Photography has seen myriad of changes over the past decades. The days of exposing photo sensitive films to light for fraction of a second to capture images have long been over and digital photography continues to surprise us, packing more into a camera than ever before. When it comes to a battle of brands, Nikon vs. Canon debate has been going on forever.
Though there is no absolute winner between the two giants, we will help you figure out who leads in what segment. This will help you pick the better brand based on what you are trying to do, rather than prefer one of them every time.
Before Buying a Nikon or Canon Camera
The comparison becomes somewhat easier when we break down the segments and then see which brand offers the best value. In the “Buying Information” section, we have done a category wise comparison of brands to pick on those little features that separate them.
Secondly, ISOs and MegaPixels have almost become irrelevant in today’s world, as both these brands compete so heavily that there is hardly a performance difference that can be explicitly attributed to one of the two. You would be well advised to avoid being swayed by the marketing campaign driven by one of these numbers.
Top 10 Nikon vs. Canon Table
- Point and Shoot Cameras. If you are looking for a basic, no frills point and shoot camera and are confused between these two Japanese giants, we would give Canon the ever so slightest edge. Not because of performance but because of easy controls, sleek (and well finished) design and ability to take natural pictures in auto mode.
- Entry Level D-SLR Cameras. This is one segment where digital photography battle has intensified in recent years. If you work for an employer (or a group of friends/colleagues) already invested in one ecosystem, it is practical to stick to that. If you are making your first investment in a DSLR, we recommend Nikon – the bigger, better performing, affordable player. It often makes products ahead of their time, which means they stay relevant for a long time, weathering the tech – innovation storm.
- High End SLRs. You’ll find comparable numbers and features from both manufacturers in this segment as well. What prompts us to give the nod to Canon is simple – superior customer support. As their support is based 100% in the US, there wouldn’t be language related issues and most of the time, the executive would address your query right away. This is where Nikon has lost considerable ground over the years. You won’t want an expensive investment to go waste for lack of proper after sales service, would you?
Top 5 Best Nikon vs. Canon Reviews
If you are a new entrant in the DSLR world and want an entry level camera that does the basics well and keeps out the bells and whistles to keep the price affordable, D3300 is by far the best. Image quality is a non-negotiable factor for any camera and the image quality is stunningly brilliant – beats the competition hands down and is at par with the higher priced models of both Nikon and Canon.
A camera’s real test lies in its dynamic range – its ability to capture images in conditions that light up the subject too much or too little. It handles the ISOs really well for an entry level DSLR, giving you the best images even in low light or at high shutter speeds. Accurate color capture and replicating minute changes to reproduce scenes accurately is another performance parameter the D3300 excels in, sealing the Nikon vs. Canon debate in Nikon’s favor in the entry DSLR segment.
This is a top performer from Nikon in a segment where things get really serious. It is amazing what Nikon has packed into D750’s compact and slim body. At 24.3 MP, the CMOS sensor and EXPEED 4 work well together to produce professional quality images. If you are looking at professional quality video, this is a dream to have in hands. You will enjoy shooting full HD videos with different frame rates to choose from.
Transferring photographs and video is seamless with its built in Wi-Fi. Connect to it from you smart device, browse to the folder and download your favorite shots – all without touching the camera! If you still have doubts, a tilt enabled touchscreen, slot for two different SD cards (to shoot in two formats simultaneously) and a professional grade autofocus mode is what seals the deal in its favor.
If you are looking for a camera that is a step ahead of the entry level DSLRs, is an all-rounder when it comes to different shooting modes and light conditions and doesn’t leave you thousands of dollars short, Nikon D7200 DX is the perfect fit.
It is an excellent handler of ISO levels, keeping down noise levels even at 6400 ISO. Its time lapse abilities and built in interval-meter respond very well to time lapse scenarios. Image quality is fairly consistent across subjects – over/under exposed, moving, static, etc. Wi-Fi and NFC work well to ease your image management. All these features are fueled by a powerful battery that can deliver over 2000 images on a single charge.
If you do not have the deep pockets needed for full frame, professional grade camera, this work horse won’t let you down.
A late entrant in this review section, Canon EOS Rebel T5i hits the sweet spot by being an ideal blend of price, quality and features. Being an entry level model, we recommend opting for the 18-55 mm lens package at the minimum.
Rebel T5i is an elegantly designed, ergonomic camera that makes it easy to hold and operate. The features of interest are an 18 MP sensor CMOS sensor, wide ISO range (100 – 12800), 9 point Auto Focus system, HD video mode (1080p and 720p) and a 3” LCD touch panel to control these.
Other than capturing stunning images, Canon is known for its superior customer service – reason enough for you to explore the mesmerizing world of photography at an affordable price.
Meant for the photographer on a journey from amateur to professional, EOS 80D is available in various bundles. Unless you have a superior quality Canon compatible lens, we recommend 18-55mm option that would get you started right away.
Fitted with a 24.2 MP sensor, it is an all-purpose camera that works well in all lighting conditions, for all kinds of subjects. If you are already onto Canon ecosystem and don’t want to switch your loyalty, it is the perfect alternative to Nikon D7200 mentioned earlier in this guide. A 45 point Auto Focus system works perfectly while shooting moving objects, with an additional option of narrowing down to a focus area. Intelligent Viewfinder, built in Wi-Fi and NFC, full HD 60p recording, shooting up to 7 fps and a wide ISO range tick all the boxes you would want a great camera to, leaving nothing to doubt about making this power performer yours.
To summarize, which brand emerges as the (slight) winner in Nikon vs. Canon debate is largely dependent on what segment are you looking at. If you are new to the world of serious photography, the choice becomes all the more important, as once you get your hands around a Nikon or Canon DSLR, chances are that you would stick to that brand for your next purchase, and the next. Both of them have churned out some stellar products over decades and you won’t have anything to complain about.