A few people have asked me if I plan to spend any time with the Nikon D800 and if I would ever consider switching from Canon over to Nikon. Honestly, I am heavily invested in glass, above is my master prime set from left to right, the Canon 85mm f1.2, the Canon 50mm f1.2, the Canon 35mm f1.4, and the Canon 24mm f1.4. The only thing I’m missing is the Canon 135mm f2, which I would still like to add to my collection at some point.

Even though I’ve found extremely good deals on all of these lenses (thanks Portland Craigslist), that is still about a $4000 investment in lenses, add the price of a Canon 5d mark III to that and you’re up to the price of a very nice used car. It’s still less then half the price of a Canon C300, and at least the investment has paid for itself.

Switching to the Nikon D800 would save me $500 for the price of the body, but what about the cost of lenses? As an example, I paid $1100 used for the Canon 24mm f1.4 II lens, the equivalent Nikon 24mm f/1.4G even used will set you back around $1600.  Does Nikon even sell a auto focus 50mm f1.2? The rest of the equivalent Nikon lenses are about the same scenario.

So you’ve effectively saved $500 for a body and will pay $1500 or more extra in the cost of lenses. After all what good is having an excellent camera body if you’re taking photo’s (or video) through low end glass. It would be like using a $100 50mm f1.8 on a $2000 Canon 5d mark II.

Another thing to consider is the video codec. Nikon is still using 24Mb encoding for video, while Canon has upgraded to ALL-I encoding at a much higher 90Mb data rate. Sure Nikon has a clean HDMI output but to take advantage of that you’ll need a HDMI recorder like the Ninja which will add another $1200 to $2000 to the overall cost. Again more money for Nikon over all.

Unless you need the 36.3MP of the Nikon D800, Canon still seems to be the better deal. Canon has done a good job of covering all the angles. Sure there are a few things missing from the 5d Mark III that all of use would like to have seen, but Canon knows that they only have to make a camera that’s enough better then the competition. Sure we might find it frustrating, but how many companies are really competing in this market?

I suspect the next round of Canon’s consumer cameras will have a new sensor and the same features pretty much all around. Just like last time. I hope they prove me wrong.

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