entry level DSLR - Canon 1100D or Nikon D3100

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Pd, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Pd

    Pd Guest

    I'm vaguely aware this might be one of those partisan debates, but...

    I'm looking for an entry level DSLR, the Canon 1100D or Nikon D3100 seem
    to about the same price (eg £319 on Amazon).

    I want to do some 'higher quality' still photography, but I also want to
    do some video. The Canon only does 720p, the Nikon 1080p.

    I don't have any legacy lenses, and the 18-55 that each comes with seems
    perfectly adequate for my beginner's needs.

    Any reasons to go one way or the other?
    Pd, Mar 2, 2013
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  2. Pd

    Ian Guest

    < snip >

    Hello Pd. I'll offer the usual "go to a camera shop and try them both"
    response. Might cost you more (LCE web site shows the D3100+18-55 at £340
    and the 11D+18-55 at £350) but it may save you buying a camera that you
    don't get on with.
    I'll offer another usual comment "have a look at second-hand cameras". LCE
    have second-hand D3100 from £230 (body only) to £280 (body+18-55). Gives you
    a chance to get used to the camera before spending too much money.
    Final thought is - if there is a camera/photography club near to you then
    visit it for a chat about cameras.

    Hope you get the camera which suits you,
    Ian, Mar 2, 2013
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  3. Pd

    Pd Guest

    Part of my reason for asking, is that I have an irrational preference
    for Canon, and maybe I'm trying to justify it since looking at dpreview,
    the Nikon seems like a better bet.
    Pd, Mar 2, 2013
  4. Pd

    Pd Guest

    Thanks Ian. We used to have a Jessops in town, but they've gone kaput.
    I'm not sure who the local camera shop is now.

    Second hand - the fear of a scratched lens or intermittent problems
    makes me reluctant to go that way.

    Photography club - good idea. Will look up who is local to Worthing.
    Pd, Mar 2, 2013
  5. Pd

    Ian Guest

    Hello again Pd.

    May I suggest that you try to retionalise your preference for Canon and then
    see if it really is beter for you than Nikon?
    If you can get to a camera shop or club then do have a look at the other
    makes - Sony, Pentax, Olympus. You could also see if a bridge camera would
    be suitable for you. DSLRs and their lenses and flashguns are nice to use
    and very flexible but they can get heavy on a day's hill-walking.

    Yes, things are different now there's (currently) no Jessops web site to
    browse. I think that the main multiples on the High Street are now Wilkinson
    (based in the north-west) and LCE (seems to be spread around England;
    nearest to you would be in the Portsmouth - Southampton area and central

    I appreciate your concern about buying second-hand. I would not buy camera
    equipment from general second-hand shops (such as pawnbrokers and the like).
    I buy from specialist camera retailers where the staff know what to look for
    in second-hand equipment. I've bought 10-22mm, 8mm, 55-250mm, 60m macro and
    105mm macro lenses, a ring-flashgun and a 350D+18-55mm second-hand and I had
    no problems in regard of damage/scratches with any of them.
    In fact, I was lucky to get the 8mm as the Canon fit seems quite rare. Its
    asking price was 2/3 of the new price and I reduced it further by buying it
    with a part-exchange.
    I was not happy the 105mm macro. It was slow to focus and hunted in/out of
    focus. A new one was the same. I eventually sold it and lost less money than
    if I'd bought a new one.

    Best wishes, Ian.
    Ian, Mar 2, 2013
  6. Pd

    Woody Guest

    If you are staying with the standard 18-55 then the Nikon is a
    significantly better lens than the Canon - or to be more exact
    the Canon is not very good.

    If you are in the Nikon camp have a look at the D3200 which is
    24Mp and so <should> be sharper than the D3100.

    If you don't mind 2nd hand then the D60 is actually quite a good

    There is a point to remember. For printing anything up to A4 6Mp
    is more than good enough. 6Mp is also a turnover point where
    quality stops improving significantly but thermal noise starts to
    be a problem (unless you go full frame.) Thus you would probably
    be better with something like a used D60/D80/D90 (yes, I know
    they are not the most modern) than the D3100. From the other side
    the D5100 offers much more than the D3100 in facilities for not
    that many more pennies. If you get a body with the focus motor
    inside (as distinct from one in the lens) such as the D80 or D90
    then you will also have the option of using the older Nikon AF
    lenses which many will tell you is better glass than a lot of the
    modern equivalents.

    Someone else mentioned other makes which might be worth
    considering. Sony is effectively rebadged Minolta albeit now very
    much changed and improved so you have a huge range of lenses
    available. Olympus use the 'odd' 4/3 sensor which imposes
    limitations. However do not be frightened by Pentax which has one
    major advantage over the others - image stabilisation is done in
    the body so almost any lens made in the last 20-30 years that
    will fit can be used.

