Canon T1i vs. Nikon D5000

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by scrossley, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. scrossley

    scrossley TPF Noob!

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    I'm purchasing my first Dslr and am going into a 2D Graphic Design program in september, hoping to take a minor in photography in my second year. I'm buying an entry level Dslr to get me on my feet, but have been debating over Canon and Nikon for a while now. I've used a basic Canon Powershot for the last couple years, so my first instinct was to go for the Canon Rebel T1i. I've read a couple reviews which often focus their attention on the HD recording (which if I was really concerned about, I would go buy a video camera).

    I'm planning on expending my finances to upgrade the lens, because I know that it is much more significant to my photo-taking than the actual body of the camera and I'm not too concerned about the MP on the D5000 because of the PPI; however, the T1i has a higher resolution and is less grainy at a higher ISO. Plus I don't have to deal with the auto-focus delay that the D5000 has due to it's adjustable LCD. I do also prefer the large screen on the T1i, despite it's being stationary.

    At this point I'm just concerned about sticking with Canon because I'm comfortable with it. Another main concern is the lens pricing-- as a soon-to-be-starving university student, I've found that Canon also offers slightly more affordable lenses. Nikon is renowned for it's durability, however, and is less vulnerable to weather (I do live in Canada, so let's be real here).

    Mostly I'm curious as to what others are using and find works best for them, specifically with entry level DSLRs.
     
  2. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Both are good companies and will take good photos. If you read through the forum you will see debates as to which is better - no clear winner. Remember that as you buy lenses you are going to be locked into whatever brand you choose so it's more than entry level that you have to think about. One thing to think about is that a lens for a crop sensor (DX in Nikon) is not the same lens as a full frame lens if you want to upgrade to a full frame sensor later on.

    You mention the grain on the D5000 - it has the same sensor as the D90 and depending on the review you read on-line it's not too bad at higher ISOs. Live view, at least on Nikon is best for stills not for action - may be the same on the Canon.

    My advice is go to a store and try out the cameras. Advice that was given to me here about lenses was to get a memory card, stick it into the cameras and take photos and see what you think - best advice on testing IMO. Bring the photos home and see what you think.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. JG_Coleman

    JG_Coleman No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I own a D5000, though I've never even had my fingers on a T1i, so I can't really give a first-hand comparison of the two. I can, however, relate to you my experiences with the D5000 for what it's worth. Overall, I'm very happy with the camera.

    The HD video recording mode isn't something you're really interested in, and I pretty much agree that it dawned on me as a gimmick when I was researching the D5000 originally. For the record, the 720p HD video mode isn't exactly all it's cracked up to be anyway... in the few times that I've bothered to give a shot, the results have always been somewhat unimpressive.

    You mention that the T1i has less noise at high ISOs. Although I can't attest to the T1i's capabilities directly, various websites have tested the high ISO signal-to-noise ratios of both the T1i and D5000, and although the T1i does exhibit better numbers, the difference is not so pronounced as to warrant making this aspect of performance a deciding factor. I can say from my own experience that, as far as noise characteristics, the D5000 performs very well for an upper-entry-level DSLR.

    The auto-focus on the D5000 is only slow if you focus while using the Live View. If you simply focus using the viewfinder, you'd hardly be able to notice any difference in focusing speeds between the D5000 and the T1i. Don't think that the mere presence of the articulated display somehow slows down the D5000's autofocusing capabilities altogether. If you're only using the display to show basic shooting data (like shutter speed, aperture, etc), then there is no more focusing delay than you'd notice with the T1i.

    The T1i definitely has the more impressive display, boasting 920,000 pixels where the D5000 sports only 230,000. Indeed, it would be nice to have such a crisp display... nonetheless, you're talking about displays that are no more than 3"... these aren't flat-screen televisions. Still, there is something to be said for the extra resolution Canon offers in its display.

    I don't know much about the exact differences in price between Nikon's lenses and Canon's... if there are differences, I would wager that said differences aren't nearly as drastic as you might be lead to believe. Both Canon and Nikon lenses can cost an arm and a leg... and both also offer more basic lenses that are considerably more affordable.

    I can say for the D5000 that the articulated display really is rather useful in unusual shooting situations. Some people seem to despise the articulated display as a worthless gimmick, but I truly disagree. Even though I don't need to use it all that often, it's pretty convenient to have from time to time.

    BTW

    Vinny mentioned earlier, in the context of buying lenses, that the Nikon has a crop-sensor... he is absolutely right. Perhaps unintentionally, though, he failed to specifically point out that the Canon T1i uses a crop sensor, as well (at an even greater 1.6x ratio over the Nikon's 1.5x ratio). Both the T1i and the D5000 utilize crop sensors.
     
  4. Alan92RTTT

    Alan92RTTT TPF Noob!

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    I had to make this decision last summer.

    IMO they are almost identical. As JG said, focus speed is only an issue if using live view. Using the viewfinder its very fast.

    I live the articulated screen. I like the fact that unless I'm using it the LCD is folded in protected and off. THe articulation makes it easy to see when using a tripod.
     
  5. scrossley

    scrossley TPF Noob!

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    Your advice to go to the store and try out both models is something I will definitely be doing. Thank you for your opinion and advice on the matter-- you're helping me make a very important decision! I'll definitely be looking into the Nikon a little bit more before making a purchase.
     
  6. scrossley

    scrossley TPF Noob!

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    This is true. I am just not sure that the LCD articulation makes up for the difficult comparison. I do like that it is protected when not in use, however. There isn't really any way to secure the LCD on the T1i.
     
  7. scrossley

    scrossley TPF Noob!

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    This was a very detailed and descriptive response and very much appreciated. I'll definitely be doing a bit more research on the D5000 before making my decision, though I am still leaning towards the Canon. What I will end up doing is testing out both models in the store and doing a directly personal comparison. Opposite to yourself, I have used the Canon T1i but not the Nikon D5000 so I am slightly biased at this point in time. However, a lot of people have been mentioning Nikon's slight superiority as entry-level DLRs go, so my decision is wavering. And as was said, this will articulate which camera I will be using for quite some time due to the lenses. I'll definitely be taking this all into consideration before purchasing, however.
     
  8. Alan92RTTT

    Alan92RTTT TPF Noob!

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    I'll touch on a few more things.

    MY father in law has a D90 its rear screen is fixed and more comparable to the T1i's. While I know its a touch bigger and higher rez I personally can not see a difference.

    Since you mentioned higher ISO performance. Check out the middle section of the Gallery from my nashville vacation(link in sig) I took a bunch of pics at the Grand Ole Opry hand held, With the 55-200 lens at full zoom and the ISO set to 1600.

    DSC_2186.JPG
     
  9. scrossley

    scrossley TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much! The D90 I think is also more comparable but definitely not price-wise. I did end up going with the T1i but i think that I am definitely going to go with the 55-200 lens as soon as I can afford it. But that is impressive at 1600 ISO!
     
  10. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    You made a great choice and will be very happy while using it at college.

    In regards to the weather seal for bad weather, just exercise caution with any electronic device and water.
    I have had my T1i out in some of the worst weather (snow/rain) and it is still working.


    Good luck in school, keep in touch and let us see some of your work if you do not mind.
     
  11. scrossley

    scrossley TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much! I wasn't too concerned about the durability since I am very caring about my equipment. I've also experimented with Ziploc bags with elastics around the lenses, which adds for some extra reassurance on rainy days.

    Thank you again and you can view some of my better work at http://www.sarahcrossley.com :D
     
  12. mcopan

    mcopan TPF Noob!

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    This is one of the best threads I have read in a while. The comments are helpful and well constructed.
     

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