Switching from Canon to Nikon

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ray___margie_parker, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Good Morning to all. Hope the Christmas was good and the New Year will be better.
    Let me start this with background:
    I am 52, and Retired Military.
    I am a greenhorn at Photography.
    I have a 40D which I really enjoy shooting.
    I have no desire to make money off this new hobby, just get good.
    Now to the meat.
    I do NOT get the results I feel I should when I take pictures. It might be the kit lenses I use or techniques or something. I have been shooting for a year now but not everyday. I don't want to nor do I have the money to chase things which is where the problem comes in. I have read an awful lot about the Nikon and have talked to a lot of people that really enjoy the Nikon and produce superb pictures. I am considering changing from the Canon to the Nikon D2X (a friend that takes sports pictures for a living has one).
    All that said, is it worth the trouble and expense to change? Am I going to be just as unhappy with results because of lack of skills. I have been around the world a few times and know that I just need to practice. But I also know that sometimes. the first thing you pick up, wether it is a tennis racket, set of tires on your car, brand of coffee, and yes even a camera, well sometimes it just dosen't fit.
    This is the only place that I feel I can ge a non biased opinion (anyplace else?) on what to do, or if my thinking is warped.
    Thanks so much for this web site. I really enjoy it. I seem to understand the people better than the canon web site.
    Regards and God Bless to all.
    Ray (Msgt) Parker
    Wichita KS.
  2. In almost all discussions like this, the general consensus is that it's the photographer rather than the equipment. But that may not always be the case. Maybe you have bad equipment and don't know it. That happened to me early in my transition from film to digital. I discovered too late (warranty-wise) that it was defective equipment.
    If you have just one body and one lens, maybe you should try something else before you make the final determination. Don't down-play the quality or effectiveness of the kit lens. People are taking wonderful photos with them.
  3. Most beginners aren't satisfied with their shots and/or bore their friends with multiple, unedited images of the same thing with only slight variations! But I don't think switching cameras at this time is worth the money.
    Of course, you don't have images posted-or any links to some- so it is hard to see what your own issues might be. But changing systems, which it doesn't sound like you have too much invested in, is probably not the answer--practice and informing yourself could well be. Personally, I spent most of my free time, when I started, pouring through photo books--monographs of the great photographers--as well as art books. This while I shot at least a few days a week (would slip out of work early!)
    Anyway, change now would be cheapest to be sure, but hard to really say it would do anything for you. (I shot Nikon 35 film, but changed to Canon for digital although I wasn't heavily invested in Nikon gear as I shoot mostly medium and large format.)
  4. Quote: "I am a greenhorn at Photography"
    That statement is the reason that you are not getting the results you want, NOT the camera. You need to learn how set up your camera and how to post process your pictures - and yes, that will take time and patience. Switching to any other camera brand will do NOTHING to improve your pictures. Of course there are some folks who will always chase the silver bullet (and never get there).
  5. Thanks for the opinions. I know that it is not a defective equipment issue. I lean more towards the photographer sucks because he doesn't know much yet. I will plug away and take more shots. Regards and Happy New Year. Ray
  6. Ray and Margie, I'm speaking as one who is "into" Nikon equipment fairly substantially and generally pretty happy with my results. The two considerations that have from time to time made me want to switch to Canon are these: 1) Canon supertelephoto lenses are substantially less expensive than Nikon's, but the results are very comparable; nevertheless, 2) If you've got a number of other Nikon lenses already, it would be quite an investment to switch to Canon. Sooooo-oo, unless finances are NOT a consideration, I'd stay with whatever main brand line you're already using! Best of luck to you!
  7. Ray, can you post a photo or two that you're not happy with? That way we can offer some concrete suggestions as to how you might be able to improve your technique. It will also help to know if you're shooting in Auto, or working with manual settings and what they are.
    Also, if you know anyone who's a good photographer, have them try your camera and lens to make sure that you don't actually have a defective product of some kind.
    As for switching to Nikon, I've been a Nikon user for years and I'm too invested to switch, but otherwise I personally would switch to Canon because Nikon's prices compared to Canons on the higher end cameras are becoming the stuff of small bank loans. That having been said, I've seen remarkable work from both brands, and you really can't go wrong either way once you have the skills down.
  8. Ray, see if you can take a class, workshop or do some research for good books. I don't know your interests or what is lacking in your photography but I don't believe switching brands will improve your images. I can see changing or adding brands if the tool is not offered to do what you want.
