Please note that this is an audio transcription. Grammer and punctuation will not be perfect.
Hi there everyone and welcome to the Photography.ca podcast #5.‚ My name is Marko and we are coming to you from fantastic Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on this 22nd of November 2006.
So, for today’s show, we are going to go through a little bit of the journey that I just went through.‚ I was just in the market for a camera and it took me months and months and months and months to decide which camera I was going to get.‚ There were a lot of considerations for the camera and money being one of them, quality being another one, am I just ready to go completely digital at this point, all these factors just weighing on my mind day after day, month after month, but after squirreling away some peanuts for many months I decided to take the plunge and buy a camera.‚ So the question was, which one to buy?‚ That is really what we are going to talk about today, which camera did Marko buy?‚ Actually, the two choices were the D80 by Nikon and the Canon 30D.
Before we start, I should tell you that this is just my subjective opinion on it all.‚ There is no technical test.‚ I did not really measure anything.‚ All I did was compare the two cameras and used my eye to make the best decision possible.‚ It was a pretty difficult decision for me because I am a Nikon person.‚ I have always been a Nikon person and I have three lenses that are Nikon so part of the thing was, you cannot use your Nikon lenses in any effective way whatsoever with the Canon system and vice versa.‚ Naturally, my first instinct was to go with the D80.‚ It was in my price range.‚ I was looking at about 1100 to 1200 Canadian dollars and although that is a lot for a camera, for sure that is a lot, for something approaching professional grade or prosumer, those are just what the prices are and after squirreling away for months I was prepared to plunk down the cash.‚ I got to tell you, I bought that camera a few weeks ago and I really like that camera.‚ It really did it for me.‚ It was really easy to use.‚ It was very intuitive, especially since I am totally used to the Nikon system.‚ I love, love the auto focus on it.‚ I love the body.‚ I love the way the control works and I love the way that it worked until ISO 400.‚ I must confess that I am extremely, extremely critical and at the end of the day it was all about what was going to give me the best bang for my buck at the time I am going to buy it.‚ Obviously, in two months from now or three months from now things will change, but I know a lot of you are probably going through a similar dilemma, which one to buy, which one to buy.‚ If you want to learn from the benefit of my experience or take whatever I have to say with a grain of salt, yahoo.
Back to the Nikon D80, I really, really like this camera and I liked it until ISO 400.‚ I did some tests and I did these tests with a good friend of mine, Dominic Fuizzotto, who is an excellent photographer as well and he is kind of a gadget guy, even more so than I, and we compared everything at his place using his fantastic system, despite my own decent system, his is better, what can I say?‚ Anyway, we did it at his place and the D80 was absolutely fantastic until about 400.‚ Now, when I say absolutely fantastic until about 400, I am talking about enlargements.‚ What I am talking about is, taking a shot, printing the actual result at 8 x 10 or larger.‚ That was really the criteria for me.‚ If you are going to print at 4 x 5 or you are going to use it for your computer, there is no difference between the cameras, really.‚ You are going to get great results.‚ Both the Canon and the Nikon, the D80 and the 30D, are amazing, amazing, amazing at 4 x 5 or less.‚ You will never see grain, noise and grain, all these reviews that people are talking about.‚ You really will not notice it until you blow it up.‚ I really loved the camera until ISO 400 because even at 8 x 10 when I made my results and I printed my results, they were fab.‚ They were superb and they were great.‚ However, when I went to 800, I started to notice more noise than my eyes are comfortable seeing and I am a bit of a noise freak and I am a bit of a portrait freak, so I do portraits.‚ As I have mentioned before on the blog, I always focus on the eyes, I get the eyes tack, tack sharp and I love to see detail in the eyebrows, on the eye itself, in the eyelashes, and I must say that when I was making my enlargements at 800, ISO 800 or greater, I started to lose detail in the eyelashes, eyebrows and the eye and I started to see a lot of noise.‚ For those that do not know, noise are those little pixilation effects that you see and to anyone but a trained photographer, they will probably never notice, but once you get more into anything, when you get more into anything and you get more fuzzy.‚ So, at ISO 800 and plus at 8 x 10 enlargements, I found that the D80 was not acceptable to my crazy picky eye.
