Canon vs Nikon: Which DSLR to Buy?

Canon vs Nikon

When it comes to serious photography, photographers from around the world either prefer a Canon or a Nikon. The debate of Canon vs Nikon still continues, but the question is: which one is better of the two? I do get people asking me which DSLR to buy?

I answer in one word: “Depends”.

In more elaborated sense: “Both Canon and Nikon make cameras and lenses that are so good and so reliable that it is impossible to make a statement of which manufacturer makes better cameras or lenses.”

From my perspective: “I’m a Canon fan.”

Keeping aside the emotional factors, let’s examine some facts:

  • Canon was established in August 10, 1937 while Nikon was established in July 25, 1910
  • Canon’s first camera was christened ‘Hansa Canon’ in 1934 while Nikon launched Nikon I in 1948
  • Both companies have their headquarters in Tokyo, Japan
  • Nikon and Canon are both imaging and optical product manufacturing companies
  • Most Nikon camera and lenses made since 1959 are compatible with each other
  • Canon’s EOS range goes back to 1987 and Nikon’s F mount range of lenses go all the way back until 1959
  • All of the EOS lenses from Canon will autofocus, but only the Nikon AF-S lenses will autofocus with Nikon
  • Canon came out with a full frame sensor much earlier and it is only recently that Nikon has come out with one and at a much higher price
  • Canon has IS- Image stabilization, which is called VR- Vibration Reduction in Nikon
  • Automatic sensor cleaning was introduced for the first time in canon and much later followed by Nikon
  • Nikon is very convenient to use with every button at the right place while Canon has started getting it right few years back
  • Flash and exposure systems of Nikon is very good compared to that of Canon
  • At some point, Canon cameras used the optical lenses manufactured by Nikon, but Canon was the first to make and market Japan’s first 35 mm camera, with a focal plane shutter and rangefinder, in 1934
  • It was Nikon that created the first DSLR
  • You can use Nikon lenses on Canon but not vice versa
  • Canon has a larger global market share compared to Nikon as a company

It is almost a seesaw battle between the two giants, with one product matching the other. Check out this interesting infographic that I scooped up while Gooooogling.

Buying your first DSLR is very challenging and choosing between Canon or Nikon is even tougher. It’s like choosing between Coke and Pepsi or being a Mac or a PC fan.

The choice is not an easy one to make. The best thing to dobefore buying one is to actually go out to the shop, hold the cameras, do some trial shots and see what you are comfortable with. A good photographer with the correct exposure settings can make wonders with even a phone camera.

While having a casual talk over a cup of coffee, one renowned IAS officer and an avid photographer quoted, “Choosing between Canon and Nikon is as difficult as choosing a life partner – once you are married, you have to live with it the entire life.”

12 thoughts on “Canon vs Nikon: Which DSLR to Buy?

  1. What about Sony DSLRs that are taking market by storm? They have won numerous awards in last year with their translucent mirros technology and other advancements that makes the price/performance package almost unbeatable for prosumers.

    In full frame segments, it has to prove it’s worth (not that it is lacking any features in that category either) but if full frame isn’t what you are looking for, it’s best camera for price/feature combo.

    1. Many will prefer the look and feel of the Canon or Nikon models, not to mention their choice of lenses. Moreover, both deliver much lower noise levels at high ISOs. Canon and Nikon are traditional camera makers and know a lot about optics while Sony on the other hand knows a lot about electronics and they’re making quite some innovations.

  2. What about Sony Alpha and NEX which are winning camera of the year awards and are beating even Nikon and Canon with price/feature combinations especially in prosumer market?

    Unless you are after full frame sensors, they are tough to beat.

  3. Thank you very much for sending me your blog links. I try to read allmost all blogs. I liked it very much.

    Now a days i am going thorugh dailema for canon or nikon dslr. Your this blog helps me for takeing my final answer.

    Thank you very much.

  4. thanks – will make things lot easier for me to choose the right camera

    pl. keep posting for personal views
    also pl. keep us informed with your new work


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