Trying to decide between two Digital SLR camera's

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by clark_roberts, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Hi all,

    I want to pick up a inexpensive digital slr camera, I'm already using a Fuji X-pro1 which I love and a few
    micro-4/3rd's which I like as well but want to get into slr's. So I decided between two camera's a Nikon D2X or
    a Canon 5D. I know they are about 10 years old and still do take great pictures I'm just at a bit of a loss to decide,
    the full frame would be nice but since using the Fuji I come to get along fine with the smaller sensor's. If you guy's
    or gal's have any idea's let me know.

  2. The logical choice is the Fuji XT2. I see no advantage in full frame cameras at this point, big expensive, heavy lenses and cameras. With mirrorless cameras you are able to preview and adjust your final photo. Sony A series if you insist on full frame. DSLRs may still have some focus advantages.
  3. Yes that would be good, but I want to go cheap!
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  4. That's... an opinion, Sanford. EVFs show you a rendering of the scene. If you're happy with that rendering, they'll tell you about the exposure. If you like to tweak the dynamic range of the image after capture in an image-dependent way, having the full dynamic range of the scene available to you through an optical viewfinder makes a difference. It may not be an issue in the future when the dynamic range of EVFs increases sufficiently (and in some, but not all, cases also the frame rate and resolution), but it's a problem now. Of course, you do get more information in the viewfinder with an EVF - but you can always put (recent) SLRs into live view and use the LCD on the back. EVFs currently have a detrimental effect on battery life which you might want to consider, too.

    As for full frame, there is still a low-light advantage at the same ISO (yes, you can get f/1.8 zooms for APS-C cameras, but they're reduced zoom range compared with the f/2.8 full-frame zooms - and you still have faster prime options). Speed boosters can help, but then you're back to big lenses. There's typically a dynamic range advantage to a larger sensor too. Sony have not exactly gone cheap on their lens selection, so bear in mind that you may not save that much compared with the established DSLR systems; Canon and Nikon also have larger lens ranges than Sony (in full frame, at least). You can adapt lenses, but you lose some functionality.

    If using native lenses, wide and normal lenses are typically somewhat smaller on a mirrorless body at the same effective aperture. There's usually no difference with longer lenses. A crop sensor does make the lenses smaller, but then they're effectively at a smaller aperture too. All cameras are very good at high ISO these days; you could argue there's no need for aperture, but then you could always argue for putting an f/4 lens on a full-frame camera. Unless you're willing to live with post-processing "portrait mode", larger apertures give you subject separation, and - however good a modern camera may be at ISO 3200 - it'll still be better at ISO 1600.

    I do agree that if you want to have a "DSLR-feeling" then an XT2 will mean you can continue using your existing lens sets, which will save you a lot of money if this isn't a temporary experiment. If you really want an optical finder, the 5D's is a full-frame finder whereas the D2x's is a 1.5x crop, meaning it's smaller and darker (although at least it's still a pentamirror) - the sensor size has more of an effect on the viewfinder with an SLR. If you can stretch, the D3 (or, in a lighter body, D700) is a big step up, as is the resolution bump to a 5D2 or a D6x0 series.

    Because they're now ancient technology, I suspect you'll find both a mk1 5D and a D2x to be quite frustrating to use. If you want to confirm that you should stick with your current systems, go for it. Otherwise I'd say you're either better with a low-end but more current model, or save up for something at least a little more recent and full frame. Bear in mind budgeting for decent lenses, depending how much you care about the results.

    Or you could hire a D5/D850 or 1Dx2 for a weekend and get it out of your system. :)
    dcstep likes this.
  5. I'd get the Canon 5D: at least it's full frame and was the top seller when it was current.
  6. Go with 5d, it will give you full frame shallow depth of field, you already have crop.
  7. I'd meant to say... honestly the biggest difference between Canon and Nikon (in the pro and semi-pro bodies) is the handling. Canon have an ipod-style continuous thumb wheel on the back; Nikon have a horizontal dial (which you can run some distance along the inside of your thumb, but you can't keep turning indefinitely like Canon's). Nikon leave the index finger (mostly) on the shutter release and leave the middle finger to move the front dial; Canon's front dial is above the shutter, so you have to use your index finger - which may delay some shots unless you're good with middle-finger shutter. Both have merits; as a Nikon shooter I much prefer their front dial, but have mild Canon rear-dial envy (except that my unpractised thumb tends to feel like I'm going to dislocate it when I try one). If one system feels better to you, go with that. Both systems lose some control points if you go to the cheaper bodies.

    Of these two, all else equal, I'd still go 5D for the full frame. The D2x is faster (especially cropped) and it's an enormous pro body if you want a spare hammer, but modern low-end consumer DSLR bodies will run rings around either of these for pure capability.
  8. Note that the 5D does not have live view or auto ISO features and that M43 cameras with a 16mp (or 20mp) sensor will outperform the 5D in terms of high ISO performance and dynamic range. Any Fuji X camera will of course also out perform a 5D. I still own and use a Canon 5D (along with an Olympus EM-5) and it still produces lovely files (within its ISO limitation) and is simple and direct in operation. Given its age and other technical limitations its hard to consider using it as a core in an FF system. I suppose if you really want to try FF on the cheap (and you have some EF lenses or will pick up an EF 50 f1.8 for cheap), then for a few hundred dollars you can indulge yourself. Best of luck.
  9. Agreed with Ken - anything of the vintage of a D2 series or 5D is going to be somewhat unrepresentative of what a modern DSLR can do. (On that note, were you to go crop sensor, bear in mind that a pentamirror, as seen the low-end bodies from both Canon and Nikon, is a step down in brightness from the pentaprism you might find in a 7D or D300/D500.)

