Why do people say Canon cameras are easier to learn on?

Discussion in 'Digital and Video Cameras' started by Syborg1211, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Syborg1211

    Syborg1211 Diamond Member

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    I've seen in various places people claim that Canon cameras are better for beginners to learn on, but nobody backs those statements with any reasons why. Is this really a true statement? I'm a Nikon user with no experience on Canon, but I didn't really feel limited by the camera while learning. Is it a button layout/availability thing or what?
     
  2. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

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    Who says that? Canons have a zoom ring that turns the wrong way.
     
  3. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    By "various places" I take it you mean Canon forums, because there's nothing intrinsically easier to do on the Canons... wait, are we talking about DSLRs? Because if we're talking compact cameras then Canon makes some very good ones.
     
  4. Syborg1211

    Syborg1211 Diamond Member

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    Ha, I just realized how much my post can look like a troll. That was seriously not my intent.

    I have a friend just jumping into the hobby, and I've been helping him make his first camera choice. He's a very indecisive guy who likes to read basically every review out there for every camera possible. In my many forrays into helping him by finding useful reviews, I found many reviews by biased or flat out terrible photographers/"writers" who knew nothing about what they were talking about.

    In the entry-level DSLRs comparison reviews I browsed through, I remember at least a couple instances where it was mentioned that Canons were "easier" to change their settings, but this was likely because the reviewer was a Canon person and knew the menus better. My friend also had read similar comments about Canon being easier to learn on - one stating the auto modes or beginner guide mode was better. Since I've never handled a Canon, I can't refute either of these claims, but I can guess they were based on a bias towards the reviewer's preferred brand. I was just curious if anyone here has experience with both brands and can comment.
     
  5. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    Settings vary by camera; the more upscale the camera, the easier it is to change settings as there will likely be a dedicated or programmable button for the setting. The lower-end and compact cameras force you to dive into menus more often, and sometimes the menus aren't laid out so well. But this is not a brand-specific thing, as all companies do this... it's deliberate because they want to upsell you to the more expensive model with more dials and buttons and stuff, and make more money in the process.

    The newer Nikons actually have built-in help into the camera software itself, as do other brands like Sony. I think Canon does the same. The companies all copy each other so whenever one company innovates a bunch jump on board. I've used Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus mirrorless, compact, and DSLR cameras, and the differences in learn-ability aren't that big.

    For Auto mode I think any of the cameras I've used have been equally easy. It's freaking Auto. Not sure what "beginner" means, but for Aperture-Priority mode (which I use 99% of the time), I would say that the Pany M43 interface is easy as pie, as is the Oly M43 interface, followed by the marginally more difficult Sony Cybershot RX100 interface (NOT the Sony NEX; I haven't used those but I've heard bad things about how NEX is laid out, though I've also heard that the newer NEXes aren't as bad), followed by CaNikon.

    If your friend is that kind of person s/he'd probably pore over the manual anyway, so why would s/he care about how allegedly difficult it would be to learn?

    Last note: Canon makes some very good stuff, especially at the pro level where the bodies and lenses cost as much as cars. However, Canon's lowest lines aren't built as well. Hold a Canon Rebel and then hold a Nikon; most people will agree that the Nikon feels better. Then compare lenses.. both companies make good glass, but the cheapest Canon lenses often don't even come with lens hoods! Furthermore, Canon lenses come with 1 year warranties; Nikon lenses come with 5 year warranties. That kind of speaks for itself.
     
  6. Anteaus

    Anteaus Platinum Member

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    Canon and Nikon cameras are different from each other, but mainly in ergonomics. Entry level cameras on both sides are going to be limited in physical controls, but all will give you full manual control if you want it with the caveat that you'll spend a bit more time in menus for some things.

    Nikon people prefer Nikon and Canon people prefer Canon. Entry level cameras on both sides are perfectly fine for learning and you shouldn't feel like you're missing out by choosing one side over the other. The real differences come when you move out of entry level and into the mid-level or prosumer lines where the cameras have more physical controls. Canon and Nikon have overall different ergonomics and physical control layouts. Myself, I prefer Nikon.

    My recommendation is to buy whichever entry level camera you want and learn the basics. If you enjoy it and really want to get more serious about photography and have the money to move forward, go to a store and handle some mid level Nikons (D90, D7000) and some mid level Canons (60d, etc). They are different enough that the decision should be easy which brand to go with.

    Once you start investing in lenses it's difficult to cross the line again, so it's important to know what you're looking at before you make the leap. Don't let anyone tell you that one brand is better than the other. Both are highly capable of making outstanding photos. Sure some cameras are better than others for technical reasons, but photography is an art and cameras are just tools.
     
