Thinking of changing from Nikon D6O to Canon 450D

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ish, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Ish macrumors 68010

    Ish

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    #1
    I was inspired to buy a DSLR about 18 months ago by the quality of a friend's photos taken using the basic Canon DSLR, can't remember which one. I'd previously used a Nikon SLR, then a compact digital and the pictures from the Canon were so much better than the compact.

    I decided to research the market and narrowed it down to, guess what, Nikon or Canon. I went to the shop and decided the Nikon felt a little better in my hands, plus I'd been happy with the Nikon before so I bought the D60.

    It's a good camera but I've not been 100% happy. I probably would have been if I hadn't seen the Canon pictures, but the colours seem very saturated and vivid to me, and even with some post processing I can't get them quite the way I want.

    Now a family member has bought a Canon 450D and taken some pictures of the Lake District in the snow and once again I thought Wow! Those colours are beautiful!

    It's not something I see mentioned in comparisons between different brands, and in advice on choosing which one to get, but it seems to me that the different cameras/brands treat the colours differently and that it is a matter of taste which one is preferred.

    Would anyone else like to comment?
     
  2. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000

    Abyssgh0st

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    #2
    Well, perosnally I'm a Canon guy and I'm very happy. I had a Canon 1000D (Rebel XS) for about two weeks, but then BestBuy had a sale for $750 that includes:

    Canon 450D (XSi)
    18-55mm IS kit lens
    55-250mm IS lens (very nice for the casual photographer)
    A very nice Canon bag
    An extra battery (official Canon one, not offbrand)
    A Canon 58mm filter

    And with my employee discount there, the 4 years of parts and labor/accidental damage coverage was only $120.

    The sale is going through this Saturday, but I can say that I really love my 450D.
     
  3. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #3
    If you're talking JPEGs straight out of the camera, there are settings to change the saturation- as there are for in-camera RAW-JPEG conversion.

    Personally, when I compare the two shot under the same conditions, I see more saturated reds, blues and greens from the Nikon- but only by a hair:

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/ND60/ND60hSLI0100.HTM
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/XSI/XSIhSLI0100.HTM

    (the Nikon's red channel looks closer to being blown out though)

    But if you're not happy and can afford it, then you should switch to the camera that makes you happy. The camera is simply a tool, and if you don't like the tool, then you should switch to one you do like.

    Paul
     
  4. Ish thread starter macrumors 68010

    Ish

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    #4
    Thanks for your thoughts on the 450D. That's a really good deal, wish I could take it up. Unfortunately it'll cost me about £200 each way to get there and back, so maybe not such a good deal for me. :)

    Thanks for your comments. I've heard there's a shop in my home town that will take cameras in part-exchange so I'm going to investigate how much it would cost.

    Looking at the test pictures you posted (thank you!), I think the colour saturation is more noticeable in every day photographs, especially in landscape pictures, than in the test pictures. Maybe it's because of the large amount of neutral background in the test pics.
     
  5. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #5
    That's be a pointless upgrade for several reasons: chances are, you haven't even played with the picture styles which influences the raw conversion in the camera. (Canons, of course, have this, too.) Is it better if you switch to Vivid?

    An crossgrade (Nikon --> Canon, it's not an upgrade) is of little when you just haven't mastered your camera yet.
     
  6. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #6
    Your Nikon D60 is plenty capable of producing great colors. I've seen lots of great photos produced by that model. Remember that lighting has a huge effect on how colors turn out. Perhaps your friend in the Lake District was shooting on a day with really good light. That will make all the difference. Look at your own photos and ask yourself if you were shooting during the "golden hour" when colors pop; or were you shooting when the sun was really high, when colors tend to be flat and washed out? Or were you shooting when there wasn't much sun at all? These things matter most in getting good colors.

    If anything, you might look into upgrading your lens. A cheap lens can dull your photos quite a bit. But first of all, check your JPEG settings (if that's how you're shooting) and try making some adjustments. Better yet, experiment with shooting in raw.
     
  7. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #7
    It's not the camera, it's almost certainly the way you're using it.

    I'd say exactly the same thing if you were a Canon user complaining that you weren't getting the same quality of pictures you'd seen taken with a Nikon.
     
  8. tsd macrumors regular

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    #8
    I agree with the last few posts. I think the real competition in this market segment right now is the Nikon D5000 vs. Canon 450D (a.k.a. Rebel T1i). The Nikon has a better sensor (it's from the D90), but is smaller and has a less professional feel/experience overall. The Canon 450D has more megapixels, and therefore more noise in the images. However, it tends to give a better first impression to people because of it's construction. They have essentially identical HD Movie modes, with the Canon deceiving it's customers by advertising 1080p, when it's actually unusable because of it's 20frame/second speed.
    Honestly, you have to figure out which lens system you want to start investing into, and get a camera body that is part of that line.
     
