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What are the most notably differences between Canon and Nikon lenses?
Is there any significant difference between Nikon and Canon?

My original thought behind this question could strike up the old debate, which is better, Nikon or Canon. However, my question is a bit different. Are there unique technologies, functions, tools, etc specific to a brand of camera (whatever that brand may be) that make something about the camera unique and thus in some eyes possibly better. Please note I ask in general and the technology (etc.) would need to be on majority of cameras or if it is a new function then coming to the majority of cameras. (IE: I am not looking for Nikon Model XX which is 10,000 dollars has this function but no others do.) If there are something unique to lenses made by the specific camera maker (again applies to majority of lenses not just one) I would accept that answer also.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't see how this can possibly be answered in an objective manner, and I'm not really sure how much value it would hold assuming all answers were entirely objective. Each brand leapfrogs the other every couple years, so what may be true about one brand having an edge today could be entirely untrue a couple years from now...hell even a month from now. There is no answer to this question, especially this year as its a release year, and leapfrogging is occurring on multiple fronts by multiple manufacturers (i.e. Nikon new res king, Canon new ISO king, etc.) \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jrista - That is true however what I was looking for is in the links that were provided by Itai and this was a duplicate. I missed those question when searching. \$\endgroup\$
    – L84
    Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 17:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, search really isn't that great here on SE. It something that could really stand to be improved. A better way to find related content is with the automatic search that pops up when you ask the question, and if nothing useful is found there...post the question and look under the "Related" sidebar...that usually finds pretty good similar topics. If you find what you need, you can just delete your own question. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 18:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @jrista - Yeah and if all of that fails good chance someone else can point you to a question that might help. One of the reasons I enjoy and like SE. => \$\endgroup\$
    – L84
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 0:01

1 Answer 1


The obvious ones that come to mind:

  • All Canon lenses have built-in motors, so can be used on any body. Nikon lenses are mixed, so if you have a motor-less body, you need an AF-S lens if you want autofocus.

  • Pentax has image stabilisation built into the camera body, so that it's available for any lens used. I believe you also get weather-sealing at the consumer/"prosumer" level, where Canon and Nikon you only get that (fully) with the professional bodies.

  • Canon provides free tethered shooting software.

  • Mirrorless technology, i.e. Sony, which will no doubt change rapidly and may become standard across all brands

  • flash technology - Nikon had an advantage with its (IR) CLS system, but Canon has just announced radio controlled 600EX


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