I have been a ardent Canon DSLR user for past 4 years and for the most part, quite satisfied with the results I am able to extract from my Canon gear. However with the impending switch to full frame system, I have been weighing my options and contemplating whether to stick to Canon or switch to Nikon.
While I have used Nikon DSLRs in past, it has usually been for short duration, which wasn’t enough to help me make my mind. So when I decided to snatch Rajiv’s Nikon D800 with Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VR at a wedding, I knew it was a golden opportunity for me to finally learn a little about this foreign system.
With Rajiv busy taking group portraits; I was free to experiment with his Nikon D800 and 70-200 f2.8 VR, as I took candid and posed photographs of guests at the wedding. Juggling 3 cameras at the same time (2 Canon bodies and 1 Nikon) was no easy task, but thankfully I did get a hang of it and managed to switch between all three effortlessly, based on situation.
As far as ergonomics are concerned, Nikon D800 was just great. However with the heavy 70-200 lens, my little finger did miss battery grip.
What I didn’t like was the fact that quite a few of the buttons required use of left hand (which isn’t the case with my 60D and 1000D.) Add to that, since I am not well versed in Nikon menus and system, I couldn’t put the camera on Auto ISO, hence had to end up shooting in Aperture Priority mode with fixed ISO and variable shutter speed. Sadder still, I didn’t know how to juggle AF points, so I was stuck to the choice of either a single point or group AF with wide cluster.
All this did result in a few missed candid shots, but nothing too serious.
Overall I did like the handling of Nikon D800 as well as its AF performance and accuracy, especially considering some of the low light places I used it. And I did manage to get a few good shots with it (sadly can’t share them yet, since we are yet to send them for approval to client.)
To make the long story short, in the 40-45 minute field trial of Nikon D800 and 70-200 f2.8 VR, I did like their performance and now know for sure, that even if I have to switch from Canon to Nikon, learning curve wouldn’t be too steep.
Hopefully I will get to test out Canon 5D Mark iii with 70-200L f2.8 IS II while on assignment, so as to compare both the equivalent offerings from Canon and Nikon, before eventually making up my mind.