Should I stick with Canon?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by emma_levy, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone. I'm new to these forums, and after reading other similar posts to the one I'm about to write, it seems I might be able to get some pretty sound, expert advice around here - which would really help!
    Ok, so I started out with digital photography on a 500D using the kit lens. My main focus was travel/street photography, so I bought myself a Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro lens to zoom in and get those great, candid shots. The 500D was great (and still is) but I felt like I needed something bigger and sturdier which could handle higher ISOs. I've just started a course on photography at college so I wanted to pick something up which would allow me to really experiment with and develop my photography. I managed to find a great deal on a used 5D which came with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. I'm still getting to grips with the full-frame camera but here's my conundrum...
    I sometimes feel like the 5D is just too big and clumpy. It takes undoubtedly great pictures which (to my inexperienced eyes) have a film-like quality to them, but I don't feel as comfortable as I did with the smaller, lighter, quieter 500D. My hands aren't very big but I do have long fingers, with my small finger always hanging lose and getting strained. My arm gets sore quickly when I'm out shooting, and the noise of the shutter is very distracting. As I need to be out all day in different situations shooting for different projects, I'm beginning to think this might turn into a problem.
    In step Nikon and the D7000. I've always preferred the build of Nikon bodies, as they are more compact with extra room for long pinkies. The D7000 feels tight and sturdy, although still quite heavy. It shoots high quality images quickly and quietly, and I figure this might allow me to once again loosen up my shooting when outdoors. I can carry it around college all day and adjust to my different classes and coursework demands. I want a camera that allows me to focus on my photography and let me develop in different areas, rather than just one. However I also need something which takes pro-quality images, as I hope to get start getting some work soon - once I get my tools sorted out!
    I'm also enthusiastic about starting a film kit, so the Nikon DSLR would be an advantage here as I could combine the two, rather than buying different glass for different set-ups.
    The only thing holding me back is the "down-grading" back to the crop sensor. I don't want to lose the quality that the 5D offers me, especially in terms of portraiture and studio work. Would the D7000 stand up to that with good glass attached?
    If I sell the Canon kit I have a could get a new D7000 with a good telephoto lens (which is what I've always wanted for my travel/street work), and maybe a nice prime later in the year. Plus I could begin investing in a film set-up.
    Decisions, decisions...
    Should I swap? Or should I just be grateful I have a great full-frame camera and make the most of it?
    *Please note when I say "5D" I mean the original 2006 model.
    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Brand loyalty isn't a great reason to make decisions, IMO. So if a particular camera from Nikon or Sony or whatever
    brand gives you what you need, and if you can afford the lenses and accessories, then why not? I used Nikon
    cameras for ten years, but today I use a Canon 5D Mark II primarily, and I love it. If Nikon comes out with a camera
    that does what I want next year, I'll use that one. Why spend life married to a particular brand?

    The only statement in your post that I would challenge is the idea that Nikon cameras are more compact. That all
    depends on the model. Ditto build quality.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  3. Emma -
    You seem to be in a bit of a conundrum. You've invested money into your Canon system, you like the results of your photos, but you don't like the handling of the camera...and now you're looking into changing systems...which can be quite expensive.
    I read your entire post, but still have some unanswered questions. You answering them will give you your answer.
    How much money have you invested in your current kit? Can you recoup enough of this expense to make the change worth your while?
    Assuming you have already handled the D7000, will it's ergonomics encourage you to shoot more often than you currently do?
    Are you shooting landscapes, architecture, and classic portraits more than travel/street photography? Landscapes, architecture, and classic portraits will benefit from the 5D's 35mm frame. Travel/street photography will benefit from the DX crop factor. Don't think of DX as a "downgrade" think of it as a different tool for a different type of photography.
    Have you considered what you will gain vs. what you will lose by switching? Make a list of pros and cons, but make sure you include your personal reasons in addition to specs and performance.
    I don't think you will be disappointed with the D7000. The question is will you regret getting rid of the 5D? Only you can make that determination. Hopefully asking yourself the above questions will help you figure everything out.
    RS
     
