Canon 5D and 5D II are antiquated

Warning: Droning, rambling rant ahead.

Low tide on the Thames
Low tide on the Thames
Background: So I’ve talked myself into taking the gf’s D300 to India, for I need a zoom telephoto while I’m there, my least-preferred lens, but I either shell out 700 quid for a new Canon lens which isn’t as fast as my old Nikon 80-200 f2.8, or just borrow the damn Nikon. Easy decision.
So it’s time to start learning the Nikon, a system I haven’t touched since I chucked the D1X and D70, and so far, it’s been fun. Setting aside the (rather endless) question of image quality, what we have here is a lightning-fast camera. It just responds. The focus is rapid, the drive is twice as fast as the 5s and it all just works. Last night, I was shooting with the 5 in a dark, dark nightclub. 25600 ISO all the way, which, incidentally, I absolutely love. So it was dark, and the 5D was just refusing to lock focus. Not surprising, but the 5D often does that when working at speed. But the D300 isn’t. The focus points are large and easy to catch, there’s 51 of them, and focus tracking, watching the point zip around the viewfinder, works well. I tracked some seagulls flying over on the South Bank and all was good in the hood. Last time I tried it with either of the 5s, it was a complete waste of time.
So. What we have here is Canon putting photographers somewhere other than first. We get a camera that barely focuses, but does put out 21 megapixels. A camera with a poky viewfinder, but does shoot video.
I have no brand loyalty, by the way, so this isn’t an advert for one company over another. But Nikon seem to realize that it is possible to make a series of high performance professional cameras over a wide range of prices and sizes without disabling them in some way, rather than only two at the top end, like Canon. Some of us, indeed, plenty of us, don’t want a massive heavy body, let alone two of them. But we do want good weather sealing and excellent build, top-notch AF and high-speed motors. And with Canon, there’s this huge patch occupied by the 5D series. A good camera, but I wish it was better.

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