Canon vs Nikon

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by NeoMac, Nov 24, 2010.


DSLR Preference Canon vs Nikon

Poll closed Nov 26, 2010.
  1. Canon EOS Rebel XS

    12 vote(s)
  2. Nikon D3000

    6 vote(s)
  1. NeoMac macrumors regular


    Feb 10, 2006
    Hello All,

    I am new to photography and I will be purchasing my camera on Black Friday. I have done my research and have found that both the Canon Rebel XS and Nikon D3000 entry level DSLR are pretty much tied in terms of specs at least from a noob perspective. So I am hoping you can help me decide which one to choose. Please vote on your preference and I would appreciate any comments you might have as well. Thanks for your help!
  2. a.jfred macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2010
    Austin, TX
    You may as well post "Mac Vs PC" as your subject ... you're going to get similar responses.

    I spent a good 2 months before I bought my first DSLR, playing with them in store - multiple stores, over multiple days - before making my purchase. Mind you, I bought my camera 2 years ago, so the market & cameras have changed since then. I will tell you I *hated* the Canon (I think it was the XTi). The Nikon D40x had the best manual focus out of the 3 models I'd been looking at (but I also attribute that more to lens than I do to the actual camera), but the camera with lenses was about $200 out of my price range. I debated it, but ultimately, the one that felt right in my hands was my Olympus. It's served me well over the years.

    That said, given the direction Olympus has gone, I'm considering switching brands, but that won't happen any time soon.

    Go with what feels right in your hands. People can give their opinions all day long, but the person who has to be happy with your decision is you.
  3. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    Agree with above (ajfred) witht eh Mac vs PC analogy. You will get people from both camps weighing in on this. Get out and actually handle the cameras and see which one feels better. honestly, you can't go wrong with either brand. Once you pick a brand realize that if you decide to expand your photography down the road then you will more than likely be married to that brand for a long long time. As you can see by my sig, I'm in the canon camp. I got advice from people who had been using canons and swore by them and by those who used nikons and pledged allegence to them. When it came down to decision time, I liked the feel of the T1i in my hand so that's what I went with. Canon users will allows peak at Nikons and visa versa even after they've bought one. It the nature of the photographer beast! Good luck and enjoy, then share your work with us.:)
  4. JasonR macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2008
    Get the Canon Digital Rebel T2i. Excellent camera for the money.
  5. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    Here is great info on Canon refurb program, great way to save some $$'s on a DSLR.
  6. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    My experience, FWIW...

    I won't comment on the Canon/Nikon which is better thing, BUT when I was shopping for my first DSLR (I too bought a rebel XS) I remember the comparable Nikon of the time didn't have autofocus built in. It was in the lens which meant when you bought other lenses later you had to be more careful about what you picked if you wanted to retain autofocus. I am not sure if this is still the case on entry Nikons, but I am sure someone here can help with that.

    For me it came down to a couple things. First off, I had several point and shoots and my most recent canon at the time was the best of the bunch by a long shot. So I was a little biased to the Canon brand from the outset. Also the entry Canon DSLRs at the time were a little newer, had a couple better features, etc. They had slightly better reviews from what I read and the kit lens was better in the Canon (not a good basis for a decision fyi :) ) It could have gone either way but the Canon was a good move for me.

    Once your into a manufacturer and invest in lenses its harder to switch so its a good idea to take a look at lenses you may buy down the road, and even some of the upper level bodies to get an idea. You really cant go wrong with either company. I knew I wanted to end up with canon primes and the 5DmkII was pretty new and turned out to be an excellent camera. I ended up with one after a year of learning on the XS (and being sure I was going to stick with it) and am extremely happy with it.

    If I were to start all over today I would prob do the same thing although I would say a couple of the Nikons of late have been pretty enticing.

    I also recommend you read all you can on the web and learn how to use the camera in AV, TV and M modes. Full auto is nice when your learning and just want to get the shot (vs fumbling with the controls and missing it altogether), but you will do far more for your photography when you dig in and start learning all the controls. Once you get to that point you can begin looking at upgrading your lenses (not before!) and figuring out what your goals are (primes, telephotos, wide angles, etc, etc)

    Good luck!
  7. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
  8. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Yes, do check out their cameras. If they still made the K40 that's what I would have now. The K7 was my camera of choice, but it was a bit out of my price range. Trapped in Canon now.

    As far as the poll goes, forget our opinions and go to a well stocked camera store - a real one - and handle as many as you can.

