>>>I would agree if a competitor was taking business >away as >>a >>>result, but they are not. Nikon's AF system is so >much >>better >>>than Canon's that no birder or wildlife shooter is >going >>to >>>switch and Canon's DX line is not exactly the >Pro-Body >>that is >>>being sought. >> >>Just wondering what your basis is for this statement. >>I know of a lot of photographers that use canon gear to >>capture birds. >>A few years ago I heard of focusing issues, but I thought >they >>were resolved with the 7D's. > >I am sure people can bird on any number of cameras, I did some >on my old D40 which had a fairly crude AF system for it, >certainly by today's standards.
In my area, among birders, Canon outnumbers Nikon at least 4:1. (edit: could be as high as 10:1)
And if pressed, I would never enter into a debate over which is better for a birder... I never engage in a debate I know I can't win.
About 90% of the birders in my area are using the Canon 100-400/5.6 zoom. The other 10% are using faster glass like 600/4. And if you want to be mobile or don't have $10K to pop for a lens, the Canon 100-400 is THE birder lens to own. Period, and no debate possible. The screw driven 80-400 is not a valid counter.
Nikon was also late to the party with stabilized lenses. Most of the f/4 birders in my area are shooting Canon because they bought their lenses back when Nikon had no equivalent.
What I am saying is that although Nikon has made some progress in that area (birding glass), to this day they show no interest in seriously competing in the birder market. They don't even make competitive modern optics for that.
And it is important to understand that there are birding photographers, and there are birders interested in documenting their observations. These are, for the most part, two completely different markets and the latter outnumber the former about 10:1. However, *here*, in these fora, it is the reverse because these forums attract photographers (who also happen to bird), not birders.
Where Nikon does have an advantage is that there are old, obsolete but very usable lenses out there, like 500/4p, 500/4 and 600/4 AFS without VR, and etc., for a birder on a budget (see my lens profile list). But that is not a very good marketing strategy for Nikon.
When the D300 came out, a number of my Canon birder friends commented that, strictly in terms of bodies, the D300 was so good it would make them switch. But there are certain lenses (the 100-400 at the top of the list) for which Nikon has no replacement, and for that reason alone those guys are all still shooting Canon. And, of course, their birding friends that subsequently acquired suitable cameras are all shooting Canon.
After the 7D came out, I never hear that any more. You can argue that Nikon's AF is better but I see an awful lot of well shot Canon images. And that is not a "marketing point" that can be easily sold, or is well understood by people considering a swap.
The 7D had class leading sensor density in its day, 8FPS frame rate, and not one, or even the second button many of us are pleading for, but THREE programmable thumb buttons.
And... proving that Canon actually understands that market (and perhaps the sports market too?)... their grips have two or three thumb buttons on the vertical grip, allowing the shooter to actually use the built in buttons (and whatever inherent strategy he/she chooses) in either orientation.
If I were strictly a birder, or mainly a birder (which perhaps I am), and I were starting over, and I were not using Nikon's wonderful line of obsolete lenses to get extreme reach, I would have a very tough decision if I had to start over from scratch. Very tough.
What I am trying to say here is that I have never felt that Nikon had any serious interest in capturing the birder market. And unless and until they can come out with a modern body that competes with the 7D in terms of sensor density and frame rate, they will never make any headway into that market.
And this is said by a committed Nikon shooter, not some troll. But I can't ignore what I see and hear all around me, and the frustrations I have.