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Author Topic: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support  (Read 12583 times)

mike_terror

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Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« on: April 17, 2011, 06:07:24 PM »
Hi everyone, I've been perusing CR forums for quite a while along with nikon rumors and have finally decided to make an account.

I'm in the market for a dSLR and I'm a complete beginner. I've read through many articles and researched as much as I could with people's individual experience. I must admit thought, all this information is a bit overwhelming for newbie like myself, especially with all the tech jargon.

I understand that the body of the camera is not important as it is something that will be disposable.  From my readings, it is the lens and equipment that will be invested in, and once chosen on Canon or Nikon, that's the camp that will be committed to.

I'm hoping to not start a flame war, but instead trying to get pros and cons from both sides of the coin. I'm ready to make my purchase but, I'm completely loss on which brand to commit to due to my inexperience. I understand that either Canon or Nikon are both great choices and can't go wrong with either, but it seems like a big step before making the commitment  ;D

I hope I can get some people to chime in that has owned/used both canon dslr's and nikon dslrs. What's the pro / con from both camps, lens quality, build quality, equipment, company support, user interface, control button layout, ergonomics, etc etc.

I know many people will say to go try out the UI at a camera store, but since I'm completely new to photography, I won't know much about what each button/function does. I also won't know what functions are frequently needed by photographers or what makes things convenient.

Thanks!!

What my main purposes are with photography:
- Family photos, pets, portraits, landscape, traveling, city life, concerts, sports (but not as much as the others)
- Record video when traveling and during family gatherings
(I understand that Canon currently surpasses Nikon in the video recording feature, but it won't be a deal breaker for me if Nikon has better overall Pro's over Canon)

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Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« on: April 17, 2011, 06:07:24 PM »

LFG530

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 07:34:44 PM »
I think both brands make comparable lenses, canon can boast about their big telephotos and nikon about their awesome 14-24 but between that both brands are great. The 24-70 nikkor is slightly better and the 70-200 II canon is slightly better... It goes on like that in every possible way even in lenses you will be able to afford as a starter :P. And I don't want to mislead you on that one but I think canon offers a slightly bigger variety of choices in lenses and nikon lenses tend to be a bit more expensive.

The difference presently between the 2 systems is more about the bodies, nikon as the edge for noise performance (better image quality in low light) since they don't care as much about megapixels and canon has more resolution and better video. So the decision is more about what's available NOW and sadly you have to commit to it.

One thing that could make the difference is that canon has such a huge part of the market and is such a big company that it will always at least compete really well with the best there is for a long long time ;) (we could probably say the same about nikon but sony is getting closer to the second spot)

neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2011, 08:31:05 PM »
Here's my 2¢.  Fundamentally, you really can't go wrong with either brand.  That's true both as a beginner and as a more experienced amateur, and even as a pro.  There are a lot of pros out there that shoot with either brand - what it comes down to is the skills you'll learn.  If you go out and spend $10K on either brand, you'll likely be disappointed fairly soon that you spent so much money and don't have amazing shots to show for it.  Start with an entry level body, and if your budget permits, a higher-quality lens than the kit lens that comes with an entry level body.  I do believe that the Canon supertele lenses trump the Nikon versions - but as those lenses cost in the $4-14K range, it's not a concern for most amateurs. 

About a year and a half ago, I faced the same choice - and I went with Canon.  Why?  It wasn't that one line was better than the other.  Honestly, it was because I came across a site that was (at the time, and still mostly is) dedicated to Canon reviews - http://www.The-Digital-Picture.com/.  I found the reviews there to be well-written and very detailed, the comparison tools very helpful, and the wealth of information very useful in helping me decide which of the many choices for bodies and lenses was best for me.  There might be an equivalent site that's Nikon-oriented, but I didn't fine one.

You mentioned that you grasp that bodies change, but lenses are kept longer.  Along those lines, I personally started with the entry-level camera of late 2009 (the Rebel T1i), the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens, and the EF 85mm f/1.8 prime.  I subsequently sold the T1i in favor of the 7D, and later added the 5DII to my kit.  I still have the excellent 17-55mm lens (and although I sold the 85/1.8, that was only because I upgraded to the much costlier 85mm f/1.2L II). 

