I'm sure there has been a gazillion posts about the pros and cons of Canon vs. Nikon but when I started advertising my Canon gear on Gumtree and eBay I have got sooooooo many people asking me the question "WHY THE CHANGE?" that I thought it may be worthwhile to write a blog post about it. Here it is - why I made the switch.
*image courtesy: Amber Kelly
First and foremost: I am not as tech savvy as I make myself look sometimes. I'm good at things I'm interested in but there are bits of photography that I only know because I have to. (I train new photographers therefore I had to learn a lot more than I actually need to know as a photographer) If you are reading this for some tech specs I recommend you to stop here because I will touch only as much on that as need be.
Someone once told me that when you chose a brand (and lets say you are trying to choose between Nikon and Canon) you should look around and see what brand your friends prefer/use and know most about. When you need help with your settings, want to borrow a lens, want to swap stories about whatever brand related topics it may be you will need someone who's in the same 'fan club' as you.
That's exactly how I chose Canon about 6 years ago. A super-fun, night club photographer let me take my first shot with his fancy, pro camera and I fell in love. This same guy also helped me a lot when I bought my first camera (which was far from his 5D, yet the basic settings were the same). As I worked myself more into the photography industry I kept meeting more professionals who were Canon users rather than Nikon so it seemed like a good choice.
The first time I got curious in what Nikon has to offer was only just before I was upgrading my camera - but still: Canon won the battle. I was over the moon and back to have such an amazing camera and felt super-confident because it was brand new on the market and I thought this will be my big break through! Well, it's very true that unless you have the vision, the eye for creativity; no matter what fancy camera you hold in your hand, no matter how precise the lens on it; your photos will be just average. I'm saying this because I see many people buy expensive gear to expect that will make them a pro - but at the end of the day if they don't get the framing right, don't keep the main elements in focus, don't achieve the viewer to see what they meant to show; it was a very expensive toy they bought.
Over the years and shooting a LOT taught me one thing: Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony... Whatever brand; it doesn't matter. Your eyes and passion is the most important element of your photography. Keep this in mind!
I was quiet happy with my Canon and wasn't going to buy a new body for a while but I randomly bumped into some people from Nikon Australia who really wanted me to try their equivalent of my 5DMIII, the Nikon D800. Just this itself would not make any photographer switch between brands of course and I'm no different - it's a lot of hassle to sell your existing set up and you probably lose a bit of money too, so why would you do it?!
The day Nikon Australia handed over the D800 and let me test it on my upcoming boudoir shoot, it truly made me feel like a pro. Nikon Australia loaned me a fabulous piece of equipment and I was able to test it on my upcoming shoot. What is that if not freaking amazing?!
Now, here comes a little bit on the technicality.. I was still not 100% convinced on this camera because of some well-know reasons, firstly; turning the exposure dial the opposite way as you'd do on a Canon. Turns out however that Nikon listened to the consumers and lets you change this in the menu now! It was also a little frustrating to find how to switch between user modes (manual, Av, etc), how to change between focus setting options, etc... However I have to admit that I just love that I don't have to fiddle between 2 buttons when I want to manually select the focus point (which I do all the time), and Nikon also makes it much easier to lock/protect the images - One press of a button easy to be exact.
When did I fall in love? When I saw the final image quality... Booom! That was definitely different from my Canon. Yes, I know; the file size is huge and depending on what you intend to use your images for it may be painful to process these images, but for me; it was mind blowing. Super-fast focusing, razor sharp outcome. I was hooked.
I was lucky because I managed to sell all my Canon gear within 2 weeks but it definitely worth the change. Nikon Australia also provided me with a loan camera while my new baby was on its way which is why I also tell everyone; my main reason for the switch is the brilliant customer service of this brand. They truly care about you and your photography! If you are even just a little bit inclined to check out what Nikon has to offer I would definitely see it with my own eyes if I were you.
This post got much longer than intended... However: if I helped at least one person to make a decision on their next purchase; I'm happy. :)