If you’re new to photography then you probably have read or seen much of the continual debate amongst photographers on whether Canon is better than Nikon or vice versa. Canon and Nikon are the two leading brands of SLR cameras and are continually in a pitched battle to build a better digital camera. The competition is tight and victory in the race ebbs and flows towards both manufacturers every year new cameras cameras are launched.
Let’s get down to the bottom line. We have had enough of this debate and need to look at the reasons. I suppose it’s like whether a BMW is better than a Mercedes or a Lexus is better than an Audi. There will never be a definitive answer for as long as both manufacturers perpetuate the race. Some photographic forums have now banned any discussion around this debate. So why does the debate continue? Is it for the sake of debating or are there factors that need to be taken into consideration.
The following criteria will help you make a decision about which camera is best for you.
1. Personal preference
This is an important one. I admit to being a Canon user because the first camera my Dad gave me was a Canon. I fell in love with it and it became my companion. So I like Canon. I like the way it looks and I like the way it feels to hold. It’s just my personal choice and feeling about the camera when looking at it. Nothing else. The Nikon may be a better camera for all I care but Canon is the one for me. Plain and simple.
2. The Purpose
For what purpose are you going to be using your camera? The reason I include this as one of the criteria is you need to know what the predominant purpose will be be. Both camera manufacturers have a huge range of digital slrs and within those ranges some are better than others for particular purposes. And, that is just within their own brand. So when looking at both brands some will be better for particular purposes. For example you may need a camera that has a fast frame per second rate and writes fast to memory card. Within a particular bracket Nikon might be better in this area than Canon so Nikon would be the one to choose.
3. The Price Range
This is linked to the previous criterion. Within a particular price bracket the one camera may have more of the features you require. So with this price constraint in mind you may need to go for the cheaper range in order to get these features. So perhaps in this price range the better of the two cameras might be Canon.
4. The Conditions of Use
This is a very important one. If you are a traveller you may find that the Nikon in the range you are looking at is more rugged than the equivalent Canon although the Canon has some better features. You would choose Nikon rather Canon because it is more suited to travel. Other factors like dust and moisture seals and will determine which you choose based on the camera that has these features, if you will be using the camera in a more humid or dusty environment.
I don’t think the aim of any manufacturer is to build the perfect digital camera for all situations and conditions. I personally feel it would be impossible probably due to the costs involved. It boils down to the issue of personal choice which usually helps the camera manufacturer make more money. Better to sell two cameras that cover all the needs of a photographer than one.
My advice to anyone needing to make a decision about purchasing a Nikon or a Canon digital camera, is to look at all of these criteria and make a decision for your particular photographic needs. The brand of camera should be the last thing you take into consideration. If you do, you will quite likely find yourself limiting your choice based on preconceived ideas.