Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jun 23, 2010, 10:16 PM   #1
RD
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27
Default Nikon D5000 or Canon T2i

Hi! I have been trying to decide which camera I want. I started first with a couple p&s cameras and decided I wanted to purchase a DSLR. I am only familiar with p&s cameras and do not know much about DSLR cameras. I am willing to learn and hope to take a class sometime soon. After talking with several store associates and trying out the cameras I decided on the Nikon D5000. I don't know much about the settings but so far I like what I am seeing on the auto mode. Every sales associate that I talked to had their own opinion. Some said Canon was best others said Nikon. Some said it was just a matter of preference to the purchaser for example comparing Chevy to Ford. After reading some the posts on here I am wondering if I should have purchased the Canon T2i. I will be mainly taking pictures of my daughters (6 yrs and 9 months) and taking pictures while on vacation. Did I make a good choice being new to DSLR? I included the Nikon package I purchased. What other lenses may be needed?


Camera features: 12.3-megapixel 0.93" x 0.62" DX-format CMOS sensor; 18-55mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 DX Nikkor lens; 2.7" Vari-Angle TFT-LCD monitor; Face detection technology; Image optimization modes
Extra lens: NikonZoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom Lens: Compatible with most Nikon digital SLR cameras; 15 lens elements in 11 groups with 7 aperture blades; ED glass elements reduce chromatic aberrations for lifelike images
Nikon Digital SLR Accessory Bag: Compatible with select SLR digital cameras; Generous storage space; Ballistic nylon material; Adjustable, padded internal dividers; Padded shoulder strap; Nikon School: Fast, Fun & Easy educational DVD included


Thanks for your help!
Rachel
RD is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jun 23, 2010, 10:24 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Rachel-

I actually own the T1i and the D-5000. If I were asked for my opinion, I would go with the T2i. It focuses faster, has better resolution, and is just a bit better in my opinion.

The T2i with the Canon 18-55,mmIS lens and the Canon 55-250mmIS lens make an excellent combination.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 23, 2010, 11:02 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Hawgwild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 3,525
Default

Hi Rachel. I shoot with a Sony Alpha and am very happy with it. Before that, I shot with a Nikon and was very happy with THAT. Between the two cameras you are considering, I would agree with Sarah on the T2i. The autofocus is fast, and with two small children, that may be a consideration. And the two lenses she mentioned are very good. Which ever camera you go with will make you happy, I'm sure..
__________________
Always use tasteful words - you may have to eat them.
You cannot find knowledge by rearranging your ignorance.

My Flickr
-Robert-


Hawgwild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 23, 2010, 11:51 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Robert-

Many thanks for chiming in on this thread.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24, 2010, 12:02 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Hawgwild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 3,525
Default

My pleasure, Sarah, I hope all is well with you and yours!
__________________
Always use tasteful words - you may have to eat them.
You cannot find knowledge by rearranging your ignorance.

My Flickr
-Robert-


Hawgwild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24, 2010, 5:53 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

I agree with mtclimber and Hawgwild that the Canon T1i would have been a better choice, but I'll add that there's nothing inherently wrong with the D5000 you've got for what you want to do. The Canon's AF is faster, which is good for active children, but it will really only be a factor once they start competing in organized sports, which won't be for a while, and when it does happen, you can upgrade the body while still using the lenses and accessories you'll have accumulated for your D5000.

Put your D5000 through its paces while your children go through their paces, and see how it goes. I'm certain the results you'll get will be more than satisfactory, and the Nikon system is more than adequate to meet your future needs.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24, 2010, 7:13 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 584
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RD View Post
After reading some the posts on here I am wondering if I should have purchased the Canon T2i.
This is quite normal for anyone who buys a new camera (or a Chevy or a Ford).
Did I do the right thing, or did I make a horrible mistake?

The D5000 is an excellent camera. It compares very well with
similarly priced models from Canon like the T1i.

Quote:
I will be mainly taking pictures of my daughters (6 yrs and 9 months) and taking pictures while on vacation. Did I make a good choice being new to DSLR?
Short answer: Yes.

Quote:
I included the Nikon package I purchased. What other lenses may be needed?
The two lenses you have cover a good range of focal lengths. They
should be fine unless you have very specific requirements like a
macro or very long zoom lens.

