Nikon v. Canon? Getting into photography...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by shotgunshooter3, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. shotgunshooter3

    shotgunshooter3 TPF Noob!

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    Hello all,

    I recently began doing work with my school's Sports Department getting photographs and writing short stories for them. I am currently borrowing their Canon XTi w/ Sigma 28-107 and Tamron 70-300, but I would like to purchase my own dSLR as I don't plan to get out of photography any time soon, and actually hope to expand beyond sports into landscape and photojournalism.

    I am currently unsure which I would be better set with getting. I was dead set on a Canon XTi like the one I am currently using, but I am a life long shooter and hunter and my loyalty to Nikon for binoculars and riflescopes has me looking at them as well.

    My two current choices are the Canon Rebel XTi w/ kit 18-55 and some form of telephoto lens, or Nikon D80 w/ whatever standard lens they have and a 80-200 Nikkor lens with VR.

    One thing the Nikon has going for it is feel, they fill my hand better and I like that. However, Canon costs less and it seems like I see more Canon cameras around the events I shoot than Nikon.

    Can someone please offer insight to a confused newb?

    Thank you.
     
  2. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    The way they fit for you is all there is.
    The camera lines are effectively identical except for the ergonomics.

    If you plan to eventually go for good glass, the Nikon Pro line and the Canon L series are both great - and very expensive.

    Nikon D3 has virtually unimaginable high ISO performance.
    Nikon new semi-standard lens -24-70 2.8 is just wonderful.

    Canon MkIII is the current megapixel leader until the rumored Nikon D3s comes out. But you are talking $8k for the body alone.

    So the answer is, get the one that fits you best.
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    ^^
    +1

    It's all in the feel. I shoot Nikon only because it felt better in my hand.
     
  4. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    Nikon and Canon make great cameras. So do Pentax, Sony, Olympus, and quite a few others. Have you looked outside Canikon? It sounds like cost is a concern, and to be honest, in most cases your best bang for the buck is neither Canon nor Nikon. I am not telling you what to buy, but I hope you have considered all of your options. To be honest, I don't think an XTi or D40/D40X stacks up particularly well in its price range, at least not on the level the hype would have you believe. However, my photography is quite different from yours. It also doesn't sound like, as a student, you will be springing for pro-level body or lens anytime soon, so the performance of the Nikon D3 is probably not something that should be a salient concern.

    If having the same name on the front of your camera as everyone else at an event is your biggest concern, by all means buy Canon. If you want to have the "other" professional brand and enjoy being the "black sheep" who rains on the "Canon is the only camera" parties, buy Nikon. If you are interested in the best camera for your price range and uses, consider everything, though Canon or Nikon may certainly still be the answer. I'm sorry if I come across as harsh, it just seems like a lot of new photographers unnecessarily limit themselves, and I wouldn't like to see anyone end up with a less-than-ideal camera because they only looked at the "big two."
     
  5. Stratman

    Stratman TPF Noob!

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    Here here !!!! Well said
     
  6. Freedbaby

    Freedbaby TPF Noob!

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    If It helps at all, part of the reason I chose the brand of camera I have was because the friend who got me hooked on photography used that brand....I knew that any questions could be answered a bit easier since he would already be familiar with the functions. The cameras I considered felt about the same in my hand

    I shoot with a Cannon 40D
     
  7. Rhubarb

    Rhubarb TPF Noob!

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    Fit and feel.

    I shoot Nikon because the other brands just didn't feel as natural.

    My personal opinion in regards to bang for buck? Pentax.
     
  8. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    As everyone is saying, a camera is a very personal choice and no one can tell you what to shoot. Do some research, go hold them and fire off a few frames. See which one you personally like.
     
  9. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Well I think Canon does have a bit of an advantage with sports because even their consumer level lenses have instantaneous autofocusing which is quicker than Nikon's fast-but-not-instantaneous autofocusing on their equivalent consumer level glass. That can be critical for sports, although once you get up to pro-level equipment there's not really going to be any difference. Canon bodies do also tend to have better medium to high ISO performance which can also be critical for sports. As for Nikon, I think they have the edge for photojournalist type work. The ergonomics, the speed at which you can adjust things, and all of the automated functions in the bodies like Auto ISO, Auto Contrast, Auto Saturation, Auto Sharpness, etc all makes a huge difference when shooting PJ style where you might have drastically different scenes and lighting conditions from shot to shot. All of the automated stuff on the Nikons will keep up with that without you even thinking, but the same isn't necessarily true on Canons.

    I shoot more PJ style and liked the ergonomics of the Nikons a lot better, so I'm a Nikon shooter.

    As for the other brands outside of Canon and Nikon, some of them may offer you a better value up front, but I personally never considered them because of the fact that the potential for buying and selling used equipment is much much greater within the big two. Half of the lenses I have were bought used, and I'm about to sell a bunch of them to help finance one much nicer lens which will be easy to do also, because there's such a large market for used equipment. Can't say the same for Sony, Pentax, or Olympus. One of the big reasons I got into SLR photography is for trying out a bunch of different lenses and thus wanted to be able to buy/sell easily.

    Edit: BTW, it's important to consider lens prices and availability too, although it's nearly impossible to figure out what you want until after you've already bought into a system. If you're serious about sports photography, you'd probably be better off with Canon. They have a more complete range of top-notch telephoto zooms, and their telephoto primes are often thousands of dollars cheaper than the Nikon equivalents. And since most sports shooters still shoot Canon and probably will be for some time, borrowing and trying out the Canon super-teles would be far easier if you already owned the Canon system vs Nikon.
     
  10. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    boom
     
  11. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    The dollar difference is true at the very extremes of prime lenses but one of the most popular Nikon zoom lenses, most-often used by Nikon sport shooters, the 70-200 VR is equally priced with Canon L glass and its performance is amazing.

    If you are planning to escalate to top-level sports photography, especially indoors, the high iso performance of the D3 is unique, allowing ISO up to 6000 with low noise levels.

    All of that being said, both of these systems have their adherents and its what feels good for you. My hands were too big and the menu system too cumbersome for the Canons I tried. The Nikon just fit me and I've been an adherent ever since.
     
  12. pregnantcowlady

    pregnantcowlady TPF Noob!

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    have you seen high iso on a canon? where'd you get your info on nikon? canon is notorious for that.
     

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