Q&A: Should I buy Canon or Nikon?


Canon or Nikon?


First off, I gotta say that this is a loaded question.  Why?  Because it’s the age old debate in the photography world… which one is better.  Like saying Mac or PC.  But really, it’s like saying tomato tomAto (ok, translates better verbally).  Also loaded because a friend sent me the question, a guy who is also a photographer.  Figured I’d answer it anyways. 🙂

What do I think?  It all comes down to ergonomics.  How does the camera FEEL in your hands.  They both work a bit differently, layout of the buttons changes (and sometimes changes slightly within the same brand when you upgrade models).  But if you are looking for a new camera, both brands are great.  The fun thing about the Canon vs Nikon war is that they keep leap-frogging each other.  Nikon will be tops with it’s xyz camera.  A few months later, Canon releases it’s 123 camera which is “better” than the Nikon xyz because it has way more OMG and a bit less WTF.  And back and forth it goes.

I would go to the store and just hold the camera and see how it feels.  I’m not saying fondle it (but if that floats your boat, more power to ya), but feel the grip, the buttons and so on.  Sure, snap a few photos while you are in the store for fun.  What you are REALLY going to see by doing that?  Nothing.  The LCD screen in the back of either camera doesn’t show you enough detail.   So you snap, it takes a quick image.  Sweet.  It works.  But focus on how it feels in your hands.  Feel the camera… be…the camera.

Sooo… starting out in photography.  I would suggest the following line of questioning:

– do you want to go pro or push your hobby further than just taking random snaps of your kids at their ball game (which isn’t bad, I’m just trying to establish needs)?

If yes, then go with Canon or Nikon.  If no, and you are happy staying entry level, then you can consider Sony and other brands.  Sony shooters, don’t send me hate mail.  They are good cameras.  But if you are serious and want to push this photo thang further, Sony cannot compete TODAY with the pro line that Nikon or Canon offer.

– do you know friends who have pro level gear in either Canon or Nikon?

If yes, consider going with what your friends have. Why?  You can borrow their stuff.  Really.  When I started out, a good friend of mine had Canon gear.  I ended up getting Canon (without knowing he was Canon) and was blessed that he would happily loan me his pro line lenses until I had the cash to get my own.

If you are in the store and the salesperson is trying to convince you that one brand is significantly better than the other, they are probably trying to liquidate stock or really don’t know what they are talking about.  If you are starting out, the differences between the cameras aren’t even going to be apparent to you.  And by the time you understand fringing, moire and stuff like that, you’ll be ready to upgrade to a better body and who knows where the manufacturers will be with their technology then.  So might as well be comfortable with the camera body in your hands.

Both brands offer great entry level cameras for under $1000, some pretty damn fine mid level cameras, some awesome pro level gear as well.  But more importantly, they also have some very high quality lenses as well.  Depending on your needs, other brands such as Fuji (which makes the ubertastic x100s) have some great models to chose from.  But the question was Canon or Nikon. 🙂

So there ya go.  Canon or Nikon.  Loaded question I tell ya (really I did up in the first sentence).  The most important thing to remember, just get out there and start shooting and practicing.  Being all tied up on the little details and pixel peeping each of your images is not what photography is about.

Do you have a question?  Hit me up on Facebook.



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