  9. I love my Nikon equipment and have lots of it now. Too much to switch. I love just holding it. It feels good. Having said that, I didn't end up with Nikon because I thought, after all my research, it was "better." I was pretty convinced Canon and Nikon were both equally versatile and fantastic. I went with Nikon because it just felt better in my hands and I liked the red swoosh-y thing on the front of the grip. Pretty arbitrary, huh?
    Unless the Canon is making your hands cramp for some reason in its design, I say just keep shooting, and reading, looking at good photos and figuring out what makes them good. I pretty much am nothing more than a hobbyist who loves to shoot even though I'd hardly say I'm good. But one thing I've learned is that for me it is fun even if I'm not turning out Pulitzer photos. My friends and family couldn't care less and just enjoy the shots and I enjoy sharing them.
  10. First let me say, thank you for your military service! I was stationed in Germany in the mid sixties for two years, Signal Corps US Army, my wife and I enjoyed our tour and travel.
    I've been a Nikon shooter for 30 plus years. I will say a Canon digital, though I don't own one, is an advantage as many lenses from different film SLR's will fit using inexpensive adapters. Fotodiox comes to mind. You can pick up manual focus lenses for not much money and use them on your digital Canon camera. Do your research and enjoy the hobby as have I these last 40+ years
  11. Don't change.
    But get some great books and take a lot of pictures...
  12. Agree, stay with the 40d, that's a nice machine. I use all Nikon, but my friend has Canon including a 40d and he gets real fine results. Consider a nice lens though to add and you will have more potential.
  13. Hello Folks, and Welcome!
    Please excuse my ignorance, but does Msgt. stand for Master Sergeant? Thanks for your service - it's appreciated!
    As others have stated, some training would be a great idea. Your 40D is probably capable of much more than you're getting out of it at the moment. Later on, if and when you feel that you must upgrade, please read on.
    Switching brands is not a big issue. Nikon, Canon, and Sony all make excellent DSLRs, and the things that one brand does well over another might be perfect for you. For instance, I find that I can manipulate a Canon body better when I'm wearing gloves. It's a little thing, but it makes a difference in bitter weather. Just because you drive a Ford today doesn't mean that you should never drive a Chevy.
    That said, if you switch to Nikon AVOID the D2x. That body is based on older technology that can't compete with the newer D90 and D300s for image quality.
    If you stay with Canon, check out the 7D and perhaps upgrade your lenses (you'll need to to get the most from the 7D's sensor).
    If you switch to Nikon, consider the rugged D300s or the less expensive but very capable D90. Consider purchasing the well-regarded 16-85 mm DX VR II lens as your main lens.
    If you switch to Sony, consider any model in your price range. Sony's Zeiss lenses are supposed to be very nice (albeit expensive), and the in-samera image stabilizer is a very handy feature.
    Good luck to you both!
  14. Barring some technical failure, the problem is nearly always not in the camera but on the near side of the camera. Changing your camera system would at best be a "placebo" that might give you the spur to learn something new to get better results. The 40D is a very capable camera. If you really suspect that something is wrong, have a "CLA" on the 40D ("clean, lubricate, and adjust"--not so much literally any more on electronic gear, but the term is still used by oldtimers) just to make sure it is all OK -- even if you decide to sell, the receipt for such a service would be a useful aid in selling.
    I think you might be able to get that spur with less expense by either pursuing a more definite learning program of your own, or by taking some kind of mid-level class on some aspect of photography. Junior Colleges often offer these sorts of things as extension classes. Sometimes, a new lens can do the trick by literally giving you a "new perspective."
  15. After post processing, images from Nikon and Canon cameras can be made to look pretty much identical (assuming equivalent quality lenses and taking high ISO performance out of the equation).
    "I do NOT get the results I feel I should when I take pictures." Perhaps it would be to your benefit to specify exactly what you are not happy with and post some examples. And also let us know if you are shooting RAW or JPG and what image processing software you are using.
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    To the original poster, Ray: You asked essentially the same question three months ago, but the answer hasn't really changed: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00UbEG
    Your Canon 40D is not the latest model any more, but it was announced in the same month as the Nikon D3 and D300, namely August 2007. It is recent enough and if you are not getting satisfactory images from it, the chance is that the problem is not the camera, and switching to Nikon is not going to change the basic problem.
