Guest post: switching from Nikon to Canon

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Today's guest post on switching from Nikon to Canon is by Tatsu Ikeda (Website | Flickr | Facebook | Twitter):

I bought a Nikon D80 in 2008 for a vacation trip, because I simply didn't own a camera, not even a cellphone one. Looking back, I probably bought it against Canon's offerings because the Rebels looked pretty low-rent and the 50D was out of my budget. Because the D80 was towards end-of-life, the price was $200 less than its intro. It seemed reasonable and I remember taking hundreds of terrible photos in Argentina with a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 zoom that fell apart inside after a year. (Swore off Sigma zooms after that, but not their primes.)

Fast-forward 60,000 photos to 2012 and I graduated to Nikon's D800. I shoot events twice a week, EDM Nightclubs and events, a fair amount of food photography, and fashion. I try to stay as generalist as possible, despite it being a poor business strategy. By that time, I purchased 6 lenses for Nikon F mount, all of them full-frame and non-AF-S from various brands, Nikon, Tokina and Sigma. It was quite a surprise to learn that Nikon's lens mount goes back to the 1950's while Canon's only goes to the 1980's. I've read nearly every review about every lens for Nikon and Canon, including rare Contax, Zeiss, and Leica lenses retrofitted for either. Eventually I got over lens mania and settled down into a Sigma 20mm, an uncommon Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8 from Japan, an old Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 D, a “push-pull” Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 D, and a rare auto-focus Tokina 400mm f/4.5. I have a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D too, but it's mostly a body cap.

While Canon has lorded over Nikon in the 1980's, 1990's, and even 2000's, I definitely hear of many switchers to Nikon these days. It's pretty easy to see why. On technical merit, Nikon beats Canon at every price level, except for the 1DX vs D4. Plus, Canon is more expensive. Sure I looked at the 5D Mark III before I bought a D800. But 500 bucks more? No way, especially since all the reviews said the D800 had the best sensor of all time. But I never really tried out a Canon DSLR to be honest, except in stores.

Fast-forward to 2013 and another 60,000 photos when I'm all tucked in and cozy with my Nikon buttons, dials, menus, lens and looks. Got to hand it to Nikon on looks, by the way. They hired Giorgetto Giugiaro as their designer since the F3. If you dare to think a Canon looks better than a Nikon, take a look at a Maserati Ghibli and raise your expectations a bit!

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Anyway, I was hired to shoot the F1 or Formula One or FIA Grand Prix Race of America in Austin, Texas this year by Infiniti and All the photos had to be posted in real-time! Guess what, I needed Wi-Fi and the Canon 6D is the only game in town. Crazy, but true, the 6D is the only full-frame DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi using infrastructure mode. Sure you can have Wi-Fi attachments for Nikon, ($1000 and bigger than a SB-900 in the D800’s case!) but they cannot upload to real internet services at all. They make their own SSID or worse FTP site, which is not just an island; it's a sinking atoll! Okay, maybe you can see pictures on an iPad, but not what I needed at all.

So, I held my nose and rented a Canon 6D, a 24-70mm f/2.8 USM II L, a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM II L, and a 400mm f/5.6 USM L for 10 days with Might as well do it up right and give Canon a chance to make me sell all my crummy cheap Nikon gear, right? I spent $515 or so on the rental. Lenses were awesome, camera body was beat up, not good considering it’s a fairly new model.

The first thing I did and always do is calibrating lenses to the body. My experience with my stable of old cheap Nikon glass was that they are okay out of the eBay box, but once I utilized AF Fine Tune, they became very professional all of a sudden. I calibrated the 6D with the excellent Reikan FoCal desktop program. Thankfully, it was a lot easier to do than my D800 because unlike Nikon, FoCal for Canon is fully automated! Definitely, there’s a win for Canon. I was blown away that Canons will save two values for AF Fine Tune on a zoom lens, one for wide and one for tele. On my Nikon lenses, I literally wrote the AF Fine Tune values on each end of the zoom on post-it notes and have it stashed in my camera bag or not. Paper notes or trying to remember every lens AF Fine Tune number is not easy! The perfect system would have 3 values, far, near and middle and a built-in closed loop system for AF Fine-Tune for contrast, phase-detection, and infra-red AF assist lamps but I can keep dreaming!

Then I just tried to get used to Canon's menus and methodically went through every single menu item. I've heard Canon is more intuitive but to me, Canon arranges their menu horizontally while Nikon organizes vertical, no difference whatsoever. You start thinking the Canon menu system is a lot simpler, until you get to the custom settings and then things get crazy fast with things breaking out into dozens of sub-menus. Honestly, they are both pretty primitive and there is not a clear win on either side. Surely the Nikon D800 has more items in total than the Canon 6D, but they are not direct competitors. It didn't take long to setup, maybe an hour, hour and a half, but I was annoyed that I couldn't export the settings to a file on the SD card like Nikon. Well, maybe you can do it, please let me know if I am mistaken.

I did rent and my 6D was a bit sticky but I just didn't like the buttons and dials. First of all, why were the top plate buttons so small? Also the top plate LCD screen was harder to read than Nikon's, way harder! In daylight and infuriating at night, the display didn't have a smart way of being backlighted. You literally have to press the hardest button to press on the camera to light it up, and it times out too fast. Orange versus Green, well, I am not color-blind or anything, but I prefer green, when I see orange I think my skin-tone is off or something and start panicking.

Also, the Canon 430EX II Speedlight had a cheaper feel and definitely less features than my usual Nikon SB-700s. The buttons were much harder to press, tiny and indented, and doesn’t have the commander modes that the SB-700 has, nor the hard gels or even a bounce card. Like, absolutely no extras at all, feel lucky you get (2) LED AF Assist Lamps! It’s more like an expensive SB-600 to be honest, which Nikon doesn’t sell anymore. It did provide more consistent color than a SB-600 however, and that is what truly matters. The 600/580EX II and SB-900 are direct competitors, but some people get annoyed with the radio interference caused by the Canons when using PocketWizard. (I use them a lot, and carrying RF shields would be a hassle.) Otherwise the two “big guns” are pretty much the same, large cumbersome portable flashguns that are way too much money and with too little power for big studio light modifiers. The SB-700 is just perfect for all event shooting and some studio work. The best flashgun bar none, in my opinion. Plus the SC-29 sync cable by Nikon has no Canon equivalent! So Nikon kills Canon on flash, never mind that Nikon was always better with flash metering. Hardware and results-wise, there’s no comparison. I probably disliked the 430EX II the most out of my entire Canon experience. It’s too chintzy. I’d rather get a Yongnuo in all seriousness.

The Canon system of a jog-wheel surrounding an up-down-left-right controller was funny to me, but that's purely because I come from Nikon. Still, I got messed up on when to use the four-way versus the wheel and that never happened to me on Nikon, even when I was a total newbie. I prefer the twin-wheel Nikon way plus segregated four or eight-way controller, but to each his or her own. (I don’t know why Nikon hasn’t made them clickable like Olympus did, but oh well.) I live and die by the user-enabled center-click zoom feature to check focus and motion blur on Nikon and sorely wished it were available on Canon, but too bad. When you shoot professionally, no whining, you just shoot and shut the heck up.

When I was actually shooting, doing 1500 shots a day on 12-hour shifts, I pretty much enjoyed using the Canon 6D, it shoots beautifully. Ok, the thing crashed on me once and the error message was straight out of blue-screen-of-death, but I turned it off and on and no problem, I lost a few seconds of my life, no big whoop. The two things that pissed me off was "Where is the White Balance button?" and "What is up with this combo AE Compensation and AE Bracketing together in a god-forsaken menu item?" It took fantastic pictures as you can see from the race and its high-ISO performance was shocking good to me. There is quite a bit of conflicting information about who has the better high-ISO performance, but here is the truth, and don't skim over this paragraph. Nikon's sensor, err, Sony's, now available in the Alpha 7 and 7R, definitely bests Canon. I can easily push things up 2 stops on my D800 in Adobe Lightroom and there is no shadow noise that is going to be introduced. Canon on the other hand, well jeez, you can see noise at ISO 400 if you want to in RAW and it cannot be pushed as hard, I would say a stop less. Definitely a big deal since a stop is half the performance. Correspondingly, the dynamic range of the Nikon is going to be better. I know the 5D Mark III has a WB button thankfully, but it and the 6D have similar sensors, so while I am not comparing apples to apples, we know that Canon cannot compete with Nikon's D800. GOOD LORD!, though, Canon high-ISO absolutely wipes away Nikon’s sensor advantage in the end. Why? It's magic, I tell you. I would of called Canon's method "cheating" before, but it's just magic. When you compare a Canon RAW versus JPG, the difference is astonishing. The noise is just gone, and the detail is acceptable. I teach Adobe Lightroom part-time and have plenty of experience in Photoshop, there is no way I can de-noise like Canon does in-camera, not even with all the time I wanted. Bravo, Canon. I hate to say it, but in the real world, Canon does have better high-ISO, even if the lab tests show otherwise.