    If you want the full frame viewfinder experience you could, you know, get a film body. :) (If you want to throw money at it, a 1v or F5 - or for lots of money an F6 - are astonishingly capable cameras. The next step down - Eos3, F100 etc. - are still pretty capable, so long as you don't feel the need for state of the art AF. Plus you get the cool eye-control thing in some Canons.)
  10. That's okay I don't want all the bells and whistle's of the new ones anyway. I have that in my Fuji, and going the 35mm route I sold all my
    camera's awhile back and went 6X6 size.
  11. Sorry to continue an off-topic side-track, but the Sony a9 has a 3.8mp, OLED, EVF that's a huge advantage over my full-frame Canon DSLRs. There's no latency at all and no black-out at 20-fps. I routinely ETTR and I see the result in my EVF. As with my DSLRs, I know that the "blinkies" come from the JPEG embedded in the RAW image and that there's substantially more DR than the blinkies would have you think. Still, I leave the blinkies on and ignore them, up to a point, and then start paying more attention when I think I'm truly nearing total saturation.

    Believe me, a bright, accurate beats the hell out of going to live view and squinting at the back screen. I NEVER use the back-screen on my a9.
  12. You might also consider the Sony a700, Sony's first top of the line DSLR. See, Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Review . Bodies are selling now for a couple hundred dollars on eBay, perhaps a little less money than for the Canon 5D. Features include in-body image stabilization, optical glass pentaprism, environmental sealing, 5 fps, metal (magnesium) body, and dual cards. Down-sides include only 12 MP, no video, high ISO not great, crop format, and no live view. I have owned one, as well as a Canon 5D concurrently. I preferred the Sony's ergonomics, but went with the Canon because of it's wider choice of lenses. (I now use a Canon 5D IV).
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  13. As a D2X owner, I'll just toss out that I don't COMPLETELY consider it useless(in fact I like some subtle aspects of the color rendition), but for about the same amount of money a D300 is in almost every way a better camera.

    The D300 has slower autofocus with big, heavy screwdriver lenses, a slower frame rate(although the D2X is not super fast unless you go into the 2x crop mode), and more noise at base ISO. The trade-off is that the D300 looks great, IMO, at 800 and is perfectly usable at 1600. The D2X really starts to fall apart above 400, and I consider 1600 unacceptably noisy. The D300 was a high level amateur body, and as such is physically smaller than the single-digit D series cameras but is still magnesium alloy and a nice, solid feeling camera. It also operates a lot like a single digit D camera.

    My D2X has a very specific use and it's excellent in that application(that specific use is on a tripod under controlled studio lighting) but it's been a while since it has even been out of the house.
  14. How inexpensive is "inexpensive?" IOW, what is your $ budget?

    I don't know how old you are, but another consideration is size/bulk and weight.
    I really wanted a FX Nikon, but the weight of a D750+24-102 is 40% more than a DX Nikon, D7200+18-140. As a senior citizen, that 40% weight difference has become significant. I can't easily carry the kind of load for as long as I used to when I was in college. So the lighter DX bodies/lenses definitely have a place.

    What features do YOU want, and what are you willing to compromise on?
    • Lay it out side by side in a table and things become easier to evaluate.
    • The current cameras have much better high ISO capability that the older cameras. For me that was the major improvement in going from the D70 @ 1600 (2004) to the D7200 @ 25600 (2016). That is a 4 stop increase. To me, that was more important than going from 6MP to 24MP.
    • A D3400 + 18-55 is a good basic dslr. It is in my plans to get as a "tweener" camera, between my P&S and D7200. Current price is about $500.
  15. Okay the search is over I have decided and picked up a Canon 5D, great price and in great shape. Thanks to all for the
  16. The Canon 5D is a marvelous camera. My old one is still doing good service with my daughter.

    You have chosen wisely, but do try to minimize 'access' to the sensor by dust, etc. The sensor is a little harder to clean yourself than on the later models of the 5D.
    Also, check to make sure that the fix (link) on the mirror has been done. The 'free' fix is past, but hopefully yours has already been done. It may not affect yours, in any case.

    Camera of the Year 2005

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  17. Thanks, I remember that story in popphoto magazine, took a few shoots today and I used a older Canon EF 50mm 1.8 series I lens
    and the shot's were really sharp and colorful.
  18. But mirrorless burning a lot of battery just looking through viewfinder and not shooting. Sony finally came out with a bigger battery in the new A7RIII. Big price jump from used 5D to new Sony A7RIII.

    I think a used Nikon D750 may give you a lot of bang for the buck if you are not vested in lenses yet. A D3S would be great too.
  19. I had a D3 and I alway's grabbed my Fuji or micro 4/3rd's, at one point the D3 just sat there for a year not
    being used so I sold it and my lenses. The 5D is a lot smaller to take around and take pictures.

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