Canon 600D vs Nikon D5100

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by notofuspeed, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. notofuspeed, Apr 13, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012

    notofuspeed macrumors newbie

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    Apr 13, 2012
    #1
    Hello all.
    I'm about to get my first entry-level DSLR.
    Deciding between D5100 and 600D.
    Been doing a lot of reading about pros and cons between.
    And still can't totally decide based on the body....

    However I have noticed the same bundled 18-55m lenses for both.
    The Canon one is significantly smaller.
    Does this ring true for basically all comparative lenses between Nikon and Canon.
    The Canon lenses are smaller (and I assume) weigh less.
    Majority cases? Or no consistent comparison.
    While performance quality and preference can always be debated. There is no debate on physics. So I hope someone can give me a definitive answer.

    Thankyou all for your time.
    (By the way, I'm at work and did a quick google and I didn't get any answers, just full review/comparisons between lens performance). Sorry if this is a known answer.
     
  2. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #2
    I am pretty sure that within the same class of lens, there is no significant difference between the two.
     
  3. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #3
    I think the two kit lenses are pretty comparable. Make your decision based on specialty lenses, if anything; that's where you might actually find some substantial differences.
     
  4. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #4
    Honestly what you want to do is go hold both cameras in person. Ergonomics are faaaar more important than trivial specs. If you don't like the ergonomics of a camera and you find it cumbersome to use, chances are you won't use it to its full ability.

    I personally like Canon and had a 20D, 5D, and 5D Mark II and shot with a slew of other models. Nikon makes great cameras too but I prefer the ergonomics of the Canon more (and I like Canon's lens lineup better, although Nikon has that sweet wide angle).

    I wouldn't order either camera until you've got to hold them in a store.
     
  5. Bear macrumors G3

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    #5
    A lot of truth here. Some prefer Nikon and some prefer Canon. At this point it's how the camera feels in your hands. And the operation of the controls.

    For similar lenses, sometimes the Canon weighs more and sometimes the Nikon weighs more. And the lenses are close enough that the lens weight shouldn't be the deciding factor in brand.

    Both brands are good. I have a Nikon.
     
  6. Melizard macrumors 6502

    Melizard

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    #6
    I bought my Nikon D5000 strictly because it went on sale (right before the D5100 came out) so I got a great deal. I didn't do much comparison between different cameras, other than a cursory search online. In hindsight, I should have just bought the body sans kit lens and found a good new or used lens instead. Kit lenses are not very good quality; mine stopped working a couple weeks after I bought it, so I had to return it. I hardly use the kit lens at all, I mostly keep a 18-200 zoom lens on, which is quite heavy compared to the kit lens.

    I don't know anything about canon, but the Nikon D5100 seems to be a good entry level DSLR. Some people say the menus are a bit hard to navigate, but it didn't take me long to figure it out. There are a lot of preset options that you will slowly wean yourself away from as you learn to use the manual settings. Also, the swivel-LCD screen on the D5100 is great!

    Another thing to consider is a good carrying bag. The first one I bought was very uncomfortable, so I had to get another.

    At least maybe you can learn from my mistakes... It's hard to not run out and buy all of the expensive lenses and toys and spend all of my money. I've had enough sense (thanks to advice from this forum) to learn with what I have first and then decide what I really need later.
     
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #7
    I'm pretty sure everyone does that ;) (I know I did!) I have two friends doing it right now. I keep telling them to borrow my gear if they want to experiment with lenses but it falls on deaf ears.
     
  8. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Nope. I bought a body and a lens (5D with 24-105L)... and that's the same setup I've been using for years now.
     
  9. notofuspeed thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 13, 2012
    #9
    600D vs D5100

    Thanks for everything guys.
    Frankly I've never had such a good first post experience on a forum with a newbie question. Many people took the time to reply, and gave very helpful information (that they probably have had to say many times), rather than a one-worded reply or flaming.

    I went and had a hold of both today.
    They both felt quite good in the hands, personally I like the D5100 feel more.
    However what is important according to everyone is comfortable access of features...
    However I really have no idea what features I would be constantly accessing and changing...??

    But what I am really curious about is..
    Prior to now I have read numerous reviews, and a number said in slightly different ways.
    The D5100 is easier to use as a beginner and an entry level, but the 600D entry-level to mid-range and will mature with your skills.
    One example
    "• Get the Nikon D5100 if you prefer a well spec'd camera that is very much tuned to the entry-level user and can give you great photos with minimal fuss.
    • Get the Canon EOS 600D if you are planning to get serious in photography as well as DSLR videography and want something you won't want to put aside even after you get rally good."

    My question is, what specific features that are present on the 600D and absent on the D5100 that make people make such statements?
     
  10. Bear macrumors G3

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    #10
    That is a good question. The only thing that the Canon seems to do better is Video features. Look at DPReview.com 600D vs D5100 to see the side by side comparison.

