One of the greatest arguments of all time, Canon vs Nikon. The argument that never seems to end and leaves photographers annoyed with their friends.. Which camera company should I give my money?
The toughest part about narrowing down Canon Vs Nikon is that both brands make amazing cameras that work perfectly and create great images and videos. Choosing one is very tough and if you invest in one you don’t like early on, you’ll have made a very expensive mistake.
RECOMMENDED BY A FRIEND?
First and foremost, a friends recommendation is always great but be sure to try the camera out on your own. If you’re trying to decide what’s better in the debate of Canon vs Nikon, then getting one persons opinion will only put you on their side.
Daniel and I are so polarized on this argument that it’s not even worth discussing. Im my opinion the Nikon has the most ergonomic feel and is easiest to use, and in his opinion it’s the exact opposite. This is because the lenses mount opposite, the focus dials spin in different directions, and the zoom racks out opposite as well. So switching to a different one when you are used to your brand is actually quite difficult.
One bonus to having the same camera as a friend? You can borrow their equipment since it’s compatible with your gear.
The different models of each camera all have varying features and depending on your price point initially, one might be better than the other. The important factor here is what you plan on doing with the camera. If you really don’t think you’ll ever upgrade to a more expensive camera body and aren’t worried about using more than one variable lens, then go with the one that has the features you need.
When you haven’t already invested in one system it may be best to go with the camera that fits your price point and features. Both Nikon and Canon make top notch cameras that produce great results.
Features that you want to look for to shoot action typically include FPS (Frames per second) and fast focus. The different models will have different FPS and depending on the timing one company may have a higher frame rate for less money. This equals more $$$ in your pocket to spend on a flash or tripod.
If you plan on shooting video you’ll hear a lot of talk about Canon being the clear choice. I believe both are on par now but it’s said that Canon has a better auto focus in video. This all may stem from the Canon 5D Mark II which basically was the first Semi-Pro DSLR that pros used for video work. At the time the Nikon models couldn’t keep up. Now all the frame rates and adjustability is very similar between both. Look for a camera that can shoot 1080p at 60FPS if you plan on shooting slow motion. If that doesn’t matter than just about any model out now will capture beautiful full HD video.
LIGHTING/ Flash Systems
Yet another area where 1-2 years ago all the Canon shooters were sitting on top of the world. The crazy thing is that just 5-6 years before that it was all about the Nikon optical commander system. The battle of Canon vs Nikon rages on. Now both camera companies provide amazing flashes that work as a full radio control system and enable you to trigger multiple groupings. One advantage goes to Nikon for having a new cooling system that enables you to shoot 100 consecutive full power shots without slow down or overheating.
The Canon system costs a little less and really works very similarly. For action sports speedlites are highly portable but not as powerful as a strobe head for midday action stopping photography. We recommend grabbing Alienbees or a ProFoto B1 system. Both of these will work great with either brand.
ERGONOMICS AND BUILD – How does the camera feel?
This is the first thing you should test. Each camera has a different feeling and you may walk into a store to test and find that one is way more natural in your hands and intuitive with the way you think. Play around with each camera for a while and see what feels better.
Depending on the Canon or Nikon model you choose you will find that some are built better to withstand the elements. Generally if you sort models by amateur, semi-pro, or pro you’ll see a big difference. The pro cameras are weather sealed and can take on shooting in a blizzard or a splash of water. If you are shooting in the elements, consider at least going with a semi-pro model.
LENSES – Canon Vs Nikon Glass. Which is better?
You might be noticing a theme here. Both systems are amazing and feature beautifully crafted lenses / glass. This is where you should spend most of your money no matter what you buy. Glass lasts for years and years, and in just a few years you’ll already want a new camera body…
This is a big factor in choosing between Canon and Nikon. Are you going to be shooting mostly portraits with serious bokeh (background blur)? Are you going to shoot action from far away with a telephoto? Do you want to go ultra wide? Primes? Fisheye?
Figure out what lenses would be your dream setup and checkout reviews for the similar models between both brands. Each company shines in different areas and price points really vary between brand. By doing research you can save yourself a bunch of money and get the right lenses for your style.
RESOLUTION AND MEGAPIXELS – Canon Vs Nikon
The difference between resolution and megapixels can seem a bit confusing at first. People assume that higher megapixels is exactly the same as more resolution, but this sometimes is not true. Nikon has many cameras now that feature no optical low-pass filter. By removing this extra glass element, they’ve created more detail in each image regardless of megapixel sizing. This equates to a higher resolution.
So do you actually need more megapixels any more? Really anything with 12-15 megapixels will shoot as large as you could need to print. The advantage to less megapixels is that it takes less card space and the camera can capture more images in a sequence because of this. The advantage to more megapixels is the ability to crop in editing. With edit cropping you can compensate for not having enough zoom and will get more of the “sweet spot” from your lens.
Both Nikon and Canon have cameras that are generally around 18-24 megapixels. The advantage here goes to Nikon for removing the low pass filter, but to be honest it’s so subtle that most people can’t even see a difference when shown.
THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION to remember when choosing Canon Vs Nikon?
Above all there is one question that should be on your mind. Which camera will make the best possible images? This matters whether your images are for personal joy, or a professional client. And this leads to one final questions, Which camera takes better pictures?
This needs to be viewed on a camera by camera basis. But to be honest we are at a point now where every camera from just about every major company takes beautiful photos. You and your clients are not going to look at an image and say, that’s a Canon shot! Or, that’s a Nikon shot! They are going to see the image and say, that’s beautiful, or incredible. And if you think the camera brand is going to change that? Then you may need to spend some time learning the basics of photography. Many professionals are out there shooting DSLRs that are 2-4 generations old. That’s 3-6 years ago, and believe us when we say tech has come a long way since then. Yet the images are still stunning and salable.
Get out there, play with both brands, and see which one speaks to you. From there break down the pricing and lenses and get started with your new setup. We are sorry to not give you a clear winner here. Some things in life just don’t work out that way and this is one of those times where you will have to decide for yourself. Then we recommend finding a friend that shoots the other brand so you two can keep the debate alive!
Happy shooting to all Nikon and Canon users, even if you make the wrong choice..!