5dII vs D700

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by brucecahn, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. A few days ago I asked here whether I should get a 5DII or a Nikon D3X. You were pretty much in favor of the Nikon. I did not listen and got the Canon yesterday. By the way, it came from Adorama at much lower than the going price, + almost $200. worth of needed extras. Thanks, Adore. I did a shoot of a few hundred pictures today and would like to share my opinions about it vs. my Nikon D700. This will not be too positive for Nikon. I have gotten used to my D700 and like it better than when I got it. These are personal opinions, not based on digital expertise, which I do not have. They are simple impressions based on experience. The Canon is easier to use. The Nikon menu drives me crazy. Too many unnecessary options, so when you do need to do something, you can't find the control. The Canon is simpler, more sensitive and easier to use. The Canon focus is better. My Nikons (D90, too) do not focus accurately and quickly. The Canon is not perfect in this respect, but it is better. The exposure meter is more accurate on the Canon. I gave up on the Nikon meter because it regularly overexposed. I took to using a handheld Minolta flashmeter. The Canon meter is more accurate. I guess I could have used the Nikon meter by setting it to a higher speed, but did not bother. Lenses: I love the 85mm f1.2 Canon. Nothing comparable from Nikon. The best lenses overall are from Zeiss, for both. I always got poor results from the D700 when using autofocus and auto exposure. Both of these functions are accurate on the Canon. The anti shake feature of the Canon does indeed work. I may be able to go back to hand holding sometimes, with the 5D2. And of course, though both cameras have full sized sensors, the Canon has 20 megapixels vs 12 for the Nikon. Additionally, the Canon body is lighter. A very significant difference. Yo, Nikon, how come you are not competitive in this area?
     
  2. f72

    f72

    good hear that you are happy with youe choice.
     
  3. Good decision Bruce. There is so much hype out there and so few evidence-based facts. If you want to know how good a camera is, test it yourself.
    Take a look at my post of comparison shots of a Leica S-System ($27,000 for the body and 5-8,000 per lens) and see if you can tell the difference between it and another camera (I'll let you in on a secret...the other camera costs way less). Camera's are much closer in IQ than all the hype suggests. You made a good decision. Cheers, JJ
     
  4. If you want some strong replies you should post this in Nikon forum.
     
  5. Chinmaya, you made me laugh!
     
  6. Hi Bruce,
    Whilst your experience of the Nikon is greater than mine, I have used both too, though I came at it from a long time Canon user to trying a Nikon. I found quite the opposite, the Nikon AF was faster and locked on firmer, the AE was very good, particularly with back light, and the flash metering was way way better than Canons.
    Now I own Canons and hang out on this forum a lot, but in a choice between the two (if I had no lenses and didn't need the 21mp) then I would go for the D700 every time.
    To me the D700 adds up to a much better general camera, how often do we need 21mp as opposed to 12? The build is better and the basic camera functions, AF and AE, are, IMHO more accurate. The 5D MkII is an amazing camera, and if you need the MP count is the best available but I don't think it is the better general camera.
    Take care, Scott.
     
  7. "how often do we need 21mp as opposed to 12?"
    Every time you make a 12x18 print. It was a real pleasure moving from 240 ppi to 300 ppi. For those of us who actually make prints, Nikon remains a generation behind.
     
  8. sbp

    sbp

    IMHO, as a convert from Nikon film to Canon digital, both companies make great bodies. Different, but both very capable. But bodies by themselves are just doorstops. Canon has a much wider selection of high quality glass, which, for me was the deciding factor.
     
  9. David,
    I agree, I own a 21MP camera and upsize often. But I would guess that of the billions of images shot with 21MP cameras a lot more than 99% never make it to print of any kind and of the owners of those cameras many thousands either never print at all or only occasionally and even then at not impossible sizes for 12mp to be adequate.
    Well this isn't quite true is it? "Nikon remains a generation behind" their Sony chipped D3X is 24.5MP and no slouch in iso when compared to either the 5D MkII or the 1Ds MkIII. But this is not a Nikon Canon points scoring contest, most people on this forum are Canonites, but Nikonistas are just as over protective of their cameras. Sure the 1Ds MkIV will have more pixels and better video etc etc than the D3X but that is not the point.
    My point was, for most people most of the time 12mp on a full frame is more than enough, to display that image full screen on a HD screen you are throwing 9 million or so of those 12 million pixels away! And my experience of the D700 was very positive and was at odds with Bruce's findings. How many threads have you seen here commenting on the 5D MkII's lackluster and certainly underspeced AF? Nothing like that on the Nikon forum about the D700. How many people are totally at odds with Canon flash and it's strange flash exposure algorithms? Nikon CES just works better in many peoples opinion.
    I am not maligning anybody or their gear, I just had an different experience to Bruce.
     
