First of all, let me start out with a few disclaimers:

  • I do not have a loyalty to either brand. In fact, I highly recommend both.
  • I know there are other brands (e.g. Sony, Olympus, Fuji, Pentax… etc.) that offer great cameras too but I’m not familiar with them.
  • I’m no tech junkie and I don’t do rigorous testing. All comments are subjective.

So there you are. I’m sorry if you were looking forward to a great battle but there simply won’t be one. I titled this post “Canon or Nikon” because most people will ask me that question.

I’ve heard on many occasions that Canons were designed by engineers and Nikons were designed by photographers. So does that mean Canon has a lot of bells and whistles and Nikons are purely functional? Bah. Both brands have their pros and cons, yays and nays, strengths and weaknesses. After reading about these types of things all the time, you start to wonder if you should even buy a camera at all! So don’t look too deeply into those fanboy arguments on the forums out there. In the end, you should buy the camera that is right for YOU.

Here’s what I did:

  • I shot a lot of kids with my point and shoot camera so I knew I preferred taking portraits as opposed to landscape, sports, cars, etc. I knew what kind of “work” I’d be doing.
  • I did my research and found out what the cameras I was looking into were capable of doing.
  • I went to the stores and played with all the models I was interested in and examined the fit and finish, feel of the grasp, weight, buttons, dials and of course, shot a few test photos of the salesman when he wasn’t looking.
  • I read a few reviews and comments on the internet from users who had already bought those cameras but took it with a grain of salt.
  • I scoured the internet to find the best price for the model I finally decided to buy. I love bargain shopping and the internet is my friend.
  • I closed my eyes and clicked the “Checkout” button!

Okay, so I didn’t buy my first DSLR online. I actually got it price matched at a local store who also gave reward points, which scored me some extra bonuses! Nice!

If you want tips on how to get the best price, watch for a future post on it!

So now you’re probably wondering which camera I bought and why. But I just told you to get the camera that is right for you! Were you even listening? Just kidding. I’d want to know too.

My husband and I eventually decided to buy the Nikon D50 (now discontinued) way back in the summer of 2005. At the time, we just liked it better than it’s Canon competitor, the Rebel XT. He says that based on what he’s read, the Nikon produces more true-to-life images and slightly better image quality. (He’s the researcher in this partnership!) I simply couldn’t wait anymore and grew tired of the comparison discussions he LOVES to have and just went for the one that fit better in my hand and was more intuitive. I could barely hold the XT and could imagine getting hand cramps after a while. So Nikon D50 it was! And I’ve been using it ever since. 50,000 clicks later and it’s still working fine.

But I wanted an upgrade. Five AF (auto focus) points just weren’t cutting it for me anymore. So, to my hubby’s delight, we went through all those steps again during the past 4 months and finally clicked that “Checkout” button and bought a new camera! Want to know what we got? I’ll let you know next time. =)

Laura is a Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer. Visit laurahana.com.