Canon versus Nikon lenses

by Enche Tjin on July 18, 2008

I’ve updated Canon vs Nikon lens on Fall 2009. I recommend to check it out first because it is updated with current price and new lenses.

There are many debates about who has the better lens collection, Canon EOS or Nikon? I did full research on lenses available in the market Spring 2009, and find out that overall, Canon EOS lenses are cheaper toe to toe compare to Nikon.

Before buying a camera, Lens collection is one of the important consideration and for that, I try to answer that nagging question. Before I get started, keep in mind that I am not owning or testing all the lenses by myself, I gathered this info from many review sites on the web.

Legend: IQ = Image Quality, BC = Built Construction, DIF = difference in price (Canon minus Nikon). $ is USD 5 is Excellent, 4 is Very Good, 3 is Average, 2 is bad, 1 is crap, 0 is junk.

wide and standard prime lens

wide and standard prime lens

For wide to standard prime categories, Canon has more professional grade lenses than Nikon such as Canon 35mm f/1.4, Canon 24mm f/1.4 and Canon 50mm f/1.2 USM. In this category, Nikon recently updated its standard prime, such as 50mm AF-S f/1.4G and 35mm AF-S f/1.8 DX.

But both Nikkor lenses still fall behind Canon lenses in maximum aperture and build quality. Furthermore, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 is a DX lens, only compatible with crop sensor cameras, while Canon 35mm f/1.4 USM is compatible both for full frame and crop sensor cameras.

Telephoto Prime lenses

Telephoto Prime lenses

In telephoto prime category, Canon has extensive collection of lenses which produce great image quality such as Canon 85mm f/1.2 and 135mm f/2. In super-telephoto range, Canon has 800mm lens and even built-to-order 1200mm lens for $75000.

Wide and General Purpose Zoom lenses

Wide and General Purpose Zoom lenses

Now we enter a very interesting category and also most important especially for new photographers: standard zoom lens category.

In this category, Nikon has some good quality general purpose lenses for beginners especially 18-105mm VR and 18-200mm VR. Canon has 28-135mm IS and 17-85mm IS. Canon general purpose lenses are not as good as Nikon’s lens in image quality.

Nikon’s also has 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 VR, is a lens with amazing built and image quality and also versatility at its price. This amazing lens is priced around $600 which is a great deal

In contrast, Canon strength is in its “L” or professional grade lenses, especially medium zoom, EF 24-70mm L USM is $600 cheaper than Nikon’s counterpart. Canon L 17-40mm is whopping $825 cheaper than Nikon 17-35mm, although Nikon 17-35mm has advantage of one stop.

Nikon 24-120mm, which is designed for full frame camera, is not as good as Canon general purpose EF 24-105mm IS L USM.

New! Canon launches two new EF-S lenses and 1 macro lens

Telephoto Zoom lenses

Telephoto Zoom and macro lenses

Now, we have telephoto zooms lenses category

In this category, Canon has formidable 70-200mm quartets that are so powerful, beside that, Canon has a huge choices from EF-S lenses to DO lenses, and variety of lenses and price according your budget and needs.

The last one is Macro Lenses.

Canon has new EF-S 60mm lens, this macro lens is amazing, but unfortunately, this lens is EF-S means full frame camera can’t use it.

Nikon also has new 105mm with VR. Probably it is the only macro lens with VR. It will be helpful for people that lazy to put tripod on, or setting tripod is impossible. But the VR increase the lens price to a whooping $800.

In Conclusion
Overall Canon has better lens collection than Nikon’s in many aspects: built quality, maximum aperture, USM (fast and silent auto focus). Many Nikon lenses do not have AF-S (USM equivalent) yet. That is the reason why professionals might like Canon lenses collection more than Nikon’s.

It is a shame because Nikon does manufacture excellent top of the line DSLR cameras such as Nikon D3X, D3, D700, D300 and Nikon D90. In my opinion, Nikon cameras are better than Canon dslr cameras except D40 and D60.

Canon lenses are also generally cheaper than Nikon when compared toe to toe. Budget minded enthusiasts who is interested to build a collection of lenses should consider this.

