Nikon vs Canon vs Fuji in a Studio

I have been super busy working on a couple of big projects lately and this weekend I helped out Lola with her bridal work. While setting up the lights, I decided to try out and shoot with three different cameras – the Nikon D800 (see the recently published review of the Nikon D800), the Canon 5D Mark III (a full review is coming up in a couple of weeks) and the Fuji X-Pro 1 (also coming up for a review soon).

The Nikon and the Canon experience was very similar, both were stellar in terms of color, sharpness and autofocus accuracy. The Fuji X-Pro 1 produced beautiful images with great-looking skin tones, but was rather disappointing in terms of autofocus – it just could not seem to lock well to my subject in indoors environment. I will be writing about my overall impressions of the Fuji X-Pro 1 soon, but to give you a short version, I am rather disappointed by it. To be honest, I was more excited about the Fuji X-Pro 1 than I was with the Canon and Nikon cameras, because I was really hoping for a mirrorless camera that could be a great alternative to the higher-end APS-C sensor DSLRs. The Fuji X-Pro 1 just seemed to have so much potential… I guess it will be a while until we see something that good. Perhaps the second or third generation of the X-Pro? Or the upcoming Canon mirrorless?

Here is a fun game for you – all three of the below images were shot with either the Nikon D800, the Canon 5D Mark III or the Fuji X-Pro 1. Care to guess which one is which?

Nikon vs Canon vs Fuji #1

Nikon vs Canon vs Fuji #2

Nikon vs Canon vs Fuji #3

These are pretty much straight out of each camera.

Update: The Fuji X-Pro1 Review has been posted!


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Avatar of Nasim Mansurov About Nasim Mansurov

is a professional photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. He is the author and founder of Photography Life, along with a number of other online resources. Read more about Nasim here.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) belle

    I’m guessing…

    1- Canon
    2- Nikon
    3- fuji

    • 18
      ) Paul

      By a sheer stroke of coincidence, I came to the same conclusion as you. Here’s why:

      The first photo is flat, which is characteristic of Canon.
      The second photo has a slight orange/red tinge that is typical of Nikon.
      The last photo has the least vignetting. Assuming no vignetting reduction was done, it probably means it was taken with a small sensor.

      Despite my seemingly convincing argument, I’m only 50% confident that I’m right.

      • 101
        ) XGlite015

        You probably haven’t seen the latest video comparison reviews of the D800 and 5D mark3 have you? in the 2 compariosn videos done by camerastoreTV and the digitalrev video comparison, the 5D mark 3 shows more saturation and ‘pop’ while the D800 shows dull colors and green tint in auto white balance. Just google digitalrev 5D mark 3 vs D800 and camerastoretv D800 vs 5D mark 3 part 1 with Nathan Elson and part 2 with Mkie Drew. You’ll see that Nikon color tones are now Canon’s previous color tones and vice versa.

        • 104
          ) Paul

          I’m so sorry I haven’t. Please excuse my ignorance and stupidity.

    • 125
      ) Jack J

      I agree:

      1) Canon
      2) Nikon
      3) Whatever the other one is.

      I shoot people and I am starting to think Nikon does not have it right on skin tones at all. There is always a bunch of correction that has to be done in post and I think Canon gets it right right off the bat.

      With that opinion, why can’t the guy post which is whic?

      • 126
        ) DT

        Your only late by a few months. He posted the results and I have to disagree about Nikon and skin tones. Anyway, read back through the threads to see the results.

  2. 2
    ) Jaime

    Here are my guess for your three full wonderful body shots.
    The top one is cannon, middle is Nikon and the bottom is Fuji.
    I like your shots but most specially the smile of your model in the center shot. She is really admirable.

    It’s been fun and educational reading your photography articles and I would like to thank you in sharing us your gifted talent. Thanks a million.

  3. 3
    ) Tamim

    I believe the first one is Nikon, I can see the green tent, or maybe it’s just my imagining .. :D

  4. 4
    ) Zesa

    Nikon
    Canon
    Fuji

    • 46
      ) Zesa

      And when will we see the answer?

  5. I don’t know about the canon or fuji, but I’m guessing that the middle one is Nikon based on the skin tones alone.

  6. 6
    ) Don

    1. Nikon
    2. Does it matter? :)
    3. See number 2. :)

    In all seriousness, 1. Nikon, 2. Canon, 3. Fuji..

