Didn’t you know? The Great Debate was not actually an influential discussion amongst infamous astronomers. In reality it is a day to day argument that exists between every amateur and pro-photographer in existence. No, seriously. You thought the PC vs. Mac debate was brutal, welcome to the world of capturing memories my friend. (Side note, Sarah and I are the exception. We debate Mac’s versus PC’s waaaay too often.)
So who’s team do you play on? I am a Nikon girl myself, but I have dangerously dabbled on both sides. Want to know how to decipher which team is best for you? Here’s the top 10 Tech4Mom tips:
1. It’s a BIG purchase. Do your research, and do it well. Ask friends which brand they prefer and love, and don’t be afraid to try a brand you haven’t purchased before if it sounds like the right camera for you. Research, research, research. Some great websites to search are Digital Photography School, PC Mag, and Camera Labs. They offer family friendly, easy to understand advice on both brands.
2. Both Nikon and Canon have a few entry-level cameras for under a thousand bucks. Don’t be swayed by price, they both have very comparable affordable cameras. You will pay a little more with Nikon (around $650 versus $450) but the quality and features are very comparable when matched with the cost.
3. Look for features that are ideal for your lifestyle. Do you want a larger LCD screen? The ability to shoot great images while in live view (video) mode? A camera body that coordinates with a trendy camera strap? Yes, I would totally make a purchase based upon available accessories. Don’t judge. In the end, factor in what really is important to you. There is no shame in purchasing a camera purely based on the fact that is is adorable. Um, yeah. I totally use the white Samsung Galaxy Camera for that very reason. See, no shame.
4. If photography is new for you, look for a camera that has a good Guide Mode for beginners. This will actually help you learn more about your camera’s functions and abilities. I am amazed at how many friends buy DSLR’s and don’t know that the menu within their camera can assist them in taking better shots. Both Nikon and Canon camera’s have fabulous menu’s that assist even the most basic beginner.
5. Consider lens compatibility. If you have an older film camera lying around, you will have more luck fitting an older Nikon lens to your new camera body. Nikon DSLR’s can use most lenses made after 1977. The line is a little more blurry with Canon. If it’s an older Canon lens, and the lens’s name starts with EF, it can be used directly on a Canon digital body. If it doesn’t, it can’t.
6. What about lens vibration? If you don’t know what this is, just skip this post and move on. Ha! Not really, I just don’t want to overwhelm you! Lens vibration isn’t something to stress over. It’s basically blurriness that is caused by your hands shaking when you take photos. Both Nikon and Canon offer help. With Nikon it’s called Vibration Reduction (VR), and Canon calls it Image Stabilization (IS). Both camera brands fix this issue in the same way, (a floating element within a lens manipulated electromagnetically), and in the end they both work fabulously. Bottom line: Don’t let this be your deciding factor with your camera body. You can expect slight variances with your lenses so pay attention there.
7. Stick with your budget. No, really. This can be the hardest part of buying a camera. There will always be a better model that costs more money. And you will spend more on a Nikon. It’s just the way it is. (Mac versus PC, remember?)
8. The all now super cool GPS and Wi-Fi features. Canon has the lone D-SLR with integrated GPS and Wi-Fi, the full-frame EOS 6D. Dang you Canon! Canon also sells a GPS add-on module. Double drats! Nikon actually also has a pair of GPS add-ons, but word on the street is they are not as cool. if you don’t plan on sharing or downloading right from your camera, don’t stress about this feature.
9. Consider ergonomics. Which fits better in your hand? If a camera body feels to slippery, uncomfortable, or heavy you will use it less, and might not even realize that’s why. Be sure to choose something that feels good!
10. Don’t stress. Remember that it’s really cool you are getting a new camera! Retail stores that offer both Nikon and Canon cameras typically have display models that can be played with. Get inside a store and try one out! Then go buy it cheaper online! (Please don’t tell Sarah’s husband I said that. ) 😉
Questions? Leave them in the comments. Can you try out my own personal Nikon? Nope. It’s my baby. But I would be happy to try and answer any questions you may have, and don’t forget to check out additional Tech4Moms Photography 101 posts HERE.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.
Natalie Wright is a contributing writer at Organized Mom and Tech4Moms. You can also find her DIY blog online at natalme.com.