    I would not even think about video. If you want movies buy a
    movie camera. Having said that, if a movie camera is out of the
    window, then consider even a good compact with a large range
    lens. I have a Sony HX5V (I think) that is 10Mp and 10x zoom
    (25mm wide equiv) and I tend to carry that more often than my
    Nikon dSLR these days. It's anti shake is quite novel; it takes
    5-6 shots very rapidly at a shutter speed that is fast enough to
    hold steady-ish, then knits them together into one shot - and I
    have to say that despite initial scepticism it actually works
    very well.

    I have personally tried several times to use a bridge camera and
    I cannot get on with them. The main problem is the relatively
    poor resolution of the EVF which, being small, also becomes very
    cluttered with icons making the picture difficult to see. If
    however you intend <never> to use the EVF then they should also
    be considered.

    Finally, and above all, remember that a dSLR shutter release is
    just about the same as a film SLR in terms of response, but on
    any other type of digital camera there can be considerable lag
    between pressing the button and the picture being taken - most of
    which is focussing. My first digital was a Ricoh SS30 which
    proudly boasted that the time between pressing the button and the
    picture being taken was 220mS maximum: yes I know it is now quite
    old but I have an Olympus C5050 (which otherwise is a superb
    camera) that takes the better part of 4 seconds (!!) between
    press and snap. Historically Fuji, Casio, and Canon compacts are
    pretty quick, whereas Olympus, Pentax, and (sadly) Nikon tend to
    be on the slower end. Sony, Panasonic (Lumix) and Ricoh fall
    somewhere in the middle.

    You should play with any camera you are going to buy as you have
    to live with it. What fits my hands may not fit yours, and if it
    don't fit you won't use it - simple. Sadly with the demise of
    Jessops you will probably not have much local availability but
    there are still shops around for the sake of digging, and there's
    always John Lewis who will take the time with you provided you go
    during the day in the week.

    Good luck.
    Woody, Mar 2, 2013
  7. Pd

    Mike Bristow Guest

    Do you have any friends with DSLRs? If so, it might be worth getting
    the same system as them (so you can borrow lenses from each other).

    Otherwise, play with some kit at a camera shop and/or photography club.
    Mike Bristow, Mar 3, 2013
  8. Pd

    Pd Guest

    Good pointer - they must be pretty good given how well they're holding
    their price.
    Fair enough. I have a Fuji s5700 which takes adequate movies in good
    light, but I hoped a dSLR might be better. I've seen a lot of
    professional quality movies taken with cameras like the Canon 5D, so
    thought that the lower end dSLRs might also do a better job than the
    compacts or bridge cameras with video.

    Thanks for your input, Woody.
    Pd, Mar 3, 2013
  9. Pd

    A.Lee Guest

    The Fuji 5700 is an excellent camera, and , being objective, I dont
    think you will get better pics from a DSLR.

    I've got the Fuji S2000, after having the similar version, but with a
    smaller screen, cant remember the model.

    The main advantage of the DSLR will be the choice of lenses, also the
    speed of use, but then you have got the extra bulk to carry.
    I also had a Canon Dslr until recently, but it was being used so little,
    that I sold it, the Fuji was the one I picked up every time I went out
    to take pics.

    If I was to get a new DSLR, I'd be looking at the Pentax range, they are
    pretty compact, whereas the Canon and Nikon seem far too bulky for me,
    but that is personal preference.

    A.Lee, Mar 3, 2013
  10. Pd

    Darkside Guest

    My Canon 60D fits my hand perfectly. I endorse the advice to try the
    cameras at a shop or club.
    Darkside, Mar 3, 2013
  11. Pd

    Pd Guest

    It is a good camera, but having had the use of a Canon 20D for a while,
    it reminded me of my early days with an OM-1 when focus, aperture and
    shutter speed were all adjustable easily without taking the eye from the
    viewfinder, and I wanted something similar in dSLR form.

    However, now I've had a look and re-assessed my needs, I think I'm going
    to stick with my S5700 for now and get a camcorder. Unfortunately there
    doesn't seem to be a site for camcorders similar to dpreview, where you
    can line up similar cameras and compare specs, features and results.
    camcorderinfo.com (.co.uk) seems to be the closest, but doesn't compare
    the Sony CX250 with the Panasonic V700, for example.
    Pd, Mar 3, 2013
  12. Pd

    Peterw Guest

    what's a camera shop?


    Peterw, Mar 4, 2013
  13. Pd

    Ian Guest

    A camera shop (aka photographic retailer) is a place where they sell (and
    buy) camera equipment.
    For example: London Camera Exchange, Wilkinson, Mifsud, Park, ffordes,
    cameraworld, SRS Microsystems, Grays, Luton Cameras Repair Service, Clifton
    Cameras, City Phototgraphic ...

    Use them before they vanish.

    Regards, Ian.
    Ian, Mar 4, 2013
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