First off, I have to say, Canon and I have had a good run these last 4 years. I have loved my Canon gear like I love my dog (and if you know me, I love my dog A LOT) and we have created thousands of beautiful & gorgeous images together. I’ve traveled everywhere with my Canon gear, nationwide and internationally, and it’s always been there for me. But, like young love, all good things must come to an end.
I have to admit, when I started my photography journey, I chose Canon because the system was easy to use, within my budget, and everyone I knew or researched was shooting Canon. I started off with the 40D (skipped the Rebel entirely) and it really opened up the doors for me to take my love for photography further. It wasn’t long before I outgrew its capabilities and invested in the 7D. I chose the 7D over the standard 5D Mkii because the 7D was in my price range and the AF system in it was superior to the MKii, this I had tested first hand and heard from many other potographers who had the Mkii. Plus, and this was a perk, the 7D could use my EFS lenses, whereas the full frame MKii couldn’t. As a girl on a budget, this was a critical point in my decision making.
Thoughts of Nikon have been in the back of my mind a lot over the last year or so. My dad always used Nikon and he would always say there was nothing like it. My older sister likes Nikon and I used to think it was only because my dad did, and well, I had to be different. Now mind you, My 7D has been wonderful, enough that I purchased a second one as a back up. But here’s the thing, even though the 7D has a better AF system than the Mkii, it still isn’t all that its chalked up to be. Atleast in my humble opinion. I would find all the time that while culling images in Lightroom, every 5th or 6th image in a succession would be OOF (out of focus). At first I chalked it up to user error, told myself to pay more attention, but it kept happening. When I bought the second 7D, I told myself that if the focus issue didn’t happen with this new one, I would be able to send in the other one to Canon to repair (keeping in mind, when I had one camera, it was never the “right” time to send it in just to be looked at, leaving me out of business while Canon did whatever it is they do). But… dun dun dun, sure as the sun rises, the same problem happened with the second one straight out of the box. The vast majority of images were good and great, it’s still an awesome camera, but I found myself always overshooting to compensate for this problem and to me, that’s ridiculous. I’m not an idiot, I pay attention to detail and my camera is an extension of myself, but I demand performance. My clients expect nothing but the best out of me and I expect nothing but the best out of the camera I choose. Doing more research, I discovered other Canon users having the same issues, even on different models, and that many of the photographers I really was in awe of their work, well, they all use Nikon…
Here’s the thing about damn brand loyalty, you feel like you’re cheating on one brand when you try the other out. But I couldn’t resist the temptation when my mentor and great friend, Heidi Abbott of Thrive Creative Studio (who I second shoot weddings with), let me borrow her Nikon D300 and a couple lenses and flash. The Nikon D300 is pretty much the equivalent to the Canon 7D for those of you who are curious where in the camera body line up it falls. At first I felt awkward with it, trying to figure out where things were. After being with Canon so long it was like driving on the left side of the street, just a bit off kilter. I even had to Google how to open the CF card drive. I wasn’t sure… But, but, but… you bring that thing up to shoot and… oh my gosh, I hate to say it, but it was like losing my virginity all over again. The clouds opened up and sang Hallelujah!
I first tested it out on a single subject, a semi-mobile 7 month old baby. The images were crystal clear, EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Sharp, gorgeous, awesome. The recycling time was incredible. The FIFTY ONE AF points? The 7D had 19. Need I say anything else? I fell into infatuation with this camera, amazing. So I put it to another test, a family session with 5 kids; twin 1 year olds, a 3 year old, a 5 year old and a 7 year old. Now was the time to find out if it could really move fast and how easy it would be for me to manhandle the beast shooting completely in manual mode. You want to know the only problem I ran into? I overshot like I was on my Canon and the recycling time was so fast that I now have over 500 CRYSTAL CLEAR images to cull through. I fell head over heels in love.
I am in the process of selling all my Canon gear to fund the switch. My gear (2 Canon 7D bodies, a 50 1.2 L series lens, a 10-22 wide angle lens, and 7D battery grip) is in excellent condition and just needs a loving home. I promise you, I’m not selling any lemons, this is entirely a personal preference. Now I won’t be buying the D300 only because I want to go full frame (probably the D700 because the new D800, while amazing, is going to be around $4000 and I can’t afford or justify that at this point) and I am beyond excited to check out this whole new world and try new things. I’m excited about my photography again, possibly more excited then ever, and I am so much more confident in myself now knowing it was NOT user error getting those OOF shots mixed in with my sessions. I still will highly recommend the 7D, it’s still an awesome camera, but from what I can tell, most all Canon cameras have this issue. If you can look past it, awesome, or maybe you lucked out and your camera is rocking it. The thing is that everyone should have equipment that makes them excited for their photography, excited to capture the world around them in fun different ways, Canon or Nikon. After all, isn’t that kind of the point?
Canon, it’s been real. It’s not you, it’s me. (Who are we kidding, it’s you, I’m just trying to be civil). I’ll never forget you, kind of like you never forget the boy you were infatuated with in high school, you’ll always have a piece of my heart. I love you, I’m just not IN love with you. Let’s be friends. I’ll call you!