  17. Now hear this Msgt. -
    1. proceed directly and procure a book on digital photography by Scott Kelby.
    2. proceed directly and procure a book on intro to photography (others may advise)
    It took me a long time to qualify on the range, way back when. My M-14 then M-16 were not the problem; the gas operated wingnut behind the rear sight had issues. :eek:) The only reason I succeeded is due to NCOs like yourself! ... and practice, practice, practice ... and maybe with someone who could act as a mentor.
    Thanks for a long time keeping our butts safe here by putting yourself in harm's way.
    God Bless -
    Jim M.
  18. As another way to improve your skills, you might consider taking a Photography 101 type course at a local community college. Usually, such courses include a few field photography exercises. There is nothing better than starting out with a trained photographer to assist you in polishing your skills.
  19. stp


    You're driving a Ford, having a hard time finding your way across town, and wonder if a Chevy is the answer. It would be better to get and study a map, ask others how they do it, look at videos at how others do it, get some feedback on how you're doing it, etc. Pretty soon you'll be much happier with your Ford, acquire a bunch of Ford accessories, and then start lusting after the "new & improved" Ford model. It's all fun -- have a great trip across town and beyond.
  20. Hello and Happy New Year to all.
    Consider joining a camera club in your area. Camera clubs are a good source of camera info. Switching brands wont help in my opinion. Just type in camera club and your state and a list will come up. Depending on where you live, join my camera club! I'm in Leominster, Massachusetts, and we'd be glad to have ya!.
  21. First of all, thank you for your service!
    Second, in addition to the above mentioned book by Scott Kelby, I'd strongly recommend Bryan Peterson
    Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera. http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-Photographs-Digital-Updated/dp/0817463003/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262033120&sr=1-5

    It has helped me a lot. Also, reading discussions at photo.net has helped, so has posting photos for critique. The fact that you don't like your photographs suggests that you will figure it out, with some reading and practice.
    Happy New Year!
    M. Ts.
  22. I'm considering switching as well. I have Canon, but it's the older 10D.
    I'm not thinking of switching because of the quality of the photo's, just some personal preferences of the camera bodies. I will be buying two new bodies soon, and although I like the 1D series, I would probably buy the 5DMK2. I have looked at the Nikon D700 and even though it has less resolution I like the way the camera feels. The Nikon feels more like the pro 1 series bodies than the 5DMK2. I'm only considering this as I'm also going to buy some new glass as well so I'm really not committed to any brand, except for some accessories that I can sell off.
    So if you like the way Nikon fits more than Canon, go for it but either brand is equally good.
  23. Something else to consider is that sometimes people just don't think their photos (even if they're excellent) measure up to what they see others doing. It's somewhat akin to even good cooks not liking their own cooking. Keep on pugging away. Even the best photographers are satisfied with ,probably, less than 10% of their shots.
  24. I can second the tip for the Bryan Peterson book, it's very clear. A second book to consider, of the same author, "Learning to see creatively", and one that gave me a bucketload of enjoyment: Michael Freeman - The Photographer's Eye.
    Just an idea: you might want to check lenses. If you have the original Canon 18-55 kitlens, you actually do have something to complain about...
    If I were you, I'd ask the experts on the Canon forum to list some lenses within your budget for you favourite style(s) of photography. Canon has some stunning lenses, and the EOS40D is one of their nicest APS-C bodies, so it's certainly possible to create stunning images with the gear.
    Stephen, I love the car analogy, quite spot on and funny :)
  25. If you are nagging about how you are not getting results you want with a Canon 40d, then I would suggest you to get the software lightroom. It is a very powerful software to enhance the highlight and shadows as well in increasing brightness and contrast and other gimmicks you can try with Adobe Lightroom. What I think is digital sensor have less contrast and saturation, therefore you have to use a software to simulate the result you want. From what I said could be naive since all I own is a Nikon D100. What I learn is each monitor have different color temperature which can affect your result when you want to view your pictures you edited displaying them with another monitor.
  26. If I buy the same golf clubs that Tiger Woods uses (or used) I should be able to join the PGA tour..... maybe NOT! It may require PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and PRACTICE. Enroll in some classes / workshops.
  27. Hello Ray and Margie: I would suggest that yo collect about 100 of your photographs and see what is lacking. You will not
    be able to make progress unless you know what needs to be corrected. Here are things to look for: 1; Is exposure proper?