  10. What anti-shake feature of the 5dmk2 do you reference? Are you talking about IS lenses ?
     
  11. "What anti-shake feature of the 5dmk2 do you reference? Are you talking about IS lenses ?"
    Most likely the OP is talking about the advanced prototype 5D Mark III he is testing.
    Otherwise it's I.S. (Canon) and VR (Nikon).
    Anti-shake is reserved for the cheapie P&S cams.
     
  12. In the long run, comparisons between Canon and Nikon largely come down to personal preferences, frequently - though not always - based on what you are most familiar with. Also in the long run, it matters little if at all to your photography which brand you use.
    I happen to shoot Canon, but I'm quite certain that if I woke up tomorrow and found that all of my gear had magically morphed into Nikon equivalents my photography would be essentially the same.
    Dan
     
  13. "Anti-shake is reserved for the cheapie P&S cams."
    I though Sony DSLR had Anti-shake? Are they cheapie?
    On another note, I shoot Canon and I used to be mad that WB on Nikon was so much more accurate than my Canon's but after getting the 7D, I'm finally happy with the AWB. I'm fully aware how to change the WB in post or with a expo disk, now I just don't worry about it anymore. v/r Buffdr
     
  14. "I though Sony DSLR had Anti-shake? Are they cheapie?"
    There are 20 Nikon and Canon bodies I'd take before a single Sony, so "yes" in a way.
     
  15. Wow! That's the first time I've ever heard anyone say that the 5D2's autofocus is better than Nikon's. I'd like to hear more about how that test was executed. That certainly hasn't been my experience.
    I own both of these cameras and find that BOTH of them overexpose highlight details. You have to be very careful with either one of these bodies. On the plus side for the D700 is that it seems to have a little more dynamic range. Exposing the 5D2 (which I LOVE, by the way) reminds me of exposing for slide film; I find that I have to expose high-contrast scenes very carefully. Exposing with the D700 made me a bit lazy, because you can pull so much clean data out of the shadows.
    I can't say that one camera is easier to use than another. The D700 has more menu items, but then again it has more features (the Canon is more complex in the video department). The Nikon's menu items are more consistently presented. With the Canon I press a button and get confused as to which wheel to turn. I frequently end up changing the f-stop without meaning to do so. On the other hand, the Canon has some useful shortcuts. The dedicated button for shooting mode is nice as is the real knob that switches between exposure modes. My favorite is the combination of exposure compensation and exposure bracketing which is nothing short of brilliant.
    Both the D700 and 5D2 have a My Menu feature where you can put your most-used menu items. And of course cracking the old user manual can help with menu navigation, too.
    Yes, the 5D2 is lighter, but the D700 is more rugged. Yes, the 5D2 has higher resolution and video, but the Nikon has a slight edge in high ISO performance (especially with NR disengaged). And yes, they're both brilliant cameras.
     
  16. If the Canon is so far ahead, why bother with your Nikons. Get rid of them if the Canon is better in every regard ? Why ask when you have already arbitrarily answered ?
     
  17. it's always heartwarming to hear that someone is happy with the result, after making a major purchase like the OP has. no rainy-day parades here!
     
  18. the only advantage of the 5D2 over the D700 can be written in a numerical form, a number: 9.
    that's it. everywhere else, the D700 IS a better camera. even die-hard canon fans agree that the build, AF, gadgets (no pop-up flash, oh dear), high-iso, burst, dynamic range, white balance of the D700 are superior to the 5D2.
    9, the megapixels that the canon offers over the nikon. i work for a photo studio that uses D3 and D700 for large prints on canvas or paper on a mamoth canon printer, and so far, 70 cm by 1m prints don't seem to be lacking detail from those well exposed, well-processed 12 megapixel files. the studio manager is seriously considering a 40-50 megapixel hasselblad system for commercial and fine art work, but that is a different story all together.
    i congratulate you for your purchase, i hope you will take many great pictures with it.
     