  4. What Dan said; one more "but":
    I'm also enthusiastic about starting a film kit, so the Nikon DSLR would be an advantage here as I could combine the two, rather than buying different glass for different set-ups.​
    There are plenty EOS film bodies, so this isn't an argument against Canon, I think. You cannot use your 500D (EF-S) kitlens on them, but normal EF lenses will work.
    That all said, a camera needs to feel comfortable in the hand and feel right, in order to be fun to use. So your doubts make all the sense in the world. I'd consider renting/borrowing the Nikon for an extended period, with a relatively big and heavy lens, to see how it really works out for you.
     
  5. As far as I know, compatibility between full-frame digital EOS and film EOS is pretty good as well so I don't see why this should itself be a factor.
    Ergonomics are important and if you're more comfortable, that's a good thing. I also prefer more compact equipment with (in my opinion) good ergonomics, this is why I shoot a Pentax K-7. A body like D7000 with good lenses is also very capable. I imagine the viewfinder view is a little smaller and you might lose a little potential for shallow depth-of-field vs. a 36x24 sensored model. This isn't everything though, and much of the time you want more rather than less depth-of-field. At this point you're still learning and have a minimal investment in the Canon system so do what makes you happy.
     
  6. There are a lot of differences between APS-C and full frame that I've discussed here:
    http://www.graphic-fusion.com/fullframe.htm
    One of them of course is the weight difference. Others may disagree, but I contend an APS-C Canon camera with a very good EF-S lens will rival a full frame Canon camera with a very good full frame lens.
    I stipulate "Canon" because Canon uniquely has an EF-S mount that is slightly different from the full frame mount. This prevents EF-S lenses from being mounted on FF cameras. Why does this matter? This allows them to extend the lens farther back into the mirror chamber of an APS-C camera, reducing the requirements for a retrofocal design on wide lenses. Nikon doesn't have this advantage in the APS-C world, and none of the third-party lenses take advantage of this reduced back focus property, as they must be compatible with all lens mounts.
    There are other differences, of course, the biggest of which is that you have about 1 stop greater usable aperture range with FF, giving you one stop shallower depth of field if you want it. This is similar to a one-stop lens upgrade (e.g. such that your f/4 lenses will behave as f/2.8 lenses).
    I, personally, shoot FF most of the time, but there are times I carry APS-C with EF-S optics because of their lesser size and weight. I completely empathize. Of course you could always have both formats if you want!
     
  7. I would say that if your current kit isn't making you happy, then get another. Ergonomics are very important, as is weight, and 'presence' too a lot of shooters. How comfortable you are shooting will reflect in your final product, regardless of the model you decide upon.
    As far as 'downgrading' goes, all of us FF shooters do that whenever we pick up an APS-C unit, even if it's only for a few minutes -- don't worry about it. Modern APS-C (and DX I think for nikon) units are, as Sarah pointed out, nearly as capable IQ wise as FF sensors, so 'downgrading' is not a compelling reason against working w/ a unit that matches your hands better.
    OTOH, you probably should explore the full range of each line before you make a decision, the 50D, 60D, 7D, and current T(n)1 all have different ergonomics, as well, different units within nikon's line will have different ergonomics too. I would go to a shop that's got a decent variety in stock, and hold each one, take some cards and get some shots while playing with the settings. Another thing to consider is the lens you plan on using, as a 50/1.8 will balance a 5D differently than a 60D. These are aspects that are hard to predict, and hit each person's palm a little differently --my advice is to try out (physically) a variety of different units before deciding on one.
     
  8. The difference in size and weight between the 5D and most of the XXD and APS in general series is tiny. Only the plastic bodies like the Rebels are significantly smaller. My 7D is actually heavier than a 5D/5D2 albeit a few millimeters smaller in some dimensions. However, you should shoot whatever feels best in hand and delivers the IQ you crave. I prefer the look and IQ of FF over APS but it's a small difference if you don't make large prints or view on huge monitors.
     
