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"Nature's Best" contest and film vs digital



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 28th 05, 08:17 PM posted to rec.photo.digital
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Default "Nature's Best" contest and film vs digital

Eight years ago or so a friend and I were disagreeing about how many
top nature photographers used Nikon vs Canon and how many used Fuji
film (especially Velvia) compared to Kodak. I thought Canon was close
to Nikon but Fuji was preferred over Kodak by a wide margin, say
70-80%.

So we dug out copies of the BBC/Mobil Gas Wildlife Photographer of the
Year book and "Nature's Best" magazine's annual fall contest issue and
categorized the winning entries. (I was wrong about Canon, Nikon was
ahead by about 60-40 ... he was wrong about Kodak since typically
75-90% of the winners were shot on Fuji film back then, almost all on
Velvia). Five years ago in 2000 "Nature's Best" winners preferred
Nikon over Canon by 56% to 39% (32 - 22, Oly, Pentax and Minolta each
had one winning entry) and Fuji beat Kodak by 77% - 21% (31 or 50% used
Velvia, next most popular film was Sensia with 10 users).

Now that digital is making deep inroads into film's popularity I found
it interesting to check the numbers again, using "Nature's Best" (the
2005 Fall issue with the winning entries is on newsstands now). I
wanted to see how quickly digital is "catching on" among the better
amateur and pro nature photographers who win these contests.

2004 was the first time I saw a lot of digital winners in NB. There
were 28 digital winners, 17 using Canon (10D with 10 was most popular,
including one by regular NG contributor Roger Clark), 10 from Nikon
(six with the D100), one with a Kodak. In 2004 film still ruled, with
94 winning entries. Nikon was most popular (45 winners), then Canon
(33), with the rest of the film winners using 4x5" view cameras, medium
format or the slower selling 35 mm brands (one each for Minolta and
Pentax for example). So digital had 23% of the winning entries in
2004.

Fuji was still whipping Kodak's butt in 2004, 73-20 (the numbers for
film type and cameras don't always add up because some people don't
report the film type) or 78% - 22%. Velvia was still the most widely
used film with 33 winners but the good 100 speed films were chipping
away, with Provia 100F (18), Sensia (14) and even Kodak's E-100 VS (10)
doing well.

In the 2005 "Nature's Best" contest digital almost caught 35 mm film
for the first time. No surprise there I guess, but how it was done was
surprising, to me at least. Film was used by 59 winners, 49 using 35
mm, four using medium format (2 Pentax 6x7, two using Pentax 645), six
using Toyo 4x5" view cameras. Digital was used by 46 winners, so
comparing just 35 mm to digital it was pretty close, 49 - 46 in favor
of film. Fuji was still the most popular film brand by 77% - 23% (41 -
12 with several not reporting). Velvia was used by 57% of the winners
(30 users), Kodak E-100 VS was next with 7, Provia 100F next with 6.
Why Sensia dropped so fast is a good question (only 3 users this year).

For 35 mm film Nikon increased its lead over Canon, used by 36 of the
49 winners using 35 mm (Canon had 12, Pentax 1). So Nikon is now
winning the 35 mm film battle by 3-1 over Canon. Who knew?

But with digital it's flipped ... Canon was used by 32 winners (70% of
all digital winning entries), Nikon by just 6 (why the drop from
2004?), then Fuji S2 with 3 (uses Nikon lenses though), and one each
for the Oly 4/3 (E-20), Minolta, Sony, Kodak and a Hasselblad with an
Imacon back.

The most popular digital bodies were the Canon 1D Mark II and Canon 10D
(8 entries each), then the $8,000 (initially) Canon 1Ds and $995 Canon
Rebel (five each), then the D60 (3) and 20D (2). So the most popular
class of digital bodies is the Canon 6 Mpixel (17) ... entries had to
be submitted by March 2005 so newer bodies like the 20D and 1Ds M II
and D2x take a while to show up in numbers.

The most popular Nikons were the D100 and D2h with 2 entries each
(unless you count the Fuji S2 as Nikon since it uses a Nikon mount ...
3 people used it). The D2x is a camera I'm seeing in the field a LOT
right now but it came out a bit late to make the 2005 entry date and
only one entry used it.

Basically Nikon is doing great with 35 mm film (or Canon users are
abandoning it faster than Nikon users but Canon is doing a lot
better than I expected with digital entries. I'm surprised at this a
bit since the Nikon D70 is competitive with the Canon 6 Mpixel bodies
(no D70 entries won, for some reason). Velvia still rules the film
realm by a wide margin, but Fuji has discontinued it this year so it
will be interesting to see if the replacement Velvia 100 becomes as
popular.

Some predictions ... digital will pass film in number of winning
entries next year and by 2010 digital will "win" by say 80-20 or a bit
more ... Nikon will do better in digital next year because of the D2x
.... I predict the most popular models next year will be the Canon 1D
Mark II (I see dozens of these at the places I shoot), Canon 20D and
Nikon D2x. But I could be wrong

Bill

  #2  
Old November 28th 05, 08:44 PM posted to rec.photo.digital
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Posts: n/a
Default "Nature's Best" contest and film vs digital


Bill Hilton wrote:
Eight years ago or so a friend and I were disagreeing about how many
top nature photographers used Nikon vs Canon and how many used Fuji
film (especially Velvia) compared to Kodak. I thought Canon was close
to Nikon but Fuji was preferred over Kodak by a wide margin, say
70-80%.

