If you have any examples of direct comparison, that would be great...Direct comparisons? You mean shoot this scene, put the one camera down, shoot the same scene with a different camera? I'm afraid that would be impossible. If you don't want direct comparisons, the internet is littered with shots from a 1D4/400mm combination sports shots and there are a number on my web site.
Yup, outside your professional shooting, I just assumed you had maybe done some comparison - not during the polo games and the like
The 27MP effective of the 1D vs the 25MP crop of the D800 both at 400mm would be interesting, but I appreciate that is being cheeky!!
And sure, I'm willing to admit that part of my glee is due to the lens, but I also temporarily shot with a d7000 and wasn't nearly as smitten. I was going to get a D4, but full frame 16.2MP just wasn't going to cut it. I used to shoot important events with a 1D4/400 on a tripod and a 7D/70-200 f2.8 II on my shoulder for when the action got close. Now I'm hand-holding everything with just one camera and getting great shots.
Indeed, so it is not more the lens and not the camera? Handholding the 400mm would be difficult, hence your use of a tripod and the inflexibility that comes with that. Handholding the 200-400mm I would guess is a little more difficult than the 70-200, plus the extra MP is a little more unforgiving. Don't get me wrong, I am only trying to understand, not trying to critique. Your money, your job, your decision.
Canon doesn't really have an answer. I have explained this before, so if you've read it, move along. There's the vapor-lens 200-400/f4 +1.4x that I had been waiting on for the better part of 3 years, but the pricing on that looks to be more than what I paid for the d800 and the 200-400/f4 lens. Then what would I put that lens on? A $3500 5D3? That has no advantages. A 1Dx? I suppose that might be killer, but to get the reach of the d800 I have to drop in the 1.4x and then I'm at f5.6. And then there's the small matter of the $6800 price tag of the camera. The MSRP of the Canon 200-400 + 1Dx looks to be approaching $19,000. I paid almost exactly half that. Half!!
Plus this lens still doesn't exist... and neither does the camera. Some will say "nobody pays full MSRP for lenses." Well, yes they do. In the first year or so when they come out, the big lenses sell at full price, if you can even find them. The 400/2.8 II is still $11,500 at B&H and Adorama, despite being out for some time. It may come down in a while but how long do I wait. Until 2014?
I'm not crazy. I'm not needlessly berating Canon with my shrill hysterics. Others will do what I have done. Many others.
As per my original post, Andy Biggs & Andy Rouse are 2 big names in wildlife who swapped from Canon based on the 200-400mm and the AF of the series III I believe. So yes, the specific combination of lens & a good Nikon body is what made it for you. And I have considered it myself....
But, and I appreciate it is subjective and somewhat emotive, other than the 36MP and the flexibility of the 200-400mm lens, what's your initial impression of the differences between the two? Handling, AF, ISO etc? Not looking to bate you or anyone else, just interested in your feedback.... thanks