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Nikon D800 vs. Nikon D4 - Which one to buy?

  5 Lenses You Must Have for Nikon D7000 (or D300S)  

5 Lenses You Must Have for Nikon D7000 (or D300S)
by Raphael Chieza


Last week, I wrote an article about 5 lenses which you must have for the Canon 7D and from the some of the comments we've received, there seems to be a great interest for me to cover the 5 lenses you must have for a Nikon D7000 as well. So with the kit lens quickly put on the second hand market, here we go with our lens selection. Keep in mind that as the D300S is also a DX format body like the D7000, the lenses selected will be valid for the D300S as well.

 

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G Prime Selection - Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G

It will come as no surprise to anyone to see the Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G in the selection. This beautiful walk around lens on a full frame body turns into a lovely portrait lens with the 1.5x crop factor on the DX format body. There is of course the cheaper Nikon Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4D also available for consideration but I am sure you will find that the G lens is worth the extra money. There will be some of you who feel that the upcoming Nikon Nikkor AF-S 35mm F1.4G should also be included but given that I am only selecting 5 lenses, I will be depending on my choice of the standard zoom to cover the 50mm equivalent focal length.

 

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VRThe Standard Zoom - Nikon Nikkor AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR

If you have read my earlier article on the Canon selection for the 7D, you will no doubt expect me to choose the Nikon Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom for its ideal coverage of the standard range of focal lengths. However, as much as it's a lovely lens, I find its price a bit too steep for a DX lens even for its amazing performance and had to choose the Nikon Nikkor AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR. The addition of VR in the 16-35mm also helped make the choice. Since most of my shooting in this range is done hands free, I find that vibration reduction to be something which is highly preferable even though most shooting in this range does not need it so much. The limited focal range means that anything over 35mm (52.5mm in 35mm equivalent) and less than 70mm (105 in 35mm equivalent and the focal length of the next selection) will have to be taken on by the 50mm prime though. Of course, if you can afford to splash out, either the 17-55mm DX lens mentioned above or better still getting both the Nikon Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S Zoom and the Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED could be options.

 

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR IIThe Telephoto Zoom - Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

This choice is really a no brainer. The Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II and its predecessors and smaller aperture brethrens are the most popular zoom for both DX and FX bodies alike. With a large aperture of f/2.8, you can use teleconverters without suffering much from the 2-stop penalty, especially if you choose a good one like the Nikon TC-20E III Teleconverter. Of course, you are also benefitting from the new VR II technology from Nikon which offers better performance.

 

 

Nikon Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX ZoomThe Wide-angle Zoom - Nikon Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom

With DX format bodies, there is really no choice than a DX lens if you want to achieve proper wide-angle focal lengths. In the Nikon range of lenses, the best option has got to be the Nikon Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom. The lens delivers a satisfactory wide-angle range of 18-36mm in the 35mm equivalent and while the focal length is not the widest option, it is certainly the best for the job. The alternative would be the Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED but the image quality would be inferior.

 

The Super Telephoto Zoom - Don't bother...

To be honest, if money was no object, I would definitely pick the Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200-400mm F4G ED VR II as the lens of choice but given the high cost of the lens, it has got to be considered a luxury option unless you have a highly specialized use and don't mind the weight of this beauty. However, lesser mortals like myself will most likely content with the Nikon Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR AF Zoom. However, if you consider the significant overlap with the 70-200 and teleconverter combination, you may be tempted to ask yourself why bother with it? Of course, this is given that you have the 70-200mm lens I mentioned above?

 

Nikon Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G AF-S VR MicroThe Macro Prime - Nikon Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G AF-S VR Micro

The best macro lens from the Nikon range has got to be the Nikon Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G AF-S VR Micro. Don't get me wrong the Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX Micro 85mm f/3.5G ED VR is a very good option for the DX body but the 105mm just offers more in terms of both short term performance and long term possibilities (as in if you wish to shoot with a FX body as well in the future). If you are into shooting the creepy crawlies around your garden than the 105mm stands out even more?try it and you will love it.

 

Why just Nikon lenses??

