I'd frame the decision a little differently. My questions would be:
Originally Posted by jonoslack
1. What lenses are available for Camera X that best match your shooting style?
2. Would you rather have:
a) excellent high ISO; or
b) excellent resolution with a weak aa filter?
And the answers:
1. For full-frame, I rarely have a need for anything wider than 28mm or longer than 90mm plus I do have a strong preference for fast primes. I didn't buy a Nikkor 24-70 (too wide and not long enough) so I'd be unlikely to purchase the Zeiss 24-70. I did buy a Nikkor 17-35 to use on my D300 because on a DX sensor its range includes the 28mm and 40mm focal lengths I like. I'd be much less likely to use it on a full-frame camera, therefore that reduces the appeal of the Zeiss 16-35. So the only Zeiss ZA lens that would be useful to me is the 85/1.4. Whereas for a full-frame Nikon camera I have an almost perfect selection of Zeiss, Nikkor, and Voigtlander primes between 28mm and 90mm. All I need is a Nikkor 85/1.4 and I'm good.
2. Naturally, I'd prefer excellent high ISO and excellent resolution with a weak aa filter -- an 18-megapixel clean high ISO camera would be ideal. But I doubt that will happen. So, given the lens choices, I'm probably best off picking up a D700 and hoping that Nikon release a 24-megapixel D800 sooner rather than later.
In a fascinating DPReview thread about Nikon's next full-frame models, Thom Hogan makes some cogent observations about Nikon's current positioning as a 12-megapixel company:
The highest end of your product line is a positioning statement (as is the lowest). Right now Nikon's positioning is "we're a 12mp company." Give or take 2mp that applies from the P6000 through to the D3 now. The two companies Nikon needs to worry about, Canon and Sony, have made a different statement.and what Nikon needs to do to alter that positioning:
I would judge Nikon to be very weak at the low end (Coolpix and consumer DSLR) right now, and non-existent at the high-end (high megapixel count DSLR). That's the two ends of their positioning statement at the moment.
...serious shooters--exactly the kind that Nikon has catered to and who've been at the heart of Nikon's up/down cycles for both film and digital--are currently asking for more than 12mp in FX. They'll be asking for more than 12mp in DX sometime in the next 12 months. To fully satisfy those shooters, Nikon would need:As much as some other forum members are excited about the rumored Nikon MX format camera, I regard it -- as does Thom Hogan -- as a potential disaster if Nikon sees the MX camera as a replacement for the D3x/D800 models.
Mar 09: D3x (18mp or higher FX), no higher than US$4999
May 09: D800 (18mp or higher FX in D700 body), no higher than US$2999
Aug 09: D400 (14-16mp DX in D300 body with video), no higher than US$1799
Then, of course, there's the missing lenses, but don't get me started on that ;~)
So I kind of feel as though I'm stuck. The Sony A900 has neither the lenses I want nor the high ISO performance. And while the Canon 5D Mark II may well have excellent high resolution and high ISO, it lacks the lenses I want, its AF is (according to the usual unreliable sources) inferior to what I'm used to with the D300 and, in any case, (like you, Jono) I have an instinctive (albeit childish) aversion to the Canon behemoth.
Absolutely! Even though I might be feeling stuck, you've really helped me to clarify what is of most importance. Many thanks...
Originally Posted by jonoslack