This would be my first SLR camera. I have only been using compact point-n-shoot cameras (like Canon ixus), I know you guys are laughing now, but well, I am growing up :D

I love SLR images for easy creation of depth-of-field in images. I will be using my camera for taking both photos and videos of travel, sight-seeing, events, indoor birthdays and so on. However, I want to improve my skills later on - I will be taking some photography classes - and want to do still photography at a higher level, so it will be great if I invest wisely now so I won't be disappointed with my camera when my photography skills improve.

The list that I came up with is:

  • Canon EOS 600D (Rebel T3i)
  • Canon EOS 60D
  • Nikon D5100
  • Nikon D5200
  • Nikon D3200
  • Canon EOS 650D (Rebel T4i)
  • Nikon D3100

Among them I am more inclined towards 600D and D5200.

what are your insights? What camera would you recommend to me, considering my Video taking needs as well?

I do not have another camcorder, and I expect to shoot short 5-20 min video of travels/scenery/events. I expect good quality (HD?) videos.


4 Answers 4


For the stills, all the models on your short list will be good quality. I would, however, strike all Canon models other than the 650D from your list for one simple reason: continuous autofocus in movie mode. The 650D introduced the capability of continuously refocusing while taking a video (AI Servo), something the previous models do not have.

the specifications of the D5100 indicate the mic is mono only, rather than stereo, so I suspect its little brothers will suffer the same fate.

So I would pick between the 650D and, let's say its counterpart, the 5200. Go to a store, hold both in hand, and see what fits better and feels more comfortable. One thing you may not realize, coming from the compact world, is the weight the camera and lens will have. Whatever you pick, you will like the pictures so much that you will spend hours holding it in your hands. So how the camera fits in your hands is very important...


All current DSLRs give good quality images and have manual controls. So would would not be wrong with choosing randomly.

If you are serious about learning though, I would go with an intermediate model with more external controls, including dual control-dials. The difference is that you have more things you can do without entering the menu system which makes it easier to change settings quickly.

The other thing that you can get with a mid-range model is a 100% coverage viewfinder. If you learn about composition and start framing your shots critically, this is essential.

As for the video aspect, all models now do full 1080p HD and you should look for one that supports external sound input in order to attach a microphone to get better quality audio. No matter how sophisticated the DSLR is, those tiny dots used as microphones are never high-quality.

A Nikon D7000, Pentax K-5 (original, II or IIs), Canon 7D all fit the bill. Price is a little higher than the models you listed but it is worth the difference for anyone with serious intentions about photography.


First of all, I recommend to get Nikon or Canon. It's not a simple principle, there are two big companies that offer quality and great services (hardware and software). From my experience, after I got the Nikon D3100 I realized that Nikon D5100 is way better and not so expensive. Now, prices got low and you cal even afford a Nikon D7000. It all depends on your budget. Like others say, go to a store and pick one, to feel it in your hand.

My preferences (ordered by price, desc): Nikon - D7100, D7000, D5200, D5100, D3200, D3100


Of that list, I'd probably lean towards the T4i of the ones you listed, specifically because of your video needs. If it wasn't for the video needs, I'd go with the 60D as it is a better photography camera, but the T4i's phase detection is a nice feature for camera's in that price range. The T3i is probably too much of a toy camera if you want to be semi-serious about photography. (I just recently moved from an xTi that I had for basic family shooting up to a 5D Miii for professional work and the difference is night and day. Even comparing my xTi to my father in law's 60d is a major difference.

As a broader point, most people are either going to recommend Canon or Nikon based on their brand affiliation (kind of like Mac vs Windows). I'll fully disclose that I'm a born and bread Canon user, so I tend to advise towards Canon since I know their line, though Nikon also makes very nice gear.


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