Canon versus Nikon: which brand has the better camera? - Mash Viral
Hillary Grigonis / Digital Trends
Daven Mathies / Digital Trends
Just like Batman versus Superman, the Red Sox versus the Yankees or paper versus plastic, the Canon-Nikon debate has been raging for decades. Long two of the best selling brands for professional and consumer cameras, the names are probably the first to come to mind when considering buying a new camera. This long-standing rivalry means that the two companies are constantly trying to replace each other - but it also makes a difficult decision for photographers choosing a new camera.
After making a choice, you have invested in a system - and switching becomes a huge expense, as you need to replace lenses, flashes and possibly other accessories instead of just a camera case. It is understandable that this puts a lot of pressure on the first purchase decision. But photographers who worry about the name on the front of the camera worry about the wrong things.
Why? Because choosing between Canon and Nikon is not really like the other matchups above, where there is a clearly correct answer - Batman, Red Sox, paper - and more like, well, dating. It takes a while to get to know someone and find that special person whose strange nuances you will not tolerate for the rest of your life. Likewise, you may not know whether you have made the right choice between Canon and Nikon until long after you have made it.
But do not worry; because, unlike dating, there is no real right or wrong answer to the Canon versus Nikon debate, partly because the differences between the two are a matter of personal preference, rather than objective performance statistics. Moreover, every company tends to jump from one model to another; if you feel you have chosen the wrong brand, just wait for the next release.
So what do photographers need to know before deciding whether to grab a camera with that white Canon logo on the front or a camera with Nikon's characteristic red swoosh on the handle? Although both Canon and Nikon have great cameras, you don't have to just turn a coin before investing in a system.
Canon launched as the Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory in Tokyo in 1933 and produced its first camera, the Kwanon, in 1934 before being awarded the Canon trademark a year later. Throughout the company's almost centuries-long history, Canon is responsible for a number of firsts in the industry, including the first camera with a flash synchronized shutter, the first photo camera with a video mode, and the first camera-to-lens electronic connection to the launch from the EOS line in 1987 (which stands for Electro-Optical System, not Every Other Shot as Nikon fans will tell you). In addition to both photo cameras & video cameras & # 39; s, Canon also produces printers, calculators, broadcast equipment and even digital X-ray equipment.
Nikon is the oldest of the two companies, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017, but only produced its first camera more than a decade after Canon did in 1948. The company began as an optical instrument and glass company, lunching its line of Nikkor lenses (which continue to this day) in 1932, before the first camera. Nikon even made lenses for early Canon cameras & # 39; s. The company's history includes historic cameras such as the Nikon F, which introduced the F-mount that is still in use; send cameras & # 39; s into space with NASA; and technological achievements such as the development of Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass. Nowadays, Nikon also produces products in the healthcare, precision equipment and industrial industries in addition to cameras.
Current camera series
What's in a name? At least some clues about the design and the possibilities of the camera.
Canon & # 39; s DSLR & # 39; s start with the Rebel series - these are the more basic camera housings that are ideal for beginners. The company's high-end digital SLR cameras have one-digit numbers followed by the letter D, while the lower numbers are more advanced, up to the EOS-1D X Mark II flagship. Medium-sized SLR cameras have two numbers in the name.
Canon's mirrorless line retains the EOS designation, with the EOS R and EOS RP full-frame cameras & # 39; s. The company's EOS M line uses smaller APS-C sensors. Note that all three - EOS, EOS R and EOS M - use different lens mounts. Canon & # 39; s point and shoot cameras & # 39; s use the PowerShot name.
Nikon & # 39; s professional flagship DSLR is the D5 (with the D6 currently in the making), while the remaining full-frame DSLR & # 39; s are indicated with a three-digit number such as the D850. Crop sensor DSLRs use four-digit numbers in the name, with the exception of the D500. The D3000 series is the most basic, followed by the D5000 series for beginners and users with a limited budget, and the D7000 series for enthusiasts and more advanced users.
For mirrorless, Nikon has the Z 6 and Z 7 in the full-frame line-up, with the Z 7 as the more advanced of the two. Nikon also recently added mirrorless cameras with a crop sensor with the Nikon Z 50. Unlike Canon, Nikon uses the crop sensor without mirror and full-frame mirrorless same lens mount. Full-frame lenses work on the Z 50, making it easy to upgrade to a full-frame camera on the go. The Z DX lenses also work on full-frame Z cameras, albeit in a trimmed mode.
Nikon used to make an even smaller mirrorless line, the 1-series, but this is no longer available. The point and shoot cameras & # 39; s from Nikon use the name Coolpix and although these days are much less popular because of smartphones, the Coolpix P1000 stands out for its insane 125X zoom lens.
For DSLR & # 39; s, both Nikon and Canon have a good selection of high-end models, beginner options, and middle-class body & # 39; s. Our favorite digital single-lens reflex camera tends to flip from one year to the next - at the top the Nikon D850 is our current favorite, closely followed by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, but the Canon EOS Rebel T7i may be the best entry-level DSLR we have ever tested.
