Nikon Dsrl vs Canon Dsrl


Nikon Dsrl vs Canon Dsrl

Nikon Dsrl vs Canon DsrlNikon Dsrl vs Canon Dsrl

Nikon Dsrl vs Canon Dsrl

The goal of this article is not to decide which camera manufacturer is better. I found it pointless to debate on this. I have both Canon and Nikon cameras and lenses as well and constantly compare them to learn the differences for understanding and learning them better.

These two companies makes the best Digital reflex cameras and lenses on the planet called Earth. Both of them huge companies with very big turnover. Basically both of them have the best technology available today. Compare to other companies, their biggest advantages is the lens lineup and the professional experience they have. The final result much more depend on the Lens quality than the Camera quality. Both companies has lens lineup that none of the other companies can offer: super sharp image stabilized telephotos, almost any focal length from 100mm to 800m and any reasonable brightness, with quick autofocus mechanism, wide angle wonders, prime lenses, macro lenses, stabilized lenses. If we check pro photographers next to a soccer match for example, very rarely see anyone uses non Canon or Nikon cameras and lenses. Wildlife and sports photographers uses Canon or Nikon cameras in most of the cases.

What are the similarities and the differences ?

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Both camera system can produce extraordinary results. Apart from the many high quality native lenses, there are many third party products to choose from, some of them with similar quality. Both system has many accessories available, usually at reasonable prices. You can win a photo competition with both brands, no huge differences, if you know how to use your camera.

Picture quality, colour rendition

The pictures made by the Nikon camera and a Canon camera are different. By looking the pictures it is obvious that the pictures made by the different makers, the pictures are not similar. I use Canon and Nikon equipment as well with lots of different lenses, and when I first made some pictures with a Nikon camera I immediately realized the pictures the Nikon made is different what I’ve done with my Canon system. The same camera manufacturer’s cameras pictures are quite similar: The pictures of the Canon 5d Mk III is similar to the Canon 70d for example, the pictures of the Nikon cameras are also similar to each other especially with native Nikkor lenses. There is a quality difference between different category models between the same manufacturers models, but the look and feel is quite similar. In High iso performance and dynamic range the Nikon is clearly better(2014) if we compare same category products, like Nikon d800 vs Canon 5dMk III or Nikon d7100 vs Canon 70d. On the other hand the pictures Canon cameras made has an arguably more natural look, better contrast, and easier to handle the White balance settings. Nikons have more colors, and less high ISO noise, but unwanted hues are more often occurs than with the Canon.

Handling, features – Nikon Dsrl vs Canon Dsrl

In the hand the Nikon and the Canon cameras are different, everyone can decide which is best for him/her. The cameras has three categories: consumer, prosumer, and Pro modells. Based on picture size there are Aps-C and Full frame modells. Full frame cameras has the biggest sensors and best picture quality: their sensor has a 36*24mm size. Aps-C cameras has a picture size approximately 22,5*15mm. Before existed a third size between the two called Aps-H, some Canon cameras has this size sensors. In terms of features according to my opinion the Nikons are better: automatically corrects vignetting and chromatic aberration, can set up values in auto iso mode better than the Canons. In 2014 Canon makes some improvement in the latest models. For handling Canon is better, Nikon has sticky dials, because of made from rubber, Canon’s grip is more thick this way more comfortable, the dials made from hard plastic instead of rubber which is more durable according to my judgment. The mount feels more solid on Canon cameras. Canon remade the mount when they started the digital EOS system, Nikon kept the original mount. If you put a big heavy lens on the mount, I am more confindent on the Canon mount, but this is just the way I look at it, perhaps the Nikon mount is has the same strength.

