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Author Topic: Canon 500D/T1i (17-85mm kit) vs. Nikon D90 (18-105mm kit)  (Read 8794 times)

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« on: February 28, 2010, 01:30 »
I was wondering if anyone happens to be using either of these 2 cameras for stock, or else is investigating/evaluating either or both of them.

 I'm not married to any brand right now, but I am using a Nikon D40 currently, I have a couple of lenses and I'm fluent in Capture NX2 for the purposes of setting "Sharpening" to "None" before saving to TIF before punting to PS for cloning out random strangers, etc. and saving to JPG  :D

Following the old saying that camera bodies come and go but you're really buying glass, do you have any opinions about Canon 17-85 kit lens compared to Nikon 18-105 VR.

Both these cameras are small-sized sensors.  How important do you think a full-sized sensor is for stock?  E.g. return on $$$.

I'll be investigating the various review websites myself, but if anyone with the specific requirements of stock photography regarding sensor noise, sharpness, etc. already has an opinion and is ready to sound off, please let 'er rip.  And of course any alternative suggestions of different camera/lens combos will also be greatly appreciated.

I'm primarily interested in STILL stock photography.  I'm not against stock video or anything, but it's something I know nothing about and it's not a priority to start shooting video at this time.  So the relative abilities to shoot HD video are not as important to me.

« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2010, 09:42 »
I don't know anything about Nikon lenses, but the Canon 17-85 doesn't have a good reputation at all.
Canon 18-55 IS seems a better lens for less money, although it doesn't have the range of 17-85.
Under no circumstances go for the original kit lens Canon 18-55, the later version with Image Stabilizer (IS) is much better optically.

You can find very interesting lens reviews here:
« Last Edit: February 28, 2010, 09:44 by Tom »

« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2010, 19:50 »
0 site is great, thanks.

Also found this site, comparing Nikon D90, D5000 and Canon 500D/T1i features.

I would say that so far, the D90 is coming out ahead.  The chromatic aberration in-camera correction feature looks intriguing - if it doesn't mess up the focus or add artifacts then it could save a lot of tedious work manually correcting CA in photoshop.  I've only had to do that a couple of times, but it gave me a strong distaste for that kind of work. :P

Rather than the kit zoom lens, if I got the D90 then I think I would get the 85mm f/1.8 lens, to go with the 18-55mm AFS which came with my D40, and an old 50 mm manual lens someone gave me.


  • Think before you speak
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2010, 21:11 »
I was asking awhile back about which would be better the D90 or D5000. I haven't purchased one yet but my understanding the D90 would probably be a better buy because it is a 12mp and has internal focus. The advantage of the internal focus is that you can buy the old lens that don't work on these newer models as well as none AF lens for less money because of the internal focus feature. I can't give you any advice on Canon...I'm not a Canon user.

« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 22:45 »
I was asking awhile back about which would be better the D90 or D5000

Both cameras have the same sensor. The only difference is the focus motor being in the body on the D90, which the D5000 does not have. Also the D5000 is a bit smaller and lighter with the removal of the focus motor.

« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2010, 22:58 »
Here are a few differences that would matter to me.  (I shoot with a Nikon D300.)

The D90 has a dedicated top display for exposure information.

The D90 has two command dials, which make changing Manual settings much easier (back for shutter speed, front for aperture).

The D90 has a much higher resolution display.

The D90 permits you to set White Balance to Kelvin color temperature, very convenient for studio lighting.  On the D5000 you'd have to have a gray card and capture a custom White Balance.

The D90's pentaprism provides a brighter and larger viewfinder display.

The D90 can control other Nikon flashes using Commander Mode.

The D90 has a DOF Preview button.


« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2010, 00:47 »
Here's a comparison site, nothing about lenses though.

« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2010, 22:25 »
I am canon guy (dont me ask why)
but I think that Nikon has better focus and NX2 is superior than software which you give with canon but NX2 you must buy and price is about additional 200$ as I remember. Also Nikon has full HD format video for movie (one frame is missing to 25 frames to iStock acceptance) while canon has only 20 frames in ful HD.
Canon has 15 mpix vs Nikon 12 but its not big difference.
Sharper 12 mpix is better than 15 slightly blured canon images but for Micro all of them is fine.
So if you are not addicted to any brand think twice.
Both has enough Mpix and quality for microstok. Nikon is lightely sharper but with less Mpix but superior vs canon in video.
Anyhow try to buy body only in booth cases and by additional lense/s.
(dont listen me seriously eg last canon camera I buy with kit lenses because it was cheaper than body only pack even I dont need that kit lense, I sold it for 50$ ???)

Anyhow link from NEW member called Cuppacoffee above from my post is too missleading and dont represent real data of this two cameras!!!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2010, 22:31 by Suljo »

« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2010, 23:05 »
Thanks for the input.

I've been examining the specs and reviews (, and doing a bit more thinking.

The cameras are very similar from the point of view of stock photography.  That is, looking at their RAW mode performance and ignoring what they do internally to JPGs and ignoring their kit lenses.

Except for one big difference, it really comes down to work flow (RAW processing), lens and flash compatibility, camera body feel and ergonomics, look and feel of buttons/menus/displays.  The Canon is a bit cheaper than the Nikon, but the Nikon may have an edge on body feel, ergonomics and durability (e.g. of shutter).

The one big difference is Canon at 15 mp versus Nikon at 12 mp.  In the real world this is unimportant, but in ISTOCKPHOTO universe, the Nikon is just barely within the XL size limit (by 88 pixels horizontal and 48 vertical).  This makes it more critical to frame and level photos "nearly" perfectly because anything other than slight crop/leveling in postprocessing will lose you the $4.50 (XL) versus $3 (L) size on some sales.  I don't know how much that would add up to in practice because I'm only using a 6 mp camera right now, but based on my current ratio of XS-S-M-L sales, I'm guessing that not having an XL version of an image might result in a loss of around 10% of revenues.  This is just a guess - maybe sales drop off steeply after the "Large" size?  And maybe the other agencies have different, arbitrary sizes?  I'm still quite the n00b and haven't sussed out the other agencies yet (still waiting to build up a bigger set of images).

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