  9. Ish thread starter macrumors 68010

    Ish

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    #9
    Thank you for your thoughts. Do want to say that I didn't mention the word upgrade. What I'm considering is a sideways step into a different system before I start spending more money on lenses etc.

    I'm going to go out with my friend who has the Canon and take pictures with both. I'm not complaining about the quality of the pictures on the Nikon; it can take some great pics. Just that the colours captured by the Canon seem to me to be more mellow. The pictures in the Lake District were almost certainly taken on full auto, which I rarely use on the Nikon. I tend to use aperture priority most of the time.
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #10
    No, that's most certainly not the case, saturation is saturation, and with landscapes in the snow, the predominate color is a neutral white. But even if it were a vibrant green, you'd see the saturation- and the Nikon has a more saturated palate between the two cameras. If you truly want to evaluate the differences, go shoot the same scene and print the results from both cameras. While you're both in the same spot, you can see how much you like the ergonomics of the Canon body too.

    Even with a much more neutral neutral camera shooting raw, I don't have any problems producing saturated images. Every real-world competition where I've entered a landscape print, my images have been the most saturated, so I'm quite sure you're either using poor settings or projecting something that's not there- but *you* should be happy with *your* camera.

    If you're not happy and changing settings on your camera doesn't make you happy, then just switch- you don't have a huge investment and this is the best point in time for you to do so. I doubt it will make much difference in your photographs, but if it even seems that it does to you, then it's worth switching.

    So don't worry about it, just switch to the Canon and enjoy it.

    Paul
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #11
    Ah, this looks like the opposite problem than I originally read- you should make sure the Nikon is not on vivid if you want more muted colors. Page 102 of the manual has instructions for changing the settings, the tone control, saturation and hue adjustments should let you create pretty-much any look you want for out of camera JPEGs or NEFs converted through Nikon's converter.

    The D60 will let you load up custom tone curves- but at that point you're better off shooting raw and just applying your curves at the raw conversion stage. I'd recommend starting out with RPP and AHCD and film gamma if you don't own Capture NX2- it's a great free Mac-only solution with the ability to easily adjust image properties.
     
  12. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

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    #12
    Canon 450D is also known as XSi (USA name) or Kiss X2 (Japan name).
    Canon 500D is also known as T1i (USA name) or Kiss X3 (Japan name).
    I think you were talking about the Canon 500D or T1i.
     
  13. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #13
    Minor correction for you: Canon T1i = 500D.

    [EDIT: I see gnd beat me to it.]
     
  14. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #14
    Here's a fairly obvious question, when you notice color differences between the Canon and the Nikon, are you viewing them on the same screen, or better yet, from prints?

    What is the color space they are assigned? What were the camera's develop settings (either scene modes or in camera color adjustments) set to? Are the cameras set to auto ISO and auto White Balance? If not are they set to the same values? If they are, then are the cameras deciding on the same values on their own? And are Canon and Nikon identical in their white balancing or is there some variability? I bet there's even variability between samples of the same camera brand and model!

    I agree 100% that it's not the camera, it's how your using it. That or it's the way the camera and/or your Post Processing workflow have been programmed to operate.

    There is way too much variability in viewing sources to make this sort of assesment without some very deliberate steps being taken. The screens of computers (even the same models) can show different color saturations and casts based on ambient light and/or monitor setup and calibration (or lack thereof). Camera LCD screens are even worse. Even prints can come back different based on color space, and ambient light when viewed; as well as paper they are printed on, ink they were printed with, and etc etc etc.

    The point I'm trying to make (and I hope you'll take it home before spending money as pointlessly as you seem to be planning to do) is that there are about a million variables when it comes to color accuracy in photography and print. This means that you can never really compare color between cameras unless you can control each and every one of them.

    What you can do is experiment with settings in your camera and in your post capture workflow to achieve the results you want! It shouldn't be difficult to do, though I suppose it's easier to go and re-purchase different branded equipment in the hopes that your problems will be magically solved! I will tell you that with enough research and work, you can get the colors you want from any camera out there, any brand! And I fear you might end up dissapointed even if you do buy a Canon 450D if the problem is in fact your screen or your workflow.

    You should spend a little more time with the D60 and see just what you can come up with!

    SLC
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #15
    You can get the colors you like by changing the why you process the images. This is a lot cheaper than swapping out a camera system. First off you can shoot RAW format and then get the colors you like in post processing. But also the lighting matters a lot and the exposure.

    Also, when you see that you like the work another person does don't think you will get his result simply if you use his equipment. He is maybe using different technique from you. In fact likely so. Perhaps he routinely uses a -1/3rd EV correction or maybe he has a pol. filters or shoots raw format or is a big user of fill-in flash. All of those things effect color more than choice of camera body

    Nikon if anything is known for a certain "look" that has a lot of color contrast or "snap" and a lot of that is due to the lens, not the body. So what lens do you have on your D60?
    And what about printing are you looking at the photos on the same monitor? Were they printed using the same printer, settings and software. This makes a huge difference.