  9. What about adding it with the :
    Fujifilm FinePix X100
    Optical and noise wise this seems to be a stellar crop.
    Even the look will not attack much attention.
    Not cheap though.
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmx100/
    Has it's pro and cons though according to the review
    But wouldn't mind having it as a second camera, just to be blending in without attracting unwanted attention.
     
  10. Emma,
    Something you should know about Nikon glass... the latest "G" lenses do not have an aperture ring, which will prevent their use on older film bodies. Keep that in mind if you switch.
     
  11. Emma
    My own view is that you should pick a system and stay with it (at least for your primary DSLRs). I started with Canon, make a brief foray into Nikon with the F3 and returned to Canon. Both Canon and Nikon make fine cameras and I would stay with one of these makes. In general there is very little difference between the two systems - they just develop things with different priorities so where one gets ahead the other closes the gap. Nikon used to be the clear leader but Canon changing their lens mount for the EF mount gave them an advantage so Canon now outsells Nikon.
    Unless there are some specialized lenses you need that one system does not provide then their is really little to choose between them. The main lens differences are the 17F4 and 24 F3.5 II tilt shift lenses from Canon or the 14-24 F2.8 and 200-400 F4 zoom lenses from Nikon. Apart from that there is little to choose between them - it just depends on model launch dates. In my personal opinion the Nikon D3S and D3X are superior to the 1DIV and 1DsIII, the 5Dii is better than the D700, and the 7D is better than the D300S. I cannot comment on the models lower down the two ranges as I have not used either systems offerings.
    My advice to pick on system and stay with it is based on the complex set up and handling details of modern DSLRs. In the old days it was easy to switch from an F1 to a F3 and back again as the handling is almost identical. These days the menus and controls have evolved to the point where I really have to look at the camera when I use a Nikon DSLR (fifteen years of shooting EOS).
    The Nikon lies between the 7D and 60D in almost every aspect. It is heavier than the 60D and more solidly built with better AF but not as well constructed or specified as the 7D. Thus at $1200 it sits between the $950 60D and $1600 7D.
    In terms of lens compatibility Nikon is better than Canon (the old FD lenses are essentially not usable on EOS bodies - yes there are adaptors but except for the very rare Canon one they are very poor quality as they have to use a glass element to give infinity focus). But Nikon is not as simple as it seems - this link will help http://www.nikonians.org/nikon/slr-lens.html
    I suspect that in IQ terms the Nikon 7000 is probably on a par with your old 5D (my 7D matches my 1DIIN) as it is quite a few years newer. Unfortunately this is the problem with the rate of progress on DSLRs. In terms of street shooting I prefer my 5DII to my 7D if that helps (although I tend to use Leica or Contax film rangefinders). In terms of lens compatibility EF-S lenses will not fit Canon EOS film bodies but all EF lenses will. If you are looking for a true manual focus (milled from a solid block) experience then both Canon and Nikon have a solution. Unfortunately Canon's bodies of this era are all FD series so you do have a compatibility problem - the upside is that their lack of compatibility tend to make them cheaper than the equivalent Nikons. If you want a film body that relies much more on electronics and has AF then the Canon EOS film bodies are a real bargain. The EOS 3 is virtually a 1V (I have both) and is very sophisticated but is very cheap used. Unfortunately the EOS (or AF Nikon) bodies and lenses do not offer the same experience as the older MF bodies and lenses. The cameras have dimmer viewfinders (the need a part silvered mirror for AF), are more difficult to focus manually and are not constructed the same way (when it hits -40C here I take my old "New F1" canons out and despite being almost 30 years old they never let me down - I am not sure my 5DII would work as well so it stays inside). Similarly the MF lenses are much nicer and easier to use in manual focus than the newer AF lenses.
    My advice is to pick a system and stay with it - there is always a temptation to switch based on the latest development but except for a few lenses (and possibly the D3 when it was first launched or the 1DS series) in general neither Canon or Nikon has a significant performance gap for long. Since you don't appear to have many Canon lenses then if you do want to switch this is the time to do it.
     
