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Them’s Fightin’ Woyds! Mac or PC – the Canon Nikon Great Debate

I see many people butt heads (pun intended) over the topic of which camera brand is the best and which computer should you use for processing your images.

The heated Canon/Nikon discussion (argument) has been going on as long as the two have been making cameras. The topic is just as hot over whether Mac or PC is top of the heap for computing power. It even spills over into Smartphone and iPhone versus Android. Photographers like a good, if not slightly heated topic of debate and which gear is the best is always a hot one. So I thought I'd give you my thoughts on this and open it up for discussion.

Keep it nice please, flame wars and insulted will NOT be tolerated and your comments will be deleted and you could be banned if you do not play nice – so please debate the facts and your opinion only and keep the name calling out of it.

Canon versus Nikon (or any of the other brands on the market)

Like I said, this discussion (fight) has been going on since before I was in photography and I'd be dating myself if I tell you how long that's been. Let's just say it was a LONG time before there were any digital cameras.

Image by wolf4max – Some of the original pro level cameras of the 80s!
Image by 伊特諾 雷 (Eternal Ray) – Some more modern digital incarnations from the heavy hitters.

Let me start this off by saying – I own and use Canon. I've always had Canon almost from the time I started photography. Before that, I actually had an old Yashica my mom picked up for me somewhere for cheap, which I used for photo club in high school doing year book photos. But since I've been a pro, or when I was a full time photography student, my 35mm film camera of choice has always been a Canon.

Why Canon?

This answer might surprise you. It was not that Canon had superior cameras or lenses – nope. It was that I found a good used Canon body and lenses on sale, that I liked the feel of the Canon bodies in my small hands better than Nikon, and that my best friend also had Canon and therefore we could share lenses and pool our resources. Sure many of my fellow photography students went the Nikon route. Why – various reasons. Did we have heated, but light hearted and fun, debates over camera superiority – sure. Did they love their Nikons as much as we Canon fans loved our cameras – yes! But at the end of the day did either of them help us to take better pictures? NO!!! We were in photography school to learn about lighting, posing, darkroom techniques (told you, dating myself again), and everything else photography related. I dare you to ask me how many classes we had on camera equipment and which one is best? Go ahead ask, I double dog dare you?

Image by ilovegtr – 中晴 李

You guessed it – NONE. We spent none of our time in school talking about cameras and lenses because it's the operator and what you do with it that ultimately matters. I've seen great photographers who get by with entry level or even amateur gear who produce stunning, awe inspiring images. Then on the other hand there are other photographers with the top notch gear, the creme de la creme, with all the bells, whistles and gizmos you can get – and they can't shoot their way out of a paper bag. Creating good images requires gear – but the most important part is the artist. Your vision. Your skills. What story are you telling with your images? Can you evoke emotion from your viewers with a single image? The best camera cannot do that for you.

It has been said, “The best camera is the one you have with you” and many times that's your Smartphone. So do your best with what you have and stop coveting thy neighbour's new camera.

Okay so what about Mac versus PC?

This is really just an extension of the discussion above. Your camera and your computer are just tools – no more, no less. In the day of film and darkroom work, NO ONE ever asked me what chemicals or enlarger (machine used to make prints) I used – EVER!

That is because it doesn't matter. Whatever tools you use, the only thing that can be judged is your final result. Do your images stand up? How you got there doesn't matter. You could make them on a Commodore 64 (dating again) for all I care – if your images are stunning and move people, it works!

I happen to use Mac, but I switched from PC years ago when I inherited my then boss' old MacBookPro (thanks Ian!) I found that once I got use to the difference I preferred the user experience and interface of the Mac and I was a convert. I now own a MacBookPro, iPad, iPhone (although current one is dead I will get another) and I like how they all work together.

But I do not preach or try to convince anyone this is the only way to go, or the best option. Use what you are used to and what works for you. If it isn't working for you, or you're at the starting gate – then I suggest you explore both options and see which is a better fit for you. My husband strongly dislikes Mac – we agree to disagree and move on.

What are your thoughts?

So over to you. Let's hear your thoughts on this. Do you feel strongly about one camera over another? Have you ever switched brands? Why? What about computers – what tools do use and why?

Remember – please keep it friendly, I'll be watching!


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