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UfD: Why that Camera

From time to time I get asked what camera I use.  I also get asked to give advice on what camera people should buy and then there is always the question of what brand.  So today I thought I might discuss with you why I ended up with the camera that I have.

The First Camera

It is sort of a long story and really started about 15 years ago.  If you’ve read my about page you know my first SLR camera was a Pentax K1000. It was all manual and I really had to learn how to take photos and quickly. It was a big learning curve, but as I learned more and more I started to realize I wanted a more sophisticated camera, something with auto focus.

Looking for a New Camera

The research begun.  I was in a camera club at the time and got to see what cameras other people had, which cameras people found easy to use, and which ones were hard to work out. It was great place to look. Of course the internet wasn’t really around and I couldn’t do the research that we do now.  I also spent time looking through magazines.

Nikon_F90xThe big decision for me was whether to go Nikon or Canon.  There was a woman at the club at that time that had bought a Canon EOS camera, I don’t know which one, but what I remember the most is that she had so much trouble working it out. The aperture seemed to work in a strange way and she kept bringing it to the camera club to get help.

I looked at the Nikon cameras and to me they were all logical to use. I didn’t have any trouble working out what was what. The aperture was done on the lens, so no hassles with that. It was a no brainer in the end, it had to be a Nikon.

In the end I went for the Nikon F90X. It was in the middle of the range SLRs, but the thing I liked, at that time was that it took AA batteries.  There was a lot of talk about rechargeable batteries and their reliability wasn’t always great, so having normal batteries seemed like a good idea. I have to say it was, the batteries lasted a long time and it was never much of a problem.

I used that camera for a long time. I still have it, though because it uses film I use it more to demonstrate how a camera works.

Going Digital

Nikon_D300s_-_Front_Mk2_editWhen I decided that I needed a digital SLR, or DSLR it seemed sensible to stick with Nikon. Money was going to be an issue, so I had to work within a tighter budget than before.  I was fairly certain that the D300s would take my old lenses, though I wasn’t sure the autofocus would work, I had tried one of my old lenses on a D200, and aperture and things like that worked but not autofocus.  So being able to use my older lenses meant I could keep the costs down.  One of the things that was also appealing about the D300s was that it was fast, it did 6 or 7 frames a second, and that was appealing because I knew what I would be photographing the most at that time was sports, cycling and netball. When it arrived I was so happy to discover that when I put my old lenses on it the autofocus worked, major relief.

Funny too because what I paid for the D300s was almost the same as what I paid for the F90X.

Moving Up

A couple of years ago Nikon came out with the D800 and I think it is safe to say I wanted it. It was full frame, and I wasn’t doing sport anymore so it would be fine for the type of work that I wanted to do. My husband wasn’t convinced that I needed it, though he never thinks I need anything. In the end I got a job that was going to pay me quite a bit of money, and I was worried that the ISO with the D300s wouldn’t be good enough for the job. It was very noisy, and you didn’t have to go up the ISO 91Xo7IJcj3L._SL1500_very much to encounter that. My husband could see that it made sense to get the better camera for the job.  So the D800 was ordered.

I’ve had that for just over 18  months and it is such a beautiful camera.  I love using it. I’m trying to think if there was anything I would change about it if Nikon were to ask me, and right now I can’t think of anything.  I’m sure there are things, but can’t think of them now.  It is so versatile and there isn’t much I can’t do with it. I love it so much I wouldn’t mind a second one, well maybe the D810, but I suspect I might have a tougher battle on my hands to justify that to my husband.

In the End

After teaching people to use their cameras I am always happier when people have a Nikon camera. I find them so much easier to work out, and there are a lot of similarities between the models, so it doesn’t take much to work out how to do something on one and then work it out for another one.

So why did you buy the camera that you have? Are you really happy with it? If you could have any camera that you wanted, what would you get?

I have a selection of photos for you and I will put underneath each one what camera was used to take them. I should point out that all the images taken with the F90X were film and I’ve scanned the negatives.

 

136 Comments
  1. I am not a pro or even semi-pro photographer but I too am a long-time Nikon fan. I started out as a kid using my Grandad’s ancient Box Brownie and then graduated to contemporary compact film cameras. My first SLR was an Olympus I shared with my Dad. When I left home at 17 (and my Dad got custody of the camera given that he had paid for it) I had to revert to using a compact camera again and I forget which manufacturers. When I finally had enough for my own SLR I spent a lot of hours in the camera shop trying different models out and speaking to the people running the shop and decided on a Nikon and I have been a Nikon person ever since. I have always found the Nikon lenses to be fantastic and I have found the Nikon cameras easy to use, comfortable to handle and both idiot- and child-proof.

    May 29, 2015
    • That’s what I find too Laura, the lenses are great, but more importantly you can just work them out. I love that they are easy to use. I have a friend who uses Canon and she says it is because I am used to Nikon, but I don’t know Canon seem to put things in funny places and it takes a bit to work out what to do. I give up on the Canon cameras more in classes than Nikons, and end up apologizing to the person and saying I can’t work it out. They aren’t intuitive. Does my head in, LOL. I will stick with Nikon I think.Thanks for sharing Laura, lovely to hear from another Nikon user.

      May 29, 2015
  2. I love the F90X which I have one also which my husband wanted to sell it away as new camera replace it. But I insist to keep it as it is good for my uni works which I still need a 35 mm camera. I love the colors and shots from the D300 the colors sharper and brighter than the D800 – I found that Nikon latest model the colors are warmer and less bright than the canon ones. As my husband have a Nikon D60 and alway compare the image with my Canon EOS 60D.

    I am not sure whether is it the same with all the other models and love to hear more opinions on this so that I can let my husband know that his camera didn’t have any problem.

