If you have read my MAC or PC blog, spoiler: it’s basically the same conclusion. But in this blog, I will talk about my experience with both brands and tell you which is better.
For the longest time, Nikon has been known as the brand you go to if you want stellar photos, or amazing glass that’s native to the Nikon camera. But in recent years, Canon has been catching up to those standards, both for their camera bodies and glass that allows you to take stellar photos; just you’ll need to buy either third party glass or get their L series for optimal glass performance.
Now in regard to video, Canon takes the award for this. If you are to ask anyone in the film industry what DSLR you should get for film, Canon is what you’ll be told. But amazingly, (and it is) Nikon is getting better! With Nikon’s mid to top line cameras, you can now get stellar video and same function as you would Canon. It’s been a long road for Nikon, but they needed to do this otherwise they would lose the DSLR race.
So who is better, Nikon, or Canon?
To be honest, and you have to be honest with yourself too, if you look at the specs and what the cameras can do, it doesn’t matter what brand you start off with anymore. You can now get amazing pics with Canon, and you can now get amazing video with Nikon. You still won’t see many videos shot with Nikon because nearly everyone in the industry uses Canon. However, with the video that I have seen, it is just as good as Canon. Now, if you want to get into technical details, I will say that Canon does a better job with their color profile out-of-camera with a jpeg or vid file. The images will look more warm and more pleasing. With Nikon, pictures have more of a green tint, which works better with portraiture, but overall, it would be better if it was more warm. But that’s why we can shoot in RAW, which is the best option unless you’re a person who thinks that images should be perfect out of camera and no post, or a basic camera person. you use raw so you can color correct the hell out of images.
Now for those who already own a Canon, you don’t have to do anything. Canon is going to give you the best of both worlds and Magic Lantern. (Yes, Nikon NEEDS something like this.)
As for those who already have Nikon: great news! You will be able to use your great lenses to shoot video and have all the amazing functions that Canon has (just not Magic Lantern). However, you’ll need to upgrade to at least a d7200, but preferably a d750 for full-frame glory. Yes, all of Nikon’s 2013+ cameras support 1080p at 24 and 60, but they lack some of those wonderful features that the D7200 or D750 have. Or you can always get a D810a or a D610, but I personally wouldn’t because they lack some features and abilities that the D750 has.
You can start with a Canon rebel series, or a Nikon D3000 series, but’s going to be rough because they’re more basic intro cameras. For a Canon, start with a 60D, and for Nikon, a D5200. But even then, I would encourage you to dish out the extra money and get a newer model. I would recommend getting a full frame, preferably a D750 for Nikon or a 5D Mark II for Canon. That way, you have full frame glory, amazing low-light abilities, and a camera that will last a long long time (until the shutter dies, the fate that all DSLR’s have).
So it doesn’t matter what brand you get to start with because they are headed in the same direction. Your choice, however, is very important.
And here is why.
I mentioned these already, but again, to those who many not know, Canon glass and Nikon glass are not interchangeable. Sure, you can get adapters for old Nikon and Canon lenses to just use in manual mode, which is fine for filming. But then you lose the ability to have auto-focus. So if you want to be able to have auto-focusing lenses, you will need to buy native lenses or third party, which sometimes are not any better quality unless you are willing to dish out a lot more money, for at times, marginal improvements. This leads to a crucial question: does the gear you own take great pictures or is it the person behind the camera?
But I can tell you this. For Canon, if you want good glass, you will have to buy their L-lenses. But for Nikon, all their glass is good. Just I would encourage people to buy the full frame (fx) versions of Nikon lenses.
As with anything, do your research before you buy and weight the pros and cons. Find what fits your needs. After all, there are a lot more camera brands out there than just Nikon and Canon, and there are many different camera formats other than a DSLR.
And by no means this is a definite answer to which is better. You must choose that. And as always, it is not the camera that takes a great image or video. It is the person behind the camera.