UPDATED (see below):I will admit that I was once a Nikon shooter. When I made the switch to digital there were very few options for professional, high speed camera bodies intended for the working photojournalist. I looked at what canon had to offer and was not impressed so I chose to go with Nikon. After a couple of years with unsatisfactory results with a couple of D2H’s and then a couple of D200’s, including the almost constant problems, manufacturing defects and piss poor customer service, I switched to Canon. I have been pretty happy with the cameras I have purchased and the customer service. I really like Canon pro service. I haven’t had to use it very often but am impressed with their attention to detail and understanding of the needs of working professionals.
However, I am getting to the point where I feel that what Canon has to offer will not fit my needs as a photojournalist. I have several of their EOS 1D series bodies, none of which produce a file over ISO1600 with noise levels anywhere near what Nikon can currently offer. The Nikon D3s which will be capable of shooting at an ISO equivalent of 102,400 – in near darkness. As I have mentioned before, I do use ISO 3200 with pretty consistent results but this is where my options stop. The cameras I own do not offer anything above ISO 3200. There are certain circumstances where having the liberty to boost my ISO above 3200 is almost a necessity.
Friday night high school football. For those of us who shoot football during the fall, you know what I am talking about. I have adapted to what my equipment is capable of. I use a flash, shoot from the endzone and probably spend way too much time post processing images to get a few that are up to my standards of publication. I was at a football game a couple of weeks back and was shooting side by side with a great photographer named Karl Gehring from The Denver Post. He easily shot with ISO 4000 at f2.8 and 1/640th throughout the game. He came away with some really great images while I struggled with flash power and distance from the action.
I have looked at and used the EOS 1D Mark III but am still skeptical about consistent results and would really like to start shooting video. I depend on my equipment to be an extension of my vision. I do want not be let down by equipment or miss opportunities because my flash is recycling. So Canon you know where I stand. I say this with as much respect as I can: Where is your answer to the Nikon D3s? Me, my credit card and my vision are waiting.
Nikon has now posted high rez samples of images from the D3s here.