It’s the Pepsi or Coke, Apple or Android of photography - Nikon, or Canon?
When it comes to buying a DSLR, we often find ourselves stumped between which brand to buy. For most, it’s the decision between Canon or Nikon but what are the differences between Nikon and Canon and which should we favour when we are buying a new camera?
If you want your camera to capture beautiful, vibrant colour, go for the Nikon, but if what you really want is great video quality, go for the Canon. If you want long battery life, Nikon would be the way to go, but if you prefer slimmer, less chunky charging equipment, Canon is probably the choice for you.
In the end, there is no huge debate, there is no wrong decision. The choice made is completely down to personal preference.
Robert Tysall, of Tysall Photography, says: “It’s down to the individual. I don’t think there is much (difference) between the two. They (Nikon and Canon) are both excellent. I tend to use more Nikon than Canon but would settle for a Hasselblad.”
Member of the Nuneaton Photographic Society, Paul Chilton, told us: “I’ve got a canon camera in my bag. When you look at a print or you look at a photo, you can’t tell what camera it was made with. You might be able to tell what lens it was made with but Nikon or Canon, there’s no difference, as far as I’m concerned.”
As Paul Chilton said, when you're viewing a print photo or a post on social media unless it has been clearly stated, you just can't tell what camera model was used to take the photo. The main difference is how the photograph is taken, and that is decided by the photographer. The photographer decides which angles and what composition is best for the shoot, from the rule of thirds to close-up zoom shots. Don't get me started on the different lenses."
Your choice and reasoning behind which camera you buy is your own decision. Your choice is based on what you are looking for with a camera.
Photographer, Hazel Simcox stated that she uses Nikon purely for the reason that it fits better in her hand.
This is an extremely important factor to take in when purchasing a new camera. You want to make sure that you are able to use your camera comfortably and easily.
In the 1960s the main competition was actually between Nikon and Pentax, as opposed to Nikon and Canon. Nikon led with the largest system and most rugged bodies while Pentax went for smaller, lighter weight cameras.
The main difference between the two brands, Nikon and Canon is the autofocus.
Nikon ultimately ruled the Pro market until the popularity of AF (autofocus). That is where Canon comes into the picture.
Canon dropped their old mount and became fully autofocus oriented while Nikon chose to enter the market of AF slowly, believing professional photographers would want to maintain continuity with the old F mount.
Despite anger and complaints towards Canon’s rash decision, they created fast, silent, and accurate sonic ring motors for the lenses causing sports photographers to make the switch from Nikon to Canon.
One of the main reasons that the two most popular choices for cameras are Nikon and Canon is due to their compatibility with older equipment, with the Nikon’s F mount range of lenses going all the way back to 1959 and Canon’s EOS range going back to 1987. This means any EOS or F lens will work with their brand of camera.
The main difference between the compatibility of the Canon and the Nikon range is the autofocus. All Canon EOS lenses will autofocus, whereas only AF-S lenses do for the Nikon. This is usually a must-have feature with a camera so it does limit your choice of the lens with a Nikon. However, the reason Nikon removed the autofocus motor from their entry-level cameras is to keep them lightweight, compact, and cheaper.
It really does depends on the professional level of the photographer. If you're a beginner, a nice easy camera such as the Nikon D3500 would be a great choice. It has been argued that it is the best DSLR for beginners as it is cheap and easy to use. Better than it's predecessor, the D3400, the Nikon D3500 is easily carried around, has a great battery life, and quick autofocus for those who haven't got the hang of manual work yet.
On the other hand, those professional photographers would benefit more from the best pro cameras that are currently on the market. These are argued to be the Canon EOS 1D X and the new Nikon D4S.
Combining speed with image quality, the Canon EOS 1D X is the next generation camera for professionals. From its consistently accurate metering allowing a photographer to capture natural colours even in the most complex lighting situations to exceptionally wide ISO, the Canon EOS 1D X is truly Canon's best professional camera on the market.
Meanwhile, the Nikon D4S with its detachable flash and full frame sensor is also a great option for professional photographers, especially the outdoors kind, with its weather-sealed features and phenomenal ISO allowing us to capture clean, crisp, greatly-defined images at high ISOs.
With different photographers comes different types of photography from wildlife to urbex to portraiture. The best camera for wildlife photography is the Nikon D500 DX-Format Digital SLR with its wi-fi capabilities, weather-sealed features, and image-defining speed, while the top camera for portraiture photography is the Canon 6D with its built-in wi-fi, easy to use features, and professional image quality even in low lighting.
The best camera for a professional photographer is a million miles away from the best camera for an avid sports photographer or a beginner just making their first steps in the huge world of photography.
So, whether you buy Canon or Nikon or something else entirely, the real difference is the man - or woman - behind the camera.