Why Was Her Canon Better Than My Nikon?

Why Was Her Canon Better Than My Nikon?

We had spent several hours hiking and arrived at the viewpoint. You know the score: unholster the camera and start shooting the bucket images. You've got to go through those inspiringly uninspiring captures to allow you to work the scene, gel with your mates, and see if some of the magic of the setting flows. I try to work towards something a little different; more dramatic, less dramatic, unveiling something new. We came back together as a group in order to compare how three very different photographers imagined the scene. Two of us were shooting Nikon, one Canon. And damn, those Canon images were just singing off the screen.

I looked up and thought, "What the heck?" Damn Canon, damn them. I've been a lifelong digital Nikon user because, well, they're better, aren't they (OK, personal opinion)? But the images on my Nikon looked dull and lifeless, while those Canon ones just breathed dynamism. The Nikon aficionados scratched their heads, then started stamping their feet.

I looked back down again and then realized there was no screen protector on the Canon, while my Nikon had the supplied plastic clip-on one. No wonder the Canon looked better. I took the protector of the back and, apart from the slightly less vivid picture profile, the images looked pretty good. I hated that screen protector. The thick plastic just absorbed the light emitted by the screen, robbing it of the richness the images really had.

That made me think, why are Nikon supplying a crappy clip-on bit of plastic to do what's arguably become the most important part of the photographic process: review and assess? It wasn't just my D700, but also a D810. Both came with the same little bit of plastic.

Surely someone must have noticed this. And yes, of course, there are a plethora of suppliers who provide high-quality plastic or glass stick-on screen protectors. My medicine of choice in this instance was the Brotect screen protector made of “AirGlass.” Supposedly extra-light (it is!) and extra-hard (haven't tried that bit yet). But what it definitely has, is glass-like clearness. The images looked impeccable through the protector.

That naturally led to the follow-on question of why on earth were Nikon still supplying such a poor accessory with their product? It beggars belief that you can have such a technological marvel where the most mundane aspects of the product are, well, rubbish. I mean, really, when was the last time someone at Nikon gave even a cursory thought to the screen protector? The D850 now eschews this approach due to the tilt screen.

That then made me think, are there any after-market accessories that are genuinely better? Well, I'd throw in a micro-USB charger for my Nikon (such as this one). Why can't I charge my battery in-camera (Sony has been doing it for years)? Why supply such an enormous charger and cable? Just give me a svelte micro-USB variety that I can just plug into the fast two amp charger I take everywhere?

Typical camera battery charger - svelte it isn't!

It really is in the details. I'd like to think that a product I am paying several thousand dollars for has been meticulously thought through. But this isn't always the case. Are there any other aftermarket wonders out there?

Images by Pexels and wmvw via Pixabay.

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paza laza's picture

Is this a satire piece or something !?

Chuck Tintera's picture

You've succumbed to a blame game. Ford doesn't make a "better" car than GM or Chrysler. Ford makes a _different_ car than etc. If that difference doesn't suit you, or _you_ can't advantage it or move beyond that then _you_ are only proving the old saw of "It's a poor workman that blames his tools".

Florian Borgeat's picture

Judging to one of his reply here below, it is not... I'm speechless.

Johnny Rico's picture

Is this satire? It's the back LCD screen, it serves a purpose. Who cares if it looks good or not.

Deleted Account's picture

Possibly referring to the screen image quality, not whether it’s aesthetically pleasing.

Johnny Rico's picture

but the "dynamism"

Mike Smith's picture

Yes, the general quality, brightness and richness of the screen. I was surprised at how much the screen protector took away

Deleted Account's picture

I didn’t think that the high-end Nikons came with a screen protector. My D850 doesn’t.

Mike Smith's picture

I havent seen what comes in the box with the D850 - the D810 does, but maybe with the articulated screen theyve ditched it now

Reginald Walton's picture

Well, the D850 has a touch screen, soooo the screen that is supplied with the D810 won't work on the D850.

Benton Lam's picture

The charger bit drives me nuts too.

