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What to do, stick or jump.

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Old Saturday 29th September 2018, 21:50   #1
falconer2406
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What to do, stick or jump.

Hi all, a canon user for ten years or more now with my go to camera being the 7d mk11 and my back up body being the 1d mk111.
I often shoot with a buddy whom is a staunch Nikon man using mainly an 810.
We recently had the good fortune to visit Bence Mattes farm in Hungary with both of us fortunate enough to come home with some excellent shots.

However when we get together to compare shots it's evident that his photos appear much sharper then mine and seem to carry more detail and less noise.
Noise is an issue I've had with the mk11 since ownership, certainly an improvement over the mk1 but still imho woefull.
So I'm thinking of changing but am having trouble making the decision as to what.
Budget is around 2k and I believe I want to go full frame to match the D810, that being the case I'm looking at the 5d mk111, however the reviews I've seen don't convince me the difference is significant.
So I'm asking you my fellow birders what would you do. Would you even stay DSLR or would you consider a format change?
I'm not adverse to effectively starting again with gear, but with the options as they are it's a hell of a decision.
Help!!!!!!
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Old Sunday 30th September 2018, 09:32   #2
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I am a m43 shooter and am keeping an eye on the market, and my personal opinion is to urge you to hold fire.

The EOS R is a promising foray into mirrorless DSLR, but is by no means an out and out birding camera, but if Canon bring out a 7D3 as a mirrorless body, with a nice new sensor, that may well be the camera to suit you - mirrorless has huge advantages that would stop me going to a traditional mirror DSLR now.

If you have good Canon L lenses I would keep using what you have until the R system matures a bit - they are meant to work well on the R system with adapter. If Canon can recreate Sony’s A9 in crop sensor, with all Canon’s catalogue of glass, it would be a world beater!

Another possibility is the L mount alliance, again I understand this will work well adapted with EF glass, and the S1R on announcement looks nice, but specs are sparse to come by and it all rests on how good DFD with AI can be as regards to birding - on sensor phase detect could be the way to go for all in the end, but time will tell, and it would be nice if Panasonic could prove the world wrong on contrast detect autofocus.

Nikon’s mirrorless entry is similar to Canon, not yet birding ready it would seem, but again a mirrorless D500 could be pretty special if it happens.

You may prefer to stay with traditional DSLR in which case holding fire still holds true in my opinion, the 7D3 could still be mirrored, and if on par or better than the D500 then there would be no need to change systems - if you want an immediate solution a D500 is the current way to go I think, and their PF glass looks really tempting as a compact lighter solution.

Full frame would seem a factor in your comparison shots with your mate, but I believe APS-C has it’s advantages over full frame, unless you are willing to carry (and pay for) massive glass. Crop sensor does get you closer, smaller, lighter and cheaper, and if the subject is close to start with, you can get fairly clean shots even on m43. (Quick m43 shot attached not brilliant but I am happy, also with a crop, shot at 400mm, equivalent to 800mm full frame - of course at greater distances bigger sensors come into play, especially cropping with regard to noise, but then you need the expensive big heavy glass).

I would love a full frame, or even APS-C crop sensor, setup to use when I feel like carrying more, but I concede to get my 800mm equivalent fov I would need a 400mm on a 1.4x TC permanently, which to a lot of budgets would put you shooting at f/8 so as things stand I am sticking with m43 for portability, but am watching the market with care - one day I would love to invest in a mirrorless 7D3 with a DO lens, or the Nikon, Sony or Panasonic equivalents, but I shall currently sit back and watch the various systems grow and mature, trying to get the best from my current kit.
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Old Sunday 30th September 2018, 15:45   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falconer2406 View Post
Hi all, a canon user for ten years or more now with my go to camera being the 7d mk11 and my back up body being the 1d mk111.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence .......

No mentioning of lenses use by you and your buddy. Maybe the glass and not the body is responsible for the differences (and how individual lenses and bodies match-up).

Postprocessing by different individuals may also result in different outcomes.
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Old Sunday 30th September 2018, 17:15   #4
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Postprocessing by different individuals may also result in different outcomes.
Supported. Maybe it would be an idea to exchange 2-3 good shots from one birding day and compare your PP results with your friend's, and vice versa.

Only a few years ago I dreamed of a 7D2 as the perfect birding tool. Nikon's recent models are impressive, but if I search for a topic on Flickr, I still see a majority of fine shots taken with Canon bodies.
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Old Sunday 30th September 2018, 22:00   #5
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It's not realistic to compare a 7d2 to a Nikon D810. I would fully expect images from the Nikon to be superior in every way.
If your budget is 2K you may well end up worse off by switching brand.
The 5D4 is a good upgrade path for you and I believe may be on a par or at least close to the Nikon D810, but may well blow budget.
I think the DSLR still has plenty of mileage in it.
Regards,
Mike.

Last edited by MJN : Monday 1st October 2018 at 08:13.
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Old Sunday 30th September 2018, 22:36   #6
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What glass are you using? Could the money be better spent there?
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Old Monday 1st October 2018, 07:15   #7
falconer2406
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaspirit View Post
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence .......

No mentioning of lenses use by you and your buddy. Maybe the glass and not the body is responsible for the differences (and how individual lenses and bodies match-up).

Postprocessing by different individuals may also result in different outcomes.
Thank you for the response, glass used by me is the 100-400mk2 and 500 f4 prime, my buddy uses the equivalent Nikon glass.
I fully agree about post processing but am of the opinion the shot needs to be right to start with.
It could be settings but sitting in hides in Hungary we had plenty of time to compare, my guess is its the pixel count of the 810 and dealing with noise better that's just getting the edge.
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Old Monday 1st October 2018, 08:45   #8
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Originally Posted by falconer2406 View Post
Thank you for the response, glass used by me is the 100-400mk2 and 500 f4 prime, my buddy uses the equivalent Nikon glass.
I fully agree about post processing but am of the opinion the shot needs to be right to start with.
It could be settings but sitting in hides in Hungary we had plenty of time to compare, my guess is its the pixel count of the 810 and dealing with noise better that's just getting the edge.
Full frame with more pixels means that less magnification is needed when printing large which will make images look sharper. FF will also mean less noise, at least 1 stop (even more compared to the 7Dii). If you can get the same framing, like in a hide where you are pretty close to the subject, FF is always better.

D810 also lacks a low pass filter.

If your technique is not flawless* and you don't use good glass, the above might not be of much importance though.

*Using stable support and/or fast shutter speeds, well-adjusted AF, suitable AF-settings, no tele-converters etc.
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Old Monday 1st October 2018, 08:45   #9
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Originally Posted by falconer2406 View Post
Thank you for the response, glass used by me is the 100-400mk2 and 500 f4 prime, my buddy uses the equivalent Nikon glass.
I fully agree about post processing but am of the opinion the shot needs to be right to start with.
It could be settings but sitting in hides in Hungary we had plenty of time to compare, my guess is its the pixel count of the 810 and dealing with noise better that's just getting the edge.
Yes pixel count and better sensor (without AA filter) are definitely key to the comparison, but not quite sure how your original idea of a 5D3 would make you think you could make up ground? You would give up 14MP on your mate’s 810 and also still have AA filter, as with all current Canon’s I believe.

The 7D2 would be the better bet out of the two from a cropping aspect. If you can stretch to a 5D4 you would be much closer to the 810, but still with AA filter - from m43 I have seen the difference no AA filter can have, it can be quite big. Also sensor advancements play huge parts, and sadly Canon are currently falling behind Nikon, so my opinion is current Canon upgrade options may not make you happy, hence my original thoughts in my first post of waiting for advancements if not swapping systems - Canon glass is still up there, they just don’t currently have the bodies to quite compete.

The 7D2 with those lenses is a fine setup, and can get brilliant shots, but they are best taken on their own merits and not pixel peeped or compared to others, especially full frame users where no cropping was needed!

If you are willing to swap systems I say go Nikon if you are happy with DSLR and not worried about mirrorless, but even that might not get the same results if your mate is better at processing or maybe even has better technique, but having the same gear should hopefully be the leveller you are after if you don’t want to wait out advancements.
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