Like photographer Kevin D. Jordan, I had always thought there’s not much difference between the Canon and Nikon cameras.
Of course it depends on which models you are comparing. In his article Kevin D. Jordan made the switch from Canon 6D to a Nikon D750. These are some of the things he has learned.
I ultimately decided to sell my Canon 6D and 24-105mm f/4 lens and cross enemy lines by buying a Nikon D750—one of Nikon’s closest competitors with the Canon 6D—which I felt better suited my needs as a landscape and night sky photographer. After having used my Nikon D750 for 5 months now, there are a few differences I noticed between the Canon and Nikon systems, some of which I expected and some of which came as a surprise. While some of these may be specific to the 6D and the D750, some are also trends that can be seen across the camera lines currently being sold by both Canon and Nikon.
EVERYTHING TWISTS THE WRONG WAY
It’s a small and obviously surmountable difference between the two camera systems, but when you use a camera often enough that it feels like an extension of your own body, subtle differences like knobs and rings twisting in the opposite direction can be unnerving at first. As soon as I took my Nikon out of the box and decided to attach the 24-120mm f/4 lens that I purchased with it, I immediately noticed the difference.
The caps on the camera body and lens twist the opposite direction as they do on the Canon system. When I first went to attach the lens, nothing happened because I was twisting the lens barrel the wrong way. When I finally managed to attach it and looked through the viewfinder, I tried to zoom out to 24mm and my lens started to zoom in instead. It’s a difference I have since gotten used to, and it’s one that does not have a huge effect on me as a landscape photographer since I normally taking my time setting up a shot. However, if I were a wedding photographer who needed to move quickly or else risk missing a key moment, losing a few seconds while fumbling trying to change a lens or frame a shot could have feasibly been the difference between getting the photo and missing it.
THE DIFFERENCE IN LONG EXPOSURE NOISE IS NOT EVEN CLOSE
For anyone who has read my articles “5 Great Ways to Reduce Noise in Your Photos” and “The Ultimate Guide to Shooting Milky Way Photography”, you may have noticed that long exposure noise is something that I’m interested in. Shooting night photography, which is one of my main focuses, often requires taking long exposures at high ISO to expose for dark foregrounds. With the Canon 6D, my foregrounds were often riddled with colorful hot pixels, which are a result of the camera’s sensor heating up while taking an exposure. In some photos, these hot pixels were bad enough that the shots were either ruined, or they were not clean enough to be printed, costing me the ability to sell prints of them.
While my purchase of the Nikon D750 was a decision made for many different reasons, the ability of the D750 to handle long exposure noise was the deciding factor. I saw a few tests indicating that the sensor of the D750 handled hot pixels much better than the 6D, and my own tests since making the switch have been as good as I had hoped. I now stand fearlessly in the darkness, snapping long exposure that span multiple minutes, knowing that I’ll only have a few hot pixels to clean up in post-processing instead of having to deal with a landscape that looks like it was covered in confetti. If you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty excited about this part.
THE MENU SYSTEMS ARE VERY DIFFERENT
I can be pretty lazy at times, especially when it comes to learning something I have no interest spending the time to learn. With camera systems this laziness reared its ugly head (with the minimal amount of effort required, of course) at Nikon’s in-camera menu system, which I found to be jumbled and confusing after five years of shooting on a Canon. Settings such as the 2-second shutter delay, which, on the Canon 6D, was a simple option on the shooting dial along with a separate 10-second shutter delay, is hidden deep within the crevices of the custom menu settings on the Nikon D750 (there is a shutter delay mode on the D750’s shooting dial, but the default setting is a 10-second delay). I knew learning the new menu system was going to be something to get used to when making the switch from Canon to Nikon, but I have still been surprised with how many times I have had to flip through the manual to accomplish changing a setting that I figured would be a fairly basic process. Is this a surmountable difference? Yes. Could I remedy this “issue” by dedicating more time practicing navigating through the Nikon menu system so that it becomes second nature like it was on my Rebel XS and 6D? Yes. Am I going to gripe about it nonetheless? Clearly I am…
The Canon versus Nikon versus any other camera manufacturer debate is one that will never be settled. Every photographer will inevitably have different preferences and different systems that best suit their needs. Some may value the lightweight potability of a mirrorless system such as a Sony or Fujifilm offering over the heavy DSLRs offered by Canon or Nikon. For others, attributes such as battery life or autofocus speed may be more important. For those thinking of making a switch to Nikon, and especially for those who have a Canon 6D or are looking into a Nikon D750, this hopefully gave you a few things to think about before making the switch. In any case, try to invest in a system that you think not only fits your needs now, but may also be able to progress along with your photography and fit your needs in the future. Things very well may change in the next few years as technology changes and improves. However, for now, and as much as I can try to predict for the near future, Nikon is the ideal fit for my photography and shooting style.
Source: Improve Photography