When you boil it down to essentials, photography is ISO, shutter and aperture and a lens as everyone knows. But in digital, Picture Style/Control and Highlight Control matter quite a bit, your safety net and film choice, if you will. I always was quite pleased with Nikon's D-Lighting system and Picture Control, but I knew that Canon had both highlight and shadow controls. Sadly, I was very disappointed with Canon on both the Picture Style and highlight/shadow clipping fronts. First of all, Canon ALO or Automatic Light Optimization is a total sham. It just radically shifts your camera metering and ISO to a point where you can't even guess proper exposure, and doesn't do didly to make your shadows better. Actually it's worse because Canon's shadows aren't that great to begin with. In other words, shadows get worse but highlights are total guesswork, as well as mid-tones. Furthermore it cancels Highlight Tone Priority, which is very analogous to Nikon's D-Lighting, but not as good. It's not as good subjectively and Nikon gives you 4 levels while Canon only 3 levels. I found Canon's Picture Styles or Controls or whatever quite garish. The skin tones on "Standard" are just off or too saturated or both. On the 6D, “Neutral” is definitely the way to go, with a bump up the Contrast a bit for a good SOOC look. I shoot "Standard" on Nikon for mostly everything and, yeah, I should shoot Neutral, but darn, Standard is pretty good on Nikon. Can't say the same for Canon. I do admit, the auto White Balance is better on the 6D than on my D800, and that's a total embarrassment for Nikon. Yet another draw, but finding the sweet spot on both Nikon and Canon, it’s a ton of work. It just shouldn’t be that hard.

My favorite Canon lens was the 400mm 5.6 L surprisingly, the cheapest of my rentals. The bokeh was really special, and blew away my ancient Tokina lens in that department, but not in sharpness. I bought my Tokina for a couple hundred bucks. The Canon is over a grand, so consider that. (However, my old Tokinas have custom chips which Tokina doesn’t make or service anymore. They usually don't work well on Nikon, so if you want them, you have to get one that was serviced at some point in the 1990s, good luck with that.) The Canon 70-200mm IS USM II L is the best zoom I have ever used, but I'm sure the Nikon equivalent is equally nice as well. My old 80-200mm D can't compete but I make do, on a professional level. I didn't like the 24-70mm USM II L at all, it distorted way too much at 24mm and it flared more than I expected. My old Tokina 28-70mm flares a lot too, but it's a more reasonable zoom range with less distortion and it's far more heavier-duty built, even stronger than my 80-200mm D, which Nikon still makes a variant of. Of course, the current Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 VR II G is going to be very similar to the Canon L, but the Canon is somewhat newer so it might have an edge in lab tests that don’t matter. They both extend while zooming, which leads to dust spots. I love that my Tokina 28-70mm doesn’t, so long as I have a filter on. Yay cheap lenses that nobody knows about!

In the end, I'm glad I did a full-on test with Canon, it was a great learning experience, while on a fast and furious job no less. We haven't even discussed metering, auto-focus or flash exposure, but since the era of face-detection has started, it's almost irrelevant. Nikon used to rule in all three areas, but the Mark III very easily leveled the playing field. Canon's ace in the hole is their high-ISO algorithm, however Nikon shooters have no reason to switch other than that, rest assured. I can't really say one is better than the other! You can only complain here and there about each, they both make great cameras. So that's a great segue-way to the complaints department, mostly directed at Nikon. The Nikon D610 is every bit better than the 6D except for Wi-Fi and that is Nikon's foolishness to not deliver Wi-Fi on full-frame. Too bad, because the D610 has the best ergonomics in a DSLR ever made. What a shame, Wi-Fi is so essential in 2013 and I just will not buy any camera without it going forward. I would gladly sell my D800 for a Nikon with real Wi-Fi, but the D5300 would force me to sell my entire lens collection, no way. For crop-sensor, again the Nikon D7100 overtakes the 70D in image quality, but stubbornly, no Wi-Fi. Are you getting the message, Nikon? Finally, is it not ridiculous that Nikon doesn't have S-RAW, or small RAW? I always shoot JPEG, but even with the latest Mac hardware, full-size RAW is a non-starter on 24+ megapixel cameras, never mind a D800. Canon just makes life easier and it's close enough in image quality so that's why Nikon is pitifully behind in sales numbers. It's a Betamax vs. VHS kind of war and Nikon is losing badly. Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi! I've tested the 70D's Wi-Fi against the 6D's and the 70D's is less buggy. So this is quite early and evolving, this new-fangled Wi-Fi thing, even for an innovator like Canon, even if Wi-Fi is over 10 years old. Nikon doesn't have to lose but they have to act fast and faster to consumer and professional trends. Nikon chooses to lose! The dF was an expensive lark and it's 4 year development cycle is no excuse for being completely oblivious to what's going on in the world. Listen to your customers and you'll do a lot better Nikon.

Let's review and take score.

Looks: Nikon
AF Fine Tune: Canon
Menus: Nikon (For being more customizable.)
Ergonomics: Nikon
Flash: Nikon
ISO: Canon
Picture Style/Control: Nikon
Highlight Protection: Nikon
Wi-Fi: Canon (2 points for this!)

I award 6 points to Nikon and 4 points to Canon, an inconsequential difference of opinion. It’s not exactly scientific, but as a working photographer who uses equipment as far as it will go, those were my findings taken as a whole experience from shopping to laying down photos for clients in Lightroom. I’m sure yours would be different, and that’s what blog comments are for! I can definitely see why some shooters would be attracted to Canon. Photojournalists and event shooters would love the punchy SOOC color and seamlessly easy high-ISO. S-RAW makes life easy too. Nobody got fired for buying IBM, as the saying goes. Nikon, with their endless selection of old used glass, is a bit more flexible for the tinkerer and professional trying to squeeze every last ounce of cost, efficiency and performance out of their gear. Studio work couldn’t get better than a D800. Nikon is overall cheaper than Canon counterparts. Like Avis, “We try harder,” said the Nikon engineers. Even though Canon is more innovative on consumer-friendly features while Nikon is more purely technically brilliant, they both make very similar DSLRs for every price point and type of consumer.

Happy Holidays, and please be sure to ask me about Lightroom and Photography lessons if interested, I teach amateurs and professionals alike! I hope you found my in the trenches testing of Canon versus Nikon helpful in your future decisions and please check out my photography at the following websites.

If you have an interesting idea for a guest postyou can contact me here.

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  • Sam V

    I don’t think the title is appropriately assigned. Not so much about a guy who decided to switch but highlighting the working differences between platforms. Very informative to read!

    • Global

      That’s not true — he switched over temporarily and reported his findings. I don’t know why it would have to be a “guy changing entire system.” And its clear he’s willing to use Canon in the future (if only for the Wifi ability and high ISOs), under certain work circumstances.

      I qualify that as “switching” (for specific or limited applications).

      • MyrddinWilt

        And more importantly, Nikon can erase half the advantages on the Canon side with one very simple and obvious fix – put WiFi in the bodies as standard.

        I am not a pro photographer, I make a distinction between my work and my hobbies. But if I was a professional photographer I would definitely make WiFi support a priority in my camera choice because it is a major productivity improvement.

        Add ons are never as good as built in support, especially when the add on is a clumsy and stupid as the Nikon professional wifi adapters. The EyeFi card gets the format right but it is utter crap, the thing has lousy software and is far too slow to be any use.

      • Sam V

        In this arena, it is well accepted that the ad hoc definition of “switching” systems is the Leaving of brand A and the Adoption of brand B. Dabbling, experimenting, temporarily trying out other brands is not “Switching” as we know it.

        I’m all for what happened here, but at the end of the article it wasn’t a case of “I left Nikon in the dust for Canon” as the title implied, and that’s all I’m saying.

        • Alex

          How long does one need to stay switched to validate the switch? Is one month ok? Thank you to the author for sharing his conclusions, it is good to have some feedback on a “switch” and I am generally on par with his comments. God I would love the D800 with a Canon autoWB/sRaw/color reproduction, that would save me so much time… but I am not yet ready to sacrifice everything else. It seems also true to me that an eye-fi card + panning technique will do better than switching bodies.

      • Ted Lee

        Renting a different system for a week isn’t ‘switching temporarily’, it’s basically trying another system on for size. Switching would have involved a purchase commitment, which he did not make. Anyway, as someone who owns both Nikon and Canon systems (5DM3 and a D7100), there are pluses and minus to each. Every photographer is going to value different features. Whichever system in total gets you closer to your ideal tools is the one you should pick. It really should be as simple as that.

