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I’ve finally decided on a camera. It was not by far an easy choice, believe me. When I’ve literally dreamed about cameras every night for the past month or so, you gotta understand it’s been a pretty thought-intensive process.
I’d been going between the Canon 5D Mark II, which shoots 21MP and video at 1080p at 30fps – I don’t even know if any of that makes any sense to anyone out there – and the Nikon D90 which shoots 12MP and video at 720p at 24fps. Yes, the Nikon shoot smaller pictures and lower resolution video. But right now I have a camera that shoot 2MP and no video camera. DVDs are lower resolution than 720p. Oh, here’s a number that might make sense: the Canon (with kit lens) is $3499. The Nikon (with kit lens) is $1299. That’s a pretty big difference. Yes the Canon shoots larger images and higher res video. BUT the Nikon shoot 24fps (which is the same as film) and the Canon shoots 30fps (which is video rate and LOOKS like video).

I kept leaning towards the Canon. They have better lenses. I know two people with a LOT of Canon lenses and accessories. Scott shot with a Canon. But I also have recently fallen in love with the whole Lomo line of cameras. And all their imperfections. And realised the Nikon has a more human feel, more organic, more… happy.

Nikon D90 try out from Laid Back on Vimeo.

D90… day 1 from William Carnahan on Vimeo.

So, I could buy the Nikon, a Glidecam (a kind of steadicam to minimize the jello look of both the Nikon and Canon when hand held), a color calibrated monitor, a tripod, some SD cards, a Lens Baby Composer (awesome) and even the whole Lensbaby Accessory bundle, a backpack and the necessary accessories for what it would cost to get the Canon.

Plus, I’d still have money left over to get a Holga – a 120mm, medium format, plastic lens, awesomeness of a picture taker.

And hire some models for a music video.

I think when you watch the samples of the D90 on Vimeo and look at the gallery from the Holga, you’ll get where my aesthetic is headed.

Decision made.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Victor says:

    The kit lens that comes with the Canon, if bought alone, costs about what the Nikon costs with kit lens. No reason you have to get that lens. If you have time to wait, and 24p is a concern, there is a LOT of pressure being put on Canon to release a firmware version that supports it (or 25 fps).

    BTW, what’s that thing that looks like 4 flashes in a circle, just under your comment about the plastic Holga?

  • I’ve given up waiting on technology. I could wait for a camera that reads my mind and bypass actors and dp’s and production designers.

    My point is, I’d rather make something lo-tech NOW than wait for better, faster and cheaper.

    The four flashes in a circle – if it’s what I think you mean – the ring flash adapter. Neat gizmo.

    If I want the best available technology, I’ll rent. In the meantime, I – like Cyndi’s girls – just wanna have fun.

  • Anonymous says:

    While I agree with your decision to go with the Nikon, allow me to correct some misconceptions in your above post:

    First, the Nikon D90 doesn’t “take smaller pictures,” the file resolution is different, meaning the Canon with the higher resolution will allow a bigger enlargement before image quality is compromised. Generally-speaking, Nikon’s 12mp produces spectacular exhibition-quality A3 11×16 enlargements, the Canon’s 21mp will equal that quality the next size up at 13×19. Since printers have difficulty showing file resolution differences to the naked eye between 240-300ppi (the highest-quality printing ranges), there would be no visible differences between 2 images shot under identical conditions with both the native Nikon and down-sampled Canon files printed at the A3 size.

    The point being; if you never need to print beyond A3 (most non-pros usually enlarge to A4 (8.5×11), the considerably more money spent on the Canon’s extra resolution is wasted.

    The Canon also has a bigger full-frame sensor which offers marginally better noise control. However, the advantage for anyone not regularly shooting 2 minute time exposures or in extremely low light is zero. Again, money wasted.

    Variable focal-length lenses for full-frame cameras are more costly than those for smaller sensor cameras. Again, money wasted.

    The Canon doesn’t have a built-in flash – the D90 does. You should have an accessory flash anyway but with the D90, at least you have the option to travel light without it.

    Lastly, I’m not sure what you’re basing your opinion that Canon lenses are better than Nikon’s on, but it’s wrong. Lens performance varies according to design and application. One simply can’t make a blanket statement like that. With computers designing pretty well all lenses these days, I’d say there’s never been a time when the differences in acuity between lenses from all manufacturers has been harder to define. I do know one thing, I’m aware of many instances of Canon owners using Nikon lenses with an adapter. Notably, the PC lenses. That alone must mean something.

    Good luck with your D90. You’ll definitely enjoy it.