The never ending debate of whether to purchase a Nikon or Canon carries on. With both manufacturers building exceptional cameras, quality lenses and delivering incredible results, the choice is harder than ever. However, depending on your intentions, subtle differences may lead to you preferring one brand over the other. Whether you are a novice looking for your first camera, or an experienced user looking to upgrade, continue reading to get the best idea on which camera brand to get.
Both Nikon and Canon offer cropped and full frame sensor cameras, and both will deliver incredible results. When it comes to comparing the sensor of both competitors one has to look more into the specifics.
Nikon cameras come with a different sensor design than Canon cameras. Their design eliminates the optical low pass filter that most DSLR cameras come with, without causing aberration in the image. The lack of filter allows Nikon cameras to perform slightly better in low light situations since there is one less obstacle for the light to go through. Specifically, Nikons APS-C sensor cameras don’t use an optical filter and some of their full frame cameras models have gotten rid of it as well.
Some canon cameras still come with an optical filter, however, Canon has put a lot of work into the megapixels of their cameras. Their 5DS camera delivers a massive 50 megapixel image. While you can’t base which camera to buy solely on the amount of megapixels it has, typically, more megapixels does mean larger prints.
For cropped sensor cameras both Nikon and Canon offer very similar ratios. Canon has a crop factor of x1.6 while Nikon only has x1.5. While the difference is not huge, a 50mm lens would result in the equivalent of 80mm on a Canon and only 75mm on a Nikon.
Lenses and Autofocus
Nikon and Canon are two of the top leaders when it comes the amount of lenses they offer. Both brands offer exceptional lenses at a range of prices just as both cameras offer high speed, accurate autofocus.
Unlike Nikon, Canon includes the autofocus motor inside of their lenses. This means that any Canon EOS lens will autofocus on a Canon body. Nikon also has lenses with autofocus motors (AF-S lenses) but all of their other lenses do not have this feature. This would not be a problem if Nikon had not decided to remove their autofocus motors from some of their entry level cameras in order to reduce some size and weight.
If autofocus is not a big deal for you then you’ll be pleased to know that Nikon’s F mount lenses go further back in time (1959) than Canon’s EOS mount (1987). This opens up a greater variety of high quality, vintage, sometimes cheap lenses you can use with your Nikon camera.
Frames Per Second
When it comes to entry level cameras Nikon tends to have a slightly higher burst of frames per second (fps) than Canon. Usually with about one or two frames of a difference. When it comes to full frame, more advanced DSLRs, Canon seems to have the leading edge. Canon’s 1DX Mark II shoots at a whopping 14fps while its Nikon Competitor, the D5, maxes out at 12fps. If you find yourself frequently shooting high action scenes Canon might be the better choice.
Traditionally, Canon has always been a couple steps ahead of Nikon when it comes to shooting video. With their advanced autofocus tracking and sets of lenses designed specifically for video the choice used to be easy. Lately, Nikon has significantly improved their DSLR video capabilities and they are quickly catching up to Canon. Some Nikon cameras now offer higher fps options in HD at lower prices than Canon, making the decision of choosing between Nikon and Canon that much more difficult.
When comparing the battery life of Canon cameras and Nikon cameras, Nikon seems to have a slightly longer battery life. On average you should be able to shoot slightly more shots on a Nikon in one charge than on a Canon.
Both companies excel in customer support. In recent reviews, it seems as if Canons customer support has been improving while Nikons customer support seems to be entering a less personal more automated phase.
Canon or Nikon? Who wins?
When comparing Nikon and Canon as a whole there is no definitive winner. Both companies build exceptional cameras of all prices and purposes. When it comes to choosing one or the other, remember to take into account what you will be using the camera for and compare the two competitors side by side. If you can, try to find a store near you where you can hold the cameras and get a feel for them. Sites like imaging resource also provide great side by side camera comparisons. This way you can choose the camera that best suits you.
Now go find your niche and choose the best camera for you! Let us know what camera you use and why on the comments below!