  • Guest

    agreed. He didn’t change cameras. Poor title. As far as the issues, NIkon still rules the high ISO for most of all their cameras. I switched from Canon to Nikon December 2011 because of the AF issues in so many levels and the high-iso noise issues, among other issues. I do miss the small/Medium RAW in Canon and the simple dials, but I invested in a better Camera, have the Nikon D4 and D600’s. Great cameras.

  • Joseph

    “…even with the latest Mac hardware, full-size RAW is a non-starter on 24+ megapixel cameras”

    Holy crap I busted out laughing at this comment!! Dude, get with the times and ditch your expensive paperweight, otherwise known as an Apple. For about $1k you can build a killer system that eats 36mp RAW files for lunch. I can churn through hundreds of RAWs in Lightroom without a single hitch in an hour or two when I’m editing.

    Windows 7 is pretty much bulletproof (save for the same issues you’d have with poorly-written drivers from 3rd-party software as on OSX). I haven’t had a single crash since I built my system over a year ago.

    Seriously, it’s time to let go of your antiquated Mac.

    • Charlie

      seriously, Mac is WAY better. I bought the fastest Mac and it beat ANY windows machines I was running. Plus I have had 4 crashes with Windows had to START ALL OVER 4 times. Since changing to APPLE, never had any problems.

      • Global

        I think his comment was directed at PRICE, primarily. For $1K you can easily have a PC that handles the D800 with no issues at all.

        The article says that 36MP is a “no-starter” — so Joseph’s comment is at least valid, even if it mocks Apple. I don’t know Apple’s ability, but the majority of people use PCs, so worth hearing the facts about it.

        • Charlie

          sure, the majority of business people and population use windows, but the majority of creatives, artists, and photographers use mac.

          • Joseph

            HA! What a joke. This hasn’t been true for almost a decade.

          • BlueBomberTurbo

            Every job I’ve had in the graphic art industry in the past 10+ years has used PCs or was moving over from Mac to PC, except one. And that company went under. Hell, even the school I went to back in the day used PCs.

        • amaas

          For the same money you can have an i7 Mini with maxed RAM which also handles D800 files with no issues (but will probably be slower than the equivalent cost PC overall).

      • Joseph

        It sounds like you don’t know what the “save” function is for. Regardless, all computers can and will crash, but in this day and age, both Windows and OSX are pretty much the same when it comes to stability. So you pay 4x the price for a Mac, for what? If you like the OS, that’s totally fine, as it’s the only real reason to go that route. Otherwise, they are the same!

        A Mac is just a Dell in a shiny casing! Look it up and educate yourself.

        • Charlie

          oh please look it up. Apple has always had a closed system which was Steve Jobs design, where as Windows has an open system, allowing for viruses and crap, such as that I received from my DELL computers I bought, losing all my information, having to reinstall. everything over again. It’s not a debate.

          • Spy Black

            “Viruses and crap” only come in if you allow them. I haven’t used antivirus software in my PCs since my 1998 Windows 98 machines, and I’ve never had a problem.

            However I find it amusing that a modern Mac can’t handle 36 meg files. My two-year-old Win 7 machines running on a 6-core Phenom and 16 gigs of ram, 2 terabytes of storage and an 60 gig SSD scratch disk, which I built for $800 no less, has no problems with such large files.

            • neversink

              Wrong!!! I use Macs. I have no problems with 36 mp + files. If you don’t want to spend the money on a Mac, build a hackintosh machine and install OSX.
              I am seriously considering the new MacPro as my next computer.

            • Focuspuller

              This sub-thread is ridiculous. Anecdotes about individual systems becoming generalizations about Mac vs PC.

              And PC fanboys calling out Mac fanboys. How High School.

              Here’s an anecdote: I have a 2008 MacPro with 6GB of ram and a mechanical hard drive and have NO trouble with D800 Raw files in NX2. None.

            • mikeswitz

              So 1990’s Mac-PC who cares

            • Spy Black

              There’s no such thing as a 2008 Mac Pro, but I’ll assume you’re referring to an Intel-based G5 at least.

              The author’s comment about Macs and big file handling is not the first time I’ve heard this. I’ve seen similar comments repeated several times by Mac users over at F-Stoppers as well. In all honesty, I don’t know what machines they’re on, but I suspect they’re either iMacs or iBooks.

              I’ve worked for years on Macs (I’m a photographic retoucher by trade) and I would have to say that Intel-based G5s and the so-called Mac Pros, while they have had other problems, handling large files was acceptable on the G5s and not an issue on the “Pros”.

            • Focuspuller

              Sorry, but you are incorrect. Mac Pro model identifier 3,1. Early 2008, 2×2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon.

            • Spy Black

              OK, well, I suppose that was the first designation of the “Pro” moniker.

            • Focuspuller

              Actually, no. The first “Mac Pro” was announced in 2006.

            • Spy Black

              Well, OK, must be the first designation of the moniker. Secondary to the subject at hand tho.

            • BigEater

              Here’s how to remember which ones were the Pros: They weighed a ton and had sharp edges everywhere; if you accidentally banged your shin on one you would limp for a month.

            • Spy Black

              I did that with G5s as well.

            • dgr

              A modern Mac’s memory, HDD and what not is the same as PC’s. The author doesn’t know the difference.

              BTW, with Windows systems, if you are not checking for viruses and other malware you may never know you have an issue. Being on the web is enough to “allow them” in.

            • Spy Black

              “A modern Mac’s memory, HDD and what not is the same as PC’s.”

              The funny part is that you’re serious.

              “BTW, with Windows systems, if you are not checking for viruses and other
              malware you may never know you have an issue. Being on the web is
              enough to “allow them” in.”

              Obviously you don’t use a PC.

            • Joseph

              Haha, are you even serious???

              You do know that for years now Apple uses Intel chips and the same HDDs and file system as any off-the-shelf Dell, Acer, or whatever, right?

              Are you caught in a timewarp from 1999?

            • Spy Black

              Read right above me Joseph…

            • dgr

              Photography is my hobby. IT is my profession. I have 20+ years of experience with PCs. The hardware is the same even if the firmware is different. Plus if you don’t know that you can let malware in from visiting a website AND you don’t run an AV program then I’m sure you are already infected. Doesn’t matter what security settings your computer or browser has, the people writing the malware are always a step ahead.

            • Spy Black

              I check my machine all the time. No problem.

          • Joseph

            100% Bullshit. You are a Mac fanboy and ignorant. There’s no possibility of talking sense to such a person, sadly.

          • BlueBomberTurbo

            Current Windows OSs (7, 8, 8.1) come with anti-malware software as part of the OS, with constant definition updates.

            That being said, the only system crippling virus I’ve ever had was on my POS Dell computer at work (which is STILL running XP to this day… -_____- ). And that’s only because the tech guys put off upgrading my virus software for nearly a year (had to be installed by an admin account).

            Even with that, it didn’t destroy the OS, just made all files hidden. Signed in with another account, and fixed everything.

            • Spy Black

              My present internet machine is an old XP machine that I built back in 2007. Never ran antivirus on it, never had a problem.

            • dgr

              How would you know you never had a virus if you don’t check for it? Viruses don’t always just “destroy”.

            • Spy Black

              I run checks regularly to see what’s going on. Nothing.

            • ninpou_kobanashi

              Er, unprotected XP systems get infected in less than like 5 min with the Code Red virus on open Internet. It’s like a race to do a clean install and get updates before you get infected.

            • Spy Black

              I regularly check my machine. Nothing. Don’t know where you read this stuff, maybe on the internet?…

        • CSIROC

          Apple, Dell, HP, and most other computers are indeed all made by Foxconn.

      • lasse-san

        I own 4 different MAC computers (MacBook Pro and MacMini). I got at least 1-2 crashes a day – sorry mate, but my Windows 7 machine crashes maybe once in 3 months. Its simply not true that MAC is more stable. Since 10.7 more and more crashes happen on my machine. However Windows is not an option since too vulnerable to malware. Linux is not an option due to the lack of pro soft.

        • Charlie

          I mean a complete computer crash where you lose everything and have to reinstall windows and all your programs, not small software crashes where you can just restart your computer. There are no Trojans or any viruses in apple made computers. It’s a Closed system. Windows is an open system which allows viruses. This is a fact.

          • Spy Black


          • lasse-san

            “… a complete computer crash where you lose everything …” – 2 of my MBPs HDDs died in the past (with everything on it). However I used OsX TimeMachine, so no problem (+1 for OsX for that function).

            “… not small software crashes where you can just restart your computer …” – crashes suck. U do loose data from time to time and what you loose always is TIME.

            ” … no Trojans or any viruses in apple …” – there have been (DNSchanger, FlashBack, etc. there even exists a trojan toolkit for OsX). They do exist (e.g. gov. malware) and there will exist even more in the future since apples success, esp. as Mac users seem to be profitable victims.

