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Old Dec 9, 2010, 8:56 AM   #1
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Default Nikon D3100 or Canon 550D

I'm a former long time film SLR shooter who moved to a compact some time ago (currently using a Canon S95). I shoot mainly landscapes, buildings and other things which don't move much. I'm thinking of getting a DSLR mainly for more lens range and better low light performance. I don't care about video.

I've been thinking of the D3100 or 550D. From other information, it seems image quality is close enough not to be a major factor. I need to spend some time playing with both cameras to see how they feel. I don't want something much bigger or heavier than these cameras. I don't want to spend a lot more.

For lenses, I'd likely get 18-55, 55-300 or 55-250 and an ultra wide, possibly the Tokina 11-16.

From what I can tell, the major feature differences are:

Auto-exposure bracketing - 550D yes; D3100 no. I shoot some amount of HDR and this would be helpful, although you can obviously do it manually

Compatibility with older lenses - the D3100 lacks a focus motor and won't meter with some older lenses. I don't have any legacy lenses and Nikon has enough new lenses for this not to matter to me.

ISO button - 550D has a dedicated button on top; D3100 has a general function button in front that can be set to change ISO

Command wheel - 550D top; D3100 back. Will have to see which feels better. Both require pushing another button in manual mode to set shutter speed.

LCD - 550D has about 3.5x more dots. I'm not sure how much this matters, as it's still a 3" screen. The 550D also has a sensor to shut off the LCD when looking through the VF.

Various scene and retouching modes - not at all important. I usually shoot raw in Av mode and process with LR and PS CS5.

Mirror lockup - 550D has the ability, although buried in menus; D3100 does not

Remote control - 550D with optional device; D3100 does not

GPS - D3100 yes; 550D no. In either case, I'd use my GPS logger.

An feature differences I'm missing? Any other considerations?
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Old Dec 9, 2010, 9:00 AM   #2
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Hi IMHO I have the t2i/550d its great camera one more thing the its has is DPP its a RAW converter its free from canon and does a good job.
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