Some of you may question whether third-party manufacturers may offer additional options and I will provide some answers in a follow up article to give both Canon and Nikon users of cropped sensor bodies some extra options such as Sigma, Tokina and Tamron. For those who don't mind trading the autofocus feature for better image quality, there are some really nice lenses out there from manufacturers like Carl Zeiss, Leica and Voigtlander. Stay tuned for the follow up article and do comment on this article's selection as well as what you would like included (whatever the brand).

 

Related Articles:
 

Battle of the Fast 50mm's: Nikon f1.8 vs f1.4 vs Sigma f1.4 Battle of the Fast 50mm's: Nikon f1.8 vs f1.4 vs Sigma f1.4
Best Third-Party Lens Selection for Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D7000 (or D300S)
Best Third-Party Lens Selection for Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D7000 (or D300S)

 

 

  Raphael is an ardent photographer, a member of the Marketing Communication team at DigitalRev, and a colourful personality whose favourite hobby is to tell bad jokes to people. Being driven by passion to shoot something new all the time, his photos are an exciting story even when they don't turn out quite as he expects.

 

 

 

 

5 Lenses You Must Have for Canon EOS 7D

5 Lenses You Must Have for Canon EOS 7D
by Raphael Chieza

If you've got a Canon EOS 7D, you've either got the body only version or one of the 3 lens kits with either the EF-S 15-85mm lens, the EF-S 18-135mm lens or the EF 28-135mm lens. They are all decent options but you have to be honest that kit lenses are just not on the same par as most of the lenses you have to purchase separately. I will make one exception with that being the 24-105mm L lens that is sold with the Canon 5D Mark II but let's digress. Our pick for the 5 lenses you must have is balanced between quality and budget. Look to the end of you want to know what to get regardless of price.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM LensPrime Factor - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens

There is no doubt that every photographer worth his salt will have at least one prime lens and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens is definitely one which you must have. With an APS-C sensor where the 35mm equivalent would set it to 80mm, this lens is extremely useful for portraiture photography as well as situations where a fast lens would be required such as indoor, low-light photography.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USMThe Standard Zoom - Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

While at first look, the price tag may be high for this non-L lens but the quality of the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is definitely as good as any L lens that you can buy. Considering the focal length when used with the Canon 7D and you will be getting the equivalent of roughly 27-88mm. This is pretty much (and a bit more of) the focal length of using the 24-70mm f/2.8 L with a full frame body. The barrel of the lens may not have the L lens finish but for the price difference (from say a 16-35mm f/2.8) and the quality the lens can deliver, we think it's a good buy.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM LensThe Telephoto Zoom - Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens may be the priciest lens from this selection but it is definitely worth every penny. Using the latest image stabilization technology from Canon, this lens takes on the mantle of most popular telephoto zoom from its predecessor with full aplomb. Great for a lot of different shooting scenarios and even with the crop factor, it still allows you to take great portrait shots. With its large aperture, you can afford to lose 2 stops of light for the extra reach when used with a 1.4x/2x teleconverter especially when the IS of the lens is supposed to give you a 4-stop advantage.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM LensThe Wide-angle Zoom - Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens

With a full frame sensor, you could use the 16-35mm f/2.8 to capture wide-angle shots but with a crop sensor camera, getting wide-angle shots is only possible from a much more limited range of lenses. The Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens is really the only Canon zoom lens up to the job. While the aperture may not be as very wide, it does deliver solid performance that makes it a necessary inclusion in your camera bag should the need for wide-angle shooting arise.

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USMThe Super Telephoto Zoom - Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM

While a ultra telephoto prime can give you more in ways of image quality as well as maximum aperture, shooting wildlife may call for a bit of flexibility with a zoom lens. This is especially true if you can't move from your position to recompose at a further or nearer position. The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM combines image quality and flexibility neatly into one package to satisfy your creative freedom.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Alternative to the Super Telephoto: The Macro Prime - Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

We understand that the final choice of the list may not appeal to everyone. After all, the 320mm equivalent reach of the 70-200mm is not too shabby for most general situations. The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is a top notch macro lens which delivers excellent sharpness. An L lens which delivers better image quality than its non-L counterpart as well as image stabilization for handheld shooting. This lens allows you to shoot within the studio on a tripod or out in the field handheld.