In consumer grade lenses category, especially general purpose lens, Nikon’s lenses image quality surpass Canon lenses’ image quality.

Nikon lenses:
Great general purpose lenses, great value in consumer grade lenses.

Canon lenses:
Great for professionals, generally cheaper than Nikon lenses.

I also recommend you to look for third party pro grade lenses such as Sigma, Tokina and Tamron.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

david ng August 1, 2009 at 12:48 am

wow this review is good!

Quazi Ahmed Hussain August 4, 2009 at 6:42 am

A very interesting and appropriate feature written above. I would like to add that for sports and wildlife photography, there’s no choice but to use Canon DSLRs. Nothing on earth can match the ID Mk III firing 10 fps or the 1Ds Mk III for its resolution and sturdiness or the 5D Mk II for all round quality. On the other hand, Nikon consumer level bodies and lenses deliver better service than Canon’s.

stve September 15, 2009 at 2:17 pm

the Nikon 24-70 2.8 may be $600 dollars more than the Canon equivalent but then again it’s a better lens better built & better optically.
You fail to mention the Nikon 14-24 2.8 wide zoom from reports i have read it’s more than a match for the Canon primes in it’s zoom range.
And how about the Nikon 200-400 F4 VR i don’t think Canon has one ?.
As for Nikon costing more than Canon here in the UK Canon is more expensive.
@Quazi Nikons better AF performance & have you forgotten about the
Nikon D3x’s 24 MP resolution & as to build quality are you serious Canon better than Nikon rotfl

Ben November 8, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Nice try at a comparison, but you seem to have confused quantity with quality. More professional lenses doesn’t mean better professional lenses – nor do the specifications tell the whole story.

Canon has a good selection of f/4 zooms, f/4 & f/5.6 telephoto primes and fast wide angle primes, but that’s about all the advantage as Canon has. You made a point of mentioning particular Canon lenses without regard to the Nikon equivalents (like 135mm f/2 L vs. 135mm f/2 DC), nor did you pick out any of the Nikon lenses that Canon has no answer to – the 14-24mm and 200-400mm in particular, as Steve mentioned. Again, as Steve said the Nikon lenses are more expensive because in general they are better in both image quality and (yes) build quality too. Oh, one more thing – Nikon cameras are compatible with nearly every Nikon lens made since the 1960s, and as far back as 1959 with slight modifications.

I’m chuckling a little at Quazi’s comment, too. He seems to have forgotten the D3’s performance versus the AF-problem ridden 1D Mk III, and the superior D3X versus the 1Ds Mk III. Even now the merely updated D3s competes well with the brand new (and still 1.3x crop) 1D Mk IV. Let’s take a look at the so-called “all-around” 5D Mk II – where’s the autofocus performance or frame rate? It looks like a pretty specific body designed for high resolution and video and not much else. The D700 is a very different, true all-around camera. Now, they both have their place targeting different users, and both companies make excellent cameras. In most cases (everything except the pro bodies), the N and C offerings are offset in target market so an even comparison isn’t even possible. I don’t mean to sound like a Nikon fanboy but your comparison doesn’t do Nikon justice.

Victor November 11, 2009 at 11:05 am

This review is laughable at best. Ben has a great point to make that the author failed to discuss. Must be a Canon fanboy.

admin November 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm
Boon December 24, 2009 at 12:15 am

Frankly, I find all these comparisons rather wanting. It is a well known fact that both brands produce some of the best equipment on the market, with their respective strengths and weaknesses. It is really dependent on preferences, and as such, general comparisons cannot be made without bias. I’m sure both Nikon and Canon realize this fact, and are unwilling to point this out too strongly to the public, as such competitive comparisons between fans of either brands only help in the sales figures of both companies.

Quazi Ahmed Hussain February 8, 2010 at 2:53 am

Canon Nikon debates are never ending processes. If one is happy with an Olympus; does anybody have any objections?

So, let users be happy with whatever he/she prefers. I’m not gonna promote any gear as the maker doesn’t pay me for that.

