|Nikon provides one-stop
higher ISO speeds: it has 6,400 but lacks 100. Canon supposedly has slightly
lower noise than the Nikon, but the tests I've seen show no visible difference.
Both cameras are nearly noiseless to ISO 800, especially compared to film.
Nikon RAW files and software
are considered to be excellent (and I would agree). There are two RAW (NEF)
formats: uncompressed (9 MB file size) and 2:1 losslessly compressed (4.5
MB file size), only 50% larger than JPEG. For serious work the advantages
of RAW files far outweigh the extra storage available with JPEG. Canon's
RAW files have a quasi-compressed RAW mode yielding about 6.5 MB files.
The Nikon can write over 210 RAW images per GB versus about 155 for the
Nikon Capture software is
not included with the D100, but is well worth the ~$100 cost for anyone
serious about photography. Nikon Capture provides complete post-processing
while leaving the original RAW information intact (by tagging any correction
factors) and enables conversion to JPEG and 8/16 bit TIFF files with embedded
color space information. (Canon software is free;
it supports 8/16 bit TIFF files and JPEG, but it's clunky. There are several
One DSLR LE ($99) is outstanding. –NLK)
The Canon 10D doesn't support
Write Acceleration (WA) Compact Flash cards, and is slower writing images
than the Nikon. The D100 writes JPEGs 38% faster. For RAW files the difference
is smaller: since an uncompressed Nikon NEF file is about 38% larger than
the Canon RAW file (9 MB vrs 6.5 MB), the D100 writes them about 19% faster.
On the other hand, a compressed Nikon NEF file (4.5 MB) is about 30% smaller
than a Canon RAW file, enabling over 210 RAW images per GB versus the Canon's
155 images. The trade-off is speed. Nikon compressed RAW files take about
30 seconds to write (lossless compression processing takes the time) --
not good for fast-action sports but fine for scenics.
Both Canon and Nikon have
shutter speeds of 30 seconds to 1/4000 with 3 fps max. The Nikon D100
has several flexible flash modes including Red-Eye, Slow Red-Eye, Slow,
Front and Rear Curtain; Canon has only on/off and Red-Eye. With the Nikon
these modes are available with both the on-camera TTL flash or one of Nikon’s
external TTL controlled flash units. Nikon flash synch is 1/180 sec while
Canon’s is slightly higher at 1/200, and high-speed
(FP) sync is available with 420EX and 550EX. You can use several wireless
flashes with both cameras. Slow-speed Sync is available for exposing both
the subject and background in dim light. It is set automatically in the
The Canon has ± 2
EV exposure compensation; Nikon has ± 5 EV which can be handy when
making multiple exposures of exceptionally contrasty scenes to be combined
digitally. (See this
example. --NLK) Both the Nikon and Canon have independent
settings for flash and ambient light.
Nikon battery is 1400 mAhr
(and seems to last forever), while Canon's is 1100 mAhr (not sure how many
shots it can make). Nikon has optional base for dual batteries (or alternately,
using AA cells) that provides voice recording and digital remote interface.
DIGIC processor and CMOS sensor are extremely energy efficient; batteries
are quite long-lasting. --NLK)
The Canon takes about 3 seconds
to "warm up" from the off-state -- Nikon is ready to fire within a millisecond.
I find this indispensable -- and just like a "real" SLR. A significant
advantage! (Agreed! --NLK)
Canon can buffer 9 shots while the Nikon is supposedly limited to 6, but
the high write speed of the Nikon enables it to shoot 8 shots in a burst
at 3 fps (the first two images are written by the time it gets to shots
7 & 8). The Nikon can fire off 25 shots in 30 seconds; the Canon can
shoot about 16 shots in 30 seconds.
Nikon self-timer has delays of 2, 5, 10, or 20 seconds; Canon's delay is
only 10 seconds, unless the mirror lock-up is enabled, in which case there
is a 2 second delay. The Nikon's mirror lock-up and self-timer are independent.
D100 uses an excellent "anti-shock" mirror mode in place of a manual lock-up.
When you press the shutter release it locks the mirror then trips the shutter
after a short delay -- I really like it for field work. (With
the Canon you have to press the shutter twice, unless you enable the self-timer,
which has an awkward 2 second delay-- longer than needed to damp vibration
but too short to get yourself in the picture. Nikon’s anti-shock mode is
very nice. --NLK)
The Canon 10D requires a
"Remote Switch" -- Nikon uses a good old standard threaded release
(I’m using my 35 year old Zeiss release). (Unlike
the traditional mechanical cable release, the "Remote Switch" operates
electrically. It's more flexible and less susceptible to damage from bending
and kinking. The Zeiss release must have been exceptionally well made,
unlike the cheapies you find on today's camera store shelves. --NLK)
Canon's in-camera viewer
has a significant limitation -- you cannot view an image on the Canon until
the entire buffer is written to the card. The Nikon images are ready to
view almost instantly, even while compressed NEF files are being written.
In addition, the Nikon viewer provides a full LCD-size view of the image
whenever the image is viewed. For example, viewing a histogram is accomplished
by overlaying the histogram on the image and the “blocked-highlight” view
shows a full LCD-size image with blinking highlights. The Canon viewer
shrinks the image to less than ½ linear dimensions, less than ¼
the area of an LCD-size image when showing histograms and highlights.
Canon has a 1.6 x image size
multiplier, Nikon is 1.5 -- I'd rather have it closer to 1! Of course there's
always the Canon 11 MP EOS-1Ds! We'll see what Nikon has in the near future.