    2. Is focus right on? 3. Is the image sharp? 4. Is the color correct? These four things you control by settings you use on
    your camera and I can assure that canon 40D can give give you excellent quality of all four if camera settings are correct.
    Now things that shows skill of the photographer: 5. Is the composition pleasing? 6. Does photo conveys message. 7. Is
    there a subject that attracts attention? For that as suggested earlier, you will need to read some books, analyze other
    people's photos and will take some time. Radiantvista.com has daily critique of pictures submitted, you may visit that site
    and watch videos on the critique of the pictures. It is quite informative. And for sure take more pictures. Have a happy
    new year. Sandy
  28. I bought my first camera in 1968. Do you know what a big discussion was then? Canon versus Nikon! No kidding!
    You mention "kit lenses", in the plural. You might post what they are.
    Your current problem is not, as you noted, your equipment. As Bob Capa noted, if your pictures are no good, you are not close enough. That is a starting point.
    I currently have entry level Nikon DSLR, and am wondering if maybe I should switch to Canon. I think that there will always be a "grass is greener" part of my psychology.
    As others have noted, try out both, and go with what feels best.
  29. Hi Ray,
    I'm 53 and also retired military.
    I've been studying photography for a couple of years now.
    I also have a Canon 40D that I really enjoy shooting.
    Unlike you, I would love to be a rich and famous photographer, or at least rich. Fame is overrated.
    Like you, I initially had serious doubts about Canon and considered switching to Nikon.
    I didn't switch for all the good reasons the other folks have mentioned here and also because I purchased a Nikon D90 for my girlfriend, who was a professional photographer back in the film days. The D90 proved it's not the camera, but the photographer, because my images with two years of practice were much better than hers out-of-the-box. It takes time, practice and study. And, for what it's worth, I think the ergonomics on the Canon are much better than on the Nikon, but that's a personal opinion and others will vehemently disagree.
    I also wondered if I had wasted my money on a nice DSLR because my initial images weren't any better than those from my little digital point-and-shoot camera. That also changed big time with practice and study.
    Bryan Peterson's book "Understanding Exposure" has been recommended, and I agree. Great book that really opened my eyes.
    Right here on Photo.net is also highly recommended. Lots of great people who really know this stuff and are willing to help, as I'm sure you've noticed.
    Stay the course, my friend. Assuming it's working as it should and you have a quality lens hanging on the front, your Canon is just fine.
  30. ^ I have an opposite response to that After a few years of shooting With a minolta x-700 I decided to try digital, what resulted was a 4 year hunt in which I hated every Canon I used for many reasons including ergonomics speed, durability, and comfort... I hated them all(the ones I've used) including the Eos Mark III, 7D, any Rebel, the 30D, and the 50D... Well This summer I tried and bought my first nikon... The D90 and I LOVE IT. It made me get back to shooting and doing what I love. Nikon may not be good for many, but for others like me it exceeds canon in every way. As for Ray Learn by not relying on the camera. Switch all your settings to manual Aperture, shutter speed, and focus as well as B&W and first learn how to get your blacks black and your whites white. All of the above suggestions are great to try
  31. To echo some of comments above, my guess would be there are three areas you need to work on, and you will see immediate and gratifying improvements.
    1. Shoot in RAW if you don't already (and I suspect you don't)
    2. Get Lightroom or some other RAW processor - you will be amazed at what 30 seconds in post-processing can produce in terms of increasing the impact of the photos.
    3. Learn more about lighting, especially off-camera flash, bouncing, reflectors, etc. It sounds daunting but its easy enough to start off with one flash and a reflector/diffuser, or for that matter, a nearby wall.
    The great thing is that with digital, you obviously get immediate feedback, so that learning loop is a lot shorter, and you can make remarkable improvement in a brief time, with more than a few "eureka" moments. And you'll like it.
  32. Ray,
    I have not yet jumped to a DSLR, but I shoot film, when I can. From my reading, here, I believe that there is always some inherent need to tweak digital pictures, to get the best out of them. Some sharpening. Some contrast adjustment. Probably other stuff I don't know about. I would bet, if you posted a shot, some of the post processing gurus would take you shot and in 3 minutes post a shot that would open your eyes.
    I think there will be a whole LOT of " I didn't know you could do that ! " statements leaving my mouth, when I finally do make the hop to a DSLR. If I can't make them look like my slides, I will still keep my film bodies.
