Nikon rocks!

Two days ago I wrote enthusiastically about the new Canon EOS 40D and yesterday Nikon had to turn the world upside down by announcing the D300. It does everything the 40D does, and then some:

  • A 100% viewfinder. That’s a first in a DSLR below the 4000 Euro mark.
  • The auto-focus system is kick-ass. 51 focus points, 15 of which are cross-type. Compare that to the 9 sensors (all of them cross-type) of the 40D. Plus it can track subjects not only with the focus points, but also by color, utilizing its metering sensor.
  • A 3 inch VGA resolution LCD – almost 4 times the number of pixels of the 40D.
  • Live view (which the 40D has, too), with contrast detection auto-focus (which the 40D hasn’t), i.e., auto-focus based on the sensor image, without having to pull the mirror down.
  • And to top it all off: a 12 megapixel sensor that goes to ISO 3200 without extension (6400 with extension)! Of course I’m very skeptical about this, and we’ll have to wait for in-depth reviews to see if the sensor can actually deliver that with a reasonable amount of noise.

So, not only does this camera, if it lives up to the specs, kick the 40D’s butt, it would even surpass the 5D in pretty much every way, easily making it the best DSLR to be had for less than 3000 Euros, which makes me rethink my decision to upgrade to the 40D. It seems I have three options:

  • Upgrade to the 40D, keeping all my lenses.
  • Selling all my lenses and upgrading to the D300.
  • Selling nearly all my lenses and upgrading to the successor of the 5D, which will hopefully be competitive.

Interestingly enough, the Nikon option is quite a bit cheaper than upgrading to a full-frame Canon. Considering that I’ll probably live with my next camera for the next 4 to 5 years I want to make sure to get the best the market has to offer at a reasonable price, which probably isn’t the 40D, and probably isn’t full frame, either, because I don’t consider that price reasonable, and who knows when Canon will announce that camera, anyway?

I guess all I can do right now is wait for the reviews of the 40D and D300 to come in and see how they measure up. In the meantime my 10D still captures pretty good photos.

8 thoughts on “Nikon rocks!

  1. You’re right the 300D sure looks like a mean kick-ass photography tool. I’m very interested to to see if the new 3D is going to be a canon killer.
    The 10D is a FINE camera!

  2. The two new Nikons do look impressive. I’m due for an additional body, but I’m holding out for a new full-frame camera, so I’m betting that Canon will announce a successor to the 5D in February.

    The 5D has been out for a long time, and there is still no competition for it. This is bad on one hand because Canon doesn’t have to lower the price on it, and good on the other hand because Canon has had a long time to work on its successor.

    My prediction is that Canon will announce the new full-frame camera at $2k with a 3″ LCD, 5fps, weather seals, but still only 9 focus points so as not to cannibalize 1-series sales. The only point I’m less sure of is whether it will have 12 or 16 mpix. Either will be fine, but it will have a big impact on price because it determines positioning within the product line.

    Also, you’ll never see sensor-shift from Canon or Nikon because they want to sell IS/VR lenses and they certainly don’t feel the need to give Sony any of their profits to license the technology.

  3. There’s no way Canon’s next full-frame camera will cost only $2k – the sensor is just too expensive. I’m betting it’ll have 16mp and will go up to ISO 3200 like the 1D Mark III. Still, it’d be too expensive for me.

    And of course we’ll see Canon and Nikon do sensor-shift IS. It’s just a question of when. When one of the two falls too far behind in the game (like it seems Canon is now) they’ll have to come up with something new, and sensor-shift IS seems pretty easy and cheap to do. Or maybe the competition from Sony, Pentax and Olympus will get tighter. I’d bet that within two years one of them will have a DSLR with sensor-shift IS out.

  4. Canon’s has had an advantage on sensor cost due to their development of CMOS rather than CCD sensors early on. That’s what enabled the Digital Rebel to hit $999 a full year before anyone else could respond. BTW, Canon is not “behind in the game” by any means, they still have the DSLR market share crown, and they’re not going to lose it any time soon because they make money at every price point. Nikon gave up the low end more than a year ago.

    I’m almost positive you’ll see other manufacturers with sensor-shift, just not Nikon or Canon.

  5. I don’t know about the benefits of switching systems unless you’re really, really attracted by the features. I’m sure Nikon makes a great camera, but retraining my brain and fingers for a different system of buttons, icons, UI, etc… Seems like too much time spent missing shots because I hit the wrong button, not to mention the hassle and expense of selling all of the lenses and acquiring new ones. Have to say that Nikon would have to release something several orders of magnitude better than my Canon at the same price range for me to contemplate switching — not because Nikon is by any means inferior but because of the cost (time, money, headache) of switching.

    Have a 30D (traded up from the 10D, mainly because of the reduction in wake-up time, was missing too many shots). Am really as happy as a clam, don’t see myself upgrading for at least a few generations.

  6. And the D3 does ISO 25,600! Supposedly, due to a great sensor (12MP full frame), it doesn’t look horrible at such high speeds. Add a f/1.8 prime and forget your flashes at night!

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