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New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-31-2017

Canon or Nikon

Hello so ive been thinking about getting my first dslr. ive pretty much narrowed down my options to the Nikon D3300 or the Canon T5 with a added 50mm 1.8 lens. Which one is better? Or should I go for a Canon T5i? I will probably not do many portraits and more landcapes or sunsets or closeups. Thank you.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎03-23-2015

Re: Canon or Nikon

I have the T3I and LOVE it!  Takes great pictures....and is EASY to use!  Life is too short to worry about  "settings"....just take the picture and move on!  Get the Canon.  As you might guess....I own a simple Trac-phone Big EASY!  I never pay attention to the "settings" on my microwave....when it stops popping....hit the end button.  Had my Honda Crv since 12/15....not once have I looked under the hood!  Ge the BIG EASY and T3I....AND MOVE ON!

Posts: 11,804
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Canon or Nikon

@AlexTheTinyBean wrote:
Hello so ive been thinking about getting my first dslr. ive pretty much narrowed down my options to the Nikon D3300 or the Canon T5 with a added 50mm 1.8 lens. Which one is better? Or should I go for a Canon T5i? I will probably not do many portraits and more landcapes or sunsets or closeups. Thank you.

I like the Canon lens selection.  Except for a handful of very specialized lenses, every Canon lens has autofocus.  Not quite so with Nikon lenses.  The Rebel T5 is an entry level camera, with entry level features, which means a few desireable features are not included.  For example, no external microphone input for recording video.


The Rebel T5 was discontinued.  Any "new" T5 cameras out there are left over inventory.  If you wish to buy one, I would only consider the Canon Online Refurbished Store.  There is a link to the Canon Store on most forum pages in the lower right corner.




"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎03-23-2015

Re: Canon or Nikon

[ Edited ]

I got my Canon as a refurb. from Canon itself.  Had 11 "clicks" on it.....almost like new.  Also got my Canon 10-18 as a refurb.  Look into some $$$  Set it (turn it on) and forget it!  Good made Auto FOR A REASON!

New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-31-2017

Re: Canon or Nikon

i found that i could get a canon T5 for $55 and used lenses for cheap too but im debating if used -like new lenses are worth the small cost for anew dslr
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎03-23-2015

Re: Canon or Nikon

I never buy used lenses from ANYBODY.....except the Canon refurb.  Look up the Canon sire for refurb.  But from them....WITH a warrenty!

Super Contributor
Posts: 145
Registered: ‎12-03-2016

Re: Canon or Nikon

Tha Canon versus Nikon debate is endless, and has been going on forever.  My own opinion is that most, if not all, modern DSLR cameras are capable of excellent image quality.  The differences lie in their ergonomics, features, and selection of lenses.  I've owned point and shoot cameras made by Canon, Olympus, Nikon, and Sony; but my DSLR's have always been Canons.


I prefer the feel of the Canon, and also am very comfortable with the layout of their controls and menus.  As far as image quality, Nikon has somewhat better dynamic range and most tests show sharper images right out of the camera.  I have always liked the overall look of the Canon JPEG product out of the camera and, since I shoot more JPEG than RAW, that's a factor for me.  I have often been unhappy with my skill as a photographer, but never with the quality of what the camera can produce.


As far as price, I will add one more vote for the Canon refurb store.  I got my current T6S there, as well as several lenses.  All my purchases have arrived in perfect condition and covered with a one year factory warranty.  You get a plain white box instead of the usual commercial package, but that's the only real difference you'll see.

Forum Elite
Posts: 14,131
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Canon or Nikon


Pay attention to StanNH.  Good advice!  He is spot on.


I am a Canon and Nikon owner and user.  So I believe I can speak from personal experience.  If you are deciding between the 3300 and the T5, the T5 all the way.  The T5i is even better.  All you have to do is handle a D3300 and a T5 and you will not have to ask which is better.  It is probably why Rebels out sell low price brand-N by a nice margin.


