 90% of my work. I shoot all types of material from landscapes and architecture to night shots and dimly lit interiors and I almost never use a tripod. In low light, I'll use an ISO of up to 6400 on both bodies and I've never had a problem getting rid of noise on either. Although I bracket everything,  I'm often able to use just one frame for both shadows and highlights when shooting high contrast street scenes on the Canon.

 

I'll still keep the Nikon because of the 14-24 lens but otherwise would honestly say that I prefer the Canon. I also still use the old 24-70L on the 5DIII, having returned the MKII lens when testing showed it just wasn't a big enough improvement to justify the cost.

 

If I were you, I'd stick with the tools you've got and just try and improve on technique and post processing - it'll save you a lot of money and heartache!

 

Ian D

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