  7. Guys, in my opinion it is not possible to guess. Could you please tell what are your criteria for above choises? Thanks :)

  8. 8
    ) Ján Halaša

    Hello Nasim, my guess is 1 – Nikon, 2 – Fuji, 3 – Canon :-)

  9. My guess: Fuji, Nikon, Canon. Perhaps you should try this experiment again with the exact same (inanimate) subject next time :P

  10. 10
    ) Abu Hayat Khan

    1. Nikon (based on dynamic range and detail).
    2. Fuji (skin color)
    3. Canon :-)

  11. 11
    ) James

    What was the lighting set up you used, Nasim?

    • James, very simple setup with two Elinchrom strobes – one key light on the right (Octabank) and one fill on the left (Softbox). For the third shot added another light on the left, because the model’s legs were too dark – just used a simple speedlight at 1/4th power with a half-open umbrella. The two main lights were placed a little higher than the model and slightly angled.

  12. 13
    ) Andrea

    1. Nikon, 2. Canon, 3. Fuji.

  13. 14
    ) Fajar

    1. Nikon
    2. Fuji
    3. Canon

  14. Hi Nasim,

    I like your articles. Do you have any recommendations for a program (maybe one you subscribe to) that would allow large files,say around a 500mb picture to be sent and not take all day to load it. Regular email will not send any photos larger than a 2mb files size.

    Thank You,
    Bruce

    • Bruce, try Dropbox – it is free and it will allow storing and sharing very large files…

  15. 16
    ) Srini

    I’m afraid we can’t, unless the still is the same with specs specified….

  16. 19
    ) khuncho

    1. Nikon
    2. Fuji
    3. Canon :)

  17. 20
    ) Stefan

    1. Nikon :)
    2. Canon
    3. Fuji

  18. 21
    ) Ridzuan

    1. Nikon
    2. Fuji
    3. Canon

  19. 22
    ) irfan kauser

    NIKON
    CANON
    FUJI

  20. 23
    ) Roberto

    Nikon
    Canon
    Fuji

  21. 1) Canon
    2) Fuji
    3) Nikon

  22. 25
    ) Hank Dinardo

    Nikon
    Canon
    Fuji

  23. 1st is nikon
    2nd is canon
    3rd is fuji

  24. 27
    ) 628748487

    1. Canon
    2. Fuji
    3. Nikon

  25. This is a very amusing thread. First off, the model is absolutely fabolous, but the pictures? That’s another story. I can’t see much detail or texture in the dress, the lighting is too flat for my liking and as we can’t get 100% views there is no way to judge DOF or detail. We don’t even know if the focal length and aperture were the same (equivalen for Fuji).

    All I can see is that the middle pic is not as green as the other two, so I am gussing that #2 is Fuji. So my guess is

    1) Canon
    2) Fuji
    3) Nikon

    • Paul, not sure why you can’t see much detail/texture in dresses – there is plenty of that, especially on the higher-resolution images. As for lighting, Lola asked me specifically to set the lights up evenly without any modern/edgy looks, which is why the images look flat. It was a request from her friend that designs these dresses. Hopefully I will have a chance to do another session with a more interesting light setup with some rim lights and bare flash this week.

      Given that I am not providing any details, this is a total random guess game :)

  26. 29
    ) Tinker's Realm

    Nikon- detail
    Fuji- color
    canon- depth

  27. 30
    ) Tinker's Realm

    Fuji
    Canon
    Nikon

    Upon closer inspection I am changing my above vote-can’t wait to read the facts!

  28. 31
    ) alex

    1 – Canon
    2 – Nikon
    3 – Fuji

  29. 32
    ) gwenhael appere

    1/ Canon
    2/ Fuji
    3/ Nikon

  30. 33
    ) James Marin

    1) Nikon
    2) Canon
    3) Fuji

  31. 34
    ) Nick

    Fuji
    Canon
    Nikon

    To be honest I like the details and color of the last picture the most, so I’m hoping it’s Nikon.

  32. 35
    ) Fotopratica

    Nikon
    Canon
    Fuji

    :-)

  33. 36
    ) Chris

    1. Fuji
    2. Canon
    3. Nikon

  34. 37
    ) James Marin

    I got the old Fuji S5 Pro which is my backup camera to my D700. If I’ve guessed wrong shame on me! :)

  35. 38
    ) Johny Wong

    Reading this article really remind me of my friends opinions. They keep saying, “Nikon is for landscape , Canon is for human being” and they also added “Canon’s tone is more appropriate for human skin”. I ‘ve never believed with that statement because I know many Canon user shot landscape and Nikon user shot human being. So Nasim, do you think Nikon is better for landscape and Canon for human being ?

