Canon vs. Nikon: Testing Day One

Posted on: December 3rd, 2012

As I prepare to invest in some more expensive lenses, I began to wonder if the brand I have been shooting with since I started my business (Nikon) is really the best brand for me.  I love my Nikon, but never even gave Canon an honest try.  When I saw that Scott Robert Lim was selling his used Canon 5d Mark II, I decided to buy it and do a series of tests against my Nikon d700.  Today is the first sample shot.  I took both of these in the studio yesterday with a 50mm lens.  Please help me out by leaving a comment below with any observations, or why you like one more than the other.  The pose is not exactly the same, but its close enough to do a comparison, I think.  Once the comments come in I will share with you which camera took which image.  (Also – feel free to zoom in on the images to get a good look!)

NOTE: The images above are unedited.  The settings used were ISO 200, 50mm, F4 and 1/160
Special thanks to Veronica Marshall of Dolce Vita Beauty for Hair and Makeup

Follow this blog to participate in the rest of the testing!  As a thank you for helping out, everyone who comments will be entered in a drawing for a free one hour sitting fee for an individual portrait.  You can enter by commenting below!  Limit: one comment per blog post.

Optional additional entries:  Follow my blog and post a comment to say you are following.  Add my facebook page, then post a comment here to say you are following.  Share my website on your blog or facebook page and then post here with a link to your post.

37 Responses

  1. I like “A” personally. I tend to like the warm rather than cool images:)

  2. Jordan Waldron says:

    I like the one on the right better, the color seems better.

  3. Jen Smuda says:

    B has more depth. A is a little washed out.

  4. Mary Dahlberg says:

    I agree with Jen Smuda. I like B better – it seems more clear to me.

  5. Kiefer says:

    I think I prefer B, better contrast!

  6. lisa says:

    B is sharper by far. Yes, it’s cooler, but an expo disc or some other custom wb tool would solve that..I always use one, so that is not an issue. oh, and watch that mii, mine had back focusing issues and i traded in for the d700. can’t speak to the miii, obviously, but imho, the d700 rocks over it in soo many ways.

  7. Cynthia says:

    I prefer B. It offers more detail.

  8. Jessica says:

    I think A is Nikon because when I made the image bigger it was sharper. And from experience, I know that Canon can have AF issues. Image B looks like it missed the eyes a bit for focus. I honestly don’t care much about WB SOOC because that is something easily changed in post (or with the correct camera settings). Also A looks like it was exposed a hair more which leads to the nicer skin tones. Based on sharpness alone I go with A.

  9. Dad says:

    B is warmer and closer to what I’ve seen from you

  10. amyshuman says:

    Loving reading all your comments! Keep them coming! (and Dad – the reason that neither of these totally looks like what I post is because these are unedited images… which I never post online).

  11. lisa says:

    wow. yes, when you zoom in, a is sharper. my eyes tricked me on the smaller version :)

  12. amyshuman says:

    Yes – A is sharper in the full res version… the small JPEG is a little deceiving.

  13. Nicole says:

    A looks to have more yellow undertones and B has more pink/magenta. Also, A looks more bright/blown out but B has more detail in the highlights. A looks crisper but at the expense of some detail in the highlights. I’m so curious to see which is which, Amy! I keep going back and forth on which one I like more. Each one has something positive but also something negative, so I guess it’s just a matter of what you want to fix in post… :) This is a great test!!

  14. Cristina Lukens says:

    Definitely like”b”, colors seem more true to life. As always, you do a wonderful job, no matter what camera!

  15. Karen Meyer says:

    I like the coloring in photo B better than in A.

  16. Donna Urbano says:

    I like the tones in A. B shows to many shadow details

  17. Val Wallace says:

    I prefer B as well. Picture is sharper and more clear.

  18. amyshuman says:

    Thank you all for participating! Everyone who commented above this post is entered in a drawing for a free sitting fee. The drawing will close after all of the blog testing posts are up. You can enter once per post, so follow the blog to get another chance to enter later this week!

    RESULTS:

    IMAGE A WAS SHOT WITH NIKON D700
    IMAGE B WAS SHOT WITH CANON 5D MARK II

  19. […] To catch up on testing, be sure to read the post about testing day 1, here. […]

  20. Tad says:

    A because I’m tired of my Canon look

  21. Mohamed Yaseen A says:

    Hi Guys,

    Basically Nikon has the better lenses you can find out from their history of lens making. But canon has a faster processor and more blured and polished image. So if you want you make your wife look cool or kids look like hollywood heros or if its a wedding event you go for a cannon.

    But when it comes to outdoors and realtime pics and wildlife photography or a photo of a sea side cloudy pic. what you see is what you get thing… its Nikon thats the boss…!!

    I personally prefer reality to the photoshoped image.

    In simple words… Nikon is not for ametures..!!

    Thanks!

    • amyshuman says:

      Thanks for the comment, Mohamed! I agree with you, but I would argue that Nikon is also better for weddings, particularly if you like the photojournalistic style.

  22. eric lee says:

    Look at the details in the shadows. B loses everything.

    A has far more dynamic range. If you dont like that A looks a little washed out, just lower the exposure a bit.

    But overall, A is sharper, captures more detail and has more range.

  23. LER says:

    I like the color and depth of B, but A has a subtle, “finished” look about it.

  24. Przemek says:

    For this photograph I prefer A NIKON.
    IN this situation I prefer A , Canon B photograph is to much magenta and to contrasty…

  25. rana photos says:

    A canon
    B nikon
    B is Best

  26. […] with Canon, or Nikon. Summing up this unquestioning brand loyalty is a blog post by photographer Amy Shuman from 2012 which […]

  27. robby says:

    a is better, for b the black is too flat they pushdown to much. we can see in the dress and the shadows

  28. savvas demetriou says:

    Dear friends it’s obvious for an experience photographer who worked with both brands which is which. A is Nikon and B is Canon. After many year using Nikon D2x, D200, D300, and D3 I eventually switch to canon and now calm and happy. I will not analyze pros and cons of the two brands but I can ensure you that canon make my life easier. It doesn’t mean that Nikon is bad it just I can not look that pastel colors.Thanks

  29. ben says:

    I assume A is the Nikon because it has more of a commercial processing look. B exhibits Canonesque reds.

  30. Irfan says:

    A (Nikon)skinis smoother that I like. B (Canon) is not as smoother as nikon.

  31. sai says:

    Nikon images look smoother but Canon has more contrast but personally i like canon photos more…at some times nikon looks stunning…

  32. sugi says:

    i like B than A… i have 7d Canon and Nikon d5300…and have tried primelen i think outdoor nikon is better..

  33. Anca says:

    I preffer A, is definately warmer but b is more clear and cold

  34. Kelly says:

    A is a little blown compact is not fully in focus and necklace is better defined in B. B looks warmer to my eye as though an 81A filter has been used to get those skin tones. The highlights of the dress in B are missing but could possibly be pulled with working from raw.

  35. Kelly says:

    As a PS, While there really is not much in it I would guess that A is Nikon from the colours produced. To my eye, they tend to produce a greener skin tone than Canon.

  36. Kelly says:

    pps Now I read all 18 has given me the answer.
    RESULTS:
    IMAGE A WAS SHOT WITH NIKON D700
    IMAGE B WAS SHOT WITH CANON 5D MARK II
    So how did I guess it…?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOM4r1gxsbs

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