  7. _Rick_

    _Rick_ Diamond Member

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    When I last checked the only major difference was the thumb-wheel ergonomics.
    The Canons have a dial, while the Nikons have a wheel opposite the front wheel.
    I think I prefer the Nikon way in that respect.
    Most other ergonomic changes are not even noticeable. Some stuff like zoom/focus wheel direction takes a few seconds to adjust, some buttons and wheels on the top of the camera may be different or differently orientated - but these differences exist even between cameras of the same brand, to some degree.

    The only thing I currently insist on, when it comes to camera controls, is that there are two setting modifying wheels available for thumb and forefinger, so I can set aperture and exposure time without using a button, and set flash-offset and flash mode using only a flash-modifier button, and set exposure offset and aperture directly, in automatic time mode.

    As long as both dials are there, the implementation is a minor issue.

    Things that can be annoying at times, on the ergonomics side, is when the D-pad is where your nose goes, or other buttons on the back get accidentally pressed, while manipulating the backside wheel.
     
  8. corkyg

    corkyg Elite Member<br>Super Moderator <br>Peripherals
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    First time I have ever heard that allegation. I have both Canon and Nikon as well as Pentax. Never gave it any thought.
     
  9. Silenus

    Silenus Senior member

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    Agree with everyone else here. Neither is easier or harder than the other once you get used the layout and controls. Pick whatever you like that is best for you. I prefer the the feel and layout of Nikon DSLR's...but if someone forced to switch to Canon, it would really be no big deal. I'd get used to it in short order.
     
  10. Midwayman

    Midwayman Diamond Member

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    I wouldn't say its a huge deal, but Canon has marginally better software and UI IMHO. It makes more of a difference on low end DSLRs and compacts where more of the stuff is buried in menus rather than having hard buttons. However Its a pretty slim thing and it makes a whole lot more difference in what just 'clicks' with you personally. I wouldn't ever tell anyone to buy into a camera system over it. What a particular camera offers in terms of hard buttons vs menu settings makes a much larger difference.
     
  11. Gintaras

    Gintaras Golden Member

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  12. deltree86

    deltree86 Member

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    Can say its a perception that Cannon is a bit easier to use than Nikon. Can't say its true unless I have used both but I have used Cannons and they are better than many other brands.
     
  13. AkumaX

    AkumaX Lifer

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    Nikon has a EV bar that goes the wrong way?
     
  14. CptObvious

    CptObvious Platinum Member

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    I think any tech geek (which should include everyone here) can learn any modern camera easily.* The various brands of cameras are much more similar than they are different. The people who complain about learning a new system are usually older people who aren't so used to electronics.

    *excluding Olympus. The menus/interfaces on the OM-D were designed by people high on drugs.
     
  15. shortylickens

    shortylickens No Lifer

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    Canon doesnt have too many genuine low-end SLR's. Nikon has the D40, D40x, D3000, 3100, and 3200.
    I suspect more people may be inclined to jump in on the super cheap market. And if thats what they learn on, thats what they'll stay with when they upgrade. Particularly if they've bought plenty of lenses already.
     
  16. randomrogue

    randomrogue Diamond Member

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    Easier to learn on? Unless there's something wrong with you the only thing that will make a difference is ergonomics. It's not like someone is going to simply be unable to remember how to change the ISO on a Nikon but can do it on a Canon.
     
  17. Gintaras

    Gintaras Golden Member

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    Maybe you need to start taking some medication:

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/01/01/best-camera-of-2012-results
     
  18. max347

    max347 Platinum Member

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    Not sure if serious...

    Rebel xsi, Rebel xs, T1i, T2i, T3, etc etc
     
  19. Rottie

    Rottie Diamond Member

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    I choose Canon digital camera (like T3i or T4i and 60D) not because of ergonomic or physical control but the vari-angle viewer is all I care the most.
     
  20. shortylickens

    shortylickens No Lifer

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    Those are low-end FOR CANON. They are much more expensive and capable than the absolute cheapest Nikons. Canon still doesnt have a true entry-level beginner/noob camera.
     
  21. randomrogue

    randomrogue Diamond Member

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    Price differences aren't that huge are they? Assuming you want Canon.

    T3 Kit $399
    T3i body only $529
    T4i body only $648

    D3200 kit $596
     
  22. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    This is the first time I've heard of anyone saying the OM-D interface was bad relative to the competition.
     
  23. CptObvious

    CptObvious Platinum Member

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  24. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo Senior member

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    Also they mount the wrong way compared to canon, pentax. Spent a good half hour trying to remove the adapter ring from one of my old nikkors only to realize it goes in the opposite direction herp-derp! :$
     
  25. SecurityTheatre

    SecurityTheatre Senior member

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    I prefer the Nikon interface.

    But that's just me.

    However, the interface on the low-end cameras from any manufacturer are substantially worse than on their high end products. A Nikon D4 has at least 3 separate screens each with its own set of buttons where you can control and view almost all common aspects of shooting.

    A Nikon D3200 (like a Canon Ti3) relies only on the LCD to display digital menus which you have to scroll through to do many of the same things.

    Meh... Not everyone can afford a D4. :)
     
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