Canon Vs. Nikon: Which Brand Reigns Supreme in 2019?

If you've finally ready to upgrade your camera or take up photography as a hobby, there are many models from which to choose. Two of the biggest names for affordable Digital Single Lens Reflex, DSLR, cameras are Canon and Nikon. The information in this review will explore some of the Canon vs. Nikon DSLR choices for 2019.


When pitting two cameras against each other, it’s only fair that they are in the same category. Since Canon and Nikon are rivals in the photography world, they have models in each camera category that compete directly against each other. The model you choose depends on the type of camera you’re seeking.

Beginners Cameras

If you’re ready to leave the point and shoot cameras behind, like the one on your smartphone, then you will want to start with a beginner’s DSLR camera. Even though there are other types of camera, like mirrorless and bridge cameras, they cost as much, if not more, than a DSLR.

DSLR’s can be intimidating to many people because they have multiple buttons that control functions that most people have never heard of,  used, or know about. Fortunately, they also have automatic modes that allow beginners to take great images without knowing about apertures, shutter speeds, ISO, or other functions.

On the other hand, beginners' cameras also allow the user to manually control all the functions to produce the type of image they want. Photography allows for artistic expression, and by playing with the aperture, shutter speed, and other features, photographers can produce images that tell the stories they wish to convey.

Canon EOS Rebel T7i

In this category, Canon’s beginner’s cameras include the EOS Rebel Series, the newest of which is the T7i. This camera is known as the Canon EOS 800D in countries outside of the United States. The Rebel T7i is the best of Canon's entry-level DSLRs. Its features include:

  • APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 24.2MP 
  • Canon EF-S lens mount
  • Three-inch articulating touchscreen with 1,040,000 dots
  • Six fps
  • Video resolution: 1080p
  • 18.77 ounces

Enthusiast and Semi-Pro Cameras

Many people call this category of DSLR cameras enthusiast cameras. They are a step above the beginners’ level, but they don’t have the speeds and features of most professional style DSLRs. If you're new to photography as a hobby or use point and shoot models, then you may want to buy an enthusiast camera to start your DSLR journey. 

After becoming an expert at the beginner's level, then you won't need to upgrade your camera. An enthusiast camera provides more controls than most beginners' cameras, and the button layout may be different. Some people who are new to the hobby like the layout of the enthusiast cameras better, but it is an individual preference. 

When you’re shopping for a camera, you might want to test both a beginner’s and enthusiast’s camera to determine which feels better in your hands. Also, examine the layout of the function buttons to see which is easier for you to understand and reach when shooting pictures. 

Canon EOS 80D

The 80D is a good replacement for the 7D Mark II, which is still considered by many to be the top product in this category. However, the 80D is an up-to-date model that’s a step-up from the 7D. Its specifications include:

  • APS-C CMOS (1.6x crop) sensor
  • 24.2MP
  • Canon EF or EF-S Mounts lens mounts
  • Three-inch articulating LCD touchscreen 
  • Seven fps 
  • video resolution: 1080p HD
  • 25.76 ounces

Nikon D7500

To compare a Canon vs. Nikon in the enthusiast category, Nikon offers the D7500 model. It has many of the same qualities of the Nikon D500, which many users consider a pro-quality camera. However, the D7500 is more compact with a slimmer profile and a deeper grip. 

One feature that stands out is the weather sealing. This camera is capable of being used when it’s raining or snowing, whereas the Canon 80D is not weather sealed. While most people are not going to outside shooting photos in the pouring rain, you may find yourself visiting a waterfall or on a boat. In both situations, water can get on your camera, and having it sealed will protect it from possible damage.

  • APS-C CMOS (1.5x crop) sensor
  • 20.9MP
  • Nikon F Lens Mount 
  • 3.2-inches tilting LCD touchscreen 
  • Eight fps
  • Video resolution: 1080p HD and 3840 x 2160 4K UHD
  • 22.56 ounces

The Nikon D7500 has fewer megapixels than the Canon 80D, but it offers a faster shooting speed and 4K Ultra High Resolution, UHD, video. It’s also about three ounces lighter, which may make a difference when toting the camera from place to place looking for the perfect shot. 

Both cameras are similar, but if video resolution is important to you for making home movies or YouTube videos, then the Nikon camera with 4K UHD will be the better choice.

Semi-Pro Cameras

Aside from some of the enthusiast models, Canon and Nikon also have models that experts call semi-professional. The main reason to step-up from an enthusiast camera to a semi-pro model is to be able to take professional quality photos. However, if you’re not looking to make money from your hobby, then a semi-pro may be more camera that you need or more than you want to pay. 

Professional Cameras

If you plan to make a living shooting images for magazines, newspapers, or videos for online media, then you will need a professional camera. Most professional models provide faster continuous shooting speeds and shutter releases because some photographers take thousands of pictures per day. For example, at the 2015 Super Bowl, photographers took over 50,000 images in one evening.

Professional cameras are going to be among the most expensive DSLRs that you can buy. Some of them range between $3,000 to $3,500. If you don’t need the faster speeds and additional functions of professional gear, then you’re better off sticking to an enthusiast’s camera or a semi-professional model. 

Many enthusiasts’ models are considered semi-professional cameras, so we are skipping that category in this review. For the professional category, this review will examine the Nikon D850 and the Canon 5D Mark IV. First up is the Canon.

Canon 5D Mark IV

This camera is a small-body professional camera that has all the features professionals need to produce magazine quality images. A smaller, lighter camera is going to be easier to use when holding it up to take photos in nature, at fashion shoots, or when trying to keep up with subjects on the move. 

The 5D Mark IV has dual pixel autofocus, which offers better video and live view capabilities than other cameras, such as the Nikon D850. Here are their other specifications:

  • Full Frame CMOS sensor
  • 30.4MP
  • Canon EF Lens Mount
  • 3.2-inches LCD touchscreen 
  • Seven fps
  • Video resolution: 1080p HD and 4096 x 2160 4K
  • 28.16 ounces

Nikon D850

Many upgrades and improvements have been made to the D850 when comparing it to the D810 model. The D850 offers more ISO, more AF points (from 53 to 151), faster shooting speeds, more megapixels at 45.7, and it shoots 4K videos. 

Many of the specs Nikon offers also beat the Canon professional 5D Mark IV. Here are the specifications that you can compare to Canon. 

  • Full Frame CMOS sensor 
  • 45.7MP
  • Nikon F Lens Mount
  • 3.2-inches tilting LCD touchscreen 
  • Seven fps
  • Video resolution: 1080p HD and 3840 x 2160 4K UHD
  • 2.01 pounds

While the Nikon has a slower continuous shooting speed and is heavier than the Canon, it has more megapixels for sharper focus. It is slightly less expensive than Canon’s as well. However, in all three categories, the Canon and Nikon cameras are nearly even in terms of function and quality. It will be up to each buyer to decide which model they want to buy.


If you’re stuck trying to decide between a Canon vs. Nikon camera, you can test them against each other. While testing a camera in the store may help an experienced photographer pick one out, you can also test cameras for a few days by renting them

Renting a camera gives you a chance to take it to the studio or outside to take images. It will provide you with a feel for the camera, you can test out its features, and you can return it and rent another model to test. Your experience with the cameras will be the best way to test Canon vs. Nikon models to determine which is the best fit for your photography style, and budget.

Featured image by: Unsplash

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