Canon is Winning the Camera War?

Popular Camera Brands

I received an email today with the title “Canon is Winning the Camera War”. I opened the email immediately to see what it was about, because it had such a bold subject line. Canon winning the camera war… I have not seen any market share reports lately, so this was an interesting read. Apparently, a company called “Sortable” has recently conducted a massive survey with over 275,000 people over a period of 6 months, which showed that more than 33% of consumers favor Canon over other brands when making a camera purchase, including Nikon. Check out this interesting graph:

Popular Camera Brands

Here is some more information from this announcement:

In a brand war traditionally fought between Nikon and Canon, it appears that Canon now has the upper hand, with 33 percent of consumers indicating it as their preferred camera choice according to online consumer buying trends drawn from Sortable’s partner, Snapsort, a web site that allows people to analyze, compare, and recommend digital camera options. Nikon falls to second place with 26 percent, followed by Sony at 15 percent, Panasonic with 7 percent, Fujifilm at 5 percent, Olympus at 4 percent and Pentax at 3 percent. Other manufactures make up the final 7 percent.

With a range of camera options available, survey data shows consumers remain split in their preference between Point and Shoot and DSLR cameras. Data shows 36 percent of consumers are searching for both. Most surprising in the survey was the rising popularity of Mirrorless cameras, a relatively new technology in the camera market. Mirrorless cameras stuff a DSLR size sensor into a small portable package, with interchangeable lenses for greater flexibility. Sortable’s survey identified that 22 percent of consumers are searching for Mirrorless camera options, leaving the leading brands in a bit of a deficit position. Canon has yet to enter the Mirrorless market, and Nikon has just entered. Sortable believes this emerging trend gives Sony, Panasonic and Olympus the opportunity to take brand share.

That’s an interesting analysis, given the large number of respondents. Mirrorless is on the rise, and we know it. Canon historically has been dominating the DSLR market, so no surprises here, although Nikon has been catching up pretty quickly ever since the Nikon D3 came out.

I say that folks at Sortable are just trying to bring attention to their websites with such a headline. Canon winning camera war? I did not know there was one. With so many new innovative and wonderful products from all manufacturers, there is room for everyone. What do you say?

Check out our new DSLR Camera Purchase Guide

DSLR Purchase Guide

Being a photography website that frequently publishes gear reviews, we get asked a lot of questions on a daily basis from our visitors on all kinds of camera gear, from DSLRs and lenses to tripods and camera bags. To make it easier for our readers to see our recommendations, I have been actively working on the “Gear Guide” during the last two plus weeks. While the section is far from being complete, I wanted to share some news regarding the new “DSLR Camera Purchase Guide” that is now live in the Gear Guide section. It is an interactive camera purchase guide that displays a list of recommended cameras by Mansurovs based on what you like shooting, your budget and the brand of camera or lenses you might already own.

DSLR Purchase Guide

Please check it out and let us know what you think! I could really use some feedback. The purchase guide has not been fully completed yet and I am still working on adding more information under each camera, but the functionality should be more or less complete at this point. I will be adding interactive guides like this for lenses and other accessories as well, so stay tuned!

Nikon D700 price drops $500, now $2,199

Nikon D700

As expected, the Nikon D700 price went down $500 to $2,199 (from $2,699), after the Nikon D800 was announced. A lot of people have been sending me emails and leaving comments on our site about the Nikon D700 availability and if it will still be offered in the future. As of now, Nikon is planning to continue to manufacture the Nikon D700, because there is still demand for it. This is great news for many of us that cannot afford the new Nikon D800, want to upgrade from DX to FX, or simply do not feel the need for a high-resolution 36 MP camera.

Nikon D700

The bad news is, the Nikon D700 is currently out of stock pretty much everywhere. Partly this has to do with the flood in Thailand that severely affected Nikon’s ability to manufacture DSLRs and DSLR parts, but it is also related to a high demand on the D700, which has been selling really well since it was announced back in 2008.