  12. 5D and 5D MarkII are the smallest DSLR with a 24x36mm sensor out there. That's why I use 5D MarkII. I started with a 5D and 2 EF lenses, but then I suddenly wanted to upgrade the camera and to buy more good and inexpensive lenses. My lenses and the camera is a good reason to stay with Canon for a while. :)
     
  13. Emma,
    Beside equipment decisions, start working out in a gym, if you want to make money in photography you have to be able to handhold pro body with 70-200 lens and a pro flash attached.
     
  14. I would do two things first. Decide if you want to go with FF or APS size, then consider the hole system in all cases in which you want to build in the next couple of years.
    Bodies comes and go but lenses are far more sustainable and usually more expensive in a system.
    Nikon D7000 is a very attractive offer, but its best normal zoom 17-55 2,8 is big and heavy, expensive and lacks VR. In the short tele zoom range there are no top notch lens except for the huge and very expensive 70-200 2,8 VR. However, there are good third party alternatives. A strength for Nikon are the very good and affordable prime lenses 50/1,4 G and 35/1,8 G DX.
    If you decide that you like FF enough, then I think the 24-105 4L IS and 70-200 4L (or 70-300 4-5,6 IS if you want to trade some IQ for a longer range) represent a very good value. By the way the 50/1,4 and 85/1,8 are far more useful on FF than APS bodies.
    Your problem with weight sounds serious. If possible, try out the bodies and lens combinations you are intrested in. And dont forget that the position of mass center is an important factor. Look for short and light lenses.
     
  15. Thanks so much for everyone's responses! I'm so grateful for your help, and I'm glad everyone sympathizes. Of course, it is a personal decision that no one else can make for me but it's really helpful to get objective, technological analysis from those who have used both bodies and are used to the brands, and who also understand how important it is to be comfortable with the machine your working with.
    @Dan South: Thanks for your advice :) Sorry I meant the D7000 felt more compact and sturdy, compared to what I'm used to and compared to the FF canon (apart from sturdiness, the 5D is a beast!). The nikons I've tried seem to have taller bodies, while the canons have longer ones. The taller shape fits my hand better, I think.
    @Richard Snow: That's the thing - I can recoup enough of the expense to make it more than worth my while. I played with the D7000 in a camera shop, and it's response time was just what I need - it was so fast and subtle. And I felt I could trust it, which is more than I can say for any canon model I've handled. The easier and quicker the camera responds to me, the more comfortable I feel with trying to get that great shot. If I stop someone in the street and ask for their photo I don't want to fiddle around with all the settings and change lenses etc. I want to read the light, get my aperture and go. While my 500D is great, it often misses the shot. Another thing is the two SD slots - one for RAW and one for JPEG - great for college.
    However I also want something that will work in the studio. I love nothing more than capturing those subtle highlights and if I work hard to set-up those highlights then I want a camera that will make the most of it. It doesn't have to be fantastic - I'm the one that makes the photo, not the camera - but I want it to do the job I put before it.
    It certainly is a different tool, and I wish I could keep both! I will definitely make a list, what a great idea. I will go back to the shop also with an empty SD card in hand.
    @Wouter Willemse: I've mainly been looking at the canon FD cameras, towards the A series, which is where compatibility problems come in. I like the look of them, and again for my street photography having a great little compact rangefinder like the canon A-1 would be great. For Nikon my local camera dealer has some great F series in good nick, which only adds to the confusion for me...
    @Sarah Fox and Marcus Ian: Thanks so much for the link. I'm halfway through and it's really interesting! I will definitely consider all your points :) I really wish I could have both cameras - that would be ideal, but unfortunately I just can't afford it. As for other canon's, I find the 60D feels a bit cheap in the hands, and the specs to me don't warrant an upgrade from the 500D (I would rather spend the money on glass). The 7D is just beyond my reach in terms of price range, which is why the D7000 sounds so appealing because it appears to be better value for money.
    @John Wright: Thanks for the heads up on that one. I didn't realise the new Nikon Gs were non-compatible with the older film bodies. Another issue to consider... but there's still a large range to choose from - for me anyway!
    @Philip Wilson: Thanks for your detailed and well though out advice. Can I ask why you choose to shoot street photography with your 5Dmkii and not your 7D? And did you use a 5D for such purposes?
    @Thomas K: I certainly do need to work out in the gym, there's no doubt about that. I understand that weight and bulk is a part of photography I'll have to live with, but it's just a black mark against the canon when compared with the nikon, for me in my present situation, and I could manage weight if I was happy with how it felt in my hand. However you make a very valid point, another factor I need to consider. (Bengt Rehn, thanks for your suggestions for solutions to this problem).
    Here is something I forgot to put in my original post - a link to my flickr photostream. It might make it easier to understand the kind of style of shooting I have.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/emmalevy/
    Thanks again everyone for your advice :D
     
