Nikon D700 vs Canon 5D Mark II Feature Comparison

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Harout S. Hedeshian, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. First off, this is NOT a troll! To business:

    I am in the market for a new DSLR within the next 18 months or so in
    preparation for a big trip. I am by no means a professional
    photographer, as such I am well aware that these are not consumer
    DSLRs. Here comes the dilemma: I've grown up on Nikon cameras, I own
    an FG and an F3 film camera which I've "inherited" from my father. I
    don't mind shooting film, but it can be troublesome going overseas. I
    own a Samsung NV11 for my point and shoot purposes, which I really
    like. I was dead set on the Nikon D700 (I'll go into why in a little
    bit) until I saw that the 5D Mark II can record video in 1080P. This
    video recording feature strikes the consumer chord in me and now might
    make the 5DMII a serious consideration.

    In any case, I like the D700 because it has a full frame sensor. This
    means I don't need to relearn my focal ranges. (**shudder it's like
    teaching an American the metric system**). Low light is an issue
    because I tend to shoot indoors without a flash. The D700's noise
    reduction appears to be superior especially at high ISOs which is
    important to me. Furthermore, as a consumer, I'm finding that the
    pricing on the D700 in the long run will cost me about $1000 to $1500
    less than a 5DMII.

    Besides those practical points, the only other thing holding be to
    Nikon is familiarity with Nikon, and Nikkor lenses. I don't plan on
    reusing my existing lenses because they are manual focus; they may not
    even mount on the D700 for all I know.

    So here is what I want to ask the camera gurus:
    Is the HD video capture on the 5DMII really worth it? I imagine the
    image performance on the 5DMII is much better than a $500 consumer
    camcorder.Does the 5DMII have a mic, or an option for an external
    mic?

    It also seems that the lenses for Canon are quite expensive. I would
    like to buy a wide angle prime with a large aperture for the low light
    conditions as well as a general 25~100mm ish zoom.

    Note: megapixels, or "bling", is not an issue for me. The pictures
    just need to be sharp and clear. I don't intend to make giant (greater
    than 11x17) prints out of these. Even 11x17 is pushing it.

    Since I am not very familiar with Canon in general, how would people
    say Canon line of lenses compare to Nikkor in durability and
    longevity? I am hoping this camera will last me as long as the FG and
    F3 have lasted me and my father (i.e. measured in decades).

    That said, I've seen consumer CCD based cameras start developing stuck
    pixels after ~4 to 5 years. In point: my Olympus C3000 (which is a
    turn-of-the-millennium i.e. ~9 year old camera) has several bright
    green spots that appear on every picture and low light conditions have
    gotten so bad that shooting indoors without a flash looks like someone
    used the color noise filter on Photoshop, I mean severe noise, messes
    with your head to look at. It wasn't this bad when new. I know CCD
    technology has improved significantly over the past decade but I'm not
    too sure how age affects modern CMOS sensors in the D700 and 5DMII or
    if the degradation experienced in CCDs is applicable to CMOS sensors.

    All feedback is appreciated.

    Harout Hedeshian
     
    Harout S. Hedeshian, Mar 13, 2009
    #1
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  2. Harout S. Hedeshian

    Pboud Guest

    Harout S. Hedeshian wrote:
    Just on the off chance that you're *actually* not a troll..

    1. if you're not a pro, looking at the D700/D3X/5D is essentially saying
    "I like the best and I've got money".. you won't (unless you're an
    amateur with severely professional skill levels) fully take advantage of
    the higher stats of the cameras.

    2. using a still camera for movies is right up there with using a video
    camera for stills.. It works, but you can do better. If you seriously
    want to take vids, get a camera that's designed for it. (this one is
    *solidly* in the 'my opinion' category)

    3. Based on the needs presented, Pentax K20 / Nikon D90 / Canon 50D will
    more than work. If you're set on the 'full frame' deal, I'd still
    recommend the D300 before the D700 (it's not full frame, but almost). I
    unfortunately don't know enough about the Canon side of things to
    comment there.

