Of course no one who considers him/herself to be a reasonable person would ever admit it, but I suspect there are lots of "us" Nikonites who've been wondering whether Nikon's recent developments in FX-sensor cameras and long, VR-supplemented lenses would have any effect on Canon's long-term advantage among sports shooters.
So... (purely in the interest of objective research, you understand) I froze a shot of the pro-photographer corner at the Olympics on my 57" HDTV just to take a count (I've been watching both swimming and gymnastics and I think this was a swimming event). 32 cameras aimed at the action with lenses ranging from what looked to be 300mm to 500mm in length. With the benefit of HD resolution, I was able to clearly identify 15 Nikons and 17 Canons.
In years past, Canon would have led this competition by about 3-to-1 or more. I'd say the new Nikon gear is having a definite impact.
Nikon have sponsorship signs at the swimming - they were everywhere at the World Shortcourse (25m) Championships in Manchester (England) this Spring. It is quite possible that they are targetting certain Sports - though I too have noticed a higher ratio of Black lenses than before... which is good(assuming they are Nikons).
In order to be at the Olympics, they must have done a deal with one or more of the Major sports agencies. The days of amateurs blagging their way into the Olympics and getting the only picture of Bob Beamon jumping 8.9m are long gone....
Mantova Life is for Living !!!! The Alpha and the Omega - Nikon F, F6
That is funny. I did the same thing (Froze the Olympics on my Tivo while they panned over the press area, and counted the black and white long lenses). I came up with 18 Nikons and 16 Canons. I can't remember which event I was watching when I counted, but it was from a couple of days ago.
I'd have to say Nikon is making a comeback with the D3.
I have been following all these kind of threads on the internet and it's really amazing on one hand hearing of all the people spending there time and energy colorcoding and the counting the lenses to make up the score, on the other hand seeing how strong Nikon's come back on the sportsphotography scene apparently is
I guess it would hopefully therefor be interesting to point out the report of an actual sportshooter on the scene and his observation of Nikon's presence at the Olympics
Interesting the life they lead. Thanks for that link.
Since my interest in Photography started in High School as a yearbook photographer and Nikon was king back in 1977, I've built up a healthy stock of Nikkors. So I've never considered changing bodies because of that investment I've made in lens. Probably a pretty typical story here at Nikonians. However, it was sure nice to finally get a FF Nikon though - D3. I purposely put off buying any DX lens since I knew Nikon would eventually come around to FF.
Having just returned from the Olympics where I was shooting the sailing then yes there is more Nikon being used. The D3 being the factor. That said in the sailing environment I would say it is probably 70/30 ifo Canon. Seems more on this pic I took http://www.sailshots.co.uk/Olympics2008/pages/_DSC7521.html
I have also heard there are some major european agencies about to change their entire team to Nikon. Also heard that Nikon are also offering some good deals to persuade pro Canon users to switch.
>Watching Michael Phelps races at the Olympics, looks like a >lot of Pro's using D3's and long Nikon glass (bet it's the new >VR long glass).
Yes, the D3 and VR exotics did help. But if it had been only that we wouldn't have seen a change from 85% Canon to somewhere around 50% Canon in less than a year.
In my opinion, the biggest impact has been the focus problems with the Canon 1d mkIII. If people cannot trust their gear, they look further. If 'only' the grass appears to be greener on the other side, a few might switch, but not 35%.
-- In Hollywood, brides keep the bouquets and throw away the groom. -Groucho Marx-