I’m a hobbyist and wanna remain so. When I decided to use DSLRs for my missions, it was Nikon all the way in my mind. Subsequently, as I examined/studied bodies and lens to suit my type of photography that is nature including wildlife and birds; it became clear that I should go Canon. Complied with the desire about a year ago. Encounter some problems with my gears from time to time as I go about my missions. Nevertheless, have not yet discovered enough reasons for a switch. Also read some great professional nature/sports photographers’ articles re their switch to Canon mainly due to lenses.

Certainly many great action pros are turning out excellent products with Nikon gears as well.

Canon and Nikon dominate the market and that’s a reality. I had been to 2 local stadiums last Saturday (06Feb10) to watch the 11th South Asian Games. As I watched from high up in the stands, majority of the photo journalists’ (local and foreign) lenses were white. Needless to mention, I also shot quite a bit from my seat with my own white gear EF 400mm f/5.6L USM mounted on my EOS 450D. Nikon probably (I didn’t use them) makes great bodies and general purpose lenses however; when it comes to professional action photography – the observations should not go wrong.

If common viewers are happy with images, it never matters what gears were used.

firebrand March 9, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Duh! Excuse me… Nikon’s are generally easier to use and more reliable than Canon’s entry level camera.

And if you think the D40 is inferior, or cannot compete otherwise with any Canon camera. That’s a shame because you don’t even see what its got.

I love my Nikon, and I wouldn’t trade the reliability I have in my system. Canon users claim that it boils down to handling and taking care of it. And I am not. It has never been in the service center since.

hotsumarvin April 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Well my main camera is EOS 50D and tried some of nikon’s

All I have to say is, “there is something in Nikon that doesn’t Canon have AND there is something in Canon that doesn’t Nikon have”

lets just think of that any of those two you own fits you perfect

nawi April 16, 2010 at 12:02 am

for me, Nikon have to change. you see, every new digital or SLR camera they launched always come with not more than 13 megapixels. look at D90 and D300S where they both are not more than 13MP. that’s little bit “STINGY” . I solute for Canon where could come with 14.1MP, 15.1MP and even 18MP. (unless D3X) if combine with good lenses, the pictures quality will be greater. you can compare the picture quality between standard 550D and standard D90. your eyes will become the judge!!! i dont want to say anything, decide your own.. !!!

Rudy May 20, 2010 at 3:44 am

These are the best review I’ve seen so far comparing lenses Nikon Vs Canon.

I’m fully agree that Canon has more sophisticated Lenses, let’s say 85 f1.2. No lense that Nikon has can compare its sharpness, specially for Modelling photo or Portrait.

I’m using D700 now with 50mmf1.4, 135f2DC, 70-200 VR f2.8, but comparing to what canon did, frankly I’m not satisfied with what I have, specially on the sharpness and colors…

Just a piece of words from me..

Mon Lopez June 11, 2010 at 4:20 am

Both NIKON and Canon manufactures the very best dslr camera bodies and lenses. I learned photography using Canon but I been using Nikon the last 20 years shooting social and corporate events.i preferred using Nikon for its sturdier camera bodies and lens image quality.I enjoy browsing over comparative reviews and comments to keep me updated. I am also teaching basic photography and my students come with either Nikon and Canon cameras. I’m helping them get the most from their gears. I’m set to buy a Canon EOS 7D camera with a general purpose lens that I can use for teaching purposes. For me and my clients.the standard is image quality.

My Opinion July 3, 2010 at 7:32 am

For the beginner to intermediate amateur without a large investment in either manufacturer I like Canon more for the simple reason that the general purpose lenses from Nikon fall deeply in quality compared to other choices from either company. Thus before making a purchase do you want to spend hundreds and up on both the camera and lens so u can walk around with a basic P&S? Not even the Hogans or Rockwells believe there is a good all-in-one. As the reviewer wrote Nikon makes fine camera bodies. And while quantity alone is not the tipping point in the USA Canon lenses are cheaper and better made using the L version for comparisons. I say this because if you are like many amateurs who don’t look for a specific studio lens for example, or a telephoto for wildlife shots you may find that the AF lenses from Nikon are too slow and perhaps a bit out of date. And yes while Nikon may offer a f/stop lower in one lens it usually has another albeit more expensive version in the lower aperture available. Take for example the venerable and popular 70-200. Nikon’s are good according to reviewers but start at close to two grand. Canon offers three below 1500 starting at 700 before it travels up the escalator to over two grand. Again the comparison narrows down in scope over all between the numbers and quality of Nikon AF-S to Canon EF “L” versions. Canon wins by a long shot. But if speed and cost and total availability are not your concern and you can find just what u want in Nikon they do offer good quality lenses.

