Nikon D60 > Canon 20D ... I don't get it..

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by finnschi, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. finnschi macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Ok so here is my story..

    I was out with some friends yesterday, and one of had a Nikon D60, we took some pictures with the same settings ( P- Mode ISO 400) but... the Nikon pictures where MUCH nicer ... we even used the same type of lens ( Canon 18-55 EF-S, Nikon 18-55 Kit lens) the Nikon destroyed my canon, how can that be? is there a problem with my camera?

    20D =
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/finntography/sets/72157622150162397/

    D60=
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/finntography/sets/72157622274762264/

    I guess the better macro performance is due to better glass (although both are 18-55, the Nikon glass could focus much closer than the canon) but even then... all canon pictures look dull compared to the nikon or is it just me? :(

    My 20D should kill the D60 dont you think? :mad:
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #2
    According to the EXIF information on the two images I looked at, the ISO wasn't the same...


    Nikon's consumer-grade kit lenses have been fairly good for quite some time, Canon has only recently increased the quality of their low-end lenses.

    You're comparing the JPEG engines on two different cameras, one of which is newer than the other, and the settings for the JPEG engine alone will account for much of the difference...

    No, it shouldn't. Most modern DSLRs bodies with roughly the same-sized sensors will put out roughly equivalent images- the lenses will make more of a difference than the body to most images. The D40/D60 cameras are incredible values for those who own them and shouldn't be underestimated in terms of pure image quality because of their price or status as the "low end" Nikon bodies.

    Worry more about what you can do to produce better images than the automatic settings and less about what someone else's camera will produce and you'll be happier and get further...
     
  3. gatepc macrumors 6502

    gatepc

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    #3
    If I am not mistaken ( and I could be ) isn't the 20D a older camera then the D60? if so thats the reason right there! Camera technology advances so much in so little time I am not surprised. I looked at the pictures and I really don't see much difference though I mean the only difference I really notice is that the d60 lens can get a lot closer hence the more shallow depth of field other then that I notice that it looks a tad more sharp on the d60 as well. Overall I don't think there is a big difference. Looks like the d60 just has a better lens is all.
     
  4. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #4
    First, you have to make sure the P settings are resulting in the same f/setting for the two lenses. A mere 1-stop down can make a big difference in sharpness/contrast... I'd have set them on Aperture-preferred to the same f/stop setting, then it might be more accurate to compare.

    It also depends a lot on whether you're camera is outputting .jpegs, and what the settings are (super fine/fine/basic, etc.) These can be adjusted for out-of-the camera results more to your liking (more saturated, sharper, more noise reduction, contrast, etc.) Without knowing whether both cameras were set to 'neutral' settings, it's hard to compare accurately. And if you shot RAW files, it's really not a valid comparison - RAW files are meant to be post-processed, generally speaking.

    Another factor that might play a part - one camera (D60) is newer, and each new iteration of camera processor development (from all manufacturers) leads to improvements in in-camera processing/correction of images. This could be one part of it. Newer digital cameras just have improved technology, and it's happening really fast. (hint: invest in glass more than bodies which are subject to 'digital rot.')

    And finally, I can't speak for the Canon kit lens, but the Nikon 18-55 kit lenses, even from the very first version, have been way better lenses than many people would expect, or believe just by looking at them. Other than being slow optically at 55mm, and kind of light-weight plastic-y construction, stopped down a stop or two they are stellar performers, especially for the price.

    Edit: PS: Well, while I was writing this answer you got a couple of folks who said basically what I was trying to... and I agree with what they said. In the end, don't worry so much about it, and just learn how to maximize the quality of images you can get out of your camera, which is still a very decent camera body. Perhaps try a new lens (50mm 1.8 or 35mm 1.8 prime) for a change of perspective, and much better sharpness and limited depth-of-field effect when wanted.
    Cheers, and hope this all helps.
     
