So I have, indeed, committed to switching from Canon to Nikon, recently. After further reflection/internal debate/countless budget calculations, I ultimately decided on the Nikon D700 paired with the Nikon 24-70 2.8. Not the cheapest scenario–believe me, I tried really hard NOT to decide on this solution–but having shot with the Canon 5DM2 for the past year and a half and Canon’s own 24-70…I ultimately realized I couldn’t walk away from the stunning image quality that both a full frame sensor offers and that the pro grade 24-70 2.8 can deliver. It’s like the difference between HD TV and standard antennae broadcast. A crop sensor camera is certainly pretty good and more than acceptable…but it’s like comparing a brand new Honda to a brand new Jaguar.
The only reason I began to consider an alternative to Canon was the 5DM2’s horrendous autofocusing. The image quality of that camera is outstanding, with great looking shots at 3200 ISO and even 6400. The D700 is said to be even more impressive than the 5DM2. The only thing the D700 lacks is the ability to shoot video. But even though I tried dabbling in video and even shot and edited a couple of promo clips for some bands, my energy is probably 95% to 99% directed towards stills. Plus, my eventual backup/secondary camera will most likely be the new D7000, which is expected to be the best dSLR for video from Nikon to this point.
Now, realistically, for a large majority of work that I get paid for, I’ll be honest, since most of it is just for the internet at sizes of usually 600 pixels by 400 pixels…the average lay person is not going to “see” the difference. But I do. Unfortunately, lol. But there’s been the occasional time when I’ve shot portraits or publicity/modeling photos, not to mention weddings, where this format will serve me especially well. Did I say how much I demand high quality high ISO performance? A ton of what I shoot is in especially dim and poorly lit environments that demand a combination of high ISO, fast aperture and slow shutter speed. The only thing the lens lacks is VR (vibration control; Canon calls it Image Stabilization). A well performing high ISO can negate the need for VR; ie can shoot at perhaps 1/60th or 1/80th at 3200 ISO whereas at 1600 ISO it would require a 1/30th or so. Doable, but requires two steady hands.
But again, the poor, slow autofocus and glacial frames per second rate (less than four seconds) were two huge factors in leading me here. I tried to stopgap it by purchasing the Canon 7D as the 5DM2’s companion, but have had issues with it to some degree from the moment I bought it. I gave that camera so many chances, and it’s still a great camera, but the allure of what the D700 can offer me is too great. When I rented the D300s I was not impressed by its high ISO performance (in fact distinctly disappointed, especially compared to the 7Ds, which turned out to be fairly impressive after all, although not at the level of the 5DM2), but once I learned the nuances of the Nikon, especially its continuous AF mode, I was blown away. The D700 isn’t as fast as the D300s, but it’s significantly faster than the 5DM2.
So at this stage I’m in the process of selling my Canon gear in order to pay for the Nikon stuff. With a sigh I shipped off the 24-70 2.8 L, and I’m waiting on the money to clear before I part with the 5DM2 once and for all. Since the D7000 seems to be pre-sold out, it may turn out to be a high demand item that’s never in stock, forcing me to hold on to the 7D as my backup camera just a little longer. (I’m pretty set on the D7000 and not the D300s as being my second camera.) The logistics involved are just frustrating because I’m in a slow developing “wait” mode while auctions run their course, money is sent but is on hold pending shipment of the item, etc…(I prefer eBay/PayPal as my method of selling equipment because of the security).
Hopefully I may be able to scrounge up enough to at least buy the D700 body and maybe rent the 24-70 for this coming weekend’s shoots (and a flash, too). I anticipate owning a full set up (camera body, lens, flash) by the end of next week, or the week after.