Doug July 17, 2010 at 2:39 pm

This was an interesting read. For me , it has always been common knowledge that the Nikon lenses are not just a little better than Canon Lenses, but a LOT better. The color, contrast, and sharpness is much better than Canon. If you don’t believe me, just do a compare. Blow up a top of the line Nikon lens shot and then the Canon Lens, shot. You will not be suprised to find that the Nikon images are much better especially in the colors. The only lenses that are better are Leica and Zeiss and even then the Nikkor lenses can be very suprising. Canon is good for sports, newspaper. Nikon is good for art.

july August 9, 2010 at 8:21 am

Im after image quality such as sharpness and bokeh when i look to buy a lens. This report doesn’t even mention that.

Rick August 23, 2010 at 1:28 am

Dollar for dollar, I gotta go with the Canon L lenses. It’s true that the consumer-level Canons are inferior optically than Nikons, it just doesn’t make sense to spend that kind of extra money for Nikon when I’ve got a Canon L in my bag.

On another note, I know some outstanding landscape art photographers who shoot Canon. It’s not all about the equipment, although you do need to have sufficient quality gear to get the job done.

Sheldon September 20, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Not to be a stickler here, but these debates are a tad bit pointless. Both Canon and Nikon produce high class professional products. I shoot Canon, but could have easily went with Nikon. If Nikon lenses were a LOT better as Doug mentioned, Nikon and Canon wouldn’t always be in a struggle for number one for quality and performance. My friend shoots a Nikon, I shoot Canon, we both get amazing results. We have even swapped cameras and lenses to try out the other brand, both still got amazing results. The main thing you need for high quality images, is a good eye, and the know how, put together with reliable equipment.

The JAY September 26, 2010 at 3:30 am

Canon blah,blah, blah….Nikon blah, blah,blah….

Both have pros and cons. cant make up your mind buy both. Had a canon for years and loved it, bought a nikon and loving it!!! I did my comparisons with both and found both to be just as good as each other. shot with 1D bodies and D300 and up, L lenses and Nikon pro lenses. Conclusion: Both are great, Love them both. One thing that does erk me a bit about nikon is some are made in thialand. (but really, does that matter???)

Milton January 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I thought it might be worth pointing out that some of the lens comparisons mentioned on this site have been done incorrectly, and not on a performance/cost basis. For instance, a Canon EF-S 55-250 lens is completely different from a Canon EF 55-200 lens. The problem is that the EF-S lens is designed for an APS-C sized sensor and the EF is designed for a 35mm sized sensor. This means that an EF-S 55-250 has the same angle of view as an 88-400mm lens designed for a 35mm camera. This goes for Nikon’s DX series of lenses.

The next thing that has to be considered is that a lens designed for a 35mm frame size casts a much larger image circle than one designed for an APS-C frame size. This means that while a Canon EF 55-200 lens gives a zoom range of about 88-320 (35mm equivalent), it does so because the outer portion of the image circle where contrast and resolution both fall off is cropped from the actual captured image, making them superior lenses for use with the smaller APS-C sized sensors.

The final thing to note is that lenses designed for APS-C sensors are smaller, and more light weight due to not having to use as much glass as the ones designed for the 35mm format, thus making them less expensive. For example, in the 35mm format, 28mm is considered wide angle, and 18mm is super wide angle. Until lenses like the EF-S series and DX series were made, the only way to get wide angle with an APS-C format camera was to purchase a super wide 35mm lens.