    May 29, 2015
    • I tried to sell mine, but in the end kept it, so glad I did at times. I never use film anymore. I don’t know about the differences in the colour and such, I mainly shot in jpeg with the D300s but since I’ve had the D800 I have always shot in raw. I think it is personal thing too, I don’t have any issues with the colour or brightness or sharpness of my images, though I am also using some of Nikon’s best lenses. Usually the Canon images are warmer, they have more of a orange cast, whereas the Nikon usually has a more cooler tone, so more blue.
      I don’t know, I don’t use Canons, though your husbands camera is an older one, and not one that Nikon make anymore.
      Thanks for sharing Cattan.

      May 29, 2015
      • Thanks Leanne, at least now I can let him that he is right that the color from the Nikon is more blue in the color than the warmer color of Cannon.
        At least he can stop to worry there is a problem with his camera.
        Thanks Leanne and I do enjoy your this posting on the different cameras and the effects.

        May 29, 2015
      • Yes, definitely the cameras, I borrow a couple of Canon’s once and that’s what I noticed with them when I took it and my Nikon out to shoot the same things.
        You’re welcome Cattan. 🙂

        May 29, 2015
  3. gbudavid #

    I bought my D5100 Nikon from Costco because the money was right. I had just retired and as I wasn’t sure if it was something I would stay with it was a food option.

    May 29, 2015
    • That’s always a good reason too, and one that many people use when deciding what to buy. Thanks for sharing that.

      May 29, 2015
  4. Walter Hampson #

    Enjoyed reading your journey from film to digital Leanne. I wish mine was that simple 🙂

    May 29, 2015
    • Thank you Walter, you can’t leave it there, I want to know now. 🙂

      May 29, 2015
  5. Thanks so much not only for letting us know which camera you like best but also for telling us why. All good info!!!

    May 29, 2015
    • You’re welcome, it is interesting to see why people chose what they have. Thank you.

      May 29, 2015
  6. A long time ago I wrote this post about why I use Canon:

    https://mostlymonochrome.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/canon-vs-nikon/

    What it basically boils down to was that the local camera shop had a Canon N1000 on special offer with two lenses and a nice silver case. Had they stocked Nikon I would probably be using theirs right now.

    May 29, 2015
    • I did research it all when I was looking, I knew that once you went down the path you were likely to always continue it, and every class I teach where people have Canons and I’m trying to help them work out how to use them, I’m always grateful I went the Nikon way. I’ve never regretted it. Thanks for sharing that.

      May 29, 2015
  7. I am a big Nikon fan too. I have a couple of ladies at my social snapper group with Canons and I find them hard to use, and there is no manual with them which doesn’t help matters. I also tried to use my daughter’s Canon one night and just couldn’t work it. Nikon are just so easy to to pick up and use. I have the P600 which was the best one I could afford at the time. I have noticed my photos have improved a lot with it, even compared to my Fujifilm. My Fujifilm was faulty from the start and they wouldn’t replace it, just fixed it, then I dropped it. I got it fixed but it never worked well after that. It seemed that I was fighting it for each photo I took. It wasn’t fun anymore. Then I lost it. But I love my Nikon.

    May 29, 2015
    • That’s good to hear Raewyn, I find that the Canons have funny names for things, and where you expect to find things they are there. That if you want to do something could bracketing, well you have scour the manual, when you can find it, to work out how to do it, and it is done in such a funny way. so confusing. That’s great to hear that you love your Nikon, I’ve never used that camera, but I’ve heard it’s good. Improvement is always good and if you love your camera then you love using it. Thanks Raewyn for sharing your experiences.

      May 29, 2015
  8. I suppose it’s easy to stick to what one has learned to use. So I stick to Canon. And Apple. Not that this equipment is superior in every way to other equipment, but I’ve grown used to it. And canon does produce nice glass, don’t they. But then, some of the images I’m most pleased with were taken with analogue cameras bought for next to nothing

    May 29, 2015
    • Yes, that is usually exactly what happens Freddy, it was a big deciding factor for me when I first decided to get my first digital SLR, I wanted to be able to use my old lenses, so it wasn’t just about the brand, but also the model because the lenses had to work on the model as well. Haha, I think they both produce nice glass. I haven’t used my analogue camera for years, about 10 I think. I hated film, but that was me. Thanks for sharing that Freddy.

      May 29, 2015
  9. Haha we nearly shared two cameras. My first was a K1000 as well and my second Nikon was a F90.

    May 29, 2015
    • How funny is that Chris, it is amazing how many people started with the K1000, it was a good camera to learn on.

      May 29, 2015
      • My second Pentax was a disaster, that is when I changed to Nikon

        May 29, 2015
      • Oh no, that would have been disappointing after the first one.

        May 29, 2015
      • I was!! I bought a ME SuperII and the shutter just didnt work properly and leaked light. so i went for Nikon F301

        May 29, 2015
      • Light leakage is a definite no, though I’m amazing now that I’m doing long exposures how much light leakage these cameras now have. No much really, but still, I guess nothing is ever completely safe, so to speak. I don’t that one, the Nikon.

        May 30, 2015
      • Well, nobody understood what happened and repairs did not solve it. After that I never had a problem with a camera again. Long exposures are a tough test for a camera. Have to get into that the coming months!

        May 30, 2015
      • That doesn’t help, did they offer to replace it or anything like that? I have to admit it isn’t a problem either, only when doing long exposures. I have a little shutter I can close and I often put a hat or something right over the top as well, that using is better. I love the long exposures, I’m really enjoying them, though I need to find some new things to use the filters for.

        May 30, 2015
      • Well it was in the eighties. Don’t remember if the offered to help me out!

