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300d/d70

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Maybe a little premature, since the d70 has yet to hit the market. At dpreview there has already been a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of these cameras. I'll probably get one of these this spring (even though a housing will have to wait). Before I can make a decision I need to know what the UW implications are. I'll be buying in Japan, where the 300d is around 110 kYen with kit lens, and the d70 should be around 140 kYen with kit lens.

 

The 300d has already produced some stunning UW shots, as proven by several posters on this forum. It's a bit cheaper than the d70, but has been electronically crippled, so it has some limitations regarding amongst other things AF modes if I have understood it correctly. What I do not know is how these limitations affect UW use. But it will do TTL with the Aquatica housing, which to an inexperienced photographer like myself sounds great. But I really can't know how important this is.

 

The d70 costs a bit more but has a better kit lens (at least that's what everyone is assuming). The choices for WA lenses are better, eg the 10.5 dx lens. Burst mode is better, which should be useful when shooting with no flash, for instance trying to shoot fast moving marine mammals (I was in Norway in October swimming with Orcas, and with only 10 seconds with them within sight at a time, with the shutter lag of the 4040 thats about 3 shots). But TTL is not possible with the d70, so an option there would be to house a Nikon flash. How powerful is one of those flashes compared to UW ones? Is it only enough for macro shots? And how much are the flash housings roughly? There something called flash sync speed, which I don't understand, and apparantly this is better on the d70. Practical consequences?

 

At the dpreview forums there's been a lot of childish Canon vs Nikon arguments leading nowhere, but I think that is unlikely to happen here since people here aren't into this because of identification with a logo. In a way I realize I can't go wrong with either of these, but I'd still like to make an informed decision based on pros and cons. And I believe I'm not the only one trying to decide between these two cameras.

 

Any input appreciated!

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I am leaning towards the D70. Here is an chart that you might find helpful:

 

http://www.digitalreview.ca/cams/NikonD70_page5.shtml

 

I don't think that you will go wrong with either system. Since Canon & Nikon lenses are not interchangeable, you are gambling on which line to stake your future in (ie: if you go with Canon / Nikon now, you will already have the lenses so future upgrades will be limited to Canon products....or you will have to buy all new lenses).

 

I am putting my money on Nikon (which will also fit Fuji).

 

TTL is nice for macro....but not a necessity in my opinion.

 

HTH,

David

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I'm curious about the D70's kit lens as it seems pretty slow. You might be better off buying the body and just getting a 50mm 1/8 as your prime. Would be cheaper as well.

 

Pete

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The 17 - 70 F 3.5 might be slow based on film experience but a 50MM is not wide enough for even everyday land use. Remember you have to multiply the lens focal lenghth by 1.5 to get the functional focal length for your digital body. A 50 becomes a 75.

 

Back to the original question for UW use I would go witht he Nikon for the wide angle lens offerings that are currently available. 10.5 and the 12 - 24.

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I think most people would find the 15mm FE or 16mm FE more useful that the 10.5mm. A 180 degree fisheye is not a general purpose lens.

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And if one were to go with the 300d + kit lens and one more lens, would the other lens be a macro or a WA? In other words, is the 17-55, although obviously inferior to a dedicated lens, better as a macro or as a WA?

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Solely based on focal length, I'd tend towards a macro lens, either the 50mm or the 100mm. If you only have 2 lenses, I'd probably get the 100mm. My active set of lenses for UW use at this point is the Canon 17-40L, which I used 80% of the time last week in Cozumel, the 100mm macro (unfortunately not a lot of opportunity to use it last week, but I love the lens), and my 28-135 (which due to the port setup really only got used at about 28-80). Choosing 2, I'd go with the 17-40L and the 100mm.

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The 17 - 70 F 3.5 might be slow based on film experience but a 50MM is not wide enough for even everyday land use. Remember you have to multiply the lens focal lenghth by 1.5 to get the functional focal length for your digital body. A 50 becomes a 75.

True, but I know quite a few folks using the 50 or the 85 as their prime land lens. Of course, they're more concerned with street portraits than WA so that makes sense.

