Same old new cameras — the EOS 5D option
With Nikon’s 12-megapixel D700 available for some time now (a lovely camera), and Canon’s 21-megapixel 5D
Mark II just around the corner (less lovely perhaps, but still lusted after), which should you buy? Fewer, cleaner pixels, or more
Perhaps neither, unless you have close to US$3000 burning a hole in your pocket. Cameras
are accessories. Put your money into optics that will serve you for a long time to come. Good
optics will still be good 3 or 5 years from now. The fancy new D700 and 5D Mark II will seem like yesterday’s stale bread
in 3 years, even though they’ll perform as good as when new.
So here is an alternative worth considering, at least for some photographers: soon the market will be flooded
with used Canon EOS 5D bodies. WIth the new 5D Mark II priced at US$2699, a very nice used EOS 5D with low mileage should sell for
around $1500 or so, perhaps even less (the 5D sold in large volumes). If money is no object, by all means get the latest and greatest,
and don’t buy a used 5D if you have any doubt whatsoever about the seller’s integrity.
The 5D has its shortcomings and annoyances (see my extensive Nikon D2x vs Canon EOS in DAP),
but it’s a damn good image maker. I still use mine, converted permanently to infrared
use, where it offers outstanding detail, having no anti-aliasing filter after the IR conversion. Especially if you shoot black
and white, an EOS 5D can be an excellent choice. You could also “hot rod” it at maxmax.com (eliminate
the anti-aliasing filter).
The Canon EOS platform also offers bountiful optical choices, because Canon, Nikon, Leica and Olympus lenses
can be used with adapters. If your photography is specialized or contemplative and/or just doesn’t require fast autofocus, very high
ISOs, big bursts, etc, a used Canon 5D might just do the trick.
So think carefully about your type of photography, and whether the “latest and greatest” really will make
a difference in the images you produce and whether the money saved could be used instead on a lens that might serve you for years to
come. Maybe that means a Zeiss ZE lens (ZE is ZF for EOS mount). Maybe
it means a Leica 90/2 APO (a good deal on the used market).
You can still buy the original 5D new for $2199.
The 5D Mark II is $2699 and
the Nikon D700 is $2759.