Luckily, the overall switchover hasn’t been quite this dramatic:
It has actually been pretty easy sofar. But before we get into that, let me explain why I chose to switch, especially since I was absolutely never ever going to. No matter what. Not because I have deep loyalty to Canon, but because I sort of hate any type of “band-wagon” which seems to be fueling a lot of switchers lately. In fact, the only reason I’m writing a blog post about it is because I won’t seem to stop getting emails about why I chose to switch until I do. Apparently, the whole Canon vs. Nikon bit is something people feel quite passionately about.
Not me. I choose things (cars, computers, washing machines, etc.) based on what works best for achieving the specific goal I want to achieve at the time. That’s it. Nothing more. In fact, this has probably been the least emotional decision I have made since starting my photography business, so if anyone out there takes any type of offense to me joining “the dark side” really, you shouldn’t. It’s nothing personal whatsoever. Canon is a great company, and may be perfect for you. But for now, I’m taking darkness out for a spin to see what I can do with it.
Here’s how it started: I had a very irritating experience with a Canon customer service rep when I contacted them about getting some calibration done. I immediately thought to myself “this is probably why so many people are switching to Nikon” and I decided to investigate it. I began to google and learned all sorts of interesting things. And for the record, most Canon CS reps are probably perfectly nice people. I just happened to get a hold of a cranky one. That is NOT a good reason (in itself) to switch. It was just a catalyst.
I began researching and reading blogs/boards/etc. about the big differences people were noticing in Nikon vs. Canon, particularly regarding Nikon’s ISO capabilities and their Auto-Focus technology. Then,I began to think about how I shoot. My style is to typically shoot with a long lens (I prefer at least 100-200mm for portrait work) and I absolutely love to combo a long lens with getting as close to my subject as possible for head shots/portrait work. If you want to learn why, read this post. I did notice that my Canon 70-200 was limiting in this aspect (even when switched to the 1.5m focus mode) and there were several blurred shots from several shoots that could have been avoided had it’s capabilities to focus just a little closer at 200mm had been better.
I also realized that the camera I was shooting with (5D Mark II) had great ISO capabilities, but it was limiting compared to what Nikon shooters were capturing, and that is a big deal to me. Especially since I do a lot of shooting in particularly weird locations that don’t have a lot of light.
So, I thought I’d give Nikon a try. I didn’t rent, I just went ahead and purchased the D700, Nikon’s version of the 70-200, and the 50mm 1.4. This was my starter kit. I purchased from B&H because they have an amazing no-hassle return policy, and I knew I’d be able to tell pretty quickly whether or not Nikon was for me (at least, I knew I’d be able to easily figure it out in under 200 shots – which is the limit you can put on a piece before returning it) and I set aside a couple of days to play with it.
I also knew going in that I was going to loose some money. I was okay with that. If you are at a point professionally where money is tighter (been there, done that…) I would not recommend making a switch, because it is costly. For me though, it was worth it. For now at least.
So why do I like Nikon better? Very specific reasons that pertain particularly to me, the way I shoot, my style, and how my brain works. Please, for the love of all things decent, do NOT switch based on my recommendation. In fact, this isn’t a recommendation at all. I think Canon will always be the better product for some people. And who knows, some day, I may even switch back (is it so wrong to love both?) but for now I prefer Nikon. Here are the aforementioned very specific reasons that very well may only apply to me:
1.) The ergonomics of it. I absolutely LOVE the way the dials are set up, and how quickly and easily I can change everything from ISO to shutter speed to Aperture without even taking my eye off the eyepiece. Do not ask me why these ergonomics work better for me. It is the bizarre and specific way my brain is set up (a brain that, I might add, baffles my husband on a daily basis with it’s inner-workings…) that makes Nikon’s operating system just flow and click. Pardon the pun. In fact, although most of you will think this is a bad reason, it is probably what I love the most about it.
2.) The ISO abilities are as amazing as you hear, and the 70-200 really can focus in a much shorter distance from my subject. LOVE both of these things. They absolutely apply to the way I shoot.
3.) The auto-focus really is better, and I’m noticing just a tinge of extra sharpness on my 70-200. This is a big deal to me.
And that, my friends, wraps up the three big reasons I switched! Now, I’ll share a few things I’ve noticed, and what I’m going to miss about Canon.
