An important aspect to take into account when purchasing your first digital SLR camera, is the cost of future add-ons and lenses. It won’t be long after your first SLR purchase, that you’ll start looking at putting together a lens collection for your specific needs.
Generally speaking, Nikon’s range of Nikkor lenses are cheaper than purchasing the equivalent in a Canon brand. For example, the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 Image Stabilized USM SLR Lens is currently selling on Amazon for $485 USD. The closest equivalent for Nikon, is their 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED IF AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens that sells for one hundred dollars less, at $388 USD.
Photographers who need a faster lens, can purchase a Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor for only $289 USD, compared to Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for $296 USD.
This doesn’t seem like a large price difference, however it’s important to note that the Canon EF 50mm doesn’t have auto focus like the Nikkor one does. Canon’s cheapest equivalent with auto focus, is their EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens, which will set you back $1269 USD.
The only time I’ve seen it the opposite way around, is when it comes to macro lenses. The Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor Lens costs $755 USD, compared to the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens for $443 USD. However to be fair, the Nikkor lens is the first macro to offer vibration reduction, which explains the price difference.