Chose, [Nikon, Canon, Sony, or Olympus]

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BrentGambrell, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. BrentGambrell macrumors member


    Nov 30, 2008
    What if you could only chose between a Nikon or a Canon. You can't say, "well it depends on what I'm shooting, or where I'm shotting" etc. You can chose either a NIKON, SONY, OLYMPUS, or a CANON for the rest of your life.

    Which brand would you chose?
  2. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Between Nikon and Canon, it really doesn't matter. I'd be happy with either. I'm not convinced that Sony is in for the long haul[1,] plus they don't have a great lens selection at the long end and I'm not a 4/3rds aficionado[2.]

    However, a brand isn't a product, it's a line of products- and where a company goes can change a lot over a lifetime.

    Brand fans choose a brand over other considerations, and that's ultimately silly, a camera is a tool, and depending on what you're shooting and where the tool you need could be very different. The right tool for me is a Canon or a Nikon better than 95% of the time, but that doesn't make it the right tool for everyone.

    Besides, you never know what paths you may go down- I spent a couple of years shooting mostly medium format film (645, 6x6, 6x7 and 6x9) and a couple shooting mostly large format film (4x and 5x7)- none of your brands listed allow any of those choices.

    [1] Nobody's going to convince me inside the next 5 years, I've seen too many big company abandonments- and Sony's been doing it for the last three or so years like it's going out of style in a lot of product spaces.
    [2] Nobody's going to make me one either, there are lots of them, they're entitled to like the smaller sensor, it's not for me due to noise and depth of field.
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Nikon has better glass while Canon may offer more frills on the camera.
  4. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    I don't get the question...

    Nikon I guess, but I ended up buying an Olympus as it was a better deal on my tight budget, not to mention I can use my old CF cards...

    It's all about talent anyways. I've seen people with EXPENSIVE Nikon equipment take horrible shots, and people with disposables take awesome ones... :eek:
  5. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    Any or all of these would be fine with me. All I need is to acclimatise myself to new equipment (takes me a long time... which is why I've only owned two cameras in the last 20 years: Nikon FE, now Nikon D200).

    Fretting about brands, IMO, is just playing the manufacturers' game...
  6. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Mar 7, 2008
    All of these are fine and make some brilliant products in their respective ways!

    To be more specific and biased... Nikon, Canon or Sony since I know that these companies WILL linger on whatever the market situation for several years to come.

    More specific... Nikon or Canon since they have a wide variety of lenses (which they currently manufacture and service {to cancel any minolta ebay retorts})

    And finally.... Canon because I repeat I like their feel! All Canons, and apparently Nikons as well (see below) beep after AF has been confirmed

    Other Factors.... Canon has a superior Tele lineup and a general lens lineup a mark above others [Nikon incl]
    Nikon has a brilliant and user friendly interface and few buttons or confusing elements to get novices confused.
    Sony, Nikon and Canon all feature built in accelerometers but only Sony and Nikon switch the LCD display. Canon uses it for automatically orienting images in the right way [another feature I cant live without].
    Canon offers Live View top to bottom [on all its DSLRs] while Sony's Live View is by far the best approach with no hiccups.
    Nikon hasnt upgraded its consumer offering the D40 since 2 years and was expected to release a much delayed product by Nov end but apparently its been pushed even further. Though, Nikon's loyalty to consumer class DSLRs is certainly questionable and its this segment that Sony has eaten up to capture a 20% marketshare through its amazingly feature rich yet amazingly cheap A200 and older siblings A300/350.
    Sony offers built in IS top to bottom while Olympus offers it for e520 and above only. All else use in-lens IS meaning yo need to pay more for an IS version of a lens than it's non IS counterpart.
    Olympus uses a four thirds (4/3) lens size for its consumer segment making its sensors considerably smaller (2.1x crop factor) as compared to other's APS-C (1.5 or 1.6x crop factor)
    Canon has the best overall image quality and the best damn high ISO SnR

    Hope that helps!
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I'd have to say Nikon or Canon. The others may never offer a full frame camera and Sony, I'm sure will drop their DSLR line inside of 10 years.

    But why do I only get to pick from those brands? They are popular only because of their relative low prices. If money were not an issue I'd much rather have the option to choose between Leica, Mamiya and Hasselblad for the kind of photography I do.

    I mostly used to shoot with a Mamiya RB67 system but when I decided to go with digital I had to move down to a much smaller Nikon system due to cost.
  8. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Mar 7, 2008
    I must say here that your comments on Mamiya and others are seriously out of leagues in this thread because I rather doubt that anyone who cant decide which system to opt for (no offenses please... I myself was once in that position) is probably quite a distance from purchasing a full frame pardon the new 50mm hassleblad with the Kodak sensor.

    And as far as Sony is concerned.... they are here to stay. And seriously in my opinion... its the only company which can make a difference and cut new innovations in this choking world of DSLRs.
    One is already the stunning Live View they made... which treads the competition to oblivion! So its rather baseless a projection that you make here since may I remind that the iPod maker Apple was once in a same position as Sony is today. The only big point I have against Sony is the serious shortage of consumer lenses other than the second hand minoltas!
  9. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    AFAIK, so do all Nikons. Default menu setting is "off", which suits me because I personally find it annoying, but it's a simple matter to turn it back on and set it to either "high" or "low".

    I'd choose either Nikon or Canon (did choose Nikon). Sony is a newbie, picked up a failed camera company that had picked up another failed camera company. I know, I know...Sony likely in it for the long haul, but time will tell. I'd give 'em a try if I had no other better choice, but I do. As for Olympus, I've already been burned by them once when they abandoned me and my OM/Zuiko system back in the 80's. I could see them one day just saying "yeah, we're dropping back to just point-and-shoots (again)". I'm not going to fall for that a second time.
  10. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    Canon I guess, since I've already invested thousands of $ in Canon equipment. :)
  11. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Funnily enough, I've seen quite a few people switch to Nikon because Canon doesn't offer an equivalent to the 200-400VR. But more to the point, please show a single Canon lens in *any* focal length that outperforms or has a better MTF than the Nikkor 400/2.8 AF-S VR.

    Canon makes great telephoto glass at an awesome price, but you can't be the superior brand if (a) you don't have the best super-telephoto on the market and (b) your customers switch brands because of a telephoto lens.
  12. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Mar 7, 2008


    oh well. Sorry. I stand rectified in that.

    Its been quite a while since I held a Nikon!

    So basically its pretty useful for the times I shoot portraits and portraits alone. Rest is mostly manual focus but in the end its a feature I really rely on since its an instant trigger for me to press the shutter!

    @compuwar: yeah so I never said Canon was superior because it has a superior tele line up (I do find a lot of people crying for the 80-400mm AF-S VR). I simply say that all are brilliant companines making brilliant products. Then I CLARIFY that being more specific makes me BIASED....... Also I say that I'm biased by Canons feel not its tele line up (I hardly shoot tele)....

    As far as customers switching from a brand for a lens..... I doubt any amateur or apprentice even cares for lenses to think of that and as far as pros.... almost all own more than one system!

    And forgive me.... at the risk of being repetitive I own a Canon system and that does make me biased..... these are my thoughts not opinions or advices that I share with the OP. My verdict on his question has been declared by me in my first quote of my first post here itself!
    Both Canon and Nikon have been making Cameras from a long long time so obviously they both re the best out there and each is superior in some ways but almost at par in the consumer segment (at least in the accessory segment if not the bodies)... heck they even name their flashes as "SpeedLight" and "SpeedLite"....
  13. westernmass macrumors 6502


    Dec 30, 2007
    Western Mass.
    Pentax :) always have (I think) always will. It is like asking Coke or Pepsi everyone has a opionon and I don't think we can change minds of folks once set it. Secretly, I do like Nikon Don't tell my Pentax friends ;)
  14. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
  15. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Probably like the other "which DSLR?" threads - they tend to shy away from anything other than the two most popular, Nikon and Canon...

    It's like Sony vs. Microsoft (or Sony vs. Nintendo, or Mattel vs. Atari - back in the day) - everything else is considered an "also ran..."
  16. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Mar 7, 2008
    So true..... &

    LOL cube... You really fight hard for Pentax! :)
  17. Ryox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2007
    For Me, I'll Choose

  18. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I don't share the scepticism of some of the other members towards Sony and particularly Olympus. Olympus is a long-time contender in the business and with the adoption of four-thirds by other companies, I don't see them going away any time soon. They are certainly not as big a player as Nikon and Canon, but they are there and IMO they are there to stay.

    Regarding IQ and all that, at normal ISO (say, up to ISO640 or so), cameras by any manufacturer give you very nice images. Also, all manufacturers have a full lens-line up for the average user. So unless you have special applications in mind, you can still safely pick all manufacturers. Olympus, for example, has pioneered some things that are more and more main stream (read: Canon and Nikon have bothered to adopt them), e. g. senor cleaning and live view. So far, they haven't come around to include in-camera image stabilization (not sure whether Pentax was first or Olympus).

    High ISO IQ is another matter, there Canon and Nikon do have an edge. Interestingly enough, Canon's new 50D has worse high ISO noise than its predecessor (that's because of the increased resolution, hence smaller pixel size). But whether you actually need it is another question.

    Much more important than any of the above (and here I assume that you do not need any special lenses, e. g. loupe lenses or tilt/shift lenses) is how the body feels in your hands? Does it feel `natural'? For instance, Canons and I don't get along. We simply don't. I've owned Olympus (an E-20, my first dslr) and Nikons and they felt natural. When I tried Pentax and Sonys/Minoltas, so did they (to a lesser degree, though). I'm sure that the quality of my photos would suffer with Canons -- not because I think Canon makes bad cameras, but because `we don't get along.' This point cannot be over-emphasized: whether you like the way a camera works and feels has a direct impact on the quality of your pictures (I'm not necessarily talking about image quality, but quality of the photo). Size may matter (too large, too small) or you would like certain features (in-body image stabilization). In some instances, you will find your camera limiting (e. g. AF accuracy, viewfinder size/quality and speed), but then you can usually upgrade within that manufacturer.

    To that degree, nobody can help you. Some people who like Canons will say `get a Canon, feels great/it's a great camera!' Ditto for various people who own cameras of other manufacturers. Try to avoid reading arguments that end in a comparison of the pro bodies when you are actually interested in an entry-level dslr.

    Go and try them for yourself, all of them. Don't go to a camera store where people don't know that a Canon body cannot mount Nikon lenses (happened to me once, yes, it was the last time I was in that shop ;)).
  19. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    ^^^ GREAT POST!

    Everyone told me, "Nikon, Nikon, Nikon..." but the D40 for $449 (on sale and within my budget) felt kinda small and uncomfortable in my hands.

    Then, I found an Olympus E-500 closeout with 2 lenses for $499. It felt perfect! Yes, a smaller sensor, but it's only 8 Megapixels (compared to maybe a larger one but 10 Megapixels). Not to mention I can use my old CF cards. I felt all "tingly" when I found out the Four-Thirds mount allows you to use Leica lenses with IS. :D

    Get what fits you - you'll only regret it when you don't.
  20. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    But you can! Link.

    Tho, I doubt the guy in the store knew this existed. Not sure if there any compromises by using this, good Ken seems to say no.
  21. SimD macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2008
    I choose a CAMERA! I hear they take amazing photographs.
  22. valiar macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2006
    Washington, DC

    ...but primarily out of budget considerations.
    I really like the D300 body - it is better than any current crop sensor Canon body.
    However, with Canon, I can pick up a 24-105 f4 IS L for less than $1000, or a 24-70 f2.8 L for $1100. Then there is an $650 17-40 f4 L.
    These lenses will generally cover most of the shooting scenarios I encounter.
    Similar Nikon glass comes out to be significantly more expensive (their 24-70 is $1400+, AFAIK).
    Also, I prefer the upcoming 5D MkII over the D700 for the kind of shooting I do (I don't really care about operation speed, or clean ISO 3200, but extra resolution does sound nice!).

    BTW, right now I am a 4/3 user, and I own a E3.
    Will be switching to Canon or Nikon in the coming months.
  23. heron88 macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2008
    I'll answer the question with a direct answer, which is what the OP asked for.

  24. zephyrnoid macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2008
    Geneva Switzerland
    Easy. EVEN THOUGH I've used Nikon 35mm And most recently a Nikon digital for all of the 30 years I've been shooting, I'll have to vote for Canon because as a multimedia professional that shoots stills (only 25% of the time now) and video 75% of the time- Canon covers both still & video domains like no other company.I'll still bank on Nikon still lenses being the best in Digicam domain, but you said only one company so...
    RED Scartlet might change that decision soon though :D

  25. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Cameras don't take pictures, PEOPLE take pictures... :eek:


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