So, as I stated, I recommend picking your brand based on criteria other than technical performance - in those terms, they are too close to call.  Consider the information resources available, and the cost of the lenses you think you might want.  Skill matters more than the gear, so also consider taking a photography class (my local Audubon preserves have great photography class offerings).  Regardless of which brand you choose, get the camera out of the fully automatic modes as soon as possible, to open up your creativity!

Good luck...
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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 09:05:39 PM »
In the days of film, a body was mostly a box to hold a lens.  The pro bodies were better built and had bells and whistles, but you could put a good lens on any body and get exactly the same image.

That is not the case with digital.  Different bodies do impact the image.

i'm more in favor of a balanced approach, get a lens / body combination that represent a balanced investment.  If you buy a beginner body, take advantage of the low cost option to get a kit lens with it.  Learn to use it.  Those kit lenses are cheaply constructed, but capable of very good images for the person who learns to take advantage of their strong points.

Most photographers never go to a more expensive lens, and are happy with the images they get.  However, if you get very enthusiastic about photography, be prepared for a shock.  One of those thousand dollar lenses does not make 10X the quality, but about 10% better sharpness, mostly at the edges. 

You do not gain much in image IQ for a pretty high dollar outlay.  You do get a much better constructed lens, better corners and edges, a larger maximum aperture, and faster autofocus.  That is important to someone who takes tons of photos, or just likes fine equipment and can squeeze out the funds to do the upgrade.  I feel that I can take a $200 lens, and use it at its sweet spot, and match my 35mmL 100mmL, well, maybe not my 135mmL, but you get the idea.  Start simply, master your equipment, and then you will know what you want next.

Don't overlook good image processing software.  Shooting with RAW and processing the image carefully can be equivalent to a lens upgrade.  If you just shoot jpeg, thats fine, but you are not squeezing out the best from your equipment.

endigo

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 10:27:34 PM »
I chose Canon because I knew friends and family that I could use to draw knowledge and experience. Over the years I have met more friends with Canon gear than with Nikon, and have even had a few opportunities to lend/borrow equipment. (As you progress into the more expensive equipment, the lending and borrowing becomes more difficult.

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2011, 11:52:37 PM »
I admit I originally picked Canon for cost reasons.

At the time I was a struggling, starving, newspaper photographer in the 1970s and I did the math. I could get more equipment for the money with Canon than Nikon. With a family to feed, it was a no-brainer -- go with Canon.

At the time, Canon was not the dominant brand it is today and most newspaper photographers of the era looked down on the brand. Hard to imagine today when you see the massive lines of white-lenses at major events, but that was the case in the 70s.

Basically, I made my choice and never regretted it. The price differential isn't as great today, but it is still there for many lenses. There wasn't any significant difference in quality in the 1970s and there still isn't today.
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MK5GTI

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 10:06:38 AM »
if you are planning to use your DSLR to record video when traveling and during family gatherings, neither of these two brand will make you happy, unless you are good on pulling focus yourself.

Canon don't offer continous Vido AF, Nikon do, but not so reliable.

maybe you should look at Sony A55 or wait for the A77, and perhaps Panasonic G2 or GH2, these offer continous video AF

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 10:06:38 AM »

tomscott

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 10:58:37 AM »
One thing no one has mentioned is ergonomics, Nikons are usually a nicer camera to hold, buttons laid out well. They were along way ahead of Canon on the ergonomic side for some time but Canon have become alot better in the time since the 350d came out. Now i would say they are comparable but nikons are still nicer to hold, which is annoying.

I am a Canon man, one reason was because when i got my first camera (the trusty 350d), Nikon didnt have a camera that could touch it (through reviews etc). But I never liked the Nikon brand, the cameras are fantastic but i wasn't compelled to buy them. But I was a young 16 y/o when i got mine, now im a professional graphic designer and photographer and i see why I went down that road (with successful brand identity and a compelling product), I am also glad that i went Canon. There is something compelling about the Canon brand and they offer a full system that is very difficult to beat. But there is not alot between the two. The fact that you have come to the Canon rumors site tells me you are intrigued by Canon, which is great.