    Some of the features differences I saw off the bat were not real differences. The difference in megapixels is really minor. The 600D has digital Zoom, which is not really a Pro feature. All it's doing is upscaling what it sees, you can do that in any photo editing software.

    So really the cameras seem quite similar in their offered features, except for the fact that you can get a GPS module for the D5100 so I would really like to know why they say the 600D is the better camera to grow with as well.
     
  11. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #11
    No, there is no consistent advantage of Canon over Nikon in weight, lenses of the same type will weigh similar amounts. Higher quality lenses will be significantly heavier than either of the kit lenses which are among the lightest since they tend to use more lenses, metal for the barrel, etc. Note that weight and weight distribution of your lens will influence how your camera handles, and lighter is not always better. I also doubt the difference in weight between the two bodies is in any way, shape or form significant.

    Instead of agonizing about choosing between Canon and Nikon, try both cameras in a shop, how they feel in your hand. Also try the bodies with two, three lenses, e. g. the kit lens, the cheap tele zooms and 35 mm prime lenses (prime lenses are lenses with a fixed focal length which do not zoom). Then make a gut decision, both cameras are very capable.

    By the way, if you're worried about weight, you should try micro-4/3 cameras, they are quite a bit smaller and offer a large selection of lenses which cover the needs of ambitious amateurs.
     
  12. notofuspeed, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012

    notofuspeed thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    @bear. Thanks, I was wondering if I missed something in the reviews.
    The comparisons seem on par with each other, but around 4 different ones out of the 15 or so I read, said something about the Canon being more "professional". One site with categorizations even had d5100 under entry-level, and the 600D as mid-range.

    @OreoCookie. Thanks for your input. I held them both but only with the bundled lenses. They both felt equally as good. But for unknown (uneducated reasons) I have a liking to the Nikon. So maybe I might have to make a gut decision.
    I'm super fussy and indecisive. I'm the kind of person who picks out 3 of the same jacket on the rack and inspects the stitching on them all before I chose one.

    The original idea with the lenses was, since I couldn't decide, I was going to let the lenses decide. If Nikon or Canon lenses were cheaper or smaller/lighter for the equivalent I was going to go with that system.
    The reason I asked that first, is the Canon 18-55 was somewhat smaller than the Nikon, so I was wondering if that case was true for all sizes. Cause it would make a big difference with the telesphotos. I found a lens comparison site, so I'm going to go through that tomorrow.
    Weight was a concern, but not totally important... it just became a way to differentiate and make a choice I thought (because right now I can't).

    I was gunna buy an NEX7 because I wanted the viewfinder and manual controls (but its the price of a 60D). And I've always wanted a DSLR for 5 years... and I know I will get more personal (even if it is foolhearted and less practical) fulfillment from having a DLSR rig.

    Thanks again guys.
     
  13. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #13
    I don't think this »characterization« is particularly apt. Canons and Nikons offerings are »stacked«, so the prices for Canon bodies sit in between the price points of Nikon bodies. But I doubt the difference in features are significant.
    To make it easy for you: both cameras are excellent for beginners. Since you have no special needs (e. g. you want to focus on video or need a particular lens), both brands will serve you very well. Keep in mind that opinions such as »speed« of a camera has changed a lot over the last few years: even cheaper dslrs can shoot at >3 fps. My D7000 manages 6 fps (not that I ever need that much)! A few years ago, you'd need to get a semi-professional body to achieve those speeds. The small differences in image quality won't matter, especially if you shoot at the base ISO values (ISO 100-400 or 800, depending on your taste). Both manufacturers cannot beat the laws of physics and thus, sizes of lenses and other equipment is rather similar.

    So trust your gut, stop worrying and start shooting!
     
  14. Melizard macrumors 6502

    Melizard

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    #14
    As soon as you buy your camera you will be so excited about shooting and getting beautiful pictures, that you won't stop for a moment to regret not buying the other brand. It's a win-win situation.
     
  15. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Both are very similar, the Canon might be a better idea if you want to get into video while the Nikon seems to have better noise performance. But in the grand scheme of things, both are worthy and very close relatives.

    Since they're so close, I'd look into the system I want to invest in. Sure you buy the body and kit lens now but once you start buying other lenses you probably won't want to switch to the other brand for your next body in a couple of years as your lens won't fit. So I'd look into what what kind of lenses will you be able to get, what ergonomy you prefer....
     
  16. trs0722 macrumors member

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    #16
    Although not the same camera, I borrowed a friend's Canon t2i, which I believe is one model below the 600d (t3i). I then bought the D5100 and spent some time comparing before I gave the Canon back. I would have to give the video a slight edge to Canon but for pics, the Nikon was better. Again, different cameras but one big difference between the two at these price points is to capture video on the Nikon, you only have to switch to live view (pull a lever) and press record. With the Canon, you have to scroll the wheel many clicks over to video and then press record. Minor thing but a big selling point for me. Also I'm pretty sure the D5100 has the same sensor as its next model (D7000), which is about twice as expensive. I found the Nikon to just feel better and more sturdy in my hands. I've handled the 600d in stores and it felt more "plastic-y" than my D5100, which I'm really enjoying. I'm no professional but agree with many other posters: they are neck and neck...both very good cameras.
     