You already have a good camera bag. A tripod is the other 'must have'
accessory for a DSLR. You mentioned that you will be using the camera
on vacation, so a spare battery and memory card might be handy.

Once you have gained a few months (or years) experience, you will be
able to sort out your priorities for any other accessories that you may
need. Flash, extra lenses, filters etc...

Good Luck with the new camera. Don't forget to come back here
and show us some of your pictures.
corkpix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24, 2010, 8:06 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,093
Default

Hi, Rachel.

I can't really speak to which camera is best, but I have recently purchased the D5000. I have learned a bit about how to work with that camera for what I like to do, and can offer some suggestions on what I think can be helpful things to do with that camera. I like to shoot inside, too, so it may be relevant to your situation. BTW, the D5000 is wonderful at high ISO -- my last camera, a few-year-old superzoom, was unusable beyond ISO 200. I will often shoot at 3200 with the D5000, and find the results superior to my old camera at 200.

The first thing to consider is getting that wonderful 35mm f/1.8 Nikon prime lens -- that puppy is a light sponge! It makes taking indoor shots without flash easy in most contexts. It focuses very quickly, is sharp as a tack, and has very high contrast (One of the biggest differences in how good a lens seems is how "muddy" the photo looks. I don't know if contrast has a quantitative measure like resolution or not, but it really separates the cheap lenses from the ones you want but can't afford. The 35mm prime has that je ne sais quoi. but only costs $200. Don't leave home without it!)

Second, the Capture NX software is a very good investment if you shoot RAW (and DO shoot RAW.) It costs under $125 from Amazon, and you can try it for two months for free if you go to the ViewNX help screen and just follow the link to the trial download. This software will automatically adjust for distortion or vignetting on Nikon lenses if you wish, supports the usual easy adjustments to white balance, noise reduction, retrieving blown highlights, as well as some very nice and easy touch-up operations on your NEF files. It isn't designed to compete with Photoshop or Paintshop Pro for things like HDR, panorama-stitching, or other more complex manipulations that employ layers. But for working with individual photos, and adjusting overall parameters or pixel-tweaking, it is excellent.

For setting up the camera, I found a few things to be helpful. First, you can assign the FUNC button at the front left of the camera to ISO. Then, you can change ISO by moving the command dial while pressing that button. This removes the shutter timer from one-button control, but I don't use that anyway. If you like to set your camera on a tripod and take group photos including yourself, this may be a loss to you.

Personally, I like to set the camera to Aperture or Shutter priority, because I find the adjustment of both from the command dial awkward. I leave the camera on Program mode in case I need to just snap a photo that presents itself. But, if I'm composing a shot at my leisure, I select the thing that I want to control and set that. BTW, the camera seems to need a bit of tweaking on exposure more often than I would have expected. In low light, it seems to invariably make the exposure too light. If the low light is at all atmospheric, the exposure meter cranks the brightness enough to lose the atmosphere, and I need to dial it back down a notch or two. In other contexts, I think that not having a direct access to the metering mode means that I may be using the wrong metering mode for a given shot too often (I would love to find a single-button setting that would let me toggle between center-weighted and matrix meter mode, but so far I haven't found how to do that. So I adjust for whatever exposure mode I'm in with the EV correction after the fact. The LCD, at least on my camera, is a quite reliable indication of exposure, which is appreciated. But I think I'd make fewer adjustments with EV if I were able to quickly dial in the right metering mode.

I set the focus for "single point," so I can control the focus point using the multi-selector on the camera back.

If you use JPEG from the camera or RAW+JPEG, you should set the sharpness to 4 instead of 3, as the default sharpness is on the soft side. This is a reasonable thing to do even if you only shoot RAW, because the Capture NX sharpness conversions will default to the camera setting for this.

Enable AUTO D-Lighting. For some reason, this needs to be reselected from Capture NX, at least on my system. What this does is kind of complicated, but worth understanding: The RAW image has more bits per pixel than JPEG can use. When you convert from RAW to JPEG (or 8-bit TIFF), you normally just take the 12-bit data and assign 16 levels in the RAW image to each of the 256 levels in the JPEG file (It's a bit more complicated, but that will do for our purposes.) What D-Lighting does is change the way the RAW data is mapped to the JPEG data. If the photo would lose detail in the high or low end of the photo, D-Lighting will apply a curve to the mapping function. For more detail in the bright region, it might map the two brightest RAW colors to the white color (255, 255, 255), and then the next three levels to the almost-white color (254, 254, 254), etc. Clearly, somewhere further down the line, more than 16 RAW colors will need to be mapped to a single JPEG color to let the whole photo "fit" in JPEG's color space. But what you get as a result of D-Lighting is detail preserved in JPEGs that is usually lost in the conversion. It's a really powerful way of lowering the incidence of blown highlights in your photos.

