It has been a very long time since I posted here. I have been a long time Nikon shooter since the film days and I purchased a D70 when it was released which I still own and use.
However, over time I ended up accumulating a lot of Canon gear and did not really build my Nikon set up any further. I am very pleased and familiar with Canon's IQ but I feel a little out of the loop concerning Nikon's image quality on their current cameras.
I am not one to bash or switch brands but I am sitting on the fence whether I buy the 5d MKII or just bite the bullet and invest and stay with Nikon for good (which I have preferred all along)
So I come here seeking your advice I am really interested in purchasing a D700 but I have heard conflicting reports concerning the quality of its skin tones compared to Canon's. I have heard such remarks as them being plasticky and more difficult to post process. It all sounds like nonsense to me but I would love to hear an unbiased opinion (if such a thing exists ).
I quite regularly process files from the D70 alongside a Canon 20d & 5d and right away I can pick out the D70's files since I don't feel they look as nice. I understand we are comparing apples to oranges here but could someone please enlighten me on either the difference they have noticed when coming from a camera like the D70 or even an X Canon shooter who now uses a D700. Does anyone have some side by side comparisons between a D70 and/ or Canon camera so I can gauge the advancements?
I have no doubt the D700 isn't an excellent camera. However, my main reason for considering switching is I am a little tired of Canons ergonomics, their "poor" AF in cameras such as the 5d, I do not like their 24-70, also I don't want a 21mp sensor.
I primarily shoot weddings and portraits and that is why nice looking skin tones are important to me (along with high iso and noise handling). Sure I can try one out or rent one and that is my goal but I am trying to gather as much information as possible to aid in my decision.
Also, please do not offer advice on the cost of switching, the grass is greener etc. Trust me I have analyzed it from every angle, I truly wish I was happy with my Canon gear and my final decision has come down to skin tones. I feel the D700 excels in almost every other area over my current 5d and is a better match for my shooting style. Thanks
#1. "RE: D700 question re: skintones" | In response to Reply # 0tdtaylor Registered since 03rd Jan 2008Thu 30-Oct-08 10:42 PM
To cut to the chase, go to your local camera shop, have them put a 24-70 on the D700, and try it out. For events, I have found the Neutral setting, boosted +1 or +2, renders beautiful skin tones in incandescent and mixed lighting. I haven't been confronted by fluorescent (with energy cost, we all will eventually be exposed), and when I am I am sure it will take some experimentation. The Standard setting just does not do it for me for these events.
Then if possible, put on a 50mm f/1.4, go in a dark room, lit by something like a computer screen, boost the ISO to 3200, and be prepared be amazed how well the camera tracks, and then how well the camera retains the color in these low light situations. This and the ergonomics are enough to keep me with the D700. I have had a D3, and now a D700, and both performed identically.
Nikonian in Maryland
#2. "RE: D700 question re: skintones" | In response to Reply # 1PaulBennett Registered since 09th May 2008Fri 31-Oct-08 05:01 AM | edited Fri 31-Oct-08 05:05 AM by PaulBennett
Taylor, you suggest Neutral boosted +1 or +2 for good skin tones. I assume you mean 'Set Picture Control' as that's the only Neutral I find in the menu. But there are several sub-settings...Sharpening, Saturation, Hue. Unless Active-D is Off when contrast and brightness are added to that list. Which of these would you boost +1 or +2? Or am I looking in the wrong area?
Personally, I experience great skin tones with D-700 so far but am willing to tweak.
Joey, you said "I have no doubt the D700 isn't an excellent camera." perhaps an overlooked mistype?
Joey, further question. How would you characterize the skin tone inadequacy? Too warm, cool, off-color, dulcid, or what?
#3. "RE: D700 question re: skintones" | In response to Reply # 2tdtaylor Registered since 03rd Jan 2008Fri 31-Oct-08 08:41 AM
My apologies for not being more clear. In the Picture Controls,in the Neutral setting, I boost the saturation. I have developed the habit of using Active D-Lighting, which freezes out Contrast and Brightness. I do not mess with Hue, for I would rather mess with this in post processing. if at all. I tend to leave sharpness at 5, and if I have changes make them in post-processing with Nik. Of course, all of this is off if you don't take the time to get the white balance correct, which is a fairly easy on these latest cameras.
I do not do portraits, only events which does often involve the same focal lengths. If I did, due to the level of sharpness the lens/camera can now provide, I would consider reducing the sharpness. I sometimes find I am using the "Skintone Softener" in Nik when I am close to a person and the camera nails the focus. But I really defer to others who know portraiture better than my minimal experience.
Nikonian in Maryland
#4. "RE: D700 question re: skintones" | In response to Reply # 3joey Registered since 24th Dec 2003Sat 01-Nov-08 01:43 PM
thanks for the responses,
Yes, Paul that is certainly an error on my part with my wording.. ooops.
Well I went to the camera store yesterday and tried it out with the 24-70. I must say I was extremely impressed with the feel and responsiveness of this camera. I planned on going there with an open mind and trying it out only made me desire it even more...
As far as the difference in skin tones between Nikon and Canon it is limited to my very unfair comparisons which is between a D70 and a Canon 5d. The only way I can describe it is I find the Nikon files have more of a shimmer... if that makes any sense... who knows it could just be me?
Thanks for the responses and I think I am just going to bite the bullet and get one since I fell in love with it in the short time we spent together.