Advice Nikon D3100 vs Sony Alpha A55

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by roco1x, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. roco1x macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2010
    I don't know much about cameras and at the end of the day am a point and click guy with a good eye. There are great camera's in that category and I have one. However I've always bought a 'real camera' to be used on occasions or when I wanted great shots.

    Putting cost aside - I plan to use this camera for my travels and I do go cool places - Antarctica next month (yeah more Penguin pics). In addition, I love short video's - hiDef preferred but not required.

    Based on readings and such I came to these two cameras - whats better for someone like myself - feel free to offer alternatives after weighing in on the above.

    Thanks in advance
  2. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    Go with a Nikon D80 or D90. More lens options and room to grow. Size may look big but once you get into it you will not notice. Plus both of these cameras have a better battery life. You can get atleast 800 photos on one charge. vs D3100 500pics.

    You may conceder a solid body since you will be shooting in cold weather. I think the Antarctica is cold? lol D7000 has a better build and shoots 1080p videos. Personally the DSLR are more for video projects. Its not a camcorder or P&S camera. There is more input into getting a decent video. D90 shoots 720p.

    D90 $790 new ($699 used.) 409286.html

    D7000 $1200
  3. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Have you considered NEX? I'm really enjoying mine.
  4. TopHatPlus macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    Southern Ontario
    Hey i just got my Nikon D90 last monday and i am LOVING it i upgraded from a Nikon D60 that i had for 1 1/2 years and it was a fool proof camera that took great photos. I would recommend the D90 if you want video. The D90 has the separate screen for viewing your setup, and has much more user friendly controls. You will find you will want to use manual setting because it is so much fun to get more interesting shots. Its just a great all round camera. I went into my local camera shop and picked one up for $700 new plus tax. I am buying a 70-300 mm (105-450 film equivalent) lens for $150 used so i will have some mega zoom.

    Good luck and enjoy what ever you buy.

    sony - in body image stabilization
    nikon - in lens image stabilization

    thats really the only big big difference the rest is just technical's and preference.

    theres a link to a couple hundred of my 12000+ photos i took with my D60 and they are 99% one standard sport mode or auto.

    theres a link to one with my D90

    both cameras with the same nikon 18-55 mm af VR lens
  5. El Cabong, Nov 7, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010

    El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    If you care about video at all, I'd go with Sony. Though Nikon is great for stills (and is what I shoot), it's still catching up to Canon in video, which, with the release of the NEX-5 and A55, has to catch up to Sony (though penguins may be a little less active than a plucky French girl).

    The difference in still image quality is negligible (to the average user), though it's worth noting that because of its pellicle mirror design, the A55 will not perform as well in low light, sacrificing some light input (~1/3 stop) to the viewfinder, which requires longer shutter speeds/larger apertures/higher ISO to compensate. However, in practice, I doubt that it'd be noticeably different, especially to someone who doesn't tinker with camera controls much. The same goes for Sony's versus Nikon's lens selection.

    Not to be rude, but I think that the D90 is a pretty poor choice for someone who cares about video, due to its lack of autofocus and 1080p, as well as its rolling shutter issues. As for the D3100/7000, it's doubtful that they've risen to Sony's level for video, though they probably blow the A55 away for still images (again, the average user won't notice the difference in stills).

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