Saturday, 3 December 2011

Le Starter Cameras Fight

Nikon D3100
I got some questions about what camera is the best for prospect DSLR users with limited budget. I just recommend but today I'm gonna answer a fellow blogger's request for beginner DSLRs around RM2,000. So today I'm gonna talk about Canon EOS 1100D, Nikon D3100 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A35 all which costs around the price range with a kit lens (a DSLR without a lens would be a wacky joke isn't it?). Let's go to business!


Canon EOS 1100D and Sony Alpha SLT-A35
These are the trio that we are going to compare. In terms of price, the all about the same so let's compare the size and weight.

Canon EOS 1100D. Weight is 495g (body only without the battery).
Nikon D3100. Slightly smaller than the Canon. Weight is 455g (body only without the battery)
Sony Alpha SLT-A35. The smallest of them all. Weight is 415g (body only without the battery)
So the Sony is the smallest and lightest of them all. When comparing DSLRs a small size would be a plus. A heavy and bulky DSLR is not the ideal thing for a tourist travelling light. But for ultimate quality some would sacrifice. This is why I was quite interested to the Sony Alpha SLT-A55 before this.

When talking about picture quality let me get one thing straight first. There is an urban legend going on saying that cameras with more megapixels will get better photos. This is a big no. Many other factors must be taken into account in deciding quality of a photo. What megapixels does influence is the maximum resolution of the picture a camera can capture. Bigger megapixels means bigger size photos. All of these cameras have the same sensor, and sizes not so different to each other. But the sizes are different. The Canon has 12MP, Nikon has 14MP and the Sony has 16MP. So the Sony produces the largest file size for nicer prints and if needed, higher resolution crops.

If I were to compare this camera one by one, it will be like a review from a website so I'm gonna tell the main differences in these cameras.


The Canon shoots nice photos for a DSLR. But the problem is this model is missing Canon's speciality which is the video mode. The 550D, probably the best Canon DSLR has great video mode. This model shoots 720p 30fps video which no manual exposure setting and all those stuff that makes great videos. But the battery performance is superb. Gotta give that.

The Nikon also shoots nice photos. But again the video mode is missing good quality video. It shoots full HD but the quality is not really there. This model has an autofocus feature in video mode but it is slow and not so accurate. So it is a good boy with average performance.


The Sony is the smallest and lightest. It has a fast and accurate autofocus in video mode due to the translucent mirror inside. It also has 7fps burst mode with autofocus. That's 7 pictures in a second. No other DSLR in this price range is capable of doing that. Even the pricey ones can't autofocus in burst. The flaws is its mirror itself. The mirror blocks some light so the shutter speed will not be as fast as a normal DSLR. Then the microphone is bad. It picks up a lot of ambient noise. The battery life is not so good either.

So which one will be the one I'd choose? For myself, none. But for you, you really gotta see which feature that you would need the most and which weakness you can live with. For a little more money, let's say RM 2,500 I would love to recommend the Canon EOS 550D which is a great camera for the money. It has all the features I need. Enjoy!

Watch these videos in order ok?













Em this last video on Sony is actually on the SLT-A33 and the A35 is an updated version of the A33, which is about the same stuff actually, just without the flippy screen I think. So, happy deciding! If I really need to recommend one between these cameras, I'd pick the middle child, the Nikon D3100. It has the features that helps us to shoot right away. Although it won't be the top of the line quality, but it gets the job done nicely.

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