D200 vs. EOS 40D for Yearbook

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by termina3, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    Hey guys,

    My school's decided to add to their Yearbook's camera shop with either D200s or the new 40Ds. Currently they run a mix of Canon and Nikon (I have no idea how that happened–the paper runs Canon only), with a lean to Nikon.

    I run Nikon, and have absolutely no knowledge of the Canon line (whatsoever, in any sense). Personally, I'm trying to convince the editor to wait out for the D300, so the D200 prices will drop.

    Here's what an order would look like:

    2x D200/40D(/D300?) (basic kits) $3-4K
    1x Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR or the Canon opposite $2K

    Suggestions, either way? Arguments to wait for the D200 price drop?
     
  2. HckySo macrumors 6502

    HckySo

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    #2
    The Fuji S5 Pro is a camera you should be considering over the Nikon D200, it's the exact same thing as the D200 with a Fuji chip in it which is great. I suggest you get a Nikon mount dSLR for what you're doing because Nikon has a better metering system, meaning if you shoot in any form of auto exposure mode it has a better chance of not over or under exposing and the cameras are just built better.
     
  3. termina3 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    I'm afraid the options are only those I've listed (in-house politics, lenses, previous investments, etc); thanks for the suggestion though!
     
  4. HckySo macrumors 6502

    HckySo

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    #4
    I understand but, just so you know, the Fuji S5 Pro is a Nikon mount camera, meaning if you have any Nikon lenses they will all work with this camera. It's virtually the Nikon D200 with less noise.
     
  5. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #5
    The Fuji is great but way too expensive for what it can do. He is better off going with the Canon 40D or the Nikon D300 if he is going to spend the money on the Fuji. Besides, it's terrible slow to process those high Dynamic Range images.
     
  6. Butthead macrumors 6502

    Butthead

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    #6

    Typical post, no enough info.

    1.) when does this decision have to be made? before the school year starts, which would be about now, lol?

    2.) is this a college or high-school (if it's a HS, yer almost as rich as BH90210, lol)

    3.) how many people need to use these 'pool' cameras? How many photographers or n00bs who are not experienced enought to use these 'tools' will be needing to take pictures?

    4.) I agree 100% with HckySo, the Fuji S5 is a D200 with a vastly superior Fuji sensor substiuted for the Nikon, everything else is pure Nikon, and the metering system in the D200 is superior to Canon.

    5.) If you have more than 2 people in the 'yearbook' pool who *might* be taking pictures, then it is always wise to have more cameras whenever possible. Also, Darwin's law, or was it Megan's, or Moores??? Any way, something will go wrong, one of the cameras will get damaged over the long term, one will get stolen...something will go wrong at the very moment you need a working camera.

    5a) Get a the Fuji S5 Pro for sports/action/nightime/concert/arts/music performance in daylight or under indoor lights or all other critical situations, and have 2 Nikon D40's as backup cameras. This Fuji is awesome, cannot understate the value of extra dynamic range in a yearbook type of situation.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/FujifilmS5Pro/

    Get a Fuji S5Pro w/Nikon 28-200 VR lens @$2500, then get 2 D40's w/28-200 VR lens for $2.5k as backup cameras/additional cameras when you need more than one. The 28-200mm VR Nikon is a big/bulky lens but it is *one* lens that does the functions of several...invaluable in situations where you never know what you might need, don't have time to switch lenses...trust me, I was a HS yearbook photographer many years ago, part of a selected team our art/photographer teacher assembled to try and win a state award for best yearbook.

    Get a 2x teleconverter lens to be used with one of the 3 28-200 VR lenses, as you'll always find a need to get closer to the action with a 400mm lens option. A teleconverter is very small, could even be put into your pocket, which means you still travel light and only carry one principle lens.

    Last (based on the top figure of your stated budget above), and this is the sweetest of all when you can take the time to compose your images (not often in a yearbook situation, but when it happens get the best image possible)., for another $1,000, get a Nikon 85mm PC (perspective control) tilt/shift lens.

    http://www.photosafaris.com/Articles/TiltLenses.asp

    These are awesome, specialty lenses that can do what no other lenses can do. Get one of these and the photographers (like yourself) who learn to use a PC tilt/shift lens--- will caputure some of the most awe inspiring images...I wish I had one of these, could afford one of these, when I was a yearbook photographer. Do a Google search (Canon has more of these specialty lenses) on both the more common Canon & Nikon PC tilt/shift lens to see a multitude of examples of the awesome images you can get with them.

