Have you switched SLR systems?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by FINNSWEDE, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. FINNSWEDE macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2007
    The question came up and I searched a few different phrases and found nothing.

    I am curious if you or someone you know has switched slr systems from one brand to another and what was it that made you or them decide to do it?
  2. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    May 26, 2006
    Gainesville, FL
    I know a few switchers. One is a professional portrait photographer, shoots lots of senior and work-related portraits in studio as well as families on location. He loved his Nikon gear but Canon had an edge in resolution as well as full frame.

    Recently I switched over a lot of my gear from Nikon to Canon. I have retained one of my D200 bodies, the 200mm f2 VR, 17-55mm DX, and for the time being a flash. I'd been shooting 2 D200's and a D2Hs for some time. I was dealing with lack of resolution on the D2Hs, poor focusing reliability, and high ISO noise among other things. Nikon did not replace either camera with so much as another incremental bump... the D2Xs was not what I was looking for either. Even the theoretical D3 series I could not be sure of liking... and having been burned by the initial releases of a few Nikon products, I decided that even if I did buy it i'd wait for full availability and comprehensive reviews...as well as the ironing out of any issues with the body.

    The Canon EOS-1D Mark III was announced and I found myself intrigued. I bought an EOS-1V film camera to try and get accustomed to the Canon control layouts, and bought a few lenses that Nikon did not have equivalents for that met my standards. When the Mark III arrived I did become a very early adopter. Did I get burned? Not nearly as badly as I've been burned by my Nikons, even though I used to be a Nikon zealot :p. The very minor niggles I have with the body are partially lens related anyways and Canon can have them sorted out within a week.

    Overall? the Mark III turns out to be quite a monster in terms of image quality, features, and the like. Since it came in, I've added 2 more lenses, will be buying still more glass and a flash. Nikon will become my niche brand as I see my needs better served by the Canon.
  3. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Back in the 90's I switched from Contax/Yashica to Nikon's F-mount bodies, when I went digital initially I stayed with the F-mount and got a Fuji, I'm on my second Nikon body since then and don't see myself changing off of it soon.

    I added Mamiya 645 and 6x6, Pentax 6x7, Calument 4x5 and a Canham 5x7 system to the mix a few years after going Nikon. Since I've gone digital though my film bodies have pretty-much just collected dust.

    I get the shots I need with My D2x and I'm spending my money more on lighting these days than camera bodies. If I needed resolution or a larger sensor, I'd probably go with a 4x5 back or 645 back at the least.

    My decision to go off of Contax/Yashica mounts was due to the high shutter speed of the Nikon 8008s body at the time and the direction my photography was taking at the time. These days, I'd switch without hesitation if I wasn't getting the shots I needed, but I am and I don't see myself even upgrading bodies unless the next Nikon body is significantly more compelling.

    I just read the original question, so I'll expound a bit:

    Most people switch because they're poor photographers and they think a different system will do them more good because of some angle or other that doesn't really affect the quality of *their* images. You can watch them on DPR- many of them go back and forth every few years whenever the next "best thing" hits until they learn they can't shoot with that either. Many of them seem to be one or two-person wedding businesses.

    A few people switch because their current gear doesn't do what they need it to do (low light, a specific lens, the flash system...,) or because of handling issues (size, weight, etc.) Normally, they're working pros who can't afford to miss the shots their competitors are getting while their invested brand "catches up."

    Many people keep multiple systems because of a particular feature set, lens or capability.

    Finally, there are people who convince themselves they need something based upon the marketing hype generated by one or the other side of fanboys in the Nikon or Canon camps. That'd be the "full frame" fanboys who own only crop-factor Canons and the "metal body" D200 fanboys who've never cracked a polycarbonate body to illustrate both sides of the issue.

    If you're a working pro, switching systems is a business decision and if you're not getting what you need to sell images, then you're going to ROI the new system pretty quickly. If you're not, then either it's because you're shooting in a narrow set of circumstances that don't apply to 98% of photographers, you're shooting with consumer lenses in challenging conditions, or you've overblown things in your mind enough to convince yourself that you are, or finally you're lazy (The Nikon Creative Lighting System takes the work out of shooting with multiple flashes pretty impressively, an extra stop and a half of high-ISO means you don't have to light things correctly...)
  4. FINNSWEDE thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2007
    That is something I can understand, as my photography evolves, I could see me wanting to add to (but not get rid of) what I have, but what I have works great for what I do now. Except that I always need more lenses. :rolleyes:

    Thanks to both of you, some interesting points so far.
  5. M@lew macrumors 68000


    Nov 18, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    Even though I have a Canon 400D, I would really like a Nikon D80. If I had the money, that would make me switch. :D
  6. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    I switched from Canon to Nikon when I got my D50 last year, though I actually still have the AE-1 and its 50mm f/1.8. Reason was the discontinuance of the Canon FD system, leaving me at complete tabula rasa. I liked the feel and price of the D50, and so went with it over anything Canon had.
  7. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2003
    I am a pro who has switched a few times in my career. At my last newspaper job years ago I made the switch from Nikon F4's to the EOS system for the faster autofocus system. I went back to Nikon when I switched jobs to get into the Nikon D1 digital system. Then I moved back to the EOS 1D for my personal gear for higher res and more features. Now at my current news job we just switched this week from the Nikon D2H to the new Canon EOS 1D MIII and EOS 5D system. We wanted the high res, and full frame capability of these two bodies. So now I have a full frame 16mm lens again WHOO HOO. Switching is a pain but easily done if someone else is footing the bill. The system we got with three bodies and eight lenses from 16mm to 300 2.8 and the various accessories cost about $27K. So I am happy the debt was not mine!
  8. FINNSWEDE thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2007
    What do you think the resolution of the camera would need to be before higher res would be a compelling reason to switch? Or are you already there with 10-12mp?
  9. wmmk macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    Wow, I started with Nikon film, loved my Grandma's N8008, but couldn't stand the 35-70 f/3.5-4.5 I was using it with. I then switched to Pentax digital, which was the first time I ever owned my own SLR or actually developed any talent. Anyway, I've realized that I love photojournalism and documentary photography, and fps is more important than resolution for that.
    Since then, my mom signed me up for a summer photo class which used 35mm, not digital. I looked online for reasonably priced Pentax film bodies and pro level FF glass to no avail. On the other hand I was able to pick up a 70-200 f/4L for half the price of a DA* 50-135f/2.8, an EOS ELAN 7 for 1/11 of the price of a Pentax MZ-S, and a 50mm/1.8mkII for about 1/3 of the price of an FA 50mm/1.4. I'll also be able to purchase a 17-40/4L for $100 less than a DA 12-24/4, even though the L is optically superior. Furthermore, the original (6 year old 4.15MP) Canon 1D is only a couple hundred bucks more than a K10D, and it shoots 8fps, syncs at 1/500s, has amazing DR, and has a built in vertical grip.
  10. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2003
    For me the res of the 5D did it. I can shoot with it and get a full frame 300 DPI image that will work for a full bleed cover for the magazines we produce. I have been using Genuine Fractals for years and now I don't automatically have to.

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