Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/11/23

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Subject: Re: Leica/Nikon/Canon
From: (David Morton)
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 0:05 +0000 (PST)

Harrison McClary writes:

> I think the digital back Nikon has was developed in a joint effort
> Kodak and the associated Press and is available on both Canon EOS
> the Nikon system.  I know that here in Nashville both daily
> have gone digital and the Banner uses Nikon and the Tennessean uses
> Canon.  The digital apparatus is pretty much the same just mounted
on a
> different body, maybe Eric could shed more light on this since his
> paper is going digital.

The description 'digital back' is something of a misnomer, since you
can't remove them. The DCS3 and the APNC2000e are very much digital
cameras, albeit built around the EOS1n and F90x bodies respectively.
Since they cost about UKP12,000, the fact that you get a 'free'
additional body is neither here nor there.

In the UK, the DCS3 (Canon EOS1n based) version is the machine of
choice for press photographers, you see *far* more of them than the
Nikon based version. This is partly because the Nikon verion is based
on the F90 (which has a dreadful reputation) and partly because Nikon
has no equivalent to Canon's excellent 35-350 zoom. As a long time
Nikon user with a large investment in lenses, this pains me, but
Nikon are going to have to pull their finger out if they're going to
get back in to this market.

The new Canon (due early next year) is still EOS1n based, but
smaller, and with some great new features (I can go into more detail
if anyone's interested). Nikon's F5 offering is much rumoured, but my
(very well connected) source has no details as yet.

Plus points: you get the images back to the picture desk *much*
faster, editors love it.

Minus points: Flash performance is very inconsistent & the effective
focal length of the lens in use is multiplied by 1.4, which is a pain
in the gluteus maximus.

Contentious opinion: film will be dead and buried for press use (note
that qualification) within 2 years.