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Old Jun 26, 2011, 6:33 PM   #1
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Default Nikon 5100 or Canon 60D (2 day decision)

I must make decision in 2 days and would like help deciding between:

1) Nikon D5100 w/ kit 18-55mm & 55-200mm lens = $949
2) Canon D60 w/ kit 28-135mm & 55-250mm lens = $949

My plans are to shoot family pictures, kids sports, & etc. I don't plan to use my DSLR for video. I don't want to do a lot of post processing and would rarely print above 5x7 or 8x11. Also, in near future, I'd like to get a decent 35mm prime & a little longer zoom (for sports). Here are the pros I think are for each, let me know if I'm misinformed or left something off:
Nikon D5100 Pros
a) D5100 has better reviews
b) D5100 has broader lens choice & lens reviews
c) D5100 prime & zoom lenses are less expensive than Canon

Canon 60D Pros
a) 60D has better buttons/menu setup
b) 60D kit lens has greater range for walk around
c) 60D zoom lens in this kit may negate the need for a longer zoom for kids' sports (like the Nikon 70-300mm)

Considering my needs, I'd appreciate any feedback you have for this decision. Thanks!
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Old Jun 26, 2011, 10:10 PM   #2
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you are looking at 2 different level of camera's though price is close. The 60D and the d7000 are competing camera the 600D/t3i, 550D/t2i are entry level that compete with the D5100.

The The 60D has a much much better AF system then the D5100. Way better action shooting system with a much larger buffer. You go so bad info on 60D.

And canon has more lens option then nikon. But nikon is a very close second in lens options. But with the d5100 you are limited to AF-s lenses with built in motors as the d5100 can not auto focus with AF series lens without motor. So you have incorrect info on the lens choices is incorrect. And no the AF-s 50 1.4 is more expensive the the canon 50 1.4 also the AF-s 50 1.8 is more expensive the the canon 50 1.8, and the af 50 1.8 will not work on the d5100 no motor. And the canon kit lenses are the same level as the nikon. They are kit lenses. The L lenses from canon are pro level just as good as the nikon pro glass.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Jun 26, 2011 at 11:57 PM.
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Old Jun 26, 2011, 11:53 PM   #3
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Which camera feels better in your hands? The Nikon is 510g and the Canon 675g. The Canon is also bigger dimensionally. If you have large hands you could prefer the Canon, but if you are small, you might prefer a smaller camera. Do you want to carry a heavier camera on vacation? Do you find the buttons/controls easy to reach? Both cameras are very capable but have very different ergonomics. At the end of the day, you'll want a camera that's comfortable for you to use because the best camera in the world won't take nice pictures if its in the closet because it's too heavy or too light, grip too cramped or too big, viewfinder hard to see through, too awkward to reach the controls (buttons too far apart or too close and you always hit the wrong one).
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Old Jun 27, 2011, 4:06 AM   #4
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You are comparing two different levels of camera here as has been said earlier by Shoturtle, and again as it was said by Mtngal its how it feels too. My bit is you have to look forward and when you buy a DSLR you buy into a system so look at whats available to you. Both Canon and Nikon have a large number of lenses to choose from also there are third party lenses as well. You said that you want to do sports pictures so you will need some fast lenses for that.
I must say that the 60d is a very good deal at that price
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Old Jun 27, 2011, 4:36 AM   #5
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Differently look forward!!! I got into the game with a Pentax K-x and while its an awesome little camera, Pentax doesn't have the lenses or the accessories that a photographer really needs, unless you have a bunch of money. But since you are looking at Canon and Nikon, I would go with neither the 60D or 5100D. My choice would be, since you can already spend the $1k+ on the 60D, the Nikon D7000. I recently stumbled upon snapsort.com and I am rather excited at how useful it is. You can compare any camera to any camera so you might want to check that out but just remember not to go on their opinion alone, its good to ask everyone.
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Last edited by Trihame; Jun 27, 2011 at 4:41 AM.
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Old Jun 27, 2011, 8:09 AM   #6
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First, let me say thanks for your replies. I understand these cameras are on two different levels. I had been researching Nikon for a couple of weeks when I saw the 60D for same price as D5100 (both new from majore store). I posted this because I figured, after so much Nikon research, I would be too biased towards Nikon. I also don't have the time now to do as much research on Canon as I did Nikon.

For primes, Nikon has 35mm f1.8 ($199) and I only see Canon 28mm or 50mm. Wouldn't I want a 35mm on a cropped sensor?

Trihame - If I went with D7000, I could only get body now and no glass for awhile.

mtngal - I love your practical advice and you are SO right.
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Old Jun 27, 2011, 5:22 PM   #7
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If you shoot sports the d7000 is a bad option. It has a much smaller buffer, if you shoot in burst it will hit the buffer lag point in 2.5 sec. So after 12-14 frame, you will slow to 1fps until it clears the buffer. This can be a major problem for sport shooting. And the canon 60D still has the faster AF then the d7000.

canon has a 35mm F2 for about 300, a 28mm 1.8 for 330, then there is the L 35mm 1.4. It really depends on what you want to shoot if the 35mm prime is right for you. Some like a longer prime on crop like the 50mm 1.8 that allows them to be a bit further away. Other like a short like a 28mm 1.8 or 30mm 1.4.

What else do you want to shoot? If your kids playing sports is your main thing, the canon 60d is the way better option, with the bigger buffer, and faster AF.
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Old Jun 27, 2011, 6:47 PM   #8
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As for kids, it will be sports in a couple of years, school programs & events, vacations, etc. immediately. I may shoot some landscape, but I particularly love candid people shots the most, indoor & out.
I was thinking of 35mm f2 (f1.8 for Nikon) for the indoor shots. Only time I'd need zoom indoor is at school/church plays/drama/etc. I've received mixed opinions: Nikon better low light & sharp pics for indoors; but Canon has faster AF & shutter speed. I figure for indoor, either of the cameras with a prime lens would be adequate, so I'm thinking the most important deciding factor is what is best for zoom and action shots (kids always on the move).
Anything I'm missing?
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Old Jun 27, 2011, 9:07 PM   #9
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Actually for indoor with fast prime, I would actually go with a wider lens then 35mm, the sigma 30mm 1.4 or if you go with canon the 28 1.8 for a FL. But for shooting indoor stuff, and flash would be yield much better results then just a fast prime by itself. Know how to deploy a external flash is the way to get much better indoor photos.

The nikon is slightly better in low light, but the canon retains more details. At the end they are about even indoors or outdoors.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Jun 28, 2011 at 1:07 AM.
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Old Jun 28, 2011, 1:03 AM   #10
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Shoturtle has pointed out one very important fact already : the 5100 can only use AF-s lenses, ruling out the huge range of AF lenses unless you are hapy focusing manually. So your options are considerably reduced.

Add to that the fact you are comparing oranges and apples, because the 60D is a much higher spec camera, and the choice does seem obvious. I shoot point out I am the last one to point anyone in the direction of Canon (as I use and love Pentax and will soon acquire a Nikon) !
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