3.2. Canon dSLR Cameras
Canon makes great cameras and some of the best lenses out there. Their low budget line is suffering a bit, but their semi-pro and pro level cameras are Nikon competitors at the least.
Canon Rebel Series
The Rebel series are Canon’s cheap, intro cameras for amateurs, high school students, and beginner photographers: T6s, T6i, T5i, etc. None of these cameras impress me. They are cheaply made and have poor image quality especially in low light, and the better one of them (T6s) is too expensive. Sorry Canon, there’s nothing in the under $1,000 category worth recommending. Of course, the cameras shoot fine, photos look decent on Facebook, but the things that matter to people who want to upgrade from their iPhone to a dSLR (low light performance, build quality) are not what Canon delivers at this price point. Nikon wins here with the Nikon D3300, but keep reading for the other models.
Same as with the Rebel series, the Canon 70D doesn’t compare with its Nikon counterpart, the Nikon D7200. If you shoot video, I suppose it’s a better camera, but for photography it’s not worth spending the money on. Things change when we talk about the next camera – the 7D Mark II.
Canon 7D Mark II
The Canon 7D Mk II is a great camera. Its high ISO quality isn’t as good as the Nikon D7200, but it shoots a lot faster (10fps vs. 6fps and faster processor), making it the best low budget sports photography digital camera.
All the Canons starting with the T6 series are great for videography, and the 7D Mark II is the best option for low budget video. I keep saying low budget, but this camera is anything but cheap – built like a tank, packed with pro features, and very versatile.
When shooting with the 7D Mark II, there’s also a sense that you’re playing with a very advanced toy, which adds a bonus points to the experience of shooting. If you’re strictly talking specs, the Nikon D7200 technically wins for photography. The 7D Mark II is also $800 or so more expensive than the Nikon D7200.
The Canon 6D is a direct competitor to Nikon D610: great image quality, full frame sensor, professional features, great build quality. And just like the Nikon D7200 vs. Canon 7D Mark II, when you look at the specs alone, the Nikon D610 has better image quality in low light. However, when you look at how the camera feels and handles, the 6D feels smoother.
Many people who just get started with shooting weddings or family portraits get the Canon 6D and are very happy with it. I’ve included a couple of buying suggestions for that purpose.
Canon 5D Mark II
The Canon 5D Mk III is one of the best and most popular pro digital cameras. It’s exceptionally well designed and has some of the best image quality a digital camera can deliver. The 5D Mark III is a competitor to the Nikon D810. Personally, I prefer the 5D Mk III for natural light, and the Nikon D810 for studio light. The 5D Mark III is smoother, but I find that the Nikon D810 offers easier access to various settings. Regardless of the almost identical specs and image quality, at this point your choice between Canon and Nikon should be greatly influenced by the lenses and style of photography you are after. I prefer Canon primes and Nikon zooms.
The Canon 5Ds was announced a few months ago, but it hasn’t shipped yet. At 50MP, the 5Ds will most likely be the best dSLR camera for pro fashion, advertising photography, landscapes, and studio portraits. The 5D Mark III will still be one of my top choices for weddings and family portraits.