Canon T3i vs Nikon d3200

Started Aug 29, 2012 | Discussions
av8orgw
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Canon T3i vs Nikon d3200
Aug 29, 2012

Ok, so I'm a newbie and I'm trying to decide between the above two cameras. My mission is aerial photography. I am a pilot, own an airplane, I've wanted to do aerial photography for several years and I've recently had a company ask me to do some aerial shots of their facilities.

So, I've decided to go for it and maybe make a dream come true.

I've been researching digital SLR cameras and have kinda settled on the Canon T3i or the Nikon d3200. My problem is that I can't find a truly compelling reason to buy one or the other.

The bundles that I'm looking at are the same price. Here are my list of pros and cons.

I'm more familiar with Canon.
The Nikon has 24mp vs the Canon with 18. (I know I shouldn't decide based on mp)
The Canon has a slightly better zoom lens included. (55-250mm vs 55-200)

The Nikon has a little quicker auto focus from what I could tell when I used them both.

The Nikon has more focal points which may be better for aerial photos?? I'm not sure.
The Nikon lenses are a bit more expensive than Canon, but are they any better.

So, my question -- Is there really any compelling reason to buy one vs the other. I know this could turn into a passionate debate of Nikon vs Canon and I don't really want that. I just want a little nudge in one direction or the other....

Thanks for any advice!

GW

Canon EOS 600D (EOS Rebel T3i / EOS Kiss X5) Nikon D3200
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Barry Fitzgerald
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There are some important differences between them
In reply to av8orgw, Aug 29, 2012

But much depends on what you are likely to use them for.

On paper the Canon has a better rounded spec and more "photographer" features.

The Nikon has a sensor which most would agree is better overall (not just resolution but DR etc)

The Canon has more advanced support for stuff like wireless flash, it can do HSS flash (high shutter speed flash sync at all speeds with a dedicated gun), it has a DOF preview, and mirror lock up, and exposure bracketing. The Nikon has none of those, if that matters depends greatly on where you are heading photography wise. If you have an interest in flash work you should avoid the Nikon model those limitations are quite big.

The D3200 also won't support AF on some Nikon lenses/screwdrive etc. Makes it less appealing for the s/h bargain lens buyer.

Lenses wise both makers have some good ones, and of course mix in the Tamron and Sigma's and it's a pretty big range with lots of choices. Nikon have updated their primes recently so I think they have the edge there.

But Canon have more options for more advanced users such as variations of the 70-200mm lenses..where Nikon only have one expensive f2.8 VR model, Canon have 4! IS and f2/8 and f4 versions. Not something to worry about now, but that's something for later on to consider.

On balance I doubt anyone would be overly worried lens range wise with these 2 makers.

Personally I find the 1.6x Canon crop less appealing than the 1.5x crop (esp a factor at the wide end)

Unless you are very undemanding I would advise you look at higher up Nikon models if you wish to go with them.

I'm sure you'll be fine with a D3200 to start with, but you will outgrow it quite quickly if you are planning on getting into photography fairly heavily.

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Chris R-UK
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Re: Canon T3i vs Nikon d3200
In reply to av8orgw, Aug 29, 2012

The T3i has been replaced by the T4i although the differences between them are not that important for your usage.

I don't think that it makes much difference which body you choose. However, it may make a great deal of difference what lens or lenses you buy and there may also be other equipment that you need for aerial photography.

Have you got advice yet, probably from a specialist aerial photography site, about what focal lengths you need for what type of subject from what height?

Are you going to hand hold the camera or mount it to the aircraft? Do you need to shoot vertically downwards? How will you compose the shot and how will you operate the shutter release (especially if the camera is mounted to the aircraft)?