        May 30, 2015
      • That was a while ago, I don’t remember much about the eighties either LOL

        May 30, 2015
  10. Great story Leanne and good Photo’s, as for D810, that’s next on my list and it’s full manual 🙂

    May 29, 2015
    • Thanks John, don’t all cameras have the ability to be turned into fully manual. I know all of mine do. 🙂

      May 29, 2015
      • Yes and the same with my Nikon’s, but the D810 has no Auto settings it is fully manual, more for the fully qualified like you and my self, it not user friendly for the inexperience, I am saving for one at the moment. 🙂

        May 29, 2015
      • Oh you mean full auto, like putting your camera on Auto, the D800 is the same, you have to know how to use it.

        May 29, 2015
      • I mean it’s fully manual, it has no Auto settings at all !!

        May 30, 2015
      • Are you sure, what it doesn’t have aperture priority, or shutter priority, no autofocus. I am sure it has autofocus, I read that.

        May 30, 2015
      • Yes am sure, I have had taken some shots with my friends D810, it has auto focus, but for aperture/shutter priority no, look at the controls at top of camera, it is a great camera !!

        May 30, 2015
      • I looked at the specs for the camera and it is pretty much the same as the D800 and it does have aperture and shutter priority, it is under modes and you have to find it there. It doesn’t have auto modes, like most entry level cameras. Though I found out today you can do set auto modes in the program mode.

        May 30, 2015
  11. Well it’s a bit of a “hang it on Canon” party here! I’m a Canon fan and haven’t had any problem finding out how to do things… If in doubt RTFM (Read The Fu&@ing Manual)! It really is what you get used to…. I am on my 3rd Canon camera – started at the bottom 1000D, then 60D and now 7D mark II. Once you’ve bought your first one in one brand, you are pretty well committed to that.

    A more useful debate is whether to go full frame or cropped, whatever the brand. I went through this my last purchase and decided that as I have no intention of printing my photos in huge size and going pro, I wanted the advantage of the 1.6 crop factor. I do a lot of bird photography and that is a significant advantage for me. Really thinking through what you are going to use the camera for and searching for the model with the right features is what’s most important in my view, then buying the best quality lenses you can afford.

    May 29, 2015
    • No, this post was about why I bought Nikon and why I bought the models I did, and part of the reason I did was because I found the Canons harder to use. I just find Nikon easier. I’ve tried using the manuals for Canons and sometimes I have to hand the camera back to the person and say, sorry, I can’t work it out. I can’t help if that is my experience with them.

      That debate would be for another time, that isn’t what this post was about. What you have said about why you got your camera is all part of it, all the decisions you make and why. I told you why I got what I got, they reasons are different for everyone. So yes, I went through why I wanted the camera I got, why I chose it, what was important to me. I’m not sure I understand what the problem is Chris.

      May 29, 2015
      • No problem – just lots of comments from Nikon users commenting on Canon being hard to understand. I think it’s what you get used to. We all like what we have got and once you have started the journey with one brand you are married to it generally. Really Leanne – no problem!

        May 29, 2015
      • Exactly, and you will find Canon users bash Nikon cameras too, I can only talk about my experiences, and why I choose what I did, the idea was to hear from everyone, and to find out why they went down the path they did. What they thought about, some people have said it started with what the store had, or stocked, others have said it was because of the price, or a special deal. It is interesting to hear what they all think. You are right, usually once you start down one road, then you continue it. and you do get used to a certain brand. I love my cameras, I don’t know that I love the company though, the jury is still out on that one. I think the way Canon does business is by far a lot better and they look after their customers a lot better than Nikon does, a whole lot better.

        May 29, 2015
      • Mm that last point is an interesting one.

        May 29, 2015
      • It is, that is what I’ve noticed. Nikon won’t recognise anything purchased on the grey market. I have all the gear to be part of their NPS thing, Nikon Professional Services, but because one of my cameras was bought from Cameras Direct, they won’t let me be part of it. So I miss out on a heap of stuff because of that. I know if you buy something from the grey market and you have problems with it, Canon will honour the warranty. I don’t know if they have a professional thing like Nikon and what you have to have to be a member of it, but it really got me that the only way I can be part of the NPS is if I buy another camera from an authorised Nikon Dealer.

        May 29, 2015
      • Don’t know if Canon have a pro service – probably do… but their EOS training reference and support for Canon users is good and it doesn’t seem to matter where you bought your camera.

        May 29, 2015
      • See that’s what I mean, Nikon can be a bit stuck up I find at times, and not very helpful. Then they wonder why people won’t use Nikon, I’m sure it is more to do with that than anything else. I decided they could stick their special club, really, it’s like you really want to be that petty. Oh well, what can you do.

        May 29, 2015
  12. I started with the Nikon D90 and went to a Nikon D610. It’s great to be able to use lenses on all cameras. I too have struggled understanding how a Canon works. They don’t seem quite so logical to me, but I guess if I gave it time, I’d understand them. I can’t see me shifting from a Nikon at this moment though.

    May 29, 2015
    • I have to agree Livonne, and really when it comes down to upgrading your camera, that is often the deciding factor when you go to choose a brand. I have found the same with Canon, I find them hard to work out, doesn’t help that nothing is the same from one model to the other. I thought you would work it out, but I’m happy with my Nikon for now, and can’t see myself changing anytime soon. Thanks for sharing your experiences Livonne.

      May 29, 2015
  13. lumenuniverse #

    Personally i think everyone should start with the cheapest thing they can find! That takes pictures even a potato can be coursed into takeing nice images! maybe they don’t enjoy how much work it is and its better to leaen that next to nothing, but learning on crap will also make you better whwn you get the nice toys because you yourself will have masterd the basics which gives you head start

    May 29, 2015
    • I don’t know that I think starting with crap with is good, but the K1000 was a totally manual camera, nothing auto on it at all, and I had to learn and learn fast, so I really understood aperture, shutter speed and ISO in the end. The manual focus is what got me in the end, haha. But to learn the basics, beyond composition you have to learn those other things as well. Thanks for sharing that.