Although there is usually a competitive model for the two brands in single lens reflex cameras, mirrorless is a bit different due to the shorter history. Canon has a full line of APS-C mirrorless cameras, while Nikon has only two full-frame models and a single crop sensor. The full-frame mirrorless cameras of the companies also do not compete directly. Nikon has the 45-megapixel Z 7 for around $ 3,400 and the 24MP Z 6 for $ 2,000, both using the same professional housing and design. Canon has the 30MP, $ 2,300 EOS R aimed at professionals, and the $ 1,300 EOS RP that uses a different design and control layout and targets for beginners.
Can you see which of the above photos were taken with a Nikon and which were taken with a Canon? Without digging into the metadata of the files, probably not. Professional photographers have been photographing both brands for decades and produce great results with each of them. Some photographers prefer the colors from one brand to the other directly from the camera, but there is little that really separates them, especially if those photos have been edited.
If you look at sensor performance measurements, such as those from DxOMark, you will notice that there are some objective differences. Nikons, for example, tend to score higher for dynamic range. But these numbers can be misleading because they do not necessarily translate into a noticeable difference in the real world. Even more important is the effort you make to take a good photo.
A few years ago, Canon took a big lead in the field of video. Now that lead has disappeared - and in the case of mirrorless, Nikon has clearly run forward. Both Canons and Nikons will record some good video, but since Nikon does not have a competing cinema camera line, it is free to incorporate advanced video functions into its photo cameras. Compared to current full-frame mirrorless options, the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 can use the full video sensor, while the Canon EOS R uses a trimmed region of 1.7x for 4K. The Nikons also have higher quality video output via HDMI, great for professionals who want to record video with an external recorder.
Holding a Canon feels different than holding a Nikon, and ergonomics is a surprisingly important part of the photography comparison. Again, this is something that comes down to personal preference. The handles each have their own distinctive designs and the placement of the command dials and buttons is very different. If you have never photographed with either, you can help you choose the right camera when you go to a store where both can be seen.
The mode selectors also look a little different. The four manual modes on a Nikon camera are named exactly the same as the manual modes on a Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic or Olympus: Aperture Priority (indicated by an A on the mode button), Shutter Priority (represented by S), Program Auto (P ) and completely manually (M).
Canon had to be different and use Aperture Value (Av) instead of the standard aperture priority. Shutter priority becomes Time value (Tv) instead. The actual functionality of these modes is exactly the same. With A / Av you can set the aperture manually while the camera adjusts the shutter speed to compensate, while with S / Tv you set the shutter speed and the camera automatically compensates with the aperture.
Hillary Grigonis / Digital Trends
Both brands have fairly wide lens selection thanks to their long history - our choices for the best Canon lenses have a lot of overlap with similar focal lengths and functions on the best Nikon lenses. The most popular focal lengths are available from both brands, but if you are looking for a very specific lens, you may want to make sure it is available before you commit to a brand. For DSLR & # 39; s, for example, Canon has no equivalent of Nikon 105 mm f / 1.4, but Nikon does not have the 135 mm f / 4 tilt-shift macro that Canon has.
When it comes to the younger mirrorless systems, both Canon and Nikon have a lot to catch up with. Canon started in the top segment with some very good - but very large and expensive - lenses, while Nikon started with more compact and relatively affordable options. Fortunately, every company offers an adapter that allows you to mount its DSLR lenses on its mirrorless bodies without sacrificing functionality.
In general, neither brand is cheaper than the other. Entry-level models are usually within $ 50 of each other, depending on what is currently being sold.
However, the scenario is different for their full-frame mirrorless series. The Canon EOS RP is the cheapest, current model, full-frame camera ever made, and a reasonable margin less than the Nikon Z 6, at just $ 1,300 compared to $ 2,000. However, the RP lacks many functions compared to the Z 6 and is intended for a different audience.
Lenses follow the same kind of variation, but can be even harder to compare. A price difference can indicate a quality difference, but you cannot always see how good a lens is by just looking at the specification sheet.
So who wins?
Brand hopping is expensive once you've focused on an interchangeable lens system - but how much does choosing between Canon and Nikon really matter? For most people the answer is very little. Both companies make great cameras & lenses, and the best DSLR on the market tends one year to one and the other to another. Simply put, it doesn't matter to the people viewing your images whether those pixels are from a Canon or a Nikon.
Although the brand does not matter when it comes to taking great photos, each brand has a number of nuances, so a photographer prefers one brand over another. The grip and operating diagrams differ between brands and there is a slightly different terminology for some institutions.
Choosing between Canon and Nikon usually comes down to the smaller, less important differences between the two. For example, some of us photograph Nikon because the photographer who taught us photographed Nikon. Some bought Canon because there was a lot at the time and we have been happy with the system ever since.
The best thing you can do before you commit to a brand? At the very least, go to a store that has cameras. (No apologies, even Walmart does this, at least with entry-level models). Hold a Nikon, adjust some controls, and see how the camera feels in your hands. Then do the same with a Canon. An even better option is renting two of each and photographing with each camera for a few days - there are of course costs associated with renting, but it is minimal considering the investment in lenses once you have registered a brand.
The debate between Canon and Nikon is one without a definitive answer, but there is a correct answer for your personal shooting style and preferences. And remember, the person behind it is more important than the brand at the front of the camera.
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