    My answer is: 1. nikon 2. canon 3. fuji

    • Johny, I honestly think it does not matter – you can make beautiful images of people and landscapes with either camera. A lot of photographers prefer Canon’s skin tones, because Nikon is notorious for its rendering of reds, but if you shoot RAW and post-process images in Lightroom/Photoshop, you can make images look the same from Canon and Nikon.

      • 71
        ) James Marin

        What would you recommend for Nikon shooters to get the same skintones as Canon and tone down the red? I love my Nikon for shooting portraits and landscapes both! :)

        • James, some good post-processing will do the job! In Lightroom, even desaturating the red/orange channel a little bit can do the magic.

          • 118
            ) James Marin

            Thanks Nasim, my wife has a really red skintone from the beginning its super tough to work with then we do family portraits!

  36. 39
    ) bob

    They all look pretty good which just shows that the photographer is more important than the camera.

  37. Sorry, not a good comparison. At this distance no one can tell. Only one exception is, fuji is known for their warm tones, at least in film. The second shot shows hotter skin tones so I would guess it’s fuji. (or is it your software processing the different images?) No guess on the others. Give us a 50%, 100% and 200% enlargement for each of your focus points of the images and then let us guess. They would all lhave to be shot at one ISO 100 or 200, Strobe lights, exactly the same distance, and the same pose of model or manakin, the same focal length lense, and at f-8, and exactly the same part of the model. Each camera must have the same size sensor and pixel size.
    Even at this, the quality will greatly depend on the quality of the lens.
    RFranko
    Image Zone Photography, LLC

    • Richard, you are absolutely right! Which is why this is a totally random guess game :)

  38. 41
    ) Ghainous X

    1. Fuji
    2. Canon
    3. Nikon

  39. 42
    ) N66

    1. Nikon – shows greatest detail in dress
    2. Canon
    3. Fuji – shows least detail

  40. 43
    ) Matt

    Nikon Canon Fuji

  41. 44
    ) James

    Nikon
    Canon
    Fuji

  42. 45
    ) B!

    Fuji
    Canon
    Nikon

  43. 50
    ) Jennifer Gartside

    Canon, fuji, Nikon

    • Congratulations Jennifer! You have won a Westcott Umbrella kit:
      http://photographylife.com/and-the-winner-is

      Please contact me via email and send your address to receive your prize!

      • 102
        ) Rick JK

        I’m trying to understand why Shavanas wasn’t the winner. Was it a random choice or? I would have thought the first right answer would have won.

        • 103
          ) Rick JK

          Oops,Shanavas—

  44. 51
    ) Phillip

    Fiji
    Nikon
    Canon

  45. 52
    ) Raghav

    1) Nikon
    2) Canon
    3) Fuji

  46. 53
    ) Angela Smith

    1] Nikon
    2] Fuji
    3] Canon

  47. 54
    ) Nichole

    1} Nikon
    2} Fuji
    3} Canon

  48. 55
    ) ellie

    1. Fuji
    2. Canon
    3. Nikon

  49. 56
    ) Sivai

    The model looks pretty..!!!

    BTW, my guess is 1. Fuji, 2. Nikon, 3. Canon.. Waiting for the answers… :)

  50. 57
    ) Claudia

    1.- Fuji
    2.- Canon
    3.- Nikon

  51. 58
    ) Craig Luna

    This is a sham, they are all iPhone 4S photos ;)

  52. 59
    ) Starred

    Can’t see any real differences on my ‘new’ ipad, size is too small

  53. 60
    ) Anders

    The pictures are too small to judge correctly – even on a high end monitor.

  54. 61
    ) Don

    Nasim,

    Could it be that you are being a bit mischievous :) and that the images are all from the same camera? If so, I suspect they are from the Fuji.

  55. Canon, Nikon, Fuji :)

  56. 63
    ) Gabor

    Fuji, Canon, NIkon – I guess :)

  57. 64
    ) Alan

    Fuji,
    Nikon,
    Canon

  58. 65
    ) David

    i never shot with canon/nikon but I am 1000% sure that picture #2 is Fuji. Amazing skin colours.

    What have I won?