  16. If you have the gear for the canon why you should go to nikon. This will reset everything and you have to began from
    zero. My advice is if you have the gear for canon stick with it and play around with it so you will know your equipment
    very well. All the cameras are same once you know how to use them. I have nikon D60, canon 7D, &SD14 sigma, i
    shot with all of them sometimes to prove that you can setup your gear to get similar results

    It's you that will make the change not the camera, changing in brands will not help you as you think.

    If you are going to film as well you can get EOS 3 in eBay for good deal and you can use your EF lenses with it as
    they are fully compatable
     
  17. I've got a Canon EOS 20D body and a Nikon D200. I started with Nikon way back in the 80's and have an FM2 film body. I freely swap my old Nikkor AIS lenses between the D200 and EOS 20D using a cheap adaptor. Things are NOT as stratified as they once were. That said I love the control layout of the Nikons much more, and the build quality. The 5D is a nice camera, but too heavy as you mentioned. If you're interested in getting into film, though, I'd say go to a Medium Format camera like the Hasselblad or Rolleiflex. Shooting 35mm after the full frame 5D will not seem like that much of an upgrade.
     
  18. Emma - I never owned the first 5D just the 5DII - I was a film holdout so I shot a 1DIIN for sports etc... but used my pair of 1Vs for general shooting. There is no technical reason why I use the 5DII, I just prefer it to the 7D. At lower ISOs the IQ differences are very small and even at reasonable print sizes you can only see the differences when you put the two prints side by side. I think the reason I shoot the 5DII a lot more frequently than the 7D is that it is full frame. It probably has nothing to do with any technical advantage - more that I like the bigger viewfinder and I know my lenses much better on full frame than APS-C. The 7D is my first APS-C camera and I find that the lens angle of view is a little different from full frame. With the 5DII I get the angle of view I am used to (25 years of shooting film) and this is probably why I pick it up. As I said I generally take my (film) Leica M6 or Contax G1 or G2 with a 35mm lens before any SLR for street use. The Leica is small and virtually silent while the AF on the contax allows you to shoot without the subject ever knowing you took a shot.
    By the way I am not sure there is anything in it on weight and size with like models - the full frame Nikon D700 is 995g inc battery and card while the 5D and 5DII are 810g excluding battery and card - so I think they weigh the same. You are comparing a partially plastic APS-C camera to a full frame Magnesium alloy one - hence the weight difference. If you want smaller / lighter I would look at Pentax or a Micro 4/3 body.
     
  19. Hey Emma,
    Nice pics. It sounds like you've done your homework comparing the different bodies... While I wouldn't suggest switching brands for a particular camera's specs since they do tend to leapfrog each other, I think ergonomics is a little different. Neither company is likely to "close the gap" with the other, since they're just two different approaches. You seem pretty set on one style over the other, and, if you're ever going to switch, it's cheaper now than it will be after you've picked up more gear...
    (Full disclosure: I shoot Nikon :)
     
