Saturday, 17 October 2009

Which is the best entry level DSLR? The Canon or Nikon?

We often see questions like this in the DPR forum(s). Often, even more specific like "Which is better, Canon model A or Nikon model B?". And each new poster wishes a personal dialogue, so asking them to search and read previous posts is fruitless. It's such a common question that here's my answer.

Answer 1:
They are both good. Each Model and each Make has it's distinctive personality (of course, how would you sell competing products that look the same and act the same). All of the DSLRs are capable cameras and will give you the opportunity to shoot satisfying shots. The shots become better and better the more skilled you are and the more you spend on gear. Actually, you could buy a Pentax, Sony or Olympus DSLR and still get satisfying shots.

Answer 2:
They're both useless. What you need is a top of the line, full pro model D something with full pro, premium priced lenses. Wait a minute, even those pale if you go Leica shopping. Why don't you buy one of those?

"Ok", then they ask further - "But which one is best?"

Well, there can't be a best. For several reasons.
  • As already said, both are competent in general and both have a personality. (Often the personality of these tools can only be felt by hands-on use and experience). There is a difference in which in where each model's strengths and the weaknesses are placed.
  • There is a Better For Me, and this may be different to Better For You. Really we may have different portability expectations, different image quality expectations, how much we want bragging rights / swank value, how we shoot, what we shoot.
"Yes", they say. "But why doesn't this model have better high ISO performance, flipping LCD, spot metering, weather proofing and a 20x zoom?"

Well, yes, there is such a model. It's a CaNikOlyTaxSon. Look here - I just made a mockup using Photoshop from bits and pieces of all the cameras. Why aren't the makers smart enough to make a real one?
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