1.) Skin tones. It’s no secret that I like bright, pretty skin and nice, colorful, dark backgrounds. It’s sort of my thing. I will miss the skin tones I get from Canon L-glass – they are amazing, and in my opinion, incomparable. They truly have a “look” of their own, and I can almost immediately tell if someone shoots Canon or Nikon just by the skin tones of their images. Canon tends to be a little more red, and Nikon tends to be a tad more green (it’s digital people!) but overall, Canon’s skin tones are just gorgeous. HOWEVER, where I noticed a touch of red in my Canon’s 70-200 skin tones, I’m noticing a touch of…..NOTHING…in my Nikon’s 70-200 skin tones. They are as near neutral as I have ever seen, and that particular look actually works better with my style than Canon’s slightly-more-reddish tones. That explanation probably made sense to exactly one person (me) but it’s the only way I know how to try to tell you. Neither is better in my opinion, but there is a little difference. And for me, for now, I’m totally okay with the whitish/neutral tones my Nikon provides. Especially with the 70-200. Love it.
2.) I prefer Canon’s general build quality, but I prefer the way Nikon makes the little things easier. Like the snap on/snap off lens caps. LOVE that. And the ergonomics, which I mentioned before. Nikon just seems to be designed a bit on the smarter side.
3.) Not a fan of Nikon’s user manual. I know that sounds silly, but Canon’s is much more user-friendly. Which is always a good quality in a user manual. If I didn’t already know what I was doing, I think Nikon’s manual would be very difficult and confusing.
4.) Brightness/Lightness….oh my. The rumors are true. The first shot I did with my Nikon was totally blown out. I shot 2 ticks over the bar (as I did with my 5D) and it was WAY too bright and overexposed. There is definitely a (very slight) learning curve here, but it doesn’t take long to master.
5..) Canons colors do seem to come out a little more saturated than Nikon’s do. To me, this is noticeable. The exact same actions actually look a little different on shots created with my Nikon than they do on shots created with my Canon – and the “look” is consistent. This, though, is not a big deal to me, and I’ve been told that with a few White-Balance tricks, this can be overcome easily.
As far as the overall cost of switching, it really wasn’t that bad. I’m going to add two more lenses and flashes to my “Nikon starter kit” as soon as the holidays are over, and I have some time to devote to new camera equipment. I expect, when it is all said and done, that there will be a roughly $2,000 – $3,000 difference overall…that is IF I’m replacing every single item – piece for piece. I’m lucky, most of my equipment sold right away and with little hassle. In fact, there are only two pieces left which will find their way to ebay next week.
Alrighty, gang – that about wraps it up! As a disclaimer, I know my readers are smart people, but my lawyer has asked I remind you all that I claim absolutely no liability whatsoever for any decision you make regarding camera system choices, I endorse neither Nikon or Canon, and that I am not responsible for the decisions you make. He words it much more eloquently than I do, but you get the gist.
Oh, and a tip: If you are going to switch systems, wait until after Christmas. The lines at UPS are sure to be shorter.
Alrighty gang, here is the post you’ve been waiting for…
I’m switching to Nikon. Per several requests, I am going to prepare a full post later as to why. I thought I was going to be so practical about this, but it turns out that I am actually getting a little sentimental as I prepare all of my Canon gear for sale. There are absolutely some things I’m going to miss about Canon, but for me it turns out (and the reasons are very weird and specific to me…I’ll share in my post) that for now at least, Nikon is a better choice. So, before we get started, here is what you need to know about my gear:
PLEASE READ EVERYTHING BELOW! I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU DECIDING NOT TO READ SOMETHING. I’VE GOT MY CAPS LOCK ON, PEOPLE. SO YOU KNOW I MEAN BUSINESS!!!! 🙂
**I am the original owner of everything listed. None of it was purchased used.
**All of it is in great condition. I don’t shoot like a madwoman, so some of it is barely used at all. All gear, both cameras and lenses, shoot just fine. Nothing has been recently calibrated.
**I researched pricing by typing in each piece of equipment, and determined what they are being sold for (used – similar condition, etc.) on Amazon. Then, I went a bit lower than the lowest. It wasn’t very scientific, but it was quick & easy.
**You will pay for shipping and all purchases will be final. I ship UPS ground, and typically an item will go out on the next business day. You will pay actual shipping – no markups -and I’m going to insist on insurance. Items will all be professionally packaged by my friendly local UPS shipping place. Payments will be accepted via paypal or with your credit card via paypal. I will send you an invoice, and you have 24 hours to pay it before I offer your selected item to the next interested party. That is the fairest way I know how to do it.
**Items will be sold on a “First Come/First Serve” basis, and local residents will receive priority consideration since shipping isn’t an issue. If you are not local, I will accept offers by order of which they are received in my inbox. If you are local (Hampton Roads Resident), you’re welcome to come and check anything out ahead of time at a mutually agreed upon time. However, if you’re not able to examine the equipment before I accept another offer, I am not responsible for that.
**I will only accept offers emailed, not Facebooked. If you have questions, I’ll answer them as quickly as possible. I am only entertaining full price offers at this time.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or offers. Offers will be accepted in the order in which they are received. Once you have offered to buy a piece, I will send you a paypal invoice, and you will have 24 hours to pay it. If you do not pay it within 24 hours, I will accept the next offer. Shipping will be paid by buyer and will initially be billed between $30-$60 per piece. I will refund you the difference in the actual shipping amount. Will be shipped via UPS ground. Thanks eversomuch!!
