I really hoped this day would never come. I have been a die hard Nikon supporter since I was in high school photography class. I've shot with a full range of Nikon cameras, including the ultimate/best film camera ever made the Nikon F5; however, as the digital movement took over that demon Canon has always been lurking in the background. It started with their point and shoots, which have always been top shelf, and vastly superior to what Nikon produced, not to mention they were always smaller — think the Digital Elph series.
When the Canon 5D Mark II came out I really didn't want to admit that it was a game changer. I mean surely Nikon would come out with something comparable, or maybe even something that would trump the mighty 5D, but let's face it, this has yet to happen. Even the Mark 3 vs. D800 battle is really a no contest win for Canon.
While I'm a firm believer that your choice of camera doesn't necessarily make or break you as a photographer, I do believe that Canon is currently winning, but my switch comes for one big reason — video quality.
As a videographer/cinematographer by trade, I have never overly invested in still photo gear because I've had to buy video gear. Doing both would be insanely expensive. Now however, the DSLR has really changed the game, and Canon is the clear winner here, and it makes sense.
Canon has produced professional and prosumer video cameras for years in addition to still photo gear. This experience has trickled into the video features on their still photography gear without a doubt, while Nikon has been dogged with major downsides like not being able to adjust your aperture while shooting. You couple a huge problem like this with Canon's low light image quality and Canon wins — hands down.
While the video features on the Nikon are still very good, and would be great for someone occasionally crossing over from stills to the video world, going the other way there are just too many advantages on Canon's side to ignore.
- Low light performance
- Video features (across the board)
- New radio flash triggering system
- Button and dial placement / Ergonomics
- Still photo detail
- Lens compatibility
Chris Stenberg is a creative director, photographer, filmmaker, and traveller. In his spare time you can find him biking and boarding in the mountains of British Columbia.