  19. Hi Bruce, your right with your expession, that the best lenses overall are from Zeiss for both! That's why I got the mirror cut a little bit on my Canon 5DMkII to be able to use my eleven (11) Contax/Zeiss lenses perfectly with adaptor on it. O.K. no autofocus etc. but I've compensated it with a excellent focusing screen from Brightscreen,U.S.A. Even my 15mm and 18mm Distagon work perfectly on the 5DII.
     
  20. OPK

    OPK

    I used to shoot with both....and I can frankly say - D700 was too heavy! the only difference in IQ I've observed was ability to make really noisless pictures over ISO6400 by D700. 5D MarkII was much more pleasant in overall use.
     
  21. At school we used to see who could pee the highest up the wall.
     
  22. Graham,
    Then we grew up, got cars that go 140, houses that are too big to heat or cool, pools only the dogs use and we aspire to get the biggest white lenses out there :)
    Take care, Scott.
     
  23. Wow! thanks for the response guys. Wolf: Good to hear from you. I am thinking about the 18mm Zeiss. Peter Kerverac: I intend to keep the Nikons as backup and to use lenses that I do not have for Canon. To those of you who say their autofocus is better on Nikon, I do not understand. I rarely use it on the D700 because it jumps around refocusing several times, and the picture, which if it is action is gone already, is often out of focus anyway. The Canon does much less of that. Maybe I have a defective Nikon. About the anti-shake, they call it something else (probably image stabilization-the nomenclature from the manufacturers is unmemorable), and it seems to work with some lenses and not others. As far as the comments about the extra pixels being unnecessary, I strongly disagree. I got the camera for the 20megapixels, and am still not entirely satisfied that I made the right decision. A 4x5 with 40 MP back would be a lot better, but I am not interested in spending that kind of money on digital. I still consider my self a LF film photographer. Overall, I am having a lot of fun with this excellent Canon, and enjoying it rather than putting up with the D700. In case you think this is an anti-Nikon crusade, it is not. This is my first Canon. I have had at least 8-9 film and digital Nikons and liked them very much, except for the D700, which for me is needlessly and frustratingly complicated.
     
  24. Bruce,
    I'd think twice about that 18mm Zeiss. Testing show it not much better than the 17-40L. But keep the 5D II. If you judge your results on paper, it's unmatched.
     
  25. pge

    pge

    Bruce

    You don't really make yourself sound like you have a worthy opinion when you say things like "The Nikon menu drives me crazy. Too many unnecessary options". Honestly I am not going to get into a whole Nikon/Canon thing but why do you think they are unnecessary, and why do you think they will remain unnecessary as you learn more about photography.

    Use the "My Menu" feature on your D700 and place all the menu items you need there, then you will be able to find them. And as you learn more about digital photography you will no doubt put some more menu items in your "My Menu" that you previously thought were unnecessary.

    Is there any particular menu items you deem unnecessary and drives you crazy that you would like to tell us about, I am sure we can help you by telling you what they do.
    Phil
     
  26. Bruce, I'd say you have a fundamental lack of understanding of how to use a D700, judging by what you said. I own one and have never experienced the problems you described. In short, I think "user error" is likely to blame. If it's a bad copy, someone with a D700 ought to know enough to be able to tell that as well.
     
  27. Why did you ever purchase the Nikon in the first place,if you have nothing positive to say about it & first i've ever heard that Canon auto focus is better than Nikon don't in any way think so just MHO
     
  28. Smart Man Bruce. You have the exact same gear i went with. I absolutely love my Canon 5D Mark II and 85 1.2L. Yes, when you have an 85 1.2 L 21 MP makes the would of difference. I shoot hair magazines and when I use that 85 1.2 with the 5D2 you can literally see every individual hair down to the root. My next lens will be an upgrade to the 50 1.8 and 35 1.2L. I have also shot with my friends Nikon and high end lenses. I believe the Nikon speedlight flash system is considerably better than canon's, but I shoot with 1000 watt studio strobes so don't really care. I agree I feel the canon system is easier to use which makes difference when shooting in the dark.
     