  20. Emma,
    For film, with both brands you hit some rough spots if you look at the older cameras, as noted. But, for the more recent filmbodies, both Canon EOS and the 80s and 90s Nikons will accept near everything. And if weight is a concern, then you may actually want to have a look at these later bodies. They're nowhere near the buildquality of the old ones, nor do they have this nostalgia-feel about them, but when it comes to being easy to carry.... My Nikon F65 with 2 small primes (35 f/2 and 50 f/1.8) weighs near nothing, I think less than my D300 body only.
    I know those type of all plastic filmbodies are not as nice, but they cost nothing, are easy to find and they work. And when they stop working, you can buy another few and not feel a dent in your wallet.However, if you want to get serious about 35mm film, then bodies like the Nikon F100 or EOS3 could be worth considering - both fully compatible with the latest of lenses.
     
  21. I simply do not understand why a "pro" absolutely requires to carry a large DSLR with a 70~200 f2.8 lens and pro flash attached! Some Magnum photographers are managing fine with point and shoot digitals. I used Nikon system for years. I am not a large person. The Nikon and original Nikkor lenses were all heavy and large. I used Leica-M as well. In my photographic career I've used nearly every make. There were only small differences.
    In spite of the bulk and weight, my portfolio was mainly from the Nikon. I never had to carry monster lenses like 70~200. I rather used primes. I never used other makes such as Sigma,Tamron,etc., as any problems that I encountered were due to incompatibility even ,more so with dedicated electronics. Those of you who are happy i am pleased for you.
    One has to "work" with a system. Get over the weight. Use another but smaller camera. If you truly wish to learn about photography a little putting your toes in the "film" pond will benefit greatly. You can easily afford film bodies that take your lenses..or go with something totally different. Use a Medium Format. TLR or SLR are now so inexpensive. The "IQ" so high as to stun.
    Digital is wonderful.I could never afford to shoot like I do.I am basically retired. I use my film cameras in addition to the digital. Last week I collected a roll that was developed and scanned from an Olympus Stylus 140 zoom. The quality was way past my digital shoot at same time! The camera which slips into a pocket cost $5.05 at Goodwill charity store. The film was a gift from a digital friend. He gave me +15 rolls. The cost of processing was $2.99 plus tax. If you do a college "thing" film may well be a requirement.
    Good luck. Changing equipment of such hi-end is good for the camera shop.Been there, got the receipts..and a T-shirt with Logo.
     
  22. You want a compact camera, top shelf IQ, light, but allows you to concentrated on just making photographs, and can interchange with a film system.........sounds like a job for a Leica M9.
     
  23. Hi, I guess 5D and 500D pretty good enough to cover what will learn in a photograph course.
    if I want to switch to a nikon. I would try to expose same thing with both canon and nikon camera, decide what print I like. such as, shoot to one of following subjects, a red thing, or light blue ski, or deep blue ski, or white skin, or yellow skin, or brown skin, or dark earth, or brown earth, by own calculation on metering compensation. I don't look at histogram to do compensate. I meter main subject and do exposure compensation on main subject, then shoot. later adjusting light temperature on photoshop. by doing this, I dont feel difference on canon or nikon. and same mean to shoot film.
    then other factors may help me decide to swith or not, like brand name, body weight, style and so on.
     
  24. One thing to think about is that a Canon DSLR can use Nikon lenses with an inexpensive mounting ring. But I do not
    believe the Nikon cameras can use Canon lenses. But, the difference between the film and digital camera generation
    may make some combos unworkable.

    I like Nikon a lot, and now the differences are not as large as a few years ago. If I did not already have a substantial
    Canon lens line up (or substantial to me) I would definitely take a long look at Nikon. But, IMO, It is going to be hard
    to beat the image quality of your 5D.
     
  25. At the end of the day for the majority of casual shooters it's about who you see yourself as.

    IMO, Nikon shooters are generally more conservative and old (like me). Canon shooters are 'hip' and want all the
    possible options. You know, Canon has full frame, 1.3X, 1.6X, as well as more modern lenses to choose from.

    But a Canon camera is not, and never will be a Nikon camera. Nikon pro-grade cameras are designed by a guy who designed the classic Ferraris.

