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Old May 9th, 2011, 10:24 PM   #1
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D5100 or 550D

Hi
I am planning to buy a DSLR for photography and videography. However, my videography will be limited to short films and nothing more.

Now that the new Nikon D5100 is out, I wanted to know which is better, a D5100 or the old Canon 550D? (I'm not considering the 600D or the T3i - out of my budget).

If any of you have experience with these cameras, I'd love to hear your advice. Thanks.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 03:08 AM   #2
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Re: D5100 or 550D

If you are willing to give up all the potential of the Canon+Magic lantern and have no problem with the various limitations of the Nikon in video mode, then you will be o.k. with the Nikon too.
If not, then the 550D is the obvious choice.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 07:15 AM   #3
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Re: D5100 or 550D

550D without question.

Much better implementation of live view/video mode and more functional manual controls. Not to mention the 60p, 25p/50p for PAL land, and the Magic Lantern capabilities.

Also not to be underestimated, is the overwhelming amount of online user support available for the 550D compared to the D5100 for video use.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 07:39 AM   #4
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Thank you Spiros and John. I am leaning towards the 550D but what put me off my decision are the reviews from dxomark that show the d5100 is miles ahead of the 550D (and on par with the d7000) in terms of still image quality.

But I guess video is important, and that leaves me no choice (which is not necessarily a bad thing).
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Old May 10th, 2011, 08:45 AM   #5
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Maybe the Nikon is better for stills but I don't think it's miles away.
The 550D is not bad at all and it will serve you just fine for photography too. Just make sure you get nice lenses for it. Video is forgiving with lens quality but stills are not.
Good low budget choices are the Tamron 17-50 f2.8, the Canon 50 f1.8 and the Canon 85 f1.8, just to get you started.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 09:54 PM   #6
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Thanks Spiros. Any reasonable wide angle primes I could use?
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Old May 10th, 2011, 11:21 PM   #7
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Re: D5100 or 550D

How wide and how fast?

The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is a popular and relatively economical choice.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 02:23 AM   #8
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Hi John...Actually my favorite is the 28mm on a full frame. I think that would equate to about 18mm.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 01:46 PM   #9
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Soon i'll post a couple of videos from 5100-----
Great camera for the price and....NIkon lenses make a great difference, but just 24-25p
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Old May 11th, 2011, 07:32 PM   #10
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Re: D5100 or 550D

There is the 20mm f/1.8 from Sigma. Not quite 18mm, but about as wide as you'll get for a lens that fast without paying several thousand dollars.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 09:43 PM   #11
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Thanks John...I'll check it out!
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Old May 12th, 2011, 06:53 AM   #12
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Sounds like you are getting a lot of advice from users who haven't tried out the D5100. Sure the Canon has made great progress with video and no doubt has a larger user base, but I think the Nikon D5100 will outperform the 550D with video. Will let you know, I am being sent one for inclusion in my next DVD production.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 07:20 AM   #13
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Re: D5100 or 550D

How so? It uses the same sensor and compression as the D7000 so should provide a very similar picture. However, you don't have the manual control of the D7000 (which itself still requires a work-around), let alone 50p/60p and Magic Lantern.

It's like two steps forward, one step backwards for Nikon. The D7000 was their first real HD-DSLR competitor and now they've gone and removed what little ground they gained. Even if the picture is somehow miraculously much improved over the D7000, the lack of manual control alone is enough to put it out of contention.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 08:14 AM   #14
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Will keep you posted as soon as the review sample arrives, but from what I have seen of the camera (at the press launch) It did look very impressive. As I said, will let you know as soon as I take delivery.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 08:53 AM   #15
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Thanks Vincent...but from what I've heard the bit rate on the 5100 is not as good as the Canon's. Plus it doesn't have the higher frame rates either.

Still, I'll wait to see actual results.
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