Drawbacks – Nikon Dsrl vs Canon Dsrl

Unfortunately ugly marketing makes his way in both camera manufacturers but in different forms. The goal of this strategics to move advanced photographers in the direction of higher end more expensive models, to pay more. In Nikon case entry line models (Nikon d3xxx, or Nikon d5xxx) lacks focusing motor. This means that the camera only autofocuses with recent Af-s lenses(with built in motor), and NOT with many older usually cheaper AF-D models. Sometimes metering also doesn’t work with older manual focus lenses for example, out of which some of them has great value. In Canon case dedicated Af-s (smaller sensor) lenses cannot be used on higher end Full frame cameras. Cannot even possible mount on them because there is a plastic rear element which doesn’t let to mount the lens on the FF camera body. Only possible solution is to physically cut the back part of the lens, which is not an elegant solution (but I saw this in practice) and perhaps not works with all af-s lenses. Non Canon lenses (third party Sigma or Tamron or others) can be mount on Full frame Canon cameras (doesn’t fill the frame but physically can be mounted, and can make a picture, perhaps not all of them, check before try). In both manufacturer’s a cheap 0.2 dollar plastic second dial, which would help to make settings more quickly, instead of messing in the menu is missing from the entry level models (Nikon d3xxx, Nikon d5xxx line and Canon Rebels).

Specifications Nikon Dsrl vs Canon Dsrl

megapixel, dynamic range, colour depth, iso capability
Don’t be fooled with megapixels, not the megapixels makes the difference is picture quality. Dynamic range and colour depth are more important but the difference between the models are small. The difference is little bigger between Full frame and Aps-C models. Nikon here has a clear advantage over Canon. My Nikon d7000 has 13.9 EV dynamic range, while even the best Canon Full frame Dslr has 12 EV. What does it mean, blown out sky is much more times appear with Canon. If your main interest is landscapes than Nikon is much better. On the other hand Canon also can be used with filters, which helps to overcome dynamic range problems, or you can make multiple exposures for HDR blending. Canon Tilt-shift lenses can use the two functions separately, while Nikkors not. Nikons also has more colors, but White balance is more tricky to adjust. Nikon seems to have problems with red (not so reddish to me), Canon often makes magenta color blue on the picture.

Current models

Full frame models: Canon 1 Dx, Canon 5d Mk III, Canon 6d, Nikon D810, Nikon d610 (the Nikon d600 has ongoing issues with dust, Nikon replaced with the Nikon d610)
Higher spec crop: Canon 7d Mk II just released
Prosumer cameras: Canon 70d Nikon d7100
Consumer models: Canon 700d Nikon d5200, Nikon d3200

Full frame models cost a fortune but they have the best picture quality especially in low light.
Prosumer cameras has also very good quality, but not so good as the Full frame models, especially in low light like weddings for example.

Older camera models – Nikon Dsrl vs Canon Dsrl

To buy good lenses and choose used camera bodies is a reasonable idea. The newest camera bodies loses their price in a year or two, while quality lenses going to be more and more expensive. But: in Dsrl cameras has two moving parts: the mirror and the shutter, if one of these broke, need replacement, which cost a sum of 150-200 dollars or even more for Full frame models. Usually Pro models designed for 100k actuations, consumer cameras for 50 000 actuation. Perhaps buy consumer model less than 20K actuation, Pro models below 50k actuations, if the Camera makes black pictures with lens cap removed, or has not so good noise at shutter release is not a good sign, better to avoid. Even with this condition it is worth to buy used cameras we can have a very good bargain. Other things to check that some older Canon cameras has very low quality 230k dots LCD, compare to Nikon or newer Canon cameras. Best used camera bargains can be today: Nikon d700, Canon 5d Mk II (depend on the price!), Canon 550d, Nikon d7000

Shooting video – Nikon Dsrl vs Canon Dsrl

Canon is better shooting video with STM lenses specially made for this purpose, only works with newest cameras. The Canon 70d has the best auto focusing(Dual pixel system) for video in a Dslr camera. In general today’s Dslr cameras are not for recording fast action videos(2014). Manual focusing is expected in video recording.