It is also about what your used to and what suits your style of shooting. I cant stand the UI in the Nikons, one reason I went canon in the first place. Every time i go through the menus i feel they could do such a better job nut that is my opinion, nothing on the cameras. But these are things you have to try because my opinion may not be shared by you.

But in recent times Canon have been slipping, there is a serious problem with the brand identity of their cameras, it used to be very simple xxxD amateur, xxD semi pro, xD pro, now i feel they have made it difficult for the consumers in an attempt to compete with nikons better laid path for future development. But this is probably because Canon have a map that they feel is best for them but we haven't seen that complete transition yet and the development of this road is an interesting one. Now we have beginner, semi amateur, amateur, semi pro and pro cameras, and there is not alot of difference between the beginner to amateur cameras IMHO. Now anyone with any knowledge of the Canon brand, technically minded or a Canon follower will understand the map ok... but for beginners looking to upgrade from a point and shoot they have definitely made it difficult.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but what is bad is Canons lack of direction in upgrades, they seem to be abit stuck in terms of a revolutionary camera, the 600D and 60D were massive disappointments in my opinion, great cameras but nothing new, just an upgrade. Now you cant expect brands to produce revolutionary technology every upgrade, but for the current owners of previous products it is difficult to justify. Most of Canons revenue will come from new buyers, so that is probably why there have been minimal upgrades recently, especially with the up and coming Digic 5, basically making the most buck from the technology before it is superseded. The 7D would be a great investment but nicer ISO performance would be nice. The 40D is known to have better ISO performance than the newer cameras due to packing too many pixels in etc. The 40D is becoming long in the tooth.

But just as Canon has a few problems to iron out Nikon have had some pretty big dry patches. When the 5D was launched Nikon were so blown out of the water it took them along time to produce a camera to compete, and alot of very loyal nikon users moved over. This was a pretty thretening time for Nikon but they did their homework and now have a fantastic range, but then Canon was definitely the brand to own because the Digic 4 processor was so advanced...

Its swings and roundabouts, one company wont be better than the other constantly especially as tech is getting very tight, how many mega pixels do average consumers need? how many DSLR owners have an A3 printer?? I bet less than 10%, every crop camera on the market can now make a good A3 print regardless of brand. We are on the verge of something new and cameras are becoming swiss army knifes with video etc Now the mirrorless cameras are threatening the DSLR market. It is an interesting scene that is unfolding and Canons dramatic exclusion from the mirrorless market may be an inclination of their direction. I feel like something big is coming along from Canon and all there resources are going towards it, lack of decent upgrades, tech etc

Canons future in my mind is very interesting and im very happy to be a Canon follower and user. If a brand can get you excited about the things it is selling half the battle is over. Look at the Mac perfect example of selling a lifestyle brand to improve your life and the way you use technology.

My ultimate advice... go Canon you wont be disappointed and the future can only get better... but good luck with wherever you go with your decision.

Tom Scott
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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 12:03:13 PM »
if you are planning to use your DSLR to record video when traveling and during family gatherings, neither of these two brand will make you happy, unless you are good on pulling focus yourself.

Canon don't offer continous Vido AF, Nikon do, but not so reliable.

maybe you should look at Sony A55 ...

You do realize that Sony says the A55 can overheat after just a very few minutes.  You might only get 10 minutes of video an hour in the worst case!  The reason is obvious, with the internal IS platform, which must be free to move, there is no good way to carry away the heat quickly, and the IS platform generates a lot of heat as well, so you need to turn it off to increase the record time from 3 minutes to 5 minutes before it shutsdown to cool off.

http://photorumors.com/2010/10/07/sony-updated-their-statement-on-a55-and-a33-sensor-overheating-during-video-recording/

Can you imagine trying to take video for the bride and groom at a wedding and have the camera shutoff after 3 minutes, and have to wait until it cools down again to get another 3 minutes?

neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2011, 12:53:58 PM »
Can you imagine trying to take video for the bride and groom at a wedding and have the camera shutoff after 3 minutes, and have to wait until it cools down again to get another 3 minutes?