    Lastly, the Fuji S5 Pro (again Nikon D200 with Fuji sensor) takes standard jpeg images, with all of that extra dynamic range as a plus---there is not extra long processing time the Digital Skunk mentions, DS must be confused with the PP technique of HDR, which is a a PITA to do when you get it automatically with every single image the Fuji S5 Pro takes...absolutely invaluable in a critical situation that yearbook photographers face all the time. You can take RAW images with same extra DR as you get with standard jpeg images on the Fuji S5, but no other dSLR can give you that 'built-in' high dynamic range. Other cameras, you can do the tedious multi-exposure bracketing HDR technique with Photoshop in post processing. But for instant capture, when you would miss that special shot in a fraction of a second, you cannot do AE bracketing with a moving subject. Only the Fuji S5 Pro can give you that extra margin of exposure dynamic range, in a single shot, instantaneous moment.
     
  7. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

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    Santa Rosa, California
    #7
    I have and use a Fuji S5 Pro for all of my studio work and personal work. Wonderful camera considering it's built on a Nikon body.

    Pros of this camera:
    1. Uses Nikon lenses. Pretty much all of them work so no need to worry about Nikon equipment being compatible with the S5, everything is.

    2. Really great for portraits, editorial shots, landscapes, etc. Much better than my D200 in my opinion.

    3. Fuji sensor that is just great. Enough said.

    4. Really great noise reduction. Especially when going above ISO 800.

    Cons of this camera:
    1. Slow frames per second. I get a max of 3 per second but unless you're on the side lines of a football game it isn't that big of a deal

    2. Small learning curve from a Nikon camera but nothing that's terrible.

    Really it's all based on what you want. A D-200 is great Nikon camera, Canon probably is too but I haven't had much field time with a Canon.

    It's really all about what you need/want for the price.

    ~Crawn
     
  8. termina3 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    TX
    #8
    There are currently cameras in the stable–3 for a staff of 8 or 9, some of which have their own gear, which translates into not immediately, but soon. I don't think time is the number one concern.

    Prep High School. Yes, we have plenty of money.

    Again, 8-9. I'd approximate 3 of those have little to no photographic experience outside of the Yearbook.

    They've been "living" with the current number of cameras for 3 or 4 years now. See the above "time" comment.

    Considering what the other poster mentioned about FPS, I don't think the Fuji is a viable option. Also, we would like brand and model continuity so cameras can be completely interchangeable–for those noobs who would be lost without the exact camera they're used to.

    The real budget isn't a number (although a preliminary one was given), it's coming up with an estimate of what the yearbook needs and then going from there. I don't see either our editors or the administration going for an expense like that, although I'll mention it.

    In the fall, that's precisely where these cameras will be for 25-40% of the time. Other fast-paced sports are in the Winter and Spring too.
     
  9. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #9
    Termina3

    The Fuji S5 is a wonderful camera with great IQ, but for journalism, which is what Yearbooking is, you will be shooting yourself in the foot. Don't get that camera if you intend to shoot anything other than studio stuff. D200 and D80s, or 30Ds. Don't get a PC shift for use on a 1.5x crop, that will negate the PC shift.

    I agree with the other posters, but the S5 Pro just won't cut it when it comes to speed. And as I stated before, the only way to get the IQ that the S-Pixels provide is to turn them on, and dramatically slow down your shooting speed, recording time, and preview time, so you end up with a camera that will do 1.2 fps for up to 5 frames. Other than that you will have a 6.3 MP camera that does 3 fps in a D200 body that you will pay almost $1999 for. That's the price of the D300 when it comes out in November.

    Check out a good review at www.bythom.com and see what an actuall owner says. I hope you make the right choice.
     
  10. termina3 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #10
    No pressure, right?

    To clarify, it's not my call–I'm just trying to convince the editor to consider other options, because my gut is to wait until the D300 comes out(!), for the D200 price cut if not the D300.
     
  11. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #11
    Your best move! :D
     
  12. uberfoto macrumors member

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    #12
    I too think the S5 would be a poor choice for a photojournalism camera. I would probably go with the 40D's. The S5 is just too slow. Dont get me wrong about the D200 either, i love my D200, but i think the cleaner high ISO of the Canon will be more useful than the features of the D200. Either cameras would be great though. I would be biased to the D200's myself. Either camera you choose, I would pick up a couple 50 f/1.8's to be used indoors.

    If you can convince them to wait until November, more power to you. The D200 price will probably come down to the $1299 range.
     
