Since the rise of digital photography there have been two players entangled in a battle for supremacy and there was always the same battle Nikon vs Canon.
I come from a film background and ever since I remember I had two types of camera one was 35mm and the other was medium format.
As the digital photography became viable I decided to invest into a Canon camera just for fun and over time as the digital world started to get more commercially relevant I made a full transition to digital photography.
Currently I shoot with digital Hasselblad and Nikon cameras as opposed to Mamiya and Nikon film cameras.
Having said that, I am in no way biased towards any particular brand in this Nikon vs Canon question.
If you are a new photographer trying to choose which camera to buy and you are trying to decide Nikon vs Canon, I hope I can help you decide with this article.
In my opinion as a photographer who used both cameras I can say that when it comes to taking photos both brands are fairly equal. What would happen is that one brand would take a short lead then the other one would top it and so it would all continue.
If you would just flip a coin and buy a camera of whichever brand you wouldn’t make a huge mistake.
On the other hand there are other very important factors to consider. In my experience there are places, countries, cities etc. that would for this reason or another favour Nikon vs Canon and vice versa.
What would make sense before you make a purchase is to walk around the city do your research and see what cameras are better represented. This is important when you want to buy lenses and other camera equipment. It is always easier to just go to the shop than special order it.
You would also have a greater choice of other lenses, like for example Sigma does lenses for both Canon and Nikon but your shops might keep only one “mount type” in stock.
Before you think that it’s not a big deal to order lenses online, the small piece of advice is, never buy lenses before trying it. You might just not like the way it behaves or the pictures that come out of it. This is where having a local store is important. You can actually try before you buy.
Another good idea is to talk to you photography friends, if you don’t have any, join a photo club and make some. See what cameras they are using. This might influence your decision as well. See, you might one day want to borrow lenses from your friends.
I have very limited set of lenses; I buy them for a specific purpose. If ever I want to shoot something different for which I need a special type of lenses I talk to my buddies that do that type of photography and borrow theirs.
Also look at the second hand market; you might want to choose a camera that is better represented on the second hand market, just in case when you want to buy some cheap equipment.
Choosing Nikon vs Canon is not just a question of the camera body, it goes much further than that as the camera body is just a fraction of the total investment you will make over the time.
Consider this, Canon also has a strong Video offering (video cameras) are you also interested in video? Will you ever buy a specialist video camera?
I initially bought a Canon camera because I wanted to also buy a canon video camera so I thought I could capitalize on lenses where I could just attach my camera lenses to video camera as they had the same mount and it was technically feasible. In the end I never even tried that, I was happy with my video camera lenses and purchase so I never had an urge to experiment.
A good piece of advice I could give you in your Nikon vs Canon choice is that whatever camera you buy, if you are seriously considering photography you buy it with understanding that this is not the last time you will buy a camera. You should look into it as a long-term commitment.
Another piece of advice is, when you finally decide what brand you go for, before you buy, you must choose what sensor type are you going for, is it going to be a small sensor or the full sensor. This will dictate the type of lenses you would buy. I personally go for full sensor but if you are looking to stay amateur with no intentions to move into the “pro arena” then you can choose anything. The difference again is in the lenses. Once you invest a lot of money into lenses they will start to dictate the next type of camera you buy, not just the brand but also the sensor size.
From a more technical perspective looking at Nikon vs Canon, you could just take the technical specs of two comparable cameras and go through what matters to you technically. Keep in mind, that this is not your last camera and maybe they will be releasing a new one with even better specs in a few months time.
There is also the price, one camera might be cheaper than another but shop around before you make the purchase prices may vary significantly.
I often hear Canon photographers saying how Canon is better than Nikon in video recording, that’s not necessarily true, it really depends again what camera are you comparing and besides if you are really so keen on video, you should be looking at proper video cameras with video stabilization tracking and so on, which photo cameras lack as well as the added equipment for video.
In conclusion, what I can advise is; know exactly what you want to do with your camera, and not just now but in future, do your research of the local market, ask your friends and finally understand, whichever camera you choose you won’t be really making a mistake both brands are excellent, leading SLR cameras delivering pretty much the same quality of images.
Nikon vs Canon is like BMW vs Mercedes, both are top players with top results and top price, the rest really depends on added value like servicing, parts and so on. Whichever you choose will be great but one will cost you more money in the long run. The more vague you are about what you want the more it will cost over time. Know what you want, do your research and then buy with confidence.