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Photography’s Eternal Rivalry: Canon v. Nikon

February 26th, 2013 No Comments

—Well, from the 1970s until now is an eternity in electromechanical equipment and gadgetry with so many major names having fallen by the wayside; even vanishing – anyone remember Akai and NCR?  And, oh, what about Minolta and . . . Kodak?

—And here are Canon and Nikon, still duking it out with the latest face-off being brought to us by ePHOTOzine.  A head-to-head of the kind ePHOTOzine have laid out is not exactly unusual but it is a little extreme to split the difference in the ‘Dimension’ category and award partial victories!  Here’s how they do it:

       Nikon D600                                    Canon EOS 6D

141 x 113 x 82mm (WHD)          144.5x 110.5 x 71.2mm  (WHD)

Right – so Nikon wins on width and Canon takes it on height and depth.  Okay, so this is one seriously thorough comparison job.  The comparison is – as seen in the heading above – between the enthusiast or semi-pro DSLRs of each maker, the Nikon D600 and the Canon EOS 6D.

Canon’s drift towards the Cloud and connectivity and Nikon staying closer and truer to photography’s fundamentals is ‘exposed’ by what each has chosen to include and omit.  Canon’s DSLR has built-in WiFi and GPS while Nikon provides optional adaptors; Nikon provides a built-in flash plus hotshoe but with Canon you get only hotshoe.  

That said, these cameras are packed to the rafters with go-go features like HDR, that go-go feature from yesteryear, multiple exposure, and much more.

For the most part, they are extremely well matched with little to choose between them on any factor.  For the rest of them, for every left hook landed by one, its adversary connects with a right cross.  The Nikon nicks it in Switch on Time to Taking a Photo but the Canon runs away with image quality at high ISO.  Canon edges it in white balance performance in different lighting while Nikon lumps its opponent in focus points.

In truth, the Nikon versus Canon face-off is not about quality or features and never was: it was and is about subjectivity and personal preferences, plus the somewhat different territory each had staked out: Nikon, with its original all-mechanical F3 flagship, was a relatively conservative brand for traditionalist pros; Canon, with its innovative electronic AE-1 hit, was a relatively forward-looking brand for with-the-times pros.  Though that distinction is not quite so pronounced today, it’s still a fair one to make.

Anyone interested in this eternal rivalry should check out ePHOTOzine’s blow-by-blow account.  Scroll down to the bottom for their detailed tale-of-the-tape.


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