  13. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #13
    I'm not sure that you're going to see much more of an immediate price cut on the D200 - it's already down to $1499 at the reputable sellers - e.g. B&H. (Also - given Nikon's past releases - it will likely be hard to get a D300 for the first few months and there won't be that much more pressure on the D200 price as a result).
    It sounds like the real question that you're asking is whether to argue with the powers that be to wait a few months in the hopes of cheaper prices. It doesn't seem likely that a few more months and the official release of the D300 will have much impact on the current lower prices of the D200 noted above. That combined with the facts that 1) you'll lose most of your first semester without the new gear and 2) money doesn't seem to be an issue anyway don't seem to add up to waiting.

    Have a great year!
     
  14. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #14
    I'm not sure why people here are so adamant that 3 fps are absolutely inadequate for sports (unless you insist on enabling the extra pixels when shooting your football team). My cousin used to shoot sports events with a (Canon) D30 …*much more important than just mere fps is the buffer depth -- which is more than big enough these days (about 40-45 pics on my lowly D80).

    In either case, the D200 is a very good bargain these days. But I don't think you should dismiss the S5 out of hand, so far, it's the best camera for skin tones on the market.
     
  15. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #15
    Alright- now that everyone has had their say about the Nikons, I feel compelled to say why I think you should get a Canon. First off- forget about the Fuji. The idea behind the SuperCCD is that when you have large and small sensors, you will be able to pick up more dynamic range. This is it. The camera is up there for weddings, along with the 5D, but it is slow, and despite what Fuji says, it is a 6.2 MP camera. Interpolating pixels will never give you the same results as a true 12+ MP camera.

    My other argument for Canon is based on you saying that the school is based on Canon already. What lenses do they have? What flashes and what accessories? All that could end up saving you money and allow you to get something more substantial (like a 1D MKIII). Canon also has a wider array of the lenses you're looking for. The 70-200 f/2.8 IS (which has the same specs as the Nikon) is about $150 less. You can also get a 70-200 f/2.8, for about $1100 (which I have an love), a 70-200 f/4 IS (about the same price), or a 70-200 f/4 (about $700). All of them are exceptional in terms of image quality, and will save you money over the Nikkor.

    The D200 is an excellent camera. It's fast, weather-sealed, and will do fine for many of your school's needs. The question is whether your school doesn't already have too much invested in Canons (especially in terms of glass), which may allow you to get a 1D MKIII, with it's 10fps shooting, and built quality that far exceeds the D200.
     
  16. IcebreakerX macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Is there any reason...

    I'd think you'd want more lenses and camera bodies than a couple 200s.

    The D40 and D80 are more than enough in their own right. I also run yearbook at a school, but I basically have one flagship that I personally use for shooting school events (D200 + 18-200 VR) and then a pair of 80s and a Canon, with an assortment of lenses.

    The D200 is much better than the 40 or 80 in terms of metering, but the absolute bottom line of the quality (not technical quality, content quality) of the image isn't going to change much (the 40x, 80 and 200 share CCDs anyways). I'd personally deploy more cameras so I get a better breadth of photos of the student body than a limited amount of cameras that overmatch the users.

    Also, Auto ISO.

    That is something that you absolutely need for shooting life. If you have time to futz with exposure and ISOs, go with a Canon or any other line. But from my experience of shooting events and school life, that's not usually the case. Losing a shot because I have to mess with ISO or because my ISO was set too low is not fun.
     
  17. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #17
    I don't disagree with IcebreakerX's observation that a few D80s might be more in line with the task, but if there was really a question re: Canon and Nikon for you (and I'm assuming there really isn't given your initial post that you favor Nikon and use it and don't know anything about the Canon system) - Auto ISO is not the deal breaker.

    Even a few years ago, when we were all shooting film, the ISO was more or less settled when you loaded your roll. Yet year books, newspapers, etc. were able to be produced. Of course today, you'll see white lenses along the red carpet and sidelines and those guys who are shooting to eat aren't concerned about auto ISO and are certainly capturing life.http://static.flickr.com/60/187608788_57947322d3_o.jpg (there's a Nikon guy in there amongst the EOS straps).
    [Link by way of http://www.apertureprofessional.com/ - a user support site for Apple's Aperture]