There's no way to charge my Olympus battery via USB, so I have to get this inverter so that I could charge the battery in a car on a car camping trip. :/

Mike Smith's picture

Tell me about it! Its so irritating having to have a clunky charger. SOny has the right idea on this one

chrisrdi's picture

Ohhhhh boy have I got an item you're gunna love. Me mum got it for me for Christmas. It's called the "Halo Bolt". It's basically a really big power bank. It has 2 plugs for USB charging, a wall outlet style plug for charging or powering any device that has a power draw of 65 watts or less, it also has a plug for Included jumper cables so you can actually jumpstaart your car with this thing and it actually works, The cherry on top is it has a built in flash light too. You can recharge the power bank it's self by using the inluded wall charger or car charger. it holds about 58,000mah of charge. My mom said she got it from QVC for like a hundred bucks. I love mine.

Mike Smith's picture

OMG! That thng is amazing! Starting your car... that made my jaw drop!

chrisrdi's picture

Hahaha yeah! I had no clue anything like this even existed until Christmas day lol. I use it all the time!

Ian Smith's picture

It's time the camera guys caught up with the phone guys. Actually the battery is quite big, so they'd have to redesign the camera to cope with the heat from charging and support USB QuickCharge.
I guess the camera replacement cycle is slower than phones, so design changes are slower from generation to generation.

chrisrdi's picture

Yeah Nikons stock screen protector actually scratched my screen by trapping debris under it. I have not used a screen protector on my cameras since.

Mike Smith's picture

Everyone just assumes they should use it - but better off not!

chrisrdi's picture


Florian Borgeat's picture

Everyone? I almost never use it unless I know it will be rough conditions. It's a protection that has the benefits of being transparent but still just a protection, not a screen enhancer.

Jon Sibley's picture

Are you hammering NAILS in with your DSLR screen?? Ive owned umpteen Nikons since the original D100 and have NEVER sustained a scratch or chip to the glass screen - they're pretty tough stuff - and I give my cameras a lot of punishment!
THROW AWAY the nasty plastic "protector" is my advice.

Mike Smith's picture

Yes throw away definitely the thing to do = but it had never crossed my mind until I was looking at the back of my friends screen

Brian Valente's picture

I totally agree. Nikon are idiots for including an optional detachable LCD screen protector. It confuses end users and makes your shots look terrible where it matters most: on the back of your camera.

Nikon, take a note from Canon and do not include the optional screen protector. You are fools, no wonder why people are losing faith in Nikon engineering.

Mike Smith's picture

Thats an interesting thought - take the protector AWAY to give the end user a better experience. I really dont think Nikon have ever questioned it

Brian Valente's picture

I hope you are being sarcastic, because I was

Florian Borgeat's picture

I am not sure the idiots are Nikon's people. First time I'm hearing complaints about more stuff for a price. You might want to ask them to remove the A,S,M positions. And all those ISO settings. And the lens cap. Because sometimes I forget to remove it.

Rara Matthews's picture

I thought what was going to be said in this article was how much better the Canon photos came out than the Nikon ones once up on screen.

Matt Williams's picture

I don't normally say this about even fairly trite articles, but what is the point here? If you don't like that plastic cover protector (I don't like them) then buy a glass stick-on protector like I did. Oh wait, you did too. What's the issue then?

And if this is satire, well.... keep working at that.

Mike Smith's picture

Just the more general point about after market products that are BETTER than the ones manufacturers supply - screen protector, battery charger. Are there any others that spring to mind?

Paul Scharff's picture

To complicate things, aren't the images on the screen down-rezzed JPEGs just to help you assess composition and basic focus and lighting? I've had days when I feel like the screen (Canon; no protector) is showing something a bit uncontrasty, but the work looks find once I've put it on my monitor.

Mike Smith's picture

It was that I never questioned WHY I left the screen protector on, when the user experience was so much better without it!

Florian Borgeat's picture

You can set up the screen brightness, according to the current lighting conditions. And choose the jpeg settings for vivid, neutral, ...

Mike Dixon's picture

If the author had mentioned WHICH CANON it was, we might be able to tell if it was the LCD quality or not. My friends 80D LCD looks so much better than my 5D Mark III, but the photos don't.

Todd Warnke's picture

Can you say clickbait?

Paolo Bugnone's picture

Yep, it is.

Pedro Pulido's picture

agree. Fstoppers have always had "clean" titles. This is misleading and the type of attitude that annoys some users (me included). Please re-think how you build your titles Mike. That's a ladbible tittle, not Fstoppers.

