I recently bought a new camera … a Canon 7D. No big deal, right? Well, maybe not, unless you consider the fact that for the last 13 years I have been using all Nikon gear. Why did I make this choice? I have been in need of an upgrade to my Nikon D200 for quite some time, but I haven’t been able to find a camera that fits all of my needs. The majority of my photography is commercial stock imagery for iStockphoto. While I personally could care less how many megapixels I shoot, with microstock it’s a good thing to have a lot of them. Nikon does not currently have a high-megapixel camera (other than the über-expensive D3x) … so that was one thing pushing me towards Canon.

To make it simple, here is a list from my own personal experience, comparing some of the aspects that are important to me between Nikon & Canon:

Only 12.1 mp Higher Megapixels (18 and 21)
Low noise at high-ISO w/ D700 and D3 Still has low noise with some models, but not as
good as the D700/D3
Clunkier controls – zooming, scrolling through
images, etc.
Controls are much more intuitive; I especially
like the “wheel” on the back of the body.
Menu goes on and on … it’s easy to get lost. Menu shows only as much as will fit on the screen
(I just like how it looks)
Great focusing system for fast performance Focusing not as good as the Nikon, but I don’t
typically shoot fast-moving subjects
In-camera interval modes Needs a separate cable-release for intervals
No HD video in the D700 or D3 (yet) HD video capability in the 7D and 5DMkII

Please note that this is a very small list compared to all of the differences between the two systems; I mentioned only the few that are important to me.

So … am I switching to Canon? The answer is … maybe, probably … I don’t know. Economically it seems like the right thing to do, since I have perfectly good re-sell-able lenses sitting in a camera bag (including the “hard-to-find” 24-70 f/2.8) and a Nikon camera body that probably won’t see the light of day again for quite some time.

If I could do both systems, I probably would. It’s not easy to get rid of my Nikon gear, since I feel strangely connected to it. At first I was very much intent on sticking with both systems, possibly upgrading to a Nikon D700 (or whatever comes out next) and maybe I still will. If I had all the money in the world then this would be an easy decision … but glass aint cheap.

I’m making no promises to myself … I’d like to give it some time, live with my Canon for a while, and then decide if I want to take the full plunge.