June 29, 2011

Ask Dave, June 29th - One camera

Ask Dave, June 29th (part 1)
I get tons of questions each week, I respond as quickly as possible, and I might just answer them here too. If you have questions you can email me at Learn@DaveShumway.com.

Sorry for the delay... I honestly thought this had posted while I was on my trip to the American Prairie Reserve; but it had not :(

From... Countless friends/students/strangers/customers
If you could only have one, non professional, camera and two lenses what would you have?

Are you saying you are going to take away the cameras that I have? :)

Seriously that is a very difficult question... If I could only have one, non professional, camera (I'll assume that means no Canon 1 series or Nikon D3 series) what would I have? I have long told folks that it would be the Nikon D700 (shocker I know). Here is my reasoning:
  • Well built (great sealing)
  • Full frame
  • Fast frame rate (I would need the MB-D10 Multi-power Battery Pack to get 8fps)
  • Fast focus
  • Great low light shooting
  • Just enough resolution (for most applications)
I assume that if I only get one camera, I am no longer a working professional; but I also assume that I still want to be able to shoot a bit of everything. Something like the Canon 7D (a camera that I love) would be faster, have more pixels on my subject, has good focus, and is relatively well built; but it cannot handle high ISO shooting like a full frame camera. The Canon 5D II (a camera that I love too) has amazing resolution, great low light shooting; but it has a crippling slow frame rate, relatively poor autofocus, and is not as well build (think weather sealing).
To work professionally with only one camera I think you really need a Canon 1D IV or a Nikon D3s, alternatively you could just have a Canon 7D and 5D II (you cover all of your bases that way).
Am I thinking of switching to Nikon... NO!
I have tons of respect for the Nikon D700, even if the camera is old and in need of a refresh, it is still a great jack of all trades.
Do you want to know the lenses I would choose? Tune in for part two then.



  1. Very relevant information for me, I have a Canon XTi and I'm trying to decide which camera to upgrade to. I'm never going to be a pro photographer, so I'm leaning toward the 7D. Plus I don't need to buy new glass right away. FF is a big investment for me.