 

As far as uw goes, I would also opt to go the nikon route just for the 12-24 alone.

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The Nikon SB800 and older SB's take 4 AA batteries, so they are about as powerful as a DS50 or a Sea and Sea YS90

 

Hope that helps,

James Wiseman

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As far as uw goes, I would also opt to go the nikon route just for the 12-24 alone.

 

But there's a Sigma 12-24 for Canon, right?

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Choosing 2, I'd go with the 17-40L and the 100mm.

 

I can't afford those two, but I guess what you're saying is the kit lens + a 100 mm macro would be your recommendation?

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I am not betting on the kit lens being desireable underwater. I would get it for topside. Underwater (if limited to 2 lenses) I would get the Sigma 15mm FE & the Nikon 60mm.

 

Solely my opinion (based on alot of research & question)!

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what you're saying is the kit lens + a 100 mm macro would be your recommendation?

 

Yes, sorry, that's what I meant. What I was saying is that if I had to choose from my lenses only 2, those are the 2 I'd choose.

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Hi Paul,

 

If you plan to buy the D70 or the Canon and not planning to house it for good while, I would lean towards a wide to medium zoom and a medium to long zoom. Both of these will give you everything you need topside.

Regarding what macro you'll require; well, you are welcome to use one of my set-ups to get the feel of the 60 & 105, as well as the w/a.

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If you plan to buy the D70 or the Canon and not planning to house it for good while, I would lean towards a wide to medium zoom and a medium to long zoom. Both of these will give you everything you need topside.

Regarding what macro you'll require; well, you are welcome to use one of my set-ups to get the feel of the 60 & 105, as well as the w/a.

 

That would mean the kit lens plus something like a xx-300mm for topside? Regardless of camera? In light of your offer, I'd better go with the Nikon, in case I really like one of your Nikon lenses. ;)

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Good plan. :-)

 

All joking aside, let's say you are starting out from scratch and don't own any lenses, housing, ports, etc.

 

Start by looking at available housings - what will be available for each camera. Here's what we know and what I assume (in parens)

 

Nikon:

 

Aquatica

Ikelite

Nexus

(Subal)

(UK Germany)

(Jonah)

 

Canon 300d:

 

Aquatica

Ikelite

(Subal)

(UK Germany)

(Jonah)

 

Nexus doesn't do Canon housings.

 

OK, so the housing choices are slightly fewer for the Canon but not much diff.

 

Now on to camera body features:

 

Nikon has all the features of the 300D PLUS:

 

AF/AE lock w/o having to use the DOF preview button (important at f22)

MSC switch

Flash modes (rear, slow rear, etc)

 

 

Now on to lenses, Nikon has all of the same lenses as Canon (except about 20% higher price) PLUS:

 

12-24DX

70-180 Macro Zoom

10.5DX fisheye

60mm Micro goes 1:1

 

Feel free to correct me on any of this if I'm wrong. I've never done this comparison before, but I think it's overdue. Maybe material for an article.

 

Cheers

James Wiseman

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Start by looking at available housings - what will be available for each camera. Here's what we know and what I assume (in parens)

 

All 300D housing solutions can be found here:

http://www.digideep.com/product.php?pType=...a&mID=7&pID=639

 

Housing announcements for the D70 will be tracked here:

http://www.digideep.com/product.php?pType=...&mID=25&pID=769

 

So if your trip is near and you do not own any lenses

or ports yet, the 300D is currently a sure thing.

 

Andi

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Andi - might want to fix the digideep A300 listing, shows a 30 mt/ 100 ft rating, accdg to Aquatica's site, it's 300 feet....

 

Chris

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I see everyone has listed the actual features of each camera in the comparison but no discussion of noise and sensors. I am assuming that this is due to the D70 being brand new.

 

I know it has been discussed with regards to the D100. I think you need to review these factors also in your decision. A wise man once told me that Canon will come out with the lenses you feel are currently missing so I would disregard that factor. (As mentioned Sigma already has the 12-24 for the Canon)

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So Todd, when are these mythical lenses coming out? :-) I'm not the "wise man" you're referring to I hope. I've been called wise*** as the best of times...:-)

 

If Canon releases 1.6x crop lenses, the won't work with the 1.3x crop cameras that Canon makes. Not sure if that's a factor or not as Canon might regard "digital" lenses as consumer products.

