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Selecting DSLR System (Canon v Nikon)-Hotshoe Flash Important Consideration?
Hi! I'm in the final stages of selecting which system (Canon or Nikon) to invest in for my 1st DSLR purchase. As they're both great systems, I'm about ready to just flip a coin! My last nagging question is whether or not Canon or Nikon has a hotshoe flash system that is significantly BETTER or EASIER TO USE than the other. Or are they similar enough that this really isn't a major consideration at all. I would probably be looking at the SB-600 or 430EX, and placing it on a D80, 30D, or 40D. My beginning lens choice(s) would be Nikon 18-55 kit, 70-300vr, 50 1.4; or Canon 28-135 kit, 50 1.4 (adding longer zoom later). Very interested in portraiture of my family using hotshoe flash, doubt I would advance far enough to add strobes..

Thanks!Jim..

Comments (12)

Both Nikon and Canon have completely adequate flash systems. Some prefer one over the other, but there is just no way you can go wrong. Flip the coin..

That said, I think there are some small advantages to the Nikon flash system if the flash will be your deciding factor..

BTW, I shoot Canon..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #1

DisneyJim wrote:.

Question is whether or not Canon or Nikon has a hotshoe flash systemthat is significantly BETTER or EASIER TO USE than the other. Or arethey similar enough that this really isn't a major consideration at.

I've not read anything to substiate that either flash system is significantly better. The general consensus seems to be that Nikon has a marginally better flash system while the Canon lens system is more robust especially for wildlife and sports shooting. As I've shot Pentax for about 30 years, I really have no actually hands on use......just my thoughts from reading way too many forum posts! .

JohnPentax *ist-D, K100D, Fuji F20/31fd, Oly Stylushttp://www.pbase.com/jglover..

Comment #2

Thanks for the replies! I keep leaning toward Canon, mainly because I can get more body for what I can afford right now, but then get swayed by Ken Rockwell's writings on Nikon flash, mainly in ease of use. Always leaves me with the question as to whether Canon's flash requires more work to use properly? I'm just trying to keep things as simple as possible (knowing flash shooting is a trickier animal) to keep my frustration level down and chances of getting the results I want up..

Has anyone seen any good articles comparing the two flash systems directly? Or is it simply not that complicated and I'm overthinking it?.

Now, what kind of coin would be best to use if I were to flip one? : ) (I guess that's probably how nit-picky I'm getting!)..

Comment #3

The Nikon flash system is marginally better, especially with the new little SB-400 which is great. I took the wedding photos below with it, it nailed the exposure every time and so easy to use..

Canon don't have an equivalent flash - but really there's little in it, and the same is true for lenses as far as I can see - Canon certainly are no worse for sure..

It may come down to the cameras' ergonomics and how they feel to you..

All taken with Nikon D200, cheap Nikon 50mm f/1.8 + SB-400 bounce flash:.

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Alex.

Http://akiralx.smugmug.com/..

Comment #4

Thanks for the replies. If I were to go Canon and my main interest is portraiture, given a $1,500 budget am I best going with the 40D/28-135 kit or dropping to the xti to add a better lens. If dropping, what is the best standard zoom I can get in that price range? I know lenses are a better investment than the camera, but I'm not sure what lens I would change to if dropping down on the body..

Please note that one of my first additions will be the 50 1.4..

Thanks again!..

Comment #5

The lens to get with a Canon system is the 17-85IS..

The advantage to the Nikon flash system (CLS) is the wireless control and sync of multiple flashes. Not something most people utilize, but would be nice for portraits..

D8018-135SB-600 (x2)..

Comment #6

I think it should come down to which body you like the best. That is mostly a question only you can answer, after really handling all the candidates. Once you pick something and start to buy lenses, then the lens you already have start to preclude most people from switching..

I am a Canon user, and my first DSLR (afetr previous experience with fiilm SLRs many years ago) was the Rebl XT, which is still my current camera. It has beena great camera and I have not regretted buying it. I am now starting to consider upgrading, having a few phot interests that seem like they would benefit from the new 40D (astrophotography, and sports photography). In your case, the 400D is gonna be smaller and lighter than the 30D/40D body. You can find people who like that or don't like it. Once again, it is really your preference..

As for lenses, I have used the 17-85 IS now for over a year and I love it. There are better lenses, and cheaper lenses, but for the money I think it's great, and the IS really is great for a lot of things..

The bottom line is that Canon and Nikon are the top brands for a reason. You will not go wrong with either one of them. Pick the one you like the best, then go from there. I doubt you will have any regrets..

ML..

Comment #7

Greg Nut wrote:.

The lens to get with a Canon system is the 17-85IS..

The advantage to the Nikon flash system (CLS) is the wireless controland sync of multiple flashes. Not something most people utilize, butwould be nice for portraits..

D8018-135SB-600 (x2).