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #5
    they weren't, actually.

    just because it covers the same focal length range does not make it the same lens.

    you're comparing Jpeg engines, as far as I can tell, and apparently you like the settings on the D60 than the ones on your 20D. so play around with the Jpeg settings until you find one you like.

    better glass does not mean better macro performance. macro performance is a design decision. better glass means more resolution, better microcontrast, and less optical aberration.

    no. perhaps at higher ISOs, where the higher-level body will have a better-designed sensor, but otherwise it should be very similar. the primary difference between an entry-level/consumer body and an amateur one is in ergonomics and features, not image quality...particularly now, since the consumer bodies don't get (as) watered-down sensors as they did before (the 20D was obviously superior to the 350D, but the 40D isn't compared to the 450D)
     
  6. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #6
    Even then you need to be at the base ISO of each sensor to get the best from the sensor, so you may not be able to do an easy comparison- plus each manufacturer skews a little from the "real" standard which is why you'll see ISO measurement tests in some places. It was thought for some time that Canon biased exposure to avoid blown highlights, so it may be at ISO 100 they'd both still not be even. As you leave the base, you start to introduce changes at a non-linear pace and show the design differences more- for better or for worse. If you use aperture or shutter priority you're also introducing sample variation into the equation, as the metering will be slightly different for each body- it's a more even comparison to manually set the exposure.
     
  7. finnschi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    First of all, thank you for all your answers :D

    So if I would be shooting in RAW on both bodies using the same lens, the picture would look almost the same?

    Is there a Photoshop/Lightroom/aperture plugin so I can get the "Nikon Colors" from a Canon Raw?

    and any lens tips? I am on a small budget... and I don't think non-zoom lenses would fit my needs, I really like the Color and sharpness the Nikon produced, what do you think will be the equivalent on Canon's side (the 18-55mm EF-S sucks obvioulsy...) I also have the 28-105 EF (1:4-5,6) do you think that one is better (in terms of quality ) than the Nikon Kit lens?

    Or would it be better to just buy a lens converter and get the Nikon kit lens?

    Thnak you for all your help

    I love this Forum... :D
     
  8. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    #8
    If you shoot RAW you will have much more control over the way your pix turn out. You can tweak the colours yourself without sacrificing image quality.
     
  9. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #9
    probably. you still have to take into account the nuances in Canon vs Nikon sensors, and then all RAW converters differ slightly.

    again, the color, and maybe even the perceived sharpness, is Jpeg processing, NOT the lens.

    the 28-105 f/4-5.6 is no good. there is an f/3.5-4.5 version that is much better, but the focal length is still awkward. it sells for around $150 used. my suggestion is the 18-55 IS and 55-250 IS (~$100 and $200 used, respectively).
     
  10. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #10
    I don't get what's so terribly wrong with the pictures taken by the 20D (other than the fact that such a nice camera has to live with a very cheap kit lens!)? What are you unhappy about?
     
  11. finnschi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Can photoshop do whatever the nikon camera does? ;)

    And what advantages does the 18-55 IS have against my 18-55 ? Seems to be the same lens optics? And why is the 28-105 so bad, just because if the plain f values?

    I recently saw a canon L lens , it was a zoom lens i thing 70-105 or something. It had F 1:4 why is that lens still so amazing( expensive) ?
    Can somebody explain to me how to judge if a lens is good or bad?

    Furthermore, any recomendations on settings? ( sharpness saturation color srgb/adobe. ??
    I mostly take outside pictures with no flash.. Thank you !!! I really want to get most out of this camera..


    Also are sigma lenses any good ? They have 2.8 zoom lenses!! ( so does tamron)

    One more thing: i am a big fan of bokeh when shooting persons! But would you recomend stopping down 1-2 stops to get better sharpness on the face? Espacially on low quality lenses?
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Tamron makes a very nice 17-50 mm f/2.8 lens which has just been released with a new optical recipe and IS.

    One thing you need to keep in mind is: newer cameras not only have newer sensors, but also better jpg processing. Which means the jpgs that come out of the camera look better -- and you often need to work quite a bit with RAW files to get similarly good results. (For example: sharpening -- which you should apply last -- is usually not so strong when you first develop RAW files, because it is assumed you want to sharpen yourself after you are done with all the edits.) Advising someone who still shoots in P to use RAW is pointing in the wrong direction: switch from P to A so that you can control the depth of field.

    In conjunction with a large aperture lens, you will see what kind of creative freedom this gives you.
     
