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  1. #1
    Staz's Avatar
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    Canon 500D or Nikon D5000

    Anyone got either of these and can tell me some positives and negatives about them?

    They are at the top of my list and from what I can tell either would be perfectly good but I can't decide between them!
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  3. #2
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    Well, the Canon man in me says get the 500D automatically; but in reality there isn't that much to separate them...

    Without knowing what you want (or expect) to shoot, I can only muse on the technical and system differences.

    In short, Canon used to hold a pretty big lead on Nikon almost across the board, but in the past couple of years Nikon has really pulled it back, and in a couple of areas (more prominently in other areas of the product range) even passed Canon.

    Anyway, at this level and looking at these two bodies, as above there's not much to separate them on.

    The 500D does take some beating though, when you consider that it's not far off being a 50D - which OK wasn't the upgrade over the 40D it could've been, but it's still a very impressive camera, and a consumer level camera being so closely related to such an important enthusiast level body is extremely high praise.

    Comparing the bodies at sensor level in terms of Image Quality is tricky - pixel density on the Nikon is lower (meaning better theoretical signal to noise ratios are acheivable), but the additional resolution in the Canon body means that at image level (ie not pixel-peeping 100% crops) there really will be no discernable difference to 99% of viewers. I dare say it'd be much the same in terms of Dynamic Range - the lower pixel density of the Nikon would ordinarilly deliver a slightly (and I'm talking a fraction of a stop) better dynamic range (the width of the range of shades which can be captured from lightest to darkest in a single image), but the Canon model scores points back with its 14bit processing. Honestly, in terms of the body's capability for decent image quality - they're probably about as close as it gets to a match. Autofocus flexibility, speed and burst shooting rate are all massively important things to consider when buying a body too (again with your intended style of shooting in mind), but it's academic in this case because there really is only a hair's breadth between them. Anyway, all these IQ and performance similarities of course rest on the assumption of using similar quality glass, and that's where it gets interesting...

    ...The importance of good glass can't be stressed enough. Of course everyone starts with more realistically priced optics at first, and if the bug takes hold, empties their bank account at a later date on the hardcore uncut stuff straight from Bolivia (I'm currently amassing a nice collection of Canon L series glass). This is where it's easier (once your subject matter is taken into account), to highlight differences between Canon & Nikon systems. Overall I think it's fair to say that there's a better range of balanced-price glass available for Canon bodies in the majority of situations - but of course there are exceptions to that rule, so if you could advise on subject matter we could look at it a little closer.

    Beyond glass then, you just get down to ergonomics, additional features, and possibly upgrade path...

    Ergonomics and UI can be surprisingly important - it's amazing how many people can find one manufacturer's button/menu layout like marmite - love it or hate it. Very few seem to get on well equallly with either.

    Additional features I guess includes things like video - at first I was a hater of video on DSLRs, thinking that if I wanted to shoot video, I'd buy a video camera (and only pay for it then); but then I thought about it some more, and the prospect of having the ability to shoot really good quality video at a second's notice because it's a function of a gadget I've already got in my hand is quite cool. When you think about the creative possibilities of being able to change lenses to get the depth-of-field and focal-lengths which you'd like in your videos too, it just gets more interesting. The only downer on both systems of course is the 'part time' autofocus in video modes. Basically it means you're not dealing with a point and shoot handycam, more an instrument of cinematography. If you put the effort in, the results can be breathtaking - from both systems, just in full 1080P HD on the EOS as opposed to 720P on the Noink ()).

    Upgrade path too rests on what you plan to shoot, and how far you can see into the future. Both have got pretty flexible ways of working now, with different routes through the product range suitable to various types of shooting. Once you get to 'serious' upgrading it probably won't matter too much anyway, because you're likely to find yourself upgrading your glass at that point to.

    Anyway, let us know what you're planning on shooting, and I'll bore you to death some more...

    Regards,

    Rob.
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  4. #3
    Staz's Avatar
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    Well you certainly know your stuff Rob so thanks for taking the time to answer.

    I've only really dealt with point and shoot compacts so far and have got some good results over the years but now I'm hungry for the ability to take some exceptionally good shots. I'm not looking to win any awards so even a billy basic DSLR would give me far more than my current cyber-shot. I do want something a little better than the entry level models so that if I do find myself getting into it further I don't need to upgrade the body straight away, if at all.

    Being able to take video is fairly important but I'm not after camcorder quality, something is better than nothing. I have checked out plenty of sample from both cameras and even though the Canon is 1080p 20fps and the Nikon is 720p 24fps there's not a lot in it and both are far better than I would need.

