Canon vs Nikon – Which is Better?  As a professional wildlife photographer I have been asked this question too many times to count and the short answer is Both!  Each brand offers an incredible array of photographic products which assist the photographer in their quest to capture stunning images, however each brand also has its own strengths and weaknesses.  Year on year, the two brands will release new products which leapfrog one another, however they are never too far apart!

If you are reading this post, chances are that you are looking to buy a new camera and want to know which is the better option.  I would encourage you to first decide what purpose you want to use the camera for, decide on your price range and then only choose between these two brands.  Both Canon and Nikon have a wide range of ‘point and shoot’, entry level DSLR and professional calibre camera bodies and lenses to choose from.

Here is a breakdown of my experiences with Canon and Nikon

Canon

What I really like about Canon cameras is that they are simple to use and each different model follows a fairly standard layout of the dials as well as the internal menu functions.  If you buy a Canon body and then upgrade to a newer model later on, you will have no issue setting up and using the new model owing to this simple yet effective layout.

In 1987 Canon developed a new system of AF cameras and EOS lenses.  Any camera or lens produced since then will be compatible with one another and this offers a great benefit to a fully integrated equipment.

Another reason I enjoy Canon is that they are spearheading the innovation of DSLR’s that shoot outstanding video in both full HD and more recently 4K.  Having a body that takes outstanding images and video with the simple flick of a switch is a huge plus for me.

Nikon

My experience with Nikon’s professional grade cameras, such as the D3, has been excellent and they are a pleasure to use.  At times I have felt intimidated by the amount of options and functions available for customising my images, however as I have come to terms with using the camera I have grown to like it more and more.

High end Nikon bodies also shoot great video, however in the last 5 years they have been playing catch up with Canon and have yet to lead the field with DLSR video innovation.

I do not enjoy the entry level DSLR Nikon bodies as I have found the image color to often have a greenish or blueish hue which is not a true reflection of the image captured.  The video capabilities on these cameras are also mediocre.

As Nikon has been making lenses since 1959, you will find that most Nikon SLR camera and lenses are pretty much compatible with each other.  If you have access to old school Nikon lenses, you should be able to use them with todays modern bodies and create some interesting and unique images for yourself.  With this said, please bare in mind that just because the lens is attached to your camera does not necessarily mean that it will be able to autofocus itself!

History

To understand more about the secrets behind the growth and popularity of Canon and Nikon, take a look at this fascinating infographic below:

The secrets behind the growth and popularity of Canon and Nikon.

The secrets behind the growth and popularity of Canon and Nikon.

Finer Details

I have found that each brand gives you a slightly different colour and tone.  Nikon bodies often have a slightly greenish tinge to them which can be compensated by customising the color balance in the menu.  Personally I find the color and tone of Canon products to be truer to the image, however Canon products do not offer the same degree of color customisation as Nikon does.

Both Canon and Nikon have approximately 70 lenses in their ranges. Canon’s top end lenses will often come in a grey color with a red ring indicating that is it part of the L-series.  All of Nikon’s lenses are black, however all you need to do is look at the price tag of the lens to get an indication as to whether it is an entry level or professional grade lens.

If you are new to photography or enjoy it as a hobby then you cannot go wrong with either of the products which these brands offer. It is worth spending a bit of time playing with different models of each brand to feel which you like best and decide how the layout of buttons, menu selections, etc work for you personally.

For those more serious about their photography and the amount of money they are willing to spend on gear, then look to the top end models of each make to decide what works for you. As the evolution of these cameras progresses, full frame sensors, video capabilities, wireless functionality and software plugins are becoming an increasingly important part of the product offering.

A while ago I tweeted a post which provided an infographic breakdown of which photographic brand is better: Canon or Nikon. Given that many photographers and guides often debate this subject, I thought it would be useful to take a look below and decide for yourself which you think is better.

Canon vs Nikon- Which is Better?

Canon vs Nikon- Which is Better?

Canon vs Nikon: Financial Sales

Canon vs Nikon: Financial Sales

Everybody has their own personal preference and reasons for their choice of brand.  For me, personally, I started photography with Canon cameras and thus have always used the brand.  I like the look achieved from the Canon lenses and find the bodies easy to work with. The complexity of Nikon bodies is what makes me hesitant to use them. I would be interested to hear which brand (Canon or Nikon) you prefer and your reasons why.  Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

If you have any questions about which brand to buy, please feel free to ask me in the comments below as well…

A Guide to Wildlife Photography

For many people who come on safari, the anticipation of capturing truly outstanding images is what brings them back again and again. Photography allows for unlimited freedom, flexibility and artistic expression, and what better environment to practice in than the African wilderness.