            ” … It’s a Closed system.” – its not. If it was – like iOS is – I´d be using a different OS. What you probably mean is the limited hardware which is perfectly matched. No driver issues.

            • dgr

              While malware exists for Mac OSX like the ones you named, viruses do not.

          • Joseph

            Wow. Literally everything you wrote is wrong.

            The Mac OS is literally open for all kinds of viruses and trojans – it is the worst OS by far for security vulnerabilities. But most don’t bother to target it, with the low market share. As Apple has gotten more popular lately though, there has been a lot of attacks. And with no system to combat these intrusions, a lot of Mac fanatics are clueless to the fact that they have been infiltrated.

            Ignorance is bliss, as they say.

            • Nathan Willis

              Your are 100% correct!

            • dgr

              That population is much higher amongst Windows users. The average user doesn’t take or know how to take the proper precautions. Since there are no viruses (yes malware but no viruses) and less malware written for OSX, it at least makes OSX safer for the average user.

            • desmo

              Yup, just like any person can catch a virus so can any computer catch a virus.
              Mac’s aren’t perceived to be business systems so they don’t interest the people who write virus’s , trojans’ etc

          • ninpou_kobanashi

            Er, no, Macs are vulnerable to Trojans and viruses too. One reason why they don’t see that many problems is because they are a smaller target.

            My MAC runs both OSX and Windows.

        • neversink

          Funny, I use my Macs nearly every day and only have had to restart the computers about six times this year. However, I keep my hard drive tuned and always check for permissions errors, etc. and I don’t allow my desktop to be cluttered or .my in tonal drive to fill up anywhere near capacity.
          Oh yes — I max out ram on all my computers.

          • mikeswitz


          • ninpou_kobanashi

            Do you mean six times in 2014? JK 😉

        • dgr

          If your system crashes 1-2 times a day do you really think that is normal? That’s how all Macs are? Go get your system fixed, you probably have faulty hardware.

      • dgr

        TCO is usually much higher with Windows systems but people tend to see up front costs as the deciding factor. Although I still make a living dealing with Windows based systems my home computer is a Mac.

    • Ted Lee

      That’s a pretty ridiculous comment. Whether or not his Mac (or any PC for that matter) chokes on RAW files is dependent upon two factors – how much RAM is installed, and how fast the HD is. Give either computer adequate RAM and an SSD, and neither will have issues with handling the files.

      • Joseph

        Correct, but he says he has the “latest Mac hardware,” so I’m going to assume he has at least a decent system?

        • Marc J.

          Probably his sweet MacBook air.

        • Ted Lee

          Yeah – the Mac mini with a 4GB RAM/500GB 5400 HD is ‘latest Mac hardware’. So is a Macbook Air with 4GB/128GB SSD. Neither are what I’d call screamers. Unless he’s willing to define the specs of his ‘latest Mac hardware’, I call BS.

    • Graeme Hay

      Yeah, I’m really wondering on that too… I have a first Intel GEN Mac Pro and it can handle files like that (a bit slow but still) and my PC would eat D800 files for a snack, so not sure what he defines as “latest Mac hardware” but computing power shouldn’t be limiting.

    • Agreed. I have a 2 year old Thinkpad and also had a Dell that got stolen. The Dell had normal harddrive and 8Gb of RAM and it was a bit slow with the d800 files. The ThinkPad has double the RAM and an SSD. Boy, what a difference! With an SSD to process on and plenty of RAM, I can process NEFs just as fast as JPEGs. I import to the SSD drive and process there, when done copy to external harddrive (USB3). Cost? $1300 for the ThinkPad.

    • I had absolutely no problem processing D800 images on my last iMac from 2010. This comment is just total bullshit, frankly. These images are not that heavy duty, if you know what you’re doing.

      And current hardware? Just a completely ridiculous notion. I have a current top of the line iMac. Full SSD, quad core i7 3.5GHz, 32gb ram, etc. etc. There is absolutely no indication whatsoever that 24mp or 36mp images cause even the slightest amount of difficulty on a system like this.

      Just total nonsense from a photographer who doesn’t know how to shoot race cars.

      • amaas

        My MacBook Air (2013 13″ with base CPU and 8GB) is quite acceptable at processing D7100 and D600 RAWs when I’m in the field. I do most of my processing on my circa 2010 PC though (i5-2500k overclocked to 4GHz, 16GB RAM) and it flies.

        If you’re going to pay the money for 24+MP, why gimp yourself with cRAW? You’re just tossing away the core of what you payed for. And Nikon does offer an equivalent for storage (12bit lossy compression) which delivers better quality files than cRAW.

        Perhaps what the writer actually wants is a D700 with MB-D10 and an EN-EL4a. Stupid fast, great IQ aside from total pixel count and RAWs which are nice and small if set to 12bit lossy.

      • Frank

        Everybody responding to his bait has been punked.

    • I half agree. A few years back ago, I ended up going hackintosh. I was tired with the fact Apple had completely abandoned power users, with the lack of updates of the mac pro. I stopped paying the apple tax, and its amazing the performance you can get. At the time, the equivalent “mac pro” that I built (had never built my own PC up to that point) would have easily been in excess of $5000. And you couldn’t even buy it. I built my hack for Under $1000, including a cheapo 28″ monitor. Amazing value. I’ve been with apple for many years now, before it was completely hipster, and they are definatly a computer company in decline. Now they are a phone / tablet / music company really.

      For anyone who wonders, visit The guys on the forum are amazing, it takes a leap of faith to get started, but once you build your own hackpro, you’ll never look back.

    • Eric Duminil

      Well, “hundred of RAWs” in an hour or two is still slow as hell.
      His comment about the lack of sRAW in Nikon cameras is about the only interesting piece of information in this article.

      • Joseph

        FYI – I’m talking about editing them. The bottleneck isn’t anything computer related, but my editing speed. The computer chews through them perfectly. I can zoom up to 100% and work on blemishes or whatever effortlessly.

    • Jim

      My Mac was bought in 2009 and it supports my D800 fine. I do need to update the OS though. I have a hard drive dedicated to my images (1 terrabyte) and 8 gigabytes of RAM and can upgrade easily to more if need be.

    • Tooma

      J is right I own both a PC and high end MAC. The PC does most things better and faster. My MAC gets soooo hot editing. That slows it down considerably. I still like it though :). But for heavy jobs I always end up using my big rig PC.

  • broxibear

    Interesting read. Switching brands is such a personal thing and the smallest detail can swing you…I know many photographers who went from Nikon to Canon when digital first came along in dslrs and they never went back. I can’t see myself switching, not because I’m some sort of fanboy, but because I feel comfortable in my own mind with one over the other, sometimes that’s all that matters.
    Since you posted some F1 images, just want to say my thoughts are with Michael Schumacher…hoping for good news.

  • Ted Lee

    What is your main reason for wanting wifi on the camera – is it for control or for getting the images off wirelessly? the WU-1A adapter for the Nikon line works pretty well, although I find it ridiculous there isn’t an iPad client. It allows you to pull the images off the camera and control the shutter remotely, and has worked well for me on the D7100.

    • lasse-san

      I got the WU-1A too. On Google Play Store you find the Nikon programm easily. But on my iPad i just found it searching for “WMU”. So it exists, but hard to find in the AppStore.

  • Aldo

    Good pictures! Would love to see some panning in the future.

    • Elisse Poynter

      How exactly are they good?…the cars are all ‘parked’.

      • I’m guessing his one of those photographers that shot this for ‘credit’ to get his name out there. But why would you even want to have your name out there if the photos are crapiola.

        • Aldo

          They aren’t crap… sometimes you just need a picture of how your eyes see things. He’s got the basics down that’s for sure.

          • mikeswitz

            They are pretty bad and I’m not one to criticize anyone brave enough to post their work on NR. But my dog Ginger could have done just as well given the same equipment. And she has had 2 strokes.

            • Aldo

              They are just pictures of cars… He could have been hired just to be on the look out for accidents… for which these are better camera settings. Like when a news crew goes to cover a story… we just see shots of what’s happening… we don’t see fancy stuff.

            • mikeswitz

              Okay, Now I feel bad.

          • Drazen B

            Sorry but for the hired and paid assignment, yes they are.

      • Aldo

        The basics are good, focus, color, exposure, framing. I pointed out the panning which would make them a lot more interesting. Perhaps he isn’t too familiar with the technique. We are all learning at one level.

      • Aldo

        If cars had gone flying… we wouldn’t be criticizing the frozen action and shattered pieces in the air.