      May 29, 2015
      • lumenuniverse #

        You indeed do, they used to have better photgraphy videos back in the day i learn about that when i was six, samsung phones do a good job of imitating those features of higher end cameras used to have i just miss flash cubes wasteful but neat mechanics!

        May 29, 2015
      • I have to say the video on my phone is quite good at times, I’ve done some good stuff with it. I have Samsung phone. I remember those flashes, I don’t miss them, cost too much and had to be so careful using them. LOL

        May 29, 2015
      • lumenuniverse #

        i had a sponsorship at a young age for the cubes probably why i am so obsessive about cogs lol!

        May 29, 2015
      • Haha, maybe that is it, I just remember I had to be careful not to use too many.

        May 29, 2015
      • lumenuniverse #

        yah you want to make your shots count when more then data is consumed! i used to hate paying for developing OMG and the waiting i didn’t like the chemical smell of dark rooms!

        May 29, 2015
      • You really did, not just with flash though, I can remember doing some things where I would limit myself to 3 rolls of 36 to do what I was doing, now I can do the same thing and take 500 or so photos, even over a thousand, so much better, and you go home and can see them straight away. I hate the cost of developing and printing and yeah, the darkroom wasn’t for me, I did’t have the patience for it.

        May 29, 2015
  14. I have a Nikon D7000 and coincidentally, since I didn’t do any deep research, it fits my needs very well.

    May 29, 2015
    • Sounds like it was a perfect match for you. Thanks Tootlepedal.

      May 29, 2015
  15. Leanne, I particularly like the simple but dramatic image of the columns. The repeating pattern is very appealing. I think the theater deserves a large neon marquee.

    May 29, 2015
    • LOL, funny Tim, they have been redeveloping it, so I have no idea what it looks like now, these were taken almost 20 years ago. Thanks Tim.

      May 29, 2015
  16. My first ‘big’ camera was a Pentax K1000. I really felt like I had arrived! I remember it fondly, but much easier with today’s modern DSLRs (although I’m in the Canon camp)

    May 29, 2015
    • It was a great camera to learn on, I remember mine too and the trips the two of us used to go on. It is much easier, I have to agree, I do love autofocus. That’s okay too, many of the people I go out and take photos with are as well.

      May 29, 2015
  17. what a great post! Its very interesting to read so many stories, thanks for sharing Leanne. Its actually quite helpful information 🙂 I’m on my 3rd Canon, a 600D. Before that I had an old 35mm film Pentax and a Ricoh that I used on manual 24-7 and loved them! Then, came Digital. sold All my filters, lenses, everything. I do find Canon – harder- for me to get as good of images as I used to with the 35mm Pentax. Probably is just me. Your F90X took great shots, love the Theater BW image 🙂

    May 29, 2015
    • It was a big jump from film to digital, I was a bit confused for a while, LOL. I think with Canons the manual is very important, you really need to have it with you, go through and go through it again, really learn your camera. I know the 600D does some great stuff, but it is a bit tricky working it all out at times. I’m sure you will get there though. Good luck Debi 😀

      May 29, 2015
  18. I started with Minolta film and after I had two stolen in row, I went to canon. It too was stolen along with my then husband’s Nikon. I never liked the feel of his lenses. When dslr arrived Minolta was floundering, so I went with canon because of the glass they produce. I am a canon user, never had an issue trying to find or figure out the camera. Probably because of this, I find I have trouble trying to find things on a Nikon camera when they are in my classes. (But then again I am also a pc person and have issues finding things in a Mac too. Lol.

    May 29, 2015
    • So maybe it is what you are used to, I just find that Canon label things weirdly, I’ve had people with Pentax’s, Sony, and Olympus, but I usually give up on the Canon’s, don’t you just wish they were uniform across them all. so they all worked the same way. I think I’m dreaming. I’m a PC person as well, and Mac drive me to distraction. thanks for sharing your experiences Sue.

      May 29, 2015
  19. Karen #

    I chose Nikon as my first DSLR as they were reported to have the best quality lenses, although a tad on the expensive side. I bought the D3200 a beginners camera and am still using it. I love this camera and am not thinking of upgrading any time soon.

    May 29, 2015
    • That’s what I’ve heard too Karen, you get Nikon for the lenses and Canon for the cameras, I don’t know if that is still true, but the good quality lenses I have are amazing, I love them. That’s great to hear you are really happy with your camera, that is always good. Thanks for sharing what you have and why Karen.

      May 29, 2015
      • Karen #

        You’re welcome Leanne.

        May 29, 2015
      • 🙂

        May 29, 2015
  20. leecleland #

    Interesting reading all the comments and the post Leanne. I’m from both sides of the fence. I bought a Nikon D7000 DSLR because I had been using Nikon film cameras since forever and had all the lenses which I was told I could take to the digital. Biggest mistake I ever made. I had checked that the lenses were OK with the shop but later when I was dissatisfied with the clarity of the images found that I had fungus on all, grrrrrr. I don’t take any sales persons advice any more 🙂 Bought a couple of new lenses and wow the difference. A great camera!
    Now own Canon 5D Mk III and love it, wanted the full frame and have a daughter with all Canon gear who can help me with software (I’m computer illiterate so this is essential). Bit of a learning curve going from one to the other but it really is what we get used to, and yes they do use different names for things which drove me mental for a while.

    May 29, 2015
    • There are a few of you Lee, LOL. I had the same thing happen to one of mine as well, though the first I knew about it was from a Vanbars here in Melbourne, who told me that it was on it. You have to make sure you trust the advice you are being given. My other lens was okay which was good.
      That helps if you have someone you can get gear from and help. I don’t know what you mean about the software though, I don’t use any special software for the raw files. I imagine it is what you get used to, but I like things to be easy, which is probably why I never went down the Mac route.
      Thanks for sharing your experiences Lee.

