Like the Mac vs. PC debate, arguments between owners of Canon and Nikon cameras have long festered.
Nikon was once the standard for 35 mm cameras and most professionals used bodies and lenses from the company. I bought my first Nikon (an "F") in 1966 and shot almost exclusively with Nikons through 2004.
Nikon ushered in the digital age of photojournalism with its groundbreaking D1 single-lens-reflex (SLR). Canon entered the digital field late but gained an advantage when Nikon stumbled with the D2H, a digital SLR with too much noise at higher ISO speeds. Many Nikon owners (myself included) switched to Canon digital bodies and lenses because that company offered more megapixels and better picture quality, especially at high ISOs.
The Canon EOS-1D Mark III features 10 frames per second shooting, low noise at ISO speeds up to 3200 (and acceptable noise at 6400) and a new autofocusing system that was faster and more useful in low light. But some modes of the Mark III had problems with autofocus in certain situations (primarily hot weather and bright light). Canon recently started a program to install a new mirror assembly in affected models.
Nikon jumped back in the game this month with the D3, a 12 megapixel plus model that features low-noise images at up to 25,000 ISO. Advance reviews have, to say the least, been glowing. The new Nikon is a full-frame model that also offers a 1.5 factor with motor-drive speeds up to 11 frames per second.
Given Canon’s autofocus problems, the debate is raging once again and some Canon shooters are saying they might switch back to Nikon.
Not this shooter. I’m happy with my Mark III. It has turned out some good, sharp images as anyone who has read recent issues of The Floyd Press or visited this web site can see.
I’ll let the others debate. I’m too busy shooting pictures.
(Photo above shot with Canon EOS-1D Mark III and a 300mm f/2.8 lens at 6400 ISO. Exposure: 1/1250 sec at f/2.8)