The two biggest players in the DSLR market have launched a feast of new cameras over the last few months, updating and adding to an already excellent range of models.
But in the Nikon vs Canon DSLR battle, which one is best for your needs?
We've rounded up the main Canon and Nikon cameras from each manufacturer's beginner, intermediate and advanced DSRL lineups and undertaken an in-depth comparison of the key specs and features on offer.
Using this information, we've analysed what you get for your money from the current Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras in the three main price brackets of sub-£500, £500-£1000 and £1000 or above.
Ultimately, we hope by the end of this article you will be better placed to answer the question: Nikon or Canon?
Canon vs Nikon: DSLRs under £500
Canon 1100D - £420
Nikon D3100 - £400
Despite being Europe's best selling DSLR for the first half of 2010, the Nikon D3000 was already looking a bit long in the tooth, with a fairly low-res 10.2Mp sensor and a complete lack of Live View or video capture facilities.
The updated Nikon D3100 puts that to rights, with a new 14.2Mp sensor and EXPEED 2 image processor, putting most of advanced Nikon DSLR cameras to shame, at least at the time of its launch.
Canon has fought back with its new EOS 1100D, the long-awaited Canon 1000D replacement. New features in this Canon DSLR include a higher-res 12.2Mp image sensor feeding a DIGIC IV image processor, video capture and Canon's advanced iFCL (intelligent Focus Colour Luminance) metering system which is more in line with Nikon's 3D Colour Matrix II metering system featured on the D3100.
Both the Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras do a good job of keeping things simple for beginners, with a range of full-auto and dedicated shooting modes for the likes of landscapes, portraits and sports.
Canon has added a 'Basic+' facility to its previously somewhat hamstrung scene modes, enabling basic adjustments like exposure compensation. The Creative Auto mode featured on most other current Canon DSLR cameras is also added, simplifying settings for the likes of controlling depth of field.
The Nikon D3100's Guide shooting mode goes one better, offering a handy in-camera guide to freezing the action, blurring the background and more besides. It's great for beginners who want to experiment with taking their photography to the next level.
Image quality is a little more punchy from the Nikon DSLR, and its Active D-Lighting system is excellent for reigning in highlights while also boosting detail in dark shadows, working a little more effectively than the Auto Lighting Optimizer on the Canon DSLR.
The Canon 1100D moves up to a 9-point autofocus system, whereas the older EOS 1000D only had 7-point autofocus, but the Nikon D3100 still wins out with its 11-point AF.
The Canon 1100D's sensitivity range is ISO 100-6400 and the Nikon D3100's standard range is ISO 100-3200, but the Nikon DSLR also features expanded settings of ISO 6400 and 12800.
Video capture is a new addition to both Canon and Nikon beginner DSLRs, but the Canon 1100D only offers 720p at 25/30fps (frames per second), whereas the Nikon D3100 boasts Full HD 1080p at 24fps and 720p at 24/25/30fps. Neither Nikon or Canon camera has a socket for attaching an external microphone for video recording.