I own a Nikon D3200. Bought it a couple of months ago. Was going to buy the 1200D, but everyone said the Nikon one was better at this budget. Now I'm just disappointed at the results. The Nikon's colour reproduction is very bad compared to my friends' Canons. The pictures come out so bland. But when I use the same settings on my friends' cameras, the pictures are so much better. Should I sell this and move on to buying the 1200D now?

P.S. No offense intended to Nikon. Absolutely, the problem's with me. I know it isn't always about Nikon or Canon, but still any advice would be helpful.

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    "No offence intended to Nikon absolutely, the problem's with me." If the problem is with you, what is changing the camera going to fix? Also, "But when I use the same settings on my friend's cameras" what are those settings exactly? How do you know that they are the same? – null Oct 13 '16 at 17:26
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    Did you view the pictures on a PC or looked at it on the camera? – Nelson Oct 14 '16 at 2:04
  • By the same settings on my friends' cameras I meant the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. And yes, Nelson, the pictures on a canon screen and on a pc do vary a lot but still the difference is notable. – Saleem Farhan Oct 15 '16 at 2:09

Not for this reason, you shouldn't.

You say "The pictures come out so bland. But when I use the same settings on my friend's cameras, the pictures are so much better." Some settings, like Aperture, Shutter, and ISO, are camera fundamentals and won't be any different. But things like Color/Saturation/Contrast are in-camera post-processing options which won't mean the same thing between brands and which will have different defaults.

Try cranking up some of these settings to see if you prefer the results. Or, take photos from both in RAW format (CR2 or NEF, respectively) into a program like Lightroom (or Rawtherapee or Darktable, for free), and play around with different settings. Or, perhaps, take a few minutes to compare your results to the actual scene and think about your goals in photography — it may be that you actually come to prefer a more subdued look. None of this is "better" or "worse" — it's a matter of taste and opinion.

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  • Okay I'll try tweaking these and then tell you, thanks. – Saleem Farhan Oct 15 '16 at 2:12
  • @SaleemFarhan Please do — I'm very interested in how it comes out – Please Read My Profile Oct 15 '16 at 2:33

Maybe you would prefer your results after experimenting with different Picture Control settings on your Nikon camera. If you are not familiar with this feature, I would suggest re-reading your camera manual.

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  • Yes, I wasn't familiar at all with this and the manual doesn't show how to increase or decrease these settings. But your link does. Thanks a lot – Saleem Farhan Oct 15 '16 at 2:18

If you know you can get the results you want with a specific Canon body, and that you won't get the results you want with the Nikon body you have, I don't see why you shouldn't switch. If you do switch, now is the time to do it, before you've entrenched yourself in the Nikon system and purchased multiple lenses. There are reasons people like one system over the other.

But if you're asking if you can get results that please you with your current gear, the answer is a resounding yes. You just may have to work a little harder or differently and probably post-process your images or know your camera's image settings better, instead of simply expecting what comes out of the camera to be what you want.

Since more advanced shooters typically shoot RAW and post-process themselves, they'll tell you there's not enough difference to be worth switching. And this is very true. No matter the make and model of the camera, if you know how to post-process for what you want, you can typically work with anything. You may prefer one model of camera over another for specific types of images, but overall, there's not enough significant difference to matter hugely, only in the subtleties.

But if the real issue here is that you really wanted the Canon, and then were persuaded against your judgment to get the Nikon, and you're finding the Nikon difficult to handle and non-intuitive to use, you don't like the results, and you aren't willing to spend the extra time, money (for software), and effort to post process for what you want, then I'd say swap systems while you can still get a full refund for your camera (or close to it), and before your system is much larger.

But I would also say, don't expect a Canon to magically fix everything. :)

See also:

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  • I think knowing my camera's image settings better would help me a lot. – Saleem Farhan Oct 15 '16 at 2:17


A couple of months ago... and you now have all the expertise in the world to make a brand swich?

In some respects you have better features than the 1200: https://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=nikon_d3200&products=canon_eos1200d specially better low light performance, more resolution, a 60fps video mode...

First of all. Post some images. You need to understand what is happening to your photos, and not blame the brand or the camera.

Some aditional saturation or vivid colors is a simple step tweking some settings or post work.

But use the camera to shoot, shoot, shooooot. And undestand photography. Depending on your subject, some external flashes+remote triggers will be a better invest than swiching brand.

Stop comparing your photos to your friends. "Grass is always greener on the neighbor's yard" Start comparing your own photos to your own evolution.

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  • I wasn't comparing my photos to my friends'. I meant that I took the photos on both cameras and saw the differences. And yes the grass literally do look greener on the canons :| Thank you – Saleem Farhan Oct 15 '16 at 2:20

Could the lens be dirty? Or perhaps a low quality "kit" lens? I come from a Canon background, and there is a very clear difference between using my 55-255mm kit lens (that came with the camera), and my 50mm prime lens.

I would say any real D/SLR camera is incapable of taking a bad picture, but cheap or dirty equipment or an unskilled operator certainly can.

As Rafael said, we would need to see pictures to tell you what you're doing wrong. If ISO is too high, it will be grainy. Using filters where they're not necessary (UV filter while taking a bokeh shot of a flower) will reduce light available and can affect vibrancy.

If you have a similar lens to your friend, and are both using a crop sensor (T1i, T2i, etc), then set the manual mode (ISO, aperture, and shutter speed) on both cameras to match. Then photograph the same scene. There are differences in sensitivity in the sensors, but you shouldn't see a noteworthy change.

If you do decide to go with Canon, it comes with "Digital Photo Professional", which is a free CR2 (raw format) editor and it is quite fantastic. However, Nikon may offer similar, and RawTherapee is decent as well.

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Yes! You should move to Canon. Sell all your gear, and use the money you raise to change to Canon.

Then, in a few months, you can ask us here on photo.stackexchange why your Canon camera is so big, compared to your friend's Sony mirrorless, and if you should move to Sony . By all means, sell your new Canon gear and switch to Sony . When you get tired of not finding native fit lenses, like your Fuji friend, then sell you Sony gear and get Fuji instead. Of course, you'll likely want to get a full-frame camera like your other friend, so sell your Fuji and get a Nikon!

Oh, wait...

Or: just learn how to use your camera. Take lots of photos. Experiment. Edit. Make mistakes. Learn! And stop comparing yourself to others.

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