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Old Dec 2, 2009, 7:20 PM   #1
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Default Nikon D3000 vs Canon T1i

My daughter is preparing to take a photography class in high school where they are specifying you need a DSLR. Up to now I've been a Panasonic FZ18 and then FZ28 kind of guy. However, to support her I figure I should make the plunge as well.

The two cameras in the subject are the ones I'm looking to get two of (one for each of us). I'd get one of each, but I know the lenses wouldn't be interchangable, and one thing I'm hoping for here is that if she goes Pro I can borrow her lenses occasionally :-)

So, I gather if I go Nikon or Canon that any lenses I get for one of these cameras "should" work in a year or two when we move up to the next better Nikon or Canon available then. Is that correct, or are these so "low end" that a lens that works with them wouldn't be usable with their big brothers?

Next, on the Nikon, there's no image stabilization. I have a slight tremor that can be a real issue after a long day of shooting. For the last few years I've made sure I've had IS on all my cameras. On the other hand, I was taking photos before that and they generally seemed to suffer more from the limitations of the camera than from a lot of shaking. Am I overthinking the importance of the IS?

On the Canon, you don't get the nice "beginner's" menu to show you options for different settings like the Nikon. But I'm not sure how useful that feature really is?

Finally, on both cameras, are these so low end that I'm going to compare the pictures to my Panasonic and feel like I've made a mistake in switching? Going the other way, am I going to be able to find a 10x zoom lens for either of these cameras that won't set me back so much I would be better off just getting my daughter a SLR and waiting for the next generation P&S?

Oh, and I already have a very nice HD camcorder, so Video is NOT a consideration for either of these cameras.

Thanks in advance for your help with this decision!
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Old Dec 2, 2009, 7:34 PM   #2
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Well between those 2 models, the Canon is of a higher tier, it competes more with the Nikon D5000 or D90. The canon offers quite a bit more resolution at 15mp vs the 10mp of the Nikon. The Nikon lacks a built in motor, so some of Nikon's prime lenses and macro lenses will not autofocus on that body.

The kit lenses from either will work if you upgrade bodies, unless you upgrade to full frame. Canon offers some package deals now with the 18-55 IS and the 55-250 IS, both are good optically, especially for the price.

Both will come with image stabilized kit lenses, and offer IS in several popular lenses.

You can also find IS in many of the superzoom lenses, if you are looking to recreate your 10x zoom, however keep in mind the large zoom range compromises optics. they will run you around 500$ give or take.

Even the lower tier DSLRs offer a significant advantage over any p&s in sensor size and particularly in low light conditions where the larger sensors do much better. however, there is a learning curve with the dslrs, so if you are expecting the simple purchase of a dslr to improve your photography, you would be mistaken. it requires at least some knowledge of depth-of-field, since it is much shallower for a dslr vs a p&s, which can also be advantageous too. also some post-processing is needed to get the most from your dslr, as the manufacturers ship their dslrs with less sharpening, contrast, and saturation straight from camera, giving you the power to control it in post-processing.

i suggest heading down to the camera shop and checking them both out, see which one feels most comfortable to you and your daughter, that will go along way in helping you make this decision.
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