Okay, here is the gear:
SOLD! Canon EOS 5D Body Only: Great condition, has original packaging but there are a few random cords that I’m not sure what they are for. Extra (generic brand but works just fine) battery included. Charger & all the other little things that came originally also included. Manual is there too, but is dog eared in quite a few spots. $1,000
Canon 16 -35 L-Series II 16-35mm 2.8 lens: Awesome lens, great shape, has seen light use. Original packaging, hood, manual included. $1,000.
SOLD! Canon 530 EXIIFlash: This has maybe been fired 50-75 times since I rarely use flash. Doesn’t have original packaging and all the little flash stand plastic things that were thrown in there (which I never use), does have case & manual. Perfect for anyone using OCF. $325
SOLD! Canon 430 EX Flash: Just like the other one, this has seen light use. I’ve maybe fired it 50-75 times. Doesn’t have original packaging or the little plastic things that come with it (which I never use), does have case & manual. Works great with light stand, ideal for anyone using or getting into OCF
Both have probably been fired around 50-75 times, at the max. I just haven’t used either flash much because I just don’t use OCF all that often. This flash is an awesome compliment to the 530, or great for anyone just starting out in flash. $175
SOLD! Canon 100mm 2.0 Telephoto: My favorite lens. Used it in place of an 85mm, and love the extra 15mm of background blur it gives. I don’t have the original packaging. $300.
SOLD! Pocket Wizards Mini TT1 Transmitter: Barely Used, original packaging. $100
SOLD! Canon EOS 5D Mark II Body Only: Great condition, but I lost the packaging in a move. I’ll pack it up all safe & nicely for you though. Battery & Charger included. Has a generic replacement body cap (body cap does not say “Canon” on it) because I lost the original. Manual, strap, and all that included. Not sure if I have all the miscellaneous cords that Canon likes to include with everything. $1,800
SOLD! Canon L-Series 70-200mm 2.8 IS lens: The Image Stabilization on this is amazing. Great shape. Original packaging, lens case, hood, manual all included. One of my favorite lenses. $1,500
SOLD! Canon L-Series 24-70mm 2.8 lens: Great Shape. Probably my personal least used lens, but it’s very popular. Near perfect condition – shoots like a champ. Original packaging, hood, manual, all included. $1,000.
SOLD! Canon 50mm 1.4 lens – Nearly New. Amazing shape. Bought this earlier in 2011 for travel purposes, and have only used it a couple of times. Original packaging & instructions. $300
It’s Black Friday! I’m bundled up with my fuzzy socks cozily watching all of you crazy people on the news who have been shopping since midnight. Man, you all are committed. I mean it. I don’t get it…never have…but I’ve got to give you credit: you all are some impressive folks. I have a sister-in-law who, every year, comes home with tales of the most amazing deals I’ve ever heard of, a precise accounting of what she got and what she didn’t get, and a proud grin that would put the Cheshire cat to shame. Me? I take one look at the book I’m currently reading and typically decide I’d rather bond with it instead of with a retail outlet of any sorts. The only mall I’ll be visiting for the next month (God-willing!) is the laptop variety with an apple on the front.
However, you shopping warriors have my respect. You do. I just want to make absolutely certain you are aware of a place I like to hang out called Amazon. It’s amazing. No lines or anything. I’m just sayin….
Alrighty, onto the Kaleidoscope coupon code, since I know you wouldn’t be reading this far into a post while there are malls still open and trees to decorate unless you had a good reason…. It’s: cyber11 and it’s good through Wednesday night. It will get you 30% off, your entire cart and it will be the last sale of the year, so take advantage! And you didn’t even have to get up early or stand in line. Check that out.
I also want to go ahead and issue a warning to my readers: this is the time of year where I focus significantly less on work and significantly more on my faith, my family and giving back. I’m going to share a few things with you during this season, but I’m letting you know now, it can get pretty sappy. Christmas and the Advent season are an extremely sacred time for my family. Last year at this time we were prepping for what turned out to be the trip of a lifetime (my lifetime at least) and although it was amazing, I’ve gotta admit, I’m looking forward to a holiday at home this year. So you all watch out!! I’ve got a camera, a blog, and a sweet little audience….who knows what I’m bound to be posting.
