Monday, January 10, 2011

Shame on you, Nikon!

The award for the most disappointing, underwelming, half-assed display goes to Nikon. By a landslide. No great glass on display. No 70-200mm f2.8 lens at all, and it didn't look like there was anything longer than 85mm in the single display case. There was a room, upstairs, in the back, and two glass display cases with a selection of cameras, the highest one being a D3s. That's it. No photos on the wall, no magazine covers, nada. A couple black couches and some Pepsi on a table (without ice even). Really.

Canon brought a stage decorated as a rain forest with Cirque du Soleil type dancers hanging from ropes attached to the ceiling. Photos on display everywhere. Nikon had just two "reps"; Canon had more than I could count, and that's just at the camera body station.

A big win for Canon at this trade show, obviously...

The 1D mk4 is a killer camera, but it's not made for guys with big hands like me. The support ridge under the shutter button is too small (narrow) and in the wrong location, forcing me to have to apply uncomfortable finger-tip pressure, to hold the camera with my right hand. It's surprisingly slender front-to-back. And it is fast! Very, very fast, with seemingly amazing low-light gathering at ISO 3200. That was quite surprising. Perhaps that body is worth the money? I rarely shoot in such low light, and if I did I don't know that I wouldn't be using a tripod anyway. I love low-ISO photos for their lack of grain and color noise. Not sure I need such terifficly-high ISOs for my work.

It takes one push on the "play" button AFTER a photo is shot to pull up the picture, and 12 pushes on the "+" button to magnify all the way in to see how sharp it is. Bad Canon, bad. I thought I read a review which said there's a one-touch custom function which goes to 100%, but no one at the counter knew how to set that up. Also, Canon bodies were not reset to "default" settings after each person put one down. By Sunday, when I browsed the show, it took me 5 or 10 minutes just to get it to the point where I could shoot a photo. The first question a rep should have asked is "What do you need your camera to do for you?". Followed by "Are you familiar with this model?" Very poor salesmanship from the Canon reps, and even worse (if possible) from Nikon.

I'll be interested in seeing if they improve at any photo expo trade shows later this spring. Obviously, there were no new introductions from either MFG... Which is total BS because we all know they have new stuff in development. Canon obviously feels that in-camera video is the wave of the future, and the 7D is certainly an impressive body. The AF is a touch slower than the 1D mk4, and of course it feels substantially lighter. My D300 feels more robust. The 7D does have crazy-high ISO too, like its big bro. It appears to be a very good "semi-pro" body for the APS-C crowd. Adding the wireless flash is nice, but they didn't have a flash in the case, and weren't showing or telling folks about it. If they were car salesmen, they would starve!

CES= interesting but disappointing from the pro-shooter crossover standpoint.

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