      May 29, 2015
  21. Well you know I’m a Canon user 🙂 My dad was a Canon user – I guess that makes it genetic, right?!? His big thing was that he could use his film lenses on his digital when he upgraded. That sounded logical to me. However, I conveniently forgot that I’d never had any film lenses so I would have to buy digital lenses. Geez! I should have thought about that before diving in the deep end with Canon. LOL However, I really like my Canon. I have found it easy to use. Especially, when my photography teacher reads the manual for me 😉 Since I have all the Canon lenses that I want (for the moment), I will probably stick with Canon. Eventually, I might upgrade to a full frame, but for now that cropped sensor works for me. I probably don’t know enough to realize whether it’s actually working for me or not. But when I follow your instructions on how to compose and take the shot they turn out pretty well. I just need to slow down and take a moment before shooting. So, all that to say that for the time being I’m a Canon Girl…and liking it 🙂

    May 29, 2015
    • I love why you went with Canon Kirsten, very funny. that’s good that you like it, and yes the camera manual is very important, 😉 If you go to full frame then you have to get new lenses anyway, and that is probably a good time to decide, then again, I got all the lenses first, so when I did finally get the full frame I had lenses for it. A cropped sensor is a good place to start and you will know when you’re ready. Oh yes, slow down Kirsten take the time to think about what you are doing, you were given very good advice there. 😉
      Thanks for sharing what you have and why.

      May 29, 2015
  22. I have had both Canon and Nikon over the years but when it came time to invest in pro lenses I chose Nikon

    I have been shooting with Nikon for the past 10 Years and I love my lenses and my d800.

    Once you make an investment in expensive glass it is best to stick to one brand.

    I never had problems with the dials and menus on either brand.

    Hooting

    May 29, 2015
    • I did the same, not that I ever had Canon, but I knew if I was going to get really good lenses I wanted them to be Nikon.
      I am the same, love my D800 and my lenses, I think I have a great range and very happy with what I have.
      I just have trouble working things out, no doubt if it were my camera it would be different, but when you get a few minutes with a camera, I find it very hard.
      Thanks for sharing your experiences.

      May 29, 2015
  23. Reblogged this on Santa's Reindeer.

    May 29, 2015
  24. Love the diverse feelings from different camera.

    May 29, 2015
  25. I love my D800 and I find that, for me, Nikon’s menus are easier than Canon’s (and any camera is easier than Sony) but I love the D5 Mark III images as well. My only objection is to the weight of the camera so I am hoping to add the Fuji X-T1 to my arsenal.

    May 29, 2015
    • That is exactly what I find Robert, I find Canon’s menus so hard to work out, what is what. They are heavy, which I don’t mind at this stage, but I think as I get older it could become a problem. Thanks for that Robert.

      May 30, 2015
  26. Funny isn’t it, I’m a “keen beginner” and I love my Canon 550D! I’ve been able to work it out fairly easily, just goes to show how everyone likes different functionality in their cameras. Great photos by the way!

    May 30, 2015
    • It is funny, I have a friend that I go shooting with all the time and she has the same camera, loves it. I suppose you do get used to what you have. Thank you.

      May 30, 2015
  27. I have used the following: Nikon FE (I still have) , Nikon F3HP (best camera ever), Mamiya RZ67 then moved to digital with a Canon 50D to a 7D to a 1DS mark 3 to a 6D and a canon M2. Next on the list a Canon 5DM3. Both Nikon and canon make excellent product. They offer great support and great lenses.

    May 30, 2015
    • There’s no denying that, but I would interested to know Luis why you used Nikon cameras for film, but when you went digital you changed to Canon?

      May 30, 2015
      • When I first started looking at digital, I researched both brands. My first choice was a Nikon D300 or similar. At the same time, I found a canon 50D at a very good price so I made the switch. I still think cameras are completely overpriced. I am know used to the canon interface and I have not found a compelling reason to switch to Nikon. I thought of the DF but I’m not willing to spend the amounts they are asking. Both make excellent equipment

        May 31, 2015
      • It’s interesting how many make the decision that way. I think once you go down one road it is very hard to change. I couldn’t see myself going to Canon now, I have spent too much money on my gear. They are expensive, I’m with you on that. Thanks for that Luis.

        May 31, 2015
      • For me it would be easy to change. I do not own lots of gear. I have looked at the D750 but it does not offer many advantages over the 6D.

        June 2, 2015
      • That is what you have to look at don’t you, it is such a personal thing. I have too much gear to ever consider jumping ship.

        June 2, 2015
      • I know what you mean

        June 2, 2015
      • 🙂

        June 2, 2015
  28. Great post Leanne – my husband and I have been discussing what type of camera to get for taking better quality photographs of my paintings, for uploading to the internet. I’ll be sharing this with him as we start our search.

    May 30, 2015
    • I hope it helps Mary, of course I’m quite biased towards Nikon, I was hoping more people who have Canons would talk about why they choose them, but seems I’ve put them off, oh well. The best advice I can give for photographing your paintings is to use a 50mm lens, no distortion then. When you photograph them make sure the camera is parallel to the painting, and the lens is pointed directly at the middle of the middle of the painting. It is quite a technical thing. Good luck.

      May 30, 2015
      • Thanks so much Leanne for the additional information – it’s getting to be time to upgrade how I photograph my paintings and this has been really helpful. Have a great weekend.

        May 31, 2015
      • You’re welcome Mary, I know how hard photographing artwork can be. You have a good one too.