  29. To those of you who say their autofocus is better on Nikon, I do not understand. I rarely use it on the D700 because it jumps around refocusing several times, and the picture, which if it is action is gone already, is often out of focus anyway. The Canon does much less of that. Maybe I have a defective Nikon.​
    It would be interesting to understand the scenario that's causing you difficulty. Are you using Continuous or Single-exposure AF? Over how many AF points? Do you have it set to closest-sensor priority, or are you selecting the AF point yourself? Are you focusing on a flat surface or something with a distinct texture or edge? Have you tried the two AF modes that are available in Live View? The D700 has a lot of a AF options. It's difficult to believe that you exhausted all of them without finding one that works for you.
    About the anti-shake, they call it something else (probably image stabilization-the nomenclature from the manufacturers is unmemorable), and it seems to work with some lenses and not others.​
    Well, there's a very good explanation for this. The "anti-shake" technology that both Canon and Nikon use is built into the LENS rather than the camera body. Some lenses include this feature and others don't. Which Canon lenses controlled vibration best for you? Do you own any Nikon VR lenses? Did the VR not work to your satisfaction when engaged?
    As far as the comments about the extra pixels being unnecessary, I strongly disagree.​
    I'm with you on this assessment. The 5D2 is the winner in resolution. This should be clear to anyone who bothers to examine print quality closely. I think the D700's anti-aliasing filter softens its images a bit, as well, although I notice this effect more in soft light.
     
  30. the only advantage of the 5D2 over the D700 can be written in a numerical form, a number: 9.​

    You forgot four digits and a letter: 1080p!
    :~)
     
  31. >D700 was too heavy!<
    Sounds like somebody needs to start doing some push-ups!
     
  32. Bruce is not in the digital groove yet, give him a couple of years!
     
  33. "Anti-shake is reserved for the cheapie P&S cams."​
    Not completely true; not considering some of the very nice and not cheapie-at-all cameras from Sony, Pentax, and Olympus...

     
  34. Dan South [​IMG], Jan 17, 2010; 04:46 p.m.
    I can't say that one camera is easier to use than another. The D700 has more menu items, but then again it has more features (the Canon is more complex in the video department).​
    I guess it would have more a more complex video "department" since the Nikon D700 has no video.
     
  35. Bruce Cahn [​IMG][​IMG], Jan 18, 2010; 12:54 p.m.
    About the anti-shake, they call it something else (probably image stabilization-the nomenclature from the manufacturers is unmemorable), and it seems to work with some lenses and not others.​
    Bruce, are you really serious or just attracting some attention during these long cold gray winter days? Did you really bother to learn how the cameras work? Yes, I also heard that the image stabilization did not work very well in the lenses that did not have image stabilization. If you are really attracted to image stabilization try a Sony or Pentax where it works for every lens.
     
  36. This title of this post is off from where I sit.
    All of this is much more of a report on the adaptability of the operator rather than either of the cameras. Zero detail is supplied on the settings on the Nikon, which has multiple ways to operate the autofocus for differing conditions, for instance. Zero details are supplied for the setting on the Canon for that matter either. Both devices are highly adaptable and customizable to the peculiarities of the photographer, and in the case of the Nikon it can be set up to select four customizable modes, in effect changing the identity of the camera, where the camera will act astoundingly differently depending the modes created by the photographer. Both are highly adaptable and customizable to the kind of photography to be addressed.
    One could say the same kinds of things someone about having a technical or view camera thrust into one's hands for the first time. What are all of these tilts and shifts about? What are these screws and adjustments for? What, wood? Why is the tripod so freakin' heavy? How am I to walk about with all of that heavy baggage? How long does it take to learn all of this theory? Why cannot I just push the blinkety blink shutter lever and automatically make a perfect image every time? (All of this would likely be me) Once again, not an evaluation of a camera. Rather, another report on the adaptability of a photographer.
    My own reaction to digital was not a lot different at first. Why is all of this stuff automated when all I want to do is find the blinkety blink aperture and shutter controls when, instead, I am looking at a bunch of cartoon pictures stenciled on the camera body.
    Again, a comment on the photographer more than the virtues of the camera.
     