Thanks Greg! Would you help confirm my selection if I end up going Nikon? My plan would be D80 + 18-55 kit (since it's cheap). Would probably buy the 70-300 at time of purchase to finish off my budget, then add the 50 1.4 and SB600 in the next 3 months. Then, ask my DW for Capture NX & Elements for Christmas..

How would you rate that compared to the Canon xti+17-85IS, 50 1.4 & flash?.

It seems to me like I'm getting more body, more lens & better flash with the Nikon in the above scenario. Whereas, 40D+28-135 gives me better body but still less flash & less lens..

It's awfully hard to say no to the Canon 40D, but it seems like Nikon is giving me more bang for the buck at the $1,500 budget point..

Thoughts?..

Comment #8

DisneyJim wrote:.

Greg Nut wrote:.

The lens to get with a Canon system is the 17-85IS..

The advantage to the Nikon flash system (CLS) is the wireless controland sync of multiple flashes. Not something most people utilize, butwould be nice for portraits..

D8018-135SB-600 (x2).

Thanks Greg! Would you help confirm my selection if I end up goingNikon? My plan would be D80 + 18-55 kit (since it's cheap). Wouldprobably buy the 70-300 at time of purchase to finish off my budget,then add the 50 1.4 and SB600 in the next 3 months. Then, ask my DWfor Capture NX & Elements for Christmas..

How would you rate that compared to the Canon xti+17-85IS, 50 1.4 &flash?.

It seems to me like I'm getting more body, more lens & better flashwith the Nikon in the above scenario. Whereas, 40D+28-135 gives mebetter body but still less flash & less lens..

It's awfully hard to say no to the Canon 40D, but it seems like Nikonis giving me more bang for the buck at the $1,500 budget point..

Thoughts?.

The 70-300 I'm referring to would be the VR version, not the cheapo...

Comment #9

MikeyL wrote:.

I think it should come down to which body you like the best. That ismostly a question only you can answer, after really handling all thecandidates. Once you pick something and start to buy lenses, then thelens you already have start to preclude most people from switching..

I am a Canon user, and my first DSLR (afetr previous experience withfiilm SLRs many years ago) was the Rebl XT, which is still my currentcamera. It has beena great camera and I have not regretted buying it.I am now starting to consider upgrading, having a few phot intereststhat seem like they would benefit from the new 40D (astrophotography,and sports photography). In your case, the 400D is gonna be smallerand lighter than the 30D/40D body. You can find people who like thator don't like it. Once again, it is really your preference..

As for lenses, I have used the 17-85 IS now for over a year and Ilove it. There are better lenses, and cheaper lenses, but for themoney I think it's great, and the IS really is great for a lot ofthings..

The bottom line is that Canon and Nikon are the top brands for areason. You will not go wrong with either one of them. Pick the oneyou like the best, then go from there. I doubt you will have anyregrets..

ML.

Thank you for your reply. That's the downside of the 400D to me, I don't care for the feel of it. But, I know the body will most likely be upgraded in a few years if this sticks with me as a hobby. The D40 would be the perfect choice for me if it had an AF drive. Plus, I've handled my father in law's D40 and feel I would miss the 2nd lcd (same would be true with the xti). I've handled the D80 and 30D to a very limited extent, but all else really seems equal between them to me.



So, in the end, I think your last statement is spot on. I plan to pull the trigger in the next week or so, just to see what might happen with rebates since they're so near...

Comment #10

The two flash systems are very different, but both are pretty robust. The Canon system defaults to regular TTL flash, where the Nikon system defaults to TTL fill flash. You'll also find you set the two behave slightly differently in exposure comp (I'm more experienced in using the Nikon flash system, but I've used Canon gear on jobs and find where I use +0.7 exp compensation on the Nikon, I use +1 on Canon) otherwise they are pretty much even when used on the hot shoe..

Wireless off-camera flash was a lot easier with Nikon, but the Canon 40D + 580EX II it becomes much easier. Otherwise, you need to buy ST-E2 wireless flash thingy to connect camera to flash wirelessly (the Nikon can do it automatically, off the pop-up flash)..

Ultimately, the differences are very minor now, although when you pick one system, you tend to imprint on it..

If you want to know more about the differences between on camera and off camera flash, check these two sites:.

Http://planetneil.com/tangents/ for on-camera flash.

Http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/02/welcome-to-strobist.html - for off-camera flash.

You name it, I've broken it...

Comment #11

I wouldn't recommend the combination of an 18-55 and a 70-300. The ideal focal lengths for portraits are around 55-70mm (on a crop-sensor camera) right where the gap is! The 55-200 would be a better choice. Better yet might be the 18-135 (for Nikon). You give up VR, but you don't have to change lenses..

I'd wait for the 50mm until you see you need it. Also, the 1.8 version works just as well and saves you close to $200...

Comment #12

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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