About to buy camera for wife

Started Nov 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
Bjorn_L
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Re: About to buy camera for wife
In reply to Nikeman123, Nov 27, 2012

Nikeman123 wrote:

Nikon D5100 resolution is 4928x3264

T3I resolution is 5184x3456
 Nikon megapixels: 16.2T3I megapixels: 18.0 those seem like pretty important specs and the canon is better in both categories.

That is not 2 specifications but 1.  The 2nd is arrived at by multiplying the top two.  More importantly it is not an important spec and those numbers are almost identical.  It amounts to 5% more cropping.  While the difference in quality of the information per pixel is higher then that.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/801%7C0/(brand)/Nikon/(appareil2)/698%7C0/(brand2)/Nikon/(appareil3)/645%7C0/(brand3)/Canon

The d5100 is more than 2 stops better in dynamic range (this is very big difference).

The d5100 is has a little better color sensitivity (6.3%) and significantly better ISO (by 2/3rds of a stop).  So even ignoring color sensitivity and dynamic range the Canon needs 67% more light to have identical noise levels as the Nikon.

There are valid reasons to select either the t3i or d5100, the numbers you posted are not such a reason since down sampling the t3i by 5% does not recover the noise advantage that the Nikon has.

Since you prefer high megepixels, also consider the Nikon d3200 which has 24mp (6080 x 4012) along with similar sensor performance as the d5100.  But even that big a MP jump is not enough to automatically rule out the Canon (or the d5100).  It is just an aspect of the camera.  Controls, ergonomics, performance, focus accuracy, focus reliability/sophistication, metering reliability & sophisitication all play a role.

The real difference betweem the t3i and the d5100 is still images vs video.  The d5100 has better still image quality, particularly in lower light or in scenes with a large range from the darkest to the lightest (for example part of the scene in a shadow the other part well lit).  Also the d5100 has that swivel screen for those that like that sort of thing.  While the Canon t3i has better manual controls in video and yes a trivially higher pixel count (compared to the d5100) or a marginally lower pixel count compared to the Nikon d3200.

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