Pieter Batenburg's picture

Admittedly, I don't own a high end camera but a Sony a6300 and an even older Sony a77.
Since a month, I also use my DJI Osmo Mobile to shoot with my Samsung s8.
I am just an amateur and most people watch these videos on a smartphone and it rather hard to judge quality on a phone using YouTube.

The other day I asked myself a question. Why are most screens on cameras so crappy compared to the great user experience of using the monitor of a camera? Thank god I have an EVF.

Fritz Asuro's picture

Wow an article for a piece of plastic. If you find it annoying, just remove it. It's provided for people who's afraid of breaking or scratching the screen (it doesn't do much anyway).
Despite of you saying that why Nikon provide cheap accessories, I actually commend Nikon for including one.

J Cortes's picture

DAFUQ? You guys serious?

Ralph Hightower's picture

I don't know if this article was written for The Onion or not. But I have a screen protector for the LCD screen for my Canon 5D III, it's not one of those wafer thin protectors that are placed on the LCD, but a plastic protector that is mounted on the viewfinder. I am now on my second protector. Sometime ago, I turned on my camera and noticed that the plastic protector had shattered; I don't know how that happened, but my LCD screen was intact. I bought another protector.
But I don't rely on my LCD screen. I only use it for changing camera settings since I turned image review off on my 5D. I will review images later, but I don't glance at the screen after any photo.

aaronbratkovics's picture

I bought a fuji.

Adi Setya's picture

I always re-view all pictures I took on my laptop screen or my PC. I view them on the camera screen just to make sure that the pictures were well composed or in good exposure. I never judge the picture and compare their quality from one camera ( brand ) to the other ones based on the camera screen. For me, the screen protector helps me protect the screen from being scratched. That's why I never blame it and I should thank the company for it.

Best regard from Indonesia.

Ariel Martini's picture

Also changing picture mode to Vivid helps. That makes no difference on the result if you're shooting RAW, but helps a bit when previewing the picture on the LCD

Louis van Zyl's picture

Click-bait and trolling at the same time? Seriously!? Cheap journalism.

joel germain's picture

Wow seriously.... I tough it was in the "humour" section... but no. it's actually a real article. You really get bothered by a little piece of plastic there to protect your glass from scratch.... and i repeat " To protect the glass over the LCD".

I'm sorry Fstopper but either you get only better writer, or less article. I prefer 1 article per day that is worth reading... and i know i am not the only one.

Sergio Miranda's picture

I can believe there are posts like this on Fstoppers, there's no moderator on this site? The title itself is deceiving and making us all waste our time.

kartick boddedaa's picture

Hi, Kartick here,
I am a photographer at http://www.jestaplophotography.com and have been using Canon for a long time. I don't have much complain from Nikon at least they came up with a great product Nikon D850. Over past few years, I have come to appreciate Sony as they are trying to innovate and push boundaries with their new cameras. I am slightly disappointed with Nikon and hugely disappointed as a Canon fanboy.
I can manage the camera with bad screen protector with great innovations.

Mike Smith's picture

What Ive been surprised about is how some mundane aspects of the supplied camera can be overlooked - screen protector and battery charger two examples for my Nikon. Others are not fussed about screen protectors, but I wondered if readers had any other aftermarket products that are genuinely better than those supplied by the manufacturer

William Faucher's picture

This seems like a rather odd thing to whine about. Just take it off if youre not happy with it, why write up a long rant? I see why people don't like it, but to me, a beautiful rear screen just isnt that important. As long as I can see my histogram, and zoom in to see if the shots are in focus, that is really all I care about. I shoot raw and do all the grading in post. Whether the colors pop or not on the rear screen matters not.

I exclusively shoot outdoors in rather rough conditions, and I prefer to have it on, even if the chances of scratching it are minimal. I mostly only have it on out of fear of something coming loose in my backpack and scratching it in there, rather than the weather/elements themselves.

Mike Smith's picture

I was genuinely surprised at how much better my friends screen looked... but the focus of the article was on what aftermarket products are actually better than manufacturer supplied. The charger being another case-in-point. Are there any after-market products you use that are much better those those that came with the camera?

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