Lens lineup – Nikon Dsrl vs Canon Dsrl

Both companies has lots of available lenses, not like most of the competing companies. Both has excellent telephotos. In wide angle the Nikon is stronger, in telephoto perhaps Canon. Generally the higher-end Canon lenses are less expensive, than Nikon lenses. Nikon has an advantage of many manual focus lenses available with discounted price, and Nikon give better quality longer range zooms for starters (Nikon 18-105, 16-85). Canon change the mount when started digital old Canon lenses not fit to the digital bodies. Nikon lenses can use on Canon bodies with an adapter, Canon lenses cannot be used on Nikon bodies. Manual focus lenses perhaps good for macro, or landscapes, not so good for telephoto, here the precise and fast focusing is very

Lens Canon Price Nikon price comment
70-200mm f/4 Canon 70-200 f/4 USM L 629 dollar Nikkon 70-200 f/4 vr 1397 dollar Portrait/general telephoto
70-200mm f/2.8 Canon 70-200 f/2.8 USM L 1449 Dollar Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR II 2397 dollar to be fair there is a cheaper Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 (1100 Dollar) but with the traditional micromotor instead of ultrasonic motor Portrait/general telephoto
85mm f/1.8 Canon 85mm f/1.8 369 Dollar Nikkor 85/1.8 G 497 Dollar Portrait
50mm f/1.4 Canon 50/1.4 USM 349 Nikkor 50/1.4 334 Normal/portrait
400mm f/5.6 Canon 400 f/5.6 L 1300 dollar Nikkon 300mm f/4+1.4x 1869 Dollar Wildlife
Unique lenses at Canon

Canon 135 f/2L and the 200 f/2.8L lenses are extremely high quality lenses, which doesn’t have at Nikon arsenal with the same price point and specs. Canon also have a very nice 400mm f/5.6L lens which the Nikon doesn’t have.

Unique lenses at Nikon

The Nikon 14-24 f/2.8G is an extraordinary lens, no other manufacturer makes anything similar.

Usual lens types,and kits:

Ultra wide angle, wide angle, macro, telephoto, portraits, fish eye (widest angle bended pictures), normal lens. Usual combination: one lens – wider range zoom 18-105, 15-85 for Aps-C, 24-105 for Full frame, two lens: wide angle-normal lens+1 telephoto =17-55+70-200. Portrait lens ususally 85 mm f1.8. Macro lens 100mm f2.8.

Camera weight:

Now the trend is to makes smaller lighter cameras. Even Canon 6d or Nikon d610 follow this trend. Better check the size/weight of the camera before buy and never used. For huge lenses a bigger heavier camera is better in order to be balanced.

Which system to choose?

The question is what you want to shoot? Portrait, children, concert, sports, landscape, birds/wildlife, astro ? If you want to shoot wildlife/birds the maths goes like this: Buy Canon 400 f5.6 or Nikon 300f4+1,4 Nikon converter(+camera body in each case). Remember the lenses makes the images nice. This lenses are the cheapest really good wildlife telephoto lenses of each company. Canon 400 f5.6=1339 dollar Nikon 300f4+1.4=1534 dollar. If you willing to accept used equipment the difference is even bigger: the Canon 400 f5.6 can have for 1200 dollar used while the Nikon is very rarely can have really cheaper used the Nikon 1.4 converter is even harder. If you buy one of this combination you only covered for bird/wildlife, hardly can make pictures of landscapes, portraits, macro or anything else. If your target is not wildlife you already in a much more safe situation, you don’t need to spend that amount of money. If you prefer to have only one lens the Canon 15 85 is a very good one, Nikon has a 16 85 which is even better. This one lens is perhaps the only need and a Camera body. If this is too expensive the Tamron 17 50 is a very good one with a little less money. The adventage is that it is possible for both systems. If this is too expensive not much left just the kit lenses Canon 18 55 is or 18 135, Nikon 18 55 vr or Nikon 18 105 VR. Perhaps the kit lens is good enough for some, for serious shooters I believe not.

What would I buy today ?

As a general purpose Aps-C:Nikon d7000 with a Nikon 16-85 Vr+35/1.8 used, or:
small camera Canon 100d with a 15-85 is +40/2.8
Full frame: Canon 6d or Nikon d610
Full frame used: Canon 5d Mk II or Nikon d700
Wildlife: Nikon d7100+300f/4 or Canon 7d+400 f/5.6
Cheaper camera:Nikon d5200, d5100 Canon 600d, 650d

If budget is not a problem certainly the Nikon d810 camera is the best, for landscapes and wildlife. For sports and wildlife perhaps the Canon 1DX(because of the excellent Canon wildlife lenses).

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