It was super simple for me. I was 18 years old, needed to get my first SLR so i could stop borrowing my parents and Canon was less expensive than Nikon, and the MAIN reason back then was the weight. Back when they were SLR's, Canon's were a lot lighter weight than the Nikon's were. I used to work at a Ritz Camera just so I could get the discount on Film and Processing back when it was 35mm, and while trying to sell the two side by side, most customers would say "The Canon just feels cheap because of how light it is." The Nikon's were all metal and really heavy
Cindy and I were huge in MTN. Biking, Hiking and Climbing and I wanted the least amount of weight hanging from my neck as possible.
Fast Forward 20 years and we now have amassed a huge collection of Canon specific gear. We don't get paid by any company so don't think I'm making this statement due to image quality, but if I was just starting out, I'd choose Canon simply due to lens cost. I agree with everyone else who says the image quality and pixel peeping between brands is silly these days. It is what it is and any one of the professionals named in this thread could produce cover material with either brands.
One thing I have noticed since we've been running guided photographer tours is the Nikon's are super hard to navigate through when it comes to their menu's. With a Canon body, I can usually change most of the setting's I'd change throughout the day without having to go deep into any of the menus. With the Nikon's, I usually have to search for it and cant do it from the back of the camera with just a quick button like the Canon's have.
Here is probably the main reason
Canon 24-70 f/2.8 - $1599
Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 - $1886.95
Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II - Their latest Version - $2299 - Crazy that they come out with a new version that is this much more!!!
Canon 70-200 f/2.8 - $1449
Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 - $2396.95
Canon 70-200 f/2.8 II - Their Latest Version - $2299 Again, crazy for their lenses to come up in price this much, but again reminds why every photographer will say "Invest in lenses and not bodies"
many had the investment in some areas many did switch to nikon a few years back and are happy
many switched cause they were tired of all the lens back focus issues canon has and still has issues with finding a good copy of a lens !!!!
many hate canon flash love nikon flash
I am thinking about going to Nikon !
my history though has been in the 70s rangefinders then in the 80s canon in the 90s nikon in the 2000 canon with the 1D and now in the 10s ready to go back to Nikon
part of it just a switch up also I dont need fast primes these days for my work and the 800E will work with what I want to do these days and instead of renting backs the 800e can give a back a run for its money and really the client wont get any less a file for many thats what counts !
many dont want the 800 to many MP why when its not needed doing weddings as example many pros dont want that extra storage and cards and more CPU to push the files around !
really both camera systems are great
I have a few good friends that shoot nikon and canon and both are insane good
its like a person asking what pans to get its the chef not the pans
one thing I actually love shooting the newer M4/3 stuff !!! its very cool and my main camera will become a OM-D when I can find one
I imagine my work camera will be what I have canon still but will fill in with the OM-D just cause it will make it fun again !
unless you are making money give M4/3 stuff a serious look depending on your needs ! not saying its better but its small light easy to carry around and the files can be incredible out of them !!!!
I think both camera systems are comparable, so it is hard to make an argument either direction. If all your buddies have Nikon, buy Nikon - sharing lenses is a great way to explore new options.
I have enjoyed flawless performance from Canon for decades. A short stint with Olympus (E3) also provided reliable performance but marginal image quality. I kind of look at a Canon pro DSLR like a Land Cruiser.
I cannot imagine a better camera for me than my 5D MKIII with the 85mm 1.2L strapped on the front.
As an interesting note, there is not a single professional I have worked with in the field that shoots Nikon. 100% of the guys making a paycheck in this industry (that I have seen/met worked with) with a DSLR shoot Canon. Not sure why, but it is just the way it is.
remember Canon spends more in just R&D than Nikon even makes !!! Canon is HUGE compared to Nikon
they are the Toyota of the industry (using Scotts LC comparison)
for grins the work I used to do this is the setup I love
downside about $50,000 so often gear like this is rented not owned and then billed out to the client
Mark Lachica-1995 FZJ80Mods and Information