Sure...I can imagine it...  "I now pronounce you husband and...ok, we're now going to take a short break for the videographer's camera to cool down.  Everyone be patient.  Hey you two, NO KISSING YET!"
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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2011, 03:04:37 PM »
Camera equipment is very "personal". I suggest you to try out your self. See how it fits in your hand,how does the controls falls at your finger tip. how do do you like the manu/ etc. You cannot not go wrong with either band. Let your feeling of the handling and your buget be your guide. Also just buy the minimum amount of lens that you need and buy more lens until you really liket he camera body that you have. I bought my 20D 6 yeras ago with only one lens 17-40mm f4.0. This will fit 90% plus o fmy need. Later, I bought a used 35-135mm USM for very occational use . Year and a half ago my 20D died. Instead getting a 7D I got myself a used 40D with only 4K activation. I have put on ore than 40K shots on it on all continents. A s for support, I got all the free software and firmware update  and free technical advice from Canon when I need it. No complain here.

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2011, 03:20:21 PM »
I have had experience of having repairs done by both Nikon and Canon over the years. Both operate very efficient and high quality repair shops, but in my experience at least Canon were very uncommunicative during the process while Nikon were very outgoing, very friendly.

The actual repairs have all been quick and well done from both, but I at least came away from the Nikon experiences feeling I'd made new friends and from the Canon experience still in the dark as to what the repairs had entailed.

With Nikon I was encouraged to ask questions. They took a pride in the customer relations side of the equation. Canon seemed to prefer that I not exist, certainly questions were totally ignored or made very difficult to even ask.

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2011, 03:37:47 PM »
Canon has a much wider range of lenses that cover a lot more price points, and have none of the silly autofocus compatibility issues that the Nikons do with their lower level bodies.  Prices are generally lower, availability is better, and their primes all have fast autofocus.  Unless you're planning to go with *at least* a Nikon D90 or a D7000 which gives you full AF compatibility with all of their lenses, I say don't even bother with Nikon.  I do love and used to own some of their smaller D40 class bodies (d3100, d5100 today, etc) but Nikon's almost complete lack of support for them in terms of reasonably priced upgrade options finally did me in and I switched to Canon. 

For example, if you wanted a 50mm lens that autofocuses with those low end bodies, you had no choice but to buy the 50mm f/1.4G lens for $400+.  Per the Nikon Rumors site now they're coming out with a 50mm f/1.8G version, but it appears that even this lens is so loaded up with features that it will still probably be in the $200-300 range and not even the least bit price competitive with the Canon 50/1.8II, which will work on any body you put it on.  $1700 for an 85mm lens that autofocuses (85/1.4G), vs $400 for the Canon 85/1.8 USM.  Their 105/2, 135/2, and 180/2.8 won't work at all for autofocus.  If you wanted to get a telephoto zoom that's faster than f/5.6, the only choice is the $2500 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII, whereas you have the option of the excellent Canon 70-200mm f/4L non-IS for $700 on the Canon side.

So if you're willing to go for at least a D90 or a D7000 consider Nikon too.  If not don't even bother.  Way too many headaches with compatibility, and absolutely poor support for those bodies from Nikon as far as revamping their lineup with more lenses with built in motors at reasonable prices.

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2011, 03:37:47 PM »

ronderick

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2011, 11:31:30 AM »
I'm going to echo Rocky's advice here: go to the store and actually hold the cameras in your hands.

Frankly, you don't really need to know any of the buttons/functions. Just hold it firmly (trying out the ergonomics/weight, etc.) and press the shutter button a few times. Hold the lens and the body, and see how you like the balance. If you don't like it, try another setup.

I think the bottom line of getting a DSLR is that you have to enjoy holding your camera, and the more you enjoy holding it, the more you'll use it. Otherwise it won't get very far away from the shelf.

As for the differences between C and N... well, the more you use your camera, the more you'll learn about its capabilities and limits, and the more you'll understand where the two companies vary in their approach. No need to worry about them at the starting line.

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 11:45:43 AM »
I agree with the above posts. About a year ago I had the same decision: beginning with Nikon or Canon? Both are great!

What it came down to is that I went to the store and held them. I picked up the different bodies and went with what felt right and what I enjoyed shooting with. Hence, Canon for me.

And, as always, the photographer determines the quality of the shots way more than the gear.

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Re: Canon vs Nikon in terms of Lens, Equipement, UI, Support
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 11:45:43 AM »