The Londolozi Family is passionate about photography and we want to ensure that each and every photographer who joins us on safari comes away from their experience with wildlife photographs to be proud of.

To help photographers of all experience levels we put together a brand new eBook to guide you through the joy of wildlife photography:

A Guide to Wildlife Photography - now available on the Apple iBookstore

A Guide to Wildlife Photography – now available on the Apple iBookstore
A Guide to Wildlife Photography - Richard Laburn

A Guide to Wildlife Photography is the definitive digital guide for photographers who enjoy the natural world. Filled to the brim with technical advice, practical examples and hi-res video and images, this book is presented by Londolozi based wildlife filmmaker and photographer, Rich Laburn.

Filed under Photography

About the Author

Rich Laburn

Head of Digital

Rich is the driving force behind Londolozi’s online storytelling and the Londolozi blog. His passions of digital media, film and photography, combined with his field-guiding background, have seen him take the Londolozi blog to new heights since he began it in 2009. Rich ...

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139 Comments

on Canon vs Nikon – Which is Better?
    Dinesh A Khopkar says:

    which model is better Nikon D7000 or canon 650d or canon 600d For professional photography

    adithyan b says:

    i have a nikond7000 camera and i have been interested only in wildlife photography,i have a thought of exchanging my d7000 instead to get a eos7d as the prime lenses are of my budget.there are no nikkor prime lenses except the one nikor300mm f4,what do u think on my opinion

    Yuvraj Patil says:

    sir,
    You have actually confused me more right now.. as i am a Nikon p&s user.. wanted to get my hands on a DSLR . .m a wildlife photographer by interest..
    i read a lot about Nikon 300mm f2.8 and 400mm f4 and D4 ,D3s .. but after reading the reviews i think i should consider canon as well .. can you please suggest best (economical,portable,good quality,longer reach ) camera and lens combo from canon for that purpose? how are they in comparison with that of nikon ?
    thank you..

    Rich Laburn says:

    Yuvraj, they are both excellent cameras and its purely a matter of personal choice as to which body, lens and brand suits you in terms of usability, image preference, handling, look and portability. IF you want the best wildlife body/lens combo on the market I would strongly recommend the Nikon D3 with the 200-400mm f4.o lens. You will get the most outstanding image from that setup. The Canon 1DX and new 200 – 400mm lens is also a brilliant setup for wildlife photography. I hope that helps a bit more?

    can u please suggest me the best camera for easy to use and looks..is it cannon,Nikon or any other

    Clark Geonzon says:

    Hi,

    which is better camera?canon or nikon?
    primarily used for special occasion like weddings & parties..
    which has a better resulotion?or which of the two are also better in night-shots?
    My choices either 600d for canon or d3200 or d5200 for nikon.

    Thanks a lot…

    Sachin says:

    Hi
    I am new in photography, really I love to capture around nature. Can you please suggest , which maker is more ideal for my purpose of use, I mean (nikon or canon)
    and one thing I need is the actual colour capture…
    Please given me a suggestion:-)

    Mehak says:

    Hi,
    Please advise me for choosing camera: Canon 600D, Canon 700D or Nikon 5300? I want to use for wedding, occasion and for traveling
    Thanks in advance

    Photography is an ART says:

    from where you got these all figures ?

    Photography is an ART says:

    Nikon is 10 times better than Canon in every field. SALES Figure doesn’t prove anything. Otherwise Point and Shoot camera or Mobile Camera would be better than dslr as they better in sale concern to user.
    70% photographer in the world are just amateur and they mostly either own Point and Shoot or Canon Dslr. Either they read such post as your from the internet or never used a Nikon system (At least at any photographic stores) and easily misguided.
    and from the rest of 30% are professional photographer or enthusiastic and most of them choose gear as their likes and feedback from belongings or having a lot of Old Lenses from a particular brand. but individual liking are not all.. and even i am telling this all not to force author to agree anything. I am telling which is fact and truth.

    Build Quality of Nikon is 3times better than Canon. (if you dont trust me pick a Canon 5D Mark III and a Nikon D800, you will feel the difference, Nikon is Solid as Rock and fit perfectly in hand and its like a premium product, even Entry Level Nikon Systems are better feel in hand than Canon Entry Level Dslr.) Canon systems feel like bit Plastic and cheap and heavy and not durable.

