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Old May 18, 2014, 10:19 AM   #1
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Default Which one would YOU buy ???

I was at my local camera store the other day and saw two used but like new DSLR's for sale. Both were priced the same. One was a Canon T3i and the other was a Nikon D5100. Both had the standard factory kit lens. Question; Which one of the two would YOU buy and why ? Thanks.
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Old May 18, 2014, 4:49 PM   #2
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DxOMark says that the D5100 has less image noise and more dynamic range than the T3i. That would be my choice.
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Old May 19, 2014, 1:59 AM   #3
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The Nikon D5100 is a very good DSLR(I owned one, so I know), I would go for it.
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Old May 19, 2014, 3:20 PM   #4
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I personally prefer using the Canon of the two (have used both) due to its layout (a personal thing I guess....)- though the sensor in the D5100 does offer more headroom in noise/DR- though curiously I always found the Canon's exposure/metering more accurate..!
What I would suggest however is that the kit lens on both hold the camera's back considerably...
The Nikon kit lens is not exactly sharp and focus speeds are not swift- though CA isn't an issue due to Nikon's processor.
The Canon kit lens focuses faster and I think a tad sharper,but CA is a big problem...

Bottom line,both good camera's- but I'd seriously consider other lenses...
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Old May 19, 2014, 7:45 PM   #5
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The kit lens for film SLRs used to be a 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.7 lens. Then they started using 28-80mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom lenses. With dSLRs and their smaller sensors, they needed to use something with the same angle of view, so they went with 18-55mm zooms.

None of them was very good.

You should never judge an interchangeable lens camera by its kit lens.
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Old May 19, 2014, 11:38 PM   #6
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i like canon's menus and color renditions myself. that being said, i think the t4i has ca removal.
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Old May 21, 2014, 4:52 AM   #7
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TCAV- indeed you shouldn't judge a camera by it's kit lens- though given the OP mentioned that both cameras were such equipped,I thought it best to mention that both would compromise either camera's output.
If the OP was considering buying either as a "body only" option then of course it's a simple straight fight with specs/features/test results possibly being the deciding factor...
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Old May 25, 2014, 2:10 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for all the replies and suggestions. I went back to the camera store today to check out these two cameras again. I got lucky, they were both still there. The old guy that owns the camera shop has been in the camera business for over 30 years. I ask him which one HE would choose between the Canon T3i and the Nikon D5100. His answer was...."well son, what is your main criteria for use ? Do you want great video or great stills ? He said that he would pick the Canon over the Nikon for video and he said he would pick the Canon over the Nikon also for ease of menus navigation, but for stills he would pick the Nikon. I told him I could care less about the video. So then I ask him why he thought the Nikon was better than the Canon for stills. His answer....the Nikon has a far superior processor than that of the Canon....same as the higher end Nikon D7000 he said, which he claims gives you better dynamic range, less image noise and other features that he claims makes the Nikon a better buy, according to him, he claims that Nikon has better glass than Canon in the higher end lenses. Is this old guy making all this up ? Does the Nikon really have the same processor as the Nikon D7000 ? Except for the Canon having better video and a easier to navigate menu, is the Nikon really a better camera for stills ?
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Old May 25, 2014, 8:32 AM   #9
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The Nikon D5100 does have the same image sensor as the D7000, and that image sensor is better than the one in the Canon T3i. So the Nikon is better for stills than the Canon, but I wouldn't characterize the difference as "far superior".

Every lens manufacturer has its gems and its duds. What matters is which lens manufacturer has the best lenses for what you want to shoot and that you can afford.
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Old May 25, 2014, 9:27 AM   #10
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The best way to decide is to take a look at the sample photos which abound. The reviews at Steve's have a pretty comprehensive selection at various lighting and ISO settings. One area where I think you will find the Nikon excels is in fine detail in the red areas. It is only going to be noticeable in large prints or 100% size or greater on a monitor, though.
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