Does it matter?
One of the first questions you will need to consider is what brand of camera to go for. It may not seem so important at this stage (and arguably it isn't if you are going for a bridge camera with a fixed lens), but choices made now can have repercussions years later. Don't learn this the hard way. For example if you buy a DSLR, you will find that you will need to buy lenses specifically to fit that brand of DSLR.
If you will be taking on your photography long term, you will to want to buy different lenses. (Many of those who thought they'd bought a "one lens fits all occasions kit lens", end up buying additional lenses as they grow out of their kit lens - the author of this article included!). Then, as technology advances, you want to buy an "up to date" body later on to replace your original camera - you already have two different lenses to fit your camera. These lenses will only fit your new camera if you buy the same brand. In short you may be stuck with the brand you buy now for life.
Most advanced to professional photographers choose Nikon or Canon. So, if you are going to take your photography seriously it may be worth investing in one of those brands, to save a lot of pain later on (although other brands are available and make pretty decent kit). We have not been paid to single out these two brands - we are just telling it as we see it. It helps that it's easy to get accessoties (lenses, flashes, cable release etc.) for these brands. Many choose Nikon because of the the reputation of the Nikkor lenses. Many choose Canon for wildlife photography because, at the moment, they tend to have a faster continuous shoot speed (which is handy for moving subjects).
We use Nikon. We are not paid to say that, or promote the Nikon brand against any others, we are just stating fact. That does not mean Nikon is going to be right for you. Canon is also amazing, and if we were starting anew we may even lean that way ourselves.
At the time of writing the it was generally true that Canon was a better choice for sport and wildlife photography due to a quieter mechanisn (for wilflife) and a faster continuous burst in the shooting menu. Continuous shoot speeds very from model to model, in both Nikon and Canon, so it's a case of looking up how each model can handle what you may be after. Continuous shoot speed is an aspect Nikon has been improving on of late, so it's worth checking out what's on the market at the time of purchase.
Although these two beands have relative strengths and weaknesses, in our view it would be hard to go wrong with either.
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