A minor note about comparing 35mm lenses to APS-C ones is that many of the ones designed for the smaller APS-C sensor do not meet the standards of each brands top lenses. For instance, none of Canon’s EF-S lenses has an “L” designation. This makes it difficult to properly compare the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.4-4.5 USM to the EF 17-40 f/4L USM lens. Both lenses are around $840 and one has to wonder if maybe the 10-22mm lens should be less expensive as the “L” series uses better glass and coatings. Otherwise the 10-22 should act on an APS-C camera more or less the way the 17-40 does on a 35mm camera.

At any rate, in comparing Canon vs Nikon lenses, Canon EF-S lenses should only be compared to Nikon DX lenses of similar focal range, as they share more similar optical aspects to each other than they do with lenses designed for the 35mm format.

For anyone really interested in better understanding what makes a lens good or bad, I would recommend checking out various articles on the Luminous Landscape:

Milton January 11, 2011 at 7:23 pm

It has just occurred to me that there is another concern when talking about the quality of a lens, and it has nothing to do with the lens itself. I suspect that in making comparisons between lenses most people don’t shoot in RAW. This creates a problem simply because every digital camera processes the RAW image data from the sensor when creating a .jpg file (which so many people like to use as it’s the most practical format when printing or displaying images on the web as very few programs know what to do with RAW files, not to mention the extra time it takes to process the RAW file and convert it to .jpg format). This however can cause very misleading results when comparing images from lenses as the lenses aren’t the only factor in image quality. Back in the days before digital when everyone was using film, one could compare images from different lenses simply by using the same film in addition to using the same printing process once the image was captured (same chemistry, paper, enlarger, etc) so that the lens was the only variable.

Today we can’t simply take out the sensor and image processor of one camera and put it in another, so those tend to cause extra variables that make comparing lenses difficult. And, while we can’t remove the sensor as a variable, we can remove the image processor as one simply by shooting in RAW mode. I wouldn’t be surprised if many or even most of the grievances ascribed to lenses are in fact caused largely by the image processor. If you doubt me, consider this: in creating a .jpg file from the sensor data, the image processor adjusts the white balance, contrast, saturation, sharpness, and compresses the file (and some compression does a lousy job of preserving any one or all of those aspects). If instead one were to take the same picture with two different brand lenses of the same type (focal length and supposed quality), one could then open the file in the same RAW image processor (such as Adobe RAW) and then make sure all of those settings are exactly the same from the color temperature to the highlight and shadow clipping, and everything else. I mean honestly, as one article I read on the subject pointed out, both Canon and Nikon as well as Fuji, Zeiss, Leica, and a few other companies all make high end (100,000-1,000,000) optics for companies that manufacture sensors, and who knows what else. At any rate, it does suggest that the lenses made for photographers are likely to be better than we really need for what the human eye to perceive, at least by those companies.

Bobi February 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I received a Canon T2i as a gift last month I kept it for a month while doing some research and then returned it and got the Nikon D90, I love it I did my own research (as a beginner to photography) because of the cropped sensor you don’t necessarily want the 18 Megapixel I guess from what I am reading that can affect the image quality in a negative way and unless you are blowing up your photos to poster size you don’t notice the difference.
On a personal level, I see a difference in the images quality from my t2i to the d90, the colors are truer to life and you also have the ability to make tiny little switches while taking photos a lot easier on the D90, with the t2i it was a lot more of having to go in to the menu. With the D90 I feel like it is more ergonomically friendly and I love using it. Also from my research I learned that Canon does not release the shutter durability for any of their non pro EOS SLRs and Nikon does you get 100,000 shutter actuations with the d90.
I have only one lens the 50 mm f/1.8, I mainly do portraits photography and for me this lens is awesome inexpensive and way better made then its Canon counterpart with the plastic mount.
I had no real bias before owning this camera but I do now. ;) .

Digital Posts April 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Wow! Good share…

By the way, I want to link exchange with you, it can?