    A camera needs to look and feel great in your hands. Go into a shop and pick up an F100. You will know what I am
    talking about.

    No one buys an ugly car, right?

    So, regardless or whether or not you would be losing money selling your 5D, if you like the looks of the D7000, then
    just get it. You will never regret it. I have nothing against Canon - in terms of the IQ they produce, but Canon cameras will
    never look like a Ferrari. They look like, ummmm, pr.....s.

    Now you know why Nikon don't make printers.
     
  26. IMHO, unless you have money to burn, pick one system and stick with it. You've already got two Canon bodies and three lenses so why start from scratch. If size and weight of the body is important, go with Canon's smaller bodies. But as one poster said it's just a fact of life that professional photo gear can be big and heavy. I remember reading online reviews of I think the Nikon D200. One poster, a professional, praising it for being so small and light. Another, a beginning amateur, complaining that it was so big and heavy. Back in my newspaper days, you carried two or three bodies with motor drives and half a dozen or more prime lenses, plus a couple of flashes and battery packs. Today maybe it's a couple of digital bodies and three zooms, flashes and a laptop. Either way, I know at least two photographers who had back surgery from carrying 30 pounds of gear over their shoulder for 30 years.
     
  27. Not every pro ran around with 2~3 bodies with motor drives! A few of us got real smart and carried a Leica. Spare lens in jacket pocket, some extra rolls in another pocket. The less I looked a photographer,the better the photos.It was also safer! I covered very turbulent times. A long lens could cost your life being mistaken for a weapon. I managed assignments: Editorial, Documentary and Photojournalism plus Weddings carrying as little as possible.
    The carrying of large lenses, huge bodies and massive flashes is really hard on the back. I know many old pros from my time, that have severe back damage.
    Seeing what some users carry as normal, simply mystifies me!
     
  28. Andrew, IMO there has never been any prettier camera than the Kodak Bantam Special. So perhaps she should ditch the 5D, forget the Nikon, and buy one of those little beauties instead! :)
     
  29. Jason Gold:
    "A few of us got real smart and carried a Leica"​
    oh come on! do not start that: Leica for smart people, Nikon, Canon etc. for dummies?
     
  30. There was NO other choice! Canon, Nikon abandoned the pro RFDR market. If you think i was smart, how come all my portfolio work was almost totally Nikon SLR? Carrying all this equipment on your shoulder, a vast backpack or roller-bag makes one think, "Am I a photographer or a porter?". I guess I am a dummy using all those same cameras mentioned..Nikon,Canon..
    I learnt to carry less. I worked with what I had and still have. The so called "pro" look comes from the manufacturers and sellers. I know a few pros working and publishing Holga, old folders and pinhole camera for their images.. I simply cannot hold a 200mmf2.0/2.8 lens and heavy Hi-end body. I'd rather do something else.
    I loved the freedom of a one body,one lens. I did many fashion,editorial etc that way.
    I never used the word dummy to others. I got smart for myself. I know its selfish. Many of my photo pals also lightened their gear as they aged! I got in first.
     
  31. You don't need to be carrying a camera with a heavy zoom. Try a 28, 50, 85 1.8 system. They guy who said primes was right. Those 3 lenses are cheap, light, and great, faster than any zoom you can buy for any amount of money. Better optics than any zoom for any amount of money. And, they will make you a better photographer.
    I looked at your portfolio. Your style fits primes perfectly.
    Look at the portfolios of all the great photographers who shot medium format. All without zooms.
    Light. Fast - meaning much greater control of the zone of focus. Cheap. Sharp.
     
