First of all, let me just state that this is a friendly comparison from a practical point of view.
So die hard users, keep your flamethrowers and bombs pls!
Have been using Canon 10D for 9 months now but curious to know what life is like on the other side.
So let me list out what I personally feel about the 2 systems from these few months of Canon experience. Statements about Nikon are purely based on VERY limited usage of them so pls correct me if I'm wrong.
What I like about Canon:
Camera functions like buttons and LCD info screen feel more intuitive & user friendly.
Seems to come out with DSLR models with better specs earlier.
Silent USM lenses.
Immediate Manual Focus overide, ie no need to switch to manual focusing mode first like Nikon
What's tempting about Nikon:
Nikon Speedlight Flashes "feel" to be of better build than Canon's
Comparing 10D and D100, the D100's viewfinder seems brighter
Although noisier, the lenses give a more solid feel when focusing (becoz of the noise and vibrations?
Lastly and most importantly, I usually shoot in Manual exposure mode so to be able to change apeture and shutter values quickly and comfortably very impt.
The utmost good thing about Nikon is that coz the 2 main dials are within reach, we can just change it easily unlike Canon's where they are too far apart! This is valuable in cases when I want to change from getting a sharp pic with short shutter to a pic with "motion" with longer shutter. With Nikon, when we already have a correct exposure setting, we can just simultaniously turn both dials in opposite direction by the same amount to get a sharp or "motion" pix while still keeping the exposure setting the same! However Canon's dials are too far apart to do this accurately.
Furthermore the design of Nikon's dials are so that the thumb and middle finger are used. Leaving the index finger free to always be on the shutter ready to go. With Canon it is also possible to change the dial settings without leaving the shutter, but it requires us to use the middle finger to press the shutter instead. And believe me, it feels much more akward than it sounds!
So users of both system, pls share with us what you like about your systems from a practical point of view and save me from this equipment envy!!