macman1403 wrote in post #17309733
I have been trying out the photography hobby off and on for a while now with Canon and have T2i and have heavily invested in lenses and other items. But I compare my pics to my friends and mine are never that sharp nor do they pop, like my friends who uses Nikon. I know this depends on several factors but have another friend who also switched from Canon to Nikon and swears by it now, says Nikon is better at still pics compare to his Canon. I have heard few others say something similar.
But I wanted to get a more "expert opinion" here. There are lots of professional and expert photographers here and some of them have tried both. I would like to get their opinions/feedback if I should stick with what i have or switch to Nikon.
Do you shoot raw or jpeg? and how much post processing do you do?
There is no reason for you not being able to get sharp images, with pop, from a Canon camera. Nikon do have a sensor that allows for better shadow recovery at lower ISOs, but I have not found that to be an issue in real life shooting. If you are shooting jpeg, and comparing them to Nikon jpegs straight from the camera, then the results depend hugely on the parameters you have chosen (or the picture style) for the in camera processing. If your friends with Nikons have them set to higher contrast and saturation than you use, then they will have more pop. Similarly, you may have sharpening set lower than them. Some Nikons have less aggressive anti-alias filters than Canons, which gives a sharper image straight out of the camera, however the Canon shots will be perfectly sharp after processing with routine sharpening applied (assuming taken well, with the right settings and a decent lens - the same goes for Nikon).
Are you comparing shots taken of the same scene, at the same time? A shot taken in dull light will have inherently less contrast than one taken in good light, so have less pop and also appear a little less sharp (as sharpness is closely tied to contrast).
If you and your friends are all shooting jpegs, and using the cameras default processing, then I believe Nikon may be using more aggressive processing and Canon use lower contrast, saturation and sharpness settings. This will give the Nikons more pop etc., as you are seeing, but risks them being over processed in harsher, higher contrast, lighting. From what I have heard, Canon take the attitude that DSLR owners will generally be processing their results. Therefore they are less punchy when used as a point and shoot, but properly edited the images are however you want them to look.
Canon or Nikon, editing will improve your results. So if you are looking to get the best results you will need to edit them anyway, with any camera brand. I have no problems at all with pop and sharpness from my Canons, but I shoot raw and do my own editing, rather than letting the camera do it for me.
There is absolutely no need to switch to Nikon to get great images. If you look at any of the big competitions or exhibitions, they are showcases for awesome work and there are plenty of those top images that have been shot on Canon gear. I am a member of a couple of camera clubs and many members ask me how I get my competition entries so good (including the Nikon owners) they say their camera doesn't produce images like that. My reply is always "neither does mine, the difference is in the editing".
There is no problem with switching to Nikon, if that is what you want to do, and you may well get punchier jpegs straight out of the camera. However, if you learn to edit properly, as well as learn how to use the camera most effectively, you should be producing better images with your T2i than either camera brand will produce in-camera. For what it's worth, I know at least 2 people who have recently switched from Nikon to Canon and are happy with their decision.
Nikon / Canon is like Porsche / Ferrari. There are some things they do differently, and one brand may have a small advantage in some areas and the other will have a small advantage in others. Overall though, just as Porsche and Ferrari both make top notch sports cars that do an excellent job, so do Canon and Nikon with cameras. One may suit you better than the other, but when it comes to the crunch both take great images. If your images are lacking in punch and sharpness it is down to the settings and/or the editing (assuming that the camera isn't faulty). If you don't want to edit them yourself (which will give the best results) then adjust the settings for the in camera processing. If you want more punch, crank up the contrast and saturation a bit, sharper images then turn up the sharpening. Do be aware though that sometimes you may need to turn these down a bit (in harsh sunlight for example, or when capturing very fine detail which may be oversharpened). Remember that when shooting jpeg, these will be baked into the result and if too high a setting is used you cannot turn it down later - blown highlights will remain blown, oversharpened images cannot be unsharpened again without leaving traces.