A recent Bloomberg report indicated that Canon held 44.5 percent of the camera market, with Nikon increasing its share to 29.7 percent. I immediately questioned these findings as the majority of cameras I see in the field tend to be Nikon. Were my impressions a fluke, or perhaps a regional trend specific to the New York area? I decided to run my own poll to find out. The results streamed in from all over the globe:
As you can see, the results of my poll were remarkably similar to the initial report. Canon still held the lead, but by a slightly smaller percentage.
So what does this mean if anything?
First, I think it's important to point out that both brands are equally capable in the right hands. I've seen amazing photography created with everything from $20 plastic Holgas, to the most expensive Leica, and everything in between.
Ultimately, this type of healthy competition is in the best interest of the consumer as each company works to gain market share through price cuts and added features. The result is a wide array of professional quality DSLRs with reasonable sticker prices. As this trend continues, the line between the super high-end and prosumer bodies will become increasingly blurred.
Considering this ongoing tug-o-war, it can be difficult to pinpoint which camera is right for you. Besides Canon and Nikon, there are excellent Pentax models, Sony, Olympus, Fuji, and more. Before deciding on one, I recommend looking into their entire line of dedicated lenses and flashes. Remember, you're not just buying into a camera body, but rather an entire system of products.