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Why I like Nikon

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Uncle Frank, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. I get a surprising number of emails from complete strangers who want my opinion about cameras and lenses... go figure :?. I usually refer them to one of Phil, Bjorn, or Ken Rockwell's reviews, but this particular fellow wrote me an interesting letter, which got me thinking about why I'm in the Nikon camp.

    > I'd like to have your thoughts on the D70 vs the Cannon 20D. The Cannon 20D seems to get the nod in the photograghic magazines. But what do you think?

    I love the way Nikon and Canon keep leapfrogging each other for momentary advantage. Canon has the edge right now with the 20d, but there's no doubt in my mind that Nikon will take it back with the "d200" later this year, only to lose it a month when Canon introduces the "30d" -lol. If you look at Canon's approach over the last few years, it seems they introduce cameras at almost double the rate of Nikon, so they often have the advantage. Not all of these are groundbreaking... some are just incremental improvements... but they do break the hearts of photographers who find their new techno-toys are discontinued only a few months after they've paid for them. Nikon, on the other hand, seems to take their time in introducing new models, making sure they are significant advances over their earlier models. And it's no chore to wait, because the current models are so well designed. Take the venerable d100 for example. It was introduced in February, 2002, and is still extremely viable.

    I like Nikon's slower, deliberate pace. I place importance on 5 factors in digital photography.... composition, capture technique, glass, photo-finishing, and camera body. Of these, the camera body is the least important. In fact, I don't feel I can achieve optimum results until my camera is "invisible", so its technology doesn't stand between me and the subject. I want to be able to look through the camera, not at it. I find it takes me between 3,000 and 5,000 shots with a new camera to achieve that goal, so Nikon's slower rate of introductions suits me. It focuses my emphasis on improving my skills and and accumulating good lenses, rather than buying and adapting to new boxes.
  2. Nikon gear looks cooler in my opinion. Canon design looks clunky. If anything Nikon has style! :)  :wink: :p 
  3. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    I chose Nikon because the D100 "felt" right in my hands. The ergonomics of the camera were much more to my taste than the others I tested. The others were worthy cameras, to be sure, but a camera I intend to shoot with for years has to work smoothly with my hands.

    Nikon glass, while not cheap, has always been excellent, which fulfilled the "other side" of the SLR equation.

    If I was just a name snob, I'd have tried out whatever Leica made available, and doubly so, because I grew up with a father shooting Leica rangefinders. Leica, for me as a young man and even to some degree in middle-age, still represents a gold standard in film photography.

    But I shoot Nikon because, like you, I like Nikon for my work.

    John P.
  4. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  5. NeilCam


    Feb 21, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    True story: I bought the D100 over the 10D because at the time the Nikon SLR forum on DPR seemed to consist of much nicer, calmer and more helpful people than the Canon SLR forum. Really there wasn't a lot to choose between the cameras at the time, although the possibility of back-focussing issues with the 10D didn't help. However, I generally preferred the 10D's images over the D100 so choosing on the basis of brand was a wash.

    Now, I love the camera's ergonomics, but dislike how much post-processing I have to do to get an image I'm pleased with. However, I will freely admit that may be due more to my poor skill in acquiring the image in the first place than any fault of the camera.

    I'm beginning to seriously lust after a D2X or considering switching to a 1D MkII. Fortunately, I really can't afford either so the status quo will remain for a while. Besides I need the time before moving up to (significantly) improve both my photography and my post-processing skills.

  6. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Once I was suggested the most amazing answer to the question "why Nikon cameras are in short supply". The answer was - "because they are not perfect".
  7. Frank,

    I would add one more factor. Perhaps someone else has already named it but I would characterize it as "Capture success rate." By that I mean how well are the controls and commands implemented so that you can manipulate them in time to capture an image a correctly exposed image. I have no knowledge of Canon nor do I care about relative comparisons, like many of us, I think. I've followed Nikon from the 900 and as an engineer I appreciate a deliberate, studied continuous evolution in the area of ergonomics. I had very little transition from the D100 to the D2H. With this machine gun in my hands I could immediately understand the control placement and how it is more useful than the D100.

    So...not only do I like the performance of the Nikon, I like they way they refine their cameras.

  8. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    Rich, I also appreciate the evolution of Nikon. On a different note and a meaningless one at that. I've played with a 20d and owned a d70. The shutter release and sound of the Canon shutter sounds so weak and non mechanical. Nikon on the other hand has a very "manly" shutter and sound to it.

    Little things impress me I guess. :) 
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