If money was no object? Try the "Best 7" Instead

Well, while the above lenses are my top choices to have with the Canon EOS 7D, I would go with the following lenses if I didn't have to worry about my bank balances:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM instead of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens because the image quality of the L lens is much better while the larger aperture allows you to go just that little be faster.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM and Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM instead of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM because no matter how good the 17-55mm, there is an allure to being the proud owner of the "Big 3 Zoom" from Canon. You may need to use 2 lens for segments of the standard range but the images will tell if you use them right.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM instead of? instead of what? Sorry, this is still the best! Non-negotiable and definitely what you want to see.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM is the same story. As I've said, to get these wide-angle focal lengths from a cropped sensor DSLR, there really are no alternate choices unless you go to third-party brands. Mind you, if you ever move on to shooting full-frame, this lens will become redundant just like the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM.

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM remain great choices for Super Telephoto and Macro shooting respectively and so would definitely earn a place in my must have collection.

Related Articles:


Battle of the Fast 50mm's: Canon f/1.8 vs f/1.4 vs f/1.2 Battle of the Fast 50mm's: Canon f/1.8 vs f/1.4 vs f/1.2
Best Third-Party Lens Selection for Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D7000 (or D300S)
Best Third-Party Lens Selection for Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D7000 (or D300S)



  Raphael is an ardent photographer, a member of the Marketing Communication team at DigitalRev, and a colourful personality whose favourite hobby is to tell bad jokes to people. Being driven by passion to shoot something new all the time, his photos are an exciting story even when they don't turn out quite as he expects.
 
Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100
   

Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100 -Which One to Buy?
by Gordon Summers

When we first heard that there was going to be a Nikon D3200, the first thing that we were contemplating was whether it will also be another megapixels packed sensor camera like the D800. With the Canon EOS 600D at 18 megapixels, we knew it would be at least comparable given the sudden change in game plan from Nikon as they make a splash with the megapixels war. So the 24.2 megapixels sensor of the Nikon D3200 was really something to be expected even if it seemed a bit high. I had money between 18-20 but at least I didn't bet on it being the same as the Nikon D800. Mind you, this IS an APS-C sized DX format sensor so it's really plenty. However, as we have always said, a camera is always more than just a pixel count so how does it compare with its older brother, the Nikon D5100.


Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100 - Reviewing the Specs

Features

Nikon D3200

Nikon D5100

Photo

Sensor Type

DX Format (APS-C) CMOS Sensor

DX Format (APS-C) CMOS Sensor

Sensor Size

23.2x15.4mm

23.6x15.6mm

Sensor Resolution

24.2 megapixels

16.2 megapixels

LCD

3.0-inch (921k dots) TFT LCD

3.0-inch (921k dots) TFT LCD

Tilt LCD

No

Yes

Live View

Yes

Yes

Viewfinder Type

Pentamirror type

Pentamirror type

Viewfinder Coverage

Approx. 95%

Approx. 95%

Viewfinder Magnification

0.8x (with 50mm at infinity)

0.78x (with 50mm at infinity)

HD Movie

1920x1080 (30, 24, 25fps), 1280x720 (60, 50fps)

1920 × 1080 @29.97, 25, 23.976fps

Movie Mode AF

Yes

Yes

Max. Continuous Burst Speed

4fps

4fps

AF System

11-point AF System

11-point AF System

Built-in Image Stabilisation

No

No

Image Sensitivity

ISO 100 to 6400 (Extendable to 12800)

ISO 100 to 6400 (Extendable to 25600)

Shutter Speed Range

1/4000 to 30s & Bulb

1/4000 to 30s & Bulb

Built-in Flash

Yes

Yes

Memory Card Slot(s)

1x SD/SDHC/SDXC Card

1x SD/SDHC/SDXC Card

Weight (Body only, incl. battery & memory card)

Approx. 505g

Approx. 560g

Dimensions (W x H x D)