    I suspect that if you simply swapped camera yu get the same result you do now. Better to spend the same money on a lens and good flash unit or some software. If you don't already have it the first thing to do is buy a hardware colorimeter and get you monitor calibrated. You simply can not make decisions about color on an un-calibrated monitor.
     
  16. Chwisch87 macrumors 6502

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  17. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #17
    Actually, the biggest difference in landscapes is going to be the time of day and light- which changes minute-by-minute some days. However, it seems the OP is really regretting not going Canon, and this is the cheapest time for them to switch, so if they're going to switch, now is the time.
     
  18. Ish thread starter macrumors 68010

    Ish

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    #18
    Thanks, everyone for all your help and thoughts and for taking the time to write such detailed posts. I am going to try out your ideas for a while and then decide what to do. Interesting that you should say, ChrisA, that Nikon is known for a certain 'look' that has a lot of colour contrast or 'snap'. I'm still using the 18-55 mm kit lens.

    I'm going to do some side-by-side comparisons over the next few weeks and eliminate, as far as possible, the variables many people have mentioned, before deciding what to do. The difference is subtle but I really notice colour and it's a big deal to me. If I can get the look I want with what I have, fine, if not, as Compuwar intimates, it's no big deal and now would be the time to do something about it.
     
  19. throttlemeister macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    My two cents, but if you really favor the Canon colors, you will never get the same out of a Nikon (out of camera). That doesn't say anything about quality (both are excellent), but they are different. There is just no way a Nikon picture is ever going to look like a Canon picture (or vice versa). Shooting raw you can make anything look like anything, but I personally want the out of camera image to be as close to what I like as possible so I can minimize the time spend post processing.

    I have always been a Canon man and I struggled for 2 years with my Nikon which I bought at a great deal. Eventually I gave up and sold everything and went back to Canon. It's been like coming home. I did develop a preference for the ergo's and menus of Nikon, but getting the pictures the way I want them is the most important to me.
     
  20. Ish thread starter macrumors 68010

    Ish

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    #20
    ^ ^

    Interesting you should say that. I was beginning to wonder if I'd imagined it! Seems you felt then like I feel now. To me it's like the difference between the Agfa and Kodak films. Both excellent in their way, but different. :)
     
  21. throttlemeister macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    That is EXACTLY how you could describe it. :) Not better or worse, just subtlety different.
     
  22. carlgo macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Judging from years of posts on this forum, it makes you wonder about how many people are simply printing directly out of their cameras, on the default settings, and then thinking they need a different or more expensive camera.

    And, how many people who are doing some post-production work are even close to doing it correctly.

    Each brand of camera has its own default settings and if you print right out of the camera, the photos will indeed be different. If the default settings are all changed to the same values, then the results will also be about the same.

    Post production will even things out even more. RAW, truly awful as it comes out of the camera, can be processed to an even further extent and the results will really end up equal.

    Cameras vary in their mechanical quality, their ergonomics and such, but the actual results are ultimately about equal.
     
  23. Chwisch87 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I find it really funny that photographers continue to ignore pentax. In these entry level categories pentax makes far more feature rich cameras that any canikon. Pentax primes are pretty much better than anything canikon makes outside of glass costing 2 or more grand.

    Look at reviews for the K-X. Its pretty much the best entry level SLR ever made and a excellent camera for low light. '

    You can buy excellent pentax lenses and pay half as much as you would for what is many times an inferior canikon version.
     
  24. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #24
    There are so many adjustment options in terms of hues and custom tonal curves that I don't think that statement is easy to back up versus the difference between any two given Canon sensors.

    Why the need for this posting? The OP doesn't need yet another sensor/color setting into the mix. Your posting does not help him either get the colors he wants out of the camera he has or get the camera that has the colors he wants.

    Plus, Pentax has been losing market share in a growing market- while Hoya's CEO backed off on the statements about not really caring about the camera end of the deal (they bought Pentax for it's butt scope business, and it looked to me like a deal to dump the camera business fell through) you have to wonder how long Hoya's investors will continue to live with losses in a segment where the market is expanding and their unit is contracting. Once the market starts to contract, can a company with a small portion of the market stay in business? I don't know the answer to that question yet because we don't know how far the market will contract, but I do know one thing- I sure wouldn't be buying Hoya stock based on Pentax's performance over the last several years! Even their 2009 home market rise to about 4.5% doesn't necessarily bode well for them globally- they're still on very shaky ground, if I were looking for an alternative to Canon or Nikon at the moment, it'd be Sony that I'd go with, at least they've got a sustainable global market share.

    Paul
     
  25. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #25
    I've assumed for a while it's the large majority - and don't forget to mention they don't calibrate their screens using a colorimeter either. THAT I really don't understand, since it makes a significant and easily seen difference...
     

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