  9. carfac macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    Raise your budget a bit, get the D7000 and never look back. That camera is next generation (the two you are looking at are older models). Canon vs. Nikon is very close regarding the glass, but I prefer the nikon probably because that is what I have used more.
  10. macrumormonger macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Just wait until Apple comes out with an Idslr.
  11. sh4ners macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2006
  12. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    After seeing countless "What camera should I buy?" threads come through this forum, I think it's pretty safe to say that no one is out to trash either Nikon or Canon (I may eat those words by tomorrow, just in time for Thanksgiving), and that the main and most useful advice you'll get is to go with what feels best in your hands.
  13. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Best advice of this thread!!!

    Seriously though, as long as you're comparing comparable models, it really DOES NOT MATTER WHICH BRAND YOU CHOOSE

    The Canon is better at some things, and the Nikon has advantages over the Canon in other areas. No one brand or camera is fault free and perfect in EVERY area.

    Handle the models that you're interested in and see how comfortable the ergonomics are for you. Check the layout of the menus - what might seem a logical layout to others, may not seem that way to you.

    Whichever one you get, get the latest version as it's always (most of the time anyway) light years ahead of the previous generation.
  14. luminosity macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    Until you get into advanced applications and photographic tools for them, it doesn't matter. When you get there, you won't have to ask anymore.
  15. joemod macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    Athens, Greece

    I have the Canon model while a friend of mine has the Nikon model. As an amateur newbie I noticed the following pros and cons for those models.
    Canon has a far better and easier menu in my opinion.
    Nikon has faster and far more silent focus system. The shutter sound also is very low compared to the Canon shutter. Also I think (though probably that is not true) that the Nikon viewfinder is bigger.
    I would like to quote Phrasikleia's opionion about Pentax K-x. Another friend of mine has it (imagine 3 people with 3 different cameras walking across downtown Athens taking pics) and it has its own great virtues.
    You better go though to a store and get them in your hands.

    Edit: Another thing I remembered is that Canon cannot shoot raw in the various automatic modes( auto, night, portrait etc) while the other two can.
  16. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    Yes, in automatic modes for Canon you need to a special adapter for film or else the camera is useless....:rolleyes:

    Please be careful about posting WRONG info.

    Of course you can shoot RAW on whatever modes you select.
  17. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    Both cameras are good, but I encourage you to include all dslr brands and to go to a store and try all of them!

    The most important thing by a long, long shot is that the camera you choose feels comfortable in your hands. That is much more crucial to making good photos than noise characteristics or the awesome lens available only for brand A that you can't afford anyway. Handling is a matter of personal preference, so the only way to decide is to try them out.
  18. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2010
    same boat as you, but I ended up purchasing a nikon 3100 (this past monday), with the kit lens, and an additional nikon 55-200 mm lens, and case for $640 shipped. The D3000 is out. It's old tech. :D

    The equal comparison would have been the T2i, but it's an additional $200 for the equivalent bundle.

    Price aside, here is a quick run down I used to make my decision this week.
    Every comparison seemed to indicate I would getter better photos with the nikon, and better movie quality with the canon. There is technical stats I could list here, but to me honestly it was blah blah blah. The photo reviews said nikon D3100 = better pics. Without any way for me to verify on my own, I took them at their word.

    The canon does have more megapixels, but everyone in the nikon camp seemed to tell me to ignore that, and just go out and enjoy my shots. And honestly everything gets resized, to fit onto a website anyway.

    canon has a wider selection of lenses. While nikon has better quality lenses. I checkout the prices, both nikon/canon lenses cost more then the camera. So I didn't matter to me anyway right now. I figure once I get better at this, then I can always sell this starter set up for a few hundred and switch camps before I have ever invested in expensive lenses.

    I played with both at bestbuy. Don't even think about touching the d7000 (if you can find it in stock) or the 60D. If you do, it will take a Herculean effort to go back and give the T2i or the D3100 a second look. The nicer cameras make the intro level ones feel like toys. But they're also more then twice the price. Nikon d7000 = $1500, Canon 60D $1300. Between d3100 and the T2i, they honestly felt about the same to me. I have big hands, so they both felt equally small. The button layout on the nikon seemed more simplistic. It feels like a nintendo controller, using your thumbs with buttons on both sides of the screen.

    Nikon D3100 has a teaching mode. Where you go through and make selections on what type of pictures your about to take, and the camera will guide you through how to set up the shot and take better photos. I've played with this a little. But honestly I think I need more tutorials. For right now I can just set it in auto mode and it takes phenomenal pictures.