Now for the hard part.  The Canon lens line up is far and away the best there is.  Period.  No one else has that.  However, you mentioned the 50mm f1.8.  In this particular focal length the Nikkor is better.


MPO, don't buy a used budget DSLR.  Nikon or Canon or anybody else's.  Unless you know a goodly deal about it.  They are too fragile and can easily have something go wrong if not treated properly.  It is easy to conceal damage from rough use or a drop or rain, etc.


BTW, had you said you wanted the top of the line model, I would say to buy the Nikon D5.  Personally I would love to add a 1Dx or Mk II to my inventory but I just can't pull the trigger with the D5 out there.  Best camera vs best lenses and the two are not simpatico. Smiley Frustrated

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-31-2017

Re: Canon or Nikon

If i got the T5 what lens do you suggest i get for it?
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,854
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Canon or Nikon

It's hard to buy a bad camera these days.  


If you happen to enjoy a fantastic meal, you probably wouldn't ask the cook/chef if they used Calaphon brand cookware vs. All-Clad brand cookware to prepare the meal... because you'd recognize that the results are really due to the cook and not the cookware.  The same is mostly true of cameras.


I say "mostly" true because it's possible to find a camera that isn't really suited for how you intend to use it (I probably wouldn't use a 12 quart stock-pot to prepare an omelet -- so it is possible, even among camera, to find a use that isn't suited to a particular model.


The results you get will mostly be based on your knowledge and skill.  Sort of like playing the piano... buying a better piano wont necessarily make your music sound any better.  To sound better.... requires practice.  That analogy definitely translates to phoography.  The more you do it, the more you learn, and the more you learn, the higher your "keeper rate" tends to be.


You mentioned the T5 and the T5i.  These two cameras are not related.  


Canon produces DSLR cameras several ranges.  


The entry-level range for Canon are branded as the "Rebel" series here in North America (it has a different convetion in other parts of the world).  Within the entry-range there's a low vs. high end of the "entry" range.  


The lowest end of the range have no letter suffix after the number.  So there was a T3 (several years ago - now discontinued) a T5 and a T6.  


The high end of the range have suffixes... usually an "i" but Canon also started using an "s".  So there's a T5i, T6i, and the brand new (this year) T7i.  These cameras add more features.  


A T5i wouldn't be just like a T5 with a few extras added, they really should be thought of as completely different cameras.


Canon also makes a mid-range and pro-range series of bodies.  The pro-range bodies tend to be more "technical" (so many features and configurations that they may seem confusing for those just buying their first DSLR camera.)


Portraits and landscapes tend to want different focal length lenses.  Portraits tend to look better when shot with longer focal lengths (say... 50-85mm focal lengths but I do know of photographers who shoot portraits with 200mm).  


Landscapes, on the other end, tend to be shot with shorter focal lengths (probably in the 10-20mm range).  


There are no 'rules' for this... it's just that different focal lengths will alter the look of an image.  If you've got a beautiful panoramic scene in front of you, and you need to let your eyes gaze around to take in the view, then you probably want a wide-angle (short focal length) lens to take in the view.  


But those same wide-angle focal lengths don't work well for portraits where subjects will either look small -or- if you get close enough to help the subject fill the frame, they tend to create a distorted view of the subject (features that are closest look larger than features that are farther away... so your subjects appear to have big noses and other non-flattering features in a portrait.)


The 'kit' lens that would typically be included with a body+lens kit is typically an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.  But Canon makes two of these.  The older generation is included with the T5 kit.  The newer generation is included with the T5i kit.  The newer generation has the letters "STM" in the lens name and this refers to the auto-focus motor type (stepper motors).  Nevermind the stepper motors ... the optics were redesigned for the newer generation and the newer generation is nicely improved over the previous lens.    


