Photography Friday: Canon vs Nikon

When people hear that I sell cameras for a living, usually the number one question they ask me is:

“Which company should I get my camera from, Canon or Nikon?”

This is the million dollar question. It’s both the most and least important decision you will make when purchasing your first camera. Confused? Let me explain.

Why it is the most important decision you will make:
When you buy a DSLR camera body, you (obviously) need to purchase a lens to go with it. Whether you buy the kit lens (often 18-55) or you buy a more expensive lens (or lenses), you are investing in the company you chose. Lenses aren’t interchangeable between Canon and Nikon mounts, so once you spend money on lens(es) for either of them, you are, in a way, locking yourself into it.
Think of it as a marriage to that company. You can “divorce” it and switch, but like a real divorce, it will be expensive, and you’ll be stuck with lenses that you invested lots of money in that will be useless with your new camera body. There are adapters that can be used, but they can damage the lens and/or body and aren’t recommended.

Why it is the least important decision:
Here’s the funny thing about the Canon vs Nikon discussion: everyone thinks it is a HUGE deal. Every person who has a DSLR camera is completely convinced that “their” brand is light years ahead of the other in every possible way.
Remember how I said that buying a camera is like marrying that company? Well that’s hardly an exaggeration. Lots of people seem completely smitten with their camera. Want another analogy? It’s like religious. Everyone is completely sure that theirs is the only way.

The reality? Clearly if everyone feels so strongly about one or the other, both are excellent choices. Remember: both Canon and Nikon are great companies with great reputations. You really can’t go wrong with either of them.

Did I just make your decision harder, instead of easier? Well here’s my final word, hopefully that will help:

I won’t tell you specifics about which brand is better, because as a Canon user (yes, I do love it!) I’d obviously be biased. So how do you chose? It’s simple. Go to your local camera or electronics retailer and play around with the comparable models from both companies. See which feels better, lighter and more natural in your hands. Just go with the one that feels better. Really, it’s that simple.

One last bit of advice: once you make your choice, don’t look back. Learn to use your camera, and more importantly, learn to love your camera.


    • says

      Don’t worry! The first six months of this blog, I used my iphone camera exclusively. I am going to be posting a future photography friday post about making the most of your simpler camera, so stay tuned!

  1. says

    Haaa I have Canon and Nikon SLRs and I say Nikon on all the way. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because I use my Nikon for fun, personal use, while the Canon is strictly for business (because it has a jillion-dollar macro lens).

  2. Celeste says

    While both Canon and Nikon are awesome, don’t forget there are many other companies that make excellent cameras for beginners and enthusiasts alike. I am a Pentax user, simply because the price was lower and it made sense at the time since I was just beginning. I have loved it and although it’s not one of the big two, Pentax (as well as Sony and other lesser known companies) definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. You might be surprised!! =o)


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