If you want to get the Nikon D700 at its new low price of $2,199, you can wait until it is available at stores like B&H and Adorama, or you can use the “Notify when in stock” feature at B&H and you will receive an email as soon as the Nikon D700 is available for purchase. Here are the links for both B&H and Adorama, with the new reflected price of $2,199:

  1. Nikon D700 for $2,199 at B&H Photo Video
  2. Nikon D700 for $2,199 at Adorama

If you do not know much about the Nikon D700, I recommend checking out my Nikon D700 Review.

Lens Stabilization vs In-camera Stabilization

Lens Stabilization vs Sensor Stabilization

While I am currently working on a couple of Sony camera and lens reviews, I decided to write a quick article on differences between in-camera and lens stabilization. As you may already know, Nikon and Canon are both big on lens stabilization, while other camera manufacturers like Sony and Pentax have been pushing for in-camera stabilization technology (also known as body stabilization). I have had a few people ask about differences between the two and I thought that a quick article explaining the pros and cons of each stabilization technology would be beneficial for our readers.

Lens Stabilization vs Sensor Stabilization

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Nikon D800E will ship with Capture NX 2

Nikon D800 vs D800E Low-Pass Filter

The Nikon D800E is generating a lot of interest among many landscape and macro photographers and one question that has been popping up a lot, is why the Nikon D800E is $300 more expensive than the Nikon D800? I received a number of comments like “why is Nikon charging extra for something the D800 does not have?” (meaning why Nikon charges extra money for a camera without an anti-aliasing / low-pass filter). In fact, both the Nikon D800 and the D800E have anti-aliasing filters (see the illustration below), it is just that the Nikon D800E has two of the filters reversed that cancel each other out. So some of the extra charge is coming from the required change in the manufacturing process. Additionally, according to DPReview’s “Nikon D800 Preview” they posted today, the Nikon D800E version will ship with the Nikon Capture NX 2 software, which costs around $129.95 retail.

Now about that low-pass filter on the Nikon D800E – both the D800 and the D800E have low-pass filters, but they behave differently. Typical Nikon low-pass filters actually contain of 3 different layers, as shown on the top illustration below:

Nikon D800 vs D800E Low-Pass Filter

As light rays reach the first “horizontal low-pass filter”, they get split in two, horizontally. Next, they go through an infrared absorption filter (illustrated in green color). After that, the light rays go through the “second vertical low-pass filter”, which further splits the light rays vertically. This light ray conversion process essentially causes blurring of the details.

Now with the Nikon D800E model, Nikon took an interesting approach. We know that the full low-pass filter cannot be completely removed, because it would cause the focal plane to move as well; plus, the camera still needs to be able to reflect infrared light rays. Instead of making a single filter with one layer, Nikon decided to still use three layers, but with two layers canceling each other out. As light rays get split into two with a vertical low-pass filter, then through the IR absorption filter, those same light rays get converged back when passing through a reversed vertical low-pass filter. Hence, instead of getting blurred details as in the first illustration, we get the full resolution.

I am not sure if the above method is the best way to deal with the issue, but I suspect that Nikon decided to take this route for cost reasons. It would probably be more expensive to produce a single IR absorption filter layer coated on both sides, than continue to use the same layers, but in a different configuration.

The above information will be added to my Nikon D800 vs D800E article I posted last night.

Nikon D800 Brochure and Product Information

Nikon D800

Information is pouring in from everywhere now. Since the Nikon D800 is officially out now, Nikon.com and NikonUSA.com are getting updated with the product information, including the official Nikon D800 Brochure, Nikon D800 Detailed Product Information and Sample Images (to be posted shortly).

