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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:29 am 
I just purchased a Nikon D5100. In the running for the price range was Canon T3i and Sony A55 which seems to the case with most of us looking in that price range. After reading through reviews, forums, and seeing the video Gordon did compairing the Nikon and Canon (super video review btw), it can get even more confusing. As a newb to DSLR cameras, you want to get the best for your budget. Ultimately, each camera brand will bring something slightly different to the table. For ex: the Sony A55 brings a super fps which is unmatched by others in the running, but battery life isnt as long and the digital view finder might be a turn off. It is also a smaller camera, and for someone with large hands, it might not feel comfortable. The Canon is a larger camera than the Sony and Nikon on hand grip feel.

Here are my tips to avoid stressing out over which one to buy: Go to the store and hold them FIRST! I guarantee you will narrow it down once you hold them, get a sense for hand feel, how body position feels, and check out the LCD left vs bottom hinge, and also the view finder (digital vs traditional). Camera feel is extremely personal, and you need to be happy with how it feels regardless of reviews or opinions on the forum. Dont ask the opinion of the guy working there. It will only confuse you more, and for some it will make you feel like you must buy the one they recommend.

If you are still torn after holding them, check out your local camera shop (not best buy, but a real dedicated camera shop) to see if they have a rental program and rent them for the weekend.

If you are getting a camera because you want to start a hobby, make a list of what you want to realistically use the camera for. Is video important or is fps higher on the list? Canon and Nikon are neck and neck as far as photo quality. My thoughts are, if video is that important, get a dedicated video camera. If you are serious about taking up photography as a hobby, your camera will become an extension of you. If you really arent in to going manual, but want to take really nice photos of the family, then save yourself the trouble and just buy a nice quality point and shoot like looks like a DSLR...you can take great photos and tweak them in photoshop, but save yourself a few hundred bucks. The bottom line is, you arent going to make a bad choice between the top brands. You just need to pick one that will suit your needs (easier menu navigation for a newb--Nikon, great all around camera that feels more semi pro in menu options--Canon or higher fps--Sony, etc), and feel confident in your decision.

Honestly, I went to buy the Canon. I felt the Nikon had too many "fun" features that I wasnt interested in for the minimal added cost. In the end, after a few years of wanting a canon rebel, and all the reading on features and narrowing it down to my Canon T3i, I walked out of the store with the Nikon because it fit me like a glove. I ended up getting it for the same price as the canon, 2 lenses, a free bag, etc. I'm happy with it and dont regret it at all.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:36 am 
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Hi KindLotus,

May I wish you a warm welcome to the CameraLabs forum.

Great first post. 8) Looking forward to seeing some of your work when you feel comfortable sharing. There's a "how to" guide here if you're not sure how.

Bob.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:38 am 
Yes,The Canon is a much better featured camera,I would recommand it anyway over the D5100.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:57 am 
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Surely the whole point of the post is to show a purchasing methodology good for an individual rather than following what any of us would recommend? :P

Purchase is such an individual decision, both in terms of the required feature set and ergonomics, that I really try to avoid recommending anything other than a short-list of cameras to try out. I may not always be able to but I do try.

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:46 pm 
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Razvan wrote:
Yes,The Canon is a much better featured camera,I would recommand it anyway over the D5100.

Much of the time, "better" is a highly subjective and contentious comment.

Like Bob said, the "best" or "better" camera is the one whose interface and ergonomics are preferred by an individual and whose drawbacks can be lived with the most.

When it came to me deciding which route I was going to take when getting my first DSLR, I frankly disregarded anybody's opinion if they told me bluntly told me Canon/Nikon/Sony/Pentax/Joe Bloggs was better because it sounds like a fanboy plug. I decided the Canon 550D was best for me because I preferred its menu and it felt more natural in my hand compared to the Nikon D5000. However, I would always recommend that people try a variety of cameras in a certain price range and decide for themselves.

You know the old saying of what would happen if everybody liked the same things...

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Lenses: Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:41 am 
technical features are hardly something subjective. but yes,depends on the needs of the person,his style,his preferences for ergonomics,menues etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:30 pm 
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Razvan wrote:
technical features are hardly something subjective

Like I said before, "much of the time" but even so, a technically superior feature or feature set is only as good as the means to use or access it e.g. one camera can have an arguably more featured Live View mode compared to another but that Live View mode on the former is dogged by a gratuitously complicated menu.

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DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

CSCs: Panasonic DMC-GF3
Lenses: Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:37 am 
First thing first, to the OP, thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I keep getting more and more confused the more I read the reviews, but reviews are only part of the answer. It is good to go in armed with information about specs, IQ, price etc, but it will only take you so far.

Feel seems to be the number one piece of information I keep hearing about on site after site. Feel is subjective, no one can tell you how it will feel in your hands. You can only get an idea based on someone with bigger/smaller/same size hands as yourself, but even then, its just opinion.

I am going to check out the videos as well.

Thanks again


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