  • Sycotek

    Switched from Canon to Nikon about a year and a half ago from a 1DX and 5D3 to D4 and D800 – you couldn’t pay me to go back to Canon. AF issues, flash issues, read noise/sensors are generally a decade behind – wifi is great yes – my d7100 has a little dongle that i use on holiday to upload to facebook, on my d800 I use an eyefi card in the studio and ethernet on my d4 (which you can use a $35 wireless ap to spoof the ethernet card and make it wireless anyway).

    You got lucky though seeing as the 6D is basically canons best sensor atm. And whilst i do miss some of my L’s the I couldn’t put up with another season of frustration I have always had with Canon’s AF over the many years.

    The one thing I learnt switching sides – if AF accuracy, hit rate matter, consistent metering and DR/Image quality matter – shoot with a Nikon. If lens motor speed matters and if you shoot video on the side, use a Canon.

    • paintitwhite

      If you shoot video on the side, use Canon 5dmk3 with magic lantern – or pick a D800, D7100, D5300 or D5200.

      Canon DSLRs are not a good generic recommendation for video, but 5dmk3 is great for video.

    • EJPB

      If I believe the sale numbers, Canon is doing a lot better than Nikon in the DSLR market. But there we meet the focal point of Canon: they are also a lot more commercial than Nikon, see all that ‘cheap’ plastic even in expensive lenses. Ergonomics nowhere where Nikon is. Canon makes basically the same camera’s since 5 years, very little innovation. And the Nikon CLS flash system is the best in the market. Canon is maybe the first choice for the video freaks, but it’s not my preference. My second system is Fujifilm X.

      • bob2

        If you are comparing sales numbers, that includes all the entry-level cameras, which Canon is still king (thanks to Andre Agassi and the Rebel). But at the pro and enthusiast level, I’d say it’s likely closer to a tie–just my hunch, no facts to back it up.

      • Sycotek

        Canon in general are bigger, especially with the advertising – and more so depending where you are in the world but in Australia I am seeing far more gold and black then red and white in terms of press events – 4 or so years ago it would be rare to see any gold and black.

    • Guest

      AF issues with 1Dx and 5diii? Are you kidding me? Thousands of people use them and have no issues, but you’re the one who does? Let alone Nikon’s colors and customer support. Yeah, Nikon has great sensors and dynamic range, but photography is not just the sensor. You’re pathetic.

      • Eric

        Well, I normally shoot with a D7000/D7100 with a tokina 11-16, sigma 17-50 and nikon 70-200 vrII. I borrowed my buddies 5d3’s (x2) 24-70, 70-200 ISII and 85mm 1.2 to shoot a wedding, and could’t believe how bad both of his bodies focused in low light compared to my cameras that are $2000 less!
        In good light, yeah, they’re bang on. Dim the lights, and they just hunt. Talk about frustrating!

      • Sycotek

        I was the biggest canon fan boy – but after 6 months with CPS going back and forth and even my pj mates shooting the Olympic games at the time experiencing the same faults as I was – i drew the line when canon came back saying they couldnt fix it and this was after 40K round in one body and 60K in the other.

        CPS in london told the oly shooter 6-9 months.

        12 months nearly to the day i switched sides canon did a mass recall on the first batch of 1DX’s (which both of mine were in) for the faults i found within 3 days of owning them – how the hell it mate it out of testing god knows.

        The 5D3 bugs (mainly to do with the af assist beams throwing off the af lock, this occurred on the 1dx as well) was apparently fixed within 6 months of the initial fault being found. Very similar to the 1D4 bug that was never fixed. And in low light similar to the 1DX – is no where near as quick as the D4/D800.

        But for the thousands of shooters that shoot in good light – both bodies are remarkable – in low light, sorry the D4/D800 runs circles around them.

        I didnt just change sides over night – I actually know very well how to use the systems I had heavily invested into. It was the hardest decision I had ever made but looking back it was for the best.

        I suggest perhaps using both sides and comparing.

  • Global

    “Current Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 VR II G”

    I think he doesn’t own this lens, because any 24-70 owner knows that it doesn’t have VR. Also, Nikon hasn’t announced a VR version.

    Tamron has a VR version, which fairs as EXCELLENT for DX cropped bodies & video and far better price. Although for Full Frame, the Nikon still has some advantages.

    • Global

      In retrospect, I wonder if this was a typo and if he meant the “70-200” f/2.8 VR II and just got tripped up.

  • lasse-san

    Thanks for the interesting article. There are always some tricky details in using the foreign systems, which one is not aware of. So interesting for me to hear about s-RAW etc.. For me the Canon live view with realtime brightness control and the quick shutter release (without shutter movement when pressing the button in NikonCams) beats any Nikon model. I once switched from Nikon D2x to Canon EOS 1D MK III … but my Canon died after 6 shots and had to be sent in … so I switched back to D3 back then eheh.

    By the way … : “Of course, the current Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 VR II G is going to be very similar to the Canon L, but …” – there is no such Nikon Lens. Did you mean the 70-200 VR II or the 24-70G?

    • Global

      I literally just wrote about that before you. For Nikon full-frame users, that kind of a statement always does stick out like a sore thumb. =P

  • Tom

    I’ve been a Nikon D600 user for a year now; Canon 5D2 before that. I can honestly say the D600 is better for image quality and speed. 5D2 was (much) better for ergonomics/usability and exposure/metering. I also miss the 135/2 and the lightweight 17-40.

  • Global

    The author mentions, “I simply didn’t own a camera, not even a cellphone one.” But his achievements are interesting (including teaching courses on Lightroom). And his speech and experiences are well-developed.

    I wonder if he meant that he didn’t own a “digital” camera? If his first camera was in 2008 — its quite a lot of achievement in 5 years! I am interested to know this, because it could be inspiring for some who are just starting out.

    • Matador

      Good catch, Global.
      Probably because the whole post is a fake.

      • Graeme Hay

        A lot on the post doesn’t make a lot of sense out of the box. He clearly know tech specs and has likely used both systems, but he seems oblivious to a lot of difference such as AF, Colour, etc. Rather just ranting about the lack of Wifi.

        • Drazen B

          Not sure what got Peter to agree to publish this post. Best if was never posted, both for the “hired photographer” and Peter and his rumors site.

  • Brent Busch

    NikonRumors, why don’t you contact Mark Rebilas ( and ask him to do one of these? He shot Nikon for years then switched to Canon this year. From one of his recent comments he seems annoyed with the AF of his 1Dx bodies compared to his previous Nikon’s.

  • Rhys

    I don’t think I could ever bring myself to shoot Jpg. Seems this guy is a hired camera operator rather than an actual artist.

  • Kynikos

    This post’s title is nothing but click bait.

    • Sam V

      That’s what I said!!

    • Totally deceptive. Obviously Fuji has the best cameras EVER…

      Baiting is fun.

  • JakeB

    You’re all over the place with your post, mate.

    Inconsistent as anything.

    Plus, how can we take you seriously as a “hired” motorsport photographer when you are unable to properly shoot a moving car? All the cars in your photos look frozen and parked on the track, the shutter speed you use is way to high for this kind of pro assignment.

    • chicca

      You’d think a ‘pro’ would know how to pan a moving car, eh!


      • Mansgame

        Let’s see yours.

        • fjfjjj

          Yes, and let’s have Alan Richman cook us a dinner, and Jerry Saltz paint us a maserpiece. Until then, they can shut their traps!

    • canonshooter

      i think that’s “canon’s fault”…

      kidding. 🙂

    • As most pro-am’s (or should it be am-pro), he probably did for free in exchange for credit (bragging rights).

      And that’s why our industry is dying. The motor sport people that hired him (kind of like the Tennis Australia situation) want photos that are ‘good enough’. They don’t want to pay someone that can actually use the camera, they want to hire their amateurs that are starting out, they don’t really care for the actual art of photography.

      Also what is all this about menu diving in the post (it took him an hour to setup the camera?!?!). That in itself shows how much he doesn’t know a camera.

      Give me any camera and I can use it in manual. The only reason to go into menus is to change the format of RAW.. Everything else should be accessed on the outside buttons. Or at least in the LCD menu, no need to menu dive…

    • p_guy

      Shooting motor sports without showing motion (with the exception of the tire smoke pic) is pointless.
      May as well have been in a showroom.
      Almost seems like he had it in Program mode.

      • Squidward

        I can even count the spokes in the wheels! Maybe they went back out after the race an parked the cars on the track for the ‘photographers’

      • humenbean

        He would have done better in P mode because it would have dropped the shutter below 1/500 on occasion.

      • Mansgame

        Depends on the purpose of the pictures. Artistically, motion is preferred by some, but then the sponsors don’t care about that and want to make sure their logo is showing. If you pan and shoot then perhaps you can do that but you would have to be in the perfect spot for every picture.