  37. Another of these threads. Sigh.
    Photography is like golf. You can't buy a game. The people who debate the value of new drivers and putters are rarely the ones who can tell the difference or even benefit from the most expensive ones. Here is my scientific and carefully researched comparison of these two cameras.
    NIKON D700 versus CANON 5DII.

    Pro's:

    They will both take any picture I want to take. They will both make any size print I want to make. They both handle pretty well and auto focus just fine when I want them to. They are both capable of using lenses that produce quality that would take a sophisticated machine to differentiate. They are both rugged enough for a reasonably careful shooter. They are both used by some of the best photographers in the world. You know; the talented ones who have forgotten more about photography than I will probably ever know. In fact one or the other is used by just about all of the best photographers in the world. They both have nice flash options. Models smile, act like they are in pain or look pouty regardless of which camera one uses. They are both cool looking though one very significant difference is that one of them says Canon and the other Nikon on the front thingy.

    Cons:

    They both cost a bunch more than most people need to spend. They both will break if you drop them. Neither floats. Neither one offers a Zeiss 12-400 F1.1 stabilized lens. Neither will give one bragging-rights when a REAL gear head shows up with their D3s or 1DS Mark III and very cool looking Domke vest. Neither camera is talented. Dogs won't look at either one when you want them to. Neither can get the kids to stop wiggling or the bride to stop grinning in that silly way. Both cameras will be completely obsolete in about an hour and a half.

    Recommendation:

    I recommend that Canon shooters who really need this camera buy the 5D II and that Nikon shooters buy the D-700. For first time digital SLR shooters I recommend that they do not buy either of these cameras. Neither camera is worth what it costs for the improvement you will see unless you can raise your right hand and swear that your money would not be better spent on classes, workshops, symposiums and seminars. Do not buy either of these cameras unless you already own a Nikon/Canon top of the line flash, a thoughtful and comprehensive lens system, a professional tripod and head and the knowledge to know why you need these things first.

    Summary:

    If you have to ask which of these cameras you should buy you are not a candidate for either of them.
     
  38. The Contax/Zeiss 18mm Distagon works fine without any mechanical corrections perfectly on the Canon 1Ds MkIII. But on the Canon 5DMkII, the mirror touches the rear lens housing of the 18mm lens and others. Therefore, I've got the mirror shortend on my 5DII! I can provide the information which of the Contx/Zeiss lenses need some mechanical corrections to work perfectly together with mirror shortening on the 5DII.
     
  39. The Contax/Zeiss 18mm Distagon works fine without any mechanical corrections perfectly on the Canon 1Ds MkIII. But on the Canon 5DMkII, the mirror touches the rear lens housing of the Zeiss 18mm lens and others. Therefore, I've got the mirror shortend on my 5DII! I can provide the information which of the Contx/Zeiss lenses need some mechanical corrections to work perfectly together with mirror shortening on the 5DII.
     
  40. Note that that's the old Contax/Zeiss 18mm. The new Cosina mfd. 18mm "Zeiss" 18mm lens will work fine on the 5D2 without mods. If memory serves, there are also some Leica R superwides that are iffy on the 5D2 for the same reason. FWIW the Cosina 20/3.5 "Voightlander" pancake lens is good but not great on the 5D2, whereas the their 40/2.0 "Voightlander" pancake lens produces superb images on the 5D2. (Grumble: I wimped out on the Cosina Zeiss 21/2.8 last year, but when I finally decided to bite the bullet, they were out of stock and I'm still waiting. Sigh.) All these new Cosina lenses are manual focus but with AF confirmation and camera-controlled iris.
     
  41. Here a picture showing the 5DII with my adapted 18mm Distagon
    00VXdT-211579584.jpg
     
  42. Talk is cheap ... show us some of your finest images. The "problems" you are facing could be user's errors or you are just simply not used to the D700.
    I have heard many times people telling me that the menus in Nikon's pro bodies are significantly easier to use and I have also heard otherwise. It all boils down to who is saying and who is more used to a particular type menu.
    There are also chattering saying that Nikon tends to implement frequently used options into a button than embed it in menus and that Canon is copying that.
     
