Nikon or Canon? | Denver Wedding and Portrait Photographer

HELP! What camera should I buy!

I seem to be getting an increased number of phone calls and emails with the holidays quickly approaching with family and friends wanting to know how to best spend their money on a new camera.  So far everyone I have talked to has made a different decision based on need and budget.

My discussions seem to begin with “Should I buy Nikon or Canon?” I wish it were that simple! I professionally shoot Nikon, but some of my closest photographer friends shoot Canon and Sony.  And our personal point and shoot is Canon!

Here are my suggestions!

1. Point and Shoot or DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex)

Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, and many people have both for that reason.

The Point and Shoot camera is great for quick family and friend photos, more for social atmosphere types of photos. They aren’t too complicated, so you can easily hand it to another person and have them take a picture of you and they fit nicely in a purse or pocket. Point and Shoot cameras can also quickly take short videos. Some disadvantages include the time lapse between pushing the shutter release and taking the actual photo. Long delays can mean missing an important photo!

The consumer grade DSLR camera (cameras for professionals are another discussion) also work well for photographing your family and friends, however, are not quite as easy to carry around – making them a little less convenient. But, you have many more options available to create amazing photographs. Greater zoom lengths, aperture options for sharp focus or blurred backgrounds for portraits and faster shutter speed, just to name a few. DSLR cameras have little to no shutter delays, and have a rapid fire option letting you take 3+ photos per second. DSLR cameras may or may not have an option for video… depends on how much you are willing to spend.

2. What brand?

This depends on your answer to #1!  Most Top Ten Point and Shoot lists I have seen have a handful of Canon options, a couple Panasonic and Sony, with only one or two Nikons. Check out Best Point and Shoot Cameras, Digital HQ “Best of”, Best of Point and Shoot, and my favorite The Worst Cameras of 2010, because sometimes you don’t need THE BEST, you just don’t want the worst!  Now, what to look for in the always scary “technical information” section. More Megapixels doesn’t always mean better camera. Look for Optical Zoom. It is real zoom, maintaining the quality of the photo, and the most important. Digital Zoom is more like cropping an existing photo, making a small portion of the photo larger, degrading the quality of the photo.

If you decide that a DSLR camera is best for you, check out Canon, Nikon and Sony.  With Nikon and Sony you seem to get more bang for your buck, as they are more reasonably priced.  Check out Popular Digital Cameras and Gear, Consumer Reports Top DSLR, Best Entry Level DSLR

3. Go Shopping!

I highly recommend holding a camera before purchasing (especially online).  I chose to shoot Nikon, because it was the most comfortable for me. Each brand locates its buttons and menus differently, and for me Nikon made sense.  Head to Target, or a local camera shop and just mess with different cameras, and then find the best deal!  Here a couple of online resources – KEH Camera, B&H Camera and Video

Happy Shooting!