heather schramm-lifestyle photographer

Tips and Insights

What DSLR Camera To Buy

Canon v. Nikon

This is a dilemma I hear often, “I’m not sure whether to buy a Canon or Nikon?”.  Spoiler alert: I am not going to tell you which one to buy, instead I am going to give you some sound advice on the topic to hopefully take some of the stress out of trying to decide.  I get why people are perplexed by this choice.  After all it is a hefty investment while you are at the beginning stages of your photographic career.

In addition I am not going to give you the pros and cons or even the stats between the two brands.  First of all, you can find tons of side by side comparison charts all over the web and chances are you already have.  Another reason is the technology is constantly changing so if I were to give comparisons today chances are they would be different tomorrow.  Finally, I believe the prices of the different models along with their features are quite comparable between the two.

Now that we have covered the things I will not tell you lets take a look at the things I will tell you.  I think it is important to know you will not go wrong with either brand of camera.  Seriously, I have never heard a photographer say, ” I am a Canon or Nikon user but I really wish I chose the other guy.”.  You have big time professional photographers that are die-hard users of both competitors.  The great thing about these two is that these are the main guys out there at your photo meetup groups and within your community.  The advantage that gives you is chances are you’re going to know another photographer to borrow lenses off of.  You see, the lenses between the cameras are not interchangeable, so if you buy the Nikon you won’t be putting a Canon lens on it and visa versa.  Mind you there are many other lens brands that are specifically made for both and are wonderful.  Now that we are talking about lenses I feel I should mention good glass (referring to the lenses of course) is worth the money.  Don’t go buy a fancy camera then put an inferior lens on the front of it.  This is one of the pieces of your gear where you get what you pay for.  Now to get back on topic.  I think it is important for the camera to feel good in your hand.  It sounds obvious but sometimes its difficult to remember that when you are looking back and forth at the overviews between the two online.  Go to your local camera shop and ask to hold each of them.  It’s okay that you don’t know how to use it yet, just put it in “P” program mode or even “Auto” look through the viewfinder and press that shutter release and see which one sings to your heart.  Check out where the buttons and dials are in relation to where your hands rest, even if you have no clue what they do yet.  In not too much time once you take one of these home it will become an extension of you.  Like I said in the beginning you can’t make a bad decision between Canon or Nikon in my opinion.  Try to focus on the excitement of making one of these the start to your fun-filled future.

Sorry if this takes you back to square one but I feel like I should suggest you take a quick peek at the Sony before making your final decision.  They have some serious advancements in their technology that is cutting edge.  I wouldn’t be surprised is Canon and Nikon start mimicking some of their technology in the next few years.

23 responses

  1. Canon or Nikon? Good question. For me the answer was SONY-Minolta. ))))))

    November 17, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    • Maybe that’s why I was so drawn in by your beautiful photographs. I love my fellow Sony shooters! We are a different breed that’s for sure.

      November 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      • Alawode Peter

        I am also a Sony shooter, Minolta lens and speedlite. it’s lovely shooting with it!

        May 17, 2015 at 5:07 am

  2. Hold them & feel them was the key for me

    December 3, 2012 at 5:35 am

  3. Good sound advice. I use Canon. A very good friend of mine uses Nikon. We compete in a friendly way when we are out trekking or just ambling around new places together and In the end the best photo is down to the eye, the imagination and the brain behind it, not the camera. Though he does have a macro lens and I don’t so his ultra close-ups are always better.

    January 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm

  4. I use a Canon (point and shoot) camera, I’m afraid. Thanks for visiting/following my blog.

    February 26, 2013 at 3:08 am

    • Is it bad for a professional photographer to admit they love point and shoot cameras? Because well, I love them. It can be frustrating not being able to control every little thing on a camera but you can control one of the most powerful aspects: composition. Not to mention there are so many magical moments captured that if it wasn’t for your trusty point & shoot, would have simply been a fleeting moment in time. I love the things you’ve captured and have shared with the world with your point and shoot (even though it’s a canon)!
      My shot of the Texas Capitol and grounds was taken with a Sony point and shoot camera and I don’t think it’s half bad.

      March 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm

  5. Interesting info that I may use someday. For now I still use my old compact Olympus that I won at work in 2005. I have an aversion to spending money on electronics.

    May 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

  6. Hello Vivid,
    Wanted to say thank you for stopping by…
    Great article …
    We saw the Sony did great things….we ended up with Canon…and love it…like u said…I don’t think beginners should worry a lot….each has its merits….from what I’ve seen, u just have to go out and shoot.
    From yardandplate.com

    May 26, 2013 at 3:31 pm

  7. Thanks for visiting my blog again, and liking more of my posts.

    FYI: the camera I use most is a Canon T2i “Rebel”. It knows a heck of a lot more than I about photography, and I use it (mostly) set to Auto mode.

    August 20, 2013 at 7:55 pm

  8. I shoot Nikon and have a lot of money invested in glass. I love Nikon. But I’ve added Sony NEX-7 gear and am amazed at what I can do with it. It’s a quarter of the weight.

    August 21, 2013 at 11:02 am

  9. Thanks for the tips, it’s good for people to understand that it’s more important how they use the camera, so how it feels to use it, than which brand to buy. I’ve had canons since my first AE-1 I got back in 1980 (still have it). I mostly USE my point and shoots. I have a Samsung and a waterproof Olympus which I hope to get to use diving sometime soon! I can carry them around with me all the time, unlike the larger cameras. My favorite of those is my Sony-nex. It’s much lighter to carry around and it takes great night-time photos. I use it much more than the digital Canon I have now and I never really use the old AE-1 anymore.

    April 24, 2014 at 3:19 am

    • Thanks for adding to this. Those Sony-nex are pretty incredible. I would love to add one of those to my bag one day too!

      April 26, 2014 at 8:34 am

  10. We are a couple of Cannon point and shooters. Works for us. Thanks for the like on our blog and the sound advice above. Cheers.

    July 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm

  11. Bottom line is if whatever camera is not comfortable in your hand you may as well go and use a zoomer boomer.

    December 19, 2014 at 8:57 pm

  12. Reblogged this on I-NETRADIO.

    April 17, 2015 at 10:00 am

  13. This is such a helpful post! It’s really refreshing to read something from a professional which is so unpatronising, non-technical and genuinely helpful.

    April 23, 2015 at 5:38 am

    • Thanks for taking the time to read this and to comment! It is truly appreciated!

      April 25, 2015 at 8:29 pm

  14. Enjoying your blog. Always a touchy subject as soon as you mention brand names. I used SLRs from C and N, but of late have decided to go mirrorless with an Olympus E-M5 because I can get a splashproof body and lens that is small enough to wear while I am fly fishing and stand up to saltwater splashes and fish slime! Also use a canon G12 a lot as my backup camera in my pocket or in a dicapac underwater cover.

    May 4, 2015 at 1:33 am

  15. Alawode Peter

    Nothing as good as a Sony camera

    May 17, 2015 at 5:07 am

  16. Erwin A. Dence Jr.

    Thanks for checking out realsurfers.net My kids had a connection to Austin from music and indie films from there; in fact a musician friend of my son’s moved there, took years to fit into the music scene. Too damn hot for me, too surrounded by Texas. I imagine NPR radio waves hit a wall somewhere on the outskirts of Austin, get drowned out by conservative talk and religious channels. Still, struggle on. Best of luck to you.

    May 25, 2015 at 9:26 am

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