- Become a better photographer today!
remember me:     

BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.

Photography Question 
Pavel Zhurakovskiy

member since: 10/16/2004

Difference ... Nikon Vs. Canon

I've been looking through all the pictures here. And they all mostly taken by Canon cameras. And reviews are crazy about Canon product. So I guess my question is: IS NIKON ANY GOOD?

10/16/2004 12:53:48 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/17/2003
  Yeah ... Nikons are good. But keep in mind that ANY camera can only be as good as the photographer behind it.

10/16/2004 1:54:31 AM

John Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/8/2001
  I agree with Bob. There has been a long debate about which manufacturer is best. For years, Nikon's lenses were the Cadillacs. I've read many reports indicating Canon is in the lead in the auto-focus "system" with the EOS line.

A camera is what the photographer makes of it. S/he should feel comfortable using it (ergonomics) and be able to use all its features easily.

10/19/2004 6:26:49 AM

David King

member since: 9/12/2004
  I agree with both Bob and John; it is the Ford vs. Chevy, PC vs. Mac argument all over again. Both do the same things and do them well.
Nikon was in there first and achieved a major reputation for workhorse, bullet-proof gear for the professional with every bell and whistle imaginable. And Nikkor glass was on a par with the best European lenses. Canon leapt into the scene and has given them a run for the money at every turn. They actually leapt ahead with the first serious DSLR, the D30 while Nikon was still thinking about it.
For most old-timers, it is as much a matter of ergonomics as it is functionality. The cameras "feel" different in your hands. If you were comfortable with one brand, and had a collection of accessories for it, you stayed with it even as things moved into the digital world because the cameras still, to me, feel different. I've shot Nikons professionally since my first F body and see no reason to switch. But that's not because I don't like Canons; I think they are great cameras; I just continue to like the feel of the Nikons better because I am used to it.

10/19/2004 8:01:21 AM

Tiffany L. Cochran
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/27/2004
  I agree with David in the "feel" of the camera. I started off with a Canon years ago. But when I began investing into pro equipment, I decided to go with the Nikons. Now I have an F100 SLR and a D100 digital SLR. Both are fantastic cameras. The only down side that I have found is that the buffer on the D100 is too small to take advantage of shooting RAW images. But, I'm willing to live with that since I rarely shoot RAW these days anyway.

Nikkor has a wide variety of glass and you can easily use Sigma as a cheaper substitute (although I choose not to, being so big on Nikon). I've had colleagues tell me that you have a slightly more limited selection in Canon glass, though I don't think it would be that limited.

10/19/2004 8:32:37 AM

Scott Pedersen

member since: 11/18/2001
  Probably the main reason a lot of photos seem to take with Canon is that every store that sells cameras carries Canon. I have never paid much attention to price but they are probably a little cheaper than Nikon. Don't forget Pentax while you're looking either. All three are fine cameras, and as Bob said, any camera can only be as good as the photographer

10/19/2004 10:07:20 AM

John Sargent

member since: 12/27/2002
  To prove the point that it is more than the camera, Ansel Adams would take wonderful pictures with a pinhole camera. Its not the camera its the person behind the camera.

10/19/2004 12:22:14 PM

Pavel Zhurakovskiy

member since: 10/16/2004
  Thank you all very much for your response. I do appreciate that.

10/23/2004 10:27:48 PM

John P. Roberts, Jr.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/28/2004
  One of my favorite photographers, Walker Evans, once compared being asked what brand camera he used to asking Hemmingway what brand typrwriter he used. It's the person, not the brand of tool, that produces great photos, writing, etc.

10/26/2004 2:58:53 AM

Gil Batzri

member since: 7/15/2004
  In the end it comes down to preference, and what system you may or may not have used for film, or what your employer provides.

In my opinion in the digital realm Canon has a 2 or more year lead on development. (Compare the 1D to the D2H). They spend more on research and have a larger market share. That being said, if you shoot Nikon, you will probably continue, no single piece of equipment will generally cause a person to switch systems, because both of the brands are SYSTEMS not single pieces of equipment.

