Cameras: 20th Century Cutting Edge

As someone who is thinking about his first DSLR, could someone explain the differences between the Nikon D3200 and the Canon 9126B003? I’m just a regular joe that would like to take some good pictures now and then.

Calling RadioJohn.
Calling RadioJohn.

The Nikon is 24.2 megapixels versus the Canon’s 18 megapixels. Beyond that you won’t find a whole lot of differences between the two cameras. In my experience, at these intro level DSLR’s and with the stock lens you will find the Nikon does a much better job at lighting and color with indoor photography where the Canon will do better in outdoor settings.

Generally speaking, between Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras you don’t buy for the specs on the body of the camera, you buy for which lenses you prefer. If you end up getting into photography (which I assume you have intentions to to be even looking at a DSLR versus a point and shoot), bodies are much more regularly replaced and upgraded, and are almost considered the “disposable” part of the camera at this price point. You will easily spend more on your first “real” lens than you did on either of these two cameras, and that lens will last you through many iterations of camera bodies. And most of the lenses are relatively exclusive to the brand, so you fall in love with a lens or two, and start buying your camera body to fit the lens.

I will freely admit that I am more aligned with Nikon lenses than Canon lenses, but putting my feelings aside the Nikon is just a better value of these two. Unless you plan on doing mostly outdoor photography and sticking with the stock lens for the near future, go with it.

You don’t need a dSLR to take great pictures. I own several Canon dslr’s and they definitely have their place, but the middle ground between point and shoot to dslr has grown to bring some fine quality enthusiast cameras. The mirrorless offered here by Woot are a good example, smaller less to lug around but fantastic pictures. The weight of a dslr and several lenses, flash, etc can get cumbersome. There is an old saying in photography - the “best” camera you have is the one you bring with you.

If you don’t see yourself spending several thousand on lenses or carrying all of it around, I wouldn’t go dslr - I’d look at the mirrorless offerings like the Samsung and Sony offered here. If you doubt you’ll even spend several hundred on lenses, I would recommend a high end p&s. Several out there have better built in lens then you could buy separately at that price point. I own the Panasonic LX3, LX3 and LX7. The newest version out is the LX100, fantastic option for a great p&s with much higher quality lens than the kit lens on any given swappable system.

Here’s a pretty nice break down of the best fixed lens offerings and how they compare.

It is the eternal Nikon VS Canon debate. Both will be fine cameras. Take a peek at comments on the mothership or look at reviews on places like Steve’s Digicams. If you were a bit more of an enthusiast, I’d say look at some of the lenses available for each and see if any specific one is essential. In my area and in my classes, Canon owners are about 3 to 1 vs Nikon. But that may just be what’s available in the stores.

You really can’t go wrong with either. Oh yeah, skip the one star reviews. These are almost 100% from people who have no clue (“The pictures are blurry”) or are complaining about the vendor, not the camera.


Agreed. Even that $64 Lumix with the Leica lens will astound you!

Either one would be fine for a Regular Joe who wants to take pictures. It’s Ford v. Chevy; PC v. Mac; Coffee v. Tea.

Get your your friends have so you can borrow lenses. Bodies are disposable. Lenses are forever.

And if you want the better camera, get a Nikon.

I’m going on a long vacation in the coming month and I wanted to upgrade to a new camera before I go. I’m not certain I need a DSLR because I know basically nothing about photography but I’m also the type of person who prefers to pay a little extra to get something good if it’s worth it in the long run. I just want to be able to take decent pictures and maybe video. I don’t mind a learning curve though, so if I’m willing to put in some time to learn how to use it, is the DSLR worth the extra money? Or will it really not make a difference over the Sony or Samsung offered here?
If there’s no point in upgrading to the DSLR for a newb like me, is there anything worth noting between the Samsung and the Sony besides the MP difference and the lack of WiFi connectivity on the Sony?|

I also am almost willing to pay the higher price for the DSLR simply for the EVF. My old camera doesn’t have one and trying to take pictures in bright sunlight is essentially shooting blind.

This has been my experience. Every year my wife makes a photo book online for the grandparents (and a copy for us). Cell phone pictures are almost worthless for this and stand out like a sore thumb. I got a Panasonic Lumix point and shoot off of Woot a few years ago and it takes nice pictures, but they are not the same quality as even amateur shots from a DLSR. I just bought a Sony Nex5 (mirrorless interchangeable), and the shots we got out of that are so much better. They look great on the computer, and I can’t wait to get some printed bigger. I didn’t know this was even an option until I started shopping around and looking at reviews. It is very small and easy to carry around and take with us.

Hello Serafyna

How would LX7 compare to Sony RX-100? In that scenario would it be correct to think about Sony as hyped up when LX7 can do as good job?

What is your opinion about Olympus EPM1?

I just want to find mirrorless for indoor commercial photography of small to medium objects.


Lots of thoughts:

  1. Video is a different beast. It is getting quite good now, but the best still-picture & video kit is Canon because they can use the Magic Lantern Firmware (ML).

  2. The biggest difference I’ve found in P&S vs DSLR is the incredible low light performance of DSLRs… On a Lumix P&S I have, it makes great pictures as long as you keep the ISO <= 400 (and 400 is pushing it), so your subject has to be still…

2a. I like the Sony Alphas because they uses sensor-shift stabilizing, so all lenses are stabilized. Too bad their lenses are limited and Sony’s video sucks (most cameras [EXCEPT ML; ML gives stunning video for as long as you have space] are limited to 30 minutes of recording and have a 2 minute gap between shots; the Sonys tend to overheat and limit you to 4 minute shots(grr!).

  1. OTOH, P&S’s are very nice to carry, and the megazooms have more zoom-ability than any kit lenses…

3b. My Lumix’s mega-OIS actually makes handheld video tolerable (the OIS works as a steady-cam). Kills the battery though.

  1. For sunlight, I recommend Hoodman hoods (little hoods that go over the displays).

I like DSLRs because all the P&S cameras work very hard to hide all the settings, so eventually, you’ll want to do something (eg, intentionally cause a silhouette) and not be able to. Meanwhile, the DSLR/MirrorLess cameras have as-good-as-the-others auto modes, so you /can/ start with them easily enough ([P]rogram mode is a great starting point).

Oh… and despite mirrorless being the next thing, I find it hard to do manual focus on an evf (any! I long for the split-prism of my Yashica 35mm film). ML has “focus-dots” that will blink the “most-in-focus” (highest contrast) bits, so that’s why I’m holding out for the Canon (though the T2i’s audio is better than the T5i – but finding a T2i is hard). Though the Nikon is better on paper.

And, fwiw, had Zoner Photo studio today. A huge improvement over Picasa and other simpler photo tools.

And now I also realize the ML doesn’t support the T5. Just the T5i so far (they are working on it), so… not this time.

Good job. And thanks as always.

Thanks for the reply. I’ve talked to a few other people and I think I’m gonna splurge and get a DSLR. Now I just have to make choice between Canon and Nikon. Of course I’ve had the exact same number of people recommend each.

Does anyone know much about the Wifi capability of the Nikon? That’s the only difference I see right off the bat between the two. WiFi sounds spiffy but is it just a gimick thing?