    The moveable screen on the Nikon would be very useful to me though. When I travel with Lady Staz we take lots of pictures together so being able to get the right shot the first time would be handy lol

    In terms of lenses I would be getting a camera with the 18-55mm lens kit as it's a cheap way to get started and 18-55 is good enough for most things I need it for. The Canon lens felt a lot cheaper than the Nikon but I'm sure that means nothing in terms of glass quality, on that side I'm clueless.

    I intend to use it for a mixture of things really. Family shots, landscapes and on track shots at ADI '10! I'm fairly sure that either camera would give great results, as you say there's not a lot between them. The price difference and that moveable screen means that the Nikon is out in front right now but if someone can convince me otherwise than please do!

    Where's the best place to buy from also. I'm finding that independent camera shops list higher prices whereas Jessops are pretty reasonable at the moment. Only pipped by eBay but I don't really want to go down that route. Where's more likely to have Christmas sales also?
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  5. #4
    Caesium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staz View Post
    When I travel with Lady Staz we take lots of pictures together so being able to get the right shot the first time would be handy lol
    No camera, no matter how expensive can do that!
    Its the person behind the camera that counts, not the equipment, some of the most evocative photos in history were taken with the cheapest equipment.

    I, like Rob have a canon, I prefer it to the nikon offerings, each has its own advantages, but the canon range have a far more diverse glass range than the nikons.

    The 18-55 lens is okay to start with, but you're definitely going to need a zoom lens, if you buy a canon I have a reasonable 55-200 zoom that is brand new I will sell cheaper than you'll get it elsewhere.

    Try
    http://www.warehouseexpress.com/Home/default.aspx
    or
    http://www.parkcameras.com/
    or
    http://www.calumetphoto.co.uk/

    talkphotography forum guys sell stuff second hand, might be worth a lookout there also.

    Have a look at my site (below) the images were taken with a 50D
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    Caesium's Avatar
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    Oh, the moveable screen is a gimmick in my opinion, I never use my live view option, I always look through the viewfinder.

    Also, Nikon charge for their tethered shooting software, Canon bundle it in for free.
    Chris

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  7. #6
    Staz's Avatar
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    I don't see how it can be a gimmick mate. It's either useful or not. Someone put a moveable screen on a camcorder years ago and now they all have them. Gimmick or not I would still use it.

    I would definitely use liveview personally so it's important to me.

    What does their own software cover that I can't get from somewhere else?
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    Hello mate. I thought I would throw my 2p in, as I am a Nikon user and will try to balance things out!

    Honestly though, I agree with FactionOne's post that there really is very little between these bodies. As far as the live view goes, I also very rarely use it, but I was used to SLRs without live view. I think coming from a point-and-shoot like the Cybershot you have now, you may find the live view more natural to use. I have to say the moveable screen on the Nikon is useful for when you are taking those low angle shots off the deck of your car or macro shots, etc.

    I can't stress enough how important it is to consider your future upgrades. I got into photography with an entry level DSLR and found myself upgrading the body twice in the next two years, along with also spending lots of money on lenses. Once you have invested in better lenses (and you will at some point) it becomes very difficult to switch brands.

    If you're shooting track days, Nikon do a very reasonably priced 55-200mm VR lens (or a 300mm) which will get you started. I don't know how much Canon's one is, but it's worth comparing is that is most likely the first upgrade you will consider (18-55mm doesn't give you much of a zoom).

    You can't go wrong with either camera. Take the plunge and enjoy it!

  9. #8
    Caesium's Avatar
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    Live view absolutely canes off the battery, you'll be halving your shot capacity at least.
    If you want to buy an SLR then use it like an SLR.
    An SLR with a moveable rear screen is more like a bridge camera to me than a proper SLR, that's my own opinion obviously.
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  10. #9
    Staz's Avatar
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    I don't intend to use liveview all the time but it's something I want to be able to fall back on. I can't believe anyone who doesn't have it hasn't at one point though it'd be a nice idea. I was in Paris a couple of months ago and people were trying to take obscure shots without being able to see what they were doing. I bet they wished they could!

    I'll take a look at lens prices for the two brands though, cheers Scott.
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  11. #10
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    I don't know what your budget is, but the twin lens kits can be better value: http://www.cameraworld.co.uk/ViewPro...SUBCAT_CODE=51

    ... and so as not to be biased, here's the Canon deal: http://www.cameraworld.co.uk/ViewPro...SUBCAT_CODE=51

    Both packages have two image stabilsed lenses so would be good for all general use.

