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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Nikon vs Canon - no holy wars please.
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07/25/2010 01:59:09 PM · #1
Hey Everyone,

I've pretty much been a canon user all my life. I've never really thought much about it to be honest. It was my first digital slr as a friend recommended it and helped me buy it, and I've just kind of stayed without really thinking about nikon, or for that matter any other camera out there.

recently though I've had a few friends that have "hired me" to do some shots for them, family portraits, engagement shots, etc. I'm everyone seems completely happy with what I've done so far (surprising as I can't seem to get a good photo on this site. har har har).

Anyway I've been thinking that maybe I should try to do a side part part time business out of this, maybe it can help pay for more gear etc.

Okay enough background. Here's the question.

I've run across a few other photographers as I've beek seeking them out and wanting to ask questions about how they do what they do, pricing, etc.. etc.. anything that are willing to teach me.

However these same group of people keep telling me that if I really want to get into this, I need to dump all my canon gear and I need to step up to a serious camera (IE Nikon camera and lenses).

I've been doing a bit of research, it seems that a vast majority of the websites I visit seem to be pretty equal between canon and nikon.

So.. Why am I being told this, is it simply the holy war thing? Are there actual reasons for them to be saying this? Can someone shed some logical comparisons between them? IE are nikon lenses just generally better glass?

I'm looking forward to seeing how this thread pans out.


07/25/2010 02:08:16 PM · #2
It is simply a holy war. You can move on with either.
07/25/2010 02:10:09 PM · #3
Its just fanboydom.

I use Canon because at the time when buying my first DSLR the Canon 300D was a bit cheaper than the Nikon D70. If things had been the other way around I would of been using Nikon now.

Simple as!

(although I would of dropped Nikon at some point to move over to Canon because they are miles better).
07/25/2010 02:17:02 PM · #4
Unless there is some feature or aspect of Nikon you desire, I see no need to switch just because you know a couple of hardcore Nikon fans. I run into as many pros with either make. If you switch to Nikon, you will then run into some Canon owners who will tell you to switch to Canon if you really want to be taken seriously. Fact is both make good products and as far as which is "best", the two of them will always be leapfrogging each other in some areas and playing catch-up in others. If you are happy with your Canon, then don't pay any attention to the Nikon Fanboys. If there is some compelling reason for you to want to switch to Nikon, then pay no mind to the Canon Fanboys.

A good reason for switching is if you had a significant other or buddy with the other make. Both owning compatible cameras would be a great convenience for sharing gear.

Both are good products and too much weight is given to minor differences in gear. The most important piece of equipment is the few inches behind the viewfinder. Sheesh.
07/25/2010 02:29:43 PM · #5
Look at a sports event on TV. See all those white lenses, they're Canon. Most of the black lenses are Nikon, although some sneaky Canon types use black Canon lenses. There will always be someone who tells you Nikon/Canon is best. Try both, compare shots. Buy or use which feels best and fits your needs and your hands.

Failing that, buy Pentax:)
07/25/2010 02:30:20 PM · #6
It's the "holy war", "fanboydom" thing, "brand snobbery". Both manufacturers make great cameras. I just happened to "pick" Nikon for my first DSLR (although in HS (25+ years ago), my film camera was a Canon). The only thing I can say is, once you go down one road, it can be pretty expensive to replace lenses when switching brands...
07/25/2010 02:33:02 PM · #7
My husband has been researching this recently as he had to buy a camera for professional use. The pentax he used before didn´t work with some of the software he needs to be using, so he had to make a choice to switch to either Canon or Nikon. He is a very thorough researcher, so he spend quite a lot of time on it. Quality-wise there doesn´t seem to be a difference between what the two brands have to offer, the same goes for the professional software. In the end he chose Nikon for two reasons (the first one probably not applicable for you):
1. In Spain there is a special on-line "club" connected to Nikon (nikonistas) that offer a wide range of services and discounts, free prolonged warranty, etc. We couldn´t find something like that for Canon.
2. In general Nikon seems to be viewed as more "professional" by people who don´t know anything about it, which is important in his business, while Canon has more of an "amateur" image because of the wide range of consumer products they have and advertise. This doesn´t mean Canon is more for amateurs, because their professional camera´s are just as good as Nikon, but they are perceived that way.

So yeah, it seems a holy war, but sometimes that can be important image-wise.
07/25/2010 02:34:54 PM · #8
Originally posted by SteveJ:


Failing that, buy Pentax:)

Amen to that :). I now have the sole use of our Pentax and very happy with it, I can even use the 20-year old lenses from the old analog Pentax we had before.
07/25/2010 02:38:47 PM · #9
Originally posted by Phileine:

Originally posted by SteveJ:


Failing that, buy Pentax:)

Amen to that :). I now have the sole use of our Pentax and very happy with it, I can even use the 20-year old lenses from the old analog Pentax we had before.


I have owned Canons, 300D, 30D(twice), Pentax K100D, K200D, K20D and Nikon D300, D90 and D3000. All are good in their own ways. I won't put down any brand because someone must have done something right with each as they are top sellers:)
07/25/2010 02:50:24 PM · #10
I say stick with what you got. One will be better than the other for a specific purpose at a specific price point AT A SPECIFIC TIME. But they switch. I still don't like Pentax much, but I really don't like Sony.

My take on lenses: don't worry about them.
07/25/2010 04:05:00 PM · #11
Canon and Nikon both have their strong points. When I was shooting film, I used Nikon gear. When I got ready to move into digital with an SLR, I purchased a Canon because Nikon didn't have a decent digital SLR at the time (The Nikon D100 was about all they had.) When you ask another photographer about gear, one of two things is going to happen:

1. They will recommend what they have. It's some sort of self-justification I suppose.

2. They will tell you that the gear doesn't matter so much as long as you know how to use what you have. A good photographer can produce good results without making some stupid claim that "It can't be done unless you have a Canon or Nikon" or whatever the flavor of their day might be.

