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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:22 am 
Hello Everyone, I am in the market for an enthusiast type of DSLR and am torn between the Canon EOS 600 (Rebel T3i in the States) and the Nikon D3200. I have a budget of $750 USD.

The reason why I am undecided is because I am predominantly Nikon minded. I have owned a Nikon D40 (just about the best camera I have ever owned) and I have used Canon compact digital cameras like the "S" series. My old Nikon D40 was only 6 MP and my old Canon compact S2 only 5 MP, they both captured the best pictures I have ever taken so megapixels are NOT a concern for me NOR is video.

I am not all that knowledgable about Canon's, and I am only an amateur at best on the Nikon D40, my question is thusly: I think though am not certain if all modern Canon's (since 1987 when they went to the new standard) include an autofocus motor built into every camera body. Is this true?

If this is true, then do they autofocus with any 3rd party lens (Sigma, Tamron etc.) or only Canon branded?

In conclusion, I know the Rebel T3i has garnered great affection from the community and the reason I am considering the Nikon D3200 is because I am familiar with the Nikon system and so I know for a fact that this camera body does NOT include an AF motor built into it.

Many thank you's everyone in advance.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:52 pm
Posts: 244
Location: NB, Canada
Hi Ruben,

In the Canon world, the AF motor lies in the lens itself, and the AF brain resides in the camera. This means that in order to have auto-focus, you need an AF lens. The good news is that all Canon EF and EF-S lenses (at least those on the market today, not sure for the older ones) contain an AF motor. And generally speaking, the more you pay for the lens, the better the AF motor will be in terms of speed and silence of use. You have to basic AF which is normal speed and a little noisy (nothing too distracting, but you would hear it in video), then you have the Ultra Sonic Motors (USM) lenses which can sometimes include a full-time manual (FTM) feature, allowing you to auto-focus with the lens motor, then over-ride it manually without having to put the AF switch to off. USM lenses are generally much quicker at focusing.

The other good news I have for you is that 3rd party lenses generally include AF motors also, and as long as your 3rd party lens is compatible to the EOS EF or EF-S mounts, the AF is compatible. For example, I use the Tamron SP 70-300mm DI VC USD on my Canon EOS 550D/T2i, and the ultra-sonic drive motor works perfectly.

Better Canon cameras will have better AF sensors in the camera. The 550D/600D both have 9 AF points (center AF point is cross-type), the 5DIII has 61-point (up to 41 cross-type points). The 650D will have 9 points (All AF points are cross-type at f/5.6., Center AF point is diagonal cross-type at f/2.8.)

But generally speaking, all of the major branded DSLRs have adequate auto-focusing abilities. Some are better, but all will get the job done 95%+ of the time.

_________________
Cameras: Canon EOS 6D, Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Canon EOS Rebel T2i, Canon S90
Lenses: Tamron: SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Rokinon: 8mm Fisheye cine, Canon: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens, 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III, and EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Retired camera: Fujifilm Finepix s700


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:59 am 
Hi,

I'll keep it simple for you...
If you still have your d40 stick with it. It's all you will ever need!
However if you still want to buy a new dSLR, i'd go with the Canon.
The Nikon has way too much mega pixels, and the kit lens is just terrible with that sensor...
You will be needing a much better lens than that, 800$+
Don't worry about AF, new lenses all have it internally.
Unless you buy manual ones, there is nothing you could do.
As I said if you still have it, use your trusty d40, and instead of a new dslr, buy yourself a flash.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:15 am 
Jean-Pierre, Popovski, thank you both for taking time to answer my query. In regards to my Nikon D40, I do not have it anymore and essentially I am using a GE branded General Imaging X500. It gets the job done for family photos but truly leaves much to be desired after having become comfortable with a true DSLR.

I have since made up my mind to buy a new camera and settled on the either the T3i or the D3200. I have weighed both (using forums and my issues of a "Popular" photography magazine for reviews etc. now I think I will actually go to a store where I can put my hands on them side by side and purchase the one that "talks" to me. You know, the one that best feels comfortable in my hands.

Again thank you both and I will keep learning!

p.s. - what is a good entry level flash to purchase for the T3i, Speedlight I think they are called? Something with bounce capability please.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:22 pm
Posts: 498
Location: 1 AU from the nearest star
All EF or EF-S Canon lenses has auto focus.
The EF stands for Electronic Focus.

Every single EOS camera can take any EF lens, no matter how old it is.
So provided that nothing is broken, you will not have any problem with your canon camera and an EF lens.
While there are some lenses that do not have a focus motor, they are not referred to as EF. (E.G. Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x)

EF-S lenses only work on crop based digital cameras such as the xxxD or xxD series; though not the 10D or earlier.

Not all 3rd party lenses work with every Canon EOS camera though.
I am not familiar with an issue with any lens still in production, but earlier models might have an issue.

Finally, if you do not care about the video mode, then you might want to check out the 550D (T2i) or the 500D (T1i) as they give similar quality in still pictures. There is not articulating screen though.

_________________
Canon 5DIII, Rebel XTi/400D
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO, 85mm f/1.8
Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX Macro

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II
Canon 430EX II
Opteka 13mm, 21mm, and 31mm extension tubes
Vivitar 50mm f/1.8 for OM System


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:22 pm
Posts: 1310
Location: Speyer (Germany)
Nikon haven't changed the mount since 1959, Canon changed it 1987 - every EF / EF-S lens from then on had autofocus. Old FD lenses can't be put on EOS cameras.
Nikon just changed some things so their motor was sitting in the body first and now they are building more and more lenses with motor in their lenses.
In short it's more complicated with Nikon. Canon just went from FD (manual focus) to a new mount (EF) so any lens with EF fits any Canon EOS and will autofocus if it's not broken :D EF-S lenses are similar to EF lenses but they will only fit crop frame cameras. Crop frame cameras are the payable ones :D

RubenAlonzo wrote:
p.s. - what is a good entry level flash to purchase for the T3i, Speedlight I think they are called? Something with bounce capability please.

If I had to choose something that's not too expensive I'd go for the Nissin Speedlite Di622. Even if you decide to upgrade later on, you can use it as a second flash (slave), which can be pretty handy.

_________________
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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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:58 pm
Posts: 817
Location: United Kingdom
Jiko wrote:
RubenAlonzo wrote:
p.s. - what is a good entry level flash to purchase for the T3i, Speedlight I think they are called? Something with bounce capability please.

If I had to choose something that's not too expensive I'd go for the Nissin Speedlite Di622. Even if you decide to upgrade later on, you can use it as a second flash (slave), which can be pretty handy.

Alternatively you can look at YongNuo's YN-400 and YN-500 series as well. They're reasonably priced as well, many of them boast generous features and controls for the money. Several of them have rotating heads and most have diffusers so you can create a variety of flash bouncing effects.

_________________
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: Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:27 pm 
The best third party flash for Canon or Nikon is Metz. Period. Don't by crappy manual flashes you will just throw away your money. Imagine you turn on the camera try to adjust the flash and shoot. One image too bright, second still too bright, thirds too dark... etc. The moment is lost! Even the power output is not the same with every shot with Yongnuo on the same setting... The Nissin is Ok, they are Chinese made, but with ttl, better electronics etc. However no one can beat the Metz :) For an entry level dslr camera i strongly recommend Metz 50Af-1 it goes for 250-270$


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