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I'm posting this on behalf of a work colleague who was lucky enough to secure early retirement. I don't have the expertise to answer his question.
Malky finds himself in the enviable position of having a nice retirement package and lots of spare time coming up. He's a keen amateur photographer who currently shoots film on his Dynax 8 with a couple of "cheap and tatty" lenses - his words, not mine. He's decided to treat himself to a new camera and lenses and leave film behind - his Dynax and other film cameras really have been used to oblivion.
Malky is looking at either a D4 or 1DX. Although it's his first digital camera he's spent his life working it IT so has no doubt he'll be able to handle a modern camera and software. Additionally he's always shot in purely manual mode so he's not a "point and shoot" guy. He's mastered my D200 after about an hour and already knows Photoshop better than me. Malky shoots airshows, wildlife and anything else he can basically. For info he's also looking at a 300 F2.8 lens for whichever system he buys into.
Malky has asked for my opinion on these cameras but I've not used them. I had a D2X for a bit but that was a fair few years ago now and times have changed. Basically his question is simple. If you had the choice which camera and system would you buy into and why?
Please don't let this descend into a Nikon V Canon debate! Constructive points only please.
PS I already mentioned that he could go the Sony route since he has the Minola lenses but he has something against Sony from his IT days and just grumbles when you mention the word.....
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I've only one suggestion regarding the 1DX - would your friend consider a 5D mk3 instead? The 1DX is fantastic but a really chunky piece of kit and I would imagine not the nicest thing to point skyward for any period of time trying to photograph planes (or similar). I can't comment on any comparable Nikon kit as I haven't used any of late.
Just a thought.
Appreciate the thought, Letooms. I did mention the 5D III to him and although he's not against the idea he has set his heart on a professional body simply because he's never been able to afford one previously. Now that he can he wants one!! I also mentioned the D800 but he doesn't fancy the storage space associated with the high pixel count.
If he shoots wildlife and airshows, then a DX sensor camera (with its 1.3x crop factor) maybe the camera to go for rather than the FX sensor Nikon D4.
Fitting a 300mm lens on a DX means he now has an effective 390mm lens at f2.8 - very useful for both air and wildlife - and with the top of the range D7100 coming in at £840 (and currently with £100 off!)against the £4200 of the D4, and the D7100 doing 6fps with 24mp against the D4's 16mp - and with the same sensor and 51-point AF systems - well, for me it would have to be the D7100 over the D4 for him!! He could also fit the MB-D15 grip to give him a better grip and dual release buttons for £280 more.
Lens-wise, I'm not sure I would choose a 300/f2.8 at £4000. I would go for the 300/f4 and a 1.4x teleconvertor, at just under £1500 total.
D4 + 300 f2.8 = £8300
D7100 + 300 f4 + 1.4x TC + Grip = £2520
Don't get me wrong, the D4 is a STELLAR piece of kit, but it's his hobby and he's not making money at it, so £8.5k against £2.5k is a no-brainer for me....
My mate who i go out "togging" with has the 1-DX and it is an amazing bit of kit and the 14 fps would be ideal for airshows
Thanks for the info Andy. The only thing for me about the D7100 is the small buffer. I've already mentioned this to Malky and he wasn't impressed. I hadn't thought about the F4 300 though so I will pass this on.
Budget wise he's not that concerned about a few thousand £s (lucky beggar)... He see's this as a once in a lifetime opportunity - which to be fair it is - and he is hoping his initial outlay will set him up for years in much the same way as his old Minoltas have lasted decades. I've tried to sell him my D200 since he's rolling in it but he aint having it!
A good starting point would be for him to find a good retailer, where he can handle both of them and see which he feels most comfortable with. And he shouldn't be left with the impression that the 5D mk3 isn't a professional body!
Fair comment about the buffer - just looked online and it does seem to be an issue, but some are suggesting fast memory cards are the answer...
D4 it is then!
My camera is a D800 which is an amazing camera but my business partner uses the D4 which is completely brilliant. Both of these cameras behave exceptionally well in low and contrasty light. The menu is not too difficult to get to grips with and all the buttons are well positioned. The D4 is not a lightweight but I am certain he would get used to it in no time and it will cover pretty much any photographic situations he wants to throw at it. We manage to carry our kit around all day long (except when they are on the tripods during a ceremony) so I can't think there would be too many issues with the weight. We use Lexar 16gb 1000x CFs so there are no issues with write speed.
If he has the money to spend, and it sounds like he does then he would not be disappointed with the D4.
Hi if your friend is used to an all manual camera and wants a small pixel count why not look at the new Nikon DF 16mp sensor the same as the D4 and he can use Nikon lenses old and new
If your mate has the wealth and the health including strong forearms then he should buy where his heart leads him; there is undoubtedly nothing like the "feel" of the Nikon D or Canon 1D series and as such they inspire confidence which in turn should help the quality of his photography.
I have a "venerable" Nikon D3s which although "only" has a 12 Mb sensor in my view still delivers the goods in terms of quality of image particularly at extreme ISO; if your friend goes for a 300mm f/2.8 (I wonder if Nikon still make the 300mm f/2) then the D series will balance the lens beautifully. The D series are robust and reliable.
He won't be disappointed with a 300mm f/2.8 but it is no lightweight.
I am in the course of trying to justify the purchase of a D4 and failing atm; if he buys and uses one I doubt that he will be disappointed.
I'm inclined to agree with roble...Df all the way.
Whilst the Df prima faci may seem to tick all the boxes I wouldn't suggest one as it is not yet mainstream, we don't know it's pitfalls and there are AFAIK no impartial less hysterical user reviews; what is more I confine myself to suggesting cameras and lenses that I myself have used; any others with reservation only.
Chris, tell Malky to buy the camera he feels he will least likely to regret the purchase of.
Tell him to decide on the camera he wants and once it is bought not to fret over the one he didn't buy.
He will only reach his potential with the camera that he is absolutely confident with.
He has to come to this decision himself.
Why don't you see if you could hire/rent various camera for days each. He can't know what he wants without a trial especially with no experience of digital cameras.
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