 

But if they do, that's a different stance than Nikon has taken. Nikon's digital lenses are supposed to be "pro" quality.

 

Cheers

James

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So lenses might or might not be an issue. I think that what Craig said makes sense, that a 14-16 mm fisheye will be enough for most people. What about that thing I don't understand, the flash sync speed? What will it do for me UW? (compare: what have you done for me lately)

 

Burst speed I think might be useful for non-strobe shooting, but will hardly be of importance otherwise. Also, I'd really like to hear from the handful of current 300d users as to what extent the electronic crippling of the 300d is a hindrance UW.

 

Noise performance is also of significance to me, as I will try to shoot in low light conditions with no strobe. I know the 300d produces some excellent pictures at iso1600. Is there a reason to believe the d70 won't be as good?

 

I really like the way this thread is turning out, and I'm getting some useful information. The confusion, however, has not gone away. Which I guess is normally the case - more knowledge; more confusion. I judge housing options to be roughly equal, so it still comes down to TTL and lower price vs. extra features and (possibly) more lens choices. The difficulty lies in evaluating what these factors will mean to me.

 

Maybe material for an article.

 

That would be great, James! :)

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What about that thing I don't understand, the flash sync speed? What will it do for me UW?

 

Not much use underwater. If you are shooting fast moving subjects beyond strobe distance, then you need a faster shutter speed to eliminate motion blur. The only problem I've had is sea lions zipping around in the background.

 

Noise performance is also of significance to me, as I will try to shoot in low light conditions with no strobe. I know the 300d produces some excellent pictures at iso1600. Is there a reason to believe the d70 won't be as good?

 

Probably not. I think the image quality and noise performance will be close enough that you wouldn't much notice.

 

The D70 has some more features. The price difference is $100.

 

For underwater use, the Nikon offers better/more lens choices.

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For underwater use, the Nikon offers better/more lens choices.

 

Can someone expand on this? I'm going through the same process as Paste is (this thread has been amazingly helpfull!). I think that the two are pretty comparable cameras and the more important question for people just starting out down the SLR path is which lense system to commit to.

 

I've looked for a broad comparison of the lenses between Canon and Nikon but can't find anything other than specific lenses. I'm guessing that the UW preference for Nikon is because of the WA lenses? How about topside? (another article topic perhaps?!?)

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See James's reply above:

 

 

Canon has all the same lenses except:

 

12-24DX

70-180 Macro Zoom

10.5DX fisheye

60mm Micro goes 1:1

 

These are all pretty useful lenses from what I have read. In fact they are the top 4 on my list to get (probably long term).

 

The 60 mm macro will probably be my first purchase. I think it will be easier to learn to get great photos at macro than any other style. I think it will be easier to control strobes and focus on stationary subjects like coral and slugs before I move on to more challanging and mobile critters. I probably will have more success close up with strobe effectiveness and less water. This is also a fairly inexpensive lens at around $3-400.

 

I love WA the best but never quite know what I will want to shoot on a dive. The 12-24 would be an excellent way to get that flexability. Sigma also makes a comparable 12-24 lens for both Canon and Nikon but there is some doubt as to weather it will fit in the Ikelite port. I have read that it does not. Anyone know?

 

The 10.5 looks like an awesome WA lens too especially for very large subjects. I've see it give excellent results especially with the image correction software. It is reasonably priced and would be a blast. It doesn't bother me that it can't be used for film. I'll never go back. But I'm a bit worried that it won't be useful if they come out with full sized sensors in their lower priced dSLRs soon and it won't be useable.

 

The 70-180 macro would be a great addition if I get really good at macro and want to take the really small stuff. I also like the ability to zoom and get exactly what I want in the frame. This will probably be my last lens to buy on the list though.

 

I also like the flexability option of switching body manufacturers next time around. Both Kodak and Fugi use the nikon system. So the system will be a good one to stick with.

 

C'mon and sell me one already! Before I change my mind--again.

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