        May 31, 2015
  29. I think most of us, once we get into buying lenses — Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax, whatever — tend to stay with that mount. Lenses are a bigger investment than the cameras to which we attach them. I’ve never liked the way Nikons feel in my hands, but I like that Nikon has far more “middle-of-the-road” prices on decent lenses. In the end, I gave the big Canon to my granddaughter and went with Olympus 4/3 format and have never regretted it. I’m getting older and more arthritic. I’ve have ridiculously tiny hands — much too small for the rest of me — and full size SLR cameras were always too big for comfort. Now they’re also too heavy.

    My first camera was a Practica with a 50mm f2.8 Zeiss lens. It was so manual it didn’t even have a built-in light meter, but it had a great lens. It forced me to learn the basics of photography. I used a handheld Weston Master light meter and eventually could make a pretty good eyeball guess of the settings to use under most lighting condition.

    Learning to shoot on a completely non-automatic non-digital camera is like learning to drive on an old manual transmission car. I think you learn stuff you will never learn with all the automation in modern cameras. That being said, I couldn’t do photography without auto-focus these days. My eyes are not what they were. Funny how life changes the parameters.

    May 30, 2015
    • That’s very true Marilyn, you buy one camera, but then you buy lots of lenses, well I have. I know lots of people that have the same way Marilyn, and others who are saying that are going to do that. Wow, that must be a pain have such small hands, but sounds like you have worked out a great way to compensate.

      My Pentax K1000 had a light meter, it was very basic, but it was there, so I did have that advantage. that would have been something, though I guess the light meter helps, and you do learn to judge, I’m starting to see that with the long exposures.

      I agree, there is something about coming from film and a totally manual camera that really does teach you. You learn a lot, and then having to develop your negatives and then print your photos, new things again. I went for autofocus in the end too, my eyesight has never been great, so it was a good thing for me.
      Thanks for sharing all the Marilyn.

      May 30, 2015
      • Mostly, learning to know the relationship between aperture, film speed (ISO) and shutter speed was invaluable. Now, I let the camera do most of that for me, though I’m still addicted to spot metering because it’s the only way I know what I’m measuring. Regardless, I’m long past manual and very happy to let the camera drive me through the dangerous curves. I’ve always thought the “Canon Vs. Nikon” argument was specious, especially since I don’t use either one 🙂

        May 30, 2015
      • Yes, I couldn’t agree more Marilyn. I am still using all that other stuff, my camera doesn’t do auto, so I have to keep using it. I find it is like auto for me now. I just do it. Haha, well I’m still using a NIkon, I love it, and that’s all this was supposed to be about. 🙂

        May 30, 2015
  30. Great post Leanne .. I would love a Nikon but I can’t see it happening though. Love the images .. I think the film really stand out

    May 30, 2015
    • Your camera is good though Julie, you get some great photos with it. Thank you.

      May 30, 2015
  31. My entry level was the D3100 because the images taken with it looked good. It was in my price range. I learned to use it and then i moved up to the D600 then D610 (replacement by Nikon) full frame. I sold the D3100 but kept the D610. I recently added the D410 to my arsenal. i love the tilt viewer, light weight, and the fact that is shoot better in low light than the D810. Wish D710 had the same megapixels as the D810. I crop the most of my images a lot. Shoot birds with 80- 400 mm and they are still small in the frame. What I want is a lightweight full frame with a 600mm lens that shoots RAW. Haven’t found waht I want. Nikon came out with a super zoom P900 which I would buy in soap if it shot RAW.

    May 30, 2015
    • I haven’t heard of the D410 Sherry what is that, and I don’t know the D710 either. All the DSLR cameras by Nikon should shoot in Raw, at least that’s what I’ve seen. Are you using a mirrorless camera? I’m a bit confused.

      May 30, 2015
      • Oops! I am so bad with typing numbers. D410 is D750. D710 is D750. The new P900 is not a dslr but has a tremendous zoom. If it shot RAW I would buy it. I am using D610 and D750 full frame DSLR.

        May 30, 2015
      • Okay, that all makes more sense Sherry, thanks for that. I’ve heard the D750 is good, but that there is a problem with it somewhere, something to do with the raw format. I don’t know. I would like another full frame camera but think I would want a D810, I don’t know. Probably won’t get another one though. Thanks Sherry.

        May 31, 2015
  32. A very interesting post Leaane. About 24 years back I started my photography with a Minolta SR-T 101, following it with the rage of the time.. Pentax K-1000 (What a joy that camera was).
    Like you, I too soon felt the need for an autofocus SLR and dabbled with the Canon EOS system, buying their EOS-88. For reasons similar to yours, my DSLRs came naturally from Canon.
    Interestingly I could never really get comfortable with Nikon DSLRs, maybe because I never read the manual. Canon on the other hand were always intuitive to use, again maybe because i have been using them for at least 17 years now.
    I guess both Canon and Nikon are A-Class camera makers, its just a matter of what a person gets used to. I have met people who shoot with both Canon and Nikon on the same job and have deep respect for them.. LOL. The fact that their zoom rings turn in opposite directions is enough to unsettle me during a job 🙂

    May 30, 2015
    • So we are complete opposites, I have always found the Canons hard to use and the Nikons intuitive, and easy to use. It is interesting hearing how people go, perhaps it is like how we all learn differently. Thanks for sharing that.

      May 30, 2015
  33. Leanne, I only have a Canon rebel t4i and I’ve had no problems with it yet. I haven’t graduated to a full frame camera ( cannot afford it right now) but would like to get another good lens. 24-70mm like you have. Do you recommend the Tamron?

    May 31, 2015
    • That’s good to hear Cybele, yes, full frame is a big step especially if you don’t already have the lenses. I got the lenses first. I love my 24-70mm, though having said that I didn’t like it on the cropped sensor, I found it was too zoomed, if that makes any sense, it wasn’t until I got my full frame that I decided I loved it. I haven’t used a Tamron lens that I haven’t liked yet Cybele. I have the 70-200mm at the moment, but only just got it on Friday so haven’t had a chance to use it yet. I think they are good quality lenses and the 24-70 in that range I’m sure would be superb. I can ask if you like.