All that being said Nikon sucks, go Canon ;)

10/26/2004 11:48:03 AM

Christopher A. Cline

member since: 11/19/2003
  "All that being said Nikon sucks, go Canon ;)"

If you want a popular camera, go Canon. If you want a GOOD camera, get a Nikon. If you want a real camera, get one that uses FILM.

1/2/2005 2:41:38 AM

Hasan Alaswad
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/21/2004
  Here - in Bahrain - the popular camera is Nikon, all using Nikon, and now they don't want to change because of the lenses they own.. Changing costs too much, so they won't ;) even If they knew that Canon is better..

Now, I think that Canon is leading the revolution, especially after Canon EOS 20D and Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II..
Nikon D70 is good, but not as much as Canon EOS 300D, which is in the same class..
I think Nikon will ATTACK soon, with a new great digital camera, ofcourse not D2X!! and we'll wait..

I have two cameras Nikon CP5700 and Canon EOS 20D, and ofcourse 20D is much better, but both are great and you can make wonders if you the real PASSION :)

Yours truly,
Hasan Alaswad

1/2/2005 4:56:10 AM

Tiffany L. Cochran
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/27/2004
  Your first posting was back in Oct, but I want to add a few other points for those future readers...

From a digital perspective, one other thing to keep in mind is what you are using the camera for. As a portrait photographer, I would prefer if my Nikon allowed for a lower ISO than 100, but it does not, plus the sync speed is 1/180, when I would prefer a sync speed of 1/250. But its' higher ISO range is just what I need for low lighting situations, which I have not found in looking at some cameras without sacrificing another feature. From a sports/event photography standpoint, Nikon gives me the fast glass that I need. The latest edition of the D2X is the only Nikon camera that has 12.1 megapixels, which is great for sports and commercial photography in needing billboard-sized photos, but it sacrifices on the ISO. But the ISO max of 800 is less than needed for low lighting at times, even with fast glass (before using digital enhancement in Photoshop - I alsways try to eval what I can do without PS). Then there is the question as to whether you prefer CCD or CMOS technology.

I guess my bottom line is decide what you will be using the camera for before you buy and do your research on the technologies. There will generally be a trade off somewhere. But, for me, the feel that I prefer is with my Nikon line. Both lines have great features, which is why there is so much competition between them.

1/2/2005 7:24:04 AM

Derek Holyhead

member since: 12/26/2003
  Hi All,
Prior to the Canon EF lenses, Nikon made the best, no doubt but since the EF range Canon are the best, more choice, just as fast and easily the #1 for sports and action photography whether using film or digital and in the digital market they just keep on pushing the bar higher and higher in every price range, 20D (8.2mp) through to the 1Ds (16.7mp) and let's not forget that they did in fact make the first Japanese camera, the Kwanon Rangefider that was a copy of the Leica, and if Nikon are the Cadilac of cameras the Leica must be the Bentley.
Let's not forget Image Stabilizing and DO lenses. It may be true that the photographer not the camera makes the picture but all tradesmen should use the best tools available to them.

1/2/2005 6:10:26 PM

John P. Roberts, Jr.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/28/2004
  "The Best"? Back in the mid 80's a major photography magazine photographed the same scene with 5 different makes of camera (Minolta, Canon, Pentax, Nikon, and Olympus), using the same film, and all with their maker's 50mm lens. An 8X10 print from each was submitted to members of the editorial staff (people who were used to discriminating viewing of photos), and they were asked to identify which print came from which camera. Of course, no one got them right. There was not enough discernable difference in any of them to tell which photo came from a specific make of camera.

Some like Fords, some like Chevys. It all comes down to personal preference, budget, and which camera has the features you need. There is no such thing as "The Best". If you think shooting with Brand X will make you a better photographer than shooting with Brand Y, well, it's your money. Most of us know better.

1/3/2005 3:36:32 AM

Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/27/2004
  "If you want a popular camera, go Canon. If you want a GOOD camera, get a Nikon. If you want a real camera, get one that uses FILM."

What a ridiculous statement. If you want a real car get a model T. If you want a real computer get a commadore 64. If you want a real tape player get an eight track. And so on and so forth.

