Augie Chang Photography: Battle Between Canon and Nikon

Monday, June 16, 2008

Battle Between Canon and Nikon

I get a lot of questions asked by my readers on a weekly basis, but this one has to take the top prize:

"Which brand do you think is better, Canon or Nikon?"

Canon and Nikon will always have their rivalry. Here is my honest opinion about the two. It does not matter. They both have great lenses and great cameras. People may perceive one brand as "better" because their parents had that brand or their friends told them that it is "better", but in my opinion, they are both just as good.

Professionals all over the world use both for different reasons. I am a Canon user. Why? I started with them 15 years ago and have kept using them since. Well, after you spent thousands of dollars on their gear, you are pretty much "locked in" ;) Once you are a certain brand user, you are pretty much "hooked" because these 2 brands (intentionally or not), make their product VERY differently. What am I talking about? OK, in the Canon world, everything is very electronically managed, for example, changing from continuous to one-shot shooting mode, it is all managed through a menu system. In the Nikon world, it is a simple switch flip (mechanically). Also, in the Canon world, when you turn the zoom ring on a lens, you turn anti-clockwise, but in the Nikon world, it is the complete opposite. So whenever I play with a Nikon camera, I feel completely dyslexic.

Before Nikon came out with the Nikon D3 camera, Canon had the advantage of having the only camera with the full frame sensor (equivalent to 35mm film dimension). Now, Nikon caught up and produced its first full frame sensor camera - the D3, Canon no longer can claim their advantage. Also, I am hearing a ton of great stuff about the new D3 from Nikon!

If you are a beginner or looking to get into a DSLR, my opinion is that either brand will work for you. In the entry level DSLR world, they offer a lot for a reasonable price. This is the companys' strategy to get you buy into their products, invest your money in lenses, then they get you "hooked" (pretty much like drug dealers...heh).

I shoot mainly with my Canon 5D. I absolutely LOVE this camera. Only gripe I have is I wish it had a better built. It feels a bit flimsy, but the guts of this camera is close to perfect. I heard the new 5D is coming out soon, so I am sitting tight, waiting for Canon to announce their new toy. I hope they will use a better body frame on it.

Speaking very generally, you get a bit more with Nikon in the entry level DSLR world. Canon dominated the DSLR market for many years and Nikon is catching up very quickly (and have surpassed in my opinion) by coming in at somewhat lower price. Nikon and Canon both have exceptional products and reputation, so you won't go wrong with either one.

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