When I hear camera preference, 2 brands spring to mind, which I’ll go into more detail with in this post today, I’d say it’s just like the modern-day argument of iPhone Vs Android, which is better?

My honest opinion, and I’ll say without bias is neither, they are both equally as good as one another, but it’s down to personal preference, yes iPhone users will slander Android and vice versa, it’s been a repetitive discussion since the launch of touchscreen smartphones.

In all fairness, when manufactures one up one another often with new features, all it does at the end of the day is offer us as consumers better quality and feature rich devices, and I think it’s safe to say the same goes for Cameras and all the bells and whistles available to them.

Ever since camera manufacturers entered into the digital age of photography, my own research and discussions with professional photographers and discussions with people I know who do photography has pretty much always pointed to two major camera brands with quite an advantage over the competition.

Nikon and Canon

The reason these cameras appear to be the most popular amongst consumers is the fact, the advantage they appear to have over other cameras is that they have more options available with these two. They don’t take better photos than any other brand per say, but for example, they are backward compatible with older equipment, and they seem to keep older functionality and options available within their camera firmware.

The main difference Nikon and Canon is the autofocus; using all of Canons EOS lenses will autofocus and with Nikon, only the AF-S lenses can autofocus. So, if you want your Nikon lens to autofocus you’ll need to choose an AF-S lens.

Nikon removed the autofocus motor from their entry level cameras in to keep them lightweight, compact and cheaper for consumers.

Lenses, where the magic happens

One of the main reasons to buy a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) or mirrorless camera is just the ability to swap out lenses. Different lenses can be used for different situations, we can upgrade to better lenses over time, the majority of cameras that we buy come with what are known as Kit Lenses. This is normally the first upgrade we as amateurs make after buying a camera, they have better glass, wider aperture, and better picture quality overall.

I won’t go into too much detail with lenses at this point, I’ll make this a specific discussion, it’s so easy to bounce from subject to subject with photography, especially equipment, and my goal isn’t to confuse you but try and help to educate to the best of my ability.

Historical Info

Nikon was formed in 1917 formed from several other optical companies that existed since the 1800s. Nikon was only an optical company, to begin with, and later added the cameras to their business in the 1940s. They manufactured commercial and military optics during World War II, such as binoculars, bombsights and even rangefinders for battleships. Nikon had to start to work on consumer products to avoid losing their company after the war. They actually made rangefinders although they really didn’t sell as well as planned. So with a lot of creativity, they produced the world’s first popular SLR system in 1959. The Nikon DSLRs you see today have essentially grown from the Nikon F from 1959, they even still use that same lens mount. Nikon cameras were very expensive during the 1970s and only started making consumer affordable cameras later on in the 1970s.

Canon started out in a Japanese garage in 1937 with the intent of developing an affordable camera based on a very expensive LEICA camera that average consumers could not afford. They didn’t make their own lenses and ironically used Nikon’s lenses, which at the time Nikon didn’t make cameras so it was a win-win situation. Canon actually started out as a consumer based company and have been this way ever since.

What do you want in a camera

Cameras, for the most part, all have the same purpose, to take photographs! DSLR’s are no different, they all offer the same basics functions and features as one another, in the most basic form they can be shooting features such as ‘Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual Mode, zoom lens’ etc

Don’t get caught up in the megapixels of cameras, it doesn’t mean the higher the better, you don’t need a huge amount of megapixels to get a great photo. This is more so true if your primary camera use is going to be sharing photos on the web or printing out 4×6 pics.

If you want a small compact with zoom capabilities and easy to  carry around, then I would suggest higher megapixels, make sure you plan based on your primary purpose of shots. Indoors, low light, scenery/landscape or portraiture. Also, consider that higher megapixels = More Storage / Less room for photos on your digital media. For example, with my Nikon D800 I use a few high-speed Sandisk 64MB 90mb/s transfer speed SD Cards, the higher the megapixels the more storage space needed which essentially means the more money you’re going to spend.

Good planning can be very beneficial right from the get go, it can save you precious money which can be invested towards other camera lenses, tripods, lenses, cases or software etc.

Please comment below and leave your own personal suggestions and thoughts that could help be a deciding factor for someone’s first DSLR.

I’m a 36 year old avid amateur photographer, I consider myself an amateur despite owning and using cameras for over 15 years, my choice of camera is Nikon and I’m often referred to as ‘The Paparazzi’ by friends and family.

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.