The Nikon vs Canon debate is eternal!
As a photography equipment renter, a lot of people ask us for our opinion.
Should I buy Nikon? Or should I purchase Canon instead?
How does the Nikon D5100 compare against the Canon EOS 600d (Rebel T3i)?
Which is a better camera?
If you are looking for a basic entry level DSLR, see this review.
- Both Nikon and Canon are very capable and there’s not much difference in the comparable camera’s (well, there is no point comparing a D7000 with a Canon 1000d and concluding Nikon is better).
- D5100 appears to have a better performance under low light in our tests and at higher ISO’s. This is predominantly due to the larger sensor size of Nikon D5100 (okay, just a wee bit larger than Canon 600d, ie, 23.6×15.7 mm vs 22.3×14.9 mm) and a lower resolution (16.2mp vs 18mp) resulting in less crowding of pixels on the sensor. Also remember, D5100 has the same sensor as that of the much more expensive D7000.
- We have to remind you that sensor size is more important than megapixels.
- Nikon D5100 is NOT equipped with an autofocus motor. This means that you will not be able to use non AF-S lenses on the Nikon body whereas the Canon body will be compatible with all EF and EF-S lenses. That said, except for the Nikkor 50mm 1.8, we feel you may not miss any other non AF-S lens. (There’s an alternative with the 50mm AF-S version, but that is 2x more expensive).
- Build quality of 600d looks better.
- Both cameras offer full HD videos at 1080p res with audio. However, a few we know love the additional features (movie digital zoom, video snapshot, etc) available in Canon.
- As for the kit lens, the Nikkor 18-55 VR is much better than the Canon 18-55 IS II lens.
- Canon scores better with its lens options for every budget (note that we aren’t talking about quality, but a lens for every pocket). Especially in the telephoto range. If you are a bird / wildlife photographer, sticking to Canon may save you money in the long run. That said, Nikon has pretty much caught up with Canon except in the telephoto range. We would love it if Nikon came up with a 70-200 f/4 VR lens and a 100-400 VR. When that happens, the Canon advantage should mostly be negated. Also, of late, the 3rd party lenses like Tamron, Sigma and Tokina have improved a lot in quality and these are available for both Canon and Nikon alike.
- Choose one that is widely owned by your friends. You will benefit from the ability to borrow lenses. (Don’t worry if you don’t have friends who don’t let you borrow equipment. You could always rent stuff from us ).
Now, all this is our opinion! We are sure there are people out there with a definite bias towards either Canon or Nikon. Treat all of them including ours with a pinch of salt!