    4. Good glass is expensive, no matter what system you go to, so 'canon
    vs nikon' is a misnomer.


    HTH

    P.
     
    Pboud, Mar 13, 2009
    #2
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  3. Harout S. Hedeshian

    Steve Guest

    Don't buy a DSLR for video! It's a waste of money.
    I have the Nikon D90 that also has HD movie, but I would only use it for a
    incident, for example: I'm shooting in a city and right in front of my eyes
    a bank is robbed! Bang: shoot video!
    For anything else it's useless: no AF nothing else then manual zoom to
    change and the camera picks up all the noise of the camera.
    Canon has had a lot of problems with AF systems and the 5D MII has it's own
    share of trouble.
    Don't go out in the rain, because it's not even damp proof:
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/5dmkiivid_cs.shtml

    Even if you *do* get some reasonable video shots, it will be a pain to play
    them:
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/5dmkiivid_cs.shtml

    The Nikon D90 records *only* in 780 but at least it works! Staright out of
    the camera you can play it in most players: it's an .AVI file.
    FWIW: I exchanged my D300 for a D90, which is the best of the APS-C DSLR's
    at the moment, at least according to DXO labs. If you don't *need* FF and
    12
    MP is enough, I would take a closer look. It's very easy to handle and the
    front and rear selector dial... what a relieve compared against that ugly
    spare tire on Canon's back ;-)

    For the difference in price you can buy an excellent video camcorder with
    HD
    and a zoom lens that will blow you out of your socks... and still have
    enough for some nice glass on the D90 ....

    --
    ---
    Focus

    ---
    I've got the Pentax K20 and am very happy with it and an assortment of
    Penxtax and 'other' glass. I have a Panasonic Lumix for a pocket camera
    and the occasional quick video. The other ops are spot on to get a
    dedicated video camera if you really want video and lots of the newer nice
    ones will still almost qualify as pocket cams.

    Just for the rest of my two cents, if I won the lottery I would switch to
    the Nikon D300 just because of all the external controls. The Pentax has a
    reasonable assortment of external controls, but some of the ones that would
    get used more are in menus. For me that's the only knock on the Pentax is
    the lack of external access to more settings.


    Steve


    --
    Steve Kenney Photography

    410 533-1404

    www.stevekenneyphotography.com

     
    Steve, Mar 13, 2009
    #3
  4. Then both the D700 and the 5D2 are complete overkill.
    Do you work with a focus puller? Do you even know what that is?
    If yes, then you may be interested in the 5D2 for video shooting,
    if not, forget it.
    .... heads and shoulders over any compact camera, and so is
    the 5D2. Differences between them are marginal to academic.
    They will mount and work.
    But if you want new lenses anyway, choose the camera that
    feels better in your hands.
    They can be mapped out, just like the stuck or black pixels already
    there when the sensor was new, no problem.

    -Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Mar 13, 2009
    #4
  5. Harout S. Hedeshian

    pupick Guest

    You do not know the difference between what you need and what you want.
    If you are unfamiliar with dSLRS and post-camera image processing, and are
    not willing to learn, you will not get any better images out of your very
    expensive dSLR then you are getting out of your current digital P&S. I
    absolutely cannot understand why people lug around dSLRs, shoot in jpeg and
    have their images printed snapshot size at Walmart or its ilk.
    While I would love to have a second generation Canon 5d that sensor is
    insane overkill except for professional imaging.
    If you do not routinely shoot and edit video then you simply want to have
    video capability but do not need to have it. Many new P&S cameras have built
    in hidef capture equal or superior to what you see from the Nikon d90.
    What you get in the D90 is a D80 with insignificantly more megapixels but
    significantly improved low light noise. I would bet that video capture in
    the long run is rarely, rarely used by D90 owners.
    I would side with those recommending a high end APS-c or 4/3 sensor sized
    dSLR: my bet is that any current dLSR from any manufacturer will more than
    suit your needs. You might even be happier with an all in one high end EVF
    camera.
    If in fact you understand issues related to low light digital image capture
    at your level of experience the Nikon d90 would best suit you.
     