Craig April 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I have been in this spot before and done the same comparisons. Frankly, I’m a lifelong Nikon user, both casually and professionally, but I am constantly re-evaluating the relationship. My choice came down to three main factors:

1. Lens build quality—Very evident in the older D lenses, less so when comparing Nikon Gold rings to Canon L series. Overall, Nikon’s lenses just seem to feel more solid, more reliable, have better focus throw, tighter tolerance and better sealing. After Nikon’s stunning 11-lens release in 2010, their primes are back on top and on-par with Canon—far fewer line-up holes overall. Professionally, I think the 10-24, 24-70 and 70-200 lenses are tough to beat. That covers most of what most (non-sports) photographers need. And Nikon kit lenses are definitely better than their Canon counterparts. Canon lenses are cheaper for a reason. Still, most of us are not good enough photographers to actually SHOW the discrepancy. An L lens in a capable photographer’s hands is still a great tool.

If I had to sum it up in terms of lenses, I’d say this. Canon has far more lenses that try to do far more things than Nikon. This is a good and a bad thing. It’s good because there’s an available lens for just about every need. And because they’re less obsessive about certain quality aspects, they’re more willing to take risks, or settle for lenses that do one thing well, and other things less well. Nikon for example refuses to build a modern 1.2. They just don’t think they can do it without making too many sacrifices. Canon realizes the highly specialized purpose a 1.2 can meet, and goes for it, understanding that softer corners and heavy vignetting are acceptable in a lens like this. And their 1.2 lenses are amazing, if fairly esoteric, wonder-beasts. The bad part of this is, of course, Canon can produce some pretty stunning duds, and they use quite a bit of plastic on most all their lenses.

2. Nikon’s commitment to their legacy lenses—I thought this spoke volumes about Nikon’s dedication to their loyal customer base. Where Canon threw up a big middle finger and made their faithful convert to a whole new system, Nikon’s oldest lenses can still be used effectively on their newest bodies. This made converting from film to digital as a poor designer much more doable. It is worth noting, though, that most Nikon lenses can now be used on Canon bodies (with an adaptor), but not vice versa.

3. Body ergonomics and build quality—Most folks agree on this. Stronger, more reliable bodies that feel better in your hands. Well laid-out controls. More accurate Auto Focus with more AF cross points. Better flashes both onboard and in terms of the phenomenal Nikon CLS system. Yes, Nikon costs more at most every stage, but I feel I’m getting something for that money. I’ve had the D70, D80, D700, and all are still actuating away. Never in the shop. That’s worth a 5-12% price difference to me.

But it’s not all rosy. Nikon is a smaller company, and can move at a glacial pace on occasion. Lately, Nikon’s slow response to the 5D Mark II has been a concern of mine. The new D800 should provide a formidable competitor (tsunamis notwithstanding), but it took far too long. Nikon is still learning video in their DSLRs too. For my job, it would be incredibly helpful to have both in one kit. And in fact, we purchased Mk II bodies with adapter lenses for our Nikon gear because we could not wait. The Mk II is a nice little body which produces great video in the right hands. The D3s is just too expensive and cannot produce video of high enough quality for these purposes. Having said this, two of the five Mk II’s have had trips to the shop in the last 18 months, and when used for stills, the AF can inexplicably miss focus more than Nikon. I’d say about 15% more. Not crucial for what we do, but for photojournalism or other “one shot and it’s gone” needs, I would feel much better with a Nikon. It’s AF is amazing, especially in low-light.

Having said all this, either system is highly capable. As I said before, most of us are not good enough to take real-world shots that would demonstrate the slim differences from each system. And it mostly comes down to everyday use. Need awesome video? Go with Canon. Need a great still cam AND very good video? Nikon. Need incredible low-light? Nikon. Shooting mostly fast-action sports and need crazy-fast, long lenses? Canon—although Nikon has caught up dramatically in the last few years. Need a tough, durable body and weather sealing for extreme shooting conditions? Nikon. Need uber-reliable AF for a job that you can’t afford to miss the shot? Nikon. Need great, big-aperture lenses for portraiture? Canon or Nikon.

