Do Professional Photographers Use Nikon or Canon?

Professional Photographers Use Nikon or Canon

Are you an aspiring photographer? Do you want to pursue photography as a professional? Whether you are looking to snap pictures of nature, sports, or professional headshots, you will definitely want to know what brand of cameras photographers are using these days.

When it comes to the world of professional photography, the two big names are Nikon and Canon. Both brands offer an intensive range of cameras and accessories that are pro-level. However, most pros use high-end Nikon models or Canon DSLRs.

Read on to learn more about the differences between Nikon and Canon cameras and what professional photographers prefer!

Nikon vs Canon Cameras

Both Nikon and Canon are big names in the world of photography. Nikon was founded in 1946 in Japan. Since then, it has been meeting the ever-rising demand for small-sized cameras and has become a household name.

Canon was established in Japan in 1933. It was the first company to create a camera with a focal-plane-based shutter. These companies were established almost a century ago, and they continue to be pioneers in camera technology today. Let’s look at how their current products compare.

Small-Body Professional Cameras

If you are looking for a small-body professional camera, both Nikon and Canon have some excellent options. The Canon 5D Mark IV, for instance, is extremely compact and lightweight, which makes it easy to handle.

To match that, Nikon offers the D850 with much better low light capability, higher resolution, and better autofocus. If a professional has to pick between the two for a small-body camera, Nikon seems to be the wiser choice.

Semi-Professional Cameras

Semi-professional cameras are geared towards photographers who are new to professional photography and still learning. Nikon offers the D500 in its semi-pro range. This model has excellent image quality, autofocus, and high ISO performance.

Canons 6D is a comparable option with its solid body and decent speed. However, you will find that the Nikon D500 far surpasses it in terms of image quality and range.

Mirrorless Cameras

When it comes to mirrorless cameras, the Canon R5 is a fantastic option that comes with incredible video and an advanced low-light management system. While the Nikon Z7 somewhat lags behind in terms of features, it has a great handling system and is more affordable.

Other Factors

Here are some other factors where you can compare the two brands:


The crop factor of a camera determines the quality of the sensor. A higher crop factor means a larger sensor, which, in turn, equates to better resolution pictures.

Most Nikon crop-sensor cameras have a crop resolution of 1.5x, while Canon cameras tend to have a crop resolution of 1.6x. Professionals who need magnification in their pictures will definitely prefer a Canon crop camera.


When it comes to lenses, Nikon and Canon have different autofocus capabilities. All Canon lenses come with autofocus, which allows for high-resolution magnified pictures. In contrast, Nikon only offers one line of lenses that has autofocus capabilities.

Which One Do Professionals Prefer?

To answer your burning question, there is no one company that all professionals prefer. The camera they decide to go for actually depends on a variety of features.

Both companies have specific strengths and weaknesses that set their cameras apart. Canon is way ahead when you consider compatibility. However, Nikon steals the show when it comes to mirrorless camera options.

What Professionals Actually Look For

Here are some factors that professionals consider before buying a camera. These factors show that they do not care solely about the brand name but consider their own needs and requirements.

Type of Photography

Most pros tend to have a niche. It can be wedding photography, wildlife photography, or sports photography. That said, it is very important that the camera they purchase works best for their genre of photography and has the features they need.

Speed and Performance

Speed and performance are essential considerations for all professionals. Higher megapixels translate to sharper pictures and better performance in low-light. Therefore, most pros will prefer cameras that have higher megapixels.


A professional will look for a camera with all the features they require and is easy to carry and handle. Since most photographers tend to be on the go, their cameras must make life easier for them.

Basically, it has to have features that make it usable both indoors and outdoors, allowing for improved versatility. In addition, it would help if the camera is compatible with photography accessories from different brands. This way, they are able to mix and match to achieve the setup they want.

Final Thoughts

There is no clear-cut winner between Nikon and Canon. All professionals use different brands of cameras. What they choose depends on a variety of factors, including budget, megapixels, speed, ease of use, and the type of photography they practice.

While there is no one answer to which company professionals prefer, you can learn to think like a professional photographer by considering all the factors they do!

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