    pupick, Mar 13, 2009
    #5
  6. As others have pointed out, shooting even HD video with a still
    camera is not the best way to go. Lack of AF and AE will drive
    you nuts with video (unless you don't move the camera and your
    subjects don't move around, but then you would still be better
    off with shooting stills since they will be sharper). Then, there is
    the miserable sound... BTW, stills shot on (or transferred to)
    memory cards can look GREAT on a 1080p TV! If you want top
    quality 1080 HD, the superb $600 Canon HV30 can produce
    it (see my review of it here:
    http://www.donferrario.com/ruether/Canon_HV20-HV30.htm).
    This is definitely nice, especially if you like using wide angles (but
    if not, it doesn't make much difference - and the smaller sensor
    gives you more "tele"...;-).
    A good point. Also remember that for traveling, a D700 is HEAVY,
    a D300 is fairly heavy, and a D90 isn't very bad at all for weight...
    If they all mounted on the FG, they will all mount on the current
    bodies mentioned here. You can use the viewfinder for focusing,
    or *MAYBE* the focus indicators (I've never been much of a fan
    of this method, though). Both the D300 and D700 can meter with
    manual focus lenses. Depending on what you have now in lenses,
    you may already have some fine lenses (and there is a widespread
    feeling that with a few notable exceptions on both sides, that short
    to medium-long Nikkors tend to be at least slightly better than the
    equivalent Canons, sometimes spectacularly so, as with the Nikkor
    14-24mm f2.8 and 17-35mm f2.8 lenses (and the 35-70mm f2.8,
    28-70mm f2.8, and 24-70mm f2.8 Nikkors are also excellent if
    you have the money and the strength to buy and carry these ;-). For
    more on some Nikkors you may have now, see my evaluation list,
    at - http://www.donferrario.com/ruether/slemn.html.
    Unless you really don't care about getting the best results, I wouldn't
    go this way... The little Canon HV30 camcorder is really wonderful.
    BTW, DO NOT BE TEMPTED BY MEMORY CARD OR HARD
    DRIVE BASED CAMCORDERS! The ones with lower data rates
    (most) produce inferior picture quality, and the recent few just out
    that have a higher data rate and can look almost as good as HDV
    tape types are VERY, VERY hard to deal with when editing.
    I have a good Nikkor 35mm f2 AIS MF FS that is excellent FF wide
    open, but there is little else out there that is good wider than maybe f4,
    or shorter than this except the super wide Nikkor zooms mentioned
    above, and the excellent Canon 24mm f1.4 (plus the Zeiss 21mm f2.8).
    There are a few others here and there that are also good, but.........;-)
    I would think that the Nikon D90/D300/D700 could all do that
    well enough...
    To think that I regarded the Nikon FG and FA as "plastic
    pieces of crap" when they first came out, and now I really like
    both of mine! ;-) And they both "wore" well and still look like new.
    On the last, I'm interested in comments, too. I will say that with my
    Sony 1 and 3 CCD video cameras, I always had to accept some
    bright pixels at maximum gain and 1/15th shutter speed (so long as
    they disappeared at 1/30th). With the little Canon camcorder, the
    CMOS chip shows no bright pixels under any conditions. Also, I know
    someone who went through three D80s and had to settle for a few
    bright pixels on the CCDs with three second exposures with the lens
    cap on, but a friend's new D700 with a CMOS chip shows no bright
    pixels under the same conditions. Keeping a sensor clean is also a
    consideration with digital cameras, which makes some of us wary
    of using non-zooms, even though most perform noticeably better than
    most zooms. Another consideration with CMOS chips is "rolling
    shutter distortion", but it is not often seen...;-)
    --David Ruether
    www.donferrario.com/ruether
     
    David Ruether, Mar 13, 2009
    #6
  7. Thanks everyone for your thoughts, it's pretty much helped me confirm
    what I was originally thinking.