Other advantage that the Nikon has over the Canon is it is quieter.‚ I really like the fact that it was quiet, whisper quiet when you click the shutter.‚ Another little thing that I also liked about it, I liked the fact that it kind of had built in multiple exposure.‚ I do a lot of playing and somewhat creative photography and it is always just to play with a gadget from time to time.‚ I do not do it that often.‚ I shoot almost always on manual or aperture priority, but I was kind of into playing with the multiple exposure button just to see what kind of cool effects you can get.‚ The Canon does not have that feature.‚ Of course, you can do anything you want in Photoshop so it is not the hugest deal, but it is nice to do stuff in camera.‚ Okay, now on to the Canon D30.‚ The Canon D30 is — as you have probably guessed that the camera I ended up buying and although the motor is not as quiet as the Nikon and although the auto focus is not as amazing as the Nikon, I ultimately went with that camera because of the noise factor.‚ Once you hit ISO 800 or once you hit ISO 1600 and you compare the results side by side — and I am going to put up some photos on the blog so you could compare them yourself.‚ These are my photos.‚ Feel free to rip them apart.‚ Feel free to tell me that my tests were inaccurate, but at the end of the day when I compare the two side by side to my eye, I found there was considerably less noise in the Canon than the Nikon.‚ Again, this is at 8 x 10 enlargements only.‚ If you are at 4 x 5 or smaller, did not see the difference, both very pleasing, both very fine, but at 8 x 10 enlargements and greater, the Canon 30D wins out over the D80 in terms of noise.‚ At the end of the day, again, for me it is all about the sharpest, best picture I can make and the best portrait that I can produce and for the extra 100 dollars or 150 dollars — Canon is offering a superb rebate right now, but it still came out to be 100 or 150 dollars more for the Canon — I went with the Canon because I am a portrait freak and when I look at eyes I like them to have all the detail as possible.
That was my basic experience, actually.‚ One of the factors that made the experience a bit harder is, again, the Nikon glass.‚ If you are not going to make big enlargements, really, at 4 x 5, everything is equal.‚ There is really no need to go buy opposite the make that you already have.‚ Sure, I have Nikon lenses and now it is going to cost me a few extra bucks in Canon lenses, but it is because I am crazy picky and it is because of the enlargements.‚ Most people are not going to make enlargements.‚ Most even prosumers are going to keep their images small.‚ They are going to keep them for computer, for email, for their websites, in which case it just does not matter which camera you get because the results are going to be superb.‚ So, I would go with what the other reviewers are saying at dpreview.com.‚ They have an absolute, absolute, really thorough comparison on both cameras themselves and then between those cameras and other cameras.‚ That review is superbly technical and it was one of the sources I went to before I made my decision, but again it is only really about the enlargements as far as my experience tells me.‚ If you have glass from Canon or Nikon, stick with that system.‚ Do not cross over unless you are a little bit freakishly obsessed.
That sums up my review.‚ I hope it is helpful to people.‚ Again, take a look at the photos.‚ Compare them side by side, but the best test is going to be your own eye.‚ Buy it from a store that you can return it.‚ Test it first or buy some cards and go to the store and do some tests by yourself.‚ Take one shot with the Canon.‚ Take one shot with the Nikon.‚ Compare for yourself.‚ Everyone’s eye is different.‚ Everyone has different subject matter.‚ You really need to just compare for yourself to get the best test possible.
As always, we love to hear comments about this podcast or stuff you would like to hear in future podcasts.‚ I got a very nice comment on the bulletin board from a new member.‚ I think I may have my first groupie.‚ She loves the podcast.‚ She just wants me talk about more basic elements, which I am absolutely prepared to do in my very next podcast.‚ It is just I am so in the thick of this comparison right now, I wanted to make this comparison about the camera that I ultimately ended up choosing.‚ The next one will be for my new “groupie,” we will get back to some basics and do a show about more basic photography.
That is it for today, everyone.‚ Thanks very much for listening to the show.‚ As always, please leave comments on the blog or inside the bulletin board on Photography.ca and I will be more than happy to answer those comments.‚ Please post some pictures at the bulletin board or you can even post pictures as comments on the blog and I will be happy to review them as well.‚ Have a nice day, everyone.‚ Keep shooting and we will see you all again or hear you all again or speak to you all again in around two weeks.‚ Thanks everyone.‚ Bye now.