Canon or Nikon? Part II

Sunset over the Cascades from Mount Baker Ski Area by Jay Goodrich

Sunset over the Cascades from Mount Baker Ski Area, © Jay Goodrich

In a recent post I asked all of you to give me some input on whether you were shooting with Canon, Nikon or “the rest” and if so why. The response was extremely helpful in my decision making process. I bet all of you are wondering what I did? Well, I did some more research, and then I made a judgement call for now. I have to say that I am stunned with what Nikon’s in-camera high ISO noise reduction is capable of, I have never seen anything like it. And that feature alone has me drooling for the yellow and black. I, however, needed to take into account that the switch may not have made the most economic sense, even with the rebates that were available at the time. The other thing is that I firmly believe it is not the camera, it is the photographer that produces the image and if you are good photographer you can create a best selling coffee table book using just your iPhone.

To further confuse my indecisiveness, in a recent workshop that I taught, I did a little poll to see where the numbers were at with the two major manufactures. There were 60 people in the workshop, which had me feeling like this was a pretty good sized class to get a good cross section from. With that in mind, 56% of the people were using Canon equipment, 31% of the people were using Nikon, and the remaining 13% were using Pentax, Olympus, or Sony. I know I didn’t break out the remaining manufacturers and that is because this was a selfish exercise just for me. If you recall, due to the systems that Canon and Nikon have available for the pro, I feel they are the only companies for me to go with due to the fact that I focus on adventure, nature, and architecture photography–three very different disciplines with very different equipment needs.

The end still wasn’t in sight for me though. I made a call to my local Canon Rep. I wanted to discuss my concerns, likes and dislikes, needs, and options with him. This is when the decision finally came. The local Rep for Canon is one of the nicest, down to earth, and reasonable people I have ever known, and it is with the hour plus long conversation that we had, where I came to terms with what I needed to do. I needed to stay with Canon, for now. When building a business, it is the relationships that you make along the way that will help guide you through even some of the toughest times. The key is to speak up and see what they have to say. One of my main concerns with Canon was the autofocus issues that have been prevalent since the release of the 1D Mark III. My Rep addressed these issues and explained to me what Canon was doing to rectify the situation. And knowing my Rep, made me believe that was truly the case.

Now, with a strong knowledge base, I created a game plan. I sold my 600mm f/4 lens. Took that money and purchased a new 1D Mark IV and the new 70-200 f/2.8 IS II zoom. Then, I sold my 1D Mark III and now I am purchasing the new 1.4x and 2x extenders. Then I am going to purchase the new 200-400 f/4 IS lens when it becomes available and either a new 500mm or 600mm. The mission was to get out of the older gear before the new gear hits the streets and everyone wants out of their old stuff. For once I feel ahead of the crowd on this. I have been working that new 1D to death. I haven’t even owned it a month and have already shot close to 10,000 images with it. I have to say that this camera coupled with the new 70-200 is one of my favorite camera/lens combinations of all time. The autofocus is ridiculously fast and the images just look spectacular. Yes, I know this camera isn’t competing with Nikon’s noise reduction ability, and at some point my gear may all start with the letter N, but for now, I am very happy with Canon yet again.

The included image was taken hand-held with my 1D Mark IV, 70-200mm f/2.8 II lens and a 1.4x converter at ISO 400, shutter 1/40, aperture f/10, and lens zoomed to 280mm. Processed minimally with only an Auto Curves adjustment in Photoshop and two pieces of dust cloned out. Yes hand-held! Did I mention how happy I am with the new camera/lens combination.