    So I ended up with the Nikon. I absolutely love it so far. Plan on spending another couple of hundred on misc afterwards. Extra batteries, ridiculously expensive memory cards, flash, another lens b/c everyone bashes the kit lens.

    hope this helps ...
  19. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    You might want to double check that.
  20. srf4real, Nov 25, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010

    srf4real macrumors 68040


    Jul 25, 2006
    paradise beach FL

    I suggest you look at lenses, decide where you want to be with lens selection for the next five to ten years. All the brands have managed to make a pretty decent entry level body these days.. but your investment will come down to which lenses you will need for your style of shooting down the road and you'll outgrow whatever beginner body you choose anyways in short order.

    Don't be silly like some and waste thousands of dollars on cheap stuff before realizing that only the best will do.. get a good lens or two and whatever brand entry level body it works on for starters in my opinion. If you're sure you even want a dslr. You know, Canon and Nikon (others as well) are making really versatile pro-sumer zoom all-in-ones these days, unless superb image quality is your critical ingredient. Then, again, I would point you to making a wise lens choice and starter dslr body. You can put a cheap old 8 megapixel rebel together with an 70-200mm Canon L series lens and get mind blowing images. But you can put a cheap new sigma 70-300mm on Canons 1DMkIII and your pictures might totally suck! Think about it... and realize that the kit lenses that come with either of those two choices of yours fall short of acceptable grade lenses in most photographer's eyes....
  21. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    OK, so, I'm an old Nikon filmie. 55mm f2.8 Micro still the best lens in history ;) Kept using film until about 2-3 years ago. Now using a Samsung HZ35w point and shoot for fun photos. I love GPS, although I wish the Samsung would work better indoors and would lock in a lot faster. Like an iPhone, which works out in the boondocks, and, works even better in cell-assisted mode. But, I like the image quality on the Samsung.

    But, as a photographer in hibernation, there are some things I don't like about (most/all) point-and-shoot and many compact DSLR cameras:

    1) I need fast, easy manual focus. Like an old Nikon SLR.
    2) I need fast, easy (ie quick knob, not a menu) aperture/shutter priority or manual exposure setting. Like an old Nikon SLR.
    3) I need the picture to be taken ASAP after I press the shutter button. Some digital cameras have a big delay before and after pressing the shutter - far worse than a manual SLR. What is that about?!
    4) I like to take some action sports photos. Fast Ektachrome anyone? So, I want a fast digital sensor.

    But, I still like fast, easy GPS. Like an iPhone :eek:

    I can't afford Canon or Nikon's best full-size DSLR's right now-- but, do any of the listed compact/regular DSLR's above come close(r)?
  22. NeoMac thread starter macrumors regular


    Feb 10, 2006
    Thank you all for your advice and comments! I am planning on spending a lot of time on Black Friday playing with as many cameras as I can get my hands on.
  23. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    That one is going to be tough, unless you're willing to get a full frame body: crop bodies have smaller viewfinders than the film dslrs you're used to. Anything above a D80 (D90, D7000, D200, D300 for Nikons or x0D Canons and above to name a few) has a relatively big viewfinder and there are focussing screens specifically for MF operation (split screen, microprism screen, etc.). These focussing screens cost ~€50, I think. Just forget about cheap dslrs (entry-level models), their viewfinders are tiny.

    Full frame bodies such as Nikon's D700, D3 and D3x or Canon's 5D (Mark I or Mark II) and EOS-1Ds have much larger viewfinders. Of course, you should also invest in a focussing screen. I have a D80 and I find it next to impossible to manually focus with my 80-200 mm wide open. I don't have a focussing screen, though.
    All modern dslrs which are targeted at ambitious amateurs and above have that.
    Not a problem with the current crop of dslrs.
    Pretty much modern dslr offers ISO 3200 and even higher ISO settings. The D7000 goes up to ISO 25,600 (try and find a film that's that fast ;)). Which setting is bearable in terms of quality is a matter of hot debate and personal preference.
    You can get a small GPS adapter for upscale Nikons, for instance, that records the location directly into the EXIF data. I have a GPS logger which I don't really use, because it's too much of a pain for me to combine the GPS data with the photos. I'm sure there are similar adapters for other manufacturers as well.
    That's hard to answer unless you tell us what standard you use to compare cameras. If you tell us your budget and your current equipment, we can give you more specific recommendations. If you happen to have old Nikon lenses, you could still use them on better Nikon bodies (D7000, D200 and up).
  24. joemod macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    Just turned on my Canon 1000D which is the model the OP was asking about and it can not take raw photos in automatic mode. Just JPG. I was not referring to other models. The camera's firmware is 1.0.6. I don't know if a newer revision changed that.

    Are you sure? Because I can't.

Share This Page