        • desmo

          p-guy is right,
          pro motorsports shooters not only pan to get a sense of motion,
          They also use f2.8 lenses (Nikon or canon take your pick) or f4 on longer tele’s to put the background in BOKEH while keeping the subject car, motorcycle etc
          in sharp focus.
          It’s easier now with modern DSLR’s than in the Nikon F days,
          but it still takes skill,
          something primary sponsors are usually willing to pay for.
          the smaller ones with a sticker on the car or bike,
          will quite often go cheap or trade swag to anybody that can provide a picture ,which any modern DSLR in P mode will do.

          Unfortunately this is making it increasingly hard for the qualified people to earn a living.

    • Mauricio Fernandez

      Jake I just ranted about the same thing.

    • Mauricio Fernandez

      I think he thought he was taking pictures of a Car Show, not a race.

    • Aldo

      Or if there was a major accident and he’s caught with his camera settings for some fancy stuff… that wouldn’t be wise. He would miss the whole thing. We have to realize “coverage” of an event could mean precisely this.

      • desmo

        Your top level pros, regulars on the circuit aren’t “paparazii-ing” the accidents.
        the person who was injured or killed was their friend and a friend of others in the paddock.
        Part of their profession is maintaining a relationship with the people involved in the sport.
        The racers are professionals as are photog’s that cover the sport.

    • Bony

      I agree a 100%

  • JakeB

    “I was hired to shoot the F1 or Formula One or FIA Grand Prix Race of America in Austin, Texas this year by Infiniti and”

    Sorry for being sarcastic but did you actually get paid for that assignment? Your cars all appear as still/parked on the road. That’s far from being something to be hired and paid to shoot.

  • John_Skinner

    I’m speechless..

  • Jack S

    “Listen to your customers and you’ll do a lot better Nikon.”

    They’re not very good at that, the listening to customers bit.

  • B. Lee

    As an unbiased photographer who happens to shoot mainly with Canons, I have to admit that although many of his concerns are justified, his comparisons are seemingly quite flawed. He compares Canon’s entry-level FF to a Nikon that costs more than twice as much, not to mention flashes. In comparing apples to apples, what it really comes down to is this: Nikon has superior dynamic range and resolution whilst Canon has superior AF and high ISO capabilities. Period. The only reason someone would logically switch from one brand to another is for those particular reasons, unless they preferred/needed their respective lenses (i.e. Nikon’s amazing 14-24 or Canon’s array of f/1.2s). In fact, there are plenty of photographers who have done just this for these exact reasons. Take Matt Granger from (previously) That Nikon Guy – he didn’t actually entirely switch from Nikon to Canon, but rather added Canon to his Nikon kit, thus he changed the name of his channel. He compared the 1DX to the D4 and found the 1DX to be overall superior for the aforementioned reasons, enough to buy a whole new set of lenses for it. Yet he also kept his D800 for the aforementioned reasons because its sensor is superior to anything Canon currently offers. So which is better? It really depends on one’s needs and which you are more accustomed to. In other words, there is no “better” brand, just subjectively better features that fits each person’s needs.

    • Tatsu Ikeda

      I am actually considering buying a Canon 6D, a couple of primes, and a Yongnuo, to complement my D800 system. I totally agree with you, it’s your needs and at the end of my article, I very clearly state why Canon would be attractive to many shooters.

    • Spy Black

      Well, the D800 doesn’t cost “twice as much”, but the 6D certainly should have been compared to the D600/610. I’m not sure why he didn’t rent a MK III instead. Otherwise your points are correct, and ultimately I don’t know why people just can’t own both systems if the need arises.

  • Graeme Hay

    I tend to try to stay positive on the internet comments (I hate trolls), but this article just urks me in its lack of definition, cause I’ve shot with Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, etc. over the past 15 years, with my current set-up a Nikon DSLR for Photos and Sony Camcorder for Videos I’m used to dealing with different systems for different purposes.

    There are just a mess of comparisons in this article, like old glass vs. new and various zoom and prime ranges. You can’t compare camera bodies/systems as apples to apples if your using glass that is all over the place; because we all know for IQ Glass Quality counts the most from a technical standpoint of similar cameras, which again was not apparent in this article.

    In addition the whole “I teach Lightroom and Photography” plug is a bit much, sorry.

    I could go on, but then then this comment would be defined as a rant, and I don’t do those.

    • bob2

      +1. This post is unfortunately all over the place–you can’t compare 20 year old lenses with screw drive AF (80-200 Push-Pull?!–solid but dated lens, but slow focusing and subpar image quality compared to the current VRII version) against Canon’s latest and greatest–might as well throw in a bit of Canon’s FD lenses (pre EF) for comparisons too!

      Like comparing a 20 year old car with a new engine, then test driving a brand new car, and concluding that the new car is better. When I compare my Nikon 28-105 AFD against the modern 24-85 AFS VR, I too find that the new modern 24-85 AFS wins hands down–image quality, speed, features–DUH! It’s new!

      I know it’s all about the photographer and the equipment is secondary, but if you are going to compare and contrast, try to make it a reasonable apples to apples comparison, not some old eBay “specials” (that are frankly not worth using if you are getting paid any kind of real money!) against Canon’s A-Team.

    • Aldo

      That’s funny… cuz not too long ago people were comparing the new “noct” vs the old one…

      • Graeme Hay

        Yeah they were, because it was a direct upgrade. I have the old NOCT Nikkor and I’m hoping I’ll be able to get my hands on the new one as well; just to do that comparison. Why? Cause its nice to see how lenses advance and these are speciality lens.

        But to compare Older Nikon Glass to the Best Canon has to offer, and not even match the zooms… isn’t the same thing.

        • Aldo

          I personally think it’s interesting comparing lenses of any kind… but for the sake of your argument, even comparing the nocts could be considered a waste of time. I just don’t see why this photographer is being nailed to the wall by these comments.

        • Sky

          “because it was a direct upgrade” – No, it wasn’t. Nikon never said that. All they said was that it had a “spirit of noct” whatever that marketing BS means. You problem you got into that.

  • Joseph

    Some photographer. Your photos are terrible! Just a bunch of rhetorical nonsense, this column is. You should try working on creating more eye catching compositions. Stevie Wonder could take better photos then you. Enough of the jibber jabber – shut up and take up a new hobby. I actually don’t believe somebody hired you to take those pictures. Wow I can’t get over on how much they suck.

  • joe mama

    quite possibly the most boring motorsports photos ever!

  • Speechless. I just didn’t see this coming from NR. Those photos from Mr “I teach photography and Lightroom” – wtf? Not a single good shot. Not a single one!!! At least they match the quality of writing …

  • Nathan Willis

    What would you expect! He used a Canon. 60,000 picture later!!! These images look like blaaa. I could shoot those with a cheap Kodak. The last post on drifting was much better. The images looked nice. Not theses!
    No WIFI? Just get the $40 adapter.

  • Xavierparis

    This guy could use any other brand, his shots are pretty low end…..
    Who cares about his switching ? IT IS NOT THE CAMERA who takes the pictures. It is just an accessory ! I have panasonic GH3 for the weight and I do just fine with it !

    • joodoe

      Photography has never been about the cameras since it was invented. I’ve seen a guy on a popular video thingy who has switched from a D4 to the 1DX and still not sure of how to snap a picture.

  • Just for reference – a real photographer shooting motorsports:

    • frod

      Drifting isn’t motorsports, it’s dancing with cars. They actually don’t go very fast at all either. Nice photographs, but I wouldn’t like to see this style alongside reports of an organised race.

      • Sky

        Drifting is as much of a sports as driving in circles is (aka. NASCAR).

  • LevanV

    after reading this – “Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D too, but it’s mostly a body cap”, I just jumped to the comments section and now I leave

  • n11

    Nice article, love the story. I think one point t that wasn’t mentioned (because it was understandably not used) is the Canon’s video function.

    It still surpasses Nikon, moire and ISO are Nikon’s biggest video problems. If you don’t have bricks/hair/treebranches in your shot you should be ok with Nikon video. Slo-mo playback would also be nice.

    • paintitwhite

      Actually, only the 5d mark 3 + Magic Lantern can be said to beat Nikon with video. D800, D7100, D5300, D5200 all surpass the video quality of the rest of the Canons at 1080p.

      The Canon 6D featured in this video is a bad choice for video.

      Moiré and aliasing will be far less on the above mentioned Nikons than on any other Canon DSLRs besides 5dmk3. The Nikons will resolve more detail in 1080p than the rest of the Canons.

      Talking about slo-mo, D5300 is the best choice, since it is the only DSLR with 1080p50/1080p60 from Nikon or Canon.

      • There’s a reason why people (meaning semi-pro) videographers choose Canon though.

        • paintitwhite

          Yes, and the reason is mainly that Canon had the advantage with video with the 5dmk2 and the Digital Rebels a few years ago, and people haven’t learnt that times change…

          Since then, Canons entry level cameras and semi-pro cameras haven’t improved with video quality at all, while Nikon has slowly stepped up and surpassed Canon (except 5dmk3).

