Which camera brand? - Dreamstime

Lately, I attended a portrait photography seminar. When it all started, the teacher asked the group to divide itself in two : those with Canon cameras on the left side and those with Nikon on the right side. The people with other camera brands had to go with the group that had less people, in our case the Nikon group. That little episode reminded me of how I struggled when came the time to buy my camera. Which camera brand to go for?

After reading A LOT of stuff on the internet and in magazines (did I say A LOT?), I decided to go with a camera that could produce the best image quality possible, which seemed to be a camera with a full frame sensor. About 2 years ago, my choices for affordable full frame bodies were the Canon 5D Mark II, the Nikon D700 and the Sony Alpha 900. After doing some research, I found that the Alpha 900 did not have a good image quality in low-light situations compared to its competitors. Also, where I live, I was told by camera dealers that Sony did not give good client service. So I eliminated the Alpha 900 from my choices.

Additional readings, comparisons and thinking about my real needs made me lean towards the Nikon D700. Everywhere people talked about this camera. The low-light image quality, the speed, the tough construction, the looks… I was caught in the storm. I then went to a photography trade show where I wanted to go and have a final look at that ``Beast``. I was ready to invest a few thousand bucks on equipment that I knew would last a long time and that could respond to any situation.

At the Nikon booth, I ask a representative if I can take a look at the camera. I touch it. I feel it. I love it! Then I tell myself : the D700 has been out for a few years now and many rumours say that the D800 will be out soon. Maybe I should spend my money on the new technologies, especially if it’s about to come out. `` That is when I ask the representative if he knows when the D800 will come out. He then responds with a nice smile : ``yes, it’s been announced this morning! `` I smile. I’m so happy! I ask him what date it will be for sale. He then stops smiling and responds in a rude and annoyed way:`` No. I don’t know when it will come out. But who cares? There will always be new stuff to come out. `` Damn, I did not expect that response. That Nikon representative just made me feel stupid. Not a good way to sell products…

I then go to the Canon booth. A girl shows me the 5D Mark II. She tells me about the excellent image quality, she shows me the dials (which the Nikon guy did not do), she shows me big images made with that camera. I then ask her about the 5D Mark III, just in case it’s about to come out. She nicely responds that she doesn’t know and then she tells me about that big sale on the Mark II. 2000 bucks! She tells me that she can’t believe about how low the price is for a camera that good. I start to love it…

I then ask about the camera’s supposedly slow speed. She honestly says that her 7D is much faster, but whenever speed is not needed, she goes back to her ``Good old Mark II``. 2000$ for a full frame professional camera. You can’t go wrong with a deal like that she says. I grab the camera again. I speak with my friend that also reads a lot about cameras. I think about the D700… which reminds me of that unpleasant representative. Done! I fall for the 5D Mark II!

Today, after almost 2 years of shooting, I am so glad I bought that Canon product. The camera is perfect and the price was just too good to let it go. Price vs value can’t be better!

So this little story is just to say that most of the time, the brand someone will choose will be affected by professional tests and reviews (internet, magazines), by camera dealers, by friends, by touching and trying, etc.… But I never thought it could be so much affected by a photoshow representative. Nikon, I know you have good products, but one of you guys did not act professionally and made you lose many thousand dollars. Sorry! Now I guess I’ll go join my group… on the left side!

Photo credits: Piero Cruciatti.

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June 08, 2013


Well for the seminar, the group was too big and the teacher had to divide it in 2 so that each person could get enough time with the models. Don't be so mad Peanutroaster, and know that the teacher consciously divided us using this old war between Nikon and Canon. He asked us to do so with a big smile and in the end, nothing was ever mentioned on the quality of the camera brands. You're right though on the fact that many people tend to look more at equipment specs than just taking time to make pictures.

June 07, 2013


Debates over camera brands are the realm of stupid fanboys who drool over the latest issues of photography magazines and think more about buying equipment then taking great images.

I can't believe a teacher would start a seminar with such nonsense. The best camera is one that is with you. One that you are comfortable with and know how to use.

June 04, 2013


The eternal dispute between Nikon and Canon. They both have great products. Too bad your experience with the Nikon dealer.

June 04, 2013


The most expensive gear are the lenses. After buying the glasses you stick with one vendor.

June 04, 2013


For me, always Nikon. But I think it doesn´t matter. It depends on you. Many prefer nikon, many canon. At the end, what maters its the brand witch you like more!

June 03, 2013


I love my Canon 5DII, you made a perfect choice!

June 03, 2013


I'm glad I bought Nikon! My friend and me went out shooting race cars yesterday. All my settings were intuitive and clearly in the viewfinder and top panel. He tried changing from Aperture to Shutter priority and all the settings were not intuitive at all. On Nikon we have A,S,P, and the other amateur stuff. On Canon, we couldn't find some of the simplest settings. He lost so much time playing with the settings, trial and error, that he missed most of the action. I told him to carry the manual with him the next time he goes on a shoot. Thank God he wasn't doing a paid wedding. He now wishes he had gone Nikon. I have a D700 and he has a Canon 6D. To each his own I guess.

June 03, 2013


Glad you found the camera that is right for you. :) Mine is Nikon.

June 02, 2013


I just did a ton of research online and they decided that Nikon was the right fit for me. I bought mine online which came with so many cool extra things which helped me practice with all these different filters and lenses.

June 01, 2013


Great story and a good lesson for Nikon.
When I went shopping for my first DSLR back in 2006 I had every intention of buying a Canon Rebel. After checking out the Rebel at few shops I found out that the D80 had just been released. As soon as I picked up one, I knew that it was the camera for me. Maybe it was because I'd had a Nikkormat back in the 70's, but the grip and balance just felt right.

June 01, 2013


I am also a Canon lover! Although I wasn't influenced by any brand seller when I bought my first Canon camera - I bought it online :))

June 01, 2013


I'm also with Canon but if I were to start all over again I would also look at Pentax - but reckon that's because I grew up with Pentax - a few years back Canon delivered just the better quality for the money. But I like what you say regarding the sales representatives - the Nikon guy failed and you might now spend the rest of your life with Canon :) - it's like a marriage.

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