Skin tones – which DSLR camera is better – Canon or Nikon?

portrait photography by vlad madejczyk

For wedding or portrait photography good skin tones reproduction is the most important thing. My main problem long time ago was which DSLR camera should I buy to get the right skin tones reproduction.

The problem of skin tones reproduction is important because it affects your decision about purchase of Canon or Nikon systems. We like it or not, there are differences between Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras. Deciding to use one of them you get something, and something you lose. For instance, Nikon has many more very good AND relatively cheap lenses. And you can use most of old (and very good) lenses like for instance with AI/AIs mount on new Nikon DSLR cameras. The only Canon DSLR good lens are L lens, very expensive as we know. All other Canon lenses, maybe with exception of some macro lens, are low quality. Also, Nikon cameras bodies are designed in better, much more user friendly way. If your main aim is pure creativity, where skin tones plays small role, definitely Nikon is the system of your choice.

Canon 5D camera models and Canon L lenses are the only reason we write here about Canon. Canon 5D MkI/MkII/MkIII is perfect camera for portrait or wedding photography. Why? For one simple reason:

CMOS SENSOR

The key to get good reproduction of skin tones is to use whatever DSLR camera with CMOS sensor. Most of cheaper Nikon DSLR cameras have CCD sensors which produced a feeling of dirty-metal-and-plastic-like-noise in photos, as I call it. Maybe you can use Photoshop to correct it. Well, maybe, but it takes time. The less Photoshop you use, the better. The rule of thumb is, the better signal you have on INPUT, the better signal you get on OUTPUT. Stick to this rule and you will have more free time.

So, to cut it short: the best option for good skin tones reproduction is to use whatever full frame DSLR Canon (CMOS sensor) camera with lens F2.8 24-70 L (or F4 24-100 L) or full frame Nikon (CMOS sensor) with almost any Nikon lens (however there are few Nikon excellent aimed especially for portrait photography).

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