Anyway, as has been said, this is a good discussion on an over-blown topic. We all have been here, so it’s helpful to still have these around. Just starting out? Go and hold the models you’re thinking about. Go to Best Buy and spend 10-15 minutes with each one. Is it comfortable? Does it feel solid to you? Buttons where you expect them to be? Then be honest about yourself. Do you beat on your camera? Are you going to use it outside a lot? Or are you a careful, meticulous indoor shooter? Then do a little (emphasis on little) research. At the end of the day, either will do. And if you don’t like one, you can switch systems much more easily than you used to, thanks to eBay. You could even go Pentax, Sony or Olympus! At the end of the day, it’s the eyeball and brain behind the body and lens that make images we love.

Ed April 19, 2011 at 2:01 am

I only consider bodies with an AF-ON button, no mode dials or dial with locks, and integrated vertical grips or very high quality grips. The means the Canon 1 series and Nikon Dx00 bodies and up. AF and high ISO must be good but both are a given for all bodies in the league described above.
Nikon lenses seem to actually less expensive at the moment. Compare the 300mm f/2.8 VR II and IS II, 70-200 f/2.8 VR II and IS II. Also note that when it comes to wide angle zooms Nikon makes a 14-24mm f/2.8 whereas the widest Canon offers is a 16-35mm f/2.8.
Do some research on the number and placement of the cross-type AF points on Canon and Nikon bodies. Nikon has all the cross-type AF points clustered into the center where as Canon has them spread out. Which layout is better will depend on the style and subjects you photograph most.
There is no clear winner, if there was one would be out of business by now.

johann May 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm

All I know is that the images from the two systems look different. Nikons are sharper than the Canon images. I have seen thousands upon thousands of images. I can almost always pick out the Nikon because of the sharpness. To me that is superior.

Paddy May 10, 2011 at 3:03 am

I go with you Johan> Sharpness is what counts .I believe Canon can be sharp if it was set up better at the factory. I am a canon fan but believe me I respect Nikon sharpness. Sad Canon dose not take a bit more time in their work shop.

Steven June 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I have learned so much more in the comments than the actual article :)

The article is too biased for my taste; it should be a “comment” instead.

Sapna June 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm


For over a year I have been torn between Nikon & Canon. By the end of the day its the longterm benefits out of a brand rather than benefits out of the particular purchase which matters.

I was confused over which brand to go with regarding lenses and overall. I had come down to 2 bodies, D7000 vs 7D. I know 7D is better but hell expensive too compared. And for a serious amateur like me is it worth it? And again the long term benefit confusion.

I read a million articles and reviews. It’s after reading your’s that I was finally satisfied with Nikon. I’m so glad to have come across your views.

Thank you so much

Ryan September 16, 2011 at 11:44 am

Well… most obvious is that the people trolling here are quite good at research… LOL! But real photographers never bicker nor nor insist that their gear is better than the other… they may suggest but not insist nor they would brag about shoots and sharpness they have experienced. They let their photographs do the talking. Real photographers respect the gears that other photographers use because at the end of the day it is the photographers skills that counts the most. what i see here are part time photographers and full time trolls. Nikon or Canon both have great cameras and lenses but both companies do have bad cameras and bad lenses too… that is a fact. So what ever gear suits you, go for it… as long as you get the shots you want.

Craig October 22, 2011 at 2:21 am

Most discussions and comparisons I have seen do not declair that their main interest, and bias, is based on the top end equipment. As much as I would love to join this elete club, I (and many others) can not. Hidden in this article is the fact that for me, one looking for a general purpose lense (while still spending $2000 for a camera and lense) Nikon can almost be considered the only one in the race. In other words, all the talk about “The great Canon glass” is directed at full sized, to expensive for me, outfits. When you try to find some quality lense for a 1.6 camera, Canon does not deliver. The best you can do is “make due” with a lense designed for a full framed camera.

Bob January 12, 2012 at 4:37 am

@ nawi. You have clearly NOT seen pictures taken with both cameras because if you had, you would know that the difference is negligable. I own both but I only ever use the 550 for video now as the D90 handles better in my big hands so I prefer using it as my main stills camera.

Any idiot that thinks cramming more pixels onto the same size sensor makes it a better camera, clearly knows nothing about photography.

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