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Thread: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

  1. #1
    asabet
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    I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    for my 70 year old dad.

    I shoot with a D700 now, and I'm very happy with it. My father has been using a 20D and Canon 17-55 IS for a few years now. I think now is a good time for me to get him either the D700 or a 5D II.

    My dad likes to take non-flash candid photos of friends and family, which is why I think one of these low light beasts is a good match. He occasionally photographs scenics. Autofocus is a must for him. He's not as strong as he used to be, so I don't think he'll be that well off with one of the 24-70/2.8 zooms. He has a bit of a tremor, so I think image stabilization will help him quite a bit. That leaves me with the D700 and Nikon 24-105 VR versus the 5D II and 24-105 IS. I should also mention that my dad is a JPEG shooter who doesn't like to postprocess really at all.

    As I see it, in favor of the D700:
    - Able to set Auto ISO higher
    - Shorter shutter lag
    - Better high ISO performance from in-camera JPEGs?
    - Smaller file size = easier on computer time

    In favor of 5D II
    - Better lens in this case
    - He's be used to the Canon menus/controls
    - More detailed scenics

    Honestly I think he'd be just as well off with a D300 or 50D and one of the 17-55 stabilized zooms, but for a couple reasons I won't mention, I'm not going to go that route.

    Any advice? I'm leaning towards buying the 5D II for him, but it's almost a coin flip.

  2. #2
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    I would think that size,weight and ease of use would be the most important factors. Shooting jpegs and not liking post processing would make me question the need for FF sensor class DSLR. I would also guess that he will be happier with a zoom range no wider than a 35MM FOV ..simply because its hard to get in that close .

    The auto ISO feature could be a significant improvement over his 20D. Setting the minimum shutter speed at 1/250 and letting the ISO vary will probably improve his number of sharp images. VR helps but it helps most down in the 1/30 range .

    Changing systems isn t fun so I would go toward the 5DII which will be an easy upgrade . Unless he enjoys reading the manuals and experimenting with the various settings ..moving to Nikon will cause frustration. I went from a 20d to a 5d ....no sweat..then to a D3...much longer learning curve.

    I don t see the requirements as being so specific to justify switching from the Canon.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    I think an old dog likes learning new tricks. Get him the D700, set it for him and he will enjoy the shooting. Plus, you can get it for him right now rather than waiting for the 5Dm2 to ship.

    -Brad

  4. #4
    asabet
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    I would think that size,weight and ease of use would be the most important factors.

    Yes, I agree those are important!

    Shooting jpegs and not liking post processing would make me question the need for FF sensor class DSLR.

    True, but still that's the class I've decided on him for better or for worse .

    I would also guess that he will be happier with a zoom range no wider than a 35MM FOV ..simply because its hard to get in that close .

    Given his occasional landscape shots, I think covering 28-85mm would have him covered.

    The auto ISO feature could be a significant improvement over his 20D. Setting the minimum shutter speed at 1/250 and letting the ISO vary will probably improve his number of sharp images. VR helps but it helps most down in the 1/30 range .

    That's probably the strongest argument I can think of for the Nikon. The 5D II won't let him use auto ISO with shutter speed set to 1/250s in Av mode (which is the mode he likes to use for > 90% of his photography). Instead, it automatically sets the shutter speed to 1/focal length, which probably isn't fast enough for him even with image stabilization.

    Changing systems isn t fun so I would go toward the 5DII which will be an easy upgrade.

    That's probably the strongest factor for the 5D II.

    Unless he enjoys reading the manuals and experimenting with the various settings ..moving to Nikon will cause frustration. I went from a 20d to a 5d ....no sweat..then to a D3...much longer learning curve.

    He is technologically inclined, but I've never seen him crack a manual . Still, I've been using the D700 so I can teach him the basics.

    I don t see the requirements as being so specific to justify switching from the Canon.

    His requirements aren't even specific enough to justify switching from the 20D . Seriously though, you're right about that.

    ----------------------------

    I think an old dog likes learning new tricks. Get him the D700, set it for him and he will enjoy the shooting. Plus, you can get it for him right now rather than waiting for the 5Dm2 to ship.

    Also a good point Brad. The novelty of a new system may inspire him to shoot more.

    ----------------------------

    I take it that the two of you feel that the 24-105L vs 24-105 VR isn't such a big factor in this decision?

  5. #5
    asabet
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    The main thing keeping me from clicking pre-order on a 5D II/24-105L kit is the inflexible auto ISO. When I look at my dad's photos, his #1 problem is handshake blur. Otherwise, the Canon seems to have the better lens, more megapixels for cropping (he crops often), and will be the easiest for him to use.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    Amin,
    How large are his prints? I don't think the megapixel difference will be apparent unless he's always printing 16x20. Why not let him try your D700 and see if he likes it? I think the lenses are a dead heat.
    -Brad

  7. #7
    asabet
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    Brad,
    He almost never prints over 8x10", but sometimes he crops a fair bit. Having him try the D700 is a good idea, though it'll be a while before I see him.

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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    How about the new Nikon D90? You could save yourself a lot of $ (buy him a couple of nice primes or a new computer as well?) plus he could shoot movies. It supposedly has as good if not better guts than the D300, just not all the seals and extra weight.