    This is pretty much the answer I was looking for. I don't see my self
    shooting HD video very often. As such, I was thinking that the HD
    video feature on the 5D2 would be more like a bonus, and that if it
    worked better than a $500 camcorder, then it might just have been
    worth it. I fully understand the point everyone is trying to make,
    that buying a still camera for HD video doesn't make sense, but that
    wasn't the intention. I guess I came off like a complete noob hehe ;)

    And I do! My favorite lense by far is my 35mm focal length. In
    retrospect it seems I overuse it. In any case, if I got the D300 with
    the smaller CCD, I would effectively be losing the wide angle, no?
    Which means I'd have to spring for a 25mm, anything less than that and
    I'm in the fisheye category which I definitely don't want. The other
    kind of shots I frequently take is marcos. I use my 50mm in
    conjunction with extender tubes and if I want really close, I toss a
    doubler in there. Do you know if I can use my extender tubes with an
    AF-S lense? I know I would lose the AF functionality, the tubes don't
    have the contacts necessary to drive the AF motors. Macro lenses are
    pretty much out of consideration for cost reasons.

    Compared to the FG, I'd say the F3 with the motor drive is pretty
    heavy... No problems in this department ;)

    Agreed, especially in the pixel count department. I was considering
    the D300, it has the complete feature set I am looking for, just not
    full frame sensor. I figure for the price difference, since the D300
    is already a fairly expensive camera, I'll eat ramen for a month and
    grab the full frame sensor D700.

    The only problem I've had with my FG is that the latch for the door
    got loose. I've lost a roll, and a half of a different roll by the
    door accidentally opening. It's quite annoying. A pair of needle nose
    pliers fixed that!
     
    Harout S. Hedeshian, Mar 14, 2009
    #7
  8. Harout S. Hedeshian

    Bob Larter Guest

    [still+video camera vs pure video camera]
    The big question is whether _you_ like the 5D2 enough to buy it
    /without/ the video capability. If so, then it's worthwhile buying it &
    treating the video feature as a freebie to play around with. If you then
    find that the video sucks, you won't have lost anything.

    I fully understand the point everyone is trying to make,
    You came across as a fairly intelligent noob, so I don't think you have
    anything to be ashamed of. ;^)
    My existing Canon lens collection is exactly why I'd be interested in
    shooting video on the 5D2. With something like $10,000+ worth of top
    notch lenses, I'd really dislike having to buy more for a video camera.

    (Speaking of which, does anyone know if there are decent video cameras
    out there that take Canon EF lenses?)

    [...]
    I don't see why not. (Caveat: I haven't tried it, becaause I don't own
    any EF-S lenses.)
     
    Bob Larter, Mar 14, 2009
    #8
  9. Harout S. Hedeshian

    Don Wiss Guest

    If low light is a criteria, then higher ISO is *always* better. This alone
    is adequate reason to get a D700 over a D300 (assuming money isn't an
    issue).

    Don <www.donwiss.com/pictures/> (e-mail link at page bottoms).
     
    Don Wiss, Mar 14, 2009
    #9
  10. Harout S. Hedeshian

    Don Wiss Guest

    You can use all of your existing lens and tubes. For macro work do you
    really need auto focus?

    Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
     
    Don Wiss, Mar 14, 2009
    #10
  11. Once you are past unity --- i.e. every captured electron increases
    the data number in the RAW --- higher ISO just reduces headroom.

    And since we are counting single electrons at ISO 1600-3200 and
    12 bit (or 400-800 and 14 bit), it doesn't matter if you push
    the RAW in camera or in postprocessing, except for the highlights
    issue and read noise.
    (see
    http://clarkvision.com/imagedetail/digital.sensor.performance.summary/index.html
    )

    -Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Mar 14, 2009
    #11
  12. David Ruether blabbed...

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts, it's pretty much helped me confirm
    what I was originally thinking.
    This is pretty much the answer I was looking for. I don't see my self
    shooting HD video very often.

