Any DSLR is pretty descent in low light. Just don’t take it to candlelit restaurants.
Amongst starting DSLR shooters, Nikon vs Canon is the first decision they must make.
I am not going to take the trouble to outline the pros and cons of the two giants, and list the difference between the models of the same class from each brands: rather, I am going to explain why I chose Nikon, and I’m happy with it.
First and foremost, Nikon equipment – and their design philosophy – tends to reward those who know what they are doing, while Canon’s ‘non-pro’ equipment tends to favour people who may not necessarily know what they are doing, but want a friendly, comfortable experience.
I personally feel that the ‘enthusiast’ level Nikon camera’s design logic often requires more time to fiddle with the menus, but allows easier quick-access to things you have to change in time.
The D5200 and models above have generous number of AF points that gives a lot of freedom in composing and convenience in shooting moving subjects. In the canon side, you need to purchase the 70D or above to have equally competent AF.
Here’s the real cream of the corn: Nikon’s budget lens offerings is arguably better than Canon’s.
Well, to be honest, Canon lenses tend to be bloody expensive in general, while most of them tend to be quite similar to Nikon’s in terms of performance. (24-70 2.8 mkII is a notable exception to this rule)
With all things equal, however, Nikon has a better budget prime lens line-up.
Nikon makes it a point to maintain a good prime lens collection – probably due to their tendency to cater to more ‘artsy’ crowd, while Canon seems to be focusing on making expensive, but well-made zoom lenses to cater for the commercial/press crowd.
I opted for Nikon because the ‘plastic fantastic’ prime lens line-up had both better variety and performance against canon counterparts. Nikon’s 50mm 1.8G – or even the cheaper 1.8D- although costs a bit more than the canon’s 50mm 1.8 MKII, has fantastic performance. I will not dare go for the Canon counterpart in any day.
Another biggie of me choosing Nikon over Canon is being able to use old lenses. There are some old, discontinued, but bloody good lenses out there that delivers great optical performance for comparably less compromises. For instance, the Nikon 80-200 AF-D is a great lens. It is often neglected because it lacks the VR function the more contemporary models have, and it is being sold for less than $1000 used!
So my advice to a starting photographer deciding upon a DSLR system would be to go for Nikon, if they have no intentions in moving up to the ‘pro’ range of photo gear.
Recently, a new player has entered the game, though. Fuji’s X system has apparently become the most favoured APS-C system amongst critiques, even above those offered by Nikon and Canon
Indeed, if I had to make the decision today, I would probably have gone for the Fuji system over either DSLRs.
The bodies are well built, yet smaller and lighter. Fuji’s lenses are incredibly sharp, and their AF is quite stellar under good lighting. The focus peaking and zone enlargement function makes manual-focusing in challenging lightings a joy. Above all, if there is a Nikon or Canon lens that I really love, I can mount it on the Fuji body with an adapter.
I know for sure that I’m not going to be quick on letting go of Nikon’s 50mm line-up. However, their uniqueness only serves the goods when shooting portraiture, and I can use an adapter for that.
As a matter of fact, I am thinking of jumping ship to Fuji, based on how their 16-55mm 2.8 lens stacks up.
Most importantly though, I think the paramount question one should ask in buying camera equipments should be ‘Am I going to have fun taking photos with this?’
If the answer is no, then you should move on. It doesn’t matter how fast or how sharp it is. It even does not matter how good the ‘look’ you get from the lens is. If you don’t like the experience, then you’re not getting your money’s worth.