Leave the White Balance on AUTO -- the camera does a really good job of setting lighting in most contexts. The only time I've felt the need to tweak the WB so far is when the illumination is indoor-lighting with a significant natural light component added in.

Two things that I plan on acquiring before too much longer are the SB-600 flash unit (you may want to do some bounce flash with your kids indoors, too. This looks like a good unit to me), and the Tokina 12-24mm f/4.0 DX II lens (this is a wide-angle lens that autofocuses on the D5000, is very sharp with excellent contrast, and is quite reasonably priced at around $500. I have the 35mm and the 55-200 VR lens currently, and want something for the short end for various indoor contexts and for landscape shoots. The Tokina looks very attractive for that.)

Those are the main things I've learned so far. Of course, if you work differently than I do, they may not be useful for you. But the D5000 is quite a nice camera body. And the 35mm f/1.8 lens is a marvel for indoor candids (and very nice as a general-purpose lens.) Capture NX does a very nice job of extracting your original vision from your photo. And there's a lot of customizability in the D5000 setup. FWIW

Last edited by tclune; Jun 24, 2010 at 8:30 AM. Reason: spelling
tclune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24, 2010, 8:43 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
rienz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Middle East
Posts: 103
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RD View Post
After reading some the posts on here I am wondering if I should have purchased the Canon T2i. Rachel
You already bought the camera so don't read about camera comparisions (unless you are planning on buying another one) instead read more about how to use your new camera ... there are lots of tips n tricks in this fourm as well as many other sites on the net or check out youtube and you will learn a lot about getting great photos.

Comparing an already purchased camera will only make you feel dipressed (at least I do) because there is always a better camera out there than the one we bought, but that does mean the camera we've got is bad. Nikon D5000 is an EXCELLENT camera ... enjoy it!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RD View Post
I will be mainly taking pictures of my daughters (6 yrs and 9 months) and taking pictures while on vacation. Did I make a good choice being new to DSLR? I included the Nikon package I purchased. What other lenses may be needed?
Rachel
Since you are new to DSLR Lenses I suggest you buy a Nikon 18-200 VR lens (alternatively Sigma 18-200 OS lens or 18-250 OS lens or Tamron 18-270 VC mm lens ... these brands are cheaper then Nikon) ... I say this because I have 3 boys (age 13, 11 & 9) and I understand what its like having 2 active children (especially age 6 & 9 months) and how many wonderful opportunites they present for great photos, especially on vacation. Each year on their birthday my wife and I put our kids photos (when they were babies) on our fridge to remember those days(my wife keeps crying with joy).
So having a lens that covers a huge range will help not to miss those opportunities. Also, get a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens (it is very cheap and excellent lens) for portraits.
Once you are comfortable DSLR photography and as you gain experiance, you can always upgrade to "bettter" lens.
Happy clicking!
__________________
Current Gear: Canon 7D+BG-E7 Battery Grip & 60D with EF 24-105 f/4 L IS; EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II; EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS; EF 100 f2.8 L IS; EF 50 f/1.8 II; Canon Speedlite 430 EX II; Metz 58 AF-1; Canon RC-5 Wireless Remote Controller & RS-80N3 Remote Switch; Manfrotto 190CX PRO4 with Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Ball Head; Kenko Extension Tube Set; B+W UV & Polorizing filters

Last edited by rienz; Jun 24, 2010 at 8:47 AM.
rienz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24, 2010, 8:48 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

RD-

You have received some very good information on a range of topics. Wanting to photograph your two girls as they grow-up would be made much easier with the addition of a good external flash which would allow you to better manage your lighting.

And yes, a good course in Basic Photography would be a bis assist for you. Check your local Community College. On the west coast of the USA, Community Colleges provide lot of digital camera courses at a reasonable price. It sound like you could benefit from the Q & A environment that a formal class would offer. I teach two classes each semester for our local Community College, and I have seen folks in your exact situation learn a lot and make substantial forward progress.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:37 PM.