  43. Gee, too bad Damon Winter, (2009 Pulitzer Prize Feature Photography winner), shot his award winning portfolio using a wimpy, old fashioned 12mp 5D, and only those non versatile prime lenses too.
    It's the person behind the camera....
    Canon vs Nikon, Nikon vs. Canon. The horse is dead already.
     
  44. The D700 got a leg up on the 5D. The D900 will get a leg up on the 5DII. It goes back and forth. What can you do? It will drive you crazy if you let it.
     
  45. I find it curious that in your tests, your results are almost diametrically opposed to official review tests results. In nearly every category except total megapixels, the D700 was judge to be better than the Mk II. Go read all the reviews online.
     
  46. To: Lee Richards
    Nicely written with just enough humor but not too much.
     
  47. Thanks Lee Richards, a ray of sun in this dreary and useless battle of brands....
    Bruce, enjoy your new camera! I'm sure you are just overly happy with your new toy and wanted to share the happiness. Done. Now, let's use them and stop comparing.
     
  48. Graham said it best :) I wish I was a man so I could pee up the wall hehehe :)
     
  49. @ Lee Richards: brilliant post. Just what these types of threads need.
     
  50. I own the D700...and coming from a completely different angle...the Cannon will not use the old Cannon FD lenses which is a real shame. My D200 on the other hand will use all my Nikon AI/AIS film camera lenses and with the full size sensor my wide angles are really wide angles now. So my investment in lenses with Nikon is safe...
    And it is a excellent low light camera....and focuses as fast as I need.
    Seems to me this forum and Photo.net period are very slanted towards Cannon...but then Cannon is the oficcial camera of so many things there must be some kickbacks somewhere along the line~
    http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?topic_id=1481&msg_id=00VXY1&photo_id=10530330&photo_sel_index=0
     
  51. I own the D700...and coming from a completely different angle...the Cannon will not use the old Cannon FD lenses which is a real shame. My D200 on the other hand will use all my Nikon AI/AIS film camera lenses and with the full size sensor my wide angles are really wide angles now. So my investment in lenses with Nikon is safe...
    And it is a excellent low light camera....and focuses as fast as I need.
    Seems to me this forum and Photo.net period are very slanted towards Cannon...but then Cannon is the official camera of so many things there must be some kickbacks somewhere along the line~
    http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?topic_id=1481&msg_id=00VXY1&photo_id=10530330&photo_sel_index=0
     
  52. I am a Nikon/Canon user and Nikon has a huge lag in lenses. And if you get a Nikon lens, let me know if you have money for a beer. No. So, Nikon has/hasent, who care, both need lenses anyway.
     
  53. What huge lag in lenses? All I have ever used is Nikon Lenses and I still drink the best beer...
     
  54. Personal experience counts more than 1000 reviews you read somewhere. Therefore, If Bruce came to the conclusion that for him the Canon is better, then that is it. And it is quite pointless to claim that based on some different requirements a different camera might be better for someone else.
     
  55. Hello folks, I am a Nikonian reading the Canon forum just out of boredom! I adore Nikon but I just love the way they write "Canon" (no, I'm not crazy!). Will I buy a Canon DSLR sometime then?
    I do agree though with the fact that there is a dearth of good middle-of-the-road lenses with Nikon, e.g., the EF17-40m f/4L USM.
     
  56. I'm a loyal Canon fan, but I tried out the Canon 5DII & Nikon D700 at a camera store and must admit I preferred the handling, viewfinder and autofocus of the D700 much better. Even though I know image quality wise, they're pretty similar, the D700 felt like a more serious camera. I was also pretty appalled at the distortion of the kit lens the 24-105L has compared with the D700 kit lens which goes to 120mm which is a better range for portraits etc. Still, the canon 5DII has the best HD video around, Spielberg is using one for his new war movie which is some praise.
    Nikon wins on ergonomics and modern interface, Canon wins on HD video. Both are excellent at low noise at high iso's.
     

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