In a market full of new electronics and new-age advances being brought forward every day, how can we be sure what is right for us? As far as DSLR cameras go, there are many more than enough brands and specialty cameras available for someone to choose from. These brands include, but are not limited to: Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Kodak, Sony, Fujifilm, and Olympus. The two more popular worldwide are Canon and Nikon. So, as a young photographer attempting to strive in the business world of photography, I choose Nikon. I choose Nikon for a range of different reasons including the size, speed, and megapixel size.
I am a novice photographer, working my way to becoming a professional photographer. I range my work from three day old newborn babies to senior portraits for high school students to elaborate weddings. My camera, my baby, is a slick, black Nikon D5000. I have never used anything else for my work, but I have dabbled in photo workshops and photography classes with Canon, Olympus, and Kodak machines. I have used my Nikon D5000 for almost two years and I feel as though I have nearly mastered her – though, I’m sure there are many things left yet to learn.
DSLR, meaning digital single-lens reflex, have become widely more popular in the new century, making film cameras nearly obsolete. Anyone can go to just about any Walgreen’s or Wal*Mart store to the media section and pop an SD (storage device) card into the photo machines and print whatever they please (“A Quick Clique”).
However, unlike only ten or fifteen years ago, very rarely can you find a place that still takes your images off a roll of film and prints them (“Canon Powershot S95”). That’s where the new photo technology and more choices step in. As a photographer, is someone the
grandma that wants to take photos of their grandkids at high speeds and low cost – or are they the National Geographic photographer that needs a high resolution camera that’s low weight, where cost isn’t an issue?
In terms of cost efficiency, Canon cameras are anyone’s go-to camera if they’re still looking for decent quality image at the end result. Essentially, Canon and Nikon cameras will do the same basic functions as any amateur or novice photographer needs – but Canon tends to be the cheaper brand (“Tanaka”).
If a photographer is looking for a camera that can shoot decent photos at an affordable price, they choose the Canon (“Canon Powershot S95”). Overall, Nikon cameras services more professional needs and wants than Canons do, and so they are more expensive. For example, my Nikon D5000 was bought at $2,500, whereas with a Canon you could almost cut that price by $200 to $250 depending on where it is bought. However, Nikons more, often than not, are worth every cent of the extra cash paid (“A Quick Clique”).
Megapixels are a big factor when researching what camera you want to buy. Megapixels essentially determine how large an image can be blown up once it is taken. The higher the megapixels, the bigger the image can be without appearing grainy or blurred in any way.
Newer, more expensive, professional Canon and Nikon models have more than eighteen megapixels per image, which is fantastic considering that three megapixels will present a decent eight-by-ten inch printout. Megapixel is less of an issue when you’re looking at Nikon versus Canon because they evolve and re-evolve at almost the exact same rate (“Digital Camera Ratings”).
Speed is something that can be crucial to the individual photograph and photography style. Both Canon and Nikon have “Burst mode” which is how fast an image can be taken at any given time in any light and any number of focus points. Burst modes are usually used more by sport photographers and photographers of children. Burst modes take the fastest possible image that the camera will allow (“Tanaka”). At their peak, Nikon cameras can take a total of four frames per second in their Burst Mode, where Canon can only take 3.7 frames per second (Marshman). That extra third of a second could
determine whether a photographer capture the image of the soccer goal being made or of the soccer goal already in the goal.
Cameras have a setting on them – which the photographer can pivot and change – called ISO settings. ISO determines how fast or slow an image is taken and how smooth or grainy the image turns out. This setting is usually on “Auto,” which is the camera’s factory default. The higher the ISO, the brighter the overall image can be, even in the lowest of lights (“Digital Camera Ratings”).
However, this could result in an undesirable, grainy image. Higher grade Canon cameras have an ISO range of 100-6400, but they can be expanded all the way to 12800 (“Canon Powershot S95”). This seems like a pretty high number – until you see what the Nikons have packing. A Nikon also has the basic range of 100-6400, but they can range all the way up to 25600 (“A Quick Clique”). This is an impressive improvement over Canon. This setting would be in good use for low-lit ballroom dancing at weddings or a football game under the lights.
Nikons, as far as size and weight are considered are sleeker and more compact. However, this is only by an inch or two, and a twentieth of an ounce (Marshman). These are for the more professional models, as well. Both brands have smaller, lighter, much cheaper versions for the recreational photographer. These cameras can be cheaper because they have fewer megapixels, they are slower, they have smaller ISO values and the overall quality of the image is less desirable (Marshman).
Nikons are better cameras for me because, even though they are more expensive, they have many more extra features that are very reliable and work well for the type of photography I am interested in. The extra features include higher ISO range and a more detailed and quality image overall. Many people choose Canons over Nikons, but when they are asked why, price is always the main factor. I’m saying now, as a photographer, that the extra couple hundred dollars for the Nikon is well-spent and worth every minute.
“A Quick Clique.” U.S. News & World Report 141.20 (2006): 52. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. “Canon Powershot S95 vs Nikon Coolpix S3100: Which is Better?.” International Business Times 12: Points of View Reference Center. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. “Digital Camera Ratings; Nikon, Canon Announced by 10rate.” PR Newswire US 15 May 2013: Points of View Reference Center. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. Marshman, Paul. “Duelling SLRs: Canon and Nikon square off How the Canon T31 measures UP How the Nikon D5100 measures up.” Toronto Star (Canada) n.d.: Points of View Reference Center. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. Tanaka, Jennifer. “The Sharper Image.” Newsweek 137.23 (2001): 50. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.