  12. #11
    Staz's Avatar
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    They look like the best deals I have seen but I'm looking at spending around 500 which just gives me the 18-55 kit really. I'm going to check all the sites after Christmas to see if the prices have dropped at all but I'm not expecting it to.

    Cheers again buddy
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  13. #12
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    Just my two penneth got to be canon all the way once youve bought your lenses you just need to buy bodys only as there so upgradable also just bought a canon g11 could be an option for you cheers Ian
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  14. #13
    Staz's Avatar
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    Why does the same not apply for Nikon??

    My Dad has a G9 and I like it but I would prefer to move straight into the DSLR world TBH.
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  15. #14
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    Have to say i dont have much experience with nikon but dont think they have the same amount of is lenses that interchange throughout the range and price i have a spare 450d that i would be willing to borrow you if if you like so you can try one before you buy dont know were you are though cheers Ian
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  16. #15
    Staz's Avatar
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    I appreciate the offer Ian but I've had a really good play with both these cameras and I'm happy with the way both of them work to be honest.
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    Heliflyer - Nikon do also have a very extensive range of lenses, many of which are now "VR" (vibration reduction), which is Nikon's version of Canon's "IS". I really don't think there's much in it for upgradability, you just need to pick a brand and stick with it to get the best out of it. There are many many pro photographers using both brands very successfully, so that should be enough to satisfy most people that either brand is expandable enough.

    Staz - If you have your new camera by the time of the 8P meet at the end of Jan, bring it along, I'd like to see it.

  18. #17
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    Will do Scott
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  19. #18
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    Staz

    I'm a Nikon man and always have been. I use a D200 but canon are just as good.
    I think the point here is lenses because that where the difference will be. both camera,s are probably over kill for what they will be used for and both are severely limited by the lens you put on the front. a 2k basic prime Nikon lens will give you a better picture on and old D70 than a 200 lens on a D200 if you get my drift.
    Therefore, think hard about what you are going to use the camera for and price up some lenses. take a look at Sigma lenses at a fraction of the cost of canon and Nikon lenses.
    Remember that how ever much you pay for the camera, its only as good as the lens you stick on the front.
    Also remember that the processing /developing power of these camera's is limited and the pictures will need to be edited in PSP or similar.
    Dont rule out e-bay. a 5000 will cost you 550 and for less than that you can get a second hand D200 ( A 1500 camera) with a magnesium body.

  20. #19
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    I'm a little wary of buying anything so expensive second hand. Especially with something so complex and me being a novice. I read the other day that someone had taken their VR lens off without turning the camera off. It damaged the lens somehow but he could still use it. If I was to buy that lens I might not know that something is wrong in the first place.

    I hear what you're saying about lenses. I read the 'Recommend me a DSLR' thread and they echo the same. The two Nikon VR lenses I have been looking at (as posted by Scott) have had some good reviews (for the price) and I think they'd be more than enough for me. I could buy a lower spec body to go with them such as the D3000 but it's the features like liveview and video which are desirable.
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  21. #20
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    so at the end of the day its down to your choice Nikon or canon. only thing i would do is buy the best body you can afford then add lenses later as and when you require them and also by then you will know what lenses you need let us know what you buy
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  22. #21
    Staz's Avatar
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    The Canon seems to have the best body out of the two on paper (higher pixel rating and full HD video) but there's not a lot between them in the reviews. The plan is as you say Ian, get a decent starter set and get better lenses in time.
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  23. #22
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    Staz,

    I think Rob has offered a very in depth overview of the 2 options, and I wont even try and attempt to tread on his shoes, as he clearly knows his stuff.

    I think you are taking the best route by jumping straight into a DSLR, no point mucking around with the inbetweeners that have popped up in recent years. There isn't much to decided on between a Nikon or a Canon that are similarly priced, it generally comes down to personal preference. I'm not a pro photographer, but I know of 3 close friends of mine that are (2 press, 1 studio), and they all swear by Canon kit, and according to them it's because of durability and upgradability (i think in the past Nikon upgraged their bodies to a new lens fitment that didn't allow the use of the older lenses, this can be expensive when you've spent 1,000's on lenses that are redundant with the new body).

    I'm a Canon man, I have a D30 (quite an old DSLR now) but it still takes a fantastic picture, and as Rob rightly points out, the lens (or "glass") you use has more bearing on the quality of your shots than the camera body does. With this in mind, have you considered buying an older body second hand and spending a little more on your first lens? Just a thought it may not appeal.