    Now, full disclosure, I currently use a Canon 30D (usually with a 24-105 f4L IS lens and used Nikon film cameras prior to going digital and am tempted by the D300 because I've always liked Nikon's metering more than Canon's - my failing that it matters so much) and I would hate it if the ISO was moving around on me without my say-so. I'd like to keep it at 200 unless light just won't allow, then 400, etc. That's pretty up front (as it was with film) - i.e. are you shooting outdoors, in a dim auditorium, etc. Once I'm where I'm going to shoot, I check my shutter at the aperture I'm likely to shoot at and make sure it's fast enough - if not, I up the ISO. I shoot manual - so once my ISO is set - I just move my shutter and aperture around to expose correctly (a process that doesn't take any time given that your fingers are on the dials and the exposure meter is in the view finder). And - a saving grace of the digital age - if you're shooting RAW in addition to JPEGs (I shoot RAW+fine JPEG to always have a digital negative, perhaps overkill but it saves shots I like from my errors from time-to-time) you have some latitude to change the exposure if need be after the fact.

    That said, the 40D does have an auto ISO setting - or so I read in the spec materials that I've seen.

    Depending on who is making up the year book photography staff, more automation may be welcome regardless of brand (e.g. students who don't really count photography as a hobby). In that case, I wouldn't wish a D200 or 40D on them - poor souls. I would send them straight to the D40 / D40x kits (why not XTi, my bias is that the D40 is just a tad better set up for out-of-the-box use).
     
  18. IcebreakerX macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Well, I'm not saying that Auto ISO is the make or break. It's just a huge, huge burden off the user, especially when you're dealing with youth who aren't necessarily completely absorbed in the task.

    At the same time, the 'life' you describe isn't necessarily life as the rest of us know it. Lighting conditions in the situations you describe tend to be either constant or augmented with a speedlight. And like you said, they're pros. They have the know-how to adjust to rapidly changing situations. They also got the images, but it took a lot more intuition and experience to optimize the image. Auto ISO helps to optimize images by allowing the third (logical) auto adjustment in the Program mode.

    Auto ISO is simply a big help for those who want the point-and-shoot ease, but need the other goodies of a SLR. I also use it because the 200 is so damn good at exposure and I rarely need to override it. When I used an 80, I'd have to tweak more, but the 200 is damn good.

    That said, I'd hate to hand D200s to students. They're rugged, but they're not going to fare well in drops and bang up any better than a D40 or D80.
     
  19. termina3 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    TX
    #19
    First off, thanks for all the replies–you guys continue to be a wonderful resource.

    Currently our school is pretty much half Canon, half Nikon. The only glass worth mentioning on either side is the newspaper's 70-200 f/2.8 Canon (the editor's baby). The majority of the skilled photographers have their own equipment–and most of it's Nikon.

    I'll check in with "sources close to the editor" and see whats going on.

    Thanks!

    -T
     
  20. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    d300


    *** A no-brainer. Wait for the Nikon d300....but unless you order NOW, it will be February before you actually get one.

    2nd choice, Canon 40D.
     
  21. termina3 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    TX
    #21
    Final Order:

    3 D200s
    3 18-70 Nikkor DX
    1 Nikkor 18-200
    1 3rd party 50mm prime f/1.8 (something like that...)
    some bags, etc.

    interestingly enough, no CLS

    They were thinking about adding the 70-200, but that would've put them $200 over (what a shame... each member of the staff would have to bring in $20).

    Anyways, thanks for all the help guys! Now I just have to work on my Newspaper photo editor...
     
  22. javabear90 macrumors 6502a

    javabear90

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    #22
    Alright, so, I happen to be the editor (or equivilent) of this particular yearbook. (its funny that I ran into this by complete chance tonight and though It sounded just like my problem.) Anyways, so it turns we have decided on, due to a ~$4000 or so budget, that we are getting:
    2 D80's with 18-135mm's
    1 Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
    1 85mm f/1.8
    1 50mm f/1.8

    Plus memory cards and bags and junk.

    It comes out to about 4000. I was originally shooting for a 10k purchase, but the main teacher freaked when I told it to her. I think this will do until next year.

    I'm ordering Monday from B&H, (they closed early today), and if anyone has any further suggestions, please add them. Is there any sort of educational discout or something? We want to ship it two day air and that would cost an extra 150 or so, and I'm thinking about negociating a price with them becuase we can get tax expemption here and free shipping.

    (oh, sorry to hijack the thread btw.)

    -Ted
     
  23. termina3 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Glad you did :)
     
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #24
    If I were you, I'd get the Nikon 85 mm f/1.8 and Sigma 30 mm f/1.4. Why get the 50 mm f/1.8 if you have the 85 mm f/1.8, and you want to get the most range with your budget?
     
  25. unknown87 macrumors regular

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