Nikon Vs. Canon | Or Is It Canon Vs. Nikon?
This is going to be lengthy. There is your disclaimer.
I have been a Nikon lover through and through my entire 12 years of being a photographer. When I first started out, I shot on a Nikon N80 (probably because that’s what the guy at Inkley’s told me to get) that I still have and use, and upgraded to a digital camera after a couple years of shooting on that (Nikon D80). Shot on that for a couple years and started to notice that there were things I wanted it to do that it couldn’t, better llow light performance in particular. So I upgraded to a full frame Nikon D700. All this time I knew Canon existed. When I was considering digital cameras I was debating between Canon and Nikon. After reading a bajillion Amazon reviews, I settled on the choice that Nikon out-performed Canon and took the leap. I’ve loved my camera and felt content with my Nikon and only had the urge to sell everything and switch to Canon once or twice. I do remember noticing when comparing with a friend, that her colors on her Canon were beautiful, and that the Nikon’s colors seemed a little more desaturated, and less vivid. Luckily I liked that look, so, not a big deal.
Fast-forward to a year ago when my husband insisted that he wanted to get me a new camera for my birthday. My old one (Nikon D700) was basically falling apart so it was time. I upgraded to the newest, coolest model (Nikon D850) that came out and was looking forward to loving my photos more than ever. We had a rocky start. The color tones were so different than my last camera and I could not get my photos to look the way that I used to be able to. SO frustrating! None of my favorite presets worked so I had to buy new presets and was still struggling with getting a similar look that I used to be able to get. I won’t spend too much time on that, but it was a headache and I was ready to toss in the towel with the 850 for most of last year. But instead of looking at another Nikon model, I started getting interested in Canon. And the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to shoot on one. I started asking photographers who had work I really admired what they shot on, and luckily enough of them were Nikon that I was able to convince myself to stick it out and figure it out. But I was still curious about Canon and had heard so many good things about the 5D Mark IV. So instead of selling out and checking out the grass on the other side of the fence, I decided to just rent one.
I’m not sure how to transition into this next part so I’m just going to get right into what I noticed when shooting and editing with these two cameras. I shot in RAW and Auto White Balance. I shot with the 50 on the Canon and the 35 on the Nikon in the photos posted but also tested the bodies out with the same lenses at home and noticed the same things I’m talking about in this blog post.
1 | Flat Image, Softness In Highlights and Shadows
What I mean by this, is that it looked a lot like a digital version of a film negative, making it very easy to edit.
2 | Auto White Balance had more yellow, more red than green. I DO NOT like my photos to look too yellowy, but I was able to tone down the yellow pretty easily in Lightroom.
3 | Easier to Edit
Almost 1 click edits testing various presets. When editing if I deepened the shadows it evenly affected the photo. With Nikon I had to make more adjustments to compensate when darkening to shadows than I did with Canon.
4 | More vivid colors
5 | SOOC very warm and yellow
6 | Camera Body Not User Friendly
I didn’t feel like using the camera menu options was very intuitive. Nikon is definitely easier to navigate. And not because I know where everything is. Camera menus are full of all kinds of stuff that I don’t even know what it does, but I can usually figure out Nikon quite easily. Canon was much more confusing to me.
1 | Bright Whites and Dark Darks
I love the range, but they are a little touchy to edit. When I add contrast, or increase the shadows and/or blacks, I start to lose some of the detail in the blacks and shadows. I started out shooting on black and white film, and it was ingrained into me that you should try to retain as much detail as you can in the shadows and the highlights. This can be hard to do with digital in general, but was harder to do with the Nikon images vs the Canon images when editing. So when I say the Nikon has a more dynamic range with highlights and shadows, I am meaning straight out of camera. Sometimes I end up with somewhat of a flat image so I don’t compromise my shadows or highlights.
2 | Auto White Balance has more blue (cool tones), more red than green
3 | Higher Definition In Details, Shadows, Highlights
Seems to be a good and bad thing. Canon had a softness that Nikon did not and I liked that. But I also like the clarity in the details that the Nikon had, even at a lower f stop, that the Canon did not.
4 | Softer, more muted colors—I LOVE this about Nikon
5 | SOOC very much on the cool side
Here are some SOOC (straight out of camera ) shots to compare some differences. I’ll keep the Nikon photos on the left and the Canon shots on the right. These haven’t been touched at all. No white balance adjustments or anything like that.
Invitations // Bre Design Co. | Coral Boutonnière // Azalea Flower Co. | Macarons // Grapefruit & Thyme | Floral Archway // Floral And Fauna Design Co. | Hair + Makeup // Natalie Wetzker Makeup Artist // Emily Brooksby | Dresses // Rent From Lael // Sabrina Rentals // Brilliant Bridal | Models // Kailee Boren // Jaron Boren // Busy Bee Modeling // Christian Little // Karissa Smith // Kandie Ryan
Straight Out Of Camera
Nikon on the left, Canon on the right
Concluding thoughts? I guess I needed to do this huge experiment and comparison to convince myself that I don’t need to switch to Canon. They’re both killer cameras and the end result of the edits is SO similar, that I can’t justify any need to switch. Getting that new Nikon totally threw me off. I feel like I am still figuring out my editing with it but the more sessions I do, the more I fall in love with it, and the allure of the Canon fades, especially after doing this gigantic experiment with it. I always would have wondered. Now I can rest easy, and buy a Team Nikon t-shirt or something. Thanks for reading!