          Moiré, aliasing and lack of video resolution (1080p is more like an upscaled 720p) are the major downfalls on all Canon cameras except 5dmk3. Serious videographers who know about these things go for 5dmk3, the rest of the Canon’s are nowhere near it in quality.

      • Guest

        Canon 1Dc, expensive yes but best DSLR video available. Not perfect but only one to do 4k, had sharp 1080 and 60p. Difference between Nikon and Canon on the flagship big bodies is massive. That is to say, the D4 is a turd in video mode for what your getting at the price, compared even to Nikons far far cheaper entry level camera’s. Though ironically it may be the best CX format video camera on the market, really useful when using FF glass.

        • Pocketfan

          Actually the Blackmagic Pocket is CX format too and at $999 is a better video camera at that image size than the D4 also

    • stormwatch

      What a comedian you are. IQ wise in video, even D5100 outperforms 7D and all other Canons, except MKIII. Then imagine what are D5200/D5300/D7100/D800 doing to Canons. At present, D5300 is the best video machine ever made for a ridiculous price. It doesn’t need magic lanterns to shine.

      • Guest

        Canon 1Dc, best DSLR for video and only one to do 4k

    • KnightPhoto

      I believe the current generation of Nikons have LESS moire than their Canon counterparts and the D5200 video is getting rave 5Diii equivalent at 1/4 the price reviews. Anyhow, I don’t seem to be getting any trouble with Moire on my D4/D800E video and high ISO is not bad on D800E although understandably better on the D4. I thought it was aliasing that the Canon’s have the edge on, except as mentioned the D5200 is better in this respect.

      Yes would love SLO-MO and EXPEED4 should take care of that. Better video is always welcome. Am keen to see in depth reviews of D5300/EXPEED4 video…

  • rt-photography

    yes, please stay with canon. for everyones sake.

  • Colin Stuart

    Am I the only one who thinks these pics are pretty awful? It’s like he increased the Recovery and Clarity to MAX in lightroom among tweaking some other settings the wrong way.

    Skimmed the article… typical niggles a Nikon user would find using a Canon. My first camera was a Nikon, and encountered the same issues when messing with Canon. I know Canon makes some great cameras and lenses too but is it worth changing systems? Nope. Relearning those basic functions and being happy with how they work isn’t worth it.

  • Gerd

    Thinking you’re a pro is not being a pro , seems more like beginner.

    • cletus_mcginnis

      Anybody who has a camera can be a pro if they want to. There is no governing body. What I see in the comments is a lot of insecurity and envy.

  • Dencheg

    24-70mm 2.8 VR II G? I’d love that lens too 🙂

  • WhyFi?

    I disagree with the WiFi statement. Most users (amateurs) have little use for it, only in some professional applications would it be missed and there is an external adapter.
    As for processing D800 images, my system handles them just as well as my D300s images. No noticable difference. I guess that means you should work in RAW more or buy proper hardware…

  • transformwers

    nikon is cheaper than canon? u must be kidding

    • D800, 2796$, 5D MkIII 3399$… Nikkor 24-70, 1886$, Canon 24-70 2490$ … etc. etc. – YES Canon is more expensive.

      • rt-photography

        and yet still both are overpriced…thank you SIGMA TAMRON AND TOKINA!

        • Sigma, Tamron and Tokina are mixed bags, what you pay for when choosing Canon and Nikkor lenses is a higher rate of top quality lenses. If I spend “the-big-bux”(tm) I like to trust my lens, particularly with weather sealing and stuff like that.

          • rt-photography

            did you see the 24% stock drop? and the 14% before that? Overpriced.

      • simba

        It is true for Canon new model’s MSRP. However, Canon offers many discounts for its overpriced new products. Most of the cameras and lenses have more than 30% off in this holiday season.

  • MacPaul

    So many words, so little to say…

  • BobTheTog

    With regards to the shots, it depends what his brief was. I agree the focussing could have been a bit better and the framing in some is a little suspect, but it’s not always practical to get a fancy panning shot if for example he was shooting for the press.
    They want something that tells the story about what happened, so they need multiple cars in shot preferebly close together and battling.
    Its the same when I shoot music. The shots that the local papers want to go alongside a little review is far from what I would call artistic and is very straight forward. I simply send them the plain shots and the arty ones stay with me or get sent elsewhere.

    If it was me I’d get down level with the cars though and blur the background because as said before, these are lacking in the action stakes. No excuse for the focus mistakes either.

  • Tatsu Ikeda

    Hello Everyone, I’m Tatsu, the author. There are 93 posts as of now, and the feedback is well, about what I expected, it is a fierce debate. I’d like to address some of your concerns, in random fashion. First, I was most certainly paid, I live in Boston and yes, they flew me down to Austin and I had a (good) daily rate to shoot not just the race, but all kinds of event photography for Infiniti. I shot 12 hours some days, close to 1500 shots daily. I chose the car shots because I thought they would be more interesting to casual viewers. Like I stated, I shoot mostly events and have only shot two major car events. It was definitely a learning experience and thanks for your feedback. Technically speaking, there is no clarity or recovery going on, I shoot a customized “neutral” and my color is from tone curves. I don’t increase vibrancy or saturation either, in fact I tend to decrease some of it. RAW vs JPG. Well that is even a bigger debate than Canon vs Nikon, and I maybe I will write another article on that. I do not have time for RAW and technically, it is simply unnecessary most of the time. In fact, improperly processed RAW is worse than SOOC JPG most of the time. I can process RAW just fine on my 2012 Mac, (I just ordered another one actually.) it’s just a little slower and when you do 2000 shots a week, forget it. If it’s internet, it’s JPG medium, basic, and that’s it, there is no way it’s going to matter. My D800 files are enormous in RAW as well, it just takes too much space. Thus my wish for S-RAW, a unique Canon feature. I don’t know any photojournalists who shoot RAW only. I did make a typo/error on the 24-70, it’s not VR of course, and thanks for pointing it out. I wrote this without anyone to edit it and it was a very long article written in only three sessions.

    In the end many of the questions you have are answered right in the article. To be honest, I’m not sure how many “pros” will read this, but I’m grateful for NR for posting my article. I bought Nikon D80 in 2008 and just very quickly went from a nobody on iPhoto to an enthusiast with 6 lenses and Lightroom 2 then to someone who has a backup of every single piece of gear on every shoot, does contracts, takes care of business, gets paid (Not $100 plus drink tickets but yes I started that way.) and yes, teaches. I teach some beginners but mostly photographers who are pros who need help with their digital workflow. Most of them have decades more experience than I but everyone, myself included of course, has something to learn. I think the internet is a proving ground where feedback is to be taken lightly, because, well, everyone is an expert or a troll but you don’t know them, and you have to believe in yourself. I post quite a lot and to be honest, the photos that do not get feedback are the ones I worry about more.

    Again, thanks to NR, and thanks for the feedback, pluses and minuses both. Happy New Year!

    • Abhi

      Hi. Please practice some panning. It’s all in the hip. Low shutter speed helps and try a lower angle.

      Were you shooting full auto?

      • Tatsu Ikeda

        Full manual. For safety reasons, they do not allow us near the track obviously and you have to clear a pretty high fence.

    • 1950RLM

      Having a D800 and shooing jpeg is like driving a Lambo at 30 mph. I find it difficult to believe you teach Lightroom and ignore Raw. If you are telling your students to ignore Raw you are doing them ‘and yourself’ a huge disservice. Not having the time to work with Raw is a lame (lazy) excuse.

      • Tatsu Ikeda

        Mmm, I dunno. Ryan Brenizer, a well-known wedding photographer had the same opinion, even though he liked the D800 very much. He chose the D4 in part instead because there is no small RAW. I never said I do not teach RAW, in fact I have a special RAW processing course that offers two approaches, neither of which is going straight through ACR. It is only for those truly dedicated for that extra 1% in quality. I’d say RAW benefits food and landscape shooters the most. I even shot my Nikon D80 at small JPG basic quality occasionally and made my early reputation on it. The 2-3 megapixel count, it’s fine for online. It’s the only, I mean only, adage that Ken Rockwell is right about. Shooting JPG lets the D800 do what it is intended to do, render Nikon’s colors. Going through Adobe RAW conversions, is like what Steve Jobs called Bluray, “A bag of hurt”. Trust me, I have done the testing and will probably write an article about it soon.

      • Aldo

        I shot for almost two years with the d800… It takes more skill to shoot a good jpeg than to shoot raw. If your pictures are close to ideal at the time of shooting… there is simply NO need for raw. I shot a lot of jpegs and raws… my raw shooting was mostly when I needed more dynamic range out of the sensor. It is actually shooting entirely raw that makes a photographer lazy… A lot are very sloppy at the time of shooting because they think they can do everything in post. If you start shooting raw as a beginner… you may just end up “salvaging” photos rather than enhancing them in post. Just a thought.

