Wisdom Wednesdays – Which Camera Do I Buy?! (Nikon vs Canon)

For this weeks Wisdom Wednesday we will be diving into the major differences between Nikons and Canons!


While there are many amazing camera brands for professional photographers to choose from we decided to focus on the heated feud between the two titans; Nikon and Canon! These are not by any means your only DSLR options, but if you are making the difficult decision between these two brands this blog is for you!

If you are on the cusp of which camera to buy, it can be a huge and stressful decision. Being a professional photographer, this purchase can really make or break your career moving forward, so you want to make sure you make the right choice. Additionally, you will begin building a flash/Lens collection and compatibility issues may arise if you do not stick with one brand. Making the big switch over to the other side after building this collection can be EXTREMELY expensive.


Before we start breaking down the pros and cons of each, lets look at what you should be considering when choosing your camera.

  1. Lens selection – Stock lenses will not realistically do you much good, so when choosing your camera pay attention to which higher end lenses are available for the brand you select
  2. Price range – Budget will be a huge indication of which brand to choose and how far up the totem pole you want to go.
  3. Image stabilization – No matter how steady you believe your hands to be, image stabilizing features can be extremely important.
  4. Autofocus – Pay attention to the different autofocus system that each potential camera operates with.
  5. Video – DSLR’s often offer beautiful video capturing capabilities, but some are certainly better than others. Take into account the video quality when choosing your camera.


Now lets take a look at some comparisons in each category!

Lens Selection – Nikon vs Canon

While each company offers their own unique selection of lenses, they are for the most part quite evenly matched.

Nikons Nikkor Lenses have gone back 80 years, but using their F-mount structure, they have sustained their compatibility throughout most of this duration. This means that there is a lot of interchangeability among Nikon lenses.

Canons EOS lenses only go back 25 years, so have less overall selection, but all remain compatible with new cameras.

Overall, you will find extremely comparable lenses on both sides and this area should not completely make or break your decision.

Some Nikon only Lenses to consider:

Nikon AF-D Nikkor 16mm f/2.8 fisheye lens

Unlike Canon, Nikon offers separate fisheye lenses for its full frame (FX) and APS-C (DX) format DSLRs. Both offer a 180 degree picture angle and have a maximum aperture that’s one stop brighter than Canon’s fisheye zoom lens.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G lens

A standout lens for both its hefty price ($1700) and its oddball focal length. Modeled around Nikon’s Noct-Nikkor f/1.2, the 58mm focal length starts to make sense when the lens is attached to a DX-format DSLR, equating to 87mm – near enough the classic portraiture focal length. That said, it costs more than any of Nikon’s DX-format DSLRs.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/2.5-5.6G ED VR lens

Canon doesn’t offer any lens in this range for its EF-S compatible cameras, the closest being the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, but it doesn’t reach as far and isn’t as good. Nikon excels in this lightweight ‘mid-range’ type of lens.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens

Nikon’s first ‘affordable’ super-telephoto zoom lens offers a constant f/5.6 aperture throughout the zoom range and Vibration Reduction. Canon has yet to release a super-tele zoom.


Some Canon only Lenses to consider:

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4.0 L USM fisheye lens

Canon only has 1 current fisheye lens, but it’s a zoom that enables the full-frame fisheye effect to be achieved across its entire range of DSLRs.

Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM ultra-wide angle zoom lens

This lens has gained a tremendous reputation for its extreme wide-angle view on a full-frame camera body, its remarkable sharpness and its low-light performance.

Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x macro lens

Canon has 6 macro lenses currently available in its line-up, including the MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x macro lens – the first macro lens to offer a magnification greater than 1x.

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM lens

An older Canon lens, but one with no real Nikon equivalent.


Canon Cine Lenses

Canon’s Cine lens line is a dedicated range of filmmaking lenses for Canon’s Cinema EOS cameras (including the EOS C100 Mark II, C300 Mark II and C500) and full-frame EOS DSLRs.

Price Range – Nikon vs Canon

Overall between entry level, midrange, and high end Canons and Nikons, you will find Canon to be on the more expensive side. These compared cameras will mostly take the same photos (to an extent), but with different price tags. This is not to say that you should immediately jump on Nikon’s boat as there are certainly more pros and cons that we will be discussing down the road.

Entry Level:

Take the Nikon D3300 Digital SLR Camera Body going for $319


A comparable Canon EOS 750D Digital SLR Camera going for $540



Nikon D7200 DX-format DSLR Body going for $1,096


Comparable Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) going for $1,499


High End:

Nikon D810 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body going for $2,399


Comparable  Digital SLR Camera Body going for $3,399


Keep in mind, as the price difference increases, so does the overall quality of the camera in certain aspects.

Image stabilization – Nikon vs Canon

While these two companies offer the same exact quality of image stabilization I wanted to quickly touch upon the fact that they use different acronyms! Canon uses IS (Image Stabilization) while Nikon uses VR (Vibration Reduction). Do not get confused by these terms as they are the exact same thing!

Take into account what you are using your camera for when considering the need for image stabilization. While most Canons and Nikons have this feature within their cameras, if you are constantly taking photos without a tripod, make sure it is included in your model.


Autofocus – Nikon vs Canon

Something major to keep in mind is that every Canon EOS Lens has the Autofocus feature, while only the AF-S Nikon lenses do. If you want your Nikon lens to autofocus (and you probably do), you need to choose an AF-S lens, which slightly narrows your options.

Nikon decided to remove the autofocus motor from their entry level cameras in an effort to keep them lightweight, compact and cheaper. (Some people can appreciate this if they are not taking advantage of Autofocus and prefer to only use Manual focus.)

Currently, the Nikon D40, D40X, D60, D3000, D3100, D5000 and D5100 don’t include motors. Canon, on the other hand, have always had the autofocus motors in the lenses, not the bodies.

The lenses over the past 25 years are enough to keep most photographers satisfied but, if you know of any much older lenses that you simply must have on your camera, Nikon is probably the way to go.


Video – Nikon vs Canon

The Canon 5D Mark II was the first DSLR to be marketed as having the capability of recording 1080p Full HD video. While Nikon technically had the first DSLR with this capability on their D90, Canon went on to dominate the DSLR filmmaking market.

The feud remains to go on over which DSLR is better suited for HD film making. Both have been used on major Hollywood movies and some filmmakers swear on a specific brand, but nothing is conclusive.

In the right hands, both Canon and Nikon DSLRs are capable of capturing high-quality high-def footage. Both systems offer models with Full HD recording at a range of frame rates, manual exposure controls, jacks for stereo sound recording and headphone audio monitoring.

Here is a nice side by side comparison of the Canon 70D vs Nikon D7100 video capabilities –

Video Source: Dan Watson of learningcameras.com


-Until Next Time






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