Canon EOS Rebel T3i vs Nikon D5100
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What do they have in common?
Canon Rebel T3i Review
Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS DSLR Camera
With the T3i you also have a built in remote for flash on the camera. It uses a 9 point AF system. On live view, magnifying the image comes up with a sharper image version the Nikon. Another great thing on this camera is its interface. It's quite easy to navigate through the quick menu and it makes great use of the dial and arrows versus Nikon's L shaped menu. The edge of Canon comes mostly in its video functions.
Canon has full manual exposure control, where Nikon has limited “manual” exposure controls. Also, you can adjust the input of audio on the camera with several levels and even a decibel meter to see how loud the sound input is. The Nikon only has three levels for fine tuning sound. Also, the Canon has a 60fps at 720p setting which would be great for slow motion. Nikon only goes up to 30fps. The biggest trick on Canon's sleeve is by introducing the digital zoom feature. It maximizes the use of its sensor without sacrificing image quality.
Nikon D5100 Review
Nikon D5100 16.2MP CMOS DSLR Camera
In terms of comfort with regards to gripping the camera, the Nikon definitely has the edge. It does have a slightly smaller sensor at 16MP but that doesn't sacrifice image quality. It uses an 11 point AF system. For photographers, they will enjoy features like better continuous shooting. The colors a Nikon takes are more vivid but still stay loyal to actual colors of the scenery. On live view, though it sacrifices sharpness when magnifying, this has more steps to zoom in to over Canon having two steps at 5x and 10x. The great features on Nikon would be its interval timer shooting and HDR more.
For videos, Canon does have the edge but Nikon makes taking videos easier. It has video auto-focus, though jerky, it works. You can even apply effects to your video while you shoot, unlike Canon where you have to post-process.