  59. 66
    ) Kicsicserje

    Canon
    Nikon
    Fuji

  60. 67
    ) Irimpan

    1. Nikon
    2. Canon
    3. Fuji

  61. 68
    ) Howard

    1. Fuji
    2. Cannon
    3. Nikon

  62. 69
    ) Milan

    1. fuji
    2. nikon
    3. canon

  63. 70
    ) Jason

    1 Nikon
    2 Nikon
    3 Nikon

  64. 72
    ) yogesh

    And the winner is……:……. too much waiting now. Pl reveal the secret:-)

  65. I was looking at the colour of the lipstick on photos 2 and 3. I can’t see it well enough on the 1st. There’s a really big difference between them and I’m assuming she didn’t change her makeup in between shots. I honestly cannot tell which is which so I won’t guess, but I’m curious to know the answer.

  66. 74
    ) Johnniee

    Nikon, Fuji, Canon

  67. 75
    ) Chip

    Shot all three on an iPhone and he is still in tears laughing at all of us guessing. Seriously, it points out to me that given an ideal setup and an experienced photographer all three cameras and lenses can take nice pictures.

    Chip

  68. 76
    ) Jayant

    My guess… 1st Fuji, 2nd Canon & 3rd Nikon :)

  69. 77
    ) sha

    Nikon
    Fuji
    Canon

  70. 78
    ) BartJayson

    I’m guessing:

    1. Nikon
    2. Fuji
    3. Canon

  71. 79
    ) tipu

    1.canon
    2.Nikon
    3.Fuji

  72. 80
    ) abdul

    I guess

    1.nikon
    2.canon
    3.Fuji

  73. 81
    ) alim

    1.nikon
    2.fuji
    3.canon

  74. 82
    ) Marybeth

    1.Canon
    2.Nikon
    3. Fuji

    However, if it were the d700 instead of the d800 I’d guess: 1. Nikon 2. Canon.
    Curious as to why why many people are guessing fuji to be #3.
    So if I’m right do I win a d800 ??? ;-)

  75. 83
    ) Egor

    Fuji
    Canon
    Nikon

  76. 84
    ) Selma

    Canon
    Nikon
    Fuji

    I can’t wait for the answer @_@

  77. 85
    ) Sandeep

    Let us read the question again – “all three of the below images were shot with either the Nikon D800, the Canon 5D Mark III or the Fuji X-Pro 1″. The question says all images were shot by the same camera and I guess it was NIkon D800.

  78. 86
    ) alzurzin

    We do not know the lens: the lens can make a difference! Also, we are without the opportunity to download the raw file, and pixel peep, and etc. I can see only very slight difference in the photos above, which are insufficient to draw an accurate conclusion. What this exercise DOES PROVE is simple: 1/ if you cannot see the differences clearly and unequivocally, then the D800 is not the earth-shattering new standard everyone is duped into believing; 2/ there is absolutely no need to spend megabucks to produce a high quality image: one of these images is by the XPro, which should be more than adequate for the vast majority of serious photographers.

    • 100
      ) Jano

      Alzurzin, you’re completely right that with these pictures it’s impossible to draw an accurate conclusion, but what you assume then is wrong.

      The photos are at 1024 x 683 px which is 0.7 MP. There is even lighting which means there is no huge dynamic range for the sensor to cover. Also the situation is well lit, so we’re not comparing noise either.
      Neither noise nor sharpness can be compared at 0.7 MP and the dynamic range is small. So how on earth would you conclude that there is no relevant difference between the three? I bet Nasim could have added a photo taken with an iPhone 4S resized to 0.7 MP and lots of people would have assumed it’s a professional DSLR. But that doesn’t mean the D800 has nothing new to offer for the professionals.

      Everyone who understands something about photography already knows that you don’t need the worlds best camera to shoot high quality images. One of my favourite pictures (my desktop background even) was shot with an old manual film camera from the GDR for 50 € with cheap film and no light meter.

  79. 88
    ) Global

    It was the Canon S95.

  80. 89
    ) Srini

    Nazmim,

    I did a little experiment to decide the outcome by throwing a coin 4 x dozen times. The sequence was Nikon, Canon, Fuji and all with the same camera! A dozen for each item may probably give a fair chance for each player in the game. This is what I got:

    Nikon 8 (probability: 0.17)
    Canon 6 (probability: 0.13)
    Fuji 14 (probability: 0.29)
    Single Camera: 20! (0.41).

    It was therefore shot with a single camera! Threw the coin a dozen times more to get the probability of 0.4 (Nikon), 0.3 (Canon) and 0.3 (Fuji). It is too close to call but yet Nikon emerged a winner by a narrow margin. You love Nikon products, don’t you? You may have therefore shot the sequence with Nikon D800. You cleverly mixed the subject, conditions, etc to make it genuinely interesting and confusing.

