Photography transcript 5 — Nikon D80 VS Canon 30D —

[Cam­era clicks]

Please note that this is an audio tran­scrip­tion. Gram­mer and punc­tu­a­tion will not be perfect.

Hi there every­one and wel­come to the 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‚ 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 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.
[Cam­era clicks]


  1. Excel­lent Post, thanx for shar­ing the same.. Will keep on read­ing the post :D Stum­bled your post .. cheers


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