Review of Switching from a Nikon to a Canon DSLR
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links meaning we earn a commission if you use those links. We only recommend brands we use and trust.
We went with Nikon from the start because the shop we happened to walk into weighed heavy on Nikons and the sales expert persuaded us that way. It’s worth noting that it had little to do with favoritism or much prior research/experience. In other words, we went in sort of blindly.
Having shot with Nikons for the majority of our food blogging career, we have gained a lot of experience using their equipment and feel we have a good handle on the quality of images they produce, which is exceptional. In fact, we’ve been hired for several professional photography gigs and our D600 and 50 mm lens performed soundly.
However, for years we’ve studied the images of food bloggers and photographers who use Canons and have noticed something different, something slightly more alluring about their photos that we can’t quite put our finger on. And it made us grow curious about whether or not Canon was the route we should go.
Though we weren’t seriously planning on switching to Canon, the more research we did and discussion we had, the more we noticed Canon’s slight edge over Nikon when it came to overall image quality in food photography.
To most, the differences we saw are minor: Slightly more crisp detail, more saturated color, more “wow” effect, etc. But to us, those differences were enough to lure us to Canon where we now sit with our current set-up.
Granted, we did upgrade from an entry-level full frame Nikon to essentially a top of the line full frame Canon, so in some ways it’s like comparing apples to oranges. But still we find the differences worth noting.
Three things I’ve noticed since starting to shoot with our Canon 5D Mark III:
1. The color on images pre-editing is noticeably more vibrant and true to the actual color of my subjects.
2. Overall image quality is simply better. The detail is more crisp and the images seem to have a “wow” effect; that “can’t put my finger on it” amazing quality.
3. Extensions tubes: Simply put, they’re amazing. With Nikon we relied on an 85 mm macro lens to get fine detail. It was an expensive lens but it still didn’t get the quality I’m pulling off of our 50 mm with an extension tube. The best part? It only cost around $90 and allows us to get those incredibly close up detail shots I want for nearly every recipe. If I could marry that thing, I would.
(Note: I can’t speak to how well Nikon-friendly extension tubes work, but the Canon model we own is no doubt one of the best (and favorite) purchases we’ve made. However, it wouldn’t work nearly as well as it does without the capability and precision of our 50mm.)
What I’m looking for in a camera as a food photographer
Accurate auto white balance
Fast auto focus
Easy-to-use control panel
Crisp, stunning overall images
Selling Points of the Canon 5D MarkIII
You can find the exhaustive list of technical details on Amazon or google, but the reality is that I want a DSLR that provides amazing food photos. I know I will have to do some editing, but anything that starts with taking better photos is worth my consideration. Coupled with the variety of lenses and extension options, Canon merited my investigation. I’m glad I did so.
Why I love it as a food blogger
Food blogging is all about getting a shot with the right lighting and colors and angles that ultimately makes your recipe look as tempting, beautiful and share-worthy as possible. Though it takes a lot of practice and often has more to do with the styling and food itself and less with the camera and lens, your equipment can ultimately make a huge difference in the quality of the images you produce. And if the success of your website or business depends on those images, then having the right equipment is necessity.
My Favorite Features
- Auto focus – Canon’s auto focus works better than our last Nikon set up. Besides locking in on a focus and rapid capture, you can lock in a focal point and then move your lens to capture a different frame and it keeps that focal point – a capability that I personally love.
- Fast processor – The speed and quality of the processor is noticeably faster and higher quality than any other camera I’ve shot with.
- Ease of use: The functionality of the control panels and menus is top notch. They are not only easy to navigate but allow for quick setting changes, which is perfect for making fluid changes as lighting and angles shifts throughout your shoot.
- Extension tubes: Again, the quality of images you can pull with a 50 mm with an extension tube is incredible and honestly, I think it’s the only two lenses you would need for stellar food photography.
- Overall image quality: It’s slightly better than the images we were pulling off our Nikon D600. That’s not to say it’s enough of a difference for everyone to make the switch, but it’s confirmed that it was enough of a difference for us.
We’ve always said this (check our camera bag for more details), but the difference between Nikon and Canon are nominal. Worrying about pixels or depth of field are petty concerns compared to figuring out how to actually take better food photos. Your time is always best invested in just getting better at your craft.
We also think that Nikon might serve some users better in certain instances. It’s difficult to say, but we know a number of portrait and action photographers that really love their Nikons.
For food photography, however, Canon seems to have a slight advantage.
If you’re just starting out or considering switching, we can happily suggest that Canon is worth your consideration. You’ll be thrilled with any equipment upgrade you consider, but we think you’ll get your food photography to go just a bit further with Canon.
If you do end up getting either of these cameras, using our Amazon link here does give us a small commission and help support write-ups like these. These links haven’t influenced our opinion whatsoever, we just wanted to share our experience to help fellow food photographers.