    You might be thinking that I am weird, right1 Why don’t you spill the beans please?

  81. 90
    ) Ken Hui Ho

    1)Nikon
    2)Canon
    3)Fuji

  82. 93
    ) Thorkil

    1. Canon, because you can see at the high-contrast edges that its about somewhat over-sharpened which I would claim is the major drawback of the 5DIII
    2. Nikon because its detailed and sharp in a more gentle but carefull way than Canon, but colours might be less accurate than Canon and not so “punchy”
    3. Fuji because this can’t keep up with the others, allthogh rather good but away from the others detailed finish and more soft/unsharp
    Thorkil

    • 2. Nikon because its detailed and sharp in a more gentle but carefull way than Canon, but colours might be less accurate than Canon and not so “punchy”
      3. Fuji because this can’t keep up with the others, allthogh rather good but away from the others detailed finish and more soft/unsharp

      ahahahahah !

      Thorkil, I have just bought a Fuji X Pro 1 and I strongly suggest to do the same :-)

  83. 95
    ) Alvin

    At last somebody also feels disappointed with the X-Pro1! I have used it for a period of time myself, and while most people are rightly praising its high image quality, I was surprised so many were giving its sluggish AF system a pass. For that money, and the quality of contrast detection AF in current mirrorless system cameras today, Fujifilm really should have done better!

  84. 96
    ) BStyle

    1- Canon
    2- Nikon
    3- fuji

    I Suppose

    2 from a sharp image..
    3 something seem to be wrong
    1 Well .. this place left for the canon but I dont recognize the blue-red saturation

    • 97
      ) Don

      You do realize that the contest if over right? It was Canon, Fuji, and Nikon.

  85. 1 – Fuji
    2 – Nikon
    3 – Canon

  86. 99
    ) sudharshun

    1. Fuji
    2.Nikon
    3.Canon

  87. 1.Fujifilm
    2.Canon
    3.Nikon

  88. 106
    ) John

    1) canon
    2) fuji
    3) nikon

  89. 107
    ) John

    LOL, I answered this without knowing that the answered was posted already.

  90. 109
    ) havard

    I think I got it right

    1Fuji. Guess bc colors and sharpnes
    2Nikon. Thinks so because of color
    3 Canon. Bc colors and sharpnes

  91. 110
    ) Kevin

    (Yes I know answer’s given already..)
    For anyone who’s ever used a Fuji x100/pro-1 or seen photos from it, it’s obvious that the 2nd photo is Fuji, based upon skin colour alone. The slight magenta hue is classical of Fuji (Olympus tries to do something similar :p), and was the reason why I bought my x100… cuz it’s so good!!

  92. 111
    ) Jacek R

    1. Nikon
    2. Fuji
    3. Canon

  93. 112
    ) Toni

    Before getting the answer i was thinking 2 has much more depth and 3d look then the others.
    Is it just me? I shoot d700 now. Seriously considering x pro for studio instead d800. Any thoughts?
    16mp should be enough for most size picture and will be far “easier” to be processed on my mb pro.

    • 113
      ) Toni

      It could also just be the strobes setup

  94. 114
    ) Murat Mutlu

    I like most last one, Fuji! :)

  95. 115
    ) Bakker

    1- fuji
    2-Canon
    3-Nikon

    • 116
      ) Don

      You do realize that the answers have already been published right.

  96. 117
    ) vipul patel

    1. nikon 2. fuji 3.canon

  97. 119
    ) Stasha

    I really like the shoes. Very pretty model. But I am not going to guess.

  98. 120
    ) Radjev

    1.Nikon
    2.Canon
    3.Fuji

  99. 121
    ) krokoo

    Nikon (great details)
    Canon (best colours of skin)
    Fuji (best field of depth)

    That would be my guess, however

  100. 122
    ) Stefanus W

    Canon
    Fuji
    Nikon…

    okay what is the correct answer?

  101. 1. Canon
    2. Fuji
    3. Nikon

  102. 124
    ) Champy

    1. Nikon
    2. Fuji
    3. Canon

  103. 127
    ) Harnanto

    Why don’t you use same proper custom white balance for these images ?
    1. Canon
    2. Nikon
    3. Fujifilm

  104. 128
    ) Ade

    Some comments seem doesn’t accept that aps format can compete with full size format due to its brand. LOL

    and i guess nasim would like to compete the auto white balance capability for each camera cause if he set the custom then the result become really almost same. i guess

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