September 4, 2008 03:03 by Adrian

It brings me back to the time in which I myself was like any newbie checking out which is the best dSLR is out there. Oh come on, I'm not that old! my memories aren't in black and white ya.. Tongue out

Truth be told there are two front runners, Canon and Nikon. I've focused my review here on these two.

My purchasing decision bores down to 3 things, functionality, practicality and expandability.

Lets talk about functionality: -

 

  • • The dSLR needs to take photos.. duh!
  • • Has a good acceptable ISO, preferably 1600
  • • Accurate metering and fast autofocus.

 

In this area, Nikon is famous for their accurate metering system while Canon has the higher AF count (at that time of course), decided that I can still take the picture with fewer AF points (more recomposure work) as long I have a reliable metering reading. The last thing that I need is to take countless snaps to determine whether to + or - the exposure from scene to scene. Although granted that I would have needed time to check whether Nikon's fame in accurate metering is at all true, I didn't have that luxury to test either Canon or Nikon for any extended period of time. Hence I went with general wisdom. Nikon.

The second category is practicality.

 

  • • The grip design must be ergonomic enough for me to hold it for periods aka comfortable and yet fits securely on my hand.
  • • Placement of controls and buttons must be at easy to reach places.

     

    This category I feel that most people take for granted. Good ergonomics can mean either sitting on a hard plastic chair or sitting on a comfy sofa. I've tried all the Canon grips from the 350d, 400d, 450d, 30d and 40d and from Nikon starting from D40x, D80, D200, D300, D700 and D3. I can say both camps that their grips has been consistent throughout which is a good thing. The bad thing is whether it is consistently good or consistently bad that is the problem.

    Nikon ergonomics has been superb. Just hold it and you'll feel that the grip is made to be held where as the Canon grips never quite felt comfy no matter how I tried to accommodate to it. Which is also another thing, why must I accommodate to it? shouldn't it be the other way around?

    The other issue is the buttons or more importantly the command dials. These dials will be the ones that gives you instant quick changes to the camera settings. When taking events, moments disappear in split seconds and I need something that allows me to be quick. Strangely, even Canon's higher models like the 30D / 40D doesn't come with two command dials like the Nikon. No, the big round selector isn't a command dial and it is strange to put my thumb in such an angle to move it in the first place.

    Nikon wins again both with having 2 command dials neatly and practically placed both in front and back. Couple that with amazing ergonomics, it wins again.

    Finally, expandability.

     

    • • Need to have a wide range of lenses and other equipments such as flashes etc.

       

      In this category, Nikon and Canon are neck to neck with years of heritage of lenses in its stable. Nikon may argue that the EOS system uses a different mount which limits it to lens made since 1980's unlike the Nikon F mount, which is compatible to any Nikon made lens that dates back since 1959. Frankly I don't quite care since with newer technology in making lenses, their special coatings and gizmos literally guarantees that I won't be looking that far back for lenses. People who argues that older lenses are better (When there have new lenses with those ED glasses and Nano Crystal coating) are just being too nostalgic.

      I still say Nikon wins in this category. Not because of its F mount but rather the affordability of the lens itself. Canon's L range is simply crazy. 50mm f/1.2L lens will set you back RM8k, 85mm f/1.2L will further rape it by another RM3k. I'll write more about why I don't see that big a deal in f/1.2 and the price paid for it.

      Compare that with the 105mm f/2.8 Macro Nikkor which comes in at RM3k. Or better yet the best wide angle lens the famous 14-24mm f/2.8 Nikkor costs around RM5k. Now compare that with a 14mm f/2.8 II USM Canon that is selling for more than RM6k. Oh by the way, this Nikon's wide angle zoom is sharper than Canon's best prime within the same focal length. And its CHEAPER! 

      In the long run, it'll save me a lot of $.

      Conclusion,

      Do I even need to do one? Its no more a surprise that I end up using Nikon instead of Canon. With the D3/D300/D700/D90 line up, my choice to invest into the Nikon system is well paid of. Oh yeah did I mention that Nikon Malaysia provides free sensor cleaning at their main office at PJ State?

      Nikon the official camera for Ardent Expressions.

      Anyway, do check out Preston Mack who shoots for Disney, GM, Pillsbury, ESPN, Forbes, Business Weekly and etc. Do read his reasons for dumping Canon for Nikon. Read the article here .


      September 4, 2008 02:34 by Adrian

      Photography was long ago during the film days assessable to a privilege few but now, its almost a cult following! with camps from different brand manufacturers minus the naked bond fire dancing ritual, which wouldn't be all that bad.. but sadly its not..

      Now the photography world is split into different categories, Professionals, Semi-Pros, Serious-Amateurs and Amateurs and oh yeah.. posers..

      Just last Sunday (31st August 2008) at Nikon's booth @ 1 Utama, an old man who to me looked like a slacker, was checking out the Nikon's flagship D3. Ahhh.. the D3.. so reminds me of those martial art shows like Bruce Lee whacking 10-20 guys at the same time.. the D3 aka Bruce Lee of cameras ass kicked every other dSLR. We'll get to why later.. back to the story of that old dude.. 

      So this fella took the D3 and the Nikon staff (isn't it cool to get out of the Nikon HQ and hang out in 1U for 2 weeks?) coupled it with a fast f/2.8 DX lens for him to try it out. Snap Snap.. at ISO6400.. snap snap.. and then he complained that it is noisy and what nots.. this dude so falls into the poser category. In this category, one is entitled to put everything down as long as it makes them look superior even at the expense of making oneself a fool.

      I've tested many cameras of different manufacturers, very rarely you'll find a camera that will hit ISO6400 (excluding those Hi modes, that's just cheating) and none has hit the low noise bulls eye like the D3. But this dude still complained! I tho salute that cool Nikon rep, who in the end just apologized to him and that this is all that Nikon can do. If I had known him better, I would have thought that that statement he made had a healthy dose of sarcasm laced on it.Tho that old dude being a poser, walked away feeling like a winner! after that both Nikon rep and myself just shake our heads and laughed.

      So there folks, there are many people out there in all walks of life. We take the good with the bad ya! A healthy dose of humor will keep one from turning serial killer or land oneself at Arkam mental asylum or locally known as Tanjung Rambutan.