I’m so pleased to introduce you all to the newest addition to Kaleidoscope’s digital family: Kaleidoscope Presets – The Storyteller’s Collection! Storyteller’s is an absolutely delightful mix of beautiful vintage looks, bright color-drenched looks, and some absolutely amazing black & whites! Storyteller’s contains over 60 original presets, plus over 15 unique “post effects” to give you near limitless options when it comes to post-processing RAW files! Storyteller’s has also been uniquely designed for natural light shooters. It’s important to note that Storyteller’s is recommended for RAW shooters only at this time – these presets have not been optimized for .jpg shooters. Please view the B&A’s below, or you can watch a quick demonstration of the following images by watching this video (for Lightroom users) or this video (for ACR users). It’s important to note that the only processing done in any of the “after” images has been with “one click” (didn’t touch those sliders…) of each referenced preset, nothing has been done outside of Lightroom or ACR. If you’re interested, you can also view a video of my entire Lightroom workflow, which shows how I edit sessions quickly & easily. It also shares my preferred settings, tips & tricks.
For More preset goodness, and to read tester raves, check out this post.
I really think you are going to love this collection, and as always, I’m so proud to be able to bring them to you at an amazing price! Storyteller’s is just $69 for either ACR/Lightroom and $89 for the bundled set of both. Storyteller’s contains over 60 original presets & 15 posts. You can purchase below, or by visiting the Kaleidoscope Website. Please note, I strongly recommend you read the “How to Install Presets” tutorial by clicking on the “Tutorials” tab under the “Kaleidoscope” section of this blog. There are also video tutorials here demonstrating how I install presets (for both Mac’s & PC’s) and a new video demonstration of my entire Lightroom workflow. It shows how easy it is to quickly & easily sort & process RAW files.
Once again, please make sure you are comfortable installing presets prior to purchase. If not, view the above mentioned sources to identify the installation path, and watch the videos – they are very helpful. Although I will help you as much as possible with any questions you have, once you’ve purchased a digital product, the sale is final.
Since this is Kaleidoscope, we always celebrate a big launch with a big discount! Although I have always strived to deliver unique, high quality products at an amazing price, sale time makes everything about Kaleidoscope even more amazing! So take advantage!! Now, through November 25th, use the code: story to receive 25% off your entire purchase. That means textures and overlays too!
As always, please email me with any questions prior to purchasing. Per industry standard, all digital downloads are non-refundable, so it’s best to ask questions before purchasing. Again, these are for Lightroom & ACR RAW file users only, they are not recommended for .JPG shooters. Based on overall response, I’ll consider releasing a set for .JPG shooters early next year.
Well, thanks so much gang! I have truly put my heart and soul into this collection, and I’m not sure you’ll find another one out there quite like it! Thanks so much for taking a moment to check these out. I sincerely appreciate it, and I hope you all are having a wonderful season!
Hello friends! I’m pumped about my presets release. I really am. They have been testing beautifully, and I am always SO, SO proud when I can bring a high-quality product to market at an amazing price.
Which I’m going to do this time around too….just you wait and see!
In the meantime, just a touch of what I’ve been hearing from testers:
“This is one of the most unique and varied sets of presets I have ever seen….these are just great.”
“The Black & Whites alone are amazing and could easily stand by themselves…..”
“Patti, you have outdone yourself. Really, I am just loving these.”
“There is so much variety, and there are some really unique looks that I just haven’t seen in other sets or even in other actions sets. They are easily worth well over $100, you have really done a nice job.”
“The SKIN!!! Oh my. I’ve never seen a set of presets where the skin looks so great, yet they are still so unique. These are so beautiful.”
“I am using these now for every photo I process. Most of the time, I don’t have to even touch the sliders. When I do, it’s a minor adjustment. They are just gorgeous.”
“Finally….a photographer who designed presets SPECIFICALLY FOR NATURAL LIGHT SHOOTERS! It’s clear…you understand how we shoot. They are so simple….I hardly have to make any adjustments….and the Posts – they are icing on the cake. Brava!”
Just in case you don’t believe them, take a little look-see for yourself in the video here for a demo. It’s in ACR, but you’ll get an idea of what they will look like in Lightroom too. Please note, it is excrutiatingly embarrassing for me to hear myself in a video, so it’s just a raw cut. I can only stand to listen to it long enough to cut it.
You can also watch a slideshow below to view a few of the presets. Please note, each preset applied was NOT adjusted in any way – sliders weren’t touched. I also didn’t do any post processing outside of ACR at all….I don’t believe in that. I thin you should see a clear picture of exactly what you’re buying before you buy it.
Kaleidoscope Presets (click to play)
One thing I like to do with my releases are test, test, test, and retest……and ask for the most honest, raw criticism I can possibly get, in order to ultimately deliver a wonderful product. Therefore, I owe a ton to my testers, and I really appreciate them allowing me to be able to bring such a high quality product to market. Thanks a million!
It should also be noted that at the time of this post, I’m still waiting to hear back from a few Lightroom testers. That’s why the demo in the link above is in ACR. But, the presets look exactly the same in each program, so you can get a really clear idea of the variety and quality of this set.