6 minute read:
The Great Debate: Canon or Nikon?…
It doesn’t matter what make of camera you use be it Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Olympus, Sony, Leica, Hasselblad or any other make…. you get what you pay for (largely). What’s more important, is the person pressing the shutter release button.
Regardless of what equipment you use, learn how to use it, learn it’s full capabilities and limitations (and your own). Experiment, push the boundaries and try new things, as you improve learn some photography do’s and don’ts, then do some of the don’ts and don’t do some of the do’s. Seek inspiration from the Masters (or anywhere!…there are huge sources of superb imagery on Pinterest, Instagram & Flickr etc if you search in the right areas) and if you want to improve, ask people who are honest and frank for their opinion of your work… whilst remaining open minded and prepared to act on their criticism.
Most of all, practice, practice, practice…..and enjoy it!
Bought Into A Brand
I think it is safe to say that by the time most people who own a decent DSLR and maybe have added a few lenses etc, will have formed their opinion and most by this stage, will be bought into their brand.
Now there’s two aspects of being ‘bought into a brand’ that I am referring to. Firstly, is the thing that I think is referred to as ‘brand loyalty’. Most people who have say, gone with Canon, will believe that Canon are superior….better than Nikon, better than just about any other brand in fact, certainly within a similar price bracket. They are ultimately likely to stay with Canon for the longer term if not indefinitely. They will be prepared to overlook, any minor shortcomings, or disappointments they discover about their equipment along the way, and stick with the familiar brand they have come to know and love. And they will be ever ready to proudly discuss their kit with fellow photographers to educate them on just how great it is, who if perish the thought, should turn out to be Nikon users, are in for a deep and tedious lesson on just how much better Canon are than Nikon…
…Obviously, the same goes if you swap the branding around!
The second aspect of being ‘bought into a brand’ that is particularly pertinent to Canon and Nikon is ‘interchangeability’. Or this this case, the lack thereof. i.e. You cannot use Canon accessories & lenses on Nikon camera bodies and vice versa. (theoretically, you can make anything work on anything in a manner of sorts, with adapters etc – but trust me, don’t even bother trying). Nikon uses what it calls the ‘F-mount’ system for it’s camera/lens connection, and it has done ever since 1959. Canon uses what it calls the EF lens mount to fix it’s lenses to it’s camera bodies, and has done since 1987. Given that most of your spend as a budding photographer will likely go on building a collection of lenses to cover all your desired eventualities, before long you will have accumulated a stack of kit that (1) cost you a small fortune and (2) is uniquely compatible with itself!… within the limitations of that particular brand.
So you get the picture, to then sell all your kit on the second hand market, and replace it with the equivalent new kit of the alternative brand, will cost you a lot of money in depreciation losses and then a lot more again in re-purchase costs! Consequently, although there is only sketchy data available, it is estimated that less than 4% of photographers, switch brand once they’re bought in….The two big manufactures know this all too well, and their behavior, and pricing, as a result, betrays complacency at times.
It Just Doesn’t Matter
Back to the point…IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT BRAND OF KIT YOU USE.
Sorry to all the Canon advocates who think your kit is better than Nikon, and sorry to all the Nikon fans who think yours is better than Canon…..it’s not! There’s nothing in it beyond personal preference.
Both manufacturers have developed over years, a comprehensive range of products to cover every eventuality, from the budget entry level kit, up to the professional range. If you are just starting out and looking to decide; Canon or Nikon?….just pick the one you like best, or if you’re still undecided, flip a coin. Both manufacturers are equally capable of satisfying your photography requirements, for life.
To users of all other brands, I am just using the Canon v Nikon scenario as an example, it could equally be Sony v Olympus, Leica v Hasselblad, Mercedes v BMW, Suzuki v Yamaha, Scooby Doo v Tom & Jerry…the list goes on.
Additionally, I would say that in the current ‘techy’ world that we live in, try to avoid getting drawn in by the latest ‘gadgets, bells and whistles’ that camera manufacturers use to convince us all that we must have the latest ‘thing’ to keep up….they do this to promote their own sales revenue and shareholder return.
Better to become proficient at getting the best out of the equipment you have, than spend a fortune on stuff you can’t use to it’s full potential…you may have heard the saying: “All the gear, but no idea”.
Improvements In Lens Technology
The three main ‘recent’ improvements in lens technology have been: (1) The introduction of auto-focus capability – now I know this has been around for a while but it still remains a major improvement over older lenses. Auto-focus is hugely useful for any type of dynamic photography where there simply isn’t time to accurately focus manually. (2) The introduction of image stabilization I.S. / vibration reduction V.R. By stabilizing the image in long lens focal length v slow shutter speed ratios, this has extended the more practical hand-held use of longer lenses, in lower light conditions, and using smaller apertures to gain larger field depths. And finally, (3) Advanced chemical coating processes on the lens elements. These magic chemical coating processes help reduce the unwanted dispersement of light, as it passes through the multiple lens elements. This reduces unwanted effects in the final image like ghosting, flare and chromatic aberrations.
Now, whilst most new lenses are superior to ‘like-for-like’ older lenses for primarily the three reasons above, many older lenses are still superb optically…you just need to know how to get the best out of them. Some of my older lenses do not have any of these three benefits, but I can still obtain great pin sharp images with them…when I want to. It’s important to keep in mind that, whilst razor sharp imagery down to pixel level has it’s uses, it has little to do with good photography generally speaking.
To bear this out, just look at some old professional photographs, even old black and white, and you will see the quality of photography is superb. If you want to be good, it is much better to practice the art of photography than empty your bank balance on all the latest kit… Having top notch professional equipment helps to extend the range of the possible, only if you know how to use it.
A good photographer with a mediocre camera will see improved results if they buy a better camera…. a mediocre photographer will remain a mediocre photographer even with the best camera equipment money can buy.
What do you shoot with?….and what do you like most or indeed dislike most about your kit?
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