    Image Quality, Just google or go to Flickr sites they are having a lot of sample images from both Nikon and Canon system. you will surely find that Nikon produce 2times better image than Canon in ‘perfect’ condition. Yes, Canon is a bit better in some circumstances like Dark or Night photography but, those cases are exceptional and Nikon is having D4S for that. but Canon 70D is definitely better than Nikon D7100 in that respect. But Ask yourself, you want a Average performer who will assure you average performance everytime or a Specialist Performer who will mostly assure you the best quality in the world but worst in some specific area. And Canon tends to fool the user by warming the image a bit to look is much more good. but actually they are not.

    Nikon is having much cheaper but Outstanding lenses than Canon. 70200 f2.8 VR II from nikon is cheaper than 702000 2.8 IS II from Canon but it produce better image than Canon. most of the lenses of Nikon are better than Canon and they are chaper and feel solid and premium in hand.

    But i must say some of the lenses from Canon are really awesome as 85mm 1.2 is a class from canon.
    But it just a specific reason for those 30% photographers who actually choose canon for their specific job or work which nikon can’t help. Who is going to shoot at 1.2 with a 85mm lens daily basis. noone else a studio photographer(portfolio). but but but….
    Just check it in “http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=787&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=648&CameraComp=614&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=3”

    compare nikon vs canon lens you will definitely understand which one is better.

    Photography is an ART says:

    Even few months ago i own a D7100 from Nikon, i had choice of 70D and read numerous posts and feedback and see a lots of sample images from flickr and pixelpeeper and used a lot D7100 and 70D at different photographic stores and finally decided to go for D7100.
    Trust me, for me image quality is the last word. and i want something who is a specialist. i dont need an allrounder who will going to give me average good images even at worst condition like dark or night situation, rather i will opt for a specialist who can’t perform best at those situation but can give me out-of-the world awesome fantastic breathtaking crip and cristal clear images in sweet conditions.. and thats the reason i have choose nikon. but 70% people in the world use a camera now a days for Fashion Trend or just to upload pics in Facebook and they hardly care about image quality or durability. for them even a 10megapixel mobile camera is a better choice at night club during party. 😛
    and that is the reason they opt for Canon system, because they are lazy to experiment and innovate settings while shooting pics.. but they need something which will give them good images in ‘AUTO’ mode everytime. they hardly shoot pics in ‘A’,’P’or’M’ mode anytime. and that is the reason why Canon sales more camera than Nikon. coz they knows it and they know what most of the people want.
    But Nikon make camera for photographers or who actually take pics by a minimum sense of art. that is the major difference.

    Photography is an ART says:

    where are my previous comments? :O

    Kat S says:

    Well, I got a Nikon and a Canon – I LOVE my Canon and don’t like the color quality of the Nikon. The pictures with the Nikon mostly have to be photoshopped to give the true colors. The only thing I like about my Nikon is, it gives me a challenge every time I use it, but so does my Canon (just not that hard of a challenge).

    Rohan says:

    Hi. I am a beginner and i like to go for canon 600d is it very older to buy now or my other choice is nikon d5200. In both of them which should buy at right this stage.

    Sayan says:

    I am planning to buy a dslr . my options are canon 600D or Nikon D5200. which would be better ? i m much into portfolios. i need rich eye catchy colours. i am also a beginner. i have used nikon D3100, which i was not that satisfied. So kindly suggest me which dslr i should use.

    Kristen Walzak says:

    I take a lot of videos for the camp I work at, then put them in a big video. Do you think the canon T5i would be the right camera for the Job?

    sabarish says:

    Plz guide me..
    Can i buy canon 1200d or nikon 3200?

    James Tyrrell says:

    Hi Sabarish,

    There’s not much to choose between the two. While the Nikon has a few more megapixels, that’s not the only thing to look for, and with the Canon you are looking at a slightly cheaper price..
    It’s much of a muchness, but generally once you commit to a brand, that’s the one you end up sticking with…

    Mansur says:

    Nikon is better any day . I use the D3 its superb quality compared to Canon EOS 1 DS , I have both Nikon ED and Canon L high speed telephoto 200mm 1.8 , 400mm 2.8 L lenses but Nikon pictures are always better , I wonder why ? it could the Canon bodies

    Nayan says:

    Nikon D5200 or canon 1200 or 1300D is best ?

    JJ says:

    Excellent infographics! Well designed site, your graphic designer does great work, however the content is quite lacking. You determine which line of camera is better based upon which company has higher annual revenue? A companies revenue has little to do with the functionality and performance of their cameras. That’s like saying I am going to judge which restaurant has the best food by how much they make. By that rationale, McDonalds and Taco Bell are the finest eateries in America.

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