So we dug out copies of the BBC/Mobil Gas Wildlife Photographer of the
Year book and "Nature's Best" magazine's annual fall contest issue and
categorized the winning entries. (I was wrong about Canon, Nikon was
ahead by about 60-40 ... he was wrong about Kodak since typically
75-90% of the winners were shot on Fuji film back then, almost all on
Velvia). Five years ago in 2000 "Nature's Best" winners preferred
Nikon over Canon by 56% to 39% (32 - 22, Oly, Pentax and Minolta each
had one winning entry) and Fuji beat Kodak by 77% - 21% (31 or 50% used
Velvia, next most popular film was Sensia with 10 users).

Now that digital is making deep inroads into film's popularity I found
it interesting to check the numbers again, using "Nature's Best" (the
2005 Fall issue with the winning entries is on newsstands now). I
wanted to see how quickly digital is "catching on" among the better
amateur and pro nature photographers who win these contests.

2004 was the first time I saw a lot of digital winners in NB. There
were 28 digital winners, 17 using Canon (10D with 10 was most popular,
including one by regular NG contributor Roger Clark), 10 from Nikon
(six with the D100), one with a Kodak. In 2004 film still ruled, with
94 winning entries. Nikon was most popular (45 winners), then Canon
(33), with the rest of the film winners using 4x5" view cameras, medium
format or the slower selling 35 mm brands (one each for Minolta and
Pentax for example). So digital had 23% of the winning entries in
2004.

Fuji was still whipping Kodak's butt in 2004, 73-20 (the numbers for
film type and cameras don't always add up because some people don't
report the film type) or 78% - 22%. Velvia was still the most widely
used film with 33 winners but the good 100 speed films were chipping
away, with Provia 100F (18), Sensia (14) and even Kodak's E-100 VS (10)
doing well.

In the 2005 "Nature's Best" contest digital almost caught 35 mm film
for the first time. No surprise there I guess, but how it was done was
surprising, to me at least. Film was used by 59 winners, 49 using 35
mm, four using medium format (2 Pentax 6x7, two using Pentax 645), six
using Toyo 4x5" view cameras. Digital was used by 46 winners, so
comparing just 35 mm to digital it was pretty close, 49 - 46 in favor
of film. Fuji was still the most popular film brand by 77% - 23% (41 -
12 with several not reporting). Velvia was used by 57% of the winners
(30 users), Kodak E-100 VS was next with 7, Provia 100F next with 6.
Why Sensia dropped so fast is a good question (only 3 users this year).

For 35 mm film Nikon increased its lead over Canon, used by 36 of the
49 winners using 35 mm (Canon had 12, Pentax 1). So Nikon is now
winning the 35 mm film battle by 3-1 over Canon. Who knew?

But with digital it's flipped ... Canon was used by 32 winners (70% of
all digital winning entries), Nikon by just 6 (why the drop from
2004?), then Fuji S2 with 3 (uses Nikon lenses though), and one each
for the Oly 4/3 (E-20), Minolta, Sony, Kodak and a Hasselblad with an
Imacon back.

The most popular digital bodies were the Canon 1D Mark II and Canon 10D
(8 entries each), then the $8,000 (initially) Canon 1Ds and $995 Canon
Rebel (five each), then the D60 (3) and 20D (2). So the most popular
class of digital bodies is the Canon 6 Mpixel (17) ... entries had to
be submitted by March 2005 so newer bodies like the 20D and 1Ds M II
and D2x take a while to show up in numbers.

The most popular Nikons were the D100 and D2h with 2 entries each
(unless you count the Fuji S2 as Nikon since it uses a Nikon mount ...
3 people used it). The D2x is a camera I'm seeing in the field a LOT
right now but it came out a bit late to make the 2005 entry date and
only one entry used it.

Basically Nikon is doing great with 35 mm film (or Canon users are
abandoning it faster than Nikon users but Canon is doing a lot
better than I expected with digital entries. I'm surprised at this a
bit since the Nikon D70 is competitive with the Canon 6 Mpixel bodies
(no D70 entries won, for some reason). Velvia still rules the film
realm by a wide margin, but Fuji has discontinued it this year so it
will be interesting to see if the replacement Velvia 100 becomes as
popular.

Some predictions ... digital will pass film in number of winning
entries next year and by 2010 digital will "win" by say 80-20 or a bit
more ... Nikon will do better in digital next year because of the D2x
... I predict the most popular models next year will be the Canon 1D
Mark II (I see dozens of these at the places I shoot), Canon 20D and
Nikon D2x. But I could be wrong

Bill


I would more or less agree with you predictions, but add the Canon 5D
to the mix.

Scott

 




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