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Old Jul 16, 2011, 9:45 AM   #1
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Default Comparing Basic DSLRs

Hey guys,

I'm trying to decide on buying a new DSLR. I'm very much a beginner and I have extremely little experience with using DSLR cameras. I just plan on using it for fun, nothing too serious. The two point and shoot cameras that I have are both Canon Powershots. I'm planning on buying the new camera refurbished on Adorama. Right now I'm trying to decide between a Canon Rebel XS, the Nikon D5000, and the Nikon D3100.

I can get (all with a 18-55 mm lens) the Canon for $400, the D5000 for $500, and the D3100 for $580. Can anyone give me their opinion on which of these cameras is the best bet for my money. I want something that's very easy to use because I don't have a lot of experience.

I definitely want something with live view but video isn't all that important to me.

Thanks!
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Old Jul 16, 2011, 10:35 AM   #2
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Refurbished dSLRs from Adorama are not a bad idea. I will add that they all come with 90 day factory warranties, except the Canons which come with a 1 year warranty from Adorama. I would consider that a significant advantage.

Adorama's selection of refurbished dSLRs is good, but it seems you've eliminated at least one I'd have selected, the 15MP Canon T1i for $540. Perhaps you could talk about how you narrowed your selection as much as you have.

Another factor that I would take into consideration is that the lower end Nikon dSLRs don't have their own autofocus motors, and so will only AF with lenses that have their own motors. This doesn't really affect the selection of new lenses, but if you're looking for ways to save, lenses that will AF on those bodies are rare on the used market. In that respect, I think you'd be better off with a Canon.
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Old Jul 16, 2011, 11:27 AM   #3
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IMHO, out of those three I would grab the Nikon D3100.

1) Its suppose to have a "GUIDE" mode that, if you are new to a dSLR, it can guide you through different capture options. And along the way, explore the creative options of a dSLR. I haven't really tried this out, but it sounds like a nice feature.

2) It has a higher maximum ISO compared to the Canon Rebel XS. (ISO 12,800 vs. 1600). This can come in handy in low light / difficult lighting conditions. Most newer cameras have higher ISO (eg. 6400, 12,800 or even as high as 25,600). It will be a little more "noisy" picture. But I'd take a noisy picture over not get the picture at all. Personally this is a big thing for me. But it may not be important to you. I just like to point out this difference.

The D5000 would be a close second. It goes up to ISO6400, which is really good as well.

NOTE: Which ever way you go, the next lens you could look at would be something like a 50-200mm or 55-200mm. This would let you zoom in on things more. Reasonable priced lenses and would expand what you can do with the camera.
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Old Jul 16, 2011, 11:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeganBurns View Post
Right now I'm trying to decide between a Canon Rebel XS, the Nikon D5000, and the Nikon D3100.
Welcome to the forum.

The canon T1i or perhaps even the T2i should also be considered when you
are looking at cameras in this price/performance range. The Canon T3/1100D
might also be an option.

Of the three in your list, I would probably go for the D5000. The D3100
lacks a few features that are available on the D5000 and the more expensive
D5100. The lack of exposure bracketing and remote shutter release would be
an issue for me. I also think the D3100 is relatively expensive for a supposedly
entry-level DSLR. This leaves you exposed to the risk of a big price drop
soon after you buy.

Quote:
I can get (all with a 18-55 mm lens) the Canon for $400, the D5000 for $500, and the D3100 for $580. Can anyone give me their opinion on which of these cameras is the best bet for my money. I want something that's very easy to use because I don't have a lot of experience.
It is always difficult to recommend a 'best' DSLR. All of the cameras in your
list are perfectly good and fit for purpose. Similar models from Pentax and
Sony are also excellent. The best choice for the individual photographer often
comes down to the look and feel of the camera. It is a good idea to go to
the camera shops and handle the camera before you buy. Size weight
and ergonomics are often the deciding factor.
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