Pretty much every day I get at least one e-mail asking this question. I decided to answer it once and for all.
[Before I begin, let me say that I loved my Canon. Loved my Canon glass. I
was very sad to part with the brand that started my business. I have nothing
against Canon...this was a personal preference.]
When I first got into photography, I didn’t really do any research besides
asking around to see what my friends were shooting with at the time. I ended up
with a Canon Rebel XT. I could afford it. That’s it. No other rhyme or reason.
Of course, as my business grew, I realized the Rebel wasn’t going to cut it
(especially for birth photography), so I moved up to the full frame Canon 5D
and wow! My post-processing time was cut by 75%!! I loved that camera and we
did wonderful things together for about 2 years.
Then, when the MII was released, I knew I needed a back up body, so I thought
I’d keep my 5D and get the MII because of the video capabilities. Early
on, I knew something was awry with my MII, but I couldn’t figure out what. I
started to notice that every 3rd-4th image was soft or just completely out
of focus…but for no real reason. I chalked it up to user error, but I couldn’t escape the nagging
feeling that it wasn’t–I mean, I’d been doing this for more than 2 years, I
should know how to use my camera and get crisp images by now. Eventually,
I sent the MII to be examined and Canon replaced the entire AF system,
All was well. For about a month. And then again, soft shots.
After sending it in for the 4th time and having the AF system replaced 3 times, I decided enough was enough. But what to do? I didn’t
want to go back to the 5D because I LOVED the high ISO capabilities of the MII.
I didn’t want another MII because I didn’t trust it. I could upgrade to the
MIII, but I was worried I was going to run into the same issues. So, I started
to look around at the work of my colleagues that I admired and little by
little, I saw that most of them were shooting Nikon. Everyone was always talking about
how great the AF system was for Nikon, how the controls are so much more
At a workshop during the summer of ’10, I took a few shots with
a friend’s D700. It was awkward for me…like driving on the other side of the
highway. I wasn’t sure I could justify a switch. I had invested SO much in
Canon already. But when I got home, I opened up the images in Bridge. I would zoom in on each
one and hold my breath like I normally do when I’m looking at my Canon images
and lo and behold…every single one of those puppies was in perfect focus.
Crisp. Clear. Sharp as a tack. User error my left foot.
By the end of that week, I had a D700 in my hands and was selling off every bit
of my Canon gear. I had already taken the month off for business planning so I was able
to practice, practice, practice and get comfortable with Nikon (everything is
different…even the direction you zoom and change lenses is opposite). It
didn’t take me long at all though because, like everyone had always told me,
Nikon was indeed much more intuitive. I was happy. Very happy.
I will say that skin tones are a little bit trickier with the D700 as opposed
to my Canon cameras, but I got over that. I can adjust skin tones pretty
quickly in RAW, but focus isn’t something I was able to fake very well. I also find that the D700 will blow highlights a lot quicker than my Canon, but again, I can deal with that just by getting my exposure right.
I don’t write all of this out to try to convince someone one way or the other,
but I do encourage you to try/rent several camera bodies before you invest. I
wish I had done that because financially, it wasn’t the wisest move in the
world to switch over. I’ve heard from plenty of people who have the MII and
have loved it. Perhaps I got a lemon. It’s not that I don’t recommend the MII or any Canon camera, but for
now, I will happily gloat over the D700 to all who will listen!
P.S. FWIW, I *rarely* used the video on the MII. I found that just don’t think like a videographer. I’m going to leave that up to the pros in that field.
P.P.S. If you’d like to chat more about this issue or are looking for more
photography tips and resources, definitely check out becoming a member
of Pinkle Toes 4 Photographers.
P.P.P.S. Have you voted?