    --If you have a good 1080 HDTV and saw the output from that
    cheap little Canon HV30, you might change your mind! It is really
    amazing - and I'm tempted to take it on the next trip (as I did the
    last one) and leave the still gear at home).

    As such, I was thinking that the HD
    video feature on the 5D2 would be more like a bonus, and that if it
    worked better than a $500 camcorder, then it might just have been
    worth it. I fully understand the point everyone is trying to make,
    that buying a still camera for HD video doesn't make sense, but that
    wasn't the intention. I guess I came off like a complete noob hehe ;)

    --Nope - just like someone asking a question, for which several
    of us had an answer...;-)
    And I do! My favorite lense by far is my 35mm focal length. In
    retrospect it seems I overuse it. In any case, if I got the D300 with
    the smaller CCD, I would effectively be losing the wide angle, no?

    --There are good wider lenses that with the 1.5X magnification
    effect would be good, at least stopped down a bit - but the crop
    factor may effectively remove the areas that are sub-standard at
    wide stops.

    Which means I'd have to spring for a 25mm, anything less than that
    and I'm in the fisheye category which I definitely don't want.

    --Both the 20mm f2.8 and 24mm f2.8 Nikkors are very nice on
    FF by f5.6 - and on a cropped frame, they should be nice by f4,
    and usable at f2.8. The equivalent FLs would be 30mm and 36mm,
    of course, on a crop sensor... 'Course, if you've got the bucks, the
    14-24mm f2.8 is excellent on FF even at f2.8, giving a 21-36mm
    equivalent high quality zoom on the cropped sensor. It does appear
    that if you use your old lenses, the D300 would be a good choice
    if WA is less important than lower weight/price/size, and both will
    meter (but not AF) with your older lenses.

    The other
    kind of shots I frequently take is marcos. I use my 50mm in
    conjunction with extender tubes and if I want really close, I toss a
    doubler in there. Do you know if I can use my extender tubes with an
    AF-S lense? I know I would lose the AF functionality, the tubes don't
    have the contacts necessary to drive the AF motors. Macro lenses are
    pretty much out of consideration for cost reasons.

    --This should work, but it will work better with the 50mm f2/1.8
    rather than the f1.4, and you will still need to stop down quite a bit
    for best performance. Less magnification, but consider looking
    for a Nikon TC14A or a newer one with glass that still clears your
    lens' rear elements (some won't). If you stop down, front achromats
    can also work very well and are about $40.
    Compared to the FG, I'd say the F3 with the motor drive is pretty
    heavy... No problems in this department ;)

    --Um, try hoisting a D3 with a fast zoom on it...! ;-) I had an F3
    and often used it with a motor, and (maybe 'cuz I'm weaker now)
    the new cameras, from the D200 on, seem much heavier and they
    are too heavy for me to use easily.
    Agreed, especially in the pixel count department. I was considering
    the D300, it has the complete feature set I am looking for, just not
    full frame sensor. I figure for the price difference, since the D300
    is already a fairly expensive camera, I'll eat ramen for a month and
    grab the full frame sensor D700.

    -- 8^) It may be worth it...;-)
    The only problem I've had with my FG is that the latch for the door
    got loose. I've lost a roll, and a half of a different roll by the
    door accidentally opening. It's quite annoying. A pair of needle nose
    pliers fixed that!

    --I used to buy a lot of used gear, and sometimes with the
    FA/FM/FE/FG I would see that, but it was easy to fix, as you
    point out...;-)
    --DR
     
    David Ruether, Mar 14, 2009
    #12
  13. Harout S. Hedeshian

    Paul Furman Guest

    What's your conclusion from all that?

    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
     
    Paul Furman, Mar 15, 2009
    #13
  14. Harout S. Hedeshian

    Me Guest

    Hmmmm.
    What size is a 35mm movie frame?
     
    Me, Mar 15, 2009
    #14
  15. Harout S. Hedeshian

    Bob Larter Guest

    Is that a serious question?
     
