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?

Camera battery charger

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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Previous comments
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!

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

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.

Can you say clickbait?

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.

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.

DAFUQ? You guys serious?

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.

Aaron Bratkovics's picture

I bought a fuji.

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.

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?


First of all, I don't know a serious photographer who looks critically at the images on the rear screen. They are jpegs, remember, and serious photographers (other than sports/news) shoot raw. Even more discerning pros eschew the histogram, referring only to a brief check of the "blinkies."

Second, Nikon has pretty much dispensed with the screen protectors on their high end cameras: D5 and D850 do not come with them.

Third, even the raw files straight from the camera to computer is not the way to judge. All raw images require a degree of correction.

Perhaps you were referring to phone cameras?

Regarding battery charging, I guess I would be OK with in camera charging via USB IF and only IF the battery remained easily user replaceable. I cannot imagine depleting the battery on my camera and having to wait for it to charge via USB. Something to be said for popping a new battery in in a few seconds and being able to continue shooting.

Kyriacos Sakkas's picture

RTFM maybe?
"A clear plastic cover is provided with the camera to keep the
monitor clean and protect it when the camera is not in use."

Congratulations on your developmental progress in critical evaluation. Screen protector aside, I have never cared for the color schemes of either Nikon or Canon. Nikon goes for a "natural" look that comes off as gray and drab as illustrated in your own portfolio, and Canon goes for warm and bright, which is immediately pleasing, but perhaps at the expense of dynamic range depth. Since there are only two cameras in the world (implied by your article), the photographer needs to develop their post processing skills to achieve the look they desire.

Since I only use the LCD screen to rough-check exposure, this isn't important. What feature I can't in any way comprehend is the inability of Nikon to supply a power supply to charge in the car.
It must be they don't possess the technology, otherwise the ever super Nikon customer service and marketing teams would have been all over this generations ago.