      May 31, 2015
      • no it’s ok Leanne! You answered my concern when you said it was not as good on the smaller sensor- too much zoom. Thanks so much!! I’ll have to wait on that!

        June 1, 2015
      • It is funny how your favourites can change, on my cropped sensor, the full frame lens 14-24 was my favourite, now I don’t use it as much, I find the 24-70mm more versatile. I think if you are planning on getting a full frame at some point it is good to start getting the lenses.

        June 1, 2015
  34. I really enjoyed your post, Leanne, and the ensuing discussion about the different cameras that people have owned and have used. For many of us, the choice of a first camera was not a rational, carefully researched decision. For me, I used frequent flier miles with an airline to get my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel XT. (When I used 35mm cameras, I owned a Kodak rangefinder, a Minolta SLR, and a little Olympus clamshell camera that I really liked.) Once I started to buy additional lenses, I pretty much decided that I would stick with Canon. My mentor uses Nikons (including a D800 at the moment) and I remember going out shooting with her several times when she lent me one of her Nikon D300’s. The only challenges I had was finding the settings for burst mode and for exposure compensation. She never uses those features and didn’t even know where they were, despite using the camera for quite some time. I really enjoyed the lens that I used those days and ended up buying the same Tamron 180mm macro lens for my Canon.

    She and I plan to switch cameras during one of our future excursions together and it’ll be fun to see how it goes. Mostly it’s pretty easy to learn some slightly different terms like VR (Nikon) vs IS (Canon) and the location of a few key functions. I think a lot of people get so used to doing things one way they freeze when confronted with a somewhat different way of doing things. Is it any more natural to zoom out by turning the lens ring clockwise (the Nikon way) or counterclockwise (the Canon way)? You have to adapt, like it do with my Tamron 150-600mm lens, which turns in the Nikon direction,

    For what it’s worth, I am a Mac guy who uses Windows machines at work (and have a couple of Windows machines at home) and occasional dabble with Linux. I like to be able to speak in multiple languages with computers and cameras (and speak two foreign languages pretty well in addition to English).

    May 31, 2015
    • I think you are right Mike, wasn’t that way for me, but I know it has been for many people. Once you start putting money into lenses, it is pretty much a done deal. I was reading the stuff about the burst mode, isn’t that just continuous mode, putting your finger down and taking a heap of photos. The D300s was fantastic for that, could take a 100 photos before you knew it, the D800 isn’t so good, it takes too long to write the images to the card. Exposure compensation is just a button up near the shutter button I’m sure. I use that all the time as well.

      I don’t know, I’ve tried to help so many people with Canons and then I really have to read the manuals to work out things. Sometimes I just can’t figure it out. They call things strangely and sometimes you expect it will be somewhere and it isn’t. Then every model is set up completely differently and things are everywhere. I like teaching people with Nikons because the interfaces are all very similar. I will Canon did that as well. From a teaching point of view where you can do a class with 10 people and have 7 show up with Canons and not one of them being the same, woah, that does my head in. I know that people get used to what they have, but from my perspective, I don’t like them. Haha.

      Sounds like a plan Mike. I don’t do Mac, or an Apple products, I don’t like the ethics of the company, but that’s just me. I have used Linux quite a bit, but not anymore. Thanks for sharing that Mike, interesting to see why people use what they use.

      May 31, 2015
      • Thanks for your thoughtful response, Leanne, to my lengthy comment. In my experience most Canons DSLRs are set up pretty much the same. The biggest differences are that the semi-pro and pro model have more physical buttons and dials than the consumer ones, which depend on menus. As long as it’s easy to change ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, I’m pretty happy with almost any camera, but it sure is complicated when you have to dig through complex menus. 🙂

        May 31, 2015
      • I have to say Mike after teaching people and trying to use most models, they aren’t set up the same, each one if very different, one will have something here and another will have it in the menu. I found it so frustrating. The new Nikons, in the entry level ones anyway, have a screen that comes up and everything, well most things can be changed there, so that is easy, and so user friendly. the Canons, no, not like that at all, things are all over the place. I’ve only ever handed a Nikon back once saying I couldn’t work it out, but I did it a lot with the Canon, of course it doesn’t help when people come to classes without their manuals. I like the all buttons the pro ones have, everything is at your finger tips. I am the same, I like to be able to do things quickly.

        May 31, 2015
  35. warrenjwalker #

    I am a Nikon shooter as well. I started with a point and shoot and then moved up to the D3200. Now, however, I use a D7000 and a D100 for backup. One of my favorite features of the Nikons is the lens compatibility; as you mentioned. I am able to use just about any of my vintage Nikon lenses with the D7000. I do not believe that Canon, on the other hand, offers the same lens compatibility. I really liked all the photos, but the film images were great!

    – Jake

    June 1, 2015
    • Canon do, but not if you have a lens from the 50’s say, you can’t put old lenses on Canons because they changed the mount when they brought in the EOS system. Nikon have never changed their mount. That’s great to hear Warren, it’s been nice hearing from lots of Nikon users too, sometimes I think we are overrun by Canon.

      June 1, 2015
  36. I started with Nikon’s N8008 and once I had bought lenses, it made sense remaining with the Nikon line (D100, D200, D7000).

    For me, the most important aspect of camera selection is ergonomics. For me, and I stress it’s a personal thing, the ergonomics of Nikon’s cameras (controls, size, grip, weight, and appearance) are superior to Canon’s cameras (that’s not true for point and shoot cameras where I think Canon has a significant edge). Others feel completely opposite, liking the way Canon feels and handles.