Here is the official video:

Below are the links with all the latest information:

  1. Nikon D800 NikonUSA Page
  2. Nikon D800 Official Product Information
  3. Nikon D800 Brochure (PDF File)
  4. Nikon D800 Sample Images
  5. Nikon D800E Sample Images

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Breaking NEWS! Nikon D800 will cost $2,999, not $3,999

Nikon D800

I previously posted on the Nikon D800 announcement that the D800 will be priced at $3,999. My source sent me the info in euro currency (€2,999), so I made a mistake by converting it to USD. The camera is now officially released by Nikon and its price is in fact $2,999 USD for the regular version of the D800. The Nikon D800E without the AA filter will be priced $300 USD more at $3,299.

Nikon D800

This is phenomenal news, because Nikon is giving us one heck of a camera at the same price as the Nikon D700 when it was announced! Expect this camera to sell like crazy, so make sure to pre-order it as soon as possible. Pre-order links will be posted as soon as they become available! At this price, the Nikon D800 will be in huge demand and you might not be able to get one for a while.

Nikon D800 vs D700

Nikon D800 vs D700

Now that the Nikon D800 is officially out, I am sure many photographers will be interested in seeing feature differences between the now obsolete Nikon D700 and the new D800. Please keep in mind that this Nikon D800 vs D700 comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons is already provided in my Nikon D800 Review.

Nikon D800 vs D700

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Why sensor dust is more visible at small apertures

Dust on Sensor

Another reader of ours, Frank Di Luzio, sent the below image that explains exactly why sensor dust is more visible at small apertures. While I have explained this phenomenon to some of our readers before (see the comment section), I have not had a chance to write a separate article with a proper illustration, demonstrating how aperture size affects the shape and size of dust particles. Thanks to our generous readers like Frank, I now do not have to do it, because the below illustration is perfect.

Dust on Sensor

In summary, when the size of aperture is large (a small F-number like f/2.8), light rays reach dust particles that are sitting on the sensor filter from different angles. Remember, although I refer to this as “sensor dust”, dust actually never touches the sensor, because there is a thick filter (actually, more like a number of filters packed together to form a single filter) that sits in front of the camera sensor. Therefore, by the time light reaches the physical sensor, it is spread out on a very large area, making dust appear as a large blob with a soft ring. When using very large apertures like f/1.4 on fast prime lenses, these blobs might be so washed out that they might be practically invisible to your eye. That’s why portrait photographers notice dust less often than landscape photographers!

Now when the lens is stopped down and aperture is significantly smaller, say at f/16, light rays coming from the lens diaphragm are perpendicular to the sensor filter. Because the angle is more or less straight, dust specks also cast direct and defined shadows on the sensor. That’s why dust shows up in images much smaller, darker and with more defined edges at small apertures.

Big thanks to Frank for sending the illustration!

Benefits of a High Resolution Sensor

Nikon D4 Sensor

As camera manufacturers are continuing the megapixel race, with Sony releasing a bunch of 24 MP APS-C (1.5 crop-factor) cameras like Sony A77, A65 and NEX-7, and Nikon releasing a high resolution 36 MP Nikon D800, many of us photographers question the need for such a high resolution sensor. Some of us are happy while others are angry about these latest trends. Just when we thought companies like Nikon abandoned the megapixel race, instead of seeing other companies do the same, we now see Nikon back in the game with a new breed of product with a boatload of pixels. Why did Nikon all of a sudden decide to flip the game? Why does everyone seem to be going for more pixels rather than better low-light / high ISO performance? Does a high resolution sensor make sense? What are the true benefits of a high resolution sensor? In this article, I will provide my thoughts on what I think has happened with Nikon’s camera strategy, along with a few points on benefits of a high resolution sensor.

Nikon D4 Sensor

Pixel Size, Pixel Density, Sensor Size and Image Processing Pipeline

OK, this topic is rather complex if you do not know anything about pixels and sensors. Before you read any further, I highly recommend to read my “FX vs DX” article, where I specifically talk about pixel and sensor sizes and their impact on image quality.

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