  32. Thanks again everyone for your advice.
    Not only do I not need to carry loads of heavy equipment, but I don't want to. I don't want the technology to take better photos than me!
    I've been thinking about picking up a D90 (I tried one out in a shop - you can still buy them new! - and loved the feel of it. It just slipped into my hand like a glove and I felt like I had more control over it than the D7000) and getting some really good primes, as the previous two posters suggested. I do love primes and the look and feel they give pictures. If I swap the 5D for a D90 I can afford to invest in 2 or 3 primes (the Sigma 50 1.4, Nikon 35 1.8 and Tamron 90 2.8 have been suggested to me) plus maybe an all round lens like a 17-35 2.8.
    @Desmond: Thanks so much for the advice and for looking at my portfolio :D
     
  33. Emma, as much as I love (good) zooms, I have to agree with Desmond. Primes are going to be lighter, albeit less versatile -- especially if you don't carry the fastest ones. Remember that speed always comes at a cost of weight. And a hundred extra grams here and a couple hundred there and... and... and... and pretty soon you're a pack mule.
     
  34. Emma, you are welcome.
    I never try to force anyone into primes, most folks would feel "lost"....it would change their perspective.
    Your images are what I would call spontaneous - that does not mean without thought and care. But they convey exploration, wonder at simple things folks don't notice, different viewpoints. Nice creativity, a style. The fact that you don't want to be weighed down does not surprise me. OK, first it does not fit your stature, as you wrote, but second, it does not fit your style. And quick primes maket the camera feel light, and take away one thing to fiddle with on the lens. It really seemed that this would fit your style and mindset (if I can guess your mindset from your images).
    And remember, fast primes don't mean "fastest primes". The reasonable priced ones ARE fast compared to zooms!
    There are several images you use selective focus on: the reasonable 50 1.4, 28, and 85 1.8 would please you for their nice background blur and the ability to get blur in the first place by using large apertures.
    I really like some of your images, the green door is great, showing that great wear over the year, makng one wonder what has passed through and transpired during those years. The web. But the woman with the motorcycles passing by is a wonder. The blur elsewhere makes her really jump out. Perfect that her eyes don't show. It's a timeless look. That is a gorgeous photo. I would have it on the wall if I took it. Wires in Saigon is really memorable too. Seems that things that catch your eye catch mine too.
    I think the guy that mentioned the Fuji was also on the money. Too bad they are expensive. Your wish to build your SLR kit makes sense, but a light camera with very high quality images, simple and spontaneous, all of which the Fuji is, would probably please you too. In a couple of years when they are much cheaper used you might want to seek one out. Like primes, a simple rangefinder style camera also seems to fit your style. Very freeing!
     
  35. Thanks very much for the feedback Desmond. When I took that shot of the old lady in Vietnam, I really wanted to capture how lost and frail she looked amongst the madness of the modern marketplace. Every time a motorcycle went by I honestly thought it was going to run straight over her, she was so small and bent over. I am a very spontaneous photographer, not meaning I don't pay attention to framing, lighting etc but when I go out to shoot I usually come back with photos I never even intended on taking. Like if I go out to shoot the nearby museum I'll end up spending most of my time trying to capture the texture and dancing light of rain on a puddle outside. And then I incorporate the museum into the shot somehow to relate the two, instead of taking a standard shot of the building.
    I would love to have one of the little fujis! I tried one out in a shop and fell in love with it's tiny build and retro look. However the price tag is a choker, and it's also inconvenient for a lot of the stuff I'll be doing in college (in fact the college demands an DLSR for class, but for project work you can use any kind of camera).
    I miss my little 500D however the image quality really wasn't up to scratch, and it felt just a little too plasticky and cheap for me now, which is why I think something like the D90 with a good set of primes and an all round lens (I can get the 18-105mm kit lens which seems decent enough) would suit me better than the great big 5D. I really wish I could just have both though!
    @Desmond: Do you have a flickr channel or a website? I would love to see more of your photos :D
     
  36. No Flicker or such thing. I'm a throwback I guess....
    I'm leaving on a 7 day trip to Europe, will send some images when I return. As luck would have it, my 1Ds3 shutter has gone flaky, this will be the third trip to Canon in 2 months after having the shutter replaced twice. I have an urgent e-mail into Canon asking for a loaner on their pro program. A disaster.......so you are not the only one thinking of switching. Actually, I am not...yet....but if they are unfriendly on the loaner...?
     

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