The same is true of the 50mm f/1.8 lens... only buy the "STM" version.  For the 50mm the new generation did not actually redesign the optics... the 50mm "optics" are identical between the old and new.  But what they did change was the aperture blade design.  The old lens had a 5-blade aperture with flat edges.  This created a pentagon shaped blur and caused out-of-focus background blur to have a non-smooth "jittery" quality that wasn't very pleasant.  The new lens has a 7-blade aperture which greatly improves on the quality and smoothness of the blur.


Overall I feel that what will make your images better are:


1 - you (your knowledge and skill level)


2 - lighting and knowing how to use it (lighting can be used to create a sense of emtion or energy... I can create a sense of soliditude, despair, peace, joy, excitement... all by how we use the lighting.)


3 - the lenses


4 - the camera body


Notice the body is in last place - and that's no mistake.  It has the least influence on the results.   


The Canon lens lineup and lens quality is, in my opinion, a very strong reason to go with Canon.  It's difficult to make a general statement about this without getting into specifics... but there are so many areas where the Canon offering is significantly better than the Nikon offering (or where Nikon doesn't even have an offering).  There are, of course, also 3rd party lenses as well.  But the Canon brand lenses usually tend to exceed what the 3rd party offers. 


There are a handful of serious lens brands... mostly Canon and Nikon dominate in the lens market for their own cameras.  But Sigma and Tamron dominate the 3rd party lenses.  There are others such as Rokinon (these tend to be budget-priced and usually manual lenses that don't offer auto-aperture or auto-focus but the optics are often good) to Schneider or Ziess at the high end (although Sigma now makes the "Art" series lenses which are high end glass.)


I will offer just one example... the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II is an exceptionally nice lens.  It's extremely popular and most photographers either have a 70-200mm lens in their bag... or they want one.  Canon's 70-200 is the only model I know of that doesn't have a serious "breathing" problem.  


I enjoy my 70-200mm lens so much that it's THE lens that "lives" on my camera body.  I am constantly using it and have far more shots taken with that lens than any other (even for shorts where you'd probably think I should use a shorter focal length... for example I take portraits with this lens rather than using a more traditional portrait focal length).  


The Nikon equivalent has a serious "breathing" issue (as do all the 3rd party lenses).  All lenses "breathe" at least a little.  This means that when you set a specific focal length and focus to infinity, your lens probably actually is accurately representing the focal length (with only a very tiny margin of error... so a 100mm lens probably is 100mm and a 200mm lens probably is 200mm).  HOWEVER... if you re-focus the lens (but don't touch the focal length), the focal length actually changes.  So if I use my 70-200mm lens and focus on a subject for a portrait and that subject is close to me (so I'm mostly getting a "head and shoulders" composition of them) the Canon lens breathes and the focal length is reduced to about 190mm.  That's with 5% of the 200mm I think I'm using.  But try that on the Nikon lens... or the Sigma version or the Tamron version and those lenses REALLY breathe... you'll find the measured focal length actually drops to something in the 130-150mm range (nowhere even remotely close to the 200mm you think you're getting.)    So this is just one example of where the Canon lens massively exceeds the competition.


You may be wondering... why is this guy bringing up the 70-200mm lens?   Because every photographer either "owns" one of these lenses or "wants" one of these lenses.  So if you buy a camera and start to really enjoy it and want to start acquiring more gear... you'll eventually want one of these lenses (there are a lot of reasons why they're extremely popular.)


Lighting is a bit trickier because there are vastly more brands of 3rd party light and lighting very heavily relies on light modifiers to alter the quality of the light.  But if one were to compare just the Canon brand lighting choices, Canon offers more choice with nicer features than Nikon.  Canon's latest series of speedlite flashes these past few years are now including radio technology (rather than relying on optical methods to trigger off-camera flash which requires line-of-sight.)  


I don't want to denigrate Nikon - they make very nice and very capable camera products and there's no denying that (and so does Sony).  But I consider the overall "system" of gear that I have to rely on -- not just the camera body.  And so the above reasons are why I tend to prefer the Canon system.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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