    Unless he has a state of the art computer system the 21mp sensor of the 5DII is going to be a drag

  9. #9
    asabet
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    I talked some more with my dad, and I'm thinking he will be more comfortable sticking with Canon. He also really liked the sound of the 24-105 IS, especially the fact that it is both wider and longer than his current standard zoom lens. He also likes the idea that he can use the resolution for "digital zoom", avoiding the need to carry a heavier lens for the occasional telephoto capture. For low light, I'll probably advise him to use the reduced size (11MB) JPEG mode.

    I've gone ahead and placed the pre-order on Amazon for the 5D II & 24-105 lens kit.

    Thanks for the advice Charles, Roger, and Brad!

  10. #10
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    Somehow I think you are itching to try the new 5DII. Seems like a lot of camera for what he is going to do with it. I know you said he wants to stick Canon or I would have also said the D90.

    Or if you want to go really radical a new G1 with the regular 4/3 - 25 lux...not sure how balanced this will be, but he has a small package for outdoor and a very fast indoor camera.

  11. #11
    asabet
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    Hi Terry,
    Sure I'd like to try it . However, I'm quite sure the D700 is the better choice for me, and I wouldn't pick the wrong camera for my dad just so I can get my hands on it!

  12. #12
    Member Jeff Turner's Avatar
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    Hello I am new to this forum and very much like the discussions that happen here.

    I very much agree with your choice for your Dad. For small format digital, I use both a Nikon D3 and Canon 5D for different applications. They each have their strengths. Canon's menus are far easier to navigate than are Nikon's, and they can each capture amazing images. I pre-ordered a 5D II also.
    Jeff T.
    Jeff Turner's Emerging Light Photography
    http://www.EmergingLightPhotography.com

  13. #13
    ddk
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    Canon rules again!

    This should help make up your mind, I know that it did for me. Disclaimer I'm not a Canon user now but I'm becoming one again!

    http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/control...articleID=2086

  14. #14
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    D300 might be the right choice also. Auto ISO and on board flash , does not need the horsepower or FF of the D700 plus a good price. Hell maybe even a G10 . Question really comes down to how much does he want to work at it and carry
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  15. #15
    asabet
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    Hi David, I saw that. Not relevant to my decision since my dad has no interest in video, but very impressive all the same! At any rate, my pre-order is in. Who knows, maybe he'll have fun with the video capability .

  16. #16
    asabet
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    D300 might be the right choice also. Auto ISO and on board flash , does not need the horsepower or FF of the D700 plus a good price. Hell maybe even a G10 . Question really comes down to how much does he want to work at it and carry
    Hi Guy, thanks for your input. To be honest, I think the combination of FF and the idea that he has the "latest and greatest" will push him to get out more and try new things, while staying with Canon will make the transition relatively painless. If he ends up not using it (which is very possible since he still works six days a week and Sunday he ends up doing whatever my mom decides) then my brother will end up with a nice upgrade from his 40D.

  17. #17
    ddk
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    Hi David, I saw that. Not relevant to my decision since my dad has no interest in video, but very impressive all the same! At any rate, my pre-order is in. Who knows, maybe he'll have fun with the video capability .
    Hi Amin,

    My pre-order just went in too after seeing this video. I'm still a dad with a camcorder and a camera running after his 3 year old and this is just great!

  18. #18
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    The video on it does make this a interesting thing to have for the hobbyist chasing his kids around. Have to agree with that
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  19. #19
    asabet
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    David and Guy, that's for sure. I have two boys aged 4 and 5, and I would love to have video capability in my DSLR. My dad, OTOH, would look pretty strange with a video camera chasing after my brother and me .

  20. #20
    ddk
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    The video on it does make this a interesting thing to have for the hobbyist chasing his kids around. Have to agree with that
    I used myself as an example but the video really has a lot of practical uses for any wedding/event pro, even your recent fashion shoot in NYC could always be spiced up with a video track or two. Or video taping behind the scenes while you're doing a shoot could be quite helpful as a promo piece or just as a reminder for a lighting setup or anything else that needs recording, there are are really a myriad of uses to have video along with your stills.

  21. #21
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    Re: I'm having trouble picking D700 or 5D II...

    Hi Amin
    I have been trying to decide between these two cameras myself. I'm also upgrading from a Canon subframe DSLR. I am more than a little conflicted with respect to the 5D Mk II specifications. Twenty one Mpixels means most of my glass will need replacing and possibly my computer as well. If I ever wanted to go Nikon, now's the time.

    The convergence of video and photography is both good and bad. Wedding and reportage photographers will probably love the HD video and buy the 5D MkII in large numbers. However, for someone who just takes photos its a significant financial burden to embrace video. Video places more stringent demands on the tripod/head than photography. Video tripods/fluidic heads are several times more expensive than photo equivalents. Video editors capable of editing large HD files are also not cheap (and you thought Photoshop was hard to learn), not to mention massive amounts of processing power, RAM and disk storage to edit/render and store the files. I'm not going to mention the time requirement.

    Given the 5D Mk II is a photo, not a video camera, the money spent incorporating HD video should have been put into functions such as a single button mirror lock, good auto ISO and weather sealing; features that are useful to photographers. The good news is you don't have to use the HD video capability, the bad news is you do have to pay for it .

    Paul
    Last edited by Paul_Kerfoot; 4th November 2008 at 13:57.

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