So, this isn't a Canon vs. Nikon thread. It's about cameras doing a job for you and understanding what that job really is.
I'm primarily a wedding photographer ( http://www.phildweddingphotography.co.uk
) and have been looking at what my next camera will be. I did originally look at a 1dx but the 5d3 was starting to look more interesting to me given the silent shutter and ISO performance. So I rented one for the weekend.
Playing around inside with ISO performance and focus tests I satisfied myself that I was happy with ISO6400 and 12800 at a push. The shutter sound on silent is amazing and UK churches are getting more and more funny about photographers. That's a real win for me.
So then I took it outdoors and found that, in the viewfinder, you can't see the red flash on an AF point when it's focussed! That's a serious issue for me. If I'm outdoors and shooting some group photographs, I need to know the camera has focussed and I don't like to use beep all of the time. This has been reported by people on various forums.
At that point, for me, Canon have made a serious error. It's then I started to look seriously at Nikon for the first time in years. I was looking at the options: d800 has 50mb files
d3s is only 12mp
d4 is very expensive if I'm going to have to rebuy lots of stuff and will have a loud shutter
d700 is a bit old now
While I was doing this I realised that there's a mode where the AF point can disappear when it's achieved focus. <phew> It's not a perfect solution, but it'll do. (although I am going to get in touch with Canon to point this issue out).
The reason for posting this? All of the DR tests and so on that get done are, to me, much less relevant than the overall look of a photo I receive and the 50mm 1.2 and warm, attractive tones and white balance that I receive. When I was thinking of moving to Nikon it was those which made me not want to move. I wasn't thinking "Yay - I can get cleaner shadows" or whatever.
With all of the discussion about sensors and so on it's important to remember that it's only important if you'll be using it
. However, if I moved to Nikon I would lose some of the things that do really matter to me and I still think the 5d3 is the best overall wedding photography camera on the market.
So, when people are saying "is the Canon better at anything" my answer is a clear "Yes!" and they are features which make a difference to me.
While I was playing around, I also took a few photos with the camera - no weddings, but just some nice flowers around the block: