Nikon vs. Canon Grip/"feel" Question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rufhausen, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. rufhausen macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2007
    Littleton, CO
    A lot of the stuff I read regarding the choice between Nikon and Canon DSLRs centers around the "feel" of the cameras. This is usually something a Nikon user points to when explaining their choice.

    I just had a chance to stop at Best Buy spent some time holding a few cameras, including the Nikon D60,D80, and D90 and the Canon XSI and 50D. I went in expecting to like the Nikons much better in my hand than the Canons. However, I noticed that the higher end Canons like the 50D have a nice contoured grip along with a "grooved" area for your finger when touching the shutter button.

    For the Nikon people particularly, am I missing something in this comparison?

    I'm still leaning toward getting a D90 for a number of reasons, but I'm kind of disappointed that I didn't like how it felt in my hand more than I did.

    P.S. I realize that playing with these cameras at BB where they are tethered to the display is not the best situation.

  2. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    I'm a Nikon/Kodak/Fuji user.

    I grabbed some Rebel whatever some years ago, and the grip felt too short and edgy.

    The 30D doesn't feel uncomfortable. Regarding the controls, I don't know. I just took a couple pics.
  3. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I believe feel refers to the control ergonomics rather than the quality of materials. Canon's control system seems to be a bit more modal than Nikon's. Try taking some photos with each body, using different exposure modes and changing white balance, ISO, and other settings to see which seems more intuitive to you.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Once you select a brand, changing later, after you've collected a set of lenses, will be expensive. I would not select a brand based on the shape of the grip on one model of SLR body. At the very least look at the grips on the entire line of bodies and see if there is a trend. You have to remember you are buying your first slr body there will be many more but they will likely all be the same brand. So compare brands not specific models

    Now days with digital the camera bodies get replaced much, much faster then in the film days. No one wants to shoot with a 10 year old dSLR. You will upgrade many times and each body will have a different grip. Choose the brand based of something else - like maybe which brand makes lenses you like or which has the best flash metering technology or whatever...

    One thing to notice is that everyone always recommends to others whatever brand they happen to own. This says to me that people are happy with whatever they have. Basically you get used to whatever you have and it will seem "natural" very quickly.
  5. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2008
    East of Shangrila
    Well said Chris. I try not to promote one over the other because the truth is both lines are excellent.

    after many years of Nikon film cameras, I went to Canon for DSLR. Having played with models of both, I really believe both are excellent. Only thing I can attest to as a matter of personal preference - the 40D I now have is MUCH better ergonomically, for me, than my old Rebel.
  6. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    I grew up on Nikon. I love the feel. I can handhold my D70s all night, even when attached to something heavy like a 17-55mm f2.8. But I recently got to play with a friend's 5D mkII, and it felt perfect in my hand.

    I don't quite like the Rebel line-up though. Felt too small in my hands, although decently solid.
  7. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I've always found Nikon's ergonomics (the grip, the layout of the controls, the ability to change settings) works very well with my hands, but that doesn't mean you automatically should too- if you prefer the Canons, there's nothing wrong with that- you should get a camera that suits you, not anyone else. If I had to go shoot with Canons all the time instead of just occasionally, I'd be a little grumpy for a while, but it wouldn't be something I'd sweat over obsessively- the differences are narrower now than they ever were and tend to be more "tiered" in a line than between the lines anymore.
  8. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    As far as film I had Pentax (K and ME), then I went to Canon (Rebel and EOS) and Nikon (FM and N), then exclusively Nikon.

    I found digital a whole different story.

    I found that all the Olympus cameras felt great.

    As far as Nikon, I've only tried the D40, D60, and D90. I only like the D90's feel (others so-so).

    I don't like the feel at all of the Canon Rebels, but was blessed enough to find a used 20D. The Canon 20D, 40D (I tried at the store) feel great (higher priced, so of course).

    The Pentax cameras and Sony are okay.

    Yes, the feel is important too - you are going to be carrying it around...
  9. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    I forgot to mention that in that Rebel whatever that I checked out, the space between the grip and the lens was too cramped, and I think it was an EF-S kit lens!
  10. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2009
    I think it's also vital that you try these cameras with your likely choice of lens(es), as the balance and feel of an SLR will vary enormously according to the weight and length of the attached lens.
  11. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    wow this thread hasn't turned into a Nikon vrs Canon fight - I am impressed.

    As a long term Canon user who switched to Nikon some years ago I will agree with the advice here.

    You must go and check them out in your hands. Definitely try changing settings that you may use (metering, ISO, WB, aperture and shutter) - see what feels natural for you personally.

    for me it was changing from the 10D to the Nikon D200 that felt right. for each individual its different, but dont listen to any sales man that tells you one brand is better than the other (Ive see this happen) as to be completely honest any photographer will get the pictures they see and want no matter what brand they use.
  12. rufhausen thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2007
    Littleton, CO
    It's hard to really put these cameras thru their paces at the local Best Buy, where the cameras are tethered and they've been abused for several months, and an employee (who brings absolutely no value to the process) is hovering over you. However, I did conclude that the Rebels didn't really do it for me "feel" wise like the 40D/50D did. I just don't think either camera fits my needs and budget compared to the D90 w/kit lens for now, so I'm still leaning that way.
    Having owned a number of Canon P&S cameras (and currently a G10) over the years, moving to the Nikon menus will be a minor challenge. However, I would have never switched from Windows to Mac if I let something like that get in the way.
  13. seedster2 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2007
    In my experience, I felt that the Canon cameras didn't feel right in my hands until i worked up the food chain with the 40D.

    Conversely, I thought the D40 felt to be more solid. My D90 feels good and the D300 is just a tank.
  14. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    I loved the ergonomics and handling of my last Canon SLR (EOS A2) which had a vertical grip attached. This camera was fast and logical to use. I always expected I'd stick with Canon. But, a deal on reconditioned D50 w/kit got me started on my first Nikon, and on the entry-level side of things, it just felt much more well built than the Rebel series (which I never liked even in 35mm.) But, when you go up the "food chain," they're both built extremely well. Handling is nearly opposite in some sense, and I've never really gotten used to the thumb-wheel on the Nikon compared to the control wheel just behind the shutter button (Canon.)

    I love my Nikon, but I loved my old Canon, too. They're really different in ergonomic design and I'm still more of a true-blue Canon instinctive shooter, but it could be because I was 'raised' with the EOS system.

    Figure out what works for you - in the end they're just tools. :)
  15. rufhausen thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2007
    Littleton, CO
    Bought the D90 tonight, at Best Buy no less after they price-matched Costco (the only brick & mortar store with an aggressive price that BB would match). Feels great in my hand without the BB store tethering to get in the way.

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