  33. Spend you money on better lenses and a quality tripod. Join a local photography club, take a class at the local community college, or do both. No camera ever made a person a photographer just like no pot ever made someone a chef.
  34. Digital SLRs offer a lot of options, too many actually. It's like handing a kid in driver's ed the keys to a Maserati. There will be wrecks.
    A lot of folks take bad pix because they don't understand what settings, by design or accident, their camera have at the moment. This whole maze of new digital settings is Revenge of the Nerds, Part Deaux. It's hard to move from being an expert on film to geek 101. Keep pugging away. It should be worth it.
  35. Even though all of us Nikonians would gladly welcome you into the light, I think it is your inexperience, not your gear, that is producing disappointing images. The gear is simply a tool to record the image. It is the skill and knowledge of the photographer that makes the image
    So many people think they can get a do everything digital camera and think that they will be immediately successful photographers, because all those engineers have made it so easy to be a good photographer. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I am entirely self taught, and burned up a lot of film, paper and chemicals on the road to competency. Rather than spend money on equipment, invest in some books, take an online class or one at a local junior college. But most of all..........GET OUT AND SHOOT THINGS. No amount of reading or teaching is a real substitute for actually going out and taking photos. Sometimes the best lessons you learn are from your own mistakes. And now since digital is essentially free equipment aside, you can shoot as much as you want, and see right away if you are on track or off the rails.
  36. Hello Ray,
    I find the strong title of your thread interesting ! Are you still sure that's what you are going to do ??!!
    Ray, as Scott says, a Camera is a *tool*. They all pretty much do the same thing. The Aperture in the lens opens larger and closes smaller and the shutter can be varied to increase or decrease the time it stays open.
    Not too long ago, these parts on a cameras operated near identically, i.e. an Olympus camera's shutter speed could be varied in 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, steps etc etc and so could a Canon's and so could a Nikon's etc etc. Same for lenses (f2, f2.8, f4 etc). All pretty much the same.
    So can you see that if they all do things pretty much the same, taking great pictures must boil down to something other than the camera.
    That something else, as most people have already said, is KNOWLEDGE.
    I kinda disagree with Scott (no offense Scott !) in that I wouldn't necessarily advise to 'get out and shoot things' because until you know HOW to use a camera, UNDERSTAND light and lighting, I believe 'getting out and shooting' may frustrate you further (it may, it may not).
    So the BEST advice I can give you, is to join a Photography Class.
    I promise you won't regret it.
  37. I agree with what the majority of people are saying here, buy some decent books covering the editing of your images and get to know the camera you have, which I believe is a good performer. Take a look at some of Floriana barbu portfolio, most of her images have been taken with a 20D and 17-40mm lens with outstanding results.
  38. You could join a camera club and reach out for help. Check the website www.Meetup.com to see if there is a Meetup group in you area. I belong to one in New York City and I pass along my knowledge of photography to "new" photographers during a outdoor Meetup shoot.
    As someone said before, Bryan Peterson books are excellent. He is the photographer that got me thinking that my camera is a tool, like a screwdriver and the important tool is in my head and in my heart for the joy of photography. The Understanding Exposure and Thinking Creatively are both excellent books to get you head thinking corretly about shooting a photograph before you press the shutter button.
    My opinion is almost anyone can learn to shoot. Pressing the shutter button is easy, but setting up the photograph before you press the shutter button is the hard part.
    And frankly you should not be hard on yourself it is understandable that you think it is the camera that is the problem when it the photographer. Also it good that your not please with you photos as that shows desire to learn and improve you skills and your photographs will improve in the end.
  39. I'm a Nikon enthusiast. I like the feel, and the user interface seems to be better organized and user friendly on Nikons. I have a D90 and love it! But I agree with everyone else, Nikon and Canon are equally good brands. It just depends which you like using more =]


    Thanks guys,
    Gavin Sexton
  40. Your statement "I do NOT get the results I feel I should when I take pictures." is not specific enough.
    I don't understand why you feel that changing camera brands will improve your photos. I don't think it will.
    I suggest joining photo.net as a paying member and start posting your work.
  41. Why don't you post some photos and ask for tips to improve them?
    Besides what are you trying to photograph? A good place to start is to try to take a studio photo of a watch, once you figure out how to get all the settings right - ideal - then you can move on to people, sports and nature.

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