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Old Nov 14, 2011, 4:07 PM   #1
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Default Canon 550D or Nikon 3100: Please help!

I am travelling through Heathrow in a week's time and would like to purchase my first DSLR. The camera will be used for family, scenery and occasionally wildlife photography. I have narrowed down my choice to the Canon 550D or the Nikon 3100 and the rough prices are 490 and 360 respectively.

I have done some research on these two models and went to my local photography shop earlier today to try them out first hand. The salesman, who seemed pretty knowledgable, recommended the Nikon as he said the image quality was similar and the Nikon came with an in-built user guide which would be good for beginners.

Added to which, I thought the Nikon felt slightly better in my hand although the difference was minimal.

So, this would seem to suggest that I should go for the Nikon. However, I am concerned by the poorer LCD on the Nikon. I like to evaluate my photos on the screen and it's always fun to show my son shots of himself. How much of an issue is this? Also, is the Canon better for 'future-proofing'?

Which one should I go for? Please help!

Nik
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Old Nov 14, 2011, 4:17 PM   #2
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I have none of these cameras, but as far as I know, the 550D is a bit more in the middle segment, and the D3100 is a entry level camera. Usually that means that the 550D probably comes with a bit more bells and whistles. Compare them over at dpreview.com and pay attention to the differencies and think about what is important to you.

I don't know if this helps at all, but that's what I can think of right now.
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Old Nov 14, 2011, 5:10 PM   #3
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I think the Canon 1100D is probably the nearest Canon model to the Nikon 3100,with the 550D locking horns with the D5000 Nikon.
I'm sure the Nikon will be just fine for your needs- and I don't think you'll be compromising on image quality in any way. I don't think the screen size/resolution is a huge issue- as it is only a reference point,nothing more- I'd take more notice of the histogram anyway.. as this is much more indicative of the shot you've taken.
The only fly in the ointment is Canon's vast EF/EF-S lens compatibility- fitting ALL of their bodies... unlike the Nikon....
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Old Nov 14, 2011, 7:57 PM   #4
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Between the 550d and the d3100, the 550d is the higher end camera.
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Old Nov 14, 2011, 9:21 PM   #5
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Remember that you have to go to the Nikon D5100 before you get a body that will work with all Nikon-mount lenses. The D3100 doesn't have the screw drive you need for older (and cheaper) lenses.

But this isn't a fair comparison, as the Canon is considerably higher than the Nikon. Given this choice I'd go for the 550D every time, as it's a very good camera that you'll want to stick with. The D3100 is starter that you'll want to advance from.
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 12:05 AM   #6
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No you have to go to the d90 body, the d5100 does not have an in body AF motor like the d3100.
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 6:21 AM   #7
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I'd say that, whichever one you choose, you're not giving yourself very much time to get familiar with it. Spend some time reading the manual and a lot of time taking pictures of anything and everything, review your results critically and figure out what you could have done better.

Between the two, I think the Canon 550D is a better camera, but I don't think you're giving yourself enough time to do either of them justice.
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Old Nov 19, 2011, 3:51 AM   #8
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HI, i'd suggest u to go for a test of SONY DSLR A560.its amazing..stands superior though Sony may be new to DSLRbut gives tough time to Canon or Nikon...these both league leaders don't have built-in image stabiliser but Sony has, which is very important for family photographer or beginners.it is 14 megapx dslr.its sensor is bigger and its cheaper than 550D and somewhat nearer to d3100...has burst speed of 7fps...for family person I wd recommend SONY A560 2ndly Nikon D3100 and Canon 550D!!
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Old Nov 19, 2011, 10:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
you're not giving yourself very much time to get familiar with it
Good point. Also, with a short breaking in period, it's important to start off shooting RAW instead of JPG. As the RAW quality will give you more wiggle room to correct for poor camera settings in post. If you had the benefit of a lot of time to slowly find your way around the camera then JPG would be Ok.

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Old Nov 19, 2011, 10:25 AM   #10
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I don't necessarily agree. Within the limited amount of time available, Niksan may end up spending a lot of time playing with RAW files when he should be playing with his camera.
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