Need help not sure what to buy


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Jun 12, 2010
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I am sitting at the crossroads here unsure what to buy.

I can either go get D800E with 24-70mm f2.8 ED or get 5D mark III with 24-70 II and I am not sure what to do.

I am actually scared from the 36mp count on D800E because first of all, I don't need this kind of res, and second, the filesize will be huge. On the bright sight, it's probably the best detail DSLR out right now because it doesn't AA so images are literally sharp as a razor. I've never seen any bad reviews on the 24-70 lens with nano crystal coat, and because I will use the camera primarily for nature/landscape photography with lots of sunsets/sunrises, nanocrystals should be very helpful.

Canon's solution doesn't seem to offer much more at lower megapixel count, worse sharpness and significantly higher price BUT a lot of Mark 3's components do come from 1D X which means top of the line performance. Judging from the MTF charts, f2.8 24-70mm II is probably THE best 24-70 zoom out right now but I didn't see any hard reviews where they would compare it head to head with Nikon's 24-70. Canon's setup is whooping $600 more expensive and I am not sure if it's worth it.

Can someone post some thoughts, I am really unsure what to do..
You can always cut down the filesize by changing both the Image Size as well as shoot in DX mode.

(L) 7,360 x 4,912
(M) 5,520 x 3,680
(S) 3,680 x 2,456
1:2 format (30 x 20)
(L) 6,144 x 4,080
(M) 4,608 x 3,056
(S) 3,072 x 2,040
5:4 format (30 x 24)
(L) 6,144 x 4,912
(M) 4,608 x 3,680
(S) 3,072 x 2,456

(L) 4,800 x 3,200
(M) 3,600 x 2,400
(S) 2,400 x 1,600
The Nano-Crystal Nikkor lenses are some of the absolute finest lenses made for shooting toward light sources seen against dark backgrounds--as is common in sunrise and sunset shots.

From the samples that are appearing now, the D800's 36MP images can be down-sampled roughly 57% to equal the 12 MP size of the D700, and the images look BETTER, with lower noise, and higher resolution, than side-by-side D700 captures. At least that is what I saw a couple days ago. The 36MP captutre size will allow you to apply a LOT of noise reduction, if you want to. or, as seen above, you can also shoot SMALLER images. OR, you can switch the D800 models to crop-frame sizes with the press of a button.

Canon 's 24-70 II...yeah, looks good on MTF Charts...have not seen any real-world it actually out yet??

Honestly, I'd rather have the Nikon D800 and NOT the D800E, and the superb Nikkor 24-70 AF-S. But then, that's just my opinion. The Nikon D800 ALSO gives you a 6 frame-per-second, 16.2 MP crop-body camera, which is high-resolution still AND which makes ALL lenses more versatile on the body. SO, you'd have a 24-70 as well as a 36-105mm lens in one camera, with one lens. OR, you can shoot in the faux Canon 1.2x FOV mode. OR, you can shoot 5:4, for making 8x10s!!! This multi-format, multi aspect ratio advantage Nikon has becomes even a bigger deal when you move to longer lenses, and want to shoot a LOT of frames and do not want to crop hundred of images to, say 4x5 or 8x10 ratio...
It's almost certain that the Canon has better high ISO performance, but I wonder how the dynamic range will compare between these bodies. Intuition tells me the larger photosites on the Canon sensor, combined with the lower noise floor will make it the winner, but we'll need to wait until both cameras are released to know for sure. Dynamic range would be one of my main considerations in a landscape camera.

Also, Canon's sub-wavelength coating is a different technology with similar intent to Nikon's nano-crystal coating.

And you're already a Canon user... For me the ergonomics of whatever equipment I'm working with are essential. That's not true for everyone, but, for me, the D800 doesn't offer anything worth switching interfaces for. $600 on $5000 or whatever, for gear that you will use for years, seems not a good enough reason.
I recommend waiting for a month or two after each ones release to see how good they actually are. Either upgrade is big money. I have canon and would like a fullframe but would go with the Nikon d700 over a 5D mark II given a choice, but on paper I would prefer a 5d III over the d800 because I think the resolution doesn't give the real benefit of full frame which is bigger better pixels, but who knows, Nikon night have found a way to make it work even better than existing full frame sensors. Wait and see is my opinion
I wouldn't waste money on the 24-70L II until we've seen results from it. More than twice the price of the already great Mark I is a little ridiculous.

Also, the 5D III is pretty much a beast in the ISO department. Looking at the recent crops, you can definitely get fairly clean images at ISO 25,600, while the max native ISO of the D800 is only 6400. You need to weigh low-light performance versus resolution.

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All things considered, I think Nikon setup would definitely worth more for the money, but it would depend on how much I need the high ISO performance. Low-light shooting is very essential for me but it looks like that for the price, I could get Nikon D800 with 24-70mm AND a good flash, to replace the camera pop-up. I think it's a more versatile setup. I definitely prefer low-llight ISO performance over res but in this case, it's really looking for best price/performance ratio.

Yeah, I really don't understand the pricing on the Mark III and 24-70 II. I think they're charging this much because they can.

As for me being a canon user, I already sold all my gear (which wasn't much) and I've extensively shot with my friends D3s so egronomics of both Nikon and Canon aren't an issue. Actually my rebel was a lot different from 5D Mark 3's egronomics so right now I'd say I am more familiar with Nikon.
After carefully reviewing 3 cameras, sample shots and video previews of Nikon D4, D800 and Canon 5d Mark III, I've settled for 5D + 24-70 II option. While significantly more expensive than the Nikon D800 + 24-70, it offers exactly the same ISO performance (in not better in some cases) than significantly more expensive D4, while having higher resolution than the D4. 36mpix on D800 would be nice but I take ISO performance over resolution any day. Plus, paired with the best 24-70 lens (soon to be) out on the market now, I think even 100% crops will look sharp on the 5D. I am not considering any video capabilities of either cameras because I don't shoot videos at all.

The silent shutter feature will be especially handy for me on the 5D plus an extra exposure (3 vs 2 on Nikon) in HDR mode should prove more useful. Originally I didn't care about ergonomics much as I've handled both Canon and Nikons in the past but recently coming back to it, the ergonomics on the Canon are a lot nicer to my taste. I've handled 7D and D700 and I loved the way 7D was laid out.

Overall, considering I can afford it, I don't think that picking the combination of 5D Mark III and EF 24-70 II is a bad choice even for price/performance. Previews of 5D look impressive in ISO department and while are aren't any samples yet from 24-70 II, considering amazing MTF charts, it can't be any worse than its predecessor, and 24-70 I was by no means "bad".

Thanks to people who helped out.

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