    Bob Larter, Mar 15, 2009
    #15
  16. Harout S. Hedeshian

    Apteryx Guest

    It's certainly a legitimate question. I can't tell how serious it is,
    because it could be that Me already knows the answer. The answer is,
    necessarily much less than size of the Canon 5DII frame.

    In a modern, wide-frame movie camera, it's 24mm by 10mm, so also less
    than the size of a Nikon D90 frame. The reason of course is that in a
    movie camera (or more precisely in a movie projector, since it is
    possible to shoot it differently with a Vista Vision camera), 35mm film
    goes vertically past the gate, so that the maximum possible width of
    frame (between the sprockets) is 24mm.

    Apteryx
     
    Apteryx, Mar 15, 2009
    #16
  17. Harout S. Hedeshian

    Paul Furman Guest

    Then get it, you'll like it.

    It's obvious when you look through the lens, just takes a tad more work
    shopping for first lenses. D300 is a great camera too, just as solid as
    a D700. The cropped DX sensor is a benefit in all but the very wide
    angles and very low light.

    Yep, it's great. You may be surprised how good the new crop of DX
    sensors are though. Compared to film or P&S you will be way ahead either
    way, unless comparing to B&W film.

    I wouldn't worry about any minor subjective differences between models
    like that.

    They will work fine. I don't use AF much on a D700 & D200. I added a
    split screen aid to the D200 and the D700 has live view you can zoom in
    & focus very precisely with on a tripod. And the larger format is better
    for focusing.

    There are limitations & problems. I haven't hardly done regular video
    except I've done a lot of time lapse on DSLRs. To me it would be fun to
    capture live video on the same lenses, super wide and tele, shallow DOF,
    macro... for most people it would probably be less convenient & limited.

    You must be looking at the Canon 24mm f/1.4 The closest Nikon is 28mm
    f/1.4 AF which is more like a rare collector's len$ these days. The best
    wide angle Nikkors now are the huge f/2.8 zooms which are embarrassing
    to use around people for me <g>. I've used 20mm f/2.8 AF, the rest MF:
    24/2.8, 28/2, 35/2, 35f/1.4, 50/1.2, 75-150/3.5 which are very fun and
    versatile. The old school optical flaws are made up for by their compact
    size, fast glass, reasonable price and solid build.


    The 24-120 VR is I think nothing special but is sensible for FX as a kit
    lens, $200 instead of $500 alone.

    The Dx00 series are very well built. Better than Canon till you get to
    their 1D series. That said, in a few years there will surely be
    technological advances that make today's models seem pathetic; ISO
    320,000, Hollywood quality video, 3D hologram mode, whatever it will be.
    I wore out my D200 in a few years of unusually hard use but for $200, I
    got the shutter replaced, CLA, various seals & battery doors replaced...
    it's good as new but the D700 performs noticeably better, the LCD is
    better and displays faster, buttons & menus are improved, etc.

    My Oly C3030 from the same era also has that issue.

    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
     
    Paul Furman, Mar 15, 2009
    #17
  18. Harout S. Hedeshian

    Don Wiss Guest

    Remember, the cropped sensor benefit is also available in the D700. You
    just have to select it. A great way to get more telephoto reach when all
    you are carrying is a D700.

    Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
     
    Don Wiss, Mar 15, 2009
    #18
  19. Harout S. Hedeshian

    me Guest

    No, it's not the same. All this does is crop the image in camera to a lower
    image size. The benefit of the non-full frame cameras is that they put the
    full sensor size on the smaller FOV.
     
    me, Mar 15, 2009
    #19
  20. Harout S. Hedeshian

    Don Wiss Guest

    You are making the assumption that everybody wants to shoot with the
    maximum pixels possible. This is not true. If one only shoots for the web,
    shooting at the maximum is a waste and slows one down when loading files,
    etc.

    Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
     
    Don Wiss, Mar 15, 2009
    #20
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