I shoot alongside a lot of professional photographers and I go out of my way to avoid conversations about hardware. I always get asked what I'm shooting with and I'll usually answer and then steer the conversation away from that subject. It's not because I'm not interested in my gear. It's because I believe that #2 above is the philosophy that is correct. The above statements do not mean that you can take just any camera setup and perform any task though. The 'type' of gear that you use should be appropriate to the task at hand.

07/25/2010 04:14:56 PM · #12
I think you have summed up what we all tried to say, John:) Good to see you again.
07/25/2010 04:43:37 PM · #13
I own the Nikon D90 but have no problem picking up and finding my way around a Canon, or at least the 20D, which ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' RayEthier is kind enough to loan me every so often...most recently cause I want to buy a Sigma-for-Nikon lens, and he has the Sigma-for-Canon equivalent. :-)

I gave Canon a fair shake last Christmas, before I upgraded from the D40 to D90. Mostly I chose to go Nikon for the compatability of the lenses/bodies, and the physically smaller and lighter weight of the gear. And of course I already had Nikon glass so didn't want to go switching it all over.
07/25/2010 04:46:36 PM · #14
I'll be honest with you - the only reason I don't shoot Canon is the awful shutter sound.
07/25/2010 04:57:01 PM · #15
i shoot canon because it was my first DSLR and because in many cases canon glass is cheaper. i have been tempted to switch to nikon because their flash system is better and more versatile (in fact all of my off-camera flashes are nikon)
07/25/2010 05:12:56 PM · #16
Thank you all.. you pretty much ended up saying what deep in side I was thinking.

I just wanted to make sure I hadn't missed something.

One question though I know most canon cameras have that mm of lens x 1.3 or 1.6 factor, unless you go with the 5D line which is full framed. Is this the same with the Nikon family?

Sorry my knowledge on any other brand line is very limited.
07/25/2010 05:19:15 PM · #17
Originally posted by michaelmonn:

i shoot canon because it was my first DSLR and because in many cases canon glass is cheaper. i have been tempted to switch to nikon because their flash system is better and more versatile (in fact all of my off-camera flashes are nikon)


I noticed that too. There is usually 3x as much Canon glass for sale in the used section of the local camera store than Nikon. I don't really want to have buy a whole new batch of lenses just because I upgrade the body.
07/25/2010 06:01:37 PM · #18
There is one thing to it, so far, there are two sentences that might help.
This is what I have heard from researching online. I only have experience with #2...

#1 - If you shoot zooms, go with Nikon. They have excellent wide angle zooms.

#2 - If you shoot primes, go with Canon. They're great.

(Of course Nikon has good primes and Canon good wide angles, but this is what I've heard.)
07/25/2010 06:08:42 PM · #19
Nikon fits better in my hands. Try each out in person before you decide....

Plus I have all this gorgeous Nikon prime glass from my father that made the decision easier....
07/25/2010 06:27:59 PM · #20
Originally posted by bassbone:

Nikon fits better in my hands. Try each out in person before you decide....

Plus I have all this gorgeous Nikon prime glass from my father that made the decision easier....


This for me is a big factor too. I can hold a Nikon all day and the grip feels natural, with a Canon i feel like I have to hold on tighter or I'll drop it. Funnily enough, my Canon owining friend says the opposite :)
07/25/2010 06:40:18 PM · #21
Originally posted by Covert_Oddity:

Originally posted by bassbone:

Nikon fits better in my hands. Try each out in person before you decide....

Plus I have all this gorgeous Nikon prime glass from my father that made the decision easier....


This for me is a big factor too. I can hold a Nikon all day and the grip feels natural, with a Canon i feel like I have to hold on tighter or I'll drop it. Funnily enough, my Canon owining friend says the opposite :)


My bf shoots Canon 5D and it fits him perfectly but he really has to cramp his hands around the D90, though he likes and respects it a helluva lot in other ways. FWIW I find Canon gear quite a lot heavier than Nikon.
07/25/2010 06:48:38 PM · #22
Originally posted by Aarthek:

Thank you all.. you pretty much ended up saying what deep in side I was thinking.

I just wanted to make sure I hadn't missed something.

One question though I know most canon cameras have that mm of lens x 1.3 or 1.6 factor, unless you go with the 5D line which is full framed. Is this the same with the Nikon family?

Sorry my knowledge on any other brand line is very limited.


Nikon crop sensors are x1.5 factor.

ETA: Digital photography wiki link with a graphic near the middle showing different sensor sizes.
A related Popular Photograhy link.

Message edited by author 2010-07-25 19:01:30.
07/25/2010 07:47:24 PM · #23
Originally posted by bassbone:

Nikon fits better in my hands. Try each out in person before you decide....

Plus I have all this gorgeous Nikon prime glass from my father that made the decision easier....


This is the same reason I shoot Nikon, it felt more natural to hold it. I had a Canon film camera before, and was going to get a Canon DSLR years ago, but the Nikon fit better.

A friend of mine had the opposite, she felt that the Canon felt better in her hands.
07/25/2010 07:54:31 PM · #24
It's unfortunate that all this fighting is going on, while over-looking the one true photography system.
07/25/2010 08:01:08 PM · #25
Originally posted by snaffles:


My bf shoots Canon 5D and it fits him perfectly but he really has to cramp his hands around the D90, though he likes and respects it a helluva lot in other ways. FWIW I find Canon gear quite a lot heavier than Nikon.


The weight of the pro bodies of both makes are essentially equivalent. The D90 does not equal the Mark IV series. The D2, D3, and D300/700 Series are all similar in size to your BFs camera.
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