*** Edit: After I published this post, my husband and I continued to talk about this and he reminded me that my Canon does not have a full frame sensor, it’s an APS-C. Which would have it’s own funny math… which turns out to be called, Crop Factor. So my Canon’s crop factor is 1.6, and the Nikon’s crop factor would be 5.6. Soooo, I’m going to edit this post and rearrange the photos to compare a bit better. ***

I’ve been wondering (considering) if I should buy the next upgrade version of my Nikon CoolPix P900… supposedly the Nikon CoolPix P1000 has a 3000mm focal length instead of 2000mm focal length of my current Nikon ‘moon camera’. But it’s funny math, right? It’s numbers based on a 35mm camera… so I thought I’d compare what I already have just to see what this funny math is all about. Spoiler, I’m more confused than ever. But still, I have some side-by-sides to show, so why not show them?

Ok, so all my cameras and lenses are Canon, except for my Nikon CoolPix P900. I have two long lenses, a prime 180mm lens and a variable focal length 70-300mm lens. So I thought I’d take photos of the same subject with the 70-300mm lens and the Nikon at those focal lengths and compare.

We have a lovely patch of lupines growing just on the other side of the fence… seems like a great subject. I took both cameras and my tripod.

Eventually, I switched to hand-held because there were bushes in front of the fence that prevented me from moving the tripod closer.

So on first blush it looks like the variable focus length lens (my Canon 70-300mm lens) gets closer than the zoom ‘equivalent of 35mm’ focus (my Nikon 24-2000mm zoom lens). ***Edit: Now that I converted the numbers using the crop factor, the comparison appears to be a little more equivalent. ***

But in the field you don’t really pay attention to the focal length numbers, you just pick your subject and frame your photo to tell the story you are trying to tell. Whether that is ‘look at this lupine individually’, ‘look at this field of lupines with a backdrop of yellow flowers’, or whatever.

I took more photos of the lupines with the Nikon at more focal lengths…


So all this ‘equivalent of 35mm’ stuff that is hurting my head doesn’t really matter in terms of numbers… but we all know that the Nikon can get some rather close up shots of the owls in that cave across the valley. Here’s what my Canon 300mm focal length can do… spoiler, not as well…

What does it all mean? I really don’t know. I love my Canon and all my lenses, I love how I can just do everything manually and the camera doesn’t fight me. I love that I can take pictures of flying hummingbirds. The Nikon wants sooo badly to do everything for me, and fights me when I try to change things manually. Taking photos of moving objects like hummingbirds proved very difficult… but you can’t deny how amazingly close I can get to that owl. And if my subject is a bird sitting on a really high branch, I’m not sure my Canon could get such a closeup as the Nikon could.

Is it worth $1000 to buy the next version of the Nikon (to gain an additional 1000mm of focal length)? I’m still not sure, it’s a lot of money for a camera that isn’t as versatile as my Canon, but good luck finding a lens with that kind of focal length for that price. Not to mention how large and heavy that lens would be. Oh, decisions decisions.

Until next time…


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