  13. finnschi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I am already shooting in A mode most of the time! But i dont know if lower aperture value = worse sharpness performance? ( i love shallow dof)

    So i should leave all settings on standard and shoot in raw? I always use single spot focus.. Is that good? What about color temp. And color profile?
     
  14. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Yes, in general lenses reach their full potential if you double the initial aperture value. But who cares about sharpness if the photo is good? If you want to separate the foreground from the background, then you need a larger aperture, period.

    There are some lenses (e. g. Canon's f/1.2 primes) that deliver worse IQ fully open than their cheaper counter parts. However, you buy these lenses to use them at full aperture!

    If somebody sees a good picture, nobody will complain that the sharpness in the corners of that particular lens leave much to be desired. Many lens flaws appear only in rather specific situations that can either be avoided or easily corrected.

    When people were shooting film, fall off was an important criterion. Now, you can correct it with the push of a button. The same goes for (some types) of distortion: in most cases, you will not photograph a brick wall head on. ;)
    I would not shoot RAW at this point, it will do no good unless you know when it is useful and when it isn't. I'd start by getting to know your camera better so that you're able to realize your creative ideas. This is 1000x more important than shooting RAW.
     
  15. finnschi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I guess I'll still start shooting in raw, but raw + Jpeg, so I can browse thru my Jpegs and store them easily on my mac , while at the same time using the Raw's when I want to edit the pictures in PS , I am actually very good with photoshop... and very creative as well ;)

    I just want to get most out of my camera, of course this camera takes nice pictures I just thought it can do better than that !
     
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #16
    RAW + jpg doesn't make any sense either in that situation: it makes your camera slower (which is even more significant since your camera is rather old). And it just gives you a `good feeling,' but in all likelihood no tangible improvement.

    Instead you should learn how to use your camera creatively. At one point in the future, it will be good for you to experiment with RAW vs. jpg to test their capabilities (especially in situations with difficult light). But it sounds to me as if that's already one or two steps farther away.
     
  17. finnschi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17

    really... what do you think should be my next step?

    I Know how to use Different aperture values, Different iso /shutter speeds to accomplish what I want. I use PS to get the most out of my Jpegs, and I think white balancing and color settings are much better when shooting RAW ? I Don't need lots of FPS , i am not shooting sports, rather People (weddings, Band pictures) and I want to get the most out of those already awesome shots! I get the shot I want most of the time, i just thought there is something I missed, since i learned how to use DSLR'S by myself ... :rolleyes:
     
  18. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Well, perhaps you know what they are, that part is quite easy. For the most part, if you take pictures of people the way you do (static), shutter speed is secondary. Take this picture for instance: there is lots of white space -- and even if you recover some of the blown highlights, 2/3rds of the image will be more or less white. No amount of RAW processing (which may change the pure white into a light gray) will change the fact that this picture is not ideal. Probably it was simply the wrong time of day. I cannot tell if there are any clouds in the sky, but if there were, you could have used a polarizer to enhance them after you have waited for better light. Again, RAW files are no replacement for things like this.

    Also, the focus and the proportions seem off: the flower is too large, your model is in the middle and there is lots of empty space on the left. Plus, there is a petal that is covering her. I assume your intention was to have her out of focus and to lead the viewer to her via the sunflower.

    You should have repositioned yourself so that the ratio between her and the flower is better (right now, the sunflower covers way too much of the pic).

    Or take this one: you usually shouldn't take pictures top-down or bottom-up, you should go on eye level instead -- unless you want to use it as an effect. I'm not sure as to the intention of the picture, though.

    As you can see, there are plenty of things quite independent of RAW. RAW is only a tiny element that can give you advantages in certain areas. Some people will argue that you could have recovered some blown highlights from the sky. But in my opinion, the picture should have been conceptually different -- that would probably not have necessitated to `fix' this.

    Your initial post made it appear as if you weren't very experienced with your camera, so I apologize if that's not accurate. If you don't know what to improve, I would look around for pictures you like (e. g. here). Find out why you like them and try to imitate the look. What you think of as important is largely up to you: I like taking pictures where you can see the personality of the people on them. I don't like them to pose for me (it's too artificial). But the most important thing is the message -- even if you don't know it at the time you press the shutter release. I like pictures where I can see `oh yeah, that's him/her!'

