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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:10 pm 
Good day folks!

I've been looking at DSLRs for a month now, and I've determined which 3 I'm deciding between. I have a one main question about the T3i though, has anyone here used it while plugged into the computer? I heard that you can fully control it and save images directly to hard drive, and that it even has an intervalometer? I can't find anywhere that confirms this information, other than Gordon's comparison to the D5100.

Okay, here are the main arguments about the 3 DSLRs that I've been able to come up with:
Sony a55:
-Very fast continuous shooting
-Continuous buffer of 20 or so RAW files (I forget the number, but it was 2 or 3 times more than the Canon)
-Many lenses to choose from, since old Minolta lenses work, and I'd have auto focus
-In-camera stabilization, for those older lenses (I have some Canon FD lenses which would benefit from this)
-Video mode seems to suffer heavily from over heating
-Video mode has phase detection AF, which is wonderful, but that's only with the aperture wide open? That seems like it's much less useful for a videographer
-Quality at 10FPS is reduced (I'm not sure where I read that, it crops to increase speed)
-EVF which can do focus assisting (zoom while focusing), which is great for me since I use Canon FD lenses often
-Feels good in the hand, buttons are convenient
-New SLT technology which seems to be very precisely calibrated and inconsistent with taking pictures, sometimes will blur with autofocus

Canon T3i:
-Fairly slow continuous shooting (3.7 or 4 FPS? I can't remember the exact number)
-Continuous buffer of only 6 RAW files, I shoot mostly in RAW
-If I buy a lens, I'm stuck buying strictly from Canon if I want auto focus and image stabilization (IS is important to me)
-Video mode has full manual controls
-Video mode doesn't really have autofocus, you have to constantly half press the shutter
-Rumored that it can connect directly to computer and snap pictures to hard drive, and intervalometer (which would be great for my studio)
-OVF, nothing special there, works as intended
-Canon brand has decades of experience making DSLRs, retains value better
-Feels good in the hand, slightly larger than the a55 but sturdy

Nikon D5100
-This camera fell out of the race quickly when I went to see it at my local camera shop. The grip was harder to hold since the thumb rest wasn't molded. The scroll dial to change your current setting was just above the thump instead of by the index finger, which was really awkward to use. There were hardly any quick access buttons for settings. But here are some arguments
-Best image quality according to most reviews
-Video mode is terrible but has autofocus. No manual control
-Built-in intervalometer
-I don't know if you can get cheap lenses, all the ones I looked at didn't have IS. I couldn't find a decently cheap (~250$) lens with IS(VR). I'm on a strict budget.
-That's all I can think of, as I said, I stopped looking into this camera early on in the race.

So far I'm really struggling between the a55 and T3i. The T3i seems to be slightly ahead because Canon is a reliable, and experienced company. Also it has (rumor that I can't prove) the ability to save pictures directly the hard drive via USB connection. But the a55 can shoot up to 10 FPS which is great since I'm a "Jack of all trades" photographer, I sometimes get requests for sports photography. It also has in-camera stabilization. But the a55 seems inconsistent and has overheating problems in video mode. I post process most of my photos, so the minute differences in image quality doesn't really affect my choice.
I'm leaning ever so slightly towards the T3i, because it's mainstream and accessories like flashes and mics would probably be cheaper by third party companies. But I'd suffer because I wouldn't have IS for a 50mm F1.8. I really can't decide, someone decide for me! Help me with your arguments!

Thanks in advance guys, this has been eating me alive for the last month.
Have a great day!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:01 am
Posts: 1173
Location: bit east of Melbourne
Hi Welcome aboard.

Interesting thought process and comparison. Keep in mind all the manufacturers have different release dates, so whenever you are looking there is a different winner.

You are looking at buying into a system, find one that is comfortable to hold and use and a one with a menu system that works for you. The rest is lenses and lens quality, the newer sensors really need good lenses. Every camera body benefits from better lenses.

Even to the point where you look at a cheaper/lesser body but spend more on glass. Is video that important to you or are you into taking photos primarily?

I went through a similar thing when I bought my first DSLR, it was a Sony A100. It was only the basic twin lens kit.
I have changed to Canon now and don`t regret it, but that is not to say I dislike what Sony is doing, they have really got their act into gear.
If I was looking at upgrading now I might well be a A77, but I would have to seriously look at their lenses and costs. They still seem expensive considering they don`t need to put IS in the lenses.

Canon Powershot S95, Canon 6D,7D, Canon 40 2.8 STM, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, Canon 17-40 L, Canon 15-85, Canon 85 1.8, Sigma 30 1.4, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L Macro, Canon 70-300L +Kenko 1.4 Pro 300DGX, Canon 430EX II and RS 4 Classic

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:22 pm
Posts: 1338
Location: Speyer (Germany)
Canon T3i:
-Rumored that it can connect directly to computer and snap pictures to hard drive, and intervalometer (which would be great for my studio)

At least my T1i can do that so I guess the T3i should be able to do the same. I'd even guess they improved the program coming with the camera in the last few years since I bought my camera.

-If I buy a lens, I'm stuck buying strictly from Canon if I want auto focus and image stabilization (IS is important to me)

There are third party lenses from Sigma and Tamron and so on - they are calling IS differently (Sigma: OS, Tamron: VC) but they do offer those features.
But yes - personally I'd prefer built-in stabilization as well as that works with any lens.

Canon EOS 500D + Canon EOS 5D Mark III + Canon EOS 33v
Canon EF 28-80mm 3.5-5.6 USM + EF 24-105mm 4L IS USM + EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 50mm 1.8 II + EF 100mm 2.8L Macro IS USM + Sigma 12-24mm 4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM + Canon Speedlite 580 EX II + Nissin Speedlite Di 466

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