  17. fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Nikon lenses are generally better, especially wide angle. There are exceptions to that general statement, but on average it's true.

    The Nikon D5200 hasn't been announced yet, but it will be...very soon. It will have 24 MP, if you care about that, and some new features. Check out the D3200 announcement. I'd wait and see what the 5200 brings.
     
  18. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #18
    That's a load of utter bollocks. I generally shoot Nikon- my current bodies are a D2x and D3x, and I own a fair number of Nikon lenses, including the 400mm f/2.8- so I'm heavily invested in Nikon glass.

    However, there are very few places in either company's lens line where the differences between lenses will be even visible in prints- there will be far more variation in body-to-body sensor differences.

    As an example of wide angle lenses, Photozone rates the 24mm f/1.4 lenses from Canon and Nikon the same in terms of overall scores:

    http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/549-nikkorafs2414ff?start=2
    http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/514-canon24f14mk2ff?start=2

    That's pretty representative- if you were to shoot with a variety of lenses from both systems I doubt anyone could reliably pick which manufacturer's glass shot which image, especially if you profiled and normalized out the sensors or shot the same lenses on multiple bodies.

    Paul
     
  19. Bear macrumors G3

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    #19
    I too use Nikon gear and will say that if you compare similar lenses from Nikon anc Canon, the images will be similar - sometimes the Canon will be slightly better, sometimes the Nikon.

    Remember both companies have consumer, semi-pro and professional lenses. (People will use different terms for the semi-pro category.) And you generally get what you pay for.
     
  20. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #20
    Seconded. Sometimes this may be true for individual lenses, e. g. Nikon's 14-24 mm f/2.8 or 200 mm f/2 are second to none, the former beating primes in terms of IQ, Canon also has a few winners in its lens line-up, e. g. it's 70-200 mm f/2.8 IS Mark II or its 100 mm macro. But as Compuwar says, in most case, it's quite even across the line-up. Both manufacturers are constrained by the same laws of physics and economics. This is also coming from a Nikon shooter.
     
  21. fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Obviously, I disagree and I'm sure most people would prefer to buy their lenses from an optical company (Nikon), not a copier company (Canon).
     
  22. Bear macrumors G3

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    #22
    It sounds like someone needs to read up on Canon Inc.
     
  23. gryffinwings macrumors regular

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    #23
    This is true, however Nikon might have bit of an edge on quality especially on what they specialize it. Note: the stuff I'm getting is from wikipedia, so grain of salt.

    Canon Inc. (キヤノン株式会社?) is a Japanese multinational corporation that specialises in the manufacture of imaging and optical products, including cameras, camcorders, photocopiers, steppers and computer printers.

    vs.

    Nikon Corporation, also known as just Nikon, is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, specializing in optics and imaging. Its products include cameras, binoculars, microscopes, measurement instruments, and the steppers used in the photolithography steps of semiconductor fabrication, of which it is the world's second largest manufacturer.[2] The companies held by Nikon form the Nikon Group.[3] Among its products are Nikkor imaging lenses (for F-mount cameras, large format photography, photographic enlargers, and other applications), the Nikon F-series of 135 film SLR cameras, the Nikon D-series of digital SLR cameras, the Coolpix series of compact digital cameras, and the Nikonos series of underwater film cameras. Nikon's main competitors in camera and lens manufacturing include Canon, Casio, Kodak, Sony, Pentax, Panasonic, Fujifilm and Olympus.


    I have to say that Nikon actually specializes more into optics and photography than Canon does, which is more like Cameras/Optics and Printing. Just my take

    I personally like the Nikon better, I've held the Canon myself and it just felt overly plasticky to me and not as solid. The D5100 from my experience is pretty good, same sensor as the D7000, but not as many focus points. Manual mode is a bit different from the D90 which had 2 wheels, the D5100 has 1 wheel and a button that allows you to change to other function of the wheel while depressed. As far as I know Nikon makes some very nice glass, even the new kit lens that are out, perform very well, and from some reviews I've read outperform a lot of canon lens, except one that I can't remember at the moment.

    Anyways good luck.
     
  24. Bear macrumors G3

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    #24
    For reference I too use Nikon, but I would have no qualms about using Canon if I needed to for some reason. The lenses are comparable.

    The feel of the camera body and the controls on the camera are purely personal preference. You prefer Nikon, so do I. Canon makes excellent cameras and lenses along with the occasional dud product. Then again Nikon has had duds as well.

    What you're not comparing is the size of the camera divisions of both companies.
     
  25. salacious macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I have a 600d, i can say that if you get bored of its features, update to Magic lantern, you have a whole new toy...
     

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