        • 1950RLM

          You state you can get you jpeg “close to ideal.” I would have a problem telling a client who paid for a project that the photos I took for him/ her are “close to ideal.” The internal components of the D800 processer decides what it feels is the best jpeg image and I don’t want the camera deciding that. Being able to tweek the WB , especially in mixed lighting is a major reason for my use of Raw. Even when I convert an image to black and white, I shoot Raw and in RGB. But, if you are happy with your results I am happy for you,

          • Aldo

            I still do post work on the jpegs for the final product… but having good jpegs immediately after you shoot them is a huge advantage. And when I run the jpegs through lightroom… I do the little adjustments needed to bring them to full “ideal”.

  • PAC

    Standards must be low if this person or anyone else considers these photographs to be anything other than amateurish snaps

  • Mansgame

    I came here for the angry Nikon fanboy comments and you guys delivered. A camera is a tool only. Put black tape over the logo and shoot with what works. Nikon has been dropping the ball lately however as evidenced by their lack of sales.

  • Tog_24

    Normally I wouldn’t diss someone’s work so openly, but this will be the exception. I shoot motosrsports, have been for years and to be frank, I’ve seen better results from paying spectators on the other side of the fence. I’m staggered that in 2008 you didn’t even own a camera but by merely fast forwarding to 2012 you regularly shoot fashion, food and now, apparently, FIA F1 events . . . and no it’s not jealousy as I have no desire to shoot Formula 1, the FIA has that so tied up that it’s actually easier to meet royalty than it is to get on the pit lane, what with the rigorous FIA requirements that stop just short of handing over your first born, it rapidly reduces the fun factor in an already strenuous four days of very tiring work, to the point where there’s no fun left.
    A bit of constructive advice, don’t dilute so much, a food photographer is a challenging profession, a fashion photographer is a challenging profession, a sports event photographer is a challenging profession. Try picking one arena, become its master then, when you’re king of the heap, move on to the next one. Your work here just shows that you know what gear to rent, but you’ve absolutely no idea how to use it.
    I am not in the least worried that you are lowering the standards in my chosen profession as all you’re actually doing is delivering less than your potential to someone that either knows no better or requires even less. Any real needs will be more than adequately met by the highly creative professionals whose work is consistent and proven.

    • Tatsu Ikeda

      I’d rather the comments be about the differences between Canon and Nikon as small as they are, but I have heard not to be in too many genres and for now, I am trying everything I get hired to do since I am more or less starting out. I stated that in the beginning of the article.

      • Tog_24

        Hi Tatsu, you are right that it should be about the camera comparisons and not the work produced, except that the work produced IS actually all that matters.
        I admire your bravery for coming into a fiercely loyal Nikon blog and presenting your opinions, which are valid and have some interesting points.
        We are all brand loyal to put chosen tools but secretly we all know and respect the pros and cons of all makes and models, we just don’t usually admit it in public.
        I do hate to come back to the creative aspects of your work as no-one, myself included, particularly enjoys negative criticism, and much as your article has opened such heated debate, I feel slightly bemused as to why the administrator even published your article. If the creativity of your shots had merit then the publication would be purely to raise debate. However, with the quality of your work I do feel you’ve been thrown to the lions somewhat as the administrator should have known what the likely response would be.
        I do respect the fact that you’re just starting out and I admire your willingness to jump in at the deep end. I stand by my comments about finding the niche that you are most successful at, but I can also appreciate that that particular niche may not be evident yet. Either way, you’ve certainly got a lot of people’s attention.

  • With as much talk about high ISO performance, I think perhaps you had your ISO too high for the most part. What you’ve created was a bunch of photos of cars sitting on a track. I’d suggest going back to basics, maybe start in Shutter priority (Sv in Canon lingo?) and aim for 1/640th. You gotta get get some blur in those wheels. Slow that shutter speed down. Let you’re pan keep the car still. You’d probably be better served with a Neutral density filter, rather than higher ISO. just my .02, Way to be brave and post. Trolls gonna troll.

    • Tatsu Ikeda

      They were shot at ISO 100-400 at about 1/640-1/1000th of second, f/10 to f/11. I personally wasn’t going for any blur at all, but I realize that is a look a lot of people go for. In food, I go for big depth of field, but that is not in style at the moment either. I used the high ISO at night to get backgrounds in mostly and I was pleasantly surprised. Thanks for the props, I knew it was going to be a huge comment thread.

      • Degsy

        To my mind,your choice of location is wrong.By the time they come round into a good viewing angle,they have had to slow right down for that really slow bend.Just my 2cents.

  • Mathieu_XVI

    “but as a working photographer who uses equipment as far as it will go”?

    Seriously dude? You’re shooting JPEGs.

    • Yoshi Spendiff

      You are kidding right? You do realise that there are plenty of different types of photographers who shoot in a whole bunch of different methods. You’re basically saying they should just take off jpeg mode from the D4 as no pro uses anything but RAW.
      He literally said in the article that the brief was real time uploading. How is he going to post process that?


    Very good ARTICLE paid by CANON ! ! !

    • Shubaya

      Fanboy… out!

  • Shubaya

    Thanks for such a good article. I used both gears and I totally agree. Now the lower dynamic range can be fixed using magic lantern that allows 13 stops ev even on 5d2. Magic lantern is a very nice tool for photographers!

  • clement

    1) poor title
    2) iso wise he was comparing to the nikon d800. i think the nikon d3s and d4 would have performed much better (not to mention d800 downsampled)
    3) how does the d610 have the best ergonomics :O
    4) too much emphasis on built in wifi. i get by nicely with a cheap eye-fi card uploading photos to a fixed folder on my computer (which i can then run programs off) when i need to

    pretty much an interesting and informative read for the rest of the parts! 🙂

  • clement

    1) poor title
    2) iso wise he was comparing to the nikon d800. i think the nikon d3s and d4 would have performed much better (not to mention d800 downsampled)
    3) how does the d610 have the best ergonomics :O
    4) too much emphasis on built in wifi. i get by nicely with a cheap eye-fi card uploading photos to a fixed folder on my computer (which i can then run programs off) when i need to

    pretty much an interesting and informative read for the rest of the parts! 🙂

  • SPfan

    It may be unintentional but this long post shows that different things matter to different people (for example, I have no interest in Wi-Fi).

    Nikon has more DR, less noise, more megapixels, a wonderful flash system and more celebrity endorsements.

    Canon has a large number of lenses that are as good or better; there’s no “holy trinity” or stuff like that. Other than the 5D3, Canon is usually a little cheaper, although they seem to be learning from Nikon. Canon’s video (which matters as much to me as Wi-Fi) is apparently superior. In the US, Canon’s customer service and frankly, their demeanor can actually be called customer friendly.

    The point is, both have strengths and weaknesses and things change. Those of us who know how far back the F lens mount goes remember the days when no quality-conscious person would use a Sigma lens and now they are making some really good ones.

  • Mauricio Fernandez

    First i’d like to say I suck as a photographer as I only have 1 year into this game. I do have 1.5 million views to my photography but I am still a newbie. With my introduction out of the way, the posters sample images all suck. Why would you FREEZE these frames? Where is the panning and the drama? They don’t tell a story they look like parked cars. I’ll believe your post when you come back with better images that I can take with my Android device.

  • Guest

    This is the longest troll I’ve seen in

  • Focuspuller

    What a bunch of rude, trash-talking commenters on this Nikon fan forum. How do any of you smartasses know what the assignment was? What the client required? Obviously none of you genius clairvoyants are pros in the real world.
    Did you notice the OP specified “real time posting”? You do know that means no editing, cropping or other enhancements?

    Have any of you heard of honest criticism without attacking the photographer personally? Clearly this forum is not for serious photographers but immature adolescents looking to engage in pissing contests.

    • sampras

      Yeah, it obviously was “racing cars parked” Of course everybody knows what real time means, and tha dosen’t justify parked cars photos.You don’t photoshop panning!

      • Focuspuller

        What is “obvious” is you have never had a client make silly demands. Professional photographers on assignment do what their employer requires. It’s called “making a living.”

        • SoPro

          “Bro! Do you even Pro?…Pshhhh” Thats exactly what both of your posts sound like, so you might be careful the next time you paint everyone as “immature adolescents looking to engage in pissing contests” Hypocrisy is hardly a trait worth bragging about.

          • Focuspuller

            And clear failure to comprehend what is being said is hardly a trait worth posting about. If you read carefully, I wasn’t “bragging” about being “pro”, simply pointing out a flaw in a poster’s reasoning, as I am now.

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