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What Nikon is comparable to the Cannon 550d or 600d and what drawbacks (or good points) does it have compared to the canon?

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The Nikon D5000 is roughly equivalent to the 550d. The Canon has a higher megapixel rating, but most other specs are pretty similar. The D5000 has now been superceded by new models: the D3100 and D7000.

Reams and reams have been written on the Canon vs. Nikon debate, and I'm not about to add to that (other than to say, GO NIKON!); try visiting DPReview.com for in-depth, impartial reviews.

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And soon the D5100 –  Philippe Lavoie Mar 29 '11 at 2:19

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