    Ultimately, I think the camera is not as important as the lenses but it still has to “fit” you. Before buying, go and handle different cameras at a store, or better yet, rent the models you are interested in for comparison. Rental of cameras is relatively cheap compared to shelling out the cost of a new one and finding out you don’t “mesh” with it.

    June 1, 2015
    • I think that happens to a lot of us. Once you have the lenses it makes sense to stay with that brand.
      That is one thing I’ve found with some of the Canons, you have to do lots of the same thing with the same hand and it is very awkward. Not enough room. However as you say it is a very personal thing and the will handle different for different people.
      I agree, the lenses have to be good, it is the lenses in the end that determine the quality of your images. I’m afraid how the camera felt in my hand was never a concern for me, it was always about how easy is it to use, can I work out how to use without the manual if I have to. For me that has always been the way with Nikon, though I’ve heard many people saying what you said too.
      Thanks for that Disperser.

      June 1, 2015
  37. I had a Nikon D5200 but a few weeks ago, I bought a mirrorless micro four third, an olympus OMD EM5 Mark II and I’m very happy about it 🙂

    June 2, 2015
    • That seems to be the way many people are going, in the mirrorless way. I don’t know if I will, but maybe in the future. 🙂

      June 2, 2015
  38. Thanks for sharing! Wonder what your thoughts are on the new batches of mirror less cameras? I’m a Nikon D3100 user and have been thinking about getting a new body (maybe D7100 or D7200) but it seems there are more options with mirror less too.

    June 2, 2015
    • You’re welcome. I don’t know a lot about them, to be honest. I know that quite a few people have them and love them, so they must be good. There are also many photographers trading in their DSLR’s for them. I think the size and weight of them is very appealing. Also there are many lenses, so as you said lots of options. It isn’t a direction I want to go yet, but I might have to one day.

      June 2, 2015
  39. I have used an almost antique 35 mm camera for years, accidentally getting some marvelous shots merely by instinct in light and focusing. Then I had one of the first “mature” Sony Cybershot digital cameras that took the absolute best moon shots ever. I always wanted a camera with some auto and some manual settings. Then came time for an upgrade. A friend who does portrait photography and used a Canon knew how I love nature and animal shots so suggested strongly I should get a Nikon most certainly. We consulted camera sales people and tried different models, with me ending up with a Nikon 60 which I used for quite a few years. Still there were some limitations. While living in Costa Rica we met a Nikon sales rep at a friend’s hotel. He was using the then new D700. He let me hold his baby and swore it was the best thing he had ever used. I could tell he was serious and I was in love.,so next upgrade found me with my current best friend, the D7000. It has such a great selection of automatic scene settings and when I do use the manual settings, I can usually figure it our pretty quickly. I mostly use my 300 zoom because of the nature of my photos and the style of close ups I like. And my old lenses from the D60 fit as well. And the dual SD card slots make it perfect. The battery only drains if the camera is in use so lasts a long time. Yep. I’m happy…😊

    June 7, 2015
    • That is quite a story, love it, so interesting. Very interesting that your friend was a Canon user and recommended a Nikon. I don’t know a lot about the D700, but have heard it is a good camera, the one I have now replaced that one. I find the batteries last a long time too, which is great. Thanks for sharing your story.

      June 7, 2015
  40. Great article! I’m looking to upgrade later this year. Currently working with the Sony NEX3 because it’s compact and fits into my purse so it’s easy to travel with.

    June 7, 2015
    • That’s great, there were lots of things said in the comments too. Getting new cameras is always fun. Good luck.

      June 8, 2015
  41. I’m a Canon 5D user and have just one lens (24 to 70mm). I’m hoping to buy a Nikon 810 with a similar zoom lens and then donating my 5D to my friend who may appreciate it for sentimental reasons, (since I took his wedding pics on it).

    As for whether Canon or Nikon is better, my view is that its a bit like trying to argue whether dating a blond or a brunette is better i.e. it missing the main point! Henri Cartier-Bresson or Ansel Adams if they could comment on this debate might simply say, compared to what cameras we had, back in the day, that technology is amazing. But it’s how you use it that counts. Can you catch the decisive moment? Can you find the right viewpoint on the right day? SO many other factors come into play…. Why am I swapping over? I love the spec and the flexibility to grap medium format quality in a DSLR body. That’s all. As for the other 90% (including post-production) of creating a satisfying image, hey that’s biology – mind, eye, voice and footwork.
    https://simonleicesterphotography.wordpress.com/

    June 11, 2015
    • That’s a lovely thing to do Simon.

      I think there is always going to be that argument, I think everyone wants to feel that they got the right camera or the best brand. But it really does all come down to what you got first and then most people tend to stay with that. You are unusual in that you are going to change. It is interesting reading about it, and thanks for explaining it.

      June 11, 2015
  42. I looked at lenses first, and Canon seemed to have the best selection at reasonable cost for a nature/wildlife photographer, so I went with them. Started with a 60D, just purchased a 7D MkII for the better auto-focus and faster frame rate, absolutely love it!

    June 15, 2015
    • Nikon Lenses can be expensive, supposedly because they are meant to be a great quality, that used to be the case, don’t know if it still is. It used to be that you bought Canon for the camera and Nikon for the lenses. Glad you are happy with your camera.

      June 15, 2015
  43. Quality-wise there is probably little difference. I’ve started with Canon, and once you have a few lenses it’s not easy to go the other route. I have 3 cameras, and they all have slightly different interfaces though, which can be a pain when you use 2 at the same shoot. I’ve never used Nikon though, would be interested to try one at some point. Not that I can switch now anymore. 🙂

    June 21, 2015
    • Probably not, I’m in the same boat, I wouldn’t change brands now. I think for me it is the interface and I find the Canon’s all different, but that has been my experience as a teacher, could just be me. Thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

      June 21, 2015

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