    Does that help?
     
  19. finnschi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19

    THANK YOU !!!! that did REALLY help me , altought the white sky was actually done in Post.... i didn't want a rainy sky to mess things up, furthermore this was not not planned at all, simply a test for different aperture values and the blur effect e.t.c she as posing for my friend at the moment I took the picture... :)

    If you want , I would love some critics on http://www.flickr.com/photos/finnschi/sets/72157622115352075/ :D I tested many things I learned in the last couple month ( I started Photography in July 09.... before that I was a P-Mode User ) and I had my Girlfriend to pose around so I could try some settings /Lighting .... :p They don't follow a certain style, but they came out pretty good for a beginner like me, what do you think?
     
  20. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #20
    You're welcome, I already thought I was too blunt.

    Practice makes perfect.
    My mom used to work in a photo studio and my cousin is a pro photographer -- and they both said that even if your talent is limited (and I'm not saying yours is), but even if it is, there are many things you can learn by repetition and practice. Sort of like driving or riding a bicycle: you need to do many things at the same time and in the beginning, you have to consciously think about. After a while you don't think any longer about moving your left leg when you want to shift gears. Then you don't even think about shifting gears anymore -- and you can focus on driving. I'd simply keep my eyes open for photos you like. A nice girlfriend who is patient is a great asset ;) However, there are other types of photography (I'm more of a spur-of-the-moment guy) and I can only encourage you to try them.

    Even more important than practice: have fun and stop worrying about equipment. :)
    You have a good camera body with a good, solid feel to it and a decent viewfinder. (And yes, there will always be a newer ones ;)) But if you like the way it handles, you don't really need to get a new one.

    I'd shoot a few more pictures and see what kind of lens you'd like next: if you want to play more with a shallow depth of field, perhaps the Tamron for ~300 € is a good pick. Of course, there are better lenses with better built quality, but these are vastly more expensive. For your portraits, you can also get a 50 mm f/1.8 for ~100 €. Also, don't forget to buy a flash: I made the mistake of buying a flash way too late, because I didn't realize what I can do with a real flash :) If you need any advice, just check back, there are plenty of people more qualified than me.
     
  21. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #21
    any editing software, and the built-in Jpeg engine in the 20D, can do something as good or better. it's up to you to find out how. it's not that difficult.

    again, just because it covers the same focal length range does NOT mean it has the same optics. the 18-55 IS has better optics than all the 18-55's without IS.

    no, because it is a poor lens designed for consumers shooting 35mm film that didn't know what they were looking for. f/4-5.6 is just a hint that Canon didn't spend much effort designing it - all good lenses from the film era, in that zoom range, were at least f/3.5-4.5. the exception is the 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 because it has IS.

    build, optics, and marketing. you judge a lens by reading reviews, looking at images, and using it in person.

    bokeh is a [/b]quality[/b], the quality of the out-of-focus blur. what you are talking about is selective focus. how sharp you want it is entirely up to you. the standard for portraiture is that you can resolve the separate hairs.

    low-quality lenses typically have to be stopped down a stop or two for good sharpness.


    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm
     
  22. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #22
    If you want shallower DOF, then set your camera to "aperture priority." I have no idea how to set a 20D to aperture priority, but in my Canon 40D it's "Av."

    With the camera set to aperture priority, you control the lens' aperture, which in turn will translate to shallower or deeper DOF. Open the lens to maximum, and it will give you the shallowest DOF. Close the lens (for example, close it to f/22), and it will give you nearly maximum DOF.

    I agree with others in that I would learn how to use the camera instead of worrying about your friend's camera. Also, learn how to use PhotoShop, and you will be amazed. I am learning about my 40D as i go with the aid of a book written for it by David D. Bush. Find a good 20D instruction manual, and learn how to use it to your advantage.
     
  23. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #23
    The max (e.g. widest) aperture in the zooms is f/2.8. If what you saw was f/1.4 in an L, it was a prime (e.g. fixed focal length).
     
  24. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

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    #24
    F 1:4 corresponds to f/4, not f/1.4. Look at any lens barrel and you'll see that it's expressed using the number one.
     
  25. finnschi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25

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