Approx. 125 x 96 x 76.5mm

Approx. 128 x 97 x 79mm

Price

 {p:Nik1000774}

 {p:NIK00009571}

Looking at the specs almost gives me an instant headache with the similarities. It's almost as if they were just trying to give you the Nikon D5100 in the D3200 but without the swivel LCD. Sure the sensor is different, the ISO sensitivity is slightly better on the Nikon D5100 in the extended range by being a stop higher and the viewfinder slightly different. Are there really sufficient differences for them to coexist? Why not just release a better D5100 and leave the D3200 with a smaller sensor? Well... It may well be a marketing ploy on Nikon's part to capture the more na��ve beginners who are still judging cameras by the megapixels count. After all, if you are suddenly given to try out the very affordable and increasingly user-friendly DSLRs for general shooting... going from a compact digital camera to a DSLR doesn't mean you suddenly know how to tell which is better... especially with the "lesser" brands going into bigger price cuts or consumer-oriented color options [Yes... I know Nikon has got a red D3200 available as well...]. Regardless, Nikon has seemed to be eager to play the megapixels card both at the top as well as at the bottom to capture the buyers' attention.


To Swivel or Not to Swivel - Nikon D5100 vs Nikon D3200

The biggest difference without looking into the details has to be the swivel LCD of the Nikon D5100 against the fixed screen of the Nikon D3200. Now both are at 3.0-inch and deliver the same display resolution at approximately 921,000 dots so you won’t have to worry about losing out on quality or size. Most beginners shooting with DSLRs are advised to get familiar with using the viewfinder to get used to shooting with the DSLR and enjoy the benefits of an optical viewfinder that they could not get with compact digitals. However, given that many are using its video functions or taking family photos from all locations and angles, the swivel LCD has been much more popular. That is not to say that the viewfinder is not appreciated but only that many consumers would find cameras with the swivel-screen more impressive than a one without.

Well if you are serious about learning to shoot… you won’t bother with the swivel screen in most cases. What’s more, if you expect to get a bit rough with the camera during shooting, a non-swivel version is more robust. This makes it a good choice for beginners and the fact that it matches the D5100 in specs, makes the Nikon D3200 a very good choice indeed.

 

Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100 - Which Shoots Better?

Well… how exactly do they compare when shooting? This of course is the real issue. In this I would say Nikon D3200. Why? Well, it’s a simple case of better results. With the Nikon D3200 giving about 8 megapixels more resolution when shooting, you can get more quality simply by cropping into the “sweet” central part of the lens to get better quality. In many ways, DX cameras shooting with FX lenses already have that benefit so with the D3200, shooting with a DX lens will still allow you to crop out the “poorer” bits out on the side when the occasion warrants. What’s more, in the hands of a beginner, framing and compositions are likely to be the skills that take the longest to hone. With a larger-sized image, you can crop creatively to get different feels and still maintain a decent size image for most uses.

Wait… aren’t high pixel density suppose to mean you get more noise and hence poorer image quality??? While that is of course true, Nikon has done well to keep the noise pretty well under the hood. The Nikon D5100 has an edge on this of course but in most cases, you are not really going to have much issues over it.


Which to Choose? Nikon D3200 0r Nikon D5100?

For a beginner or even an experienced amateur looking for a "light" DSLR (or even a second everyday DSLR for the pros), the Nikon D3200 is a very good camera to have. Of course if you are thinking of shooting lots of movie with your DSLR, the swivel screen will push you more towards the Nikon D5100 (or its upcoming successor, I suspect). For the price on these two cameras, I think going for the Nikon D3200 would be the smart choice.

 

Summary

  • Get the Nikon D3200 if you are working on improving your shooting, just want easy DSLR quality shots or want a red DSLR from Nikon rather than a "lesser" brand
  • Get the Nikon D5100 if you are planning to do lots of DSLR videography and want something you won't need to put aside even after you get really good (as the pro cameras don't tend to have swivel LCDs)

 

Gordon Summers is part of the community team at DigitalRev TV. With a strong passion for 'painting with lights', he enjoys photographing landscapes and especially when hiking or travelling to the countryside. He first embraced photography at the age of seven and while he has a wealth of experience shooting both film and digital, he currently only shoots digital.