Dear Camera Consumer
In response to your inquiry about my switch from Canon to Nikon.
In retrospect if I knew what I know now I would never had made the move. That isn’t due to loyalty to either brand, I now carry around both a Nikon and Canon DSLR, and there are things I absolutely love about both. The reason I wouldn’t make that change now is that I understand that the world of photography is so transitory. New camera bodies are released annually. Cameras that push the envelope on what is possible and at “affordable” prices. Chasing the endless lineup of new cameras will aid in image quality but in all reality it’s 95% about getting out there, getting images when the quality of light and experience is its best.
Here are the reasons I made the change back in 2012:
I was photographing quite a few weddings and the Canon 1Ds Mark 3 was my main camera, which was a tank of a camera and shot 21 megapixels. Shooting with this large camera body would really kill my wrists (I have the tiniest wrists of any grown man I’ve ever met). The Nikon D800 had just been released (it was physically much smaller) and shot 36 megapixels. The trade in value I got for the Canon camera body was equal to the price of the brand new Nikon. I’m an impulse buyer galore. I jumped ship and never looked back. The very first day I had the Nikon camera I photographed the breaching Orca images you see on my Instagram @fullframefotos. Those images were shot with the Nikon D800 with a 24-85 kit lens. I mention this because that lens isn’t the best but the power of the moment overpowered the gear and experience with the brand.
Here’s some pro’s and con’s on both:
Build quality, Canon equipment is built to last. The cameras and lenses will take an eternal beating and still function like brand new.
They have an assortment of inexpensive high quality and fun images. Their lineup of Pancake lenses is inspiring. They offer a 24mm and 40mm pancake lens that blow my mind and are super inexpensive. I currently shoot the 40mm pancake on a old beaten up Canon 5D Mark II (with a battery pack) it’s the equivalent of driving a tank with the front end of a mini cooper! But so much fun.
I truly believe Nikon cameras offer a slight image quality advantage, especially with the release of the 45 megapixel Nikon D850 (I have one on pre-order, I feel like a kid at his first Christmas waiting for the present to arrive).
Nikon build quality is not as good as Canon. Plain and simple I’ve had Nikon grips peel right off. This has taught me to take extreme care with my equipment but is still frustrating. The same thing has happened with one of the newer release Nikkor lenses I use.
Nikon lenses in my experience have a slightly higher quality but are also more expensive. They do not offer a valuable pancake lens.
In the end I believe you can make great images with both brands. If I’m going to shoot outside I usually carry the Nikon D810 with a kit of 6 lenses and the Canon 5D Mark II with the 40mm Pancake lens as backup. If I’m going to shoot for a client or for business the Canon stays at home and the Nikon and accompanying gear is present.
If I was starting all over and knew what I know now I would buy a Nikon setup. I do tend to favor the image style and quality of Nikon over Canon for professional work. However, the reason I would make this decision is due to the fact that I’m a professional photographer shooting for clients. If I was an amateur and taking images strictly for myself I would be shooting a Canon setup.
In the end I’m a self taught photographer and I’m really thankful that I know the in’s and out’s of both the Canon and Nikon system’s. I feel confident that I can pick up either brand and produce high quality images. This history and experience with both brands is what has helped shape me into the photographer I am right now.
When you’re making a decision for yourself, I truly believe the absolute most important factor is shooting experience. How does the camera feel in your hands? Do you feel empowered by your equipment? When you pick up your camera are you excited to use it.
Right now nothing excites me more than next months arrival of my Nikon D850 but you better believe when the weather is crappy and I’m out bushwhacking up a hill side the Nikon will be in the car and the Canon will be strapped to my back.
In the end Canon is tougher and a little bit more fun, Nikon is a bit daintier but a little bit higher quality, a little more refined. I hope this information helps. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
What do you all think? Send me a message, tell me your opinion, tell me I'm full of crap, all of the above. I'm always interested in others perspective.