Nikon vs Canon: Which Camera Brand is better and why?

Nikon vs Canon

Nikon vs. Canon is a battle dating back decades ago. Like the rivalries between Superman and Batman or the New York Knicks vs. the LA Lakers, choosing between Nikon and Canon cameras can be overwhelming. 

First, they both have cameras with near similar designs and features. Their prices are competitive, and both brands have been in the industry for years. But which brand do you choose?

Camera Series

Both Nikon and Canon categorize their cameras in series. Some models are designed for entry-level buyers, and so they’re cheap. Others target professional photographers and pack exclusive specs. Cameras are also classified based on their uses. Travel cameras feature different designs from sports lenses. 

So, what are you after?  If you’re an entry-level buyer, compare the Nikon d3400 vs. the Canon T6. The d3400 is more expensive by $30, but it is lighter, packs more megapixels and has a larger sensor. In other words; it’s the better camera.

For an enthusiast photographer ready to spend $1000 for an outstanding semi-pro camera, there are multiple cameras to choose. Both the Canon 7D Mark II and the Canon 80D cameras fall into this category. Nikon’s D7500 is $200 more expensive and slightly better.

More precisely, the D7500 is lighter and offers 4K video shooting where the Canon 80 can only handle 1080p videos. It also supports 8.0 fps continuous shooting as opposed to Canon’s 7.0 fps. To be fair, the Canon 80D packs three more megapixels (24MP vs. 21MP) and comes with a fully articulated screen.

Backward Compatibility

One of the best specs of both Nikon and Canon is that their modern lenses also work with older cameras. This shouldn’t be underestimated. With backward compatibility, you don’t need to update camera lenses every few years.

You also don’t have to worry about not finding components compatible with your old camera. If you have a Nikon camera, its modern lenses can operate in any of its flagships going back to 1959. Canon lenses are compatible with its EOS devices dated back to 1987.

There is one difference, though. All Canon cameras, including the old ones, support autofocus. With Nikon, that feature is limited to the AF-S lenses. You want a camera that features autofocus, meaning you either stick to Nikon’s AF-S devices or choose from Canon’s wider variety of cameras.

Although none of Nikon’s entry-level cameras feature autofocus, they compensate with lighter designs and more detailed megapixels. They also feature larger sensors, ensuring the cameras take outstanding photos, albeit in the right weather conditions.


Performance is one of the most critical factors in picking a camera. So it’s isn’t surprising that both Nikon and Canon have dozens of adequate cameras. If pricing isn’t a limit, you’ll be overwhelmed by the sheer number of great cameras both brands offer.

But if a budget limits you, you must base your choice on a camera’s megapixels, autofocus, noise, weight, battery life, and Wi-Fi connectivity. You may also have to read reviews to get a better understanding of the differences between Nikon’s software and Canon’s software.

Still on performance, learn about the durability of the specific camera you want. Historically, both brands have a reputation for building durable cameras. The differences happen in software and performance. 

Generally, Nikon edges its rival in dealing with noise, photos per second and weight. But on the other end, its cameras are pricier. This is despite Canon holding an advantage in the number of megapixels and autofocus systems.

The competition in performance stiffens in the high-end camera category. If you’re looking for a professional DSLR from either Nikon or Canon, be prepared to analyze the nitty gritty of each device you want to buy. 

Choosing between the Canon Mark II versus the Nikon D5, for example, can be confusing. They present 20MP versus 21MP sensors, respectively. They feature 3.2″ fixed screens and can both shoot 4K videos. The Canon supports continuous shooting at 16 fps while the Nikon is set at 14 fps.

On the flip side, Nikon comes with 92 more focus points, 100% better ISO, 115g lighter and illuminated buttons for easy access at night. In usual Nikon style, this translates to $500 more. The Canon Mark II is priced at $5,500 while the Nikon product costs $6,000.


When you hold the camera, how does it feel? Is its autofocus system easy to use? Can you use it at night without struggling to find buttons? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before picking a camera.

Canon’s biggest fans swear by its prominent grey lenses that help you hold the device more sturdily. Nikon’s enthusiasts love the retracting lenses in most of its cameras; lit buttons and LED touch screens. Of course, both brands have convenience features in multiple models.

So, before you dismiss one brand over the other, check several cameras. Your final decision will be influenced by the usability of a specific camera rather than whether Nikon or Canon built it.


By now it’s probably clear that Nikon sets its prices slightly higher than Canon for most lenses. Whether you’re looking for an entry-level DSLR, a travel point and shoot or a professional camera, picking Nikon over Canon will come at the expense of more money.

Depending on what you are after, Nikon’s higher prices may or may not be worth it. Precisely, would you pay $30 more for a camera with higher megapixels, better resolution, and lighter weight? Most people would.

But on the other end, would you spend $500 for a camera whose only advantage is that’s lighter and has a few more megapixels? Most people wouldn’t. But that’s your decision. Again, there are numerous features you must always compare before making your decision.

Final Verdict

The perennial debate of which between Canon and Nikon is better isn’t likely to end any time soon. Both brands release new products each year, usually with only minor differences between them. When you decide to purchase a camera, choose one between several Canon and Nikon cameras.

First, decide what kind of camera you want. If you settle on a travel camera, go on and compare several travel devices from either brand. 


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