    Either way, looking forward to seeing some of your shots soon on ASN!
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  24. #23
    Staz's Avatar
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    I popped into PC World the other day to have a play with both cameras again mainly to show my girlfriend as she was over. Neither had any juice but in just terms of holding both cameras the Nikon felt much better. More solid and felt more comfortable. Up until that point I was 90% sure on the Canon, mainly from the answers in this thread, but then having them there together the Nikon took the lead. I still can't choose between them though

    I have thought of getting an older body plus decent lens as suggested by Paddy also but the prices I have seen for a higher spec older body have been very similar to the specs for either of these models. I have also thought of perhaps just getting a billy basic DSLR (as I am supposed to be cramming all my cash into my deposit fund ) but it seems that the more modern ones are not far enough away from the 500 mark and the older ones are too low on the specs for me to warrant getting one over one of the above.
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  25. #24
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    I was just about to say, go and have a play with the camera and decide that way... Thats what i did a while back when i couldnt decide between The Nikon D90 and Canon 40D. I ended up going for the Nikon because the user interface was far easier to use.

    A good place for prices:

    http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/

    The site shows the cheapest place to buy all Niko and Canon kit
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  26. #25
    Staz's Avatar
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    Nice one! The Canon is cheapest with Amazon which is the best price I found it for also. The Nikon is cheapest with AJ electronics in London however it doesn't mention the 50 cashback that Nikon are doing so it may not be so good. I'll give them a call later.
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  27. #26
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    Yep 50 off too!
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    I use a Nikon D300 myself, and made the decision by using both Nikon and Canon in the store to get a feel for them. The Nikon had the controls in places that seemed to better suit my hands, so I went with that.

    As has already been said though, I doubt you'll be disappointed whichever way you go.
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  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staz View Post
    Nice one! The Canon is cheapest with Amazon which is the best price I found it for also. The Nikon is cheapest with AJ electronics in London however it doesn't mention the 50 cashback that Nikon are doing so it may not be so good. I'll give them a call later.
    No problem (im a bit of a bargain hunter myself so i like to know what the cheapest kit is, the good thing about that site is that it shows you historic information about the price fluctations of the kit. So you know if your paying over the odds for something)

    Im only about a year and a half into DSLR ownership myself and im fully converted.

    Make sure you dont miss the cash back offers! I was gutted as an early adopter of the D90 i didnt get any.
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  30. #29
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    I just picked up up a 500D yesterday after looking at it and the D5000.
    I did a lot of reading as a collegue @ work has just bought the D3000 so he gave me all his 'What Camera' mags. Both cameras are very evenly matched and either one will do what you want.
    What helped me choose is the fact that I have a Canon EOS Rebel G (500N), 35mm, so I now have a 500D with 2 lenses.
    Now I just need to get the hang of it
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  31. #30
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    I recently went out to get a D500 after a lot of research but ended up comming home with a D5000. Nikon felt a lot more cpmfortable in my hands and Nikon seem to be coming up trumps with the lenses should you start to become serious! Nikon has a slightly fast fps and its menu, in camera editing and "scene" functions are balanced and easy to use from my opinion.

    Like you I'm just a beginner so got the kit lens 18-55mm and dont really have a clue what I'm doing but it works well for family pics but I fancy taking it to work and thats when a bigger lens will be required. Things look a lot smaller at 37,000ft.

    Tally ho!

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  32. #31
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    I've started off by getting a dedicated book for my 500D and it is helping me get to grips with the way it works and the basics.
    The pictures this thing takes are amazing!
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  33. #32
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    Re: Canon 500D or Nikon D5000

    So, money wasn't right at the time. Soon after starting this thread I found the house I wanted.

    Yesterday I finally bought the 500D and I'm totally happy with it so far, of course!

    Thanks for the advice guys.
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  34. #33
    Broken Byzan's Avatar
    Photographic Moderator

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    What lenses you got Leon?

  35. #34
    Staz's Avatar
    is a retronaut

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    Re: Canon 500D or Nikon D5000

    I didn't see your post Mark sorry!

    I just got the 18-55 that came with it for now. I'll get the Canon 55-250 next, it's had some great reviews and it's a reasonable price.
    8P2 S3

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  36. #35
    supanova's Avatar
    A3 2.0 TDI SE

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    what type of photography will you be shooting? to be honest id got for a wide angle or something like the 18-135mm lens. Ive just got the 10-22mm canon lens and it was WELLLLLLL worth the money!! cant w8 to get out there and test it out! got a few weddings so it will be handy to have!!

  37. #36
    Staz's Avatar
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    Is that the USM model? I read it's a must have if you have a compact sensor body.

    A total mixture of things for me though. At the moment I'm waiting for some gorgeous blue skies so I can get out and get some photos of my village for Panoramio and then hopefully Google Earth. At the moment there isn't a single one.
    8P2 S3

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