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DSLR Shootout: Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i

05.17.11 @ 5:01PM Tags : , , , ,

Dave Dugdale over at Learning DSLR Video pits the recently announced Nikon D5100 up against its similarly-priced brethren, the Canon T3i. Dave runs through low light, aliasing, and rolling shutter tests (be sure to watch it in HD). The interesting thing about the D5100 is, despite its visuals holding up pretty well in the comparisons, according to Dave it lacks basic manual movie controls (for those, you have to step up to the D7000), which makes the T3i a better choice for filmmakers. Here’s the shootout:

[via Learning DSLR Video]


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  • Thumbs up for the t-shirt!! I want one!!!

  • The D5100 has surprisingly good handle on the rolling shutter phenomenon. Too bad about the lack of manual controls, because that’ll be a deal-breaker for most filmmakers.

  • How do the file sizes compare? My experience with the D7000 and 60d was that at the same resolution settings, the Canon video file was substantially larger than the Nikon file. For the filmmaker this is actually the acid test.

  • Without manual controls, why would any filmmaker consider a D5100, and why bother doing a “shootout”?
    Aren’t there other gear to test?

    • You make a good point…on the other hand the audience for the d5100 and some of the other lower priced hddslr cameras is not really the filmmaker (particularly the cameras without full manual control), but people who have been convinced or encouraged that movie makeing is a fully automated process, and as easy as Ashton makes it seem on the commercials. Having said this the comparison should have just been scrapped.

      For some reason when peopleare making these comparisons, they too often overlook comparing the data rates and file sizes…things which should be very inportant to the filmmaker, particularly if you are going to grade.

  • Where did you get the shirt??? I want one!!!!!

  • I use the D5100 exclusively. The manual ISO setting is in the menu. You have to switch the lcd out of live mode and go into the iso menu. Have never had a problem with the manual iso. Can you switch iso on the fly, no buty I usually spend about 10 min. taking measurements and making other manual adjustments anyway. Not sure what he was talking about here. I’m not lobbying for Nikon, I just don’t want this little camera to get a bad rap bc of a little misunderstanding.

    • sarosh HAdi on 11.24.13 @ 5:43AM

      Please……… you can change the iso manually by function(fn) button.Hold fn and than rotate the dial
      if this not works go to menu and configure fn button

  • Thanks for this video. The difficulty of controls is making me choose the Canon over the Nikon. The video quality looked very similar in both.

  • If this is anything like my D7000, there should be an option under movie settings called manual control. By default, it’s turned off. Switch it on and switch the dial to M (manual for those not familiar). This is how it should be done imo.

  • I been testing these two cameras for a while now at the shop and i’m very very much leaning towards Nikon, i think the quality of the pictures are a bit better, same for video. Also its a bit smaller in size and sits better in my hand. The films just tipped me completely over to Nikon. They just looked a tiny bit better. Both these two cameras are awesome so its just the personal preference i think at this point but its Nikon for me :)
    I’m just not sure if they are going to release new models this month so i will wait a couple of more weeks before i get me one.