How 'bout if you want to be a REAL photographer learn how to use whatever camera you may use with skill--be it digital or film. Learn your genre of photography and obey the rules within it--be it photojournalism or digital art.


1/3/2005 12:23:30 PM

Christopher A. Cline

member since: 11/19/2003
  "How 'bout if you want to be a REAL photographer learn how to use whatever camera you may use with skill--be it digital or film. Learn your genre of photography and obey the rules within it--be it photojournalism or digital art."

If you learn to drive a Model T, you'd probably be a better driver. Instead of getting the latest whiz-bang gadget laden auto everything camera, get a basic slr, LEARN how to use it then apply that to the new technology.

1/3/2005 1:39:54 PM

Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/27/2004
  No Christopher--I chose to get a basic SLR "type" digital camera with manual control and I'm learning how to use it. I shoot manually much of the time now, I am figuring out things like lighting and composition, apertures and shutter speeds, and achieving proper exposure. Having a film SLR would just assure I wouldn't take as many pictures for fear of processing costs and I'd be further behind the curve than I am now.

And having been in a model T several times (my grandfather refurbished and raced them) I can guarantee you that driving one won't make you a better driver--just different. You would be totally lost in a modern car--wondering what to do with all the controls and features not available in those days. My grandfather loved his Model-T but he wouldn't have traded it for his Lincoln luxary sedan! He wanted to get to town in five minutes--not an hour. :-)

Good day,


1/3/2005 8:49:21 PM

Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/27/2004
  And one other thing--Digital SLRs are not totally automated point and shoot but give you total manual control. There's no shame in learning photography on one!


1/3/2005 8:50:35 PM

Michael H. Cothran

member since: 10/21/2004
  I doubt if anyone in the world could look at an image, and identify the brand camera used, whether it be Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Pentax, etc. Nikon as been king of the hill since the mid 1960's when it became THE news camera of the Vietnam war. Most magazines and newspapers bought them up since they were so cheap compared their only competition at the time - Leica. Later, when Canon introduced their EOS system, it changed the ying and yang of the photographic world. Today Canon has actually surpassed Nikon (in my opinion) in many technological areas. Your best bet is to look at their systems, and hold the cameras in your hands. Go with the one you feel more comfortable with, as you will most likely NEVER see any differences in the images.
By the way, I've been shooting with Nikon for over thirty five years. If I were starting out fresh, I would consider the Canon, but considering all the Nikon equipment I own, I'll stick with Nikon.
Also - here's something you can ONLY do with a Nikon - and that's put a thirty year old lens on a brand new digital body. Don't even think about it with Canon. Nikon made some of the best macro lenses of all times in the 1970's. I'm lucky enough to own them (55, 105, and 200), and use them regularly with a new digital body.
Michael H. Cothran

1/4/2005 12:54:08 PM

Grant Davenport

member since: 9/12/2004
  Hi there and thanks for my chance to respond to this question.

I don't know how many times these sort of questions have been asked on this website....

I remember a saying someone in a camera shop said to me once "Canon are nice to touch, and nice to hold, but if it were a Nikon consider it sold"...boom boom lol
No but seriously :
It's like asking "how long is a piece of string" or "how tall's a china man" or "do you like sweet & sour chicken or sweet & sour pork"
It comes down to the individual. It's there personal choice as to what camera they pick up, feel, like to hold and ultimately what they buy. The consumer is the only person who can make this choice.

Yes, the D70 is a great camera at a very good price. It has alot of the better features and functions of the more expensive D100 and you do have the ability to use 99% of the older Nikon lenses that you may already own. Nikon have always been of very good quality and hopefully will continue this tradition of reliabilty and decent prices.
As for "is Canon better than Nikon", that again comes down to the individual. I love my Nikon equipment and wouldn't part with it for the world
however if I was to ever have to replace all my equipment for some strange reason, I would definately consider Canon gear as it too is excellent photographic equip' and some of the functions/features on Canon aren't available on Nikon so it's 6 of one and half a dozen of the other.

Best of luck with your choice and remember, forget what camera you use but remember get out there and start shooting.


2/3/2005 5:07:14 PM


To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.

Copyright 1996-2014, Inc. All Rights Reserved.