Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Wink 004

Wednesday Wink 004


I cannot tell you how many times I get asked this question - in fact just this week I was asked to weigh in on my thoughts once more. Let me first get a few housekeeping items out of the way:
  • I am absolutely not getting paid for my opinions on this subject and these are completely my own opinions based on research, personal experience and thought. Nothing more... nothing less. I also reserve the right to change my opinion as new products are released or I learn new information. wink!
  • I truly believe that you cannot go wrong with either camera and that it does come down to personal preference.
  • It is ALL IN THE LENS!
  • There are Nikon people and there are Canon people. Once you decide on one, you are usually theirs for life as once you start collecting lens, etc. it is way too expensive to switch!
  • We are not talking point and shoot cameras here... I have completely different thoughts on those.
  • I know plenty of people with Canons and plenty of people with Nikon's... I envy both sets of photos.
  • And finally, I am not an expert on the subject by any stretch of the imagination. I have a passion for photography, love the creative release and am the most happy when capturing memories. I am pretty sure I only get asked this question because my personality flaw of over-analyzing. I research and make lists and research and make more lists and graphs and more lists and THEN and ONLY THEN do I make my decision. Let me put it to you this way, my husband and I both have this trait and we physically entered 42 apartments before choosing our first one when we moved to Houston. That was after crossing the other 56 off the list that we did not want to see... Don't even get my started on buying our first home (maps of our routes to work) or purchasing my new car!
So, here are my thoughts on the subject
What are you shooting? 
  • Nikon is usually better for landscapes, wildlife, flash-photography and candids, which is why National Geographic has been known to use them. Photos usually have more realistic colors.
  • Canon is usually better for sports and portraits, which is why you see all the white lenses on the sidelines at a football game. They typically have more vibrant colors.
  • The good news is that by making setting and balance adjustments you can choose the most color pleasing tones in either camera.
Price & Availability
  • Typically Nikon is slightly more expensive than Canon
  • When Canon releases a new camera, you can usually purchase it fairly quickly after the announcement. You may have to wait 4-6 months for the new Nikon model... case in point, the new Nikon D800 that I am waiting on!
  • One additional thing to consider is that Canon is a larger company that makes not only cameras, but printers, video equipment, etc. while Nikon focuses mainly on cameras. You will have to weigh the advantages of Canon's resources over Nikon's product focus
Look & Feel
  • Canon's have become kind of a fashion camera... the white lenses are somewhat of a signature look (I know I am weird, but I actually like the all black better)
  • Nikon's are a heavier weight and more compact, while Canon's are lighter weight and are larger in the hand. This is totally a personal preference. I like the sturdier feel of the Nikon and maybe because I am female, I like the way the compact Nikon fits into my hands better.
  • You can do all your menus using one hand with the Nikon and there is a very useful help button anytime you get lost.
  • Canon uses the wheel to scroll through photos, which is a nice feature
  • The LCD viewer on the Canon is brighter than the Nikon, but the goal here is the actual photo.
  • No question Canon wins this one! If you plan on using your camera for video and photos, I would go Canon.
Megapixels & ISO
  • Canon's have more megapixels than Nikon. So, if you plan on printing photos larger than posters, you will want to consider Canon
  • More mega-pixels also means more risk of camera shake
  • There is also a reduction in ISO performance with higher megapixels
  • When it comes to low-light performance... hands down the winner is Nikon. Just as an FYI, ISO plays such a big role in photography that this alone causes people to choose Nikon
  • I continue to stand by my opinion that photos are mostly about the lens.. If you have a fantastic lens, chances are you will get a fantastic result
  • The glass that NASA uses is the same glass in your Nikon lens. I think you get the point here
  • Nikon lenses are more expensive than Canon
  • The warranty on a Canon lens is typically 1 year while Nikon lenses have a 5 year warranty.
  • The Nikon lens will fit any Nikon camera as they have not changed; you have to make sure your Canon lens will fit the body
  • Canon has the signature white look to the lens, while Nikon is all black.
  • Canon has an amazing f/1.2 (I believe Nikon is f/1.4)
Focus & APS-C Sensors
  • Nikon uses an 11 point auto-focus over Canon's 9. This for me was a big deal when buying my first DSLR. I was so frustrated with blurry photos or wrong subject focus!
  • All modern Canon lenses have built-in focus motors
  • Nikon uses a little larger sensor for their crop sensor cameras from what I understand. If you have a full-frame, I am not sure who wins... I will let you know when mine becomes available purchase!
  • Canon and Nikon have become pretty comparable here. The slight advantage goes to Nikon with better built-in, off-camera flash controls... but not much!
What's in my Bag?
  • I shoot with a Nikon D90, but I am crossing my fingers for the full frame D800 when it finally arrives
  • I have three lenses that I LOVE LOVE LOVE:
      • Nikkor 18-200 for everyday
      • Nikkor 50MM 1.4 for portraits and kid shots
      • Nikkor 70-200MM 2.8 for outdoors and portraits (this is a big guy!!!)
      • I am putting the 85MM on my wishlist! wink!
Hope that this was helpful... do you shoot with Nikon or Canon? What do you like or dislike? Anything to add? and I would love to hear your favorite lens!! This photography is a very expensive habit! Good Luck!


  1. I didn't know you had the 70-200 2.8! I am jealous, that is number one on my wish list! I am also desperately waiting for the d800. Supposedly, Nikon will announce 2 new cameras (one should be the d800) this month or next...then we have to wait another couple months for them to actually be released.

    Oh, and my favorite and most used lens it the 17-55mm 2.8. It's great for a walk-a-round lens if you don't need a big zoom.

  2. This is SO helpful! My husband and I are getting one before a trip we are taking in December and I had no idea which way to go. Thanks, Kate!!

  3. Cool post! Though thankfully with you around I don't have to understand all of it -- I just get to enjoy the awesome photos you take of all of us! So I've got a Wednesday Wink topic idea for you. What about for all of us camera novices who'd want to know your thoughts on point-and-shoot options, what to look for, what features aren't worth it unless we're trying to move from novice to DSLR-worthy, etc? Your advice to me when I bought mine was awesome, I love it -- and you!