45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Canon EOS 5D Mark II is easily my camera of choice over the Nikon D700
, 2 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Canon Digital SLR Camera EOS 5D Mark II (Electronics)
I hope people will find this review useful. I'm one the few brave souls that has switched from Nikon to Canon in order to use this wonderful camera.
After reading many reviews and being sold the idea of owning a Nikon by a pro press photographer friend, I bought a Nikon D700 and used it for a year. I also had both 50mm f/1.4 and 70-300mm Nikkor lenses. During that year I took some good images and about 30 of them have found their way onto online stock libraries and been downloaded a few times, but I never really got on with the camera. Back in earlier years I shot weddings and portraits as a hobby and used Olympus bodies (OM1 and OM2). I did all my own processing too, so I'm not new to photographic principals. Making the switch to digital with the D700 was not a good experience for me though. Being used to to film and (as a graphic designer) daily processing high quality images on a Mac, I found 12 megapixels often a little too constraining on larger jobs (double-page spread backgrounds for instance). And the camera never really 'allowed' me to mess about creatively. It's too clinical, too exact, too Nikon. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that I fell out of love with photography for a while, and quite often left my camera at home when going out walking etc. I just knew that photographically I wouldn't get what I wanted.
OK, a lot of this has to do with my skills as a photographer, and my ability to use the Nikon to its full potential. But I think a great deal of the photographic experience is about the photographer's sensibilities, the ability to 'see' and create a striking image... without the camera getting in the way. The Nikon got in my way. I just had to sell it.
Enter the Canon EOS 5D Mark ii. Straight out of the box it's a different animal. It doesn't feel as tough as the D700 but it's forgiving, easy to use, intuitive and, above all, creative.
I have just one lens at the moment; an EF 85mm f/1.2 L ii USM. Images from it (and the camera) are staggering... and that's without any post processing.
The video is unbelievable and adds an extra dimension to an already wonderful product. RAW files are capable of use at A2 size and (despite what I've read online) you can save just RAW files on their own... not only in combination with a secondary JPEG. The manual is well written, easily understood and pocket sized.
I would use the word 'clunky' to describe Canon pro stuff. It's almost kind of 'loose' in a way. The Nikon D700 is clinical, something like a BMW... compared to the Canon, which is more like a Land Rover Defender. I know this all sounds a bit silly, but it's the way I think about things. I like to feel comfortable with what I use.
I know which car I would rather drive. And I now know which camera I would rather create with.
The Nikon D700 is a wonderful camera and no doubt it's right for many people. I'm not one of them.
So if you're the arty type, you prefer real ale and you react to things instinctively, I would heartily recommend the Canon EOS 5D. To my mind, the Nikon D700 is a hard working tool for photographers in a hurry... who probably don't like beer.
Finally: a word or ten about Amazon. I paid for express delivery and the camera took one day longer to arrive. Amazon refunded the difference between standard and express delivery immediately. These people understand the principle of retaining good customer relations. I trust them completely and would never hesitate to use them. Well done Amazon. I wish there were more companies like you on the net!
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