If you haven't already done so, I think that you should tie down all the special technical problems of aerial photography before deciding on what camera and lenses you need to buy.
--
Chris R

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KCook
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Re: Canon T3i vs Nikon d3200
In reply to av8orgw, Aug 29, 2012

Refurbished Canon 50/60D and Nikon D90 can be found for not a lot more $$ than a new T3i. The handling of these bigger bodies could be nice when dealing with shooting from an aircraft. (Confession, I have a 50D.) Links to more rambles on DSLR selection -

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1002&message=38035991

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1034&message=41802747

Kelly Cook

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av8orgw
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Re: Canon T3i vs Nikon d3200
In reply to av8orgw, Aug 29, 2012

Thanks everyone for the advice. Your input has helped me decide which camera to purchase. Once I get some good aerials, I will post them to the forum.

l8r

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TAZ881
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Re: Canon T3i vs Nikon d3200
In reply to av8orgw, Dec 23, 2012

Which one did you buy? Are you happy with you choice? Do you regret anything? I thinking about buying my first SLR soon and have researched both the Canon T3i vs Nikon d3200. Your opinion would be greatly appreciated, Thanks.

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azbackus
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Re: Canon T3i vs Nikon d3200
In reply to av8orgw, Mar 6, 2013

You may want to consider a very fast lens instead of all the extra zoom capability.  I find Nikon's 35mm f/1.8 far exceeds the quality of photo gotten on the standard kit lenses.  You can do so much more with this lens in many different types of lighting situations.

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Mike Chase
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Re: Canon T3i vs Nikon d3200
In reply to av8orgw, Mar 6, 2013

Based on the reviews, the D3200 is the better camera, Nikon lenses are great so you don't have to worry about that when you're about to upgrade. But the best thing you need to do is hold the camera and choose what you feel is the best. Or, if you want, you can find people who rent out their cameras and try them out first before buying. For more tips, you can read my blog: http://shootdigitalpicslikethepros.com/blog/photography-forum-support

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MarkInSF
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Re: Canon T3i vs Nikon d3200
In reply to av8orgw, Mar 6, 2013

av8orgw wrote:

Ok, so I'm a newbie and I'm trying to decide between the above two cameras. My mission is aerial photography. I am a pilot, own an airplane, I've wanted to do aerial photography for several years and I've recently had a company ask me to do some aerial shots of their facilities.

So, I've decided to go for it and maybe make a dream come true.

I've been researching digital SLR cameras and have kinda settled on the Canon T3i or the Nikon d3200. My problem is that I can't find a truly compelling reason to buy one or the other.

The bundles that I'm looking at are the same price. Here are my list of pros and cons.

I'm more familiar with Canon.
The Nikon has 24mp vs the Canon with 18. (I know I shouldn't decide based on mp)
The Canon has a slightly better zoom lens included. (55-250mm vs 55-200)

The Nikon has a little quicker auto focus from what I could tell when I used them both.

The Nikon has more focal points which may be better for aerial photos?? I'm not sure.
The Nikon lenses are a bit more expensive than Canon, but are they any better.

So, my question -- Is there really any compelling reason to buy one vs the other. I know this could turn into a passionate debate of Nikon vs Canon and I don't really want that. I just want a little nudge in one direction or the other....

Thanks for any advice!

GW

If you're just using this for aerial photography, from hundreds to thousands up, some of the focus system differences may not matter much.   Everything is at the ground, a distance that changes slowly, and the distance is a long one so there is little or no focusing going on because everything is in focus. So focus performance is a non-issue.   Any camera can easily keep everything in focus.   Just put it in continuous mode during your filming sessions and forget about it.   But take it out of continuous mode when you aren't filming because it can burn batteries

I know you've learned to ignore mp resolution ratings, but they do mean something when the difference is substantial.   18 vs 24 is enough to matter, if not massively.   More important to me is that Nikon sensors not only have higher res, they are higher in most measures.   They're more modern sensors.

So, for me, the Nikon has the better sensor, the Canon's main advantages are in focusing, which isn't important for this.   Continuous shooting would be valuable.   Which has the higher continuous rate.   I suspect that's something you'd want to be doing while over facilities.

In the Nikon line, the Nikon D5